Monday, 19 February 2007

Supreme crap for Supreme Court

Look at this piece of expensive crap: the proposed design for NZ's new Supreme Court. The bill will be sent to you, to Mr and Mrs Taxpayer. The architects, Warren and Mahoney, are if you recall the same Warren and Mahoney that helped peddle the urban design disaster that was the Mallard Stadium.

That one was just a bigger Cake Tin plonked down between Auckland's downtown and its harbour. This one is little more than an oversized glass box with some pseudo-Maori candyfloss to pass it off as "bicultural."

What a piece of crap. As Judi Keith-Brown says in this morning's Dom, "There is no need for the Supreme Court to be very big or to cover what is now a park in that slab building. It is completely nuts. It is a court for five judges."

The building is as bad as the notion of the Supreme Court itself. Better to keep the park, I'd say -- or (if a new building is really needed, which I doubt) perhaps to hold an open competition to see if something of more substance can be produced.

UPDATE: More photos added, from Tom Beard's blog. More here at Skyscraper City.

LINK: Architects in uproar over Supreme Court Building - Stuff

RELATED: Architecture, Wellington, Politics-NZ


  1. God it's awful. It doesn't blend in with the building next door. The token Maori thing out the front just makes it look like a barrier saying "FUCK OFF" to anyone that comes near it. When I saw the model my first thought was "Mosque!" with that clitoris on the top.

  2. And it should be directly opposite Parliament, not tucked away obsequiously.

  3. The model certainly has the look of "when in doubt, plant a tree" about it.

  4. Nice, very sympathetic to the old facade of neighbouring buildings.

    Perhaps a modern multi-media learning centre placed in the footpath outside would touch it off just so.

  5. "Nice, very sympathetic to the old facade of neighbouring buildings."

    That seems to be something that this Warren and Mahoney crowd just don't get. They did both the bedpan/cyst stadium and now this, both sitting out like a honeymooner's dick from their surroundings. I'm sure it wouldn't be hard to design something with a broadly classical theme to fit in with the building next door, and with a marae style entrance or something for a bit of New Zealand flavour. I'm sure that could all be done tastefully by a deent architect.

  6. At $80 mill it's a pricey rehash of that hideous stainless steel "wind tree" in QE2 square at the bottom of Queen St (mercifully removed due to Britomart construction)


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