Dunedin (apartments) Hotel: Better ways to lipstick a pig

Dunedin Hotel proposed [via newstalkzb.co.nz]Dunedin Hotel proposed [stuff.co.nz]Dunedin Hotel proposed [screenshots from fly-by video by ARL]

Let’s “Articulate” the Dunedin waterfront, let’s sculpt and distort ideas of cheap tower design, or hey, we could use explosives. We’re not the first to think of it —the “prettying the tombstone” part.

This is late reply to the evidence to hearing from Auckland’s Jeremy Whelan of Ignite Architects, entitled Dunedin Hotel Design Direction Analysis, dated 18 March 2013, for Betterways Advisory Ltd (applicant).

Whelan presented 16 “exemplars” of “design directions” for the proposed tower at 41 Wharf Street. These outlined possible(?) cladding and modelling options —none of which were part of the actual application for resource consent. Previously, we had listened to Dunedin architect Francis Whitaker wax lyrical on the considerable merits of the slab design for an interminable three hours in submission —it would be an insult to call the pronouncements ‘evidence’. Unsurprisingly, by the time Whelan came to trot his stuff ALL had become uncomfortably strained in the Edinburgh Room despite a toothy semblance of tolerance shown by the hearing panel.

The following images are selected and scanned from photocopy evidence of Whelan’s 25-page PowerPoint presentation, thus drop-off in picture quality and sharpness. Nonetheless, you can see where he’s headed, to win the panel… (it simply wasn’t enough that Animation Research Ltd had removed the rail corridor to ‘contextualise’ the tower by rendering fake gulags up to its base).

The exemplars were presented in the serious hope that resource consent would be granted for a near 100-metre tall building that (at the time) had not been “designed” or detailed sufficiently clearly by the applicant.
Enjoy. [click to enlarge]

Dunedin Hotel Design Direction Analysis p2Exemplar 1 Smooth skin frameless glazed - W Hotel Barcelona Spain p3Exemplar 2 Mixed reflectivity - Boulevard Plaza, Dubai p4Exemplar 4 Overlaid facade modulation - Hearst Tower, New York p7Exemplar 5 Modulation with facade depth and materiality - Langham Xin Tian Di, China p9Exemplar 6 Banding using glass colour - Mandarin Oriental, Macau p10Exemplar 7 Accentuation of vertical form - Mandarin Oriental Las Vegas p11Exemplar 9 Horizontal detail with solar control - RBC Waterpark Place, Toronto p13Exemplar 10 Multiple colours and reflectivity - Ritz Carlton Las Vegas p14Exemplar 12 Building form clearly expresses base, middle and top - Shangri La Pudong Shanghai p18Exemplar 14 Crowning element - Sydney Tower proposed p20Exemplar 15 Strong horizontal delineation expressing each floor level - Main Admin Building Stadtsparkasse, Dusseldorf p21Exemplar 16 Solid elements expressed in facade - Novotel Auckland Airport p22Dunedin Hotel - 41 Wharf Street Dunedin, Conclusions p25

Betterways Advisory Ltd is a company directed by Steve Rodgers, a Dunedin solicitor. For a very short time Jing Song was appointed as a director of Betterways —her directorship started and ended (or so it appears) the same day that Wharf Street Property Ltd was incorporated.

From NZ Companies Office records:
Former Director (Betterways Advisory Ltd)
Full legal name: Jing SONG
Residential Address: 56 Old Coach Way, Rd 3, Drury 2579, New Zealand
Appointment Date: 05 Apr 2013
Ceased date: 05 Apr 2013

LMW Trust Ltd is the sole shareholder for both Betterways Advisory Ltd and Wharf Street Property Ltd. Steve Rodgers is co-director/shareholder for LMW Trust Ltd, with solicitor and vineyard owner Evan Moore. LMW Trust is a shareholder in other (wine-based) companies directed by Jing Song.

█ Further to Jeremy Whelan’s art of persuasion (gasp, where was the budget?) here’s a sample of manipulated images that might equally apply.

### dezeen.com 8 January 2014
Photographer Victor Enrich turns a Munich hotel upside down and inside out
A hotel in Munich is stretched, twisted, distorted and exploded in a series of 88 manipulated photographs by Spanish photographer Victor Enrich.
Enrich, who also works as a 3D architectural visualiser, based the series on one view of the Deutscher Kaiser hotel, a building he passed regularly during a two-month stay in the city. Some images show parts of the building turned on their sides, while others show sections of it duplicated or sliced away. Some shots show it curving into different shapes and some show it pulled it apart.
Describing the manipulation process, Enrich says: “What I basically do is create a 3D virtual environment out of a 2D photograph. The process involves capturing the perspective, then the geometry, then the materials and finally the lighting. The techniques I use are often described as ‘camera matching’ or ‘perspective matching’ and several 3D software packages provide functionalities that allow you to perform this.” He does a lot of the work by hand to “reach the level of detail needed to achieve high photorealism”.
Read more + Images

Deutscher Kaiser hotel, Munich - image by Victor Enrich [dezeen.com] 4aDeutscher Kaiser hotel, Munich - image by Victor Enrich [dezeen.com] 11aDeutscher Kaiser hotel, Munich - image by Victor Enrich [dezeen.com] 3aDeutscher Kaiser hotel, Munich - image by Victor Enrich [dezeen.com] 7aDeutscher Kaiser hotel, Munich - image by Victor Enrich [dezeen.com] 1a

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr


Filed under Architecture, Design, Fun, Hotel, Innovation, Media, Name, Pics, Property, Site, Tourism, Town planning, Urban design

20 responses to “Dunedin (apartments) Hotel: Better ways to lipstick a pig

  1. Cladding options, eh? They couldn’t do better than adopt the Duckworths’ elegant home at 9 Coronation Street http://img.thesun.co.uk/aidemitlum/archive/01049/home_1049693a.jpg
    Note the irregular pattern of the “stones” suggesting the pattern of houses patchworked over Dunedin’s hills, and the clear blue of the New Zealand sky and the harbour in summer.

  2. Dave

    So many impressive and beautiful options there! I especially like the glass colour banding (# 6), the multiple colours and reflectivity (# 10), and the strong horizontal delineation (# 15). I do hope it’s not too long until we get to see a large hotel-apartment development like this (or even two) on Dunedin’s waterfront.

  3. Received via the Case Manager, Environment Court Christchurch.
    Thursday, 16 January 2014 4:10 p.m.

    ENV-2013-CHC-73 Betterways Advisory Ltd v Dunedin City Council

    A two-page minute from Judge Jackson, dated 16 January 2014, notes [paraphrased] that on 26 June 2013 Betterways Advisory Ltd (“the appellant”) lodged an appeal against a decision of the Dunedin City Council to decline consent to construct and operate a licensed hotel together with residential apartments, restaurants and bars at 41 Wharf Street, Dunedin. The proceeding has been on hold giving the appellant time to carry out work to respond to matters raised in the council decision and have something useful for discussion at mediation. The matter has now been on hold for six months; the judge directs the appellent to file a status report by 31 January 2014 – advising whether the proceeding is ready for mediation; or setting out a proposed timetable for exchange of evidence to progress the appeal towards a hearing.

  4. The Appellant’s report to the Judge is due by 31 January, so can we expect a Betterways media splurge tomorrow or the next day? Can we the parties to appeal expect a letter? All week, searches looking up Jing Song’s bits and pieces, and those of Betterways….
    You have to hope ODT & Co have enough information by now.

  5. Report received from solicitors for Betterways Advisory Ltd. In brief, they want more time to assess their options which includes how the subject site, 41 Wharf St, connects to the CBD. [apparently] [and they say they have a national team working on the options — phooey, that bloody dickwit from Ignite Architects and other mentals?]

  6. ### ODT Online Sun, 2 Feb 2014
    Hotel plan decision to be delayed
    By Chris Morris
    The developers pushing to build a $100 million waterfront hotel in Dunedin have suggested a new deadline to decide their next move. Betterways Advisory Ltd, which wants to build the five-star hotel at 41 Wharf St, has been engaged in Environment Court mediation and behind-the-scenes talks since appealing a decision to decline resource consent last year. Project developers Queenstown-based Jing Song and her husband Ping Cao, of China, had been expected to decide their next move after meeting Dunedin Mayor Dave Cull by the end of January. However, the meeting had not taken place, and Betterways lawyer Phil Page yesterday suggested the company might wait until March before announcing how it would proceed.
    Read more

    • Anonymous

      The developers and their lawyer could not be unhappy with the delivery of that public notice.

      “There are many good reasons why much of the … work since lodging the appeal cannot be in the public realm.[…]”

      • “There are many good reasons why much of the … work since lodging the appeal cannot be in the public realm.[…]”
        Yes. And Elizabeth, February 2, 2014 at 9:39 am: “Who knows what the mayor has offered…”

        I’m rapt to see the mayor supporting the mushroom industry. Who says Council isn’t doing enough to encourage industry?

  7. Looks like a programmed exit to me. This project has all along been obscure, the main player Ping Cao has been invisible all along. We now know of the parlous state of a lot of building development in China, with bankruptcies common. Face it, the basic economics of development by debt is universal, not peculiar to western nations alone. Who knows of Ping Cao’s situation? The loss of face is the biggest concern to these people if they can’t deliver, so I would guess just watch this space. Could be ‘red faces’ all round including our mayor’s.

    • Who knows what the mayor has offered from the ratepayer purse, politically – apart from placing planning advice at the applicant’s disposal. All up, a stupid move to make. And with his own personal solicitor being the director of the applicant company. Small town ties. Are sometimes way way too close.

  8. As sent to ODT Online and not published.

    State of play on appeal
    Submitted by ej kerr on Sun, 02/02/2014 – 5:52pm.

    There was a two-page minute from Judge Jackson circulated to the parties on 16 January 2014. Paraphrasing, it relays that the appeal proceeding having been on hold for six months had given the appellant, Betterways Advisory Ltd, time to carry out work to respond to matters raised in the council decision; and have something useful for discussion at mediation. The judge directed the appellant to file a status report by 31 January 2014 advising whether the proceeding was ready for mediation, or setting out a proposed timetable for exchange of evidence to progress the appeal towards a hearing. (my emphasis)

    From the ‘Memorandum of Counsel for the Appellant as to Progress’ received 31 January, we learn the appellant is seeking an extension of time to Friday 28 March 2014, to report to the Court and the parties on “whether the application is to proceed”.

    The article by Chris Morris says: Betterways Advisory Ltd, which wants to build the five-star hotel at 41 Wharf St, has been engaged in Environment Court mediation and behind-the-scenes talks since appealing a decision to decline resource consent last year.

    This isn’t correct. As yet, no Court-ordered mediation process has been in play for ENV-2013-CHC-73.

    Editor- The article has now been corrected [added 4.1.14]

    Parties to the appeal have little knowledge of what shape “behind-the-scenes talks” are taking between the appellant and independent consultants; and the respondent, Dunedin City Council. It’s very true the appellant remains well outside the public realm in exploring options of whether to push their existing case for highrise apartments and a hotel at 41 Wharf St; take another crack at Dunedin’s cultural heritage landscape with, say, a new application or a private plan change involving 41 Wharf St and other site(s); or abandon Dunedin altogether for fresher fields.

    Meanwhile, the mayor inadvertently provokes public perception of conflicts of interest through what appears to be political involvement in this resource management matter – through media comments that extend from public launch of the ‘hotel vision’ in May 2012 to the resource consent hearings and the city council’s offer of independent planning advice to the developers following the resource consent decision, and all recent efforts to meet with the developers.

    • Surprise! Now published. But lost to the winds of time in back pages online.

      Yesterday I abridged my own comment and sent it in as a letter to the ODT editor. I wonder if this action prompted publication at ODT Online. Anyway, the Editor has added a comment that is shown in bold italics in the comment above. I felt sure they would abridge my comments on the mayor’s involvement at ODT Online, but no. They’ve published ‘as sent’. How many days later… as at Tuesday, 4 February 2014 2:53 p.m.

  9. What’s the bet that come 28th March it will be declared “that due to the extreme difficulties involved in meeting the stringent requirements for the project to proceed, it is with great regret our client Ping Cao has decided to withdraw the application and to seek opportunities elsewhere”. Or words to that effect. Redirect the blame, save face and let’s get to hell out of here.

    • There is likely some pressure being applied to DCC to partner/pay for provision of a pedestrian footbridge so the cheap and nasty tower empowers some idea of further harbourside mixed use development as a lure to foreign investment (joke) in this godforsaken cow town at the bottom of the world. Nice as it is. But basically, we don’t want crass juvenile 20-somethings blowing their ill gotten gains on a scheme that trashes Dunedin cityscape; or half built, lands DCC with the cost of completion (given the prominent site at the head of the Steamer Basin) and debt financing – and a bunch of local unit title investors sent to the wall, as typically happens with formula $100m candies offered to ‘waterfront vistas’… devised to defraud naive communities in other countries (oh, like here, in the instances of Orewa and Takapuna as already alluded to in comments at this site).

      29.3.13 [Post] Reykjavik, Iceland: The strongest mirror [speculative apartments]

      Or Dubai, Hawaii, or… don’t forget to ask Trump Corporation…

      See other Fawlty Towers comments:


      • What about “global warming” or is it, now it’s been renamed Climate Change, no longer going to result in the rise of sea level?
        Will foundations adequate for today’s conditions be OK when the water table rises? Is this something that needs to be taken into account when considering “further harbourside mixed use development”?

      • Elizabeth

        Outrageous – how we avoided the same at #DUD waterfront.

        ### NZ Herald Online 11:21 AM Thursday Apr 30, 2015
        Orewa tower owners win NZ’s biggest leaky building case
        By Anne Gibson – Property editor
        Owners of Orewa apartment tower the Nautilus have won $25.07 million, the largest amount awarded to leaky building owners in New Zealand. Christine Meechan QC, Tim Rainey, Georgina Grant and Jeanne Heatlie represented 150 owners of the 12-level block in the beachside suburb during a six-week trial against Auckland Council and others.
        Justice Murray Gilbert has just released his decision which Rainey said meant the council was responsible for paying the entire amount, resulting in ratepayers having to shoulder the burden. The council could then seek to recover part of that money back from the other parties, he said. Owners of the 150 apartments in the prominent 12-level block were forced to spend about $2 million on lengthy litigation over the building constructed by Brookfield Multiplex (NZ) earlier last decade.
        Read more + Full Decision

        Nautilus owners won:
        • $21,958,133 remediation costs
        •$1,800,000 general damages
        •$1,284,673.80 consequentias (lost rent, alternative accommodation costs, storage of items, etc)
        •$29,701 interim repair costs
        Total: $25,072,507.80
        (Further $1 million costs, including $800,000 expert witness fees, yet to be decided)

        The body corporate’s successful action was against the council, the builder, Walker Architects, Downer EDI Works, Facade Technologies, and Charles Norager & Sons.

  10. What about “global warming”? Indeed! Hype, if you want a singular, myopic view on that subject, definitely ask Jinty and Jocelyn. Just don’t accept their views as gospel. My suggestion is do your own research, it’s all there if you look. Both the pros and the cons. Then make your own mind up, I did.

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