### ODT Online Fri, 11 Apr 2014 Draft budget feedback pretty good: council
By Chris Morris
The Dunedin City Council says feedback on its draft budget has been ”pretty good” despite some disappointing turnouts at public meetings in recent weeks. The council concluded a series of eight public meetings and drop-in sessions with a discussion of cycleway and road-widening work on Otago Peninsula at the Edgar Centre on Tuesday night.
Public submissions on the council’s 2014-15 draft annual plan were ”flooding in now” and had reached 427 by late yesterday, council corporate planner Jane Nevill said. That was well above the 262 submissions received by the council on its 2013-14 draft budget. Read more
DRAFT DCC ANNUAL PLAN 2014/2015
The draft annual plan sets out the Council’s proposed annual budgets and performance measures for 2014/15 and updates the information for the 2014/15 year that in contained in the Council’s ten year plan or Long Term Plan (LTP) which was put in place last year.
Please tell DCC whether you agree or disagree with spending priorities for 2014/15 outlined in the draft plan by making a submission.
The consultation period is your opportunity to “Have Your Say” about what you want to see included in the Council’s plans.
Reopening the former Chief Post Office building “marks a significant milestone for the restoration project, with more tenants, a three-level car park building and, eventually, the 120-apartment four-star-plus Distinction Dunedin Hotel, all to follow”. (ODT)
Dunedin Chief Post Office (1930s)
### ODT Online Tue, 25 Mar 2014 Office workers light up CPO
By Chris Morris
The return today of a commercial tenant to Dunedin’s former chief post office building for the first time in more than 15 years marks a significant milestone in the restoration project. About 145 staff from Silver Fern Farms are expected to start work in their new headquarters – occupying the first two floors of the partially-restored building – this morning. It was the first time the building had been home to a permanent tenant since closing its doors in 1997, building owner Geoff Thomson, of Distinction Hotels, said. Read more
Submissions in opposition to the proposed waterfront tower hotel at 41 Wharf Street (LUC 2012-212) make frequent mention of a preference to see the old Chief Post Office restored and in use as a city hotel in The Exchange.
Dull criticism from the anti-heritage brigade has often been cast at the old building’s owner for lack of speed in making the redevelopment happen.
Geoff Thomson, a canny and diligent man, has proceeded with the retrofit of this very large government architect-designed building at the pace he can afford in the up-down market he faces. Geoff Thomson deserves significant praise for his passion and perseverance in seeing the project through as well as attending to quality tenanting and leases.
This year’s Dunedin Heritage Re-use Award winners will be announced later this week at Wall Street mall.
The Awards celebrate excellence, innovation and sensitivity in the re-use of heritage buildings in Dunedin and include categories for earthquake strengthening, interiors and overall re-use. A student design competition is also held during the year, which challenges students to develop innovative solutions to the re-use of Dunedin’s older buildings.
If not invited to the Awards Ceremony check out the exhibition during shop hours. The board display is located near Marbecks cafe and the Lifts at Wall Street. [● Inconveniently. the exhibition closed on the night of the Awards, Wednesday 26 March]
Enticements. Here’s a selection of student ‘re-use’ studies for the Athenaeum in the lower Octagon, taken by cameraphone on Friday. The building is owned by entrepreneur Lawrie Forbes.
Love the (lowrise) tower, it accents the building successfully for functional and community use.
The Awards are judged by a panel that includes Dunedin City Councillors, representatives from the New Zealand Historic Places Trust, the local branch of the New Zealand Institute of Architects and the Institute of Professional Engineers of New Zealand, and building owners.
█ This year’s Award winners are revealed here.
The names of last year’s Award winners are listed here.
By properly and logically establishing the signiﬁcance of a historic port, plans can be laid that enhance and build on that signiﬁcance and that incorporate difﬁcult heritage buildings and structures.
–Simon Thurley, English Heritage
Dunedin Harbourside Historic Area
The New Zealand Historic Places Trust registered the Dunedin Harbourside Historic Area on 4 April 2008. (Register No: 7767). The historic area takes in properties at 25, 31-33 Thomas Burns Street, Birch Street, Fryatt Street, Fish Street, Willis Street, Cresswell Street, Tewsley Street, Wharf Street, Roberts Street and Mason Street.
The Dunedin Harbourside Historic Area is made up of the core of the port operations and associated businesses surrounding the steamer basin at the Upper Harbour in Dunedin which had developed by the first decades of the twentieth century. It includes a major portion of the land in Rattray, Willis and Cresswell Streets which was reclaimed by the end of the nineteenth century. It also includes the Fryatt Street and Cross Wharves, including the wharf sheds on Fryatt Street Wharf, as well as the former Otago Harbour Board Administration Building at the Junction of Birch Street and Cross Wharves, the former British Sailors’ Society Seafarers’ Centre, and the former Briscoe’s Wharf Store and Works on the corner of Birch, Wharf and Roberts Streets [since lost to fire], and the walls and bridge abutment on Roberts Street which are the remnants of the bridge which linked that Street to the city. Read the full Registration report here.
█ Dunedin City Council has refused to list the Dunedin Harbourside Historic Area in the District Plan.
### ODT Online Sat, 15 Mar 2014 ‘Potential new harbourside developments ‘exciting’
By Chris Morris
Excitement is growing about the potential for fresh development of Dunedin’s harbourside, including a new marine science institute featuring a public aquarium being considered by the University of Otago. The Otago Daily Times understands university staff have already held preliminary talks with Dunedin City Council staff about a possible new marine science institute in the harbourside zone, on the south side of steamer basin. The Otago Regional Council has also met Betterways Advisory Ltd, which wants to build a waterfront hotel in the city, to discuss the ORC’s vacant waterfront site, it has been confirmed. Read more
Potential for contemporary reuse – Fryatt Street wharfsheds Images: 4.bp.blogspot.com ; m1.behance.net
Historic ports are places that need intelligent interrogation before we start to reinvent them for the future: understanding their heritage signiﬁcance is the ﬁrst step.
On the waterfront: culture, heritage and regeneration of port cities
HERITAGE IN REGENERATION: INSPIRATION OR IRRELEVANCE? By Dr Simon Thurley, Chief Executive, English Heritage
I had better come clean at the start. I live in a port. As it happens, it is a port which was, in its time, and on a different scale, as successful as Liverpool was in its heyday. But that time is rather a long time ago now, in fact over four hundred years. In1600 my home town of King’s Lynn was amongst Britain’s leading ports, bigger than Bristol in numbers of ships and with trading tentacles reaching into the Baltic and far into the Mediterranean. Lynn’s position as a port was destroyed by the railways and although it still has working docks today the tonnage that passes through is very small.Yet anyone visiting it can instantly see that this was once a port; the customs house, the old quays, the merchants houses, the big market places and the ﬁshermen’s houses all add immeasurably to Lynn’s sense of place.
We not only ask developers to build new structures that respect the old, but we also require them to incorporate old ones that have value.
It is this sense of place, this character, that we at English Heritage will always say that needs to be understood. For us the ﬁrst and most important thing is that any developer and the relevant local authority should have a full understanding of the place in which major change is are planned. Various tools have been invented over the years to try and help that process. These include characterisation, historical studies, view studies, urban analysis and more. But does this actually make any difference? What happens to the richly illustrated historical reports produced by consultants? Are they handed to architects who then use them as their bible? Are they taken up by the planners and turned into supplementary planning guidance? Or do they just get put on a shelf?
There can be a broad consensus about what constitutes successful development that preserves aesthetic values. The trick for planning authorities is ﬁnding a way to capture it.
The answer is that normally it just gets forgotten because for most developers and many local authorities heritage is just a hindrance. If a report on heritage is commissioned they will have ticked off a process that they need to say they have done, but once completed it can be set aside and everyone can get on with the business of making money. Ipswich is an example of this. Like many ports, it has refocused its commercial hub away from the historic centre leaving a lot of land in the historic trading heart for regeneration. The city decided to prepare what it called an Area Action Plan for the redevelopment of the historic port. This included some work on the history, archaeology and development of the area: all very useful. The process was then to take this forward to create a series of planning briefs and master plans to inform individual developments. This would reinforce general points in the action plan about storey heights, vistas and through routes as well as issues about historic character. Regrettably, this latter part was not done and what Ipswich got was lots of poorly designed high-rise ﬂats built on a budget. And they got it with the heritage studies still sitting on a shelf. Read more
Image: english-heritage.org.uk – Tobacco Warehouse 1903, Stanley Dock LP
Liverpool World Heritage Site
Liverpool was inscribed as a World Heritage Site as the supreme example of a maritime city and its docks are testimony to that claim. Jesse Hartley’s Albert Dock, opened in 1845, is the finest example of a nineteenth century wet dock in the world while the nearby Canning Graving Docks and Waterloo and Wapping Warehouses are also of note. North of Pier Head with its magnificent ‘Three Graces’, Stanley Dock, Victoria Clock Tower and Salisbury Dock lie derelict, awaiting re-use. Link
Contemporary development — Shed 10 and The Cloud, Queens Wharf, Auckland Images: (from top) conventionsnz.co.nz ; queens_wharf.co.nz ; queens_wharf.co.nz ; upload.wikimedia.org
The proposed amendment bill raises significant concerns about the maintenance of current building stock, the character and identity of towns and cities, and the economic and financial wellbeing of provincial councils and their communities. More than 7000 buildings south of Timaru would require upgrading, at a cost of $1.77 billion over a 15-year period.
### ODT Online Mon, 24 Feb 2014 Councils aghast changes could cost billions
By Andrew Ashton
South Island councils are expected to offer a ”united front” in opposing new Government building regulations that could cost councils billions of dollars to implement.
Last year the Waitaki District Council joined the Dunedin and Invercargill city councils and the Central Otago, Clutha, Gore, Mackenzie, Southland, Timaru and Waimate district councils to present a joint submission on a discussion paper detailing proposed changes to the way earthquake-prone buildings are managed. Read more
Posted by Elizabeth Kerr
*Image: Town Halls and auxillary functions (clockwise from top left) Invercargill, Dunedin, Timaru and Oamaru – posterised by whatifdunedin
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.
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.
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.
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
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 Sketch of the new eight-gabled building. Montgomery Avenue elevation.
### ODT Online Sat, 4 Jan 2014 Museum to keep annex open all year
By John Gibb
Otago Museum is planning to keep its recently redeveloped H D Skinner Annex open to the public throughout the year, to allow increased community use. The recent ‘Heritage Lost and Found: Our Changing Cityscape‘ exhibition, displayed in the Postmaster Gallery at the annex, had been “very well received” by the community. This show, which was developed with the New Zealand Historic Places Trust, would now be reinstalled, and, in response to “public demand”, would return to public display from March. Read more
The significance of the recently closed exhibition for local residents and city visitors was perhaps, at the time, under-appreciated by the exhibiting parties. Dunedin City has formerly lacked such an insightful, rational and easily grasped interactive exhibition on the historical layers of the built environment – signposting the form and change to our cultural heritage landscape and urban context, for better or worse since early days.
This is a planned city (thank you, surveyor Charles Kettle) – we should always honour Dunedin’s uniqueness and intricate textures representatively and graphically; know the ‘before and afters’, the losses, additions and discoveries; be able to quickly recount how the cityscape has evolved, with just these type visual aids and new evolving IT. ‘Heritage Lost and Found’ exactly captures the spirit of where we are!
It’s great news the exhibition is set to continue – in a broader sense, the exhibition is something to build on and develop into the future as a permanent visitor display worthy of any sensitive location for public education. It can take special refreshes and add-ons as research into the merits and quirks of the architecture (our collective legacy) continues through the work of New Zealand Historic Places Trust, Dunedin City Council, Otago Museum, related city archives and collections, archaeologists, building owners, researchers, and professional architectural historians of the calibre of Peter Entwisle and David Murray. The combined effort, its coordination, contains so much power, potential and publishing opportunity. Boggles the mind, then there’s the overwhelming ‘pasture’ for design excellence to cover the brief…
Former Dunedin North Post Office before work started, photo by Benchill via Wikimedia Commons. (below) Proposed building redevelopment rendered by McCoy and Wixon Architects, 2012.
Links to earlier stories copied from another thread:
● ODT 11.7.13 Museum annex set for opening [after delays]
The $1.6 million redevelopment of the former Dunedin North post office as an Otago Museum exhibition area is nearing completion, and the first display is expected to open next month. Titled ‘Heritage Lost and Found: Our Changing Cityscape’, the first exhibition to be displayed at the annexe was developed in partnership with the New Zealand Historic Places Trust. The display would showcase “important aspects of Dunedin’s built heritage that have been demolished or redeveloped”.
Dunedin, March 2010. Benchill (Wikimedia Commons).
### ODT Online Fri, 3 Jan 2014 Streetlight ideas from US trip
By Debbie Porteous
Seeing the bright lights of some major American cities has given the man responsible for a street lighting revolution set for Dunedin some solid ideas. Dunedin city council roading maintenance engineer Peter Standring went to the United States last year to look at different technologies and visit cities that have started updating their street lighting. Read more
Puzzled. The news story says Peter Standring went to USA.
But lower down, it says (our emphasis):
“Los Angeles was in many ways the world leader in the procurement, installation and development of LED technology, and the group was “very lucky” to have had one and a-half hours of Mr Ebrahimian’s time, Mr Standring said.”
What group? A DCC group? (or a USA group he tagged along with?) What have we paid for? A 2013 trip for one person to Los Angeles, Durham, Racine, Chicago, Phoenix and San Francisco —or a trip for a group of staff and their wives?
[via Upstart Incubator (@UpstartDunedin) who tweeted at 9:29 AM on Tue, Dec 31, 2013]
### mckinsey.com September 2013 How to make a city great
By 2030, 60 percent of the world’s population will live in cities. That could mean great things for economic growth — if the cities handle their expansion wisely. Here’s how.
What makes a great city? It is a pressing question because by 2030, 5 billion people — 60 percent of the world’s population — will live in cities, compared with 3.6 billion today, turbocharging the world’s economic growth. Leaders in developing nations must cope with urbanisation on an unprecedented scale, while those in developed ones wrestle with aging infrastructures and stretched budgets. All are fighting to secure or maintain the competitiveness of their cities and the livelihoods of the people who live in them. And all are aware of the environmental legacy they will leave if they fail to find more sustainable, resource-efficient ways of managing these cities.
Explore six diverse initiatives aimed at making cities great places to live and work.
To understand the core processes and benchmarks that can transform cities into superior places to live and work, McKinsey developed and analysed a comprehensive database of urban economic, social, and environmental performance indicators. The research included interviewing 30 mayors and other leaders in city governments on four continents and synthesizing the findings from more than 80 case studies that sought to understand what city leaders did to improve processes and services from urban planning to financial management and social housing.
The result is How to make a city great (PDF, 2.1MB), a new report arguing that leaders who make important strides in improving their cities do three things really well:
█ They achieve smart growth. Smart growth identifies and nurtures the very best opportunities for growth, plans ways to cope with its demands, integrates environmental thinking, and ensures that all citizens enjoy a city’s prosperity. Good city leaders also think about regional growth because as a metropolis expands, they will need the cooperation of surrounding municipalities and regional service providers. Integrating the environment into economic decision making is vital to smart growth: cities must invest in infrastructure that reduces emissions, waste production, and water use, as well as in building high-density communities.
█ They do more with less. Great cities secure all revenues due, explore investment partnerships, embrace technology, make organisational changes that eliminate overlapping roles, and manage expenses. Successful city leaders have also learned that, if designed and executed well, private–public partnerships can be an essential element of smart growth, delivering lower-cost, higher-quality infrastructure and services.
█ They win support for change. Change is not easy, and its momentum can even attract opposition. Successful city leaders build a high-performing team of civil servants, create a working environment where all employees are accountable for their actions, and take every opportunity to forge a stakeholder consensus with the local population and business community. They take steps to recruit and retain top talent, emphasise collaboration, and train civil servants in the use of technology.
Mayors are only too aware that their tenure will be limited. But if longer-term plans are articulated — and gain popular support because of short-term successes — leaders can start a virtuous cycle that sustains and encourages a great urban environment. Link to source
*Image: commons.wikimedia.org – Central city view of Dunedin, New Zealand, at night from Signal Hill lookout. The dark horizontal band above the centre of the photo is the Town Belt. Some landmarks including First Church of Otago and the Dunedin Railway Station are visible near the centre. Photo by Benchill, 9 March 2010.
### ODT Online Sun, 20 Oct 2013 Wins and the odd loss in preservation game
By Rosie Manins
Owen Graham, of Dunedin, counts the preservation of the Athenaeum Library in the Octagon as one of the highlights of his six years as the Otago-Southland area manager for the New Zealand Historic Places Trust.
Longtime heritage advocate Owen Graham hopes his grandchildren will benefit from his work to preserve Otago’s history.
Mr Graham recently ended his six-year tenure as the Otago-Southland area manager for the New Zealand Historic Places Trust (NZHPT).
The Dunedin resident spent about 26 years before that in a similar role for the Department of Conservation, and said going into the corporate industry after more than three decades working for the Government was a refreshing change.
His work to advocate the values of heritage throughout the region was often met with opposition and was not without controversy. Read more
9.40 Norman Ledgerwood – Dunedin’s Victorian Architect
Norman Ledgerwood has just published a book about RA Lawson, the architect behind some of the country’s most important historical buildings. Scottish-born Lawson designed the First Presbyterian Church of Otago, Knox Presbyterian Church, Larnach Castle and the Dunedin Municipal Building. In his 28 years working in Dunedin from 1862 onwards, Lawson designed over 250 buildings, and his work also survives in many towns in Otago and Southland. R.A. Lawson: Victorian Architect of Dunedin, by Norman Ledgerwood, with photography by Graham Warman, is published by the Historic Cemeteries Conservation Trust of New Zealand. http://www.cemeteries.org.nz/
● Norman Ledgerwood ( 17′ 56″ )
Writer who chronicles the career of architect Robert Lawson, the man responsible for much of the historic skyline of Dunedin. Audio | Downloads: OggMP3
Publication: 25 September 2013.
From the publicity material . . .
Following the discovery of gold in Otago, Dunedin quickly grew to become the largest and richest city in New Zealand. Among the architects who influenced the young city was the Scottish architect, Robert Arthur Lawson.
Lawson became more than a leading architect of the day, he was deeply involved in the management and affairs of his beloved Presbyterian Church. Over a short period Lawson played a major role in the growth of Dunedin — taking it from a small township to a city of remarkable and enduring Victorian architecture.
Lawson’s most significant works — First Presbyterian Church of Otago, Knox Presbyterian Church, Larnach Castle, Otago Boys’ High School, Dunedin Municipal Building — take their place amongst the country’s most important historical buildings and grace Dunedin to this day, giving the city its distinctive
character, unique among New Zealand’s towns and cities.
In R.A.Lawson Norman Ledgerwood celebrates the life and career of Lawson, and Graham Warman’s photographs offer an elegant tour of the living legacy of Lawson’s most prominent buildings.
This handsome volume is printed on fine art paper and is richly illustrated throughout with historical and contemporary photographs, as well as many of Lawson’s architectural drawings.
What if? Dunedin…
A blog about the social and built environment of Dunedin, New Zealand
378 Great King Street, Dunedin (study)
### ODT Online Fri, 13 Sep 2013 Smaller University Bookshop on cards
By Vaughan Elder
After cutting staff numbers, the University Book Shop (UBS) is now considering reducing the size of its Great King St store.
Staff at the book shop were told in June to reapply for their jobs, as bookstore manager Phillippa Duffy looked at ways to reduce costs in the face of falling revenue. The Otago University Students’ Association-owned shop could be in for more change, with options being considered to reduce the shop’s size and split up its Great King St site.
”The iconic building is very much part of the UBS identity and we have no plans to move.”
The shop, especially now a second branch had been opened on campus this year, did not need to take up as much space as it did, Miss Duffy said. She met architects yesterday and options being examined, including what should be done with the space upstairs previously used to sell text-books and whether to keep the ”non-stop sale” upstairs or move it downstairs, freeing up space. Read more
Posted by Elizabeth Kerr
*Images: facebook.com – UBS re-imaged by Whatifdunedin
Work on the historic bank included strengthening the structure from 67% of building code requirements to 100% and installing a full fire sprinkler system.
205 Princes St – Old BNZ c.1888 (photo by FA Coxhead re-imaged)
”With Silver Fern [Farms] also moving into the old chief post office, it will give the Exchange momentum. The shops will do better and it will give the whole area more impetus.” –Michael van Aart
### ODT Online Sat, 27 Jul 2013 Refurbished bank building ready for law firm
By Nigel Benson
Dunedin’s former commercial heart – the Exchange – will pulsate with new life next week. With scaffolding removed and tradesmen gone, the 130-year-old Bank of New Zealand building in Princes St will become the new home to commercial law firm Van Aart Sycamore Lawyers on Wednesday. The occupation of the building, which is considered architect William Barnett Armson’s (1834-1883) masterpiece, follows an 18-month restoration project.
”We’re really looking forward to moving in,” firm director Michael van Aart said yesterday. “The building is dramatic and one of a kind. We have to celebrate the unique features we have here in Dunedin and heritage is certainly one of them. The Exchange was the heart of New Zealand’s economy when it was built.”
The building had been untenanted for the past 13 years. Van Aart Sycamore Lawyers had been based in Radio House for the past six years and the move would be good for the Exchange, Mr van Aart believed. Read more
Armson drawing no. 10, Princes St facade with secondary doorway
The banking desk designed by architect Robert A Lawson is held by Otago Settlers Museum; and an original ornamental fire surround from the bank is installed at Antrim House (NZHPT National Office) in Wellington (photographs in Barsby). It is thought one more fire surround went to another Wellington residence.
Proposed landscaping within the university’s heritage precinct. The St David St footbridge will be extended. [graphic via ODT]
### ODT Online Wed, 24 Jul 2013 Registry stretch of Leith set for summer revamp
By Rebecca Fox
The stretch of the Water of Leith in front of the University of Otago’s registry building looks set to get a multimillion-dollar makeover this summer. Students, staff and visitors could soon be able to walk along grassy verges next to lowered banks of the river, from the St David St footbridge to the Union St bridge, if a design plan is approved at an Otago Regional Council committee meeting tomorrow.
It has been about seven years since the council and the university signed an agreement to work together to produce a plan to suit the council’s need for flood protection and the university’s need for an aesthetic look in front of its historic registry building.
The council had budgeted $5.4 million over the next 12 months for the work. The university and the council are each to fund half the cost of the aesthetic work.
Among the work to be endorsed by the committee is the lowering of most of the concrete wall on the east bank, extending the footbridge, cutting down the west bank and landscaping and footpath redevelopment. Read more
### ODT Online Tue, 23 Jul 2013 Tai Ping badly damaged by fire
By Rebecca Fox
Well-known Rattray St food bar and restaurant, the Tai Ping, has been extensively damaged by fire. Smoke from the central Dunedin blaze, which was reported about 9.24pm, was so thick it set off smoke alarms in about six other buildings, some as far away as Moray Pl. Fire appliances had to be called in from Ravensbourne and Port Chalmers to help clear those buildings, while crews from three appliances and a turntable ladder truck put out the fire.
Tai Ping owner Henry Chin said his wife was at the back of the premises, preparing food, when the fryer at the front of the shop overheated and caught fire. ”She didn’t realise until it caught hold.” If there had been customers in the shop it would have been caught before it got to that stage, he said. He had gone home to pick up their children for tea. Read more
We’ve been keeping a watching brief on the buildings at 150-170 Rattray Street in past months, for good reason, now this. The old fryer trick when no-one’s about much . . .
BACKWARD STEP: Our environment is at risk if the Resource Management act is watered down.
### stuff.co.nz Last updated 05:00 21/07/2013 Gutting the RMA – it’s time to be concerned
By Anton Oliver
Source: Sunday Star-Times
OPINION | The Resource Management Act (RMA) has sadly become a much maligned and misunderstood piece of legislation: a kind of universal public punching bag – if mentioned in conversation, it is almost obligatory to put the slipper in. To most Kiwis it represents bureaucracy and inefficiency – pen-pushing do-gooders and paper shufflers who engage us in excessively long and costly processes that get in the way of us Kiwis doing stuff.
In fact the RMA – passed in 1991 – was a means of rectifying mistakes and providing at least some environmental and social integrity to development and planning process. It was recognised by legal minds to be a world-leading piece of legislation. It protected our environment and our economy based on the premise of sustainable resource management. What’s more, it was politically robust in that it received the blessing of both major parties.
It also gave New Zealanders a chance to be heard and it facilitated local decisions made by local people. While the country’s environmental indicators such as water quality and biodiversity loss have still gone backwards – the RMA has stemmed what would otherwise have been fatal haemorrhaging.
Similarly, the RMA has protected a set of fundamental Kiwi values: the notion of fairness and equity in regard to everyone having a right to their say; industry and other activities being required to take responsibility for avoiding, remedying or mitigating adverse environmental impacts; and developments being required to have regard to effects on such things as recreation, scenic values, private property rights, and the public’s access to rivers, lakes and beaches.
That’s all about to change.
The Government plans to alter the Act to give greater weight to economic development over environmental considerations, granting to itself the right to veto any issue. You don’t have to be legal-minded to see the impact of subtle word changes. While the consideration for the “benefits” of a project remains, gone are any references to the “costs”, making a cost-benefit analysis redundant because environmental “cost” is out of the equation.
Gone, too, are the words: “maintenance and enhancement of amenity values”. That’s basically any recreational activity – walking, running, swimming, fishing, kayaking. Who likes doing that stuff anyway? Thankfully the “importance and value of historic heritage” stays. But its cobber, “protection from inappropriate subdivision and development” gets the boot – making the first clause meaningless. And my personal favourite, “maintenance and enhancement of the quality of the environment” has been politely asked to leave. Clearly such an unruly clause has no place in a legal act that’s trying to protect the environment.
The Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment, Jan Wright, has a different interpretation. She thinks the changes “muddy the overwhelming focus of the RMA, to protect the environment, and risk turning it into an Economic Development Act”. Similarly alarmed, the architect of the RMA, Sir Geoffrey Palmer, concludes: “The [proposed changes] will significantly and seriously weaken the ability of the RMA to protect the natural environment and its recreational enjoyment by all New Zealanders.”
The changes also grant considerable new powers to central government, giving it the ability to take individual consent decisions away from local councils and place them in a new national body. The changes go further still, by allowing government the right to insert provisions in local council plans without any consultation. Read more
● Former All Black Anton Oliver is an ambassador for Water Conservation Order NZ.
### Citiwire.net Fri, July 5, 2013 Organic Renewal: St Joe’s Story
By Roberta Brandes Gratz
In the mid- and late 1960s, while many cities and towns were still tearing their hearts out for the false promises of urban renewal, all sorts of people, young and old, saw the beauty, value and promise of gracious living in historic buildings in the places left behind by suburban development. From San Francisco to Louisville to Providence to Brooklyn to St Louis and beyond, urban pioneers stripped, cleaned and restored the irreplaceable artifacts of bygone eras of quality and taste.
Those pioneers were the vanguard of the regeneration of neighbourhoods and cities that, today, many people do not remember were considered a blighted lost cause. Washington’s Georgetown. Park Slope in Brooklyn. King William in San Antonio. The Garden District in New Orleans. The Victorian Districts of San Francisco and Savannah. Who remembers that those neighbourhoods were once considered “blighted,” over, finished?
Surely, this is the most compelling storyline of the second half of the last century. The rebirth of today’s thriving cities started with the rediscovery of yesterday’s discards. That, as they say, is history. But history has a funny way of repeating itself. Today, one finds examples of that organic renewal process re-emerging.
Many cities have lost more than what remains of the authentic architecture on which to build a new momentum. Miraculously, one that survives with an amazing rich legacy to work with is St Joseph, Mo.
Set on a bend in the Missouri River and almost equidistant from Kansas City and Omaha, St Joseph was a railroad, lumber and banking centre and, most importantly, the last full provisioning point for the Westward Expansion in the mid-nineteenth century. It’s the birthplace of the Pony Express, the site of Jesse James’ demise, home of Stetson Hat, Saltine crackers and Aunt Jemima.
St Joseph is still home to a diverse assortment of agriculture-related industry. The past and present combine to offer new opportunities, and a small but growing group of adventurous entrepreneurs appear to be present to lead the way, like the urban pioneers of 50 years ago. Read more
● Roberta Brandes Gratz is an urban critic and author of The Battle For Gotham: New York In the Shadow of Robert Moses and Jane Jacobs, 2010, Nation Books.
Dunedin City Council – Media Release
Grants Scheme for Central City Heritage Buildings
This item was published on 05 Jul 2013.
The DCC now has $90,000 available in grants for heritage building re-use projects in Princes Street and areas adjoining the Warehouse Precinct. Like the Warehouse Precinct scheme, this new grant scheme is focused on a specific geographic area to facilitate and expand the regeneration occurring there already. There has been good success with targeted incentive schemes in the Warehouse Precinct. Expanding into the areas around it recognises that the precinct is not an island, but is integrated with the areas around in and with the central city as a whole.
There is already some great work stirring regeneration in the area and it is important we are also poised to assist and encourage others to participate in this regeneration of the area south of the Octagon.
Applications can be made for support for a range of activities, from earthquake strengthening and facade restoration to assistance for businesses and creative industries in the area. The scheme allows building owners to build on the growing positive private sector re-use and investment in the area, such as the Chief Post Office, former BNZ and Standard Building restoration projects already or soon to be underway.
The scheme is supported by Resene Paints which is offering discounts on paint and free colour advice. Resene Otago Trade Representative Henry Van Turnhout says, “We are proud to be offering our support to another DCC area-based project, as we have for King Edward St and the Warehouse Precinct. We are also offering free assistance with colour selection as we recognise how greatly appropriate colour choice can influence the way a building – and an area – looks.”
Taking an area-based approach to regeneration and incentives encourages businesses and building owners to work together and to recognise the benefits for the entire area of re-using or improving their building.
Applications are open immediately, on a first come first served basis. Application forms will be sent to building owners, residents and businesses owners in the next week and are at www.dunedin.govt.nz/heritage
Last year’s Warehouse Precinct grants scheme supported 11 re-use projects in the area. Information about these is available at here.
Contact Glen Hazelton, DCC Policy Planner on 477 4000.
Dunedin. In future years, the council plans to use this approach in other parts of the central city and beyond.
Posted by Elizabeth Kerr
*Images: (from top) commons.wikimedia.org Tim Kiser – St Joseph, Missouri (2006): Buchanan County Courthouse, Downtown cnr Francis St and North 4th St, Downtown viewed from the east near cnr 10th and Charles. Dunedin: South Princes St (2007 watercolour by Elizabeth Gorden-Werner), former Gresham Hotel at Queens Gardens, Speight’s (Lion Breweries) on Rattray St; commons.wikimedia.org Benchill – Dunedin Central Fire Station, Castle St.
### ODT Online Sat, 22 Jun 2013 Post office conversion ready to go
By Hamish McNeilly
A multimillion-dollar project to transform the former Dunedin chief post office has been delivered. Work on converting the 10-storey heritage building into a 120-apartment hotel and office space for Silver Fern Farms and other commercial tenants could begin within weeks.
Building owner Geoff Thomson, of Distinction Hotels, told the Otago Daily Times: ”I just love the building and it was just about trying to find a way to make it stack up”.
Arrow International would spearhead the fit-out of the office space and hotel and the construction of a multilevel car park at the rear of the building. The four-star plus Distinction Dunedin hotel project would cost more than $15 million, but those involved with the project declined to confirm a figure.
However, the anchor tenancy of Silver Fern Farms, which would occupy the first two floors, and unnamed commercial tenants the third floor, would help to ”underpin the building”, Mr Thomson said.
The commercial floors would be fitted out by the end of the year. Construction of a three-storey car park on its Bond St car park at the rear of the building would also be done by then. Designs had yet to be finalised for the remaining seven floors of the hotel apartments. Read more
### ODT Online Thu, 30 May 2013 $358m vote of confidence
By Vaughan Elder
The figure the university has earmarked for construction, from last year until 2020, was revealed in the university’s priority development plan, obtained by the Otago Daily Times under the Official Information Act. The plan includes 22 projects, 20 of which are in Dunedin. The university declined to reveal the budgets for individual projects, citing commercial sensitivity, but put the total budget for the work at $357.8 million.
University chief operating officer John Patrick said the projects were included in the plan for a number of reasons, including to accommodate growth, to improve building layout and efficiency and health and safety.
Asked how the university could afford such a large amount of work, given what it had previously described as a ”difficult” funding environment, Mr Patrick said: ”The University of Otago has a fiscal strategy that is designed to provide funding for capital development.” Read more
New Zealand Historic Places Trust RA Lawson Lecture
Ian Athfield — “Heritage Starts with a Great Idea Tomorrow”
Thoughts on community and heritage
New Zealand Historic Places Trust and New Zealand Institute of Architects – Southern Branch are co-sponsoring the public talk by one of New Zealand’s most well-known architects, Ian Athfield
Panel on stage - Lawrie Forbes (property developer), Glen Hazelton (DCC urban design), Elizabeth Kerr (architecture advocate), Stephen Macknight (structural engineer)
When: Friday 26 April 2013 at 7:30 pm
Where: University of Otago, St David Lecture Theatre
Union Street East, Dunedin
Ian Athfield is a prominent New Zealand architect who over his 40+ year career has contributed significantly to the built environment of New Zealand. He has a strong interest in urban design, landscape and the continuing craft of architecture with an emphasis on building off the existing physical environment.
While first establishing a reputation through innovative housing, Athfield is renowned for his big picture thinking in both urban and rural environments. He has been involved in the creation of many of New Zealand’s most successful urban spaces, landscapes, and buildings. His work continues to stretch across all scales from furniture and public sculpture to architecture, landscape, and urban design; and across type from domestic to civic.
Athfield’s contribution to architecture has received widespread recognition and not only earned his practice numerous design awards but earned him the 2004 NZIA Gold Medal, an honorary Doctorate in Literature from Victoria University and in 1996 the New Zealand Government made him a Companion to the New Zealand Order of Merit.
Ian Athfield is currently serving on the Board of The New Zealand Historic Places Trust, and as a member of the NZHPT Maori Heritage Council.
The doors don’t open to the public until Thursday, but the redeveloped Dunedin Centre has already got bookings through until May 2015.
Some large events are already booked, including national and international conferences such as the Ingenium Conference and the 5th Global Botanic Gardens Congress. There are also concert bookings by the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, Chamber Music New Zealand and the Southern Sinfonia, as well as bookings for school formals, graduations, weddings and private functions.
Invited guests will join Mayor of Dunedin Dave Cull in a low-key civic ceremony on Wednesday morning to celebrate the Dunedin Centre’s new lease of life. The first performance will be the Dunedin RSA Choir performance in the Town Hall on Anzac Day.
Mr Cull says, “The Dunedin Centre complex is very much an events centrepiece for our city and it’s great to see there are a number of bookings already.”
About $45 million has been spent over several years upgrading and renovating the existing Dunedin Centre/Town Hall and Municipal Chambers (work on the latter was completed in August 2011). The entire complex is now known as the Dunedin Centre.
Key elements of the overall upgrade include linkages between all buildings to enable people to move easily within what is now an integrated convention centre. There will be lift access to all Dunedin Centre and Town Hall floors, including the Town Hall ceiling, as well as major technology upgrades, new kitchen facilities, new conference/function spaces and new toilets. Another key feature of the redevelopment is a raft of sophisticated behind-the-scenes improvements, which mean the buildings now meet regulations in areas such as fire protection, health and safety, ventilation and access. Read more
### ODT Online Sun, 21 Apr 2013 Council says heritage buildings under threat
By Chris Morris
Important heritage buildings in Dunedin could be lost if proposed changes to the Resource Management Act (RMA) are confirmed, the Dunedin City Council says. The council’s concerns about historic architectural losses were articulated in a submission to the Ministry for the Environment, in response to a raft of proposed RMA changes recently unveiled by Environment Minister Amy Adams.
Proposed changes included the Resource Reform Management Bill, introduced last December, which was before a select committee and had closed a call for public submissions. Among the proposals was the removal of a reference to the ”protection of” historic heritage, which would be replaced with wording requiring recognition of, and provision for, ”the importance and value” of historic heritage.
”Important heritage buildings valued by the community could be lost when insignificant weight is given both to the importance of heritage to Dunedin’s residents, and to the growing significance of the city’s buildings on a national and international level, following the losses in Christchurch.”
Councillors have already been warned uncertainty over key new phrases proposed for the RMA might need to be tested in the courts, and the council’s submission warned the change ”diminishes the importance of historic heritage”. Read more
### stuff.co.nz Last updated 05:00 21/04/2013 City wears its history with pride
By Rosemary McLeod
How can Dunedin fashion have a reputation for Gothic gloom, when early autumn showcases clear skies and a harbour like pale-blue glass and unexpected sunshine roasts me in my pessimistic woollies? The city has turned on idyllic weather for iD Dunedin Fashion Week, from March 10 to 17.
With barely a whisper of wind, reddening leaves dangle in the city’s parks and gardens as if by spider threads, viburnums are a mass of clear red berries, and the hillside of 19th-century stone and brick houses overlooking town declares a rooted solidity among greenery, even if we have all become nervous of such buildings because of what happened in that other city.
Since havoc was wreaked on Christchurch, Dunedin could seem more remote than ever, an add-on at the bottom of that big island, but it has always had its own distinct character and its old buildings are integral to that.
Before Auckland, this was where money was, and lots of it. It was the financial and population hub of the country and it was built to last long before nonsense like leaky homes. Dunedin is what Auckland isn’t.
Protecting Dunedin’s design heritage
If I had my way, it would have a vast dome over it, keeping it like this for posterity, because we have nothing else like it and will never create it again.
I could go on about the past, because it’s all around you in Dunedin, a city with a main street still at its heart, where you can still do your shopping instead of driving to suburban malls, where the local privately owned newspaper seems untouched by media challenges elsewhere and where I’ve trawled the second-hand shops over the years and made great discoveries.
Where populations stay put, so does their stuff. You dig here for a different kind of gold than the prospectors, who brought wealth here 150-odd years ago, but in its own way it’s just as exciting.
There are two museums and one public art gallery, all thriving, for a population of about 120,000. Independent retailers still exist on the main street. There are no vulgar high-rise buildings, although a developer desperately wants to build a 40-storeyed hotel. Yet in the midst of its rather smug history, Dunedin is held together not by the past but the future. Education is its core business.
Like a wise old parent, it puts up with the antics of the students so vital to its economy, stopping short of hysterics when they really put tolerance to the test, which is why, as its Fashion Week shows, Dunedin isn’t fusty. Read more
● Rosemary McLeod was hosted by Tourism Dunedin.
Posted by Elizabeth Kerr
Images: Dunedin Railway Station via nakedbus.com (top), craiglawson.net (middle), seenindunedin.co.nz (bottom); Rosemary McLeod via bayofplentytimes.co.nz
New Zealand Historic Places Trust and New Zealand Society of Earthquake Engineering public talk
Professor Claudio Modena — “Retrofit of stone masonry buildings”
Italian research and practice
The New Zealand Historic Places Trust (NZHPT) and the New Zealand Society for Earthquake Engineering (NZSEE) present a public talk by Italian earthquake engineering academic and consultant, Professor Claudio Modena.
When: Wednesday 1 May 2013 at 5:30 pm
Where: University of Otago, Quad 2 Lecture Theatre
1st floor Geology Building, Dunedin
Claudio Modena is a Professor of Structural Engineering at the University of Padova, Italy (1994–). He has presented the course of “Structural Problems of Monumental Historical Heritage” in Architectural and Building Engineering and is Director of the Masters course in ‘Structural Restoration of Historic Monuments and Buildings’.
Author of over 200 papers in international journals and attendances at conferences, Claudio Modena is interested in analysis and design of construction, with particular attention on:
- masonry of historical and monumental structures
- strengthening/retrofitting in seismic areas
- retrofitting of metal and masonry arch bridges, and
- safety evaluations.
The professor has maintained a balance between academic and practical experience, combining with mutual benefit both research work and technical consulting. Most of his consulting activity is in the field of restoration and conservation of historic masonry structures.
Claudio Modena is a member of several technical and scientific committees: Cultural Heritage Ministry, Protection of Cultural Heritage from Seismic Hazard Committee. He is currently a member of the High Risks Committee – Seismic Risk Sector of the national Civil Protection Agency and of the special committee established by the Ministry of Infrastructures and Public Works for re-drafting the national codes system related to structural safety of both new and existing structures.
Visit this website for more information about the New Zealand Society for Earthquake Engineering Incwww.nzsee.org.nz
Wharf Street Hotel: time for some answers
By Grahame Sydney
With the DCC’s Resource Consent panel now sitting on its evidence, the full Council prevented from commenting on the proposal, and Dunedin ironically about to indulge in a celebration of its invaluable built heritage, isn’t it time a few things were clarified for the Dunedin public ? Time for a few truths to be told, instead of the shamefully dishonest propaganda from the promoters of the Wharf Street Hotel ?
Let’s start with the promotional video released on May 11, 2012 and voiced on behalf of his clients by Steve Rodgers of “Betterways Advisory”.
This sophisticated promo is a must-watch for all Dunedin residents, because within its 3 minute 49 second running time they will discover a Dunedin totally unlike the one they know: this is a fantasy Dunedin, whose tranquil waterfront bears no resemblance whatever to the facts. It is neat and orderly, blessed with open park spaces, and tied to its wharfs are luxury yachts and container ships. Rows of new, unrecognisable buildings have miraculously appeared behind every view of the towering glass monolith, and as the CGI camera sweeps across this fictional CBD towards the Stadium (curiously glimpsed only from overhead) and down its oddly-scaled roadways citizens will puzzle to identify any of the many buildings occupying the land in the vicinity of the Railway Station.
Perhaps the developers have bolder plans than a single hotel ? Certainly the Dunedin presented in this video sales pitch is not today’s city. It’s a scrubbed up, redesigned, blatantly re-scaled quasi-Auckland Viaduct vision in which the hideous proportions of the hotel appear more comfortable and the truth is deliberately ignored.
As you watch, hit the Pause button at 33 seconds, at 53, at 1.14, at 1.21, at 1.39, at 2.22….. what ARE those buildings ? Where did they come from ? Have I been asleep these last decades ? Am I in the right city here ? Would someone please be honest here ?
Having extolled the virtues of the city’s marvellous heritage buildings, and noting that they are one of the major reasons why “tourists love this city”, Mr Rodgers proceeds to extol the virtues of “my clients’ grand design”, which so brutally desecrates that heritage.
Who are these visionary clients, so hellbent on bestowing gifts ? We are slowly learning: the “Otago Businesswoman” behind the proposal is an ex-accountant locally, now consultant and wine promoter living in Queenstown. Ms Song has the good fortune to be married to Ping Cao, reportedly “one of China’s top construction company owners”. That marriage, incidentally, took place in another New Zealand city with which she reported fell instantly in love: Nelson. No “gifts” for Nelson, however. How fickle is love.
Being pushed forward now as the public face of the project, Ms Song’s repeated professions of love for Dunedin are no substitute for expertise, or indeed sensitivity. It is evident she and her entrepreneur husband belong to the camp which believes Dunedin’s Victorian and Edwardian built heritage has less appeal than the monstrously ugly Dunedin Stadium, and that they anticipate a brighter future for the city when more of the same charmless, cheap, dated design has overwhelmed the city’s essential historic character.
Far too many unanswered questions remain, and honest answers would be enlightening. Continue reading →