Send in your playful, artistic and innovative designs for Tiny Huts in New Brighton.

About the competition logo

The Tiny Huts Design Competition closed at 11.59am on 28 June 2016. Thank you to everyone who submitted their Tiny Hut design ideas. 

The opportunity

New Brighton Beach

Christchurch City Council, working with the New Brighton community, launched this design competition to seek design ideas for the construction of five small-scale, playful installations – named 'Tiny Huts'.

The purpose of the Tiny Huts in New Brighton is to:

  • Provide a draw card – a key attraction for Christchurch residents and visitors to New Brighton.
  • Showcase New Brighton as an exciting destination with a point of difference.
  • Support the creativity of the New Brighton community.
  • Connect the existing places and spaces of New Brighton (i.e. Mall, Pier, and Library).
  • Provide spaces and activities that cater for local needs and interests.

The Tiny Huts aim to show how small temporary spaces can bring people together, foster a sense of place, support local businesses and create enthusiasm and excitement for New Brighton residents and visitors.

The challenge

The New Brighton Tiny Huts Design Competition invited people from near and far to submit their big, creative and innovative ideas for small spaces.

The challenge was to design a small temporary structure that can attract and delight passers-by, capture peoples' imagination, and inspire people to visit or to learn more about New Brighton.

The temporary structure – based on the idea of a tiny hut – could be an interactive work of art, host activities, support local businesses, create delight, or provide understanding about New Brighton and its coastal environment.

The local community provided the inspiration for the types of community activities that could take place in and around a Tiny Hut. Ideas include a wedding chapel, a puzzle room, an optical illusion and a reading room.

The designs were to take into consideration the interests of the local community and be designed with them in mind, as local community groups were to be hut custodians in charge of the uses and activities within the huts once they are built.

About the process

New Brighton Beach

Stage one: The open design competition comprised the following key components

  • Competitors submitted their entries in accordance with the competition rules and regulations.
  • There were two competition categories – Schools and Open.
  • All qualifying entries were displayed at a Public Exhibition in New Brighton.
  • The public voted for their favourite design in each of the two categories at the Public Exhibition.
  • A Technical Review Panel evaluated the top voted designs to ensure the feasibility of construction.
  • The Judging Panel reviewed the top voted designs to determine winning designs.
  • There were five winning designs: one Schools, three Open and one Public Choice.

Stage two: Build activity with construction partners comprised the following key components

  • Construction partners were matched to each of the winning designs.
  • Construction partners constructed the winning designs.

Stage three: Activation phase comprised the following key components

  • The Tiny Huts were placed in the New Brighton Town Centre area on the 19 October 2016 and will remain there until March 2017.
  • Tiny Hut custodians were matched to each of the winning designs.
  • Custodians provide activation and point of contact to manage any activity within the hut.
  • Custodians have a maintenance and repair role to support the use of the hut during the summer period.

Key dates




Design Competition

Competition opened

26 April 2016

Competition closed

28 June 2016

Public exhibition for community voting opened

6 July 2016

Public exhibition and community voting closed

19 July 2016

Judging Panel met

25 July 2016

Winners announced

27 July 2016



Construction partners matched to winning design

1 August 2016

Construction partners built the huts

15 August - End October 2016


Custodians were matched to a winning design

21 September 2016

Huts launched and activated

19 October 2016 - Present


The people and context

New Brighton Mall

The people

New Brighton has one of the highest concentrations of artists anywhere in New Zealand. New Brighton residents take pride in the creative, positive energy that flows through this coastal community.

There are approximately 150 community groups currently active in New Brighton, all of whom love this place and want to see it flourish. New Brighton’s community groups are very well connected with each other and often collaborate on various community projects.

The design competition was a great opportunity for these groups to show their pride in their neighbourhood and community spirit– something for all of Christchurch and international visitors to see and be inspired by.

The context

The natural open expanse of New Brighton beach draws in many locals and visitors interested in water sports – surfing, swimming, fishing as well as kite-flying and bird-watching.

Dominated by the natural elements, New Brighton can be lovely and warm on bright sunny days or wild and harsh when the wind roars and waves crash on the beach. Shelter from the prevailing cool easterly wind is very important, but the brightness and bubbly character of the place is undeniable.

As a response to the vacant spaces due to the Canterbury Earthquakes, countless murals now grace the walls of remaining buildings, and there are always creative surprises that pop up around the New Brighton area.

New Brighton is home to many events throughout the year, one of which is a spectacular fireworks show in November (Guy Fawkes), which attracts thousands of people from across the city. The Seaside Market is an established weekly event, which showcases arts, crafts, local food and is often accompanied by live music. Other events include The Palms Sandcastle Competition, Streets Kite Day, Surf Lifesaving Championships and the finish of the Speights Coast to Coast event.

Competition rules and regulations

  • This was an open competition and all entries were welcome from local and international professionals, non-professionals, schools and students.

  • There was no entry fee.

  • Designs submitted online and included:

    • The name of the hut, and the individual, team or school must be included on all submitted material, and full contact details.
    • Each individual, team or school was allowed no more than five entries
    • Each entry had to meet the design brief and submission requirements.
    • Christchurch City Council reserved the right not to publish or display any submitted material which is deemed inappropriate for public viewing.
    • Entrants had to grant Christchurch City Council the royalty free use of all submitted designs and supporting material for a period of 24 months from the competition closing date for the purpose of public display.
    • Submitted works had to be original design, not previously published and not infringing on the copyrights of others.

Design brief and submission requirements

Design brief

Designs were required to:

  1. Be able to be securely attached to a portable concrete base that is 2 metres by 2 metres square, which will be provided by Christchurch City Council.
  2. Be no more than 3.5 metres in height above the floor level.
  3. Fit within a total construction materials budget of NZ $5,000 per structure.
  4. Be easily transportable – made of light and durable materials that do not crack, buckle or break during transportation.
  5. Be constructed with materials appropriate for a coastal environment (consider weather tightness, ability to withstand strong winds, salty air, sand, corrosion).
  6. Be safe for public use, such as: safe to use by children; no elements jutting out where people could hurt themselves; and consider ways to manage vandalism.
  7. Consider accessibility for people with disabilities (e.g. minimum width of door that is wheelchair accessible).
  8. Not contain any sanitary facilities, any sleeping accommodation or any cooking facilities.

Prizes, judging criteria and judging panel


The five winning design each received a design prize of $2,000 (NZD). 

 Judging criteria

The winning designs were selected based on the following criteria:

  • Relevant:  Responds to the specific location, the wider context and the needs of the New Brighton community and visitors;
  • Deliverable:  The design can be practically delivered, within time, on budget, and responds to the competition brief;
  • Innovative: Introduces new, creative ideas and demonstrates excellence in design; and
  • Engaging:  The design demonstrates the ability to encourage positive social interactions, enliven the specific location, and be a playful, artistic attraction.

Judging panel 

 The judging panel comprised representatives from the following:

  • Andrea Cummings - former ‎Burwood/Pegasus Community Board Chairperson 
  • Paul Zaanen - former Manager of New Brighton Business and Landowners Association 
  • Libby Crawford - Owner and Creative Director of Libby & Ben
  • Daniel Grinter - New Zealand Institute of Architects committee 
  • Amy Knudsen - Executive member of the Christchurch Youth Council 
  • Jess Tater - Junior leader of Youth Alive Trust 

The judging panel was supported by a Technical Review Panel comprising:

  • Urban Designer
  • Landscape Architect
  • Builder
  • Engineer

Map of New Brighton

Map showing area for Tiny Hut placement. Final placement decisions were made in consultation with the surrounding landowners and businesses.

Map of New Brighton

Construction partners

Christchurch City Council has approached major construction companies involved in rebuilding the city whose vision, values and principles match the objectives of this project, and who are were interested in providing 'in kind' support for the realisation of the winning designs.

This support could became in the form of staff time, involvement in the construction of the winning designs, project management and/or engineering expertise, which will be used in the selection and construction of the winning designs.

Have questions about the Tiny Huts Design Competition? Email