Dunedin Heritage Re-use Awards

Updated post Wed, 25 Mar 2015 at 4:50 p.m.


As seen on Sunday, 15 March 2015 at Wall Street in George St.
Dunedin Heritage Re-use Design Competition for Tertiary Students 2014/15
Raw images off phone.
Student competition renders in no particular order below.

One Project ? Was it Old Dunedin Prison ?
The renderings are fine in themselves perhaps, they’re learning curves. Leaving people firmly out of place! Former people (dead or alive), journeymen, jailers, new people, affected people — the exercise is all too quasi-academic, empty without academic search, throw some words on. Design research, thin. The computer-aided outcomes are precociously abstract, bleak – marring historic heritage, treating this as a poorly legible underlay in return for the swivel, the filmic, the freak-style epic. The so-called ‘architectural programme’ for re-use has overridden historical and contemporary respect for What Is, What Was. Students who read magazines and online profiles for design conformity against concrete reality?! Where’s the all-encompassing relevance to Architectural Heritage, the Dunedin Heritage Strategy, the heritage precinct, the capture of material traces or archaeological sympathy – for the devil that is a Victorian courtyard prison? Are the images an Assault, an Achievement, Lock or Key? Subtlety on parole, absconded by software? Some poorly guided intelligence. Drawings of the crazed and the constipated, a malingering and criminal reformative process. If I noticed any, I was hacking off my anklet.

Policy planning is not Conservation Architecture.
Architecture is not Conservation Architecture.


Dunedin Heritage Re-use Awards 2014/15
Other exhibition screens on display at Wall Street (21.3.15):

The Oakwood Properties Earthquake Strengthening Award 2014/2015
Iona Church – 24 Mount Street [Port Chalmers]
Selwyn College – 560 Castle Street
Speights Brewery – 200 Rattray Street
Stavely Building – 5 Jetty Street
Vogel Street Kitchen – 76 Vogel Street

Otago Polytechnic School of Design / Heritage New Zealand Interiors Award 2014/15
Abacus Bio to Public Trust Ground Floor Restoration – 442 Moray Place
Iona Church – 24 Mount Street [Port Chalmers]
Selwyn College – 560 Castle Street
Silver Fern Farms (Chief Post Office) – 283 Princes Street
Stavely Building – 5 Jetty Street
Vogel Street Kitchen – 76 Vogel Street

Urban Heroes
Projects demonstrating good heritage outcomes, positive benefits to the community and improvements to the appearance of the city.
Barton’s Building, Princes Street – Imom Limited
Former Johnson’s Fish Shop, George Street – Oakwood Properties Limited
Harvest Court, George Street – Marca Investments Limited
Orderlies’ Building, Dowling Street – Octa Group Limited

Related Posts and Comments:
28.2.13 Tour the old prison in March (2013)
20.9.12 Dunedin Prison
6.6.12 Dunedin Prison purchased by trust
18.10.11 Dunedin Prison Charitable Trust –- see building history

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr


Filed under Architecture, Business, Design, Economics, Events, Heritage, Heritage NZ, New Zealand, NZIA, People, Pics, Property, Site, Town planning, Urban design, What stadium

10 responses to “Dunedin Heritage Re-use Awards

  1. Elizabeth

    The student competition design brief extracted from the exhibition display:


    The competition is an IDEAS design competition which poses the question:

    How can the Dunedin Prison – a heritage place of international significance – be successfully transformed from a dismal place of incarceration into a delightful outward looking place incorporating new commercial uses in stunning contemporary architecture all the while acknowledging and respecting the heritage fabric of the building?

    The vision includes but is not limited to:
    • Major tourist attraction
    • Gaol tours
    • ‘A night in the cells’ accommodation
    • Justice museum
    • Court tours
    * High class accommodation section
    • Café in courtyard (glass roof)
    • Space(s) for performance artists
    • Some space leased to selected commercial tenants (legal chambers)
    • Shop for sale of merchandise
    • Excellence of displays
    • Self-financing from revenue generated
    • Managed by a separate Trust Board and professional staff
    • High level of authenticity in all matters

    • Design of interventions
    • Heritage matters
    • Access
    • Traffic
    • Courtyard and café
    • Heating
    • Earthquake strengthening

    4. BUDGET
    At the time of writing DPT has no budget allocated for the work, however for the purposes of this competition we envisage a budget of $7m for the completed project.

    The motivation for the members of the Board of the Dunedin Prison Trust in purchasing the building is to conserve it and establish new economic uses for future generations to visit, study and experience. It is important therefore that there are some parts of the building devoted to display of the original conditions experiences in the old Gaol, and also museum display of its history and artefacts associated with the occupiers – inmates; gaolers; police; SIS etc.

    The DPT VISION outlined above is a current wish-list of uses, however designers are encouraged to suggest alternative and additional uses in their submissions so that the completed project is of the highest standard and most importantly, is self-funding.

    Dunedin City Council has begun working on a Central City Plan to assist in development of the central city area. The draft Central City Plan presents a broad vision for the central city. The DCC sees iconic projects like the re-use of the Dunedin Prison as potential transformation projects for the central city, where imaginative and creative building re-use is a catalyst for urban regeneration and the strengthening and enhancement of the central city as a place for people to enjoy.

    For this reason designers are strongly encouraged to consider how their proposal would contribute to enhancing the central city and COULD consider such opportunities as:
    • Connections to other adjacent attractions
    • Integration with the streetscape
    • The use of private open space around the Prison
    • Integration with neighbouring public open space

    The challenge presented by the location of the one-way state highway outside the front entrance to the building should also be considered in the design philosophy.


  2. Elizabeth

    Updated post at top of thread.

  3. Elizabeth

    2016 Dunedin Heritage Re-use Awards

    Wed, 30 Mar 2016
    ODT: Former chief post office wins top award
    The redevelopment of Dunedin’s former chief post office building [Distinction Hotel, 283 Princes St] has won the overall category at this year’s Dunedin Heritage Re-use Awards tonight. The hotel also won the award for best interior.

    ● Earthquake Strengthening Award: Standard Building, 201 Princes St.
    ● David Cox Memorial Award: Iona Presbyterian Church Restoration Trust for restoration of the Port Chalmers church.

    Dunedin Chief Post Office [topnews.net.nz][topnews.net.nz]

    Having privately toured the former chief post office building twice since the hotel opened I can safely affirm the ‘advocacy’ nature of the award(s) and recognition given. The building owner has taken good care of the structure and has outlayed some very considerable funds to achieve successful tenanting of the redevelopment.

    My criticism in brief of the building interior is really not to do with the standard fitout and scale of bedrooms and suites, it centres strongly on the uninspiring treatment of the main guest entry foyer off Bond St.
    Read more

    [post] 29.8.15 Standard Building, 201 Princes Street —then and today

    Standard Fire and Marine Insurance Company of New Zealand Building
    Date of build: 1875
    Architect: Mason and Wales

    Standard Building IMG_20150829_130631 (7)standard-building-img_20150829_130847-3[Smartphone shots by Elizabeth Kerr]

  4. Ralphy

    …and now for the 2016 Heritage Vandalism Awards

    First prize goes to DIY architect/builder/developer Colin McLaren from Tekapo for this ‘stunning’ addition to his property at No.8 View Street – an area earmarked for Heritage Precinct Status under the 2GP.

    Thrown up just before the Heritage Precinct would have made it a definite NO-NO, this magnificent extension has enabled Mr McLaren to jam as many students as possible into the original 1912 heritage gem, devaluing his property, ruining the special character of the area and potentially the lifestyles of those around him in the process.

    Losing a very impressive leadlight window, this marvel of design sports not one, but two fabulous party decks for his tenants to go nuts on. Naturally neighbours were not given the consideration of any notification what-so-ever.

    Yes folks, this was all given the BIG TICK by none other than one of the judges from last night’s 2016 Heritage Re-Use Awards – Mr Benson-Pope’s very own DCC Planning Department. As chair of the Planning and Regulatory Committee, I think he and his cronies deserve a special raspberry award for supreme hypocrisy too.


    • Elizabeth

      Ralphy, thanks for the photoshot.
      I agree with everything you point out in horror about the planning process and lack of consultation in the consenting.

      The addition:
      It is very architected (modern boxing*) by the looks and not dissimilar to what you would find in swank San Francisco, Melbourne or Sydney on a budget – minus a student cash-cow tenancy. The changes will have cost plenty nonetheless.

      This accords not only with the operative district plan in all its weaknesses, but also with the ICOMOS Charter of New Zealand (DCC and HNZ are signatories of the Charter) – meaning, rule of thumb, any new additions or building changes should generally be sympathetically developed in new materials to avoid confusion with the original (or more recent) heritage fabric. Of course, many people disagree with this, aesthetically, and on principle.

      Architecturally, I thought I wouldn’t like it (last seen when at scaffolded floating stage) but I tend to like the lack of pretention (it is what it is) or Edwardian stateliness which the original two-storeyed house keeps for itself in brick. Probably a lot more pleasurable to live in – that said, will pay a site visit to assess from other angles which may not be so persuasive. It’s a change, it’s contemporary, it’s urban, but pretty OK for a heritage precinct not yet listed.

      *I’m having an urbanista day in Australian design award magazines (interiors). Yes, I know. I need to go outside.

  5. Ralphy

    With the tenancy being what it is, this place is more wank than swank by the time you add in the overload of parked-up cars, rubbish bags, surrounds and bins full of empty bottles, kicked in fence and graffiti up the walls. It all lends a real touch of class to the area.

    • Hype O'Thermia

      If “swank San Francisco, Melbourne or Sydney ” people want to stick containers on the sides of their houses that’s their call. They say aluminum, and feesh.
      As for “any new additions or building changes should generally be sympathetically developed in new materials to avoid confusion with the original (or more recent) heritage fabric”, wouldn’t avoiding confusion with cheap’n’nasty uglifying the neighbourhood also be worth consideration?

      • Elizabeth

        I’ll take a camera there one day. It looks to be more photogenic and controlled than ugly as built side-additions go.
        Let’s see how the deck areas are used, and the ensuing behaviour of tenants, guests and drive-bys generally – the unsettling question for the neighbouring properties in close proximity.

  6. Elizabeth

    Very fair point, Ralphy.
    Better owner-landlord management required on a weekly basis.
    Difficult in absentia….
    The owner is a Canterbury architect, he will know his way around district plans and design build.

    8 View Street, Dunedin – the owners seem like nice people, one of their investment properties.

    DCC Rates Information
    Rating Differential: Residential
    Land Use: 92 Residential : Multi Unit
    Ratepayer: Colinmac Limited

    NZ Companies Office:
    COLINMAC LIMITED (1465269) Registered
    Director/Shareholders (2) – married couple 50/50
    Christine MacLaren 35 Lochinver Avenue, Tekapo, Twizel 7999
    Colin MacLaren 35 Lochinver Avenue, Tekapo, Twizel 7999

    Their home and part-time business (see pics):
    Glacier Rock Gallery B&B at Lake Tekapo

    NZRAB – Registered Architect Colin MacLaren

    NZIA – Registered Architect member Colin MacLaren

    (blurb) “Colin J MacLaren Architect is an Architectural Designers company, located in 35 Lochinver Avenue, Tekapo”

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