Tag Archives: Facadism

Prista Apartments Ltd: vulgar design, weak facadism, dog of a new infill to street #compromise

COULD HAVE BEEN A LOT WORSE

DCC reference: LUC-2008-580
Decision: DCC granted resource consent to Prista Apartments Ltd (applicant)
Subject site: 372-392 Princes Street and 11 Stafford Street, Dunedin

Historic heritage and precinct matters:
● District Plan listed facades for protection: 372-392 Princes Street
● District Plan listed South Princes Street Townscape Precinct (TH04)

Environment Court Appeal: Lodged by New Zealand Historic Places Trust on 5 October 2010. Subsequently, Elizabeth Kerr and Peter Entwisle registered as RMA s274 parties to appeal.

————–

LATEST IN BRIEF
After considerable delays, caucusing between the parties has resulted in a Consent Order from the Environment Court, such that there is:

● protection for only three existing heritage building facades to Princes Street (380, 386 and 392);
● one new façade (372 Princes Street) directly to street for new commercial building at 372-392 Princes Street (comprising apartments, retail and internal parking);
● one new commercial building to 11 Stafford Street;
● monitor against damage to historic Empire Hotel south of the application site; and
● site redevelopment at 372-392 Princes Street (including pre-1900 bread ovens at 392 Princes Street) subject to separate archaeological authority process.

Consent lapse date: 1 July 2021
No DCC-imposed bond required of the developer, Prista Apartments Ltd.

[Building colour and signage require separate resource consent.]

The following Consent Order is the culmination of a protracted process of negotiation between the parties New Zealand Historic Places Trust (Appellant), Dunedin City Council (Respondent) and the Applicant, Prista Apartments Ltd (Luke Dirkzwager of Christchurch).

Consent Order 26.6.14 (PDF, 748 KB)

Indicative renderings by Fulton Ross Team Architects, Christchurch show approximate bulk, scale and architectural treatment (December 2013) — at first floor level immediately above the verandah the building facades mask car parking, resulting in an obvious strip of dead window space:

PristaApartments (Consent Order 26.6.14) 2

PristaApartments (Consent Order 26.6.14)

Was it a frustrating anger-inducing process to get to this COMPROMISE ???
You betcha, for All concerned. Especially against the receiving environment at Dunedin where local developers and property investors hold a substantially different view to building conservation, sense of place, and sympathetic adaptive reuse for contemporary and future ownership, tenanting and business opportunities. However, all that is Cut Dead at this particular spot in Princes Street by a Christchurch personality who appears to be in no rush to build.
His buildings must remain safe and pose no threat to the general public in the meantime.

Prista Apartments 372-392 Princes St, Dunedin (IMG_8407a1)

JGillies schematic architectural history (2a)

Related Posts and Comments:
4.3.11 Reaction to another instance of unthinking ad-hocism from City Hall
15.9.10 Prista Apartments: Resource consent Decision + Appeal
4.5.10 Prista Apartments: Dunedin’s goldrush-era heritage won’t fall over…
24.1.10 Prista Apartments: 372-392 Princes St and 11 Stafford St

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

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Facadism: 3%, 10%, 50%, 75%, 99.9% (how much is enough) | University of Otago warps Castle Street

University of Otago OUCA Childcare Centre
541-559 Castle Street

Architects: Parker Warburton Team Architects
Structural and Fire Engineers: Stevenson Brown Ltd
Main Contractor: Amalgamated Builders Ltd (ABL)

The university is building a new childcare centre in Castle Street, opposite the historic Selwyn College, on sites formerly given to a row of timbered bay villas. The facility will provide room for 140 equivalent full-time (FTE) children – boosting childcare capacity at the university by 50%. Years ago, the houses together with others like them were mooted for demolition to provide new lecture theatres. Along came work on the Campus Master Plan to change that and what is now the decision to save the ‘appearance’ of the villas to the street – with a ‘small-person village’ tucked in behind. It’s facadism, and it’s terribly thin. The villas weren’t listed for protection in the district plan.

Villa 1a IMG_4525

On completion, the new childcare centre will probably collect one or more NZIA Southern Architecture Awards based on ingenuity, subtle(?) mixing of ‘kiwi’ Disneyland veneer, concept, scale, well-programmed function, urban design, and finishing. After all, the university has spent $200,000 on the design and used award winning architects. But is it kosher to slice the bays off period villas and ‘reconstitute’ them by nailing onto new buildings? Not sure, will wait until the opening in March to finally pronounce.

Full hoarding 1 IMG_4503

In the meantime there’s no debating that scale and proportion are correct, and the design has sensitivity on many counts. Will the built linkages, with under-roofs, between buildings read correctly and convincingly to the street? Does it matter anyway, given the facility replaces buildings the university fudged and devalued over many years for temporary use? The landscaping to street and within the block will be superior. What’s not to like?

Possibly, the ‘what’s not to like’ is that others in the building design trade will try to mimic (badly) the facadist tactics – the ‘chainsaw precedent’ having been set – as they gormlessly, constructively, work to erode historic heritage values of individual buildings and townscape values within some of our better but neglected Victorian/Edwardian era residential streets. Like streets in the North Dunedin campus area where tight sections and medium building density are found; places where developers having landbanked aren’t of a mind to fully demolish. Whether this turns truly bad, like all building fashions, will depend on the number of occurrences and scale of endeavour. When you do something (was it) cutting edge, it’s the followers you should worry about.

In its favour, this ‘academic’ dalliance with facadism, chainsaw-massacre or whatever it’s called – and alright, the institutional client has a reasonably high standard of architectural design and heritage-retention – is aesthetically far superior to the ‘piss-poor’ gouges and severe ghetto-esque rebuilds now going on in former working cottage character streets, like Grange and Leith.

Hoarding 1b IMG_4505Hoarding 6c IMG_4513Hoarding 7b IMG_4514Hoarding 4a IMG_4510Hoarding 3a IMG_4509Hoarding 2a IMG_4506

Otago Bulletin Board
Uni News: Site of new Childcare facility blessed
The new state-of-the-art facility will offer places for significantly more children than the existing centre in Great King Street, and will include a bilingual centre, landscaped external play space, dining and quiet sleep rooms, as well as non-contact and administration areas. All 11 buildings on both the Castle Street and Montgomery Avenue sides of the project will be demolished, with the exception of the period Edwardian facades of the five villas on Castle Street which will be restored. Property Services Project Manager Christian German says “The condition and arrangement of the existing buildings, as well as the need to carry out seismic strengthening, means that re-building is the most cost-effective option. However, by retaining and restoring the villa facades, the view on Castle Street will be improved without changing significantly.” The facility will provide 140 full-time equivalent (FTE) child places, including 28 nought- to five-year-olds in the bilingual centre. There will also be two nurseries and two whānau units each catering for 40 two- to five-year-olds.

*restored is a loaded word

Otago University Childcare Association
The OUCA has four new childcare centres under construction on Campus, opening April 2014. They will sit alongside Te Kaupapa ō Rōpu Tiaki Tamaiti (College Centre) 137 Union Street East. All children enrolled at the existing Nursery, Preschool and Fulltime Centres will transfer to the new centres. Link

ODT Coverage:
8.1.14 Photograph, site view (page 14). University childcare centre takes shape. Peter MacIntosh. No link available.

14.8.13 ‘Good progress’ at uni childcare facility site
The facades of period villas in Castle St were being removed for repair and restoration. These facades would be retained as part of the new development in their original positions opposite Selwyn College. Link

18.7.13 University child-care site cleared
University plans to build a $6.25 million child-care centre in Castle St are moving closer to reality as demolition work continues. Eleven buildings, in Montgomery Ave and Castle St, will be demolished to make way for the project, although the facades of five Victorian villas in Castle St will be retained. The new centre would include landscaped internal play space, as well as dining and quiet sleep rooms. Link

13.6.13 Blessing for childcare centre
The childcare centre would integrate three current centres into one. “The concept is a village for children on campus with lots of trees and natural materials.” Demolition of existing buildings on the site is scheduled to begin on June 24, and the centre is scheduled to open next March. Link

4.4.13 University plans major building projects
The only large new project on which the university has publicly committed to begin construction this year is a $6.254 million childcare centre in Castle St. The draft design for the centre was almost complete and construction was to begin in June. Link

22.12.12 New daycare centre
The university plans to build a new “state-of-the-art” childcare centre on Castle St next year. The centre would be located on Castle St opposite Selwyn College and retain the Edwardian facades of existing villas. The need for earthquake strengthening and the condition and arrangement of the existing buildings meant rebuilding was the most cost-effective option. $200,000 was spent on the design of the new centre, but the construction budget was under wraps. Once the new centre was built, the facility on Great King St would revert to accommodation or academic use. Link
UoO childcare facility - concept, Montgomery Ave [Parker Warburton] 1aSketch of the new eight-gabled building. Montgomery Avenue elevation.
Parker Warburton

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

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Mis(t)apprehension: website visits, not bookings?

Is nothing real any more?
It’s not enough to be ‘curious and beautiful’. Especially not when Tourism Dunedin parades support for a 28-storey $100m hotel to be plonked on the waterfront – a complete stranger to business viability – the visual manifestation to destroy, not enhance, Dunedin’s cultural heritage landscape.
Sounds more like your death wish, TD. Y’know, the times when young boys get squelched by tired old hacks, the paunches in suits sprinkling loose cash made from the stadium con.

### ODT Online Sat, 23 Jun 2012
Tourism drive draws response
By Rosie Manins
Tourism Dunedin dropped 75,000 flyers in letterboxes throughout Christchurch, Canterbury, Central Otago and Southland late last month to advertise winter events and specials in the city. The Curious and Beautiful campaign was shaping up to be a major success, with bookings flooding in and thousands of visits to an associated website, Tourism Dunedin chief executive Hamish Saxton said.

Mr Saxton said the online traffic was considered “very good” and had been backed up by positive feedback from Dunedin tourism operators and accommodation providers. “We haven’t got actual booking figures from them yet, but…”

Read more

****

How can you tell it’s winter in Dunedin? Treat the locomotive house as your very own barometer. Climatically, the thing acts like a (tourist) bus.

### ODT Online Sat, 23 Jun 2012
Loco lost in mist
By Rosie Manins
Condensation is the latest issue plaguing the locomotive display at the Otago Settlers Museum in Dunedin. Sunny days and chilly nights have caused condensation to form on the outside of the glass case recently, prompting a review of the structure’s design. Project manager Adrian Thein, of Octa Associates, said the condensation problem came as a surprise because natural ventilation had been factored into the building.
Read more

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

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‘Calling facadism preservation is like saying that you can preserve polar bears as rugs.’

Indirect quote via DaveM at ODT Online:

Inaccuracy
Submitted by DaveM on Fri, 20/08/2010 – 9:39am.

I am sorry to see an inaccuracy in a previous ODT report repeated here: that the proposed design ‘closely replicates the existing facades’. It closely replicates only one of the four Princes Street facades, and the remaining three could not even be described as loosely replicated. They look quite different to what is there presently, but do attractively incorporate some stylistic cues from the old buildings.
Facsimile is not a good solution – we wouldn’t preserve the Treaty of Waitangi by photocopying it and throwing away the original. Or, as an American historian says: ‘Calling facadism preservation is like saying that you can preserve polar bears as rugs’.
The historical significance of these buildings is high – much higher than their modest but attractive design would suggest. It is shallow to rank heritage based on how many turrets or frilly decorations something has.

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

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