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Speaker: The Architecture of Elsewhere

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  • Just thinking,

    Not quite right.
    The Architect at the Historic Places Trust doesn't rate Gothic Revival, I don't have it online, can anyone help?
    Much of the devestation around Sydenham was done by Dave Henderson who also bowled the Heritage listed theatre on the north of the square next to the lane, he owns strip clubs building along there.

    Putaringamotu • Since Apr 2009 • 1139 posts Report Reply

  • Keir Leslie,

    - Victorian stone buildings with pointy bits = good.

    God yes. The sacred Gothic fucking Revival.

    Since Jul 2008 • 1251 posts Report Reply

  • Rickai,

    Great post Patrick. Good book on villas too.

    A few random thoughts...

    Sticking a metal thing on a builiding may be appropriate for a cheap and effective retrofit (witness that building at the corner of Newton Gully and K Road, but (and call me an old-fashioned conservative) if the building is going to house our Privy Council replacement, I was hoping for something with more traditional gravitas. Great villa country though...

    Didn't Gehry's application get rejected for Te Papa? So that we could have a NZ designer? All due respect to Mr Mercep but ... not his best work..

    Having just completed a wallk around CHCH (after a 16 year absence) I found nothing to rave about. Some good stand alone buildings ruined by poor neighbours. The square was, my architect wife commented, an excellent example. Except with very few good buildings.

    Art Deco in Napier (and not forgetting Ranfurly) is a pastiche. It's still very enjoyable to look at.

    What is wrong with Varsity Brutalism? Ok, I rephrase, there's a lot wrong with it, but for me it provides an effective and efficient historical narrative.

    Banks is an idiot. Queen's Wharf will fail as noone can agree on what it is they want. Whatever is erected will serve the RWC purpose but then so did the Heineken Tent for the Whitbread in the summer of 93/94. Heady days.

    Since Jan 2007 • 36 posts Report Reply

  • George Darroch,

    What is wrong with Varsity Brutalism? Ok, I rephrase, there's a lot wrong with it, but for me it provides an effective and efficient historical narrative.

    Just look at what they're doing to the National Library building. Slapping acres of glass on the front, and Supreme Court style metal facades on the side in order to destroy the form of the original building.

    Improvement and expansion was needed, but this fix is only temporary, as more space will be needed less than two decades from completion.

    The People's Republic of … • Since Nov 2006 • 2077 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    Compare and contrast Hundertwasser's remodelling of the Rosenthal factory in Selb. Although I guess he didn't add any space, just changed its relationship with its environment. (Here's the before picture).

    He also put in a design for Te Papa, incidentally, I wonder if any of you knowledgeable chaps or chapesses knows where one could get hold of it.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7315 posts Report Reply

  • Rickai,

    That Library design is a disgrace. One of my favourite streets in WGTN was the one with the Court of Appeal and the Library on it (molesworth?). In fact that whole area of town worked somewhat (Parliament, Beehive, Law School, Cathedral, Backbencher etc). Maybe it was the space they occupied. And yes, I think the Beehive is kinda funky.

    Since Jan 2007 • 36 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    Same, I think it's very funky actually. I have a dream that some day they will dim the light on the whole city and do a performance in which it turns into a massive slide projector carousel thingamabob, as it's clearly meant to be.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7315 posts Report Reply

  • Rickai,

    That expresses exactly what I meant!

    Having had a good walk around inside the Court of Appeal it is brilliantly brutal (if indeed it is actually Brutalist architecture - I'm no expert) on the inside too. The court room had no windows!!!

    Maybe Queen's Wharf could be something similar...

    Since Jan 2007 • 36 posts Report Reply

  • recordari,

    He also put in a design for Te Papa, incidentally, I wonder if any of you knowledgeable chaps or chapesses knows where one could get hold of it.

    Not claiming special knowledge, but it did exist, and I remember people going 'Oooh' and 'Ahhh!' and 'That'll never fly', which it didn't.

    There should be a copy in Te Papa, and I'm sure if you asked they'd be helpful, and tell you where to go. Of maybe Jenny Harper has it in Christchurch?

    Anyway, I want this coffee set.

    Oh, and did anyone notice this aardvark toilet?

    AUCKLAND • Since Dec 2009 • 2607 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    Did someone say carousel?

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 15715 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    I would like to see the Tank Farm say something about Auckland's place as the largest polynesian city on the planet.

    About navigating, about storytelling, weaving the past and the present. About the future, learning and improving our people and building a proud prosperous place on the world stage.

    I see a full multimedia performing arts campus. A mixture of outdoor and indoor stages and performance spaces spilling into parkland and to the lapping sea. Accommodation and other services for visiting performers and students. High-value creative businesses providing attractive jobs and export opportunities. A fully-wired learning centre with studios and teaching spaces attracting connection and experts from all over the world. To learn from us as well as share what they know. For cultures to reach each other in this diverse place.

    To create story, to share it in many forms as music, moving image, dance, words - and find new ways to touch hearts, minds and souls.

    Surely we deserve at least that rather than another timid concrete box for our city's long line of unambitious born-to-rule business yokels to turn another buck selling ice cream to tourists.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 15715 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    Oh, and we find our own Don Draper to sell it to the world and to ourselves. Though preferably with less collateral damage.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 15715 posts Report Reply

  • Just thinking,

    The crayfish loo would of course need to be undersized and overpriced to have any real meaning though.

    Putaringamotu • Since Apr 2009 • 1139 posts Report Reply

  • Just thinking,

    If you're wandering around Christchurch, pop out to Sumner 1 The Rocks.
    I think it's wonderful and brutal, maybe reflective of the War years and modeled on a tank trap.
    Had lots of engineering too, not sure I could live there but I like it very much anyway.
    Anyone know the Architect?

    Putaringamotu • Since Apr 2009 • 1139 posts Report Reply

  • Hilary Stace,

    George, Rikai - that National Library glass box enclosure is no longer happening. They are remodelling and fixing up some of the interior, for which the library building will be closed to the public till 2012, but there was enough of an outcry (and it was going to cost millions) to stop that particular folly.

    And re Hundertwasser - what a shame that NZ, apart from Kawakawa, lost that chance to use his expertise. We could have had public housing, public buildings and amenities around the country if councils and governments had been a little braver. But we do have the flag.

    Wgtn • Since Jun 2008 • 1901 posts Report Reply

  • Leopold,

    "Just look at what they're doing to the National Library building. Slapping acres of glass on the front, and Supreme Court style metal facades on the side in order to destroy the form of the original building. "

    Fret not. The rebuilding budget has been severely cut back, so the outward form will remain the same for the forseeable future...

    Since Jan 2007 • 144 posts Report Reply

  • Patrick Reynolds,

    Well that started an avalanche... can't really reply to all those posts but great to see such interest in architecture and urban design. I will continue here on this subject when I can, and Simon Wilson's Metro article is really good too... we mustn't let the politicians run the debate as their adgendas are no good for our cities. Bad enough having Mr Joyce determined to pave the entire place.... But right now I just want to strongly recommend THE GLASS ROOM a novel by Simon Mawer based on Mies's great Villa Turgendhat: love, betrayal, tradegy, and.... modernism! And that heroic idea when it was new and offered a possible way out of that ghastly century. Not just a style, a look.

    Auckland • Since Jan 2010 • 35 posts Report Reply

  • Robyn Gallagher,

    Having had a good walk around inside the Court of Appeal it is brilliantly brutal (if indeed it is actually Brutalist architecture - I'm no expert) on the inside too. The court room had no windows!!!

    The term brutalist comes from the French name for raw concrete: béton brut.

    Despite the name, brutalist architecture isn't (meant to be) brutal. It's all about using concrete as a raw, uncovered material. It can make warm, pleasant spaces, but its use as a low-cost method for making cheap, badly designed buildings eventually saw it fall out of favour with the public and architects.

    The Beehive is an excellent example of a brutalist building that is a lovely space to be. [This is not a cue for political jokes.]

    Raglan • Since Nov 2006 • 1821 posts Report Reply

  • Robyn Gallagher,

    So it didn't work out then?

    One coffee cart in the atrium. That's it.

    Raglan • Since Nov 2006 • 1821 posts Report Reply

  • recordari,

    It's a Westfield then.

    AUCKLAND • Since Dec 2009 • 2607 posts Report Reply

  • DeepRed,

    It's a Westfield then.

    Come to think of it, it's not that far from the truth. A shopping mall with transmitters.

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 3896 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Litterick,

    I hate to be the myth-buster, but the shopping mall story started out as a joke by one of the staff. It was mentioned in a contemporary Metro article.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1000 posts Report Reply

  • andin,

    Talk about bad architecture, what's the story behind those dreadful supposedly temporary prefab classroom's that get trucked in when class numbers start to swell, and never leave.
    Freezing in winter, boiling in summer, with windows that dont allow airflow. If I was a parent I'd be suing the Dept of Education for cruel and unusual punishment of minors.

    And I have heard anecdotally that the Dept of Education can side-step building regulations or can ignore them with impunity.
    I've have a look but govt web sites don't usually have that kind of incriminating info on them.
    Anyone?

    but the shopping mall story started out as a joke by one of the staff.

    Cause they were pissed off at having to leave Avalon and commute to AK?

    raglan • Since Mar 2007 • 1149 posts Report Reply

  • recordari,

    Talk about bad architecture, what's the story behind those dreadful supposedly temporary prefab classroom's that get trucked in when class numbers start to swell, and never leave.

    But in a cost saving measure, they have found a convenient design for makeshift prisons with double bunking options.

    AUCKLAND • Since Dec 2009 • 2607 posts Report Reply

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