Tuesday, 21 November 2006

Stadium drawings deceptive

Union House on Quay Street measures just under 44m high to the top of the braced frame, with an interstorey height of 3.4m. That's a dimensioned elevation of it at left, and in the picture below it's the white building in the foreground with diagonal braces, pictured just to the right of the stadium. (See it also in the picture at right.)

Do you think the stadium in the picture below (one of the suite of officially released drawings of the proposal [pdf]) has been drawn to a height of just two floors below the top of Union House's structural frame?

And if not, why do you think it hasn't been?

UPDATE 1: Robin from RobiNZ CAD Blog has put together a model with Architectural Desktop and Google Earth, just to see what the height really looks like and how dominant the thing is when drawn to its actual, stated height. See the results below (Union House, used as a datum, is shown red). The top picture is from the same viewpoint as the presentation drawing above so you can easily compare the two. It seems that stadium architects Warren and Mahoney have been using more than a little airbrush...

Now, why do you think they would do that? What does it mean when they have to lie to convince you?

UPDATE 2: Whale Oil has a post on the same subject, showing approximately a 7m discrepancy between the stated height of the stadium and the height shown in the official presentation sketches.

UPDATE 3: Bear in mind that the waterfront stadium proposal includes provision to extend Bledisloe Wharf by a further 65m closer to Devonport. Extend it too much further and we'll be presented with our second harbour crossing...

UPDATE 4: "A source" tells me that "the graphic artists were told by the architects to use 34 metres, which kinda means they cheated on purpose." Looks that way, doesn't it. [Removed because "the source of the source" says this isn't what he said.]

UPDATE 5: David Slack has an account of last night's Devonport meeting to oppose the waterfront stadium. And he has a prediction:
The ACC vote will only establish whether they will be willingly giving up their ratepayers' wallets. The whole thing will turn on how the ARC decide to lay their bets, looking at the Ports on one side and the Government on the other. I predict they will try to push the Government into making the IRB or NZRFU dig deep to come up with an 80 million dollar resolution of the 12,000-odd seat shortage for the final. They'll propose that we do something splendid on the Tank Farm in due course, without suspending the RMA and democratic process and call it a National Stadium. This stadium would be funded by the government rather then the people of Auckland. That's the way they do it with 'National' buildings in Wellington.
UPDATE 6: Photo of Union House added, and extent of dimensions clarified in the text.

UPDATE 7: Pics below of stadium bulk from Quay St East (top) and Quay St West (below) using Robin's Architectural Desktop sketch over Google Earth (click on the pics for a larger image). That's Union House in red (used as the datum) and the Ferry Building shown in yellow. The stadium is unfortunately shown in sea green...

UPDATE 8: Den has supplied a far better screen grab of the official stadium pictures showing the relationship between proposed stadium and Union House, which we've been using for our datum, so you can much easier answer the question posed initially, ie.: has the stadium in the picture below (one of the suite of officially released drawings of the proposal [pdf]) been drawn to a height of just two floors below the top of Union House's structural frame:
Your call.

RELATED: Stadium, Politics-NZ, Auckland


  1. http://i18.photobucket.com/albums/b146/buzzkiwi/auckstadium.jpg

    I did a wee photoshop on the first image ou provided to see how it should look. FYI.

  2. Yeah I knew it was too small! Just looking at the picture it just didn't seem right for a 60,000 seat stadium. I thought, "There is no way a 60,000 seat stadium could be that low! It's be higher!"

    Wow! That is quite the difference there p-style! Thanks for that.

  3. Robert Winefield21 Nov 2006, 11:44:00

    You know it's entirely possible that the missing 7 m could be part of a plan to allow the stadium to sit 7 m below sea-level.

    Considering how swimmingly the planning process is going at present we could be on target to relive those heady days when international rugby was played underwater on a submerged Eden park pitch.

    Maybe the Aussies should recruit Ian Thorpe as a winger in that event...

  4. Is the government that wants a harbour stadium also the same governmnet arguing for climate change preparedness ?

    I though they said something about sea level rise. . .

  5. Indeed, P-Style. They can't have it both ways. It's one or the other.

    Actually on my blog I made a post about Stalin Clark's (my name our "estimed" Prime Minister) view about global warming and her pushing it at APEC).

  6. Peter if you going to claim me as a source then better assume I'm going to see it and then ask you why you chose NOT to mention that the image was rendered as being 36 meters not the 34 you have chosen to claim.

    Stick to facts, there's plenty of those against the stadium instead of manufacturing claims then ignoring conflicting information.

  7. Murray, I was simply reporting in good faith what was offered to me to be a credible report, and the figure mentioned was 34. As you are reportedly the original source of the story and you say you've been misreported, I've amended the post to reflect that.

    I think it's clear enough by comparing the presentation pics with the drawings of Union House that whatever was told to whom, the thing has not been drawn at a height of 37m, nor even at 34 or 36m.

    And it's fairly obvious why it hasn't been.

  8. PC - where did you get the 'just under 44m' figure for Union House??

    Using the drawing which you posted up, which is dimensioned, I make it around 46m high. The overall figured dimension given (44.6) is between the pile hinge (below datum) and the upper edge of the structural element for L12 (ie it skips out a whole floor).

    I chucked it in CAD and we've had a quick yarn in the office - if you scale from datum (the footpath is marked clearly) to the (sketched only) roof level, you get 46m conservatively.

    I've emailed you my afternoon tea sketch of it and the CAD file.


  9. Can we get a DXF or DWG of the stadium model used to make the graphic?

  10. Hi Den,

    Thanks for all that -- I'm just trying to look at it now (having some trouble with the DWG).

    You should note that the dimension shown on the drawing is from pile hinge to top of frame, and it is the top of this frame that is visible in the photographs -- that's the approx. 44m I mentioned.

  11. PC - that figured dimension is to the top of the braced frame, but not the top of the building. I found quite a good image from Google that shows this. Refer your elevation as posted, and compare it to the image that will be in your email shortly (not photoshopped I promise!)

    The other issue we have discussed here in the office is the ground level of the proposed stadium as opposed to the Union House - there may well be a couple of metres in here as well. No idea though.

    Where has the stadium height figure originated from in the first place? I can't find anything apart from sketches on the WAM site.


  12. "PC - that figured dimension is to the top of the braced frame, but not the top of the building."

    Exactly, and it's the frame that is most visible in the pics shown.

    I'll post your pic so everyone can judge.

  13. PC - I think it has been composited pretty damn accurately on reflection, given that the observer eye-level (a helicopter one presumes) is clearly quite some way above sea-level.

    I'm outta here for the day but will photoshop something tomorrow morning to make my point.


  14. I have spent a bit of time on this before work this morning, and come to some conclusions.

    First of all, one has to remember that the criticism of WAMs scaling is centred on comparison to the Union House building.

    - As mentioned yesterday, PC originally gave out the wrong height. Total height of the building is at least 46m (see his attached elevation and notes in the post).

    - Robin Capper kindly provided me with his CAD model, which unfortunately I couldn't use (I'm running ADT2006, he is lightyears ahead on 2007 and I'm not going to bother him to re-export it in an old version just for this exercise). I could however get into it enough to note that he too is using the wrong height measurements for Union House (around 43.9m, at least 2m off).

    - I subsequently built my own, detailed model which is rendering presently, and should show that the WAM rendered image is as close as dammit to reality. This is based on scaling off WAMs provided sections and site plan (using CAD for accuracy, ie imported images scaled to the 37m height datum).

    - Simple analysis of the image (Update 7) in PCs post should show that the stadium top is shown at slightly lower than two storeys down from the top STRUCTURAL MEMBER - not the top of the building - as it should. The fact that it shows slightly lower is observer parallax due to the camera point (ie a helicopter hovering 100m or so in the air one assumes).

    CONCLUSION - I am very confident that WAM did a top job of scaling the composite image, if one uses Union House as the basis for analysis. I'll provide my CAD model (in ADT2006) for any cadmonkeys who want to audit it for accuracy.

  15. PC - I've emailed you all the stuff from my early morning doodling. I'm entirely satisfied that WAM did a fine job with the image compositing scale, and more than happy to provide my model to anyone who thinks I might have fudged the scale or figures to vindicate WAM.

    I think you'll find that my quick render backs up WAM!


  16. David & Brett22 Nov 2006, 15:24:00

    thanks DenMT,
    We were starting to wonder myself if we'd done it right.

    There's no conspiracy guys.... but that doesnt mean they're not out to get YOU. :)

    David & Brett
    Not Weta Digital.

  17. I've posted similar images with a rather more accurate stadium section based on the images.


    As mentioned in the post these are estimated dimensions but I still think the true impact of this thing is being minimsed by the viewpoint & perspectives chosen and the true issue is: Do we need it at all?


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