Daily Archives: December 16, 2012

Proposed Dunedin Hotel #height

The applicant has supplied a transverse section of the building proposal showing calibrated basement, podium and tower levels. The building height to top of roof structure is marked on the drawing as 96.300 metres.

As published at ODT Online:

OPINION » Your Town » Dunedin
What does 97m look like?
By ej kerr on Fri, 14 Dec 2012

Last night I took another tour of the Settlers Museum, having been through a month ago while exhibition displays were being populated, before the new foyer was completed.

The link to the Chinese Garden has yet to be made at the south end of the old NZRS building.

In the museum we have an impressive series of new and refurbished spaces, the reading of which is generally low and long, suited to the narrow site between the railway and State Highway 1, and sympathetic to the immediate historic built environment.

Looking out from the museum’s new foyer, which takes evening light amazingly well, across the traffic on SH1, there is old Dunedin Prison (1898), Dunedin Law Courts (1902), Dunbar House (former Dunedin Police Station, c.1895) and Leviathan Hotel (known as ‘Leviathan Railway Temperance Hotel’ when built in 1884).

This precinct flows into Anzac Square to the north, with Dunedin Railway Station (1906); lower Stuart Street featuring Law Courts Hotel (Auld Scotland Hotel was established on site in 1863), and Allied Press Building (former Evening Star Building, 1928); The Exchange area (old CBD); and Queens Gardens and the warehouse district to the south.

I mention this unique ‘cultural heritage landscape’ of buildings and green space because the impressive large-screen video flyover provided at the museum, as I understand, by Animation Research Ltd (ARL), shows exactly where the proposed 27-storey hotel and apartment block at 41 Wharf Street, if consented and constructed, will deliver significant irreversible adverse effects in the neighbourhood context – including for the Steamer Basin (see cruise operations by MV Tiakina and MV Monarch) and Dunedin Harbourside Historic Area (registered by New Zealand Historic Places Trust in 2008); and the Burlington Street Historic Area (registered in 1994), comprising Burlington St between High St and Moray Place (captures First Church, Burns Hall, Commerce Building, RSA Building, and Garrison Hall).

The adverse effects would be entirely due to the unwarranted height and overbearing design of the proposed hotel and apartment block.

The effects cannot be mitigated.
ARL should be asked to ‘insert’ the offending tower proposal into the museum flyover to gauge public reaction.

Alternatively, for no cost, Dunedin residents can walk or drive into the closed-off section of lower Rattray St beside the old level crossing and the Chinese Garden and take a look at the railway lighting tower.

This structure is approximately 35 metres in height. Imagine, at this street location, the hotel bearing down on you from 97 metres above.

With this height comparison think what happens to your enjoyment of the views, buildings and surroundings, together with your experience of sun and wind (microclimate)… and why for so many years Queen Elizabeth II Square in downtown Auckland was unalterably inhospitable, it was a rare day if anyone enjoyed lingering there before the Britomart Transport Centre was developed.

We’re not going to get a Britomart in Dunedin.

In terms of urban design, the proposed hotel and apartment tower is going to sever and destroy the sense of place – and your connection with the harbour edge, physically, metaphorically, spiritually, tangibly and intangibly.

Without end, without moral or ethical consideration as posed by the application documentation (no footbridge included).

And with the hearing committee taking that disingenuous path of wanting more information from the applicant so to tick boxes for consent to be granted.

The mayor has been lobbied by Betterways Advisory Ltd and friends; the politics is thick with ‘red carpet’ and promissories… as yet, there’s nothing solid, concrete or foundational in the appearance of the application. Is the city council about to bind us with a badly scribbled note worth $100m.

Ode to a mocking tower, at 35 metres. If only it could speak.

ODT Link

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr


Filed under Architecture, Business, Construction, DCC, Design, Economics, Geography, Heritage, Media, Name, People, Politics, Project management, Property, Site, Town planning, Urban design

“Little faith in financial decision making, what now DCC?”

Council spending: It’s got to the point the personages of Cull and Brown are indistinguishable – perhaps an iPhone would help map the moles.

### ODT Online Sun, 16 Dec 2012
Mixed reaction to axing plan hearings
By Chris Morris
An efficiency drive that could spell the end to days of public hearings on councils’ annual plans has drawn mixed responses from within the Dunedin City Council. A recommendation to axe the requirement for councils to prepare and consult on annual plans was included in an independent report released this week by the Local Government Efficiency Taskforce. The report recommended councils prepare long-term budgets – undertaken every three years – in the first year of their term, but then only annual budgets for the remainder of each term. The annual budgets would not require consultation unless they triggered an amendment to long-term plans, the report suggested.
Read more


### ODT Online Sun, 16 Dec 2012
Greater use of technology promoted
By Chris Morris
Dunedin city councillors could soon be beaming in their votes by iPad and Skype if a push to increase the use of technology by local authorities finds favour. The suggestion came in a Local Government Efficiency Taskforce report released this week, which recommended investigating greater use of technology by councils. The taskforce suggested there were efficiencies to be gained by promoting the use of technology, which could potentially allow councillors to contribute to meetings – and even vote – without actually being there. The recommendation was met by a mix of cautious optimism in Dunedin, where a digital divide of sorts existed among city councillors.
Read more

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

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Filed under Business, DCC, Economics, Media, People, Politics, Project management