Town Hall: Glazed cube and square for Moray Place

Updated post 7.3.13 at 3:58 p.m.

See pictures at ODT… By the way, the reference to the Louvre in Paris isn’t helpful. I like architect IM Pei’s work and have experienced it first-hand but the Louvre’s glass pyramid sucks, always has.

### ODT Online Thu, 2 Jul 2009
Town hall upgrade: from clip-on to glass cube
By David Loughrey
A cube-shaped glass entrance has emerged as the centrepiece of a $45 million revamp of the Dunedin Town Hall, part of major structural changes to the historic buildings.
Read more


### ODT Online Thu, 2 Jul 2009
Changes for Harrop St
By David Loughrey
The car park area off Harrop St will be turned into a public space as part of the upgrade of the Dunedin Town Hall and Dunedin Centre. Plans for the area show grass and trees on the car park site, but Opus architect Jeff Thompson said more work was still to be done.
Read more

Note: Seating in the upper gallery or top tier will be retained to show off the original seating of the Town Hall; air displacement vents will be incorporated under the seats to enhance climate control. Another thing, the cube has a set of internal columns (visible in the graphics) to complement the column detail on the classical facade of the Town Hall to Moray Place.


### Updated at 9:49pm on 1 July 2009
RNZ News
New plans for Dunedin Town Hall revealed
New plans for a $45 million redevelopment of the Dunedin Town Hall and adjoining Dunedin Centre complex have been unveiled. The plans include a smaller, cube-shaped glass entranceway on Moray Place to replace the existing glass entrance erected in the 1970s. Harrop Street will become a pedestrian walkway with a green public space replacing the existing carpark. The council meets on Monday to decide whether to approve the design.
Read more


### The Star Online Thu July 2 2009 (page 1)
Revised Dunedin Centre plans get the thumbs up
By Brenda Harwood
Dunedin City Council’s revised $45 million plans for redeveloping the Dunedin Town Hall, Glenroy Auditorium and Municipal Chambers have been greeted with relief by a former opponent.
Read more

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr


Filed under Stadiums

26 responses to “Town Hall: Glazed cube and square for Moray Place

  1. Elizabeth

    Strange comments at ODT Online today re the cube and any proposed changes to the Dunedin Centre…one writer didn’t catch the cube has a lift for mobility access, another thinks nothing should change…like they don’t know the building has to come up to compliance, cope with fire egress, etc etc etc (BA04). How to get the building viable, and in greater public use. Aesthetic issues aside, what have we been hammering for Dunedin??? Save our important heritage buildings, adapt them for contemporary use, et voilà.

    Here’s the report going to Dunedin City Council on Monday (contains the visuals):

    Report – Council – 06/07/2009 (PDF, 2.1 mb)
    Dunedin Centre and Town Hall Redevelopment Project

  2. Richard

    Despite one person’s absolute negative attitude to this project the posting on the ODT blog of information I posted HERE some weeks ago (!!!!), it is apparent that apart from some dislike of the new glass entranceway – including the strange post you refer to above – the large majority of citizens are happy with what it is proposed. By and large that reflects what council was told by those who participated in the various focus groups etc.

    It is timely then Elizabeth, that I acknowledge your own part in that outcome. It was from one of my conversations with you, that I took up the proposal to seek a peer review. My colleagues, of course, supported that. Must have been one of the days when I was speaking in persuasive tongues!

    Anyway, it is now on record as yet another example of what happens when people talk WITH each other and not AT each other.


  3. The one person’s “absolute negative” attitude may not have actually been that, so much as a challenging of the logic and posturing which promoted it.

    That person could probably be persuaded by a reasoned response demonstrating clearly that all the economic benefits and number of international conferences to support those postulated benefits, will in fact, eventuate.

    Would that be too much to hope for? It seems so.

  4. Richard

    Oh dear! The Man from Pyongyang returns!

  5. Richard:
    “Oh dear! The Man from Pyongyang returns!” Is that all? Perhaps you should return.

  6. kate

    Elizabeth what I also like about the interconnections is the link to the Cathedral which then joins the whole quadrant up. To make this area a positive community space will be an interesting process but I already love the rock climbers and how they use it – maybe they have some good ideas to make it a people place.

  7. LG

    On the DEGW campus plan. It will be very interesting to see what they come back with. They arrived with what I thought was some very fascinating ideas and thoughts. Maybe it’s just cynicism derived from political blather, but I guess I’m used to seeing plenty of good concept and rhetoric but not much delivery. I hope they produce something exciting and transformational.

  8. Richard

    The challenge for redeveloping the Harrop area will be getting as much shelter as possible from the wind. Fortunately the worst of the southerlies hits around the entrance to the Dunedin Centre (hence the new protection there) and funnels down the present roadline.

    After what happened in The Octagon, I have some reservations about the proposed water feature. And, when it gets to the front of the TH itself, it will flow right under where the pigeons roost!

    Perhaps a fountain come water feature in which children can gambol could be a centrepiece. There is one in Washington Square in NY (you and Paul may know it) which has a central spray (or whatever) with other jets coming from the side.

    There are steps down into it around the entire perimeter and the water depth is quite shallow so the kids can gambol to their hearts content.

    Another alternative is the one that has no pool, just jets erupting from the surface on a rotating basis. They are not very strong and kids enjoy jumping on them. Hardly a centrepiece though.

    The integration of the space with the cathedral gardens while retaining the climbing spaces is great but the fuel pipe for the cathedral’s heating system will need to be shifted! Cheers!

  9. David

    Richard – as well as the wind, you have a major shading issue with Harrop St.

    My guess is the Town Hall will shade a lot of it until about 1.30pm, then St Paul’s will start casting its shadow at around 3pm – not ideal for a public plaza.

    Perhaps making alcoves by the stone retaining wall below St Paul’s could provide wind protection and some passive solar heating from the dark stone. It will also be the first place to start to warm up (but also the first area back into shade).

    And of course the lower the plaza is, the worse the shading will be. Will it all be at the Harrop St level? Or will it step up towards St Paul’s?

  10. David

    Perhaps we should shift $37m from the stadium project and put a roof over Harrop St – to be used 350 days per year more than the stadium.

    Or perhaps instead a roof over the Octagon?

    Why not a roof over the main stand, railway stand, corporate boxes etc at Carisbrook, so the spectators don’t get wet the ONE day per year it rains during a rugby match?

    Oh that’s right – there’s already a roof over those stands.

    We only really need a roof if the 15 players can’t hack getting rained on once per year.

  11. Richard

    Actually the area used as a carpark in Harrop (the site of the old fire station) as distinct from the roadway, gets quite a lot of sun throughout the year.

  12. David

    Richard – the carpark may be elevated up out of the morning shadow a bit more, but then it will be in shadow from mid afternoon onwards.

    If this is lowered to Harrop St level then more of it will be in shadow in the am and pm.

    The higher elevation the pedestrian plaza is, the less it will be in shade from the two tall buildings either side.

  13. Richard

    Well, I have been in and out of that carpark more regularly than most since 1980 and, at the times, you would expect the area to be most used, it gets plenty of sun.

  14. LG

    This satellite shot was apparently at the end of March, and from the sun’s angle, presumably late morning. It looks pretty good, actually.,170.502759&spn=0.001808,0.004823&t=h&z=18
    It they built something to deflect the wind from the south-east coming up the canyon, it seems like it could actually be a nice place for lunch.
    Lunching on the balcony of one of the adjacent buildings with a similar aspect was always pretty awesome.

  15. David

    So how about an elevated plaza above the current carpark (which could be kept underneath). Any additional elevation will lessen morning and afternoon shading.

    Though I’m not sure if some people would like the asthetics. And of course the city is about to be plunged into debt so I doubt there will be any spare money available.

  16. Richard

    Somehow David, I do not think that will find much favour with Elizabeth, Kate, Fliss, Ted, Judith et al, not forgetting the rock wall climbers!!

    Whatever, I take some credit for the fact that it is still an open space. Late in the 1986-89 council, a proposal came to build a (I think) 3-storeyed carpark on the site for council vehicles. It did not proceed but resurfaced soon after I became Mayor.

    My questions: why do we need a carpark for council vehicles; then why so many vehicles anyway?

    I won’t bore you with the answers but what resulted was a complete rationalisation of the council fleet (e.g. each department no longer had their own cars to use or park all day , the establishment of the ‘carpool’ now known as Citifleet and the selling off of numerous vehicles by the late, inimitable, Bob Heath, netting (I recall) about $650,000.

    Bob then oversaw the tidying up of the carpark area, the building of the wall etc in conjunction with a prison work scheme utilising volunteers and at a fraction of the cost that the ‘engineers’ estimated it would cost!

  17. David

    Richard – I suspected it might not be in favour with many, though it wouldn’t have to look like a car park – that part would be hidden underneath.

    Whatever happens there are going to be some climatic difficulties to overcome if it is to be well used space.

  18. Richard

    Absolutely – the wind offers the main challenge as previously mentioned.

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