Christchurch Cathedral to be demolished?!

Breaking news – and something that I can’t quite believe they would do, but the Bishop of Christchurch has announced today that the Anglican Church plans to completely demolish the Cathedral in Christchurch.

Cantabrians, and no doubt others, are in total shock. There is, as yet, no confirmation as to whether it will ever be rebuilt, and if so, in what form – but this seems an extraordinary action to take for a building that is still largely intact – and is such an icon – not just for the church, but for the city and indeed the whole region. What a pathetic, pathetic decision from the Anglican church.

Posted on 2nd March 2012
Under: News | 9 Comments »

Learning from Christchurch – or not.

Cr Andy Foster’s comment over on EyeoftheFish regarding issues of eq preparedness in Wellington highlight, for me at least, something of the difficulties of this particular discussion Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on 6th December 2011
Under: Comment, urban design | 2 Comments »

Let’s go the whole hog with heritage

No, not in any Gerry Brownlee way, but if there’s going to be any strengthening going on why mess with 30%?  Why put all that kind of money into strengthening when to strengthen to 100% won’t cost another 70% but much much less? Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on 7th March 2011
Under: Comment, Heritage, Heritage Buildings | 13 Comments »

Rebuilding Warsaw

Christchurch is not the first city in the world to be destroyed by an earthquake, and it won’t be the last one either. As far as modern disasters go, it is actually rather restrained, with a remarkably minimal loss of life – we have, currently, 168 dead. In a similar sized quake in Haiti, they had between 100,000 and 200,000 dead. That’s the tragic thing – they still don’t know how many died – and because we have such a meticulously exact police force in this little country, we’ve got a very slow, but very accurate reporting of exactly who died, where and why.

Not so slow however is the demolition crews, Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on 5th March 2011
Under: Comment | 10 Comments »

Resilience: earthquake resistance

In a city destroyed by earthquakes, and around the country as well, confidence in our built environment has taken a massive hit this week. After a decade of suffering stories about leaky buildings, and the recent quakes that have destroyed the centre of Christchurch city, what people need to have now is confidence in their architecture. That is something that has just not happened. Images of destroyed buildings, of twisted wreckage and destruction in the heritage architecture of the garden city, have saturated the press coverage of the 2011 Canterbury quake. Alongside that, we can notice people gathering in the open spaces, under the leafy trees of Hagley Park and other places. A city designed with open spaces is a resilient city – it is prepared and it will survive. The trees in the park are supple – they bend and sway in the force of the quakes – and then are back to normal again. In times like this, trees and open space are safe places to be.

Buildings are different. Buildings can kill you. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on 26th February 2011
Under: Comment | 8 Comments »