Good News: DCC urban design and heritage appointments

Hmmm, preventing “concrete block igloos” being built beside heritage buildings…

### ODT Online Sat, 18 Jul 2009
Boost for city’s urban design, heritage
By David Loughrey

Urban design and heritage in Dunedin has received a substantial boost, with three new urban designers and a heritage policy planner bolstering the ranks of the Dunedin City Council.
Read more

New appointments:
Principal urban designer: Steven Miles
Urban designer: Mike Daffern
Urban design special project manager: Emma Burford
Policy planner (heritage): Glen Hazelton

11 Comments

Filed under Architecture, Design, Economics, Hot air, Media, Politics

11 responses to “Good News: DCC urban design and heritage appointments

  1. David

    What great irony.

    Councilor Guest says we don’t want concrete block igloos right beside heritage buildings…..but glass cubes added to them are ok?

    It’s a bit like adding a rear aerofoil and front air scoop off a Ferrari onto a Model T Ford.

    It’s not new and stylish.
    It’s no longer a classic.
    It’s just a mishmash.

  2. Sorry David I have to disagree 100%.

    There are plenty of examples of glass additions to historical buildings being applied sympathetically, or boldly all with outstanding outcomes.

    We can see this in the likes of Apple’s Flagship 5th Avenue store in New York city. Dubbed the Glass Cube is an astonishing architectural solution. The building is located below ground level of General Motors Plaza. Customers and visitors descend below the ground level on a massive glass spiral stair case, or a glass lift. It’s an absolutely beautiful structure.

    Here’s a really interesting article on the building.

    Possibly one of the most famous is of course the Glass Pyramid, marking the modern entrance to the Louvre completed in 1989 by architect I.M. Pei. Another modern glass structure that works astonishingly with its surrounds.

    I love the addition to the British Museum Court and Glass Dome by Lord Foster.

    Then there is the Reichstag building, the German Parliament which has had a massive glass structure added to it.

    I would hardly describe the solution in the terms you have. It’s more appropriate to the gaudy additions seen plastered all over the place at the height of Post-Modernism, in which you could quite possibly see spoilers and wings clipped onto buildings.

  3. David

    Paul – the glass cube (from the pictures I’ve seen
    http://www.macklowespace.com/GM_retail/gm_retail.html )

    is at the base of a pretty modern looking skyscraper, and I’d agree – they look great together as if they were almost part of the same initial design.

    Unlike our cube on a much older building, it doesn’t look like a bitsa.

    And perhaps some modern additions can be done sympathetically. But having photographed literally thousands of new and old buildings, trying to hunt out what’s aesthetically pleasing and what’s not, my opinion is that the glass cube on the front of the town hall looks like an aesthetic mess.

    It will lose its valued historic character, but is not an impressive modern building – it’s the worst of both.

  4. LG

    Some years ago I was taking a series of photographs of landmarks around the city, and wanted to take one of the townhall. It wasn’t until I attempted to do that, that I realised how much of a blight the current entrance is on the design. It’s very hard to get a flattering shot of what should be an amazing facade.
    This is a better angle than I managed to get on the day

    It looks rather like a tarp draped off the side of the house for a party. Compare if you will.

  5. David

    LG – If you go close to the Town Hall facade, then you lessen the impact of the grey roof of the new verandah, until it disappears completely – see
    http://www.davidwallphoto.com/searchresults.asp?tx=dunedin+building&ts=&c=&t=&g=&Lids=&Gids=&p=1&n=739&phrase=all
    (you may have to copy and paste into your browser if the link breaks because it’s too long).

    The advantage a verandah has over the cube is that it’s a good place to shelter to meet friends before and after town hall events (instead of the crowded foyer), while waiting to be picked up from the library, (unless the council has killed off the free P5 parks) etc.

  6. LG

    David– you’re right. Unfortunately, we needed to have a couch in the foreground, and were unable to work the angle. However, I assume that the cube will have some sort of shelter functionality.

    I’m not sure that I’m in love with the cube particularly, my point is that the current verandah is quite unattractive from a lot of angles.
    I think the telling point is that on that site there are numerous pictures of the municipal chambers from lots of angles and ONE of the town hall. The municipal chambers is a ‘prettier’ building, but it also looks good from most any angle.

  7. LG

    My bad. There are two shots of the town hall, both taken from the verandah obscuring angle.

  8. David

    LG – The advantage with a verandah (any verandah – not neccessarily the current one) is that it can be used at any time – not just when concerts are on (presumably the cube will be locked outside of concerts)

    There are more Town Hall shots to be loaded but they are either old and need to be scanned or are new and are waiting in a very long line – 3500 winter images I took last week have a higher priority.

    By the time they are loaded, events may mean they are historical images.

    However I agree with you about the Municipal Chambers – it’s photogenic from many angles, except perhaps when Forsyth Barr house dominates the background.

  9. LG

    David, the current verandah is only perhaps a couple of metres deep. It does mostly hold a small foyer space with a balcony above. I haven’t seen a detailed enough picture of the cube to tell whether it not there might be some form of overhang. It would seem surprising if it didn’t, but if you’ve seen a picture, then I’d be interested in the link.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s