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.
Posted by Elizabeth Kerr