Wednesday, 15 November 2006

What about the architecture?

Mathew Brown at the Auckland Architectural Association has noted that "its not often that architecture hogs the headlines," but with the stadium debate that's what we've seen. However, as he's noted, "it has given an insight into architecture’s place in New Zealand’s culture."

The discussion has been framed in terms of buildability, expenditure, heritage, public transport, democratic participation (or lack thereof), but as he says:
What does it say about architecture’s place in New Zealand’s society when the extent of design discussion is, in the end, reduced to some 3D renderings?

Up until the unveiling of Warren and Mahoney’s proposal in the weekend papers, the graphics guy at the New Zealand Herald had done more with photoshop to describe the possibilities of a waterfront stadium than any commentary offered by our profession...
And as Robin notes of that ninety-second 3d rendering:
All the flashy Weta effects can’t hide the bulk of Mallards Stadium New Zealand. Sitting on the waterfront like a giant turdthat’s washed up in a spring tide, making it translucent doesn’t hide the size. Interesting it’s only shown at dusk and never from Quay Street which is how it will be seen by most and where the impact of it’s bulk will be the worst.
Mathew concludes:
The architecture profession in New Zealand needs to provide the public with the skills to participate in a design discussion. That way, when a situation like this presents itself, we might expect the public to seek a good architectural response.

Instead we find ourselves in a position where “Auckland” has two weeks to decide which option they want. That’s right, design by public opinion. Now that the ratepayers have heard what the builder, quantity surveyor, minister for sports (and economic development) and prominent rugby players have said, we’ll turn around and ask them what they think. Does that sound like a successful design process?
Does it?
UPDATE 1: We've now been treated by waterfront stadium architects Warren and Mahoney to a brief view of their proposal from Quay St (right, courtesy of the Herald), and a more informative one by that stalwart Herald graphic artist.

UPDATE 2: Meanwhile, Sports Minister Trevor Mallard, fresh from claiming Fletcher Building had been talking down the Eden Park foundations (a claim denied by Fletchers) has come out accusing Eden Park supporters mounting a "viral" campaign against his baby, of pushing "unscientific" polls, of "a lack of vision," and of peddling misinformation. Minister Mallard is now undergoing treatment for an overdose of irony.

LINK: Ahem...what about architecture? - Mathew Brown, Auckland Architecture Association
Mallard's translucent turd by the harbour - Stadium NZ - RobiNZ Personal Blog
Mallard accuses waterfront opponents of 'viral' campaign - NZ Herald

Stadium, Architecture, Sport, Politics-NZ, Auckland


  1. I like the latest nickname - the haemorroid cushion.

    After all it's going to be built on a bunch of piles!

  2. When did this country get the stupid idea that the public and not the architects should be asked what is the best building idea?

    On the note of the public being asked, I am glad they have so far said in overwhelming numbers that Eden Park is their preferred of the two.

  3. The public should not have been asked about it - period.

    The lack of leadership and corporate responsibilty takes my breath away. Auckland deserves to lose this to Jade.

    Now the shareholding public have the gall to think they should be able to vote on whether Flectcher Building accepts the contract.

    Word : You can vote. Sell your shares if you don't like it.
    Businesses can't be run by referendum.

  4. Robert Winefield17 Nov 2006, 07:52:00

    "The public shouldn't have been asked about it - period."

    Yeah, we should just shut up and bend over while Dick & Duck pick our back pockets and add tarrifs to bloody air-fares and Christ knows what else to pay for the bloody thing!

    What a Nonce! Business my arse. It's another instance of Helen et al. aping Muldoon. 'Think Big' anyone? Mallard even berated Aucklanders of lacking vision - pilfering bastard!

    I wonder if he's paid back the bloody election money yet?


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