Tag Archives: Light rail

NZIA members on Christchurch City Plan

Architects contribute ‘Early verdicts on the Christchurch draft Central City Plan’ in the latest issue of New Zealand Institute of Architects Cross Section magazine.

Christchurch’s draft Central City Plan, which the [Christchurch City] Council has been pressed to produce with some despatch, has met with a mixed response from local architects. Let’s start with the positive reactions. “The draft Central City Plan is a very good achievement in a short period of time and encapsulates a broad range of ideas and concepts that have been articulated to date,” says Warren and Mahoney’s Peter Marshall. “As a discussion document it will provide the necessary catalyst for a detailed evaluation needed in order to finalise the re-build framework for Christchurch.”

Various positives are expressed in reaction to Volume 1, followed by ‘criticalities’ and ‘explosions’ lobbed at the constraints of Volume 2.

A common critical theme is that the draft Plan is, in the words of Ian Athfield, “extremely prescriptive”, and that the regulatory regime revealed in Volume 2 would be inimical to the city’s recovery. “There are issues… that are going to need a more careful examination to ensure the urban design attributes do not compromise commercial realities,” says Peter Marshall. Peter’s remarks are a judicious expression of opinions that seem to be widely held by Christchurch architects.

“The more I look into Volume 2 the more concerned I get,” says Jasper van der Lingen (Sheppard & Rout Architects, and chair of the NZIA’s Canterbury branch). “Some examples: Volume 1 says you can get extra height for good urban design and a green building. Volume 2 translates this into mandating that a building owner must employ a green building council professional – bureaucracy and cost – and good urban design translates into a pitched roof between 30 and 60 degrees. Volume 1 talks about safety through passive surveillance. Volume 2 translates this into ridiculous rules about how much glazing you must have. Volume 1 talks about good scale of retail. Volume 2 translates this into a maximum size of retail of 250 square metres – no Ballantynes or Farmers. Volume 2 has some terrible stuff about blank façades that looks a lot worse than the old residential 20 metre rule, and it determines where neighbourhood centres should go without consultation with the local community – in dumb places, in my opinion.”

“There will be capital flight if this goes through unaltered,” Jasper says. “Volume 1 was a pass and appears to be written by designers. Volume 2 is a big fail and appears to be written by planners. It’s a huge worry for the future of Christchurch. The NZIA has a lot of work to do to fight this.”

It’s only a DRAFT. Read more

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr


Filed under Architecture, Construction, Design, Economics, Geography, Heritage, Politics, Site, Town planning, Urban design

Pre-election opinions on public transport and the stadium

### ODT Online Wed, 15 Sep 2010
Opinion: Transport system must respond to change
By Phillip Cole
One topic doing the rounds during this local election campaign will be sustainable transport. No doubt every prospective councillor will say we need a sustainable form of public transport for Dunedin – but how realistic are the chances of this happening? It is not just about transport. For sustainable transport to ever become a “fact of life” it needs to consider the urban form of the city – not just buildings, open space and roads, but the networks that link them and the activities that make people move around.
Read more

• Phillip Cole is a member of Sustainable Dunedin City and a resident of Dunedin.


### ODT Online Thu, 16 Sep 2010
Opinion: Pride over prejudice… please!
By Chris Skillett
The elections are almost upon us, and Dunedin is warming to the task of choosing who should act as its stewards for the next three years. Otago looks on. Southland looks on. And there is absolutely no question about what the key issue will be this time around. For all of us, almost without exception, the elephant in the room, which will be trumpeting loud and clear, will be the new stadium.
Read more

• Chris Skellett lives in Warrington.

Post by Elizabeth Kerr


Filed under Architecture, Construction, Design, Economics, Events, Geography, Heritage, Politics, Project management, Site, Sport, Stadiums, Town planning, Urban design

3D urban design & conceptualisation studies

Light rail simulation, Barcelona


Pixeldreams: Architectural Visualisation Services.
Pixeldreams, is a company based in Barcelona, Spain that has, since 1998, specialised in the creation of virtual renderings and animations for all types of architectural projects. The computer generated images and animations let viewers explore a project or idea before it has been built, enabling clients to present their ideas effectively and facilitate consensus and decision making. Pixeldreams has also developed a special online communication software that will allow you to draw and make notes on top of the renderings in real time, making corrections very easy to understand during the whole design process. Àlex Mas, founder of Pixeldreams, holds a degree in Fine Arts from the Universidad de Barcelona and is currently a professor of Synthetic Image at the Universitat Pompeu Fabra in Barcelona.


sixtrees3d 14 July 2009

Sixtrees Viz Comms Pte Ltd is a Singaporean graphics and animation studio that produces visually effective and highly artistic images and videos for various companies. This reel shows some of the works done for several industries including property development, architecture, engineering, biomedical, broadcast media, film, among others.

You can also access their architectural reel:

To see the collaboration between Sixtrees Viz Comms Pte Ltd and Urban Redevelopment Authority for the Marina Bay animation showcased during Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong’s National Day Rally Speech in August 2009:


Tangram 3DS, a firm specialising in visualisation and computer animation, announced its collaboration with E. Kevin Schopfer AIA, RIBA. Together, the companies have designed and presented a bold new urban platform. New Orleans Arcology Habitat (NOAH) is a proposed urban Arcology (architecture and ecology), whose philosophic underpinnings rest in combining large scale sustainability with concentrated urban structures, and in this case a floating city.

Tangram3DS 12 August 2009

Why a floating city? There are three major challenges to building in New Orleans. The first is to overcome the physical and psychological damages of recurring severe weather patterns. Though repopulation has begun, the need to provide a stabilised and safe environment is paramount to a long-term recovery and economic well being of New Orleans. The second is that New Orleans has been built at and below sea levels, which creates a consistently high water table and makes it prone to flooding and storm surges. The third is that New Orleans is built on a soil condition that consists of thousands of feet of soft soil, silt and clay. These conditions make building large-scale concentrated structures difficult.

Believing that NOAH is a viable plan, our solution to overcome these challenges is to take advantage of these seemingly conflicting issues with the introduction of a floating urban platform. This solution is deceptively simple, using water as a controlled, naturally occurring, bearing foundation, is perfectly feasible and practical, states Schopfer.

Given the design’s massive scale – nearly 1,200 feet tall with a footprint nearly 1/3 of a mile in diameter – it was clear that Tangram’s imagery would need to depict a significant amount of downtown New Orleans to contextualise the project. A 3D model of the downtown buildings was combined with satellite and aerial survey imagery to build a highly-detailed context model in which NOAH could be placed. This allowed Tangram to create a wide range of imagery, including aerials that covered dozens of city blocks, which effectively communicated the ambitious scale of the NOAH project. When it came time to produce the animation, the massive scene scale combined with the river and dense activity of the area were extremely challenging to reproduce faithfully in motion.

Tangram teamed up with the team at VFX Direct, located north of Boston, to further polish the animation frames. The two teams worked closely to build passes of animated elements that VFX Direct would include in their final composite of the animation, along with additional water, smoke, and lighting effects that made the imagery pop.

The intent of NOAH’s open triangulate system,with three separate towers converging at the top, is to allow all severe weather to blow through the structure in any direction with the minimum of massing interference. To further dissipate wind loads, the outer edges are curved and tilted. This is a project of tremendous potential which pushes beyond current expectations for New Orleans and places it in the forefront of the new age of urban growth possibilities, adds Schopfer.

NOAH will house 20,000 residential rental and condominium units, three hotels, time share units, casino facilities (to be determined), commercial space and retail, parking garage (within foundation), cultural facilities, public works, a district school system, a district administrative office and a district health care facility. Estimated total square footage: 30 million.


shauli3d 13 November 2009
we are vfx, 3d studio located in israel +972545427017

Post by Elizabeth Kerr

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