Being keen on cricket I was shocked and amazed to see the article in this morning’s DomPost featuring, if the story is correct, a piece of horse-trading going on between the NZTA and the Basin Reserve Trust. The story raises a number of rather obvious, questions:
- Is the idea of an overpass so detestable to cricket lovers, that it needs to be hidden?
- Do crowd numbers warrant an expansion of The Basin or is the proposal simply to block out the Nor-wester that tends to be a bit of a home advantage?
- Is this a good place to watch cricket from (neither behind the bowler’s arm nor square of the wicket)?
- Is this a diversion so that something less is deemed acceptable to block the southerly vista up Kent and Cambridge Terraces?
The surrounding vistas from cricket grounds are not all pretty. You needn’t think further than the famous Oval, in London, where huge gasometers have been part of the backdrop to games for as long as I can recall.
If the idea of an overpass is so ugly to cricket then NZTA would save significant taxpayer dollars by hiding it…
or better still, dropping it down to the natural grade (but I would say that!).
Really, I applaud the Trust for striking a deal for a new grandstand… It is potentially great news for one of the most beautiful cricket grounds world. But take the time to design something that will work both now and in to the future. Consider the urban context. Consider what it looks like from the street and from the ground.
The changes at the MCC, led by Michael Hopkins, with his tented pavillions and completed by Future Systems, with their media centre are great examples of what can be done with a bit of imagination (and a good budget).
These buildings are well placed to suit their relationship to the game and their place in the local townscape. They sit well with their neighbours and reflect the ideal picture of cricket.
We can do so much better…