My favourite modernist building … Computer Centre (Stage One), University of Canterbury

Completed Computer Centre view from University Drive - 1968

Stage One of the University’s Computer Centre (now known as Angus Tait, Hall & McKenzie, 1965-66) is a building that I have long enjoyed Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on 31st August 2016
Under: Architectural History, Heritage, Heritage Buildings, HISTORY | No Comments »

My favourite modernist building … Lyttelton Tunnel Authority Administration Building

Lyttelton Tunnel Building from north c. 1964

Lyttleton tunnel Building from north c1964

Favourite buildings can be significant presences in our lives, Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on 12th August 2016
Under: Architectural History, Heritage, Heritage Buildings, HISTORY | No Comments »

Knox Church

There is going to be a long period of rebuilding in Christchurch – we all know that. Which is why that the importance of getting the first buildings rebuilt right is vitally important. One of the first proposed rebuilds out of the starting blocks is the Presbyterian Knox Church, which really had the stuffing kicked out of it. Built with a gorgeous native timber roof, which has proved the versatility of timber construction, and reinforcing the stupidity of unreinforced brick construction; when the big February quakes struck, the brick walls simply “fell off” into the street and all that was really left standing was the gothic arched timber roof structure. Timber is like that – it knits together like a net, with lots of small flexible joints. The interior is now exposed and looking brilliant:

Knox Church minister Geoff King said he wanted to make sure that the Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on 20th February 2012
Under: Comment, Uncategorized | 12 Comments »

Christchurch On Screen

With impeccable timing, NZ On Screen have just published the Christchurch episode of The Elegant Shed – to go with the Wellington episode already onsite.

“In this episode of the influential NZ architecture series, dapper tour guide David Mitchell looks at the ‘Christchurch Style’. He begins with the humble baches on Taylor’s Mistake’s cliffs, before focusing on the Euro-influenced brutalism of Miles Warren and the “flamboyant” practice of Peter Beaven (earthquake victims SBS House, and Lyttelton Tunnel’s “fifth ship” are featured); and the cottage’s modern descendent: Don Donnithorne’s post-war home. Warren intriguingly compares his process designing Christchurch Town Hall with Jørn Utzon’s Sydney Opera House.”

Please feel free to share! It’s especially poignant to see many of these buildings featured and discussed post-quake. The title is a part of NZ On Screen’s Christchurch collection.

Thanks to Paul Ward !

Posted on 16th February 2012
Under: Video of the Week | 1 Comment »

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 »

Christchurch moves on

There is significantly good news coming out of Christchurch from this week just passed, for which we can all be grateful for. After several long months of continuing shakes, the announcement of Roger Sutton as the new head of the CERA is a waft of fresh air that even the government ministers must have been holding their breath for. It sounds as though the ‘powers that be’ have been hanging out for him to make a move, and from his brief interview last week, he sounded like a person that can not only talk about getting things done, but that he actually might get them done too.

Sutton is Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on 16th May 2011
Under: Comment | 3 Comments »

New Visions needed

Now more than ever is the time to be thinking of fresh ideas. With Christchurch EQ version 1.0 and version 2.0 being totally eclipsed by events in Japan (Tsunami 9.0), it’s clear that some fresh thinking is due in the battle for sustainable buildings. Gerry Brownlee put his best foot forward (or, in his mouth) when he called for action on Old Dungas, and advocated “knocking all the old buildings down”.

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on 21st March 2011
Under: Uncategorized | 8 Comments »