Tag Archives: Landscape

Dezeen: Harbin Opera House, north east China | MAD

Harbin Opera House by MAD Architects_Beijing - aerial 1 [photo Hufton + Crow]Harbin Opera House by MAD Architects_Beijing - exterior 2 [photo Adam Mørk]Harbin Opera House by MAD Architects_Beijing - exterior 3 [photo Hufton + Crow]

### dezeen.com 16 December 2015
MAD’s sinuous Harbin Opera House completes in north-east China
Beijing studio MAD has completed an opera house in the Chinese city of Harbin, featuring an undulating form that wraps two concert halls and a huge public plaza. The opera house is the first and largest building that MAD has designed as part of Harbin Cultural Island, a major new arts complex among the wetlands of the Songhua River. The 79,000-square-metre building features a three-petalled plan. One houses a grand theatre with space for up to 1,600 visitors, while the other is a more intimate performance space for an audience of 400. The building is designed to mirror the sinuous curves of the marsh landscape, with an exterior of smooth white aluminium panels and glass. These contrast with the rooftops, where a textured surface of ice-inspired glass pyramids allows light in from above. According to MAD, the building is designed “in response to the force and spirit of the northern city’s untamed wilderness and frigid climate”. “We envision Harbin Opera House as a cultural centre of the future – a tremendous performance venue, as well as a dramatic public space that embodies the integration of human, art and the city identity, while synergistically blending with the surrounding nature,” said studio founder Ma Yansong.

MAD architects [website homepage i-mad.com 26.12.15]

█ MAD Architects: http://www.i-mad.com/

MAD has designed several cultural buildings, including an artificial island of art caves, an icicle-shaped wood sculpture museum also in Harbin and Chicago’s proposed George Lucas Museum. Curved surfaces are a recurring theme through them all, picking up Ma’s ambition for a new style of architecture, referencing the landscapes of traditional Chinese paintings.

“We treat architecture as a landscape,” he told Dezeen in an interview last year.

Harbin Opera House by MAD Architects_Beijing - interior 1 [photo Adam Mørk]

The smooth surfaces of the opera house’s exterior continue inside.
Read more + Images

█ Photography by Adam Mørk and Hufton + Crow.

Harbin Opera House by MAD Architects_Beijing [photo Hufton + Crow]

Related stories:
China Wood Sculpture Museum by MAD
MAD reveals concept design for George Lucas’ Chicago art museum
MAD Architects unveils slimmed-down design for Lucas Museum in Chicago

Related movie:
MAD wants to “invent a new typology” for high-rise architecture, says Ma Yansong
In this exclusive video interview filmed in Venice, Ma Yansong of Chinese architects MAD explains his concept for a “shan-shui city”, a high density urban development inspired by traditional Chinese paintings of mountain ranges.

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

Harbin Opera House by MAD Architects_Beijing - plaza 1 [photo Adam Mørk]Harbin Opera House by MAD Architects_Beijing - exterior detail 1 [photo Hufton + Crow]

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Significant tree: 28 Argyle Street Mosgiel – LUC-2015-296

As a community board member and a businessman-resident, Martin Dillon, it seems, has set a precedent for removal of (District Plan listed) Significant Trees from the streets of Mosgiel township. Not only this, his community board supports the destruction of many community-established trees at Mosgiel’s Memorial Gardens – to make way for a new swimming pool complex. Earlier this year the community board was ultimately responsible for destruction of the community’s beautification scheme at Gladstone Road (railway corridor).
That’s one hell of a lot of greenery you’ve seen wiped off the planet, Mr Dillon.
SHAME ON YOU

ANOTHER APPLICATION FOR REMOVAL – A COPPER BEECH THIS TIME
The tree is prettier than the freaking house beside it.

28 Argyle Street Mosgiel - LUC-2015-296 (significant tree) 3aSignificant tree – 28 Argyle Street Mosgiel – LUC-2015-296
Closes: 28/08/2015

Notification of Application for a Resource Consent – Under Section 93(2) of the Resource Management Act 1991.
The Dunedin City Council has received the following application for Resource Consent:

Application description
To remove a tree that is listed in the Dunedin City District Plan under Schedule 25.3 as T151 (Copper Beech).

Application documents
LUC-2015-296 – Public notice (PDF, 34.6 KB)
This document is the Public Notice for Resource Consent application LUC-2015-296

LUC-2015-296 – Submission 13 form (PDF, 78.2 KB)
This document can be used to make a submission regarding Resource Consent application LUC-2015-296

LUC-2015-296 – Application (PDF, 530.0 KB)
This document is a scanned copy of the application for resource consent LUC-2015-296

Notified resource consent details
Closing date: 28/08/2015
Consent number: Significant tree – 28 Argyle Street Mosgiel – LUC-2015-296

Name of applicant: M J Sproule & J A Maxwell

Location of site: 28 Argyle Street, Mosgiel, being that land legally described as Lot 3 Deposited Plan, 470637 held in Computer Freehold Register 636380

Address for service: M J Sproule & J A Maxwell, 34A Ayr Street, Mosgiel 9024

Online submissions: Online submission form

http://www.dunedin.govt.nz/council-online/notified-resource-consents/current-consultation/significant-tree-28-argyle-street-Mosgiel

LUC-2015-296 [excerpts from application]

28 Argyle Street Mosgiel - LUC-2015-296 (significant tree)

28 Argyle Street Mosgiel - LUC-2015-296 (significant tree) 1

DCC on Significant Trees
Dunedin City District Plan — Schedule 25.3 Significant Trees (PDF, 275.6 KB)

Related Posts and Comments:
24.7.15 Hands off Mosgiel Memorial Gardens
20.3.15 DESTROYED, beautification project —Railway corridor, Gladstone Road
14.12.14 Significant Tree: 23 Church St, Mosgiel [Applicant: M L & M C Dillon]
15.5.14 Significant Tree: 28A Heriot Row
22.2.13 DCC: Significant Trees

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

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Tom McLean on works by Peter Nicholls #sculpture

Tom McLean [otago.ac.nz] 1Late last year Dr Thomas (Tom) McLean (pictured) published an article on some recent works of New Zealand sculptor Peter Nicholls. Dr McLean, a senior lecturer, teaches English at the University of Otago, but also writes on art for the US blogsite The Migrationist. Peter Nicholls suggested I would be interested in the article, and yesterday Dr McLean forwarded the link. The writing is briefly sampled in the hope you’ll pleasure in reading and sharing the full article.

The Migrationist: A collaborative international migration blog
Culture & Integration, Personal Stories
Immigrant Woods
December 13, 2013 · by Tom McLean · in Culture & Integration, Personal Stories

My mate Pete and I had just left our Saturday morning coffee gathering when we noticed a tremble of dark feathers in the street. A female blackbird (which in fact is brown) was not doing well. Unable to fly, she had struggled through the grass and stumbled down the curb into the road. I picked her up and placed her under a tree; but this only saved her from cars or bikes. So what to do? Abandoning her to nature seemed logical but heartless. I found a cardboard box, and Pete got his car. Continues/. . .
Art helps us think beyond life’s cardboard box, and as I reflected on my blackbird encounter, the work of Peter Nicholls came to mind. Nicholls’s large sculptures are found in every major New Zealand collection. Bringing together disparate materials, his works are all about movement and encounters: set firmly in place, they encourage the participant (not simply a viewer) to make a journey. One must walk beside or pass through his large works to fully engage with them. His 2008 retrospective at the Dunedin Public Art Gallery was appropriately titled Journeywork, and it included long, stream-like sculptures in wood and metal that seem to flow along the floor. While his works show fine craftsmanship, they are not illusionary; they do not hide the effort that went into them. Nor do they suggest a simple return to nature: those elongated works might suggest a highway as much as a bloodstream or river. Even his most photographed work, Tomo (2005, Connells Bay Sculpture Park), is complex: is it the visualisation of a forest’s lifeblood, or a human imposition on nature? A sinewy marriage of art and nature, or a Formula 1 racetrack through an idyllic landscape?
Read the full article

peter-nicholls-tomo-2005-detail-connells-bay-sculpture-park-peter-nicholls-11 (1)Tomo 2005 (detail), Connells Bay Sculpture Park. Image: Peter Nicholls

The Migrationist is an international, collaborative academic/professional blog designed to promote public discourse informed by academics and professionals who focus on issues surrounding migration, refugees, and human trafficking. The blog is intended as a medium for intelligent discourse on migration issues. The intent is to bring this discussion out of academia and into an accessible forum for anyone who is interested in migration. The Migrationist posts weekly.
The blog was founded in September 2012 by co-editors Amy Grenier and Lali Foster, former M.A. Migration Studies students at University of Sussex in Brighton, United Kingdom. They currently have regular contributors from all over the world and are always looking for regular and guest contributors.

█ Tom McLean’s latest post at The Immigrationist:
The Artist as Global Citizen: Cai Guo-Qiang in Brisbane January 10, 2014
In the mid 1990s I taught English in Xiamen, a coastal city in southern China. Xiamen (also known as Amoy) has a lovely subtropical climate, and today it’s a favourite holiday spot among the Chinese. But from 1842 to the Second World War, it was a treaty port. After the First Opium War, the British took over Hong Kong and forced China to allow foreign consulates to be built… Cont/

More about Tom McLean

Peter Nicholls 2009 1 [odt.co.nz]Peter Nicholls was born in Wanganui, educated at the Canterbury University School of Fine Arts, Auckland Teachers’ College, Elam School of Fine Arts, and gained a Masters in Sculpture at the University of Wisconsin at Superior, USA. His sculptures from the 1970s and 1980s are noted for their amalgam of figural, landscape and architectural abstraction, and energized dynamics in large timber works. It was tectonic and universal rather than site specific. From 1990 it became laterally configured, river hugging and site/place specific, often interrogating historic impositions of order on primal land. Nicholls has numerous large-scale works in private and public collections internationally. http://www.peternicholls.co.nz/

Otago Sculpture Trust

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

*Image: odt.co.nz – Peter Nicholls (portrait detail)

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Town Belt Traverse | Sunday 3 Nov

Originally published on October 14, 2013.

TownBeltTraverse 1This year is the 125th anniversary of the foundation of
the Dunedin Amenities Society.

The Town Belt plays a special role in our history and is one of New Zealand’s oldest and most unique landscape, recreational and biodiversity assets.

The Society is holding the Town Belt Traverse on Sunday 3 November as a self-guided 7.9 km walk that takes in just a few of the historical and natural highlights of this unique area.

This is a family friendly non-competitive event designed for people to re-acquaint themselves with the Town Belt and enjoy its beauty.

The generosity of many local businesses means the Society has some great prizes to give away for those who take part and complete the walk.

So get your walking shoes, grab your dog lead or your pram and do the Town Belt Traverse with your friends and family.

Check this link for the details…..

Paul Pope
DAS website editor

———
The Dunedin Amenities Society established in 1888 is New Zealand’s oldest environmental society.

Visit our website www.dunedin-amenities-society.org.nz
Follow the Society on Twitter
Visit the Society on Facebook

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

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‘Heartbreak Hotel’ —Grahame Sydney

Received Thursday, 18 April 2013 11:23 a.m.

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.

Dunedin eNZed May 13, 2012
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BhiKqnDT06M

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

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Proposed hotel, 41 Wharf Street – indicative landscape effects

The following images (scans of scans…) were supplied by Madeleine Lamont in submission on application LUC-2012-212. The text of Madeleine’s submission has been lightly edited for posting. Her submission as lodged (No. 422) can be viewed here: Submissions 401 to 509 (PDF, 6.9 MB).

1. View from Mornington Park, off Eglinton Rd between Stafford and High Sts

2. (zoom) View from Mornington Park, off Eglinton Rd

3. View from Bellevue St, Belleknowes, just below Highgate

4. View from Adam St, near Russell St, City Rise

Submission to Dunedin City Council
Re: Public Notice of application for Resource Consent Section 95A Resource Management Act 1991
Resource Consent Application No: LUC-2012-212
Name of Applicant: Betterways Advisory Limited
Location of Site: 41 Wharf Street, Dunedin, being the land legally described as
Lot 3 Deposited Plan 25158, held in Computer Freehold
Register OT17A/1107.

I submit in the strongest terms, that resource consent for the building of the proposed hotel structure on the above site, NOT BE GRANTED because of the structure’s significant, detrimental effects on the city landscape.

If the applicant had had the courtesy to supply comprehensive spatial design drawings of this structure in the context of the whole city, it would be obvious to all how inappropriate in SCALE this structure is. At 96m in elevation, the structure overbears the entire city and harbour basin, obstructing the entire city centre’s experience of the harbour, the peninsula and Dunedin’s nestling hills, offering an absurd conflict with the human scale and nature of both the historic and current character of city structures and city activities.

Of greatest concern are the western and eastern elevations of the structure. I submit Photo 1 taken from the lookout in Mornington Park, a view celebrated by Dunedin artists numerous times over the years, by visitors to the city and of course, by the hundreds of Dunedin households. The approximate silhouette of the proposed structure is drawn in to show the obstructive nature and ‘selfish’ size and position of the hotel. The scale of the building is completely inappropriate. Photo 2 is from the same position, zoomed in and marked with the Wharf St railway lighting tower measured at 35m used to indicate the dominance of the proposed 96.3m hotel structure. The eastern elevation from the peninsula suburbs too, will experience the overscale of the building against the city and hill suburbs.

Photo 3 taken, on zoom from Bellevue Street, Belleknowes, again includes the structure’s silhouette scaled off the marked rail light tower. If the cladding of the proposed tower is mainly glass, with it being so high above the city, the western sun will create issues of sun strike on roads leading down from the suburbs, and obviously, serious effects and obstruction to the views enjoyed by thousands of households.

Photo 4 is from lower down the Belleknowes spur, from Adam Street, with an estimated, but conservative profile (photo lacks a known structure to measure off) drawn. Again the aesthetic values and scale of the harbour basin are entirely offended by an ill considered structure.

What concerns me most about this application for resource consent to build an inappropriate structure (by position and scale), is the inadequacy of the supplied application documents to present the structure in the context of the city. Widely published images are fantasy, such as an elevated, high angle view from well above the harbour, attempting to diminish the perceived size of the structure. The only humans to view the structure from this angle, position and elevation may be those wealthy enough to, by helicopter. These images are notable for their lack of contextual structures that make, in fact, the character of Dunedin. Buildings of 2, 3 or more storeys set the scale appropriate for development and are absent from the application documents precisely to obscure the real affect this structure will have on the city’s landscape and its aesthetic values. Design consultancy information only focuses on the very immediate surroundings and contains no spatial plan for this giant structure in the context of the city. I have attempted to show how 120 degrees of the city centre and its hill suburbs will have their harbour and peninsula views and joy of place seriously obstructed. The peninsula suburbs will view a structure absurdly contradicting the city structures and rounded hill suburbs. All incoming transport links, as a special feature of this city, enjoy delightful revelation of the ‘great little city’, its harbour and the waters of the Pacific. These heartening views enjoyed by all, citizen and visitor, will be irretrievable spoiled and dominated by a tower designed (and possibly built) for a city the scale of Hong Kong, Kuala Lumpur or Singapore.

Lastly, the attempt at this sort of inappropriate development is an affront to the careful planning [of] the city’s forefathers to create an egalitarian community enjoying the delightful natural environment Dunedin offers. The proposed structure stands at 96m. This is only a matter of metres below the elevation of much of the Green Belt. Jubilee Park is at a 100m elevation. The Green Belt designed and implemented so long ago and maintained for the benefit of all, is carefully placed so that wherever a person stands in the city centre they can look up the hills to the skyline and see only green, the suburbs beyond obscured by the angle of view. This creates a very special intimate city, a human scaled city, for the benefit and edification of those living or visiting here. This, in conjunction with historical character (now lost in Christchurch), a rich, intelligent, creative and industrious community is what makes Dunedin a destination, a special, memorable place that with sympathetic development will continue to attract visitors and citizens who will not find the likes, elsewhere in the world. Structures like the proposed hotel are notable for being the same the world over. In being built it will change the very character of the place visitors will be seeking to experience.

I submit in the strongest terms that the Dunedin City Council turn down this application for resource consent and I suggest that the non compliance of this application to the requirements of the Resource Management Act to protect the amenity, aesthetic and cultural values and wellbeing of the people of Dunedin will bring this matter to the Environment Court.

Yours sincerely

Madeleine Lamont
B. Landscape Architecture (Hons), Lincoln University

Compare these indicative images to those prepared by Truescape of Christchurch for the Applicant:

LUC-2012-212 12. Viewpoint booklet
(PDF, 3.4MB)
This document is a scanned copy of the application for resource consent

Related Posts:
20.11.12 City planner’s report recommends against consent for hotel
10.11.12 Dunedin Hotel, 41 Wharf Street (LUC 2012-212)
8.9.12 Waterfront Hotel #Dunedin (Applicant names?)
7.9.12 Waterfront hotel: DCC to notify resource consent application
16.5.12 Dunedin Hotel

The Applicant, Betterways Advisory Limited, gets one and a half days for presentation to the hearing committee (Cr Colin Weatherall, Cr Andrew Noone, Cr Kate Wilson, and independent commissioner John Lumsden). Submitters have been allowed ten minutes each. Written communication from City Planning makes no time allowance for submitters wishing to use experts.

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

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DUNEDIN: We’re short(!) but here is some UK nous…

Dunedin City has New Zealand’s largest historic heritage resource.

The following is taken from three pages of the English Heritage HELM Historic Environment Local Management website:

1. Tall Buildings
2. Regeneration
3. Building in Context

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TALL BUILDINGS

Guidance on tall buildings update
The English Heritage and Design Council CABE 2007 joint Guidance on tall buildings is a material consideration in the determination of planning applications for tall buildings.

Guidance on tall buildings
Guidance on Tall Buildings sets out how English Heritage and Design Council CABE evaluate and consider proposals for tall buildings. It also offers advice on good practice in relation to tall buildings in the planning process. Both organisations recommend that local planning authorities use it to inform policy making and to evaluate planning applications for tall buildings where the appropriate policies are not yet in place and the Government has endorsed this guidance.

This revised version was endorsed by Government on 26 July 2007. The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government (Mr. Iain Wright) said:
“In conjunction with my colleague the Minister for Culture, Creative Industries and Tourism, Department for Culture, Media and Sport, I would like to bring to the attention of the House the guidance note on tall buildings prepared jointly by English Heritage and the Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment (CABE), which is published today. This updates and supersedes previous guidance published in 2003 and reflects changes to the planning system since that time.

The Government’s aim is to ensure local planning authorities are getting the right developments in the right places, which we consider to be a fundamental part of creating places where people will want to live and work, now and in the future. Recent reforms to the planning system have helped to reinforce this message, making clear that all new development should be of good quality and designed in full appreciation of its surroundings and context. Tall buildings, in the right places and appropriately designed, can make positive contributions to our cities.

The Government therefore welcome this updated guidance, which will assist local planning authorities when evaluating planning applications for tall buildings, including, importantly, the need for effective engagement with local communities. It also places a greater emphasis on the contribution that design can make to improving the character and quality of an area. It offers good practice guidance to a range of stakeholders in relation to tall buildings in the planning process, provides practical advice on achieving well-designed solutions in the right places, and is capable of being material to the determination of planning applications. Copies of the documents are being placed in the Libraries of both Houses.”

The Guidance and the National Planning Policy Framework
The approach set out in the Guidance is consistent with the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF). At the heart of the NPPF is the presumption in favour of “sustainable development”. Pursuing sustainable development involves seeking improvements to the quality of the built and historic environment (paragraph 9) as well as economic, social and environmental progress generally. Paragraph 17 identifies 12 core principles that should underpin both plan making and decision taking, including securing high quality design and a good standard of amenity for all existing and future occupants of land and buildings, taking account of the different roles and character of different areas; conserving heritage assets in a manner appropriate to their significance.

The Government attaches great importance to the design of the built environment. Permission should be refused for development of poor design that fails to take the opportunities available for improving the character and quality of an area and the way it functions (paragraphs 56 and 64). Planning decisions should ensure amongst other things that developments respond to local character and history (paragraph 58). Planning decisions should also address connections between people and places and the integration of new development into the historic environment (paragraph 61).

Local Planning Authorities should set out their strategic priorities for the area which should include strategic policies to deliver the conservation and enhancement of the natural and historic environment, including landscape (paragraph 156). Crucially, local plans should identify land where development would be inappropriate, for instance because of its environmental or historic significance. They need to contain a clear strategy for enhancing the natural, built and historic environment where they have been identified. – paragraph 157. This follows on from the requirement that local plans should set out the opportunities for development and clear policies on what will or will not be permitted and where (paragraph 154).

It is also important to note that local planning authorities should have up to date evidence about the historic environment in their area and use it to assess the significance of heritage assets and the contribution they make to their environment (paragraph 169).
Link

Download
Guidance on tall buildings 2007 (71 KB)

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REGENERATION

The historic environment is the context within which new development happens. Major inner city renewal, rural diversification, edge of village development, traffic calming measures: all have the potential to enhance or degrade the existing environment and to generate time- and resource-hungry conflict. An early understanding of the character and value of the historic environment prevents conflict and maximises the contribution historic assets can make to future economic growth and community well-being.

Conservation-led regeneration encourages private-sector investment both by retaining businesses in an area and by providing an incentive to relocate to it. Putting resources into a neighbourhood because of the value of what is already there, rather than labelling it as deprived, builds community and business confidence. So do works to improve the maintenance of the public realm of streetscape and public parks and gardens.

Understanding how places change, what makes them distinctive and the significance of their history is the key to regeneration. The historic environment is part of successful regeneration because it contributes to:

Investment: Historic places attract companies to locate, people to live, businesses to invest and tourists to visit. Market values in historic areas are higher than elsewhere.

Sense of place: People enjoy living in historic places. There is often greater community cohesion.

Sustainability: Re-use of historic buildings minimises the exploitation of resources. There is evidence of lower maintenance costs for older houses.

Quality of life: The historic environment contributes to quality of life and enriches people’s understanding of the diversity and changing nature of their community.

Planning for regeneration and renewal requires strong, effective partnerships at local and regional level. Local authorities play a central part in the management of the historic environment. The Local Authority Historic Environment Services pages give more information about the role of local authorities.

Conservation-led regeneration is successful because places matter to people. Neighbourhood renewal works because the quality of the places in which people live directly affects their quality of life. When communities are helped to develop their own sense of what matters for them, and why, the results can transform a neighbourhood and act as a catalyst for further private- and public-sector investment.
Link

Further reading
Regeneration and the Historic Environment
Heritage & Spin-off benefits
Heritage Works
Regeneration in Coastal Towns

Websites
English Heritage Regeneration Policy
The Heritage Dynamo: how the voluntary sector drives regeneration
Prince’s Trust Regeneration Through Heritage Handbook

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BUILDING IN CONTEXT

Building in Context was published jointly by English Heritage and CABE (the Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment) in 2001. It aims to stimulate a high standard of design when development takes place in historically sensitive contexts. It aims to do this by example, showing a series of case studies in which achievement is far above the ordinary. As a result, it is hoped that people will be encouraged to emulate the commitment and dedication shown by the clients, architects, planning officers and committee members involved in the projects illustrated and be able to learn from their experience.

The belief underlying the publication is that the right approach is to be found in examining the context for any proposed development in great detail and relating the new building to its surroundings through an informed character appraisal. This does not imply that any one architectural approach is, by its nature, more likely to succeed than any other. On the contrary, it means that as soon as the application of a simple formula is attempted a project is likely to fail, whether that formula consists of ‘fitting in’ or ‘contrasting the new with the old’.

A successful project will:

● Relate well to the geography and history of the place and the lie of the land
● Sit happily in the pattern of existing development and routes through and around it
● Respect important views
● Respect the scale of neighbouring buildings
● Use materials and building methods which are as high in quality as those used in existing buildings
● Create new views and juxtapositions which add to the variety and texture of the setting.

The right approach involves a whole process in addition to the work of design, from deciding what is needed, through appointing the architect, to early discussions with and eventual approval by the planning authority.

Collaboration, mutual respect and a shared commitment to the vision embodied in the project will be needed if the outcome is to be successful. The report came to a number of conclusions:

● All successful design solutions depend on allowing time for a thorough site analysis and careful character appraisal of the context
● The best buildings result from the creative dialogue between the architect, client, local planning authority and others; pre-application discussions are essential
● The local planning authority and other consultees can insist upon good architecture and help to achieve it
● Difficult sites should generate good architecture, and are not an excuse for not achieving it
● With skill and care, it is possible to accommodate large modern uses within the grain of historic settings
● High environmental standards can help generate good architecture
● Sensitivity to context and the use of traditional materials are not incompatible with contemporary architecture
● Good design does not stop at the front door, but extends into public areas beyond the building
● High-density housing does not necessarily involve building high or disrupting the urban grain and it can be commercially highly successful
● Successful architecture can be produced either by following precedents closely, by adapting them or by contrasting with them
● In a diverse context a contemporary building may be less visually intrusive than one making a failed attempt to follow historic precedents

The above are extracts from the document, which was written by Francis Golding. The case studies were chosen to cover a wide range of different uses, locations, architectural approaches and processes. Each case study looks at the project as a whole, the site, the problems, the solutions and the lessons learnt.

The full text of Building in Context and its case studies are available on-line from the PDF version of the document.
Link

Download
Building in context: New development in historic areas (2.94 MB)

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

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