Christchurch University of Canterbury

Canterbury is a great university. I say this with some affection, having friends who teach there; but also knowing it takes science, technology engineering and maths seriously. I wouldn’t say this of Victoria University of Wellington, but that’s a debate for another day.

The photos here are mainly of one campus – actually the Arts Centre, though it houses the Great Hall where we did a memorable Mathscraft event together. The building is contemporary with Christchurch’s Old Cathedral and is built in much the same style; it too suffered during the 2011 earthquake but happily after 8 years restoration work it’s reopened – in fact its reopening was a major cultural event in the city which evoked a real sense that ‘Christchurch is back in business’. This place would be stunning anywhere, but it’s particularly so in New Zealand where buildings like this are almost unknown.

To compare it with Oxford would be misleading since Oxford has none of this grey granite; and I doubt there’s any at Cambridge. But it shouts of Aberdeen and other great British universities. Once inside, the grey granite gives way to a classic Victorian red brick and warm stone; this is classic Keble College, William Butterfield, many British churches, country houses and buildings around London. To see it here 12,000 miles away makes me come over all emotional…