Art & creativity  |  5 Jul 2022

A shell-shaped chapel that won people’s hearts has been restored and moved to a prominent spot next to He Puna Taimoana Hot Pools on the New Brighton foreshore.

The chapel won the people’s choice award in the 2016 Tiny Huts design competition but has been tucked away under the pier for several years while the playground and hot pools were being developed.

The New Brighton Residents Association requested the move to better showcase the popular artwork.

Designer Ting Lin, who was studying for a Bachelor of Architectural Studies at Ara Institute of Canterbury at the time, said it was very exciting to see the chapel refreshed and moved to its new location.

“This just shows what small architecture can mean to the community. I designed the chapel when I was a student and though I have been working in the industry for four years now and designed many buildings since, the Shell Chapel still holds a special place in my heart.

“It was designed for the community and I am so pleased to see it’s been loved by the community over the years and hopefully for many more years to come.”

Her design was inspired by a story told to her by a New Brighton resident about how the community had banded together to donate a wedding to a local couple in need.

For Coastal Burwood Community Board Chairperson Kelly Barber the chapel is a visible link between the past and present.

“When the Tiny Huts were constructed and put in place for the summer of 2016 the idea was to enliven New Brighton’s public spaces. I think most of us will remember the amazingly creative designs that were dotted around the area.

“New Brighton today is a very different place and being able to include the Shell Chapel into this redeveloped and vibrant space is quite special – it’s a part of our evolution.”

The other tiny hut remaining in Christchurch City Council ownership has been gifted to the New Brighton Community Gardens.

The Art-omat was repaired and repainted and will be used for shelter, seed collecting and drying.