June 21, 2018
July 11, 2017
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Announcing the winning scheme for Collett’s Corner Design Competition

The Hive, designed to create a bustling addition to Lyttelton’s creative chaos, was selected for its thoughtful relationship to the context, carefully curated arrangement of the functions and the clever use of scale and proportion. The laneways and central courtyard provide intimate public spaces as well as respond to the future plan for Lyttelton. The spatial arrangements allow for future development with business owners, while also providing desirable amenities such as the rooftop garden, the ‘flux space’ open for mixed programming on the ground floor, and the community information space. The scale of the building as a whole is a prominent marker of the the corner site, and compliments the school across the street as well as a creates a bookend to the commercial core. The scale of the building is broken down to relate to the surroundings through its modular design. The design of the inside and outside spaces correspond with each other creating a sort of luring invitation to come inside and hang out.

Full press release here.

Ohu is working with the Lyttelton community to create a building on the Collett's Corner site that will be collectively owned by the community.  If you are an interested investor please sign up here.

Ohu is pioneering a new way of doing property development by working with groups of people to create collectively owned buildings. Collett’s Corner will launch an equity crowdfunding campaign in February 2019, opening up the opportunity for people to own a share in Collett’s Corner.

The purpose is to attract people to Lyttelton by building a place people enjoy spending time with friends, both old and new. Collett’s Corner is a 2,300m2 mixed-use building in the heart of Lyttelton. The development includes guest accommodation, collaborative workspaces, cinemas, bar, restaurant and hot baths. The design of the building will facilitate connection between people, both local and visitors, through its considered curation and layout. The purpose is to foster creating places where we connect with one another in meaningful ways.

Through this development we are challenging conventions of property development by working with the local community to inform the uses, the design and ultimately the building will be owned by the people who believe in its purpose. 

The land and building will be held in a company, Collett's Corner Ltd, and shares in the company will be sold in exchange for an equity stake in the property development. An equity crowdfunding campaign will be held February 2019 through PledgeMe.

Design Competition

Ohu is hosting a design competition and inviting architects and graduates to submit ideas for the Collett’s Corner development project. We are appealing to teams that strongly believe in building communities and that see architecture as a way to create places of connection and wellbeing.

Public online voting: July 2nd 8am - July 4th 10pm
Public Exhibition: 10am - 7pm at XCHC (376 Wilsons Rd) July 4th
Announcement of three finalists: July 6th

STAGE 2: DEVELOPED CONCEPT - July 9th - August 31st
Public online voting - September 3rd 8am - September 6th 10pm vote here
Public presentation by each design team: September 6th 6pm at LAF tickets here
Announcement of wining scheme: September 14th

Please refer to the below links for more information:

Questions and answers

1Is this an NZIA endorsed competition?
This competition brief has been developed in alignment with the New Zealand Institute of Architects (NZIA) Competition Guidelines. However, we were unable to obtain the NZIA’s endorsement because of one particular clause. The NZIA competition guidelines state that competition entries should be submitted anonymously. We acknowledge the rationale for this, and the intent to remove any bias and focus the evaluation solely on the merits of the design. However, at the core of Ohu’s values is creating meaningful relationships between people. One way this is accomplished is by working together and acknowledging one another for the contributions we each make. We believe that this happens when the people behind the designs are recognised and valued along with their work. The selection will be based on the designs submitted as well as the experience of the design team and their alignment to Ohu’s values (please refer to the Evaluation Criteria).
2Who can enter the competition? Can non-architects participate?
At least one person on the team needs to be a registered architect, architectural graduate, or an architectural designer. We encourage assembling diverse teams, such as collaborating with artists and engineers. Each team will need to demonstrate their combined skills and experience, and explain how they align to Ohu’s purpose to build community. If your team does not have the appropriate experience and competency to progress the design, Ohu may examine supporting the teams with the additional skills required, should the team be selected.
3Do the team’s need to have experience and knowledge of the local building practice?
In order to meet the evaluation criteria, the teams need to demonstrate that their building design can be successfully executed - that it can meet the local consenting requirements, and is buildable within the construction budget. If your team does not have the required experience, we are open to submissions from teams who are willing to partner with local practitioners in order to meet these requirements.
4Is public money being used to fund Collett's Corner?
No, this is a privately funded project. There will be an equity crowdfunding campaign in February 2019. This building will be collectively owned by the people who love Lyttelton and want to work together to rebuild the town centre. The minimum investment is $100 for one share in the company. If you want to be an owner of Collett's Corner, sign up here to stay informed:
5Who are the jurors? And how does the voting work?
There is a total of four votes: 1) The public vote; 2) Andrew Turner, Deputy Mayor and Councillor for the Banks Peninsula; 3) Tony van Raat, NZIA Auckland Branch Chair ; and 4) Camia Young, Founding Partner Ohu. The voting is online here:

Project Background

Ohu started the Collett’s Corner project with a listening phase in 2017 where the local community determined the options to collectively create and own. We distilled the long list of possible uses into two possible building options: Intergenerational and Attraction. Each of the options combined complementary uses so that the respective business thrive alongside one another.

The Intergenerational option focused on creating a place for local residents who find it increasingly difficult to get in and out of town due to the steep hills and stairs, yet they want to remain in Lyttelton and be involved in what is happening. The first and second floor included a mix of accommodation, the ground floor a co-working space for local community groups and residents working from home, and the basement a carpark for collectively owned electric vehicles.

The Attraction option focused on creating a unique destination in Lyttelton to serve locals and visitors alike. Locals voiced wanting a memorable place to take visitors. This option includes a quirky hotel on the first floor, a cosy cinema and bar on the top floor, a souk-like market on the ground floor, and Roman style baths in the basement.

We found the community was equally behind each option and wanted parts of each to be blended. Our feasibility assessments showed that each option would generate strong financial returns for investors and in response to the community feedback, we have developed a third ‘Hybrid’ option which is predominantly attraction based where instead of the souk market at the ground floor we will develop a co-working space, restaurant and retail space.

The programme is to complete the design and planning in 2018, apply for consents in 2019 and complete the construction to open the building at the end of 2020.

Stages of Development

  • Listening & Ideation Phase: Jul -Nov 2017
    Ask the community to share their ideas for the site
    Assess potential options for the project
  • Scoping Phase: Jan - May 2018
    Share options and seek input to choose the preferred option
    Develop feasibility report
    Create financial and legal structures aligned to the project's purpose
    Seek early stage investors
  • Plan & Design Phase: Jun 2018 - Jul 2019
    Seek business operators
    Launch design competition & appoint wining team
    Assemble the project team
    Launch equity crowdfunding campagin (February 2019)
  • Construction Phase: Mar 2019 - Nov 2020
    Build community by building the building, including working bees to develop trade experience
  • Opening: Dec 2020
    Let's celebrate together!


Estimated Costs

  • Land $720,000
  • ~$7mil construction cost
  • ~$9mil total cost

Opportunities for Investors

  • Equity crowdfunding February 2019


  • Project Steward -  Camia Young
  • Project Manager - Karen Sanderson of Catalyst
  • Development Manager - Pete Lawrence of Buildtech
  • Architect - to be appointed through competition


  • Lytteltonions (people that work and or live in Lyttelton)
  • Investors
  • Future business owners

Press Articles

Camia Young


Camia Young

021 1125 087

Since moving to Christchurch in 2011, Camia has been involved in several community minded initiatives including XCHC (Exchange Christchurch), Te Pūtahi: Christchurch Centre for Architecture and City Making, the Gap Filler Pallet Pavilion, and Studio Christchurch. Before moving to New Zealand, Camia practiced as an Architect in Europe with OMA in Holland and Herzog & de Meuron in Switzerland and worked on several large scale civic projects and urban master plans. Camia serves as a Trustee on the Hillary Institute board, the Ohu Foundation board and she is the Founding Partner of Ohu Ltd and Founding Director XCHC.

If you have any questions or would like to know more about Collett's Corner please get in touch.

Ohu is working with the Lyttelton community to create a unique attraction on London St. The 4 story, 2300m2 building will have hot baths, coworking, shop, restaurant, apart-hotel, cinema and bar.