American architect Michael Reynolds, founder of the ‘Earthship’ movement is visiting Christchurch to offer innovative ideas for Christchurch’s rebuilding process.
“Mother nature’s recent behaviour is changing and traditional ‘built cheap and fast’ commodity-housing clearly is not coping. Here we have a housing solution that doesn’t just cope, it loves nature.” says Reynolds, who will be delivering a series of public talks and workshops about ‘Earthships’ – modern off-grid houses made out of cans, bottles and tyres, as well as conventional materials.
Designed to harvest rainwater, treat sewage, generate electricity, as well as provide their own heating and cooling; Reynolds points to the post-quake experience of Christchurch’s eastern suburbs to explain of the value of his buildings.
“The people in those suburbs experienced first hand the inherent faults of first-world, grid-connected systems for power, water and sewage“. Reynolds will also meet with the Urban Design team at the Christchurch City Council during his visit.
His houses have been built around the world, with the underlying design being tuned to meet the needs of the local climate. Reynold’s is finding increasing interest in his designs from those who have experienced natural disasters, such as the Haiti earthquake, the Kingslake bushfires in Australia and Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans. Reynolds’ was also the subject of the internationally award winning 2007 documentary “Garbage Warrior”, showcasing his 40 year architectural career.
He will be in Christchurch from 12 – 17 March, leading a sold-out three day practical workshop from Wednesday to Friday. A series of three public seminars will kick-off Friday evening at Riccarton Park Function Centre with an ‘Earthships 101’ introductory lecture with additional evening presentations on technical aspects of his designs and their application in disaster relief scenarios across the globe. For further information on Michael Reynold’s seminars or to purchase tickets visit: www.earthship.com/new-zealand