Can we do the main span like Auckland Harbour Bridge?

At Former Logan Park Art Gallery talks James mentions Denmark’s Aalborg Tower (54.9 m), a fantastic structure…

Aalborg Tower

Originally uploaded by flower_man

Looking up

Originally uploaded by cats_in_blue

View other photosharing files to see the full height of the observation tower.

Reminds me of simple things NOT to do… like not scrapping the Port Otago mobile cranes that used to ‘inhabit’ the Dunedin wharves (sob, too late) – if ever we needed structural-sculptural expressions of working port history at the Steamer Basin, to make a contemporary edge-place for public gladness and wonder.

Copy of Stothert and Pitt 5 ton crane, Dunedin. Fig 20 9-7-01 1.12am KERR

This secondhand from notes scribbled on the history of Otago Harbour Board achievements at the Dunedin wharves:

“Major improvements were made to the wharves in the 1960s, including the replacement of wooden decking to take forklift and articulated truck operations, construction of a new oil jetty (the first cargo was delivered on 18 January 1963), new wharf sheds at the X & Y berth – these came into service in 1964, to enable contractors to start on the T & U berth and two sheds almost immediately. T & U received a much more extensive reconstruction than X & Y, with the old wharf giving way to a wide, modern, steel sheet-piled concrete-decked structure, two new sheds and four very futuristic looking Stothert and Pitt 5 ton cranes. The contractors handed the berth over to the board in December 1966.”

Great engineering workhorses are NOT to be confused with that vertical element planned for the Otago Settlers Museum.

How to decorate around utilitarian architecture. Now, about the stadium and its immediate deathly surrounds.

How for it not to look like an impoverished aircraft hangar on the tarmac – can we walk over the main span like Auckland Harbour Bridge for new vantage points? We’re talking leisure and recreation over the dead duck…aka Dunedin adventure sport, a spot of goodwill hunting and DESPERATION to make it pay.


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Posted by Elizabeth Kerr


Filed under Adventure sport, Architecture, Construction, Design, Economics, Fun, Inspiration, Politics, Project management, Site, Stadiums, Town planning

12 responses to “Can we do the main span like Auckland Harbour Bridge?

  1. Elizabeth

    Transport Minister Stephen Joyce will announce by the end of the year what will be built as an extra harbour crossing. Transit New Zealand’s preferred option is a tunnel, but there is growing support for a bridge.


    ### Last updated 05:00 18/10/2009
    ‘Get foreign help to build next bridge’
    By Esther Harward – Sunday Star Times

    An urban design expert says Auckland is “architecturally banal” and needs a dramatic new structure such as a new bridge across the harbour – but the city doesn’t have the talent to do it without help from overseas. Kiwi expatriate Davina Jackson, an architectural writer and a director of Sydney’s multimedia Smart Light festival, said an international design competition should be held to pick a replacement for the Auckland Harbour Bridge.
    Read more


    * Construction cost $2-3 billion compared to $3.7–$4.1b for the proposed tunnel
    * Operating cost of 1/5 to 13 of a tunnel (based on ventilation, lighting, drainage and maintenance)
    * About 350,000m2 of land valued at around $1b in St Mary’s Bay and Northcote Pt could be sold off after closure of bridge.
    * Travel time and distance savings worth about $60 million a year (based on a bridge being 1.2km shorter than a tunnel)
    * Estimated tourism benefits: $325 million a year (based on tourists staying an extra night)

    Source: ANZAC Centenary Bridge Group

  2. James

    Those mobile cranes on the harbour were awesome, but I’d forgotten about them.

    Thinking of other obscure-but-cool things I’ve seen on my travels, the Duisburg Nord Landscape Park is a former steel mill, turned recreation area. They have diving in one of the gasometers (much bigger than the ones in South Dunedin), climbing walls, you can climb up to the top of No 5 Blast Furnace, and the rest of the plant is scattered round like the awesome industrial architecture I guess that it is. And people just cycle and rollerblade and walk around.

  3. James

    Incidentally, Jasmax had an interesting concept replacement harbour bridge in 2007

    I like the idea of the design, but I’m not sure how it would be in practice. However, what I did like was that it could be largely funded through land sales (the motorway skirting on the foreshore at each end of the current harbour bridge could be sold), and because it was longer, it also had a better gradient for trains &c.

    • Elizabeth

      James – excellent reference to Duisburg Nord Landscape Park!

      Good news, Jasmax is part of this latest bridge bid. Here’s more about the ANZAC Centenary Bridge Group; a detail of their design is illustrated in the Sunday Star Times article.

      ### RNZ News Updated at 2:18pm on 18 October 2009
      Group to reveal harbour bridge design proposal
      A group of more than 30 construction, architecture and tourism groups say they will be releasing in December cost and design details for a replacement for Auckland’s ageing Harbour Bridge.
      Read more


      ### Sunday, 18 October 2009, 1:50 pm
      Centenary Bridge Group To Release Costings
      Press Release: Exceltium

      ANZAC Centenary Bridge Group

      Media Statement
      18 October 2009 For Immediate Release

      ANZAC Centenary Bridge Group To Release Feasibility Analysis

      Costings and technical details for a new Auckland harbour bridge will be released on 3 December as part of a wide-ranging feasibility analysis, the ANZAC Centenary Bridge Group announced today. The Group consists of a number of well known local companies, including NZ Steel, Mainzeal, Aspec Properties, Davis Langdon, and Jasmax. It has been endorsed by organisations such as the Returned Services’ Association, the Heavy Engineering Research Association and Heart of the City, and has received guidance on financial and technical matters from leading international consulting firms. Representatives of the Group have had encouraging informal discussions on the ANZAC Centenary Bridge with Prime Minister John Key, Transport Minister Steven Joyce, Auckland MPs, and other Government officials.
      Read more

      • Elizabeth

        ### Sun 20 Dec 2009 (page A6)
        Superstar UK architect weighs into Auckland bridge debate
        By Esther Harward
        Superstar British architect Sir Norman Foster and his team have stepped into the debate over another harbour crossing for Auckland. They have offered their help to a group lobbying for a new bridge. Foster + Partners, which has designed many of the world’s iconic structures – including London’s Millenium Bridge and [the] distinctive 40-storey “Gherkin” skyscraper – has offered to lead a study into the visual impacts of a bridge over the Waitemata.

        But the offer comes with a warning:
        “Experience suggests that a bridge project of this scale is likely to require significantly more than five years to formulate, approve, design, procure and construct.” – Alistair Lenezner, Foster + Partners.


        We would provide the weblink to this news item but Sunday Star Times and Stuff aren’t on form, again.

  4. James

    I’m pleased that Jasmax have got their hand in.

    I found some better pics of the Industrial Park here
    And also its architect’s website here (which also has some great photography)
    He specialises in post-industrial landscapes: ports, landfills etc.

  5. James

    Foster (along with a very prominent engineer), also had a hand in the Millau Viaduct, which is an exceptional piece of design and engineering*. It took 8 years from design to completion.

    *Considered taking a 180km detour just to see it, but was getting a bit sick of driving.

    • Elizabeth

      See Paul’s post Millau Viaduct & Me April 30, 2007.

      • Elizabeth

        Foster + Partners had a decade of amazing business success and its global achievements have helped, to a huge degree, British architecture market itself abroad. Of all its many projects worldwide, it is the Millau Viaduct (2004) that makes my top-10 list. The statistics are astonishing: it is the tallest vehicular bridge in the world (343m), the highest road deck in the world (270m above ground at its highest point), etc. But the sheer, effortless elegance and beauty of the bridge (engineered by French structural engineer Michel Virlogeux) takes the breath away. When I went to Millau to write about it in 2004, it was one of the most thrilling experiences I’ve had as an architecture writer.
        -Kieran Long, ‘2000-2010: The architectural legacy’, in The Architects’ Journal 22 December, 2009

  6. James

    Foster is very much a glass and steel man. From the Reichstag Dome, to Hong Kong Airport, to the HSBC building in HK.

    I think Hong Kong airport is maybe the standout for me, as much in design as appearance. The stratification of the different services has meant that it has been largely untrammelled by changed security requirements, instead of having glass-walled lounges everywhere, it still really works.

  7. ### February 4, 2013 – 7:25pm
    Stadium managers come up with potential money-maker
    The Forsyth Barr Stadium roof has kept tongues wagging in Dunedin since the idea was just a twinkle in the eye of its developers. Praise has been heaped upon it for its weather-proofing abilities, but the roof has also prompted outrage for its part in the stadium’s cost. Now stadium managers have found what they think is a way to make the roof make some money.

  8. Calvin Oaten

    “Stadium managers have found a new way to make money. From the roof?” Sounds a bit ‘arse up’ to me. Surely, the ground is where they should be looking to make some money. Too much “blue sky visionary thinking” has got them on “the Harland wavelength” and look where that took us.

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