Central Christchurch to gain a $5M creative hub

Christchurch's reputation as an artistic and creative city continues with the announcement that Yoobee School of Design and Design & Arts College New Zealand (D&A) will merge into a completely renovated state-of-the-art campus in central Christchurch in mid-2019.

Yoobee is New Zealand’s leading specialised digital design school with several campuses around the country, and D&A has been providing quality graduates in fashion, makeup and graphic design for decades. 

Historically, Yoobee has been located in the heart of the city, and now the opportunity has arisen to return, and be part of the regeneration taking place. Attracting students back into a vibrant centre is important to Yoobee campus staff, who have had several moves since the earthquake. With the Hoyts flagship theatre opening this week, and also just a block or two from the new campus, the central bus exchange, and enticing new eateries, the area is transforming in exciting new ways.

In addition, with increased demand for places at both colleges, establishing a creative hub to support emerging young talent nestled in a central city location and supported by major transport links, shops and a mall within easy walking distance was a must for the Design Brief.

The campus is designed to ensure teaching environments are inspiring creative learning environments. Each space has been carefully designed to best meet tutor, staff and student needs.

Box 112, who is developing the building, is well known for their mission to help create the world’s most liveable city. They have completed numerous projects in the area with a strong focus on curating finer grain offerings with beautiful and artistic surroundings that are built for people. This has led to the organic evolution of South Town – an area emerging as the creative centre of the city, now further strengthened with Yoobee’s commitment to the area.

Architect Daniel Grinter from Unispace has been busy working on the final design. Features will include:

  • Purpose-built facilities including labs and interactive class spaces for programme delivery;
  • Exhibition and event space to support emerging talent;
  • External green space to merge the environment with learning and improve the public space offering to street frontage;
  • Internal Streetscape with soft seating and collaboration spaces throughout the circulation spaces on each floor; and
  • Abstract street art, custom art work.

Creative and IT Colleges Chief Executive Ana Maria Rivera, said, “We are excited to be able to announce this fantastic news to our students, staff and the wider region. Our teams are now working hard to create a truly unique campus which will inspire our students. This is a great reward for our dedicated staff in Christchurch who have helped so many creatives turn their dreams into careers in some of New Zealand’s fastest growing sectors. We are investing in a state-of-the-art facility to cater for domestic and international students, industry and the creative sector as a whole”.

The current colleges have a combined student roll of around 350 students, and the new campus will have the capacity to accommodate around 700 students. Due to its central location, an exciting new range of evening classes and weekend courses will also be on offer to the public.

Programmes on offer at the new campus will include Digital Graphic Design, Animation, Film, Web, Fashion, Make-up, Game Art and Development, and with the ability to expand into other areas of the Creative and Tech sector in the future.

Yoobee School of Design and D&A are part of the Creative and IT Colleges encompassing Animation College, Ames Institute of IT and South Seas Film School. The colleges are part of New Education Group, the vocational division of ACG Education. This gives capacity to open up new programmes and ensure students have optimal learning options leading to sustainable employment.