Thursday, 19 April 2007

Wellington's best modern buildings?

The best modern buildings in Wellington? Tom Beard's doing a list of own favourites as we speak (here's numbers ten, nine, eight and seven already) ahead of the Architectural Centre's own 'Best' list being issued this weekend (this follows their Ten Worst list issued recently).

Feel free to disagree strongly.

That's his number ten on the left, by the way, which I have to confess was one of my own favourites when I lived in Wellington, and for similar reasons to Tom's:
That's not due to its detailing or materials, and while its dark horizontal ribs and textured concrete have their own appeal to purists, the truth is that if it were half the height or twice the width it would be unremarkable at best.

No, it's the daring proportions that make it so eye-catching and even elegant. Rosemary Howell put it well when she wrote that "its exceptionally slender design was an attempt to minimise its visual intrusiveness, and yet it is precisely this which makes it such a spectacle on the Wellington skyline".

There's a lesson in that for today's high-rises: efforts to limit the visual impact of buildings by restricting their height often result in a worse aesthetic outcome for the city.
Regular readers will already be familiar with my own number one...

1 comment:

  1. Oh, I hate that building! Every time I walk down the Terrace I notice it and feel a little creeped out by how stupidly skinny it is. Ugh.


1. Commenters are welcome and invited.
2. All comments are moderated. Off-topic grandstanding, spam, and gibberish will be ignored. Tu quoque will be moderated.
3. Read the post before you comment. Challenge facts, but don't simply ignore them.
4. Use a name. If it's important enough to say, it's important enough to put a name to.
5. Above all: Act with honour. Say what you mean, and mean what you say.