Whole House Reuse Project

It is often said that as a result of the Canterbury earthquakes Christchurch has had a creative reawakening. UC CEISMIC has been aware of the importance of documenting the various unique and dynamic projects that have come out of post-quake Christchurch and so we are excited to announce that a collection of material from the Whole House Reuse project has been added to the archive this week.


Whole House Reuse is a community project that emerged from the devastation of the Christchurch earthquakes. In association with Rekindle, the Whole House Reuse project salvaged waste materials from a red-zoned home at 19 Admirals Way in New Brighton and has asked creators throughout New Zealand to transform them into purposeful, beautiful craft or art works. The aim of the project is to highlight the waste generated by demolitions in Christchurch and throughout the country, and encourage problem solving and innovation around future uses for materials currently being treated as waste.

Each object salvaged from the house has been photographed and added to the Whole House Reuse catalogue along with a description of the material and information about their dimensions and quantity. This catalogue is to be used by artists, furniture makers, designers, engineers and students across the country during the design process of the project. During this process, participants will submit their designs to the Whole House Reuse Project, specifying which materials they would like to use. The materials will then be allocated to the design teams to be collected, cleaned, and incorporated in their designs.

A page from the Whole House Reuse catalogue in CEISMIC

UC CEISMIC has archived the Whole House Reuse catalogue of resources as well as the thumbnails of each item and, in some cases, a more detailed photograph. These are currently available through CEISMIC search and can be browsed in the UC QuakeStudies site. As the project progresses, UC CEISMIC will also add photographs and documentation related to the completed art pieces.


Photographs of Whole House Reuse catalogue items 428 and 030

An exhibition for the Whole House Reuse project will eventually be held in Christchurch and a charitable auction is going to be run online for those interested in acquiring a piece of Christchurch history.

The UC CEISMIC team are excited to be a part of this fantastic project and are looking forward to seeing the different types of designs that the design teams create. It is always inspiring when people in Christchurch turn what is essentially a negative outcome of the earthquakes (such as the demolition of a family home) into a positive achievement - an aspect of post-quake Canterbury which UC CEISMIC is delighted to archive for future generations.