Tag Archives: Towers

Small apartments —then !! New York by Gehry #2011nuclear

### design-milk.com 13 Jun 2014
Tiny 100-Square-Foot Apartment Virtually Transforms Throughout Day
Posted by Gregory Han
When it comes to forecasting the future, there are two schools of thought: one that sees our planetary cup still half full, the other alarmingly half empty. You can cast Bernardo Schorr, MFA candidate in Parsons’ Design and Technology program and Creative Technologist, with the camp predicting a gloomy dystopian future…. a future where a great many of the world’s population will have to live in much smaller dwellings out of necessity, “in windowless apartments with areas limited to 100 square feet.”

Virtual office red by Bernado Schorr [via milk-design.com]

But not all is lost! Schorr also believes digital technologies can be engineered to allow occupants of these micro-apartments to escape the sensation of being confined within prison cells by projecting immersive virtual environments to “expand” the walls far beyond their true dimensional boundaries. Offered as an “utopian solution for a dystopian scenario”, Schorr’s “Mixed Reality Living Spaces” project serves as an experiment for a future when windows will have become a luxury and our circadian rhythms regulating sleep and activity will be cued increasingly by a pixel perfect simulacrum of the world outside.
Read more + Photos

Bernardo Schorr Published on May 15, 2014

Mixed Reality Living Spaces
[Conceptual only, what would 3D printers make for body hugging multi-use furniture, here we don’t find out – but the design principle is worthy. -Eds] Mixed Reality Living Spaces is an imagination of how current and near-future technologies will help us cope with issues of space scarcity and confinement that will derive from urban development.

### design-milk.com 16 Apr 2014
Transforming Apartment Maximizes Small Space
Posted by Caroline Williamson
Transformer Apartment by Vlad Mishin [via design-milk.com]
With 60 square metres (approximately 645 square feet) to work with, Russian designer Vlad Mishin designed the Transformer Apartment which contains several transforming elements. The apartment is separated lengthwise by a massive, faceted wall structure that is made up of black metal framework and plywood that hides away various household functions.
Read more + Photos

Transformer Apartment by Vlad Mishin 3 [via design-milk.com]Transformer Apartment by Vlad Mishin 4 [via design-milk.com]Transformer Apartment by Vlad Mishin - floor plan [via design-milk.com]Transformer Apartment by Vlad Mishin 6 [via design-milk.com]

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New York by Gehry at Eight Spruce Street

█ Video + Slideshows (floor plans and more) http://www.newyorkbygehry.com/
█ ArchRecordTV Frank Gehry’s Beekman Tower on design and construction
█ Videos at Youtube for Beekman Tower and 8 Spruce Street

Overview via Wikipedia:
8 Spruce Street, originally known as Beekman Tower and currently marketed as New York by Gehry, is a 76-story skyscraper designed by architect Frank Gehry in the New York City borough of Manhattan at 8 Spruce Street, between William and Nassau Streets, in Lower Manhattan, just south of City Hall Park and the Brooklyn Bridge.

8 Spruce Street is one of the tallest residential towers in the world, and the tallest residential tower in the Western Hemisphere at the time of completion in February 2011. The building was developed by Forest City Ratner, designed by Frank Gehry Architects and WSP Cantor Seinuk Structural Engineers, and constructed by Kreisler Borg Florman. It contains a public elementary school owned by the Department of Education. Above that and grade-level retail, the tower contains only residential rental units (898 in total), a rarity in New York’s Financial District. The skyscraper’s structural frame is made of reinforced concrete, and form-wise it falls within the architectural style of Deconstructivism together with the begun later and completed earlier Aqua skyscraper in Chicago.

New York by Gehry [via businessinsider.com] 1DIGIPIX

28.11.11 New York Times – The Appraisal
Living in a 76-Story Work of Art, and a Symbol of Rebirth

The school is sheathed in reddish-tan brick, and covers 100,000 square feet (9,300 m2) of the first five floors of the building. It will host over 600 students enrolled in pre-kindergarten through eighth grade classes. A fourth floor roof deck will hold 5,000 square feet (460 m2) of outdoor play space. Above the elementary school is an 898-unit luxury residential tower clad in stainless steel. The apartments range from 500 square feet (46 m2) to 1,600 square feet (150 m2), and consist of studios, one-, two- and three-bedroom units. All units are priced at market-rate, with no low or moderate income-restricted apartments. It does not contain any units for purchase.

The building also includes space for New York Downtown Hospital. The hospital will take up 25,000 square feet (2,300 m2), and will have public parking below ground. There are public plazas on both the east and west sides of the building, one 11,000 square feet (1,000 m2) and the other somewhat smaller. Street-level retail, totalling approximately 1,300 to 2,500 square feet (120 to 230 m2), is included as part of the project.

New York by Gehry. Photo by Piotr Redlinski [via architectural-review.com]

30.3.11 Architectural Review
Eight Spruce Street by Frank Gehry, New York, USA

Early reviews of the 8 Spruce Street tower have been favourable. The building was also heavily criticized for “appearing as a nuclear meltdown”, for being the most expensive per square foot residential tower in Manhattan and for receiving $204 million in federal bonds for its $875 million construction cost. In The New York Times, architecture critic Nicolai Ouroussoff praised the building’s design as a welcome addition to the skyline of New York, calling it: “the finest skyscraper to rise in New York since Eero Saarinen’s CBS building went up 46 years ago”. New Yorker magazine’s Paul Goldberger described it as “one of the most beautiful towers downtown”. Comparing Gehry’s tower to the nearby Woolworth Building, completed in 1913, Goldberger said “it is the first thing built downtown since then that actually deserves to stand beside it”. CityRealty architecture critic Carter Horsely hailed the project, saying “the building would have been an unquestioned architectural masterpiece if the south facade had continued the crinkling and if the base had continued the stainless-steel cladding. Even so, it is as majestic as its cross-town rival, the great neo-Gothic Woolworth Building designed by Cass Gilbert at 233 Broadway on the other side of City Hall Park.” Gehry designed both the exterior, interiors and amenities spaces, along with all 20 model apartments.

New York by Gehry [via wikipedia] BWFrank Gehry is perhaps the most celebrated practicing architect in the world today. He has been the recipient of dozens of awards recognizing excellence in architecture including the Pritzker Architecture Prize, which honours “significant contributions to humanity and the built environment through the art of architecture”. Over the past five decades, under Gehry’s creative direction, Gehry Partners, LLP has designed public and private buildings in North America, Europe, and Asia. Hallmarks of Gehry’s work include a particular focus on creating spaces that are comfortable to the people who use them, and that exist well within the larger context and culture of their location. The firm’s approach to design is one in which the client becomes fully engaged in the process, making each project a true collaboration.

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

*Images: New York by Gehry at Eight Spruce Street (from top) businessinsider.com, urbanedgeny.com, architectural-review.com, en.wikipedia.org

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Auckland’s Civic Building first skyscraper #Modern

Aotea Square 1981 [heritageetal.blogspot.com] 1

Photographer Patrick Reynolds says the Civic is an important building by an important architect – chief city architect Tibor Donner (1946-1967) – and it appealed enormously as “Hotel Moderne” with its modernist credentials.

Civic Building on Aotea Square [metromag.co.nz]

### metromag.co.nz June 10, 2014
Urban Design
The Civic Building: Modernist Folly, Architectural Treasure
By Chris Barton
Why we should all be up in arms at the threatened demolition of the Auckland Council Civic Building.
There’s a surprise at the top of the hated Civic Building. From afar, you could guess there was some sort of observation deck, but the central roof-top courtyard open to the sky and to terrific east and west viewing across the cityscape to the harbour is a delight. Shut to the public since the 1970s, the restricted area is looking a little shabby, but one can easily imagine how the space could be brought back to life and, combined with a makeover of the staff cafeteria a level below, could be the tearoom talk of the town. Here might be a rare commodity in Auckland — public space on high — given that most other high places are either off limits, commercialised or privatised.
No 1 Greys Ave, formerly known as the Auckland City Council Administration Building, has plenty of other unique features: the rolled Corbusian corners of the metal-clad plant room, the curvy Le Corbusier-inspired entrance canopy, the mezzanine lobby and the precast terrazzo treads and iron balustrades of the open staircase.
Read more + Photos by Patrick Reynolds

Civic Building on Aotea Square (2011) by Caleb [stuffcrush.blogspot.co.nz]

### NZ Herald Online 11:51 AM Tuesday Nov 18, 2014
Bid to save NZ’s first skyscraper
By Bernard Orsman – Super City reporter
Plans to save New Zealand’s first skyscraper, the Civic Building on Aotea Square, or demolish it have been outlined to councillors and the media today. Council officers have been investigating options and market interest to refurbish the building, which will be empty by the New Year after serving as the city’s main civic administration building since 1966. The wrecking ball has been hanging over the building since the Auckland Council paid $104 million for the 31-storey ASB Bank Centre in Albert St for its new headquarters. The 100m tower was designed in the 1950s and completed in 1966. It has been criticised as an ugly box, but many architects marvel at its features. Architect Julia Gatley, an authority on modern architecture in New Zealand, has praised it as a beautifully proportioned, slender building that encapsulates modernism. It has no heritage status, but two reports have suggested it warrants a category A listing, and the council’s heritage division says it merits category B status. Heritage New Zealand also wants to see it gain heritage status and saved. The council’s property arm said without major refurbishment and the removal asbestos it would be unsuitable for council or other uses, such as commercial, residential and hotel. Auckland Council Property said it would cost about $78 million for full refurbishment to modern office and code requirements, or $60 million for a residential conversion. Demolition and site reinstatement is estimated at between $11.5 million to $12.5 million.
Read more

Aotea new [Regional Facilities Auckland via nzherald.co.nz]Civic Building demolished – revamped Aotea Square with new ‘teletubbie’ commercial buildings | Regional Facilities Auckland

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

*Images: (from top) heritageetal.blogspot.com – Former Auckland City Council Administration Building, 1 Greys Avenue (1981); metromag.co.nz – Civic Building on Aotea Square by Patrick Reynolds; stuffcrush.blogspot.co.nz – Civic Building, fenestration detail (2011) by Caleb

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Hotel: Rosemary McQueen on consent decision LUC 2012-212 (41 Wharf St)

41 Wharf Street, Dunedin 1 (DCC WebMap)41 Wharf Street, Dunedin (DCC WebMap)

Copy supplied.
Also published at Otago Daily Times (page 17).

### ODT Online Wed, 26 Feb 2014
Opinion
Hotel decision was legal, not political
By Rosemary McQueen
Two related misapprehensions run through nearly all the comment on the application to build a 27-storey residential building in the industrial zone.

The first is that the reason the development was rejected was that a minority of noisy nay-sayers objected to the proposal. Yet, had 500 supporters put in submissions and only 4 or 5 naysayers, the decision would have been the same. The decision was not made on the basis of counting heads (though no doubt the planners were gratified that the District Plan’s provisions were so whole-heartedly supported by the populace) but on the basis of law. The developers want to build their accommodation block in an industrial area. Residential activity is specifically excluded from this area and only allowed at the discretion of the court hearing the application. Discretionary treatment can only be accorded if the effects of the variation to what is allowed are minor and the general intention accords with the aims and objectives of the district plan. The applicants’ arguments to this effect were rejected at law – not by counting heads. Until that decision is found to be wrong, or those aspects of the proposal change, it can not proceed.

There is also a view that the the city council could and should have found a way of overturning – or at least of getting round – the planning committee’s decision. This is a misapprehension because the decision is a legal one that can only be overturned by a higher court and the council is not a court. The negotiations that have been taking place have been around trying to find a site and design that complies with the city’s district plan and the developers’ needs. By describing the setback to the development as “red tape” the ODT implied that the development’s lack of progress since being rejected by the planning committee is caused by overweening bureaucracy. But Ms Song has made clear that the site and design are not negotiable. How can the lack of progress be the fault of red tape when the impediment is so clearly the developers’ intransigence, despite having had their application for that site and design turned down because it doesn’t meet the law?

By insisting the proposal is non-negotiable during their discussion with the city, the developers appear to believe that overturning the planning decision is on the discussion’s agenda and within the council’s power. Instead of dismissing any such suggestion, the ODT and the Chamber of Commerce have encouraged them in the view that the council can change or flout the law in order to allow the development to go ahead. Fostering these misapprehensions has led to unnecessary division in the city. It’s time to stop accusing bureaucrats and antis of holding up progress and start explaining why changes to our built environment are not effected by political whim, but are, and need to be, conducted by rule of law that has undergone full democratic process.

ODT Link

Related Posts and Comments:
14.2.14 Hotel: The height of arrogance
25.6.13 Hotel/Apartment Tower decision to be appealed

For more, enter *hotel* in the search box at right.

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

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Shane McGrath —Gelber LuftBallon (Dunedin Research Project)

Shane McGrath 15-4-13 IMG_2892bArtist sculptor Shane McGrath successfully built and flew, with the help of friends, a helium-filled yellow blimp today at Customhouse Quay in Dunedin.
Relatively still air conditions twice allowed the ‘friendly’ LuftBallon to gain maximum height – simulating, indirectly, the proposed height (96.3 metres) of the hotel and apartment tower planned for the vacant site across the road at 41 Wharf Street.
McGrath had earlier made sure the planned flight received CAA clearance.
The blimp contained smaller balloons filled with the gas to guard against a sudden downing. A small team of men, including McGrath, coordinated the length and position of the guide-lines, keeping the blimp off surrounding buildings and roads, and out of harbour waters.
The bright photogenic structure – alternately Lemon, Zeppelin, Chrysalis – hovered impressively overhead for half a day, long enough for professional photographers and camera people to take stills and recordings from the site and prominent vantage points around the city.

Shane McGrath (about to launch) 15-4-13 IMG_2894alr

Media 15-4-13 IMG_3108a

Shane McGrath (Monarch albatross) 15-4-13 IMG_3059alr

Shane McGrath 15-4-13 IMG_3199a1lr

Shane McGrath (Linesmen) 15-4-13 IMG_3283a

Shane McGrath 15-4-13 (quay lamps) IMG_3092alr

Shane McGrath (max height over Customhouse) 15-4-13 IMG_3246alr

Shane McGrath (yellow blimp) 15-4-13 IMG_3188alr

Shane McGrath (yellow blimp fins) 15-4-13 IMG_3308alr

Shane McGrath (yellow chrysalis) 15-4-13 IMG_3305

Shane McGrath (blimp in eddy) 15-4-13 IMG_3322alr

Shane McGrath (yellow blimp rear) 15-4-13 IMG_3316alr

Shane McGrath (blimp side on) 15-4-13 IMG_2924alr

Shane McGrath (rising blimp customhouse) 15-4-13 IMG_3313alr

Shane McGrath (maxheight customhouse) 15-4-13 IMG_3183alr

Shane McGrath (blimp rising) 15-4-13  IMG_2908alr

Shane McGrath (blimp retrieved) 15-4-13 IMG_3361alrImages: Elizabeth Kerr

Gerard O’Brien’s outstanding photographs place the Gelber LuftBallon in the city context – see tomorrow’s Otago Daily Times.

█ Enter *hotel* in the search box at right to learn more about the proposed hotel and apartment building for 41 Wharf Street.

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

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Towering inferno: Fire engulfs luxury apartments and 5-star hotel

Thanks to Source. Oh dear.

Fire engulfs 40-storey hotel, Chechnya, Grozny

Flames have engulfed a 40-storey luxury skyscraper in the Chechnya capital of Grozny.

### msn.co.nz 05:30 Thu Apr 4 2013
Fire engulfs luxury skyscraper hotel
By MSN NZ staff
The building, a local centrepiece named the Olympus tower which is used to promote the city [Grozny] as a glitzy and modern hub, has been evacuated as the fire raged from the top to bottom floors.
It is understood the flames spread rapidly due to the plastic trimming on the building, which includes luxury apartments and a 5-star hotel.
Local police confirmed no one was injured.
State television pictures showed a huge plume of smoke rising into the sky and clinging to the sides of the building with bursts of yellow flames snaking down the facade.
“We have no reports of casualties … The fire is currently spreading across the building’s facade via the plastic outer panels,” the spokesman for the North Caucasus regional branch of the Emergency Situations ministry, Kantemir Davydov, told the Interfax news agency.
Eighty firemen were at the scene, the emergency situations ministry said.
A witness photograph posted on Twitter showed flames and smoke pouring from the building, which is topped by a giant clock face and stands 145m tall.
Read more

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr
Hope springs eternal

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Chongqing, Southwest China

Chongqing, China (aerial 2006)### news.xinhuanet.com | English.news.cn 2013-01-26 21:27:26
Chongqing sets new roadmap in post-Bo Xilai era
CHONGQING, Jan. 27 (Xinhua) — Chongqing’s municipal government vowed Saturday it would shake off the impacts of the Bo Xilai scandal and make law-abiding governance the priority alongside further reform. Huang Qifan, mayor of the metropolis in southwest China, described 2012 as an “extremely extraordinary year” for Chongqing’s development in his report on the work of the municipal government, which was delivered to the 4th Chongqing Municipal People’s Congress.

The local legislature convened its annual session on Saturday with aims to outline the city’s future blueprint for the next five years. The mayor said the government has endeavoured to maintain steady economical and social development despite the severe toll of the incidents involving Bo Xilai, with the city recording an annual economic growth of 13.6 percent. “It turned out that Chongqing citizens have weathered storms and withstood ordeals,” he said.

The government published the full text of its work report, in which it placed governing in accordance with the Constitution and the law as a main focus for this year, while references to Chongqing’s previous high-profile crackdowns on organised crimes are notably absent. In 2009, when Bo Xilai was the CPC (Communist Party of China) chief of Chongqing, the city launched a massive anti-crime campaign, prioritising fighting local mafia-style gangs. Though Bo and Chongqing’s police were credited with reducing crime, concerns were raised about abuses of power and the neglect of due legal process.

The government should rule in accordance with the law, and “no organisation or individual has the privilege to overstep the Constitution and the law,” the work report said. A power reshuffle in this session is set to usher in new local leaders, higher requirements are posed for the municipal government to further intensify reform, Huang told the lawmakers, adding that improvement to work style should be made following the central leadership’s call for eradicating bureaucracy and formalism in December.

Officials in Chongqing are urged to remain low-key and down to earth, talk less and work more to better serve the people.
Read more

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“Amazing city… but without spirit… is a City with many construction. Don’t have the beauty of Brasilia… is a new city of construction.” —Cidade_Branca (architect) at SkyscaperCity CHONGQING | Projects & Construction (2.11.07 03:36 AM)

Wikipedia: Chongqing

Chongqing, two rivers (1)

“One river is naturally brown from the silt, the other is normal dark blue.”
the spliff fairy at SkyscraperCity (28.2.13 01:54 PM)

### nytimes.com September 26, 2011
Built in a Dirty Boom, China’s Biggest City Tries to Go Green
By Coco Liu – ClimateWire
CHONGQING, China — Wandering around in downtown Chongqing, it is hard to imagine that this is a city that is going green. Vehicles clog roads in every direction. Construction cranes stretch to the horizon. And huge posters displaying locally produced industrial goods show where the city’s exploding economic growth is coming from. But Chongqing (population 28,846,200) is more than meets the eye. After living with acid rain and toxic smog for decades, the city has been scrambling for ways to clean up the air. It is also overhauling its power-hungry economy and rebuilding it on a base of industries that use less energy.

Chongqing isn’t alone on such a transformation path. It is one of several pilot provinces and cities that Chinese leaders picked last year in an attempt to find a low-carbon growth model that can be spread to the rest of the nation. Experts attribute this new Chinese desire to the fact that China’s environment and natural resources can no longer afford the blights of heavily polluting, energy-intensive growth. Moreover, there is growing pressure from the outside world to reduce emissions.

Chongqing, controlled demolition 30-8-12 (2)Chongqing, controlled demolition 30-8-12 (1)Chongqing, controlled demolition 30.8.12

Cities will play a major role in that effort. During the next 20 years, more than half of global greenhouse gas emissions are estimated to come from the developing world’s cities, and more than half of that will come from Chinese cities, says Michael Lindfield, a lead urban development specialist at the Asian Development Bank. “So the importance of making Chinese cities energy-efficient is really a global issue, not just a Chinese issue,” Lindfield added.

But none of this comes easily. For one, it is hard for cities to uproot decades-old economic foundations. In addition, cities risk revenue losses. Energy-guzzling factories that are shut down, in many cases, can’t be immediately offset by low-carbon industries that are still in their nascent stage. Moreover, the switch from traditional industries to green businesses claims jobs, at least for a short term. While cement makers can hire people with few skills, solar panel producers can’t.

Chongqing [became] one of the nation’s industrial hubs. It is China’s biggest producer of motorcycles. It leads in aluminum production. Every day, containers of made-in-Chongqing steel, chemicals and machinery are loaded on cargo ships and then sent from here to destinations along the Yangtze River. All this came at a heavy price.

Data from the World Bank showed that in the early 2000s, one-third of crops in the Chongqing area had been damaged by acid rain — the result of sulfur dioxide and other industrial pollutants. Breathing here became a dangerous thing to do. The World Bank reported that in 2004, residents in Chongqing were inhaling six times more lung cancer-causing pollutants than the World Health Organization considers safe.

“The city was always enveloped by fog and smog,” explained Li, the local economist. The mountain terrain around it helped concentrate Chongqing’s murky air, he said, “but pollution from heavy industries was the key.”
Read more

Chongqing Planning and Exhibition Centre. The city model shows a concept idea of the future of Chongqing. Most important skyscrapers aren’t added until they have a definitive design. —z0rg at SkyscraperCity CHONGQING | Projects & Construction (6.8.06 09:32 PM)

Chongqing Planning and Exhibition Centre 6.8.06100 towers taller than 200m including 20 supertalls in one city.
Chongqing 200+ metre Listz0rg at SkyscraperCity (6.7.08 10:05 AM)

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[ODT] The project was being advanced on their behalf by Betterways, of which Ms Jing Song was also a director.

### ODT Online Sat, 23 Mar 2013
Betterways, Diamond Heights link
By Chris Morris
DUNEDIN — The construction company linked to Dunedin’s proposed $100 million waterfront hotel is building the tallest tower in western China. The building will be the tallest for the time being, at least. It has been confirmed the company linked to Dunedin’s proposed hotel is Diamond Heights Construction Engineering Co Ltd, which is based in Chongqing, China, and employs more than 1000 staff. The company is owned by Ping Cao, who together with wife Jing Song, of Queenstown, wants to build Dunedin’s five-star hotel on industrial land at 41 Wharf St.

While it was said Diamond Heights would not be directly involved in construction of Dunedin’s hotel – should consent to proceed be granted – Mr Cao and Ms Song planned to fund it together and contract a New Zealand company to build it.

Mr Cao’s company is responsible for the construction of the 65-storey Shangri-la Hotel in Chongqing, which at 290m high will, when completed, be nearly three times the height of Dunedin’s proposed hotel. It was almost finished, with only the exterior cladding to be added, and was an impressive sight when visited by Betterways Advisory Ltd director Steve Rodgers last year, he told the Otago Daily Times.
The company was also involved in other projects in China, including two sprawling mixed-use developments comprising hotels, other commercial buildings and housing.
Read more

Chongqing, Shangri-la Hotel at nightShangri-La Hotels and Resorts is said to be Asia Pacific’s leading luxury hotel group. Four Shangri-La hotels are projected for Chongqing.
Image: businesstraveller.asia

Related Posts and Comments:
16.3.13 Hotel: COC jollies and sweet cherry pie
23.1.13 Proposed hotel: Council and submitters await detailed information
28.12.12 ‘Low-rises are great for the community and the residents’
24.12.12 A Christmas Tale
21.12.12 Proposed hotel – ODT graphic indicates building height
19.12.12 Hearing for proposed hotel – competencies, conflicts of interest?
16.12.12 Proposed Dunedin Hotel #height
10.12.12 Proposed hotel, 41 Wharf St – “LEARNING FROM LAS VEGAS”
7.12.12 Proposed hotel – Truescape shenanigans
6.12.12 Dunedin Hotel – revised design
2.12.12 Roy Rogers and Trigger photographed recently at Dunedin
26.11.12 Proposed hotel, 41 Wharf Street – indicative landscape effects
20.11.12 City planner’s report recommends against consent for hotel
10.11.12 Dunedin Hotel, 41 Wharf Street (LUC 2012-212)
4.10.12 DUNEDIN: We’re short(!) but here is some UK nous…
8.9.12 Waterfront Hotel #Dunedin (Applicant names?)
7.9.12 Waterfront hotel: DCC to notify resource consent application
23.6.12 Mis(t)apprehension: website visits, not bookings?
16.5.12 Dunedin Hotel

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

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Proposed 100m hotel: Damn right, the fight’s not over! #Dunedin

Great to see the letter by award-winning architect Richard Shackleton given prominence in the ODT today. It sent me hunting for my copy of Paul Goldberger’s book, The Skyscraper (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1982), bought in second professional year (BArch) at Auckland. Given what has happened since to skyscraper design internationally, the book is a little quaint, eclectic and short of stature – it will always be a useful commentary on the emergence and history of towers in the United States.

Most of the buildings Goldberger cites I visited on architectural study tour with a group of staff, students and friends of the Auckland School in 1984, at the start of my four-year fulltime Master of Architecture degree (thesis only). But that’s quite another rainy day story of ‘commercial facades’.

Goldberger begins his last chapter, ‘Beyond the Box’, saying:
“By 1980, one thing was clear: the box, the rationalist dream of the International Style [the austere glass box, his words], was making more and more architects uncomfortable. Not only was it no longer the clean and exhilarating structure that would serve as a clarion call to a new age, but it was not even able to hold out much promise of practicality. It was generally inefficient from the standpoint of energy, and it was not as marketable from the viewpoint of real estate operators either.”

41 Wharf Street, Dunedin
For the applicant (Betterways Advisory Ltd), architect Jeremy Whelan of Ignite Architects (Auckland) is assisting Shanghai-based ECADI (Eastern China Architectural Design Institute), who were initially engaged by the client, with the conceptual design of the proposed hotel. It is claimed in Whelan’s brief of evidence that ECADI has significant international hotel experience and has completed projects for all major 5 star brand operators including Kempinski Hotels, Four Seasons Hotels, Marriot Hotels, Ritz Carlton Hotels and the Intercontinental Hotel Group.

The design of the 27-storey hotel tower crassly proposed for one of Dunedin’s best waterfront sites is the likes of which Goldberger correctly identifies as ‘tired’ by 1980 – at the time of writing, he hadn’t yet considered Arquitectonica’s work at Miami, Florida (see the landmark 20-storey luxury Atlantis condominiums built in 1982, famous for their cutout) – but Whelan certainly had, as a BArch contemporary of mine at Auckland School, and that building too is ‘tired’ as architectural metaphors and shared language go.

[scanned]

ODT 3.1.13 Letter to the editor p12

ODT 3.1.13 Letter R Shackleton (1)

Enter hotel in the search box at right to find recent posts and comments.

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

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