Tag Archives: Architecture

Prison revives for visitor experience

### ODT Online Sat, 29 Apr 2017
Tourism intended for prison
By David Loughrey
Dunedin’s old prison has four new trustees, a new tenant with the tourism market in mind, and is ready to move to a new stage in its evolution. The 121-year-old Victorian-style courtyard facility designed by John Campbell has been returned to its original form. Work to replace decorative architectural elements removed from the front of the building was completed recently. Now the Dunedin Prison Charitable Trust is turning its attention to future uses for the former jail that is one of the city’s more unusual historic buildings. The prison was decommissioned in 2007, and the trust bought the property in 2012. Trust chairman Owen Graham said the physical restoration work was 95% complete — ridge tiles and two 2-metre finials still had to be finished — but it was time to start a new stage of evolution for the building. The new trustees had been appointed for their range of skills and backgrounds, and would help the trust make decisions about what happened next. Those decisions could range from another part-upgrade or “go for a multimillion-dollar effort”. […] Mr Graham said part of the trust’s strategy was to start occupying parts of the prison to sustain its activities and “bring the prison back to life with different activities”. It had been working with a business that wanted to use the prison’s kitchen, which had been identified as “serviceable”.
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The former prison has a Heritage New Zealand category one classification; future development involves discussion with Dunedin City Council and Heritage New Zealand.

Dunedin Prison | http://www.dunedinprisontrust.co.nz/

[excerpt from the trust’s website]

Timeline
Showing the many phases of use of the prison:
1896-1915 – new prison opened with cells for 52 men and 20 women
1915-1959 – Police move in to administration block and look after prisoners as well as their own duties
1959-1974 – 34 female prisoners are accommodated, segregated from men
1975-1994 – reopened catering for 59 male inmates
1994-2000 – Police move out to their new premises and prison reverts to original purpose as a men only facility
2007 – prison decommissioned and Corrections operation moved to Milburn
2011 – Dunedin Prison Charitable Trust formed to secure the prison for the nation
2012 – Dunedin Prison Charitable Trust raises $50,000 to allow it to purchase the property from Ngai Tahu Property Ltd
2014 – Conservation Plan completed
2015 – Fund-raising begins to allow us to restore the facades and repair part of the slate roof, estimated at $500,000.

Related Posts and Comments:
17.9.15 Dunedin Prison: Community Trust grant for restoration
16.9.15 DPAG exhibition talk, Sun 20 Sep —Jonathan Howard on Dunedin 1865
7.9.15 Public petition to save Courthouse for courts use
30.8.15 DPAG exhibition | Dunedin 1865: A City Rises…
23.8.15 1865 Dunedin —Heritage Festival 2015 ‘The Open City’ … 29 Aug
23.8.15 1865 Dunedin —Heritage Festival 2015 Shoreline Trail launch
11.7.15 Dunedin Law Courts “an incredible historic building” –Minister
14.5.15 Russell Lund on Ministry closure of Dunedin Law Courts
14.5.15 Justice at Dunedin
2.5.15 Ministry serves INJUSTICE for Dunedin Courthouse #HistoricHeritage
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
5.10.11 Training, jobs, city regeneration

█ For more, enter the term *heritage* in the search box at right.

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

This post is offered in the public interest.

*Images: whatifdunedin sketchbook – Dunedin Prison (former)

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Filed under Architecture, Business, Construction, Crime, DCC, Design, Dunedin, Economics, Education, Finance, Heritage, Heritage NZ, Innovation, Inspiration, Leading edge, Media, New Zealand, People, Pet projects, Project management, Property, Public interest, Resource management, Site, Structural engineering, Tourism, Urban design

rough sheds, sydney london

Tinshed by Raffaello Rosselli
Amy Frearson | 21 June 2013 ● Dezeen
Australian architect Raffaello Rosselli has repurposed a corroding tin shed in Sydney to create a small office and studio apartment. Rather than replace the crumbling structure, Raffaello Rosselli chose to retain the rusty corrugated cladding of the two-storey building so that from the outside it looks mostly unchanged. The project embraces that it will continue to change with time through rust, decay and repair.

“The humble tin shed is an iconic Australian structure,” he explains. “As the only remaining shed in the area it is a unique reminder of the suburb’s industrial past.”

The architect began by taking the building apart and replacing its old skeleton with a modern timber frame. He then reattached the cladding over three facades, allowing room for three new windows. The frames of the windows are made from sheets of Corten steel that display the same orange tones as the retained facade.

“The materials have been left raw and honest, in the spirit of its industrial economy,” adds Rosselli. In contrast with the exterior, the inside of the building has a clean finish with white walls and plywood floors in both the ground-floor living space and the first-floor office.
Read more + Images

*Photography by Mark Syke, apart from where otherwise indicated.

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Collage House, London

Dezeen Published on Feb 13, 2017
Movie explores Jonathan Tuckey’s home in a 19th-century workshop 14 years on
Filmmaker Tapio Snellman has documented the ageing process of architect Jonathan Tuckey’s home, 14 years after he overhauled a 19th-century London workshop to create it. The architect, who is the founder of London-based firm Jonathan Tuckey Design, renovated and extended the steel fabricator’s workshop in 2002 to create a unique home for his family and their dog. He left the bare brick walls tarnished with black marks and chose “simple and everyday” materials to rejuvenate the character of the building, but also because they would weather well. Snellman, who shot Collage House in 2016, captures the ageing of these materials – including nicks and scratches on a series metal fixture and doors by splitting the screen into four – a trick he repeats throughout his film. “The split-screen sequences talk about the occupants and about the way architecture is integrated seamlessly with family life and personal expression,” Snellman told Dezeen. “The four simultaneous views create one strong spatial impression without any single image dominating the effect,” he told Dezeen. Both moving and fixed larch plywood panels clad the exterior, while beach plywood sheeting used as a floor lining inside the house, along with a concrete covering. Douglas fir stud work was planed and left exposed to partition spaces. This enables zones of activity to be defined, while also maintaining openness throughout.

Movie explores Jonathan Tuckey’s home in a former London steel workshop
Eleanor Gibson | 13 February 2017 ● Dezeen
This photography taken by James Brittain when the project completed in the early 2000s shows how Tuckey overhauled the industrial building by partially demolishing walls to create a central courtyard. “Plywood has weathered beautifully on both the interior and exterior and the scuff marks of 15 years use now tell the personal story of the family,” Tuckey told Dezeen. “The concrete floors have patinated and subsequently become more beautiful,” he continued. “The exposed brick was already there but continued to age gracefully as it was used to hang pictures and the kids used it to draw on it.” A space that forms a central part of Snellman’s film is the open-plan kitchen-cum-dining room, which occupies the former workshop. Here, he captures diagonal patterns of light that floods in through the long skylight between the original wooden bowstring beams restored by Tuckey. Snellman contrasts colour footage with black and white in the film, as well as tracking members of the family through the house. “The very controlled track shots try to eliminate the viewers awareness of the presence of the camera, as if the space would be seen at its most intimate, when no-one is present,” the filmmaker told Dezeen.

Ground floor plan [click to enlarge]

First floor plan

When renovating the building, Tuckey’s aim was to maintain as many of the building’s existing features as possible, while also creating plenty of playful spaces that catered to his then-young children. He divided the long and narrow building, which widens at the southern end, into three parts. He also demolished one of the existing buildings to create a courtyard and a small pond. The entrance hall and living area occupy the northern end with a mezzanine above, while the kitchen-cum-dining room occupies the central space. A walkway links these spaces to the two-storey structure added to the southern side, which houses the bedrooms and a bathroom. Since the original renovation, Tuckey has reconfigured the arrangement of the bedrooms, as his now teenage daughters needed more space. The children’s bedrooms have moved upstairs from the downstairs, while the single room used by the parents was divided into two interconnected rooms. A pair of hatches in the bedrooms open to the rooftop terrance, which was also only recently completed by the designer.
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Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

This post is offered in the public interest.

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Filed under Architecture, Construction, Design, Economics, Education, Fun, Heritage, Housing, Innovation, Inspiration, Media, Name, People, Pet projects, Property, Public interest, Resource management, Site, Structural engineering, Town planning, Urban design

Site Notice #DunedinHospital

This afternoon David Benson-Pope requested an unreserved apology from the website owner following publication of an image and various comments at a now deleted post concerning the Save Our Hospital campaign that was highlighted in a newspaper story published on 25 March 2017.

The website owner unreservedly apologises to Mr Benson-Pope for the publication of this material and any resulting discomfort or distress it may have caused.

An apology will be emailed to Mr Benson-Pope shortly, copy Sandy Graham, DCC.

Elizabeth Kerr
Site Owner

Reference:

### ODT Online Sat, 25 Mar 2017
Woodhouse blasts DCC
By Eileen Goodwin
National list MP Michael Woodhouse has lashed out at the Dunedin City Council over its hospital rebuild campaign, implying it is a front for the Labour Party. And Mr Woodhouse said the council’s stance was “confusing” — on the one hand it wants a central city rebuild, but it granted the Accident Compensation Corporation the right to consider buying the Frederick St car park. ACC has a 12-month timeframe to look at development options for the site. […] Mr Woodhouse is also ACC Minister, and he made it clear he was speaking as a local MP.
Read more

[ends]

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

This post is offered in the public interest.

21 Comments

Filed under Architecture, Business, Construction, Democracy, Design, Dunedin, Economics, Education, Finance, Geography, Health, Hospital, Infrastructure, Leading edge, Media, Name, New Zealand, People, Project management, Property, Public interest, SDHB, Site, University of Otago, Urban design, What stadium

Christchurch Cathedral : Marcus Brandt and the People’s Steeple Project

christchurch-cathedral-steeple-by-country-farm-garden-photos-cfgphoto-com-render1-1

While Bishop Victoria and the Anglican church property trust (CPT) continue to sit on their hands perhaps awaiting devine intervention, who knew, it turns out that a group of stalwart people in New Zealand – with an incredible level of international assistance – are busy planning a very special Cathedral project.

From: Mark Belton
Sent: Sunday, February 26, 2017 11:11 PM
To: [Elizabeth Kerr + RCC Mailing List]
Subject: Introducing The People’s Steeple

Dear Cathedral Restoration supporters

Below is a link to a video clip of the People’s Steeple proposal being demonstrated by its creator Marcus Brandt. Marcus has been in CHCH this last week promoting the People’s Steeple Project.

The People’s Steeple is a mind blowing proposal…audacious, visionary, inspiring. Lifting telescoping timber sections of the spire 60 metres into the sky…powered by about 500 trained people working 16 capstan winches placed around Cathedral Square, watched by up to 50,000 people in the Square.

The US based Timber Framers Guild (TFG), a professional organisation of engineers and timber framers has offered to be the lead contractor to build, assemble, and erect the People’s Steeple. The lead NZ engineers would be renowned CHCH timber engineer – Prof Andy Buchanan whose report on the project is attached.

Skilled TFG members from the US and around the world would gift their time, working in the Square preparing and assembling the timbers, and then helping lead the steeple’s erection. Up to 300 TFG members along with locals could be involved working in the Square over a period of about 6 months.

The TFG have successfully undertaken 75 community building projects over the last 25 years in the US and around the world. They are super keen to offer their services to CHCH. The TFG emphasise their projects are about ‘building communities’.

Marcus says would take only 2-3 hrs to lift and secure the telescoping sections. Flooring and bells would be assembled the same day and in the evening the bells would ring out…proclaiming to the world – ‘Christchurch is back’….and a Hangi feast would be opened…for a crowd of 50,000! International media would broadcast the event around the world…the whole enterprise being about engaging our community in the most positive way…and it would ignite fund raising for the restoration of the cathedral. It is envisaged the construction of the People’s Steeple would lead restoration of the cathedral and the Square.

It is noted huge pro bono contributions from the Guild’s members are being offered, and Blakely Pacific NZ Ltd, a US based forestry company has offered to provide the timbers at no cost from giant 125-year-old Port Orford Cedar from its Pioneer Forest in South Canterbury.

The Restore Christchurch Cathedral Group is strongly supportive of the People’s Steeple.

We hope this inspiring project will help engage and enthuse Christchurch people with recovery of the cathedral, and help get the cathedral restoration programme underway.

Warm regards

Mark Belton
Co-Chair, Restore Christchurch Cathedral

Mark Belton
Managing Director
Permanent Forests NZ Limited
PO Box 34, Lyttelton 8841, New Zealand

See attached reports by Marcus Brandt, Andy Buchanan, and the TFG.
TFG People’s Steeple Project approach notes-10-2-16
Steeple 16-8-12
M Belton report on Timber Framers Guild conf and People’s Steeple 23-9-16
Engineering the People’s Steeple v9

The People’s Steeple | Whare Films Published on Feb 23, 2017

christchurch-cathedral-tonyhphotography-co-nz-bw-render1-1

The People’s Steeple
Rebuilding the Bell Tower at Christchurch Cathedral

Marcus Brandt: An Introduction

For the last thirty years or so, I’ve been restoring historic stone and timber buildings, mostly in Southeastern Pennsylvania. I’m a working master carpenter and stone mason. Most of the historic buildings I am called to work on are 150 to 300 years old. Solid and well crafted, these old buildings tend to age well, but neglect and damage can take a toll. Much of my effort is spent in repairing and strengthening the timber frames of barns, bridges, houses, gristmills and churches. I’ve had several commissions to build new structures in the old style. I have organized and led many barn raisings, in which hundreds of volunteers gather to raise a barn’s frame in a day. A good crew will have the sides and roof on too.
Straightening, plumbing and repairing damaged stone walls is often called for. It is not uncommon to straighten a wall 10 meters high that is out of plumb by 400 or 500 mm. Having studied and worked with several Scots masons, I’m a strong believer in lime based mortars and good masonry practice. The interface between stone and timber is of particular interest to me.
Since 1989, I’ve been a professional member of the Timber Framers Guild (TFG) and a member of the Traditional Timberframe Research and Advisory Group (TTRAG). That part of the Guild focuses on understanding the past practice of the craft with a view that the past might help inform future practice. I have advised many historical and preservation societies and sat on many review boards.
As a result of my participation in Guild efforts and projects, I was invited to go to both Scotland and China to investigate “lost” technologies for the Public Broadcast Service series NOVA. We built working siege weapons in Scotland and in China we built a bridge design that hadn’t been built since the Mongol invasion.
I teach Traditional building skills at Lehigh University, Bethlehem, PA. I’m particularly interested in ways that the pre-industrial past practice can inform building in the greener, sustainable post-industrial world of the future.
I serve as a sailor, boson and ship’s carpenter aboard the tall ship Gazela (www.Gazela.org). That experience has taught me much about rigging and raising heavy loads in confined spaces. It’s taught me about erecting tall, secure, flexible, stable structures that get tossed about and shaken mercilessly. A sea captain in her own right, my wife serves as First Mate aboard Gazela. She out-ranks me, and helps keep me humble.
Since 22 February, I have been working as much as possible to develop a method to rebuild the Bell tower at Christchurch. With the help of friends and students, and the forbearance of my wife, I developed a plan that is beautiful, solid, strong, flexible, earthquake resistant, buildable, durable, and familiar. But more than anything, I want to use the rebuilding of the steeple as a vehicle for rebuilding and strengthening the community. And, once built, serve as an outward witness to the inward love we have for each other as fellow humans.
I look forward to doing this project with the able help of my best friends in the world…many of whom I haven’t yet met.

█ More information about the People’s Steeple Project and participants at http://thepeoplessteeple.org/

christchurch-cathedral-detail-mygola-com-tweaked

Related Posts and Comments:
23.12.15 Christ Church Cathedral: practical news from govt mediator…
14.7.12 Rival newspaper on historic heritage #cathedral
2.3.12 Christ Church, Cathedral Square

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

This post is offered in the public interest.

christchurch-cathedral-detail-with-chalice-sisson-photography-photoshelter-com

christchurch-cathedral-mudbirdceramics-blogspot-co-nz

christchurch-cathedral-5-aug-2003-by-cindy-staticflickr-com-tweaked

*Images: Christchurch Cathedral – (from top) colour render by whatifdunedin [photo source: Country Farm Garden Photos at cfgphoto.com]; black white render by whatifdunedin [photo source: Tony H Photography at tonyhphotography.co.nz]; colour photo of steeple detail [mygola.com]; cathedral with chalice by Sisson Photography [via photoshelter.com]; black white photo by Mudbird Ceramics [mudbirdceramics.blogspot.co.nz]; colour photo by Cindy taken on 5 Aug 2003 [via staticflickr.com]

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ODT feature : Streets of gold #Dunedin

In case you missed the ODT four-part series on Dunedin’s residential heritage in late December….. here it is, via Dave Cannan’s The Wash (Facebook).




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█ The four parts, abridged for quick reference and linked here below, had an excellent (research) information follow-up by Kim Dungey.

Some very approximate dates have been added care of Quality Value (QV), these are based on (limited) property records held by councils; as well as year dates for historical architects, where known.

Streets of Gold, a Summer Times series celebrating Dunedin’s rich architectural heritage. In collaboration with Heritage New Zealand researchers Heather Bauchop and Susan Irvine, with additional research by David Murray, archivist, Hocken Collections; and Alison Breese, archivist, Dunedin City Council.

### ODT Online Tue, 27 Dec 2016
Streets of gold: High St
High Street has an association with the medical profession dating back to the 1880s, when the Mornington cable car started running and some impressive new houses were built along its route.

CAVENDISH CHAMBERS, 211 High St.
The company behind the venture, Medical Buildings Ltd, was incorporated on March 1, 1926, and the shareholders all took professional rooms in the new property. The building was completed in 1927. Architect: Eric Miller (1896-1948).

236 HIGH ST
This prominent residence (QV: c.1900?) with a turret and projecting windows was designed in 1888 for Scottish-born Dr Frank Ogston. Ogston gained his medical degree in Aberdeen and emigrated to Dunedin in 1886 to take up a position as a lecturer in medical jurisprudence and hygiene at the University of Otago. Architect: Henry Hardy (1830-1908), and builder-developer.

238 HIGH ST
An Arts and Crafts-style design, the house (QV: c.1909?) is finished in roughcast with brick exposed on the ground floor sills. It was built for Dr D.E. Williams and his family as a private residence and doctor’s surgery and was home to the Williams family until the 1960s. Architect: Basil Hooper (1876-1960).

296 HIGH ST
Built in 1904, the Chalet Hospital (a private facility) was described as being “finished in coloured and tuck-pointed brickwork … the whole of the relief and ornament is carried out in bold cornices over the windows”. Architect: John Louis Salmond (1868-1950).

Read more + Photos

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### ODT Online Tue, 27 Dec 2016
Streets of gold: York Pl
York Place features two large homes once owned by members of the Speight family.

LARBERT VILLA – 371 York Pl
It is unclear exactly when the villa was built. Coppersmith Alexander Burt, of A and T Burt, married Janet Crawford in 1866 (they had a family of six sons and three daughters) and the couple were living in York Pl by July 1868 when Janet gave birth to a son at the house.

FORMER SPEIGHT RESIDENCE – 362 York Pl
Built for Jessie and Charles Speight after their marriage in 1898, the residence appears in the Dunedin City Council rates records in the 1899-1900 year. Architect: J.L. Salmond.

HAEATA – 273 York Pl
The residence of Charles and Jessie Speight from the time it was built in 1915, it remained in the Speight family until 1960. Bearing a strong resemblance to the Theomin family’s Olveston (built 1907, designed by Sir Ernest George). Architect: John Brown (1875-1923), a neighbour.

MRS TURNBULL’S GROCERY STORE – 324 York Pl
Known more than a century ago as Mrs Turnbull’s Grocery Store, this unusual wedge-shaped building began life as a home, stables and shop built for John and Janet Turnbull in 1875. In January 1875 tenders were invited for a two-storey dwelling and shop to be constructed of wood. Architect and Surveyor: E.J. Sanders [aka Saunders].

Read more + Photos

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### ODT Online Wed, 28 Dec 2016
Streets of gold: Highgate
Highgate has a fascinating and storied collection of prominent dwellings.

RENFREW HOUSE – 111 Highgate
Thought to have originated as a single-storey bluestone house with a central front door and double hung windows on each side. A second storey was later added. The exterior walls were built of double stone – more than 70cm thick – and the interior walls of double brick. With its wrought iron lacework, it has been described as one of the “finest examples of classic Victorian architecture in Dunedin”. Home of businessman Andrew McFarlane (1842-1904) and his wife Jane Wilson (1847-1920). By the 1890s, the family referred to their home as “Renfrew House”. Architect: credited to Nathaniel Wales (1832-1903), a neighbour.
 
KAWARAU – 204 Highgate
Designed in 1900 for dredging tycoon Alexander McGeorge, this grand residence reflects the fortunes made in Otago’s gold dredging boom of the late 1890s and early 20th century. Trained at Dunedin firm Cossens and Black, McGeorge (1868-1953) held a variety of significant engineering posts. The two-storeyed house is built of brick, has a slate roof, ornate decorative detailing, and features Tudor influences in the half timbering and veranda details. Architect: J.L. Salmond.

FORMER HUXTABLE RESIDENCE – 233 Highgate
This 1907 brick and tile residence designed for Anna and Alexander Huxtable, is a beautifully detailed example of an Edwardian villa, one with historic and architectural significance. Anna Huxtable was granted the land in 1907; a survey on May 15, 1907, indicates the foundations for the new dwelling were already in place at that date. (QV: c.1910?). Alexander Murray Huxtable described himself as both a commercial agent and patent medicine manufacturer. Architect: Edward Walden (1870-1944).

MELROSE – 384 Highgate
Likely designed for lawyer Arthur Nation (1852-1927) around 1876. In October that year, tenders were called for the construction of a “brick cottage” in the suburb of Melrose (a private subdivision in what is now known as Roslyn). However, Nation appears to have built more than a cottage: when his property was offered for sale in 1879 it was described as “a substantially-built and well-finished brick house”, its original features including hand-painted ceilings, timber joinery and stained glass. Architect: credited to John McGregor (1838-1911), and harbour engineer.

Read more + Photos

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### ODT Online Thu, 29 Dec 2016
Streets of gold: Royal Tce
Royal Terrace has a fascinating and storied collection of prominent dwellings.

DAISY BANK – 12 Royal Tce
Associated with the prominent Hudson family. An Italianate, two-storeyed symmetrical house with a large basement, “Daisy Bank” was built of concrete and wood, circa 1897. Architect: J.A. Burnside (1856-1920).

LINDEN – 22 Royal Tce
Built in the 1870s, a two-storied, two-bay Victorian residence of more than 15 rooms, with an exterior comprising plastered triple brick with quoins, foundations of Leith Valley andesite and a slate roof. Associated with the prominent Isaacs and Hudson families. Architect: Mason and Wales (likely Nathaniel Wales).

CLAVERTON – 30 Royal Tce
Associated with prominent local politician and businessman Richard H. Leary and one of New Zealand’s most prominent artistic families, the Hodgkins. Claverton was most likely built in 1877 by local politician and businessman Richard H. Leary (1840-95). Architect: likely Maxwell Bury (1825-1912).

ALYTH – 34 Royal Tce
Built in the 1870s by prominent businessman, community leader and one-time Dunedin mayor Keith Ramsay (1844-1906). Named Alyth after Ramsay’s birth place, the house was completed, at the latest, by March 1875. Architect: Robert Arthur Lawson (1833-1902).

Read more + Photos

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It doesn’t have to be a mansion located on the high streets….

crabapple-cottage-otago-peninsula-thecuriouskiwi-co-nzCrabapple Cottage, Otago Peninsula [thecuriouskiwi.co.nz]

Lastly, a THOROUGHLY USEFUL guide for those unfamiliar with historic heritage archives, technical sources and search methods.

### ODT Online Fri, 30 Dec 2016
What is your house hiding?
By Kim Dungey
Enjoyed this week’s Streets of Gold series, in which we have profiled various Dunedin houses of historic significance? Fancy playing detective and tracing the history of your home? … In recent years, Heritage New Zealand has run “how to research your home” workshops in Dunedin, Invercargill, Oamaru and Central Otago. The popular seminars have drawn together the sources it uses every day to tell the story of historic places. Archivists say some people want to restore their homes to their original states, are curious about former owners or simply want to know the age of their houses for insurance purposes. Others require archaeological assessments of pre-1901 properties or have reported seeing ghosts in their homes and wanted to work out who they might be. Interested homeowners have a wealth of resources at their fingertips….
Read more

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

This post is offered in the public interest.

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Filed under Architecture, Business, Construction, DCC, Design, Dunedin, Education, Geography, Heritage, Heritage NZ, Housing, Inspiration, Media, Museums, New Zealand, Property, Public interest, Site, Tourism, What stadium

Getaways —Dezeen 2016

A brief selection of short and long stay architectural showpieces.

OPA finds backer for cliffside residence sunken into Lebanese mountain
Jessica Mairs | 5 May 2016 ● Dezeen
Open Platform for Architecture (OPA) is moving forward with plans to build a subterranean residence that will slice into a mountain near Beirut and feature a glass swimming pool for a roof. OPA originally released plans for Casa Brutale in July 2015, with no site, client or budget to build it. But the viral success of the renderings has now brought forward a backer with a plot of land on Faqra mountain near Beirut and a budget of $2.5 million (£1.7 million).

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The project is expected to break ground this summer and its owner will be Alex Demirdjian, the chief executive of Lebanese real estate agent Demco Properties. The buried dwelling will be bracketed by three board-marked concrete slabs, while a fourth glazed wall will allow views of the valley to take centre stage. A glass-bottomed pool will allow light to shine into the earth-encased living spaces.
https://www.dezeen.com/2016/05/05/casa-brutale-opa-sunken-cliffside-residence-lebanese-mountain-swimming-pool/

Renderings: Terpsichori Latsi (LOOM Design)

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Tiny camping pods by Andrea Zittel serve as a creative refuge in the California desert
Jenna McKnight | 19 August 2016 ● Dezeen
Artists and writers wanting to play out a “desert fantasy” can rent a tiny sleeping pod at a remote campsite in southern California, which looks like a scene from a sci-fi film. Called the Wagon Station Encampment, the experimental project was conceived by US artist Andrea Zittel, who is known for her explorations into self-sufficient and sustainable living systems. The site consists of 10 sleeping pods, called wagon stations, as well as a communal outdoor kitchen, open-air showers and composting toilets. “It’s sort of a cross between a retreat and a residency and a normal campground,” said Zittel. The encampment – described as having a sci-fi aesthetic – is located on a 35-acre (14-hectare) site near Joshua Tree National Park, which is dotted with unusual rock formations rising up from a vast expanse of desert.

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The metal-and-wood shelters are meant to evoke the classic family station wagons often found in suburbia, along with the covered, horse-drawn wagons that were common in old Wild West. While the pods do not have wheels, they can be easily collapsed, moved and reassembled. Guests enter their pod by unlocking and lifting up the front panel, which can be propped up and left open. The panel has a transparent strip that enables occupants to view the surrounding landscape and sky while lying on their bed. Inside, the enclosure contains a mattress, clothing hooks and a small door for ventilation. Artists can bring their own decor, such as rugs and paintings, to personalise the pod. The campsite is part of a larger property known as A-Z West, which was established in 2000. It contains Zittel’s primary residence, a studio and shop facility and a collection of shipping containers converted into apartments. Other camp shelters include the recently unveiled Autonomous Tent, which is a sculptural enclosure with a wooden porch, and portable micro cabins designed by Harvard students for stressed-out city dwellers.
https://www.dezeen.com/2016/08/19/wagon-station-encampment-andrea-zittel-tiny-camping-pods-creative-refuge-california-desert/

Photography: Lance Brewer

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Eight concrete boxes form a “moveable” vacation home on Martha’s Vineyard
James Brillon | 20 August 2016 ● Dezeen
A cluster of eight interconnected concrete volumes make up this Martha’s Vineyard residence, which is designed to be moved in the event of site erosion. The single-family East House was created by Canadian architect Peter Rose in the town of Chilmark. Serious concerns about the site’s ability to support the 4,000 square foot (372 sq m) residence led the architects to devise a system that allegedly allows the house to be moved if necessary.

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The home’s living spaces were designed as eight individual cast-in-place concrete boxes. They are connected via interstitial corridors, which were built using lightweight timber construction. According to the architects, this makes them structurally independent from one another, which in turn allows them to be moved more easily. “The solution was to cast the floors in concrete, making each box a single structural unit that can be individually lifted and moved to a location far from the bluff in case of erosion.”
https://www.dezeen.com/2016/08/20/eight-concrete-boxes-form-a-moveable-vacation-home-on-marthas-vineyard/

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Photography: Chuck Choi

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Luxury campsite in Antarctica offers tiny domed pods for sleeping and dining
Jenna McKnight | 31 August 2016 ● Dezeen
This remote “glamping” site in Antarctica features a series of igloo-like enclosures fitted with upscale decor like fur-covered chairs and bamboo headboards. White Desert – billed as the “only luxury camp in the interior of Antarctica” – consists of heated, spherical pods made of fibreglass. Six are designated for sleeping, with each designed to accommodate two guests. Additional pods house a kitchen, a dining room, a lounge and a library. The domed shelters rest atop wooden platforms and are secured to the ground with metal cables.
https://www.dezeen.com/2016/08/31/white-desert-luxury-campsite-antarctica-tiny-domed-pods-extreme-glamping/

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Photography courtesy of White Desert

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BIG stacks shipping containers to create floating student housing in Copenhagen harbour
Jessica Mairs | 22 September 2016 ● Dezeen
Shipping containers are stacked on a floating platform to create these buoyant student halls of residence designed by Bjarke Ingels’ firm (BIG) for Copenhagen harbour. The project named Urban Rigger aims to provide low-cost housing for students in the centre of the Copenhagen, docked in the harbour.

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BIG’s scheme comprises nine shipping containers stacked and arranged on a floating base, to create 15 studio residences over two levels. The blocks are angled with their ends overlapping to frame a shared garden in the centre of the mobile platform – also intended to protect the housing from the threat of rising sea levels. The flat roofs of the three containers forming the upper floor each have a different function. One provides a terrace, another hosts solar panels and the final roof is covered in grass. Urban Rigger is the latest addition to a string of proposals considering shipping containers as a model for affordable housing. Copenhagen’s harbour area is currently undergoing significant redevelopment.
https://www.dezeen.com/2016/09/22/big-bjarke-ingels-shipping-containers-floating-student-housing-urban-rigger-copenhagen/

Photography: Laurent de Carniere

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Baca Architects moors modular floating home on Chichester Canal
Eleanor Gibson | 23 October 2016 ● Dezeen
Baca Architects – the studio behind the UK’s first amphibious house – has completed a boxy floating home on Chichester Canal in southern England. The London-based architects developed the floating house as a prototype with British company Floating Homes. The replicable design named Chichester won an ideas competition seeking solutions to London’s housing crisis earlier this year.

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Baca Architects referenced the design of canal boats when drawing up plans for the house, but increased the scale and included plenty of windows to create a more spacious and luxurious home on the water. The architects played with the traditional rectangular shape of house boats to create a split-level design. A white staircase leads from the lounge up to a terrace carved into the flat roof of the house and surrounded by glazed balustrades. Simple finishes like white-painted walls and pale floorboards keep the space light and open.
https://www.dezeen.com/2016/10/23/chichester-model-canal-baca-architects-wooden-floating-home-uk/

Photography courtesy of Floating Homes Ltd

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Precarious Alpine cabin by OFIS offers shelter to Slovenian climbers
Jessica Mairs | 10 November 2016 ● Dezeen
This tiny aluminium-clad cabin by Slovenian studio OFIS Arhitekti cantilevers over the edge of a mountain on the Slovenian-Italian border. OFIS Arhitekti worked with local structural engineers CBD to develop the Kanin Winter Cabin, which is designed to resist extreme weather conditions on its exposed site on Mount Kanin. “This particular site was chosen because of its 360-degree views over Slovenia and Italy, and spectacular views to Triglav, Soca Valley and Adriatic sea,” said the studio.

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This tiny 9.7-square-metre cabin has a narrow floor plan containing three shelf-like floors, and has dimensions of just 2.4 by 4.9 metres. It is made from a combination of cross-laminated timber, glass and aluminium panels. “The interior design dictates modesty, subordinate to the function, providing accommodation for up to nine mountaineers.”
https://www.dezeen.com/2016/11/10/cantilever-alpine-shelter-kanin-winter-cabin-ofis-architects-climbers-slovenia/

Photography: Janez Martincic

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Flat-packed cabin concept allows tiny houses to be assembled like IKEA furniture
James Brillon | 20 November 2016 ● Dezeen
A Vancouver-based startup’s conceptual design for flat-packed recreational cabins would allow users to build for themselves, making the wilderness more readily accessible. The Backcountry Hut Company is an offshoot of interdisciplinary design firm Leckie Studio. Its goal is to facilitate the process of building cabins for a variety of uses. The huts are provided in pieces that can be efficiently packed flat and assembled on site. Rather than being built by professional craftspeople, the cabins can be put together by a small group working together. The simple geometrical cabins encompass two floors. The ground level contains public areas that vary according to individual preferences. Sleeping quarters are located above, and are accessed using a ladder. The metal-clad huts are part of a larger trend towards building small, modular dwellings.
https://www.dezeen.com/2016/11/20/backcountry-hut-company-leckie-studio-flat-packed-cabin-concept-assembled-like-ikea-furniture/

Images courtesy of Backcountry Hut Company

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Antarctic research centre to be towed inland to escape dangerous ice crack
Amy Frearson | 13 December 2016 ● Dezeen
The world’s first mobile research centre on the floating Brunt Ice Shelf in Antarctica is going to be moved to a new location for the first time, due to fears it could be trapped on an iceberg.

antarctic-research-centre-to-be-towed-inland_dezeen_hero_01Photo: British Antarctic Survey

antarctic-research-centre-to-be-towed-inland_dezeen_sqaPhoto: Hugh Broughton Architects

Designed by Hugh Broughton Architects for the British Antarctic Survey (BAS), the Halley VI Antarctic Research Station has only been operational since 2013, but now needs to be towed 23 kilometres to a new location. This is because a chasm that had previously been dormant for approximately 35 years started to grow just after the station was installed, putting it at risk of separating from the ice shelf. The £25.8 million research station is built to withstand extreme winter weather. Made up of seven interlinking blue modules, the structure is raised on hydraulically elevated feet to stay above the many metres of expected snowfall.
These ski-like feet also make it possible to tow each of the modules over a prepared ice track. But the team did not expect to have to move the building less than five years after the facility opened.
https://www.dezeen.com/2016/12/13/halley-vi-antarctic-research-station-towed-inland-escape-dangerous-crack-brunt-ice-shelf/

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

This post is offered in the public interest.

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Report from the University Landscape Trenches : Financial shoring collapsing, trouble brewing

Received from Rhodes
Mon, 24 Oct 2016 at 9:14 p.m.

Saturday’s ODT had an interesting article about delays on the troubled University of Otago landscaping project. This article is the canary in the University construction goldmine, as there are other even much larger disputes brewing on current University projects that certainly will become a goldmine for the contractors, to the detriment of the University’s financial health.

uoo-landscaping-20160508_135933Hoarding, University of Otago

Mr Mackay said the complications on the landscaping included “replacing old water, sewage and drainage pipes”. What he did not say is that this work was meant to have been done two summers ago, BEFORE the academic year, but due to the project management, it was not. However, this landscaping project is small beer, there are much bigger problems looming.

The University, in their biggest ever project, at the 11th hour, on the “advice” of a contractor, Fletcher Construction, who we understand did not even finally submit a bid, told the University they could save a few hundred thousand on the $100 million project by deleting the need for a cost control schedule…. that would have severely limited what the contractors could charge for changes and extra work. In a monumental display of incompetence, the University stopped production of the schedule – which was already underway and had to be part paid for anyway and put the drawings and specifications out to tender without a schedule. If the drawings were 100% complete and the University wasn’t to change its mind that would be OK, but the Pope is more likely to preach at Canterbury Cathedral than this happening. Of course, the drawings are woefully incomplete, and the arguments and changes have started. Watch out for Someone from the University Property Services division, in about a year, to be in full dissembling mode about the delays, and how, “even though it’s six months late, it’s still on budget”. If that is the case, the budget has massive doses of incompetency cover built into it !

An additional problem that’s about to come home to roost in the University and Otago Polytechnic’s coffers is insistence, by University Property Services, on the use of “Early Contractor Involvement” (ECI). (Someone at University Property Services has never met a new construction euphemism he did not use or a project delay that he could not justify). Both the University and Polytech on recent large projects have engaged in tender processes where there is no fixed sum, because the documents are far from complete, and the current fashion du jour is to have “early contractor involvement” where the builders are paid to be involved in the design phase, to provide “constructability” expertise. Basically the builders make a submission to say what nice people they are, and advise percentage site overhead and profit margins they would build the project for. The rest of the cost, about 85-90%, is just guesswork. (“Provisional Sums”). This process allows the “tender evaluation team” (mainly the Architect and the University) to choose who they want, without regard to price, because the weighting for “non-price attributes” is a lot more than 50% of the total weighting.

On both the University commerce building project, just started by Naylor Love, and the Polytechnic Hostel project (also won by Naylor Love), this was the process. Both projects are around $20 million all up. Significantly, the architect on both projects was Mason & Wales. There were a number of other consultants in the design teams. The politest way to put the next point is that there appeared to be “confusion” about the proposed early contractor involvement process from the team. It was thought, inexplicably, that this wonderful new system of selecting builders without worrying about price meant not only did they get to choose ones with very high margins who wouldn’t cause problems when the inevitable design problems arose, some consultants also thought that they could charge full fees and offload all of the detailing onto the builder…. which of course did not happen. Builders, in the South Island anyway, do not employ armies of CAD operators who can document bespoke large projects. That is what designers are for…. In both cases, the successful Naylor Love bid was hundreds of thousands of dollars more expensive than lower bids. Also in the case of both bids, the University and the Polytech paid a premium of around $500-600,000 to have the “ECI/ constructability” experience of Naylor Love…. only to find that the advice received was NOT what was expected…. the Polytech project has been now costed by Naylor Love and is $1.5-2.0 million over budget, and the “expert” constructability / ECI advice that the Polytech effectively paid $600,000 for is…. wait for it…. to make the building smaller. Hmmm, expensive and brief advice! Best not tell the Humanities students ! The other unsuccessful contractors may well feel aggrieved about how this process played out, as before they were even allowed to provide a proposal they had to prove their capability and experience to do the work, so in theory all tenderers were equally capable, and there was no logical reason for the favouritism to Naylor Love…. but were there other reasons ? There appears no meaningful financial oversight, the project teams seem a law unto themselves, and the suspicion is that both institutions’ funds are being spent in a very free and easy fashion.

[ends]

Related Posts and Comments:
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25.9.15 University calling Property Services
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Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

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