The construction of a new Centre for Music and the Arts in Christchurch is officially underway following a launch ceremony held at the neighbouring Isaac Theatre Royal on Monday 16 March. Sited at 156 Armagh St, in the heart of the Performing Arts Precinct, the centre is the result of collaboration and co-operation between Christchurch City Council, CERA, The Crown and the organisation formerly known as the Music Centre of Christchurch Trust, said board chairman Steve Jones.

At the ceremony, finalised plans for the three story building were unveiled along with a new name, “The Piano: Centre for Music and the Arts”.

The name reflects architect Alun Wilkie’s inspiration for the lines and shapes of his exterior design – the curves, rectangles and architectural details can all be traced to those of a concert grand piano. It is subtle, and the elements are reconfigured, but they are there to be seen by a keen eye.

The centre’s Director, Bronwyn Bijl said, “we have a new site, a new building, and a leading role to play in the renewal of the arts in the heart of the city. The facility will be a hub of excellence and opportunity for music and related arts in Christchurch, providing a place for connection for students and their teachers, artists and their audiences and ethnocultural, music and arts organisations and their communities.“

Completion is planned for June 2016.