That other New Zealand city of some little significance…

Just to show that we are not completely parochial here at the Arch Centre, from time to time it is necessary to cast our eyes south of the Strait and north of the Tararua Ranges and acknolwedge that building activity does take place in various regional centres… such as, say, Auckland – the City of Sales (no typo there, just the impression I get every time I visit downtown Queen Street)…

No – not a post addressing the super-amalgamated-councils and the super’men’ behind it all – just a little something that caught my eye recently – some artist’s impressions of a new ASB headquarters for the ex-Tank Farm (now more elegantly(?) renamed Wynyard Quarter).

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on 30th April 2010
Under: Comment, RANTING | 7 Comments »

On Fish, bridges, Boris, Jonathan, and pack-donkeys

Maximus may have been all fish-out-of-water proposing an inhabited viaduct over Wellington’s the Basin Reserve over at Eye of the Fish, but it seems that somebody is reading that blog over in our good old Mother Country… Boris Johnson, Lord Mayor of London no less… Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on 6th May 2009
Under: RANTING | 6 Comments »

“Something Awful being built” – or not as the case may be.

Astute venue of architectural criticism, the Capital Times (8-14th April 2009) came up trumps recently via comic strip “Jitterati”‘s social commentary. With one foul swoop (or more accurately four comic strip frames) local building, the recession, class politics, and architectural disillusionments ensued. One cultural giant was pitted against the merits of another, as the comic strip queried the relative value of stalled developer architecture (represented by the Watermark Development) and cinema (represented by the Rialto). Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on 8th April 2009
Under: RANTING | 8 Comments »

Video of the Week IX: Le Corbusier’s Mediterranean cabanon comes to London

The blurb says: 

Le Corbusier’s summer cabin - a tiny bolthole built in the south of France for his wife – has been reconstructed at the Royal Institute of British Architects in London. Jonathan Glancey steps inside to discover what it tells us about the architect’s other monumental buildings

It’s kind of mind-blowing that it is in this space that Corb designed some of those vast concrete megaliths that architectural historians do love so much. That aside, I just love the craft here, and the novel solutions to the problems of everyday living – it puts me in mind to our recent visits to the Black and Einhorn Houses in that respect… But, the minimum dwelling? A model for affordable living? I suspect that it really does need the views that it had originally in order to make this livable rather than soul-destroying, and the lack of kitchen (and consequent reliance on the next door restaurant) isn’t really going to work for the usual low-income earner… and where the heck would you put the widescreen tv, let alone get far enough away to view it all…

Fwiw, Corb spent his last night here (in the cabin in its original location, not at RIBA in london), before drowning on 27 August 1965.

m-d

Posted on 17th March 2009
Under: Uncategorized, Video of the Week | 17 Comments »

Video of the Week VIII: Mister Glasses (episode 1)

This is actually the first episode of 6 short stylishly noir Mister Glasses film clips (although for some reason episode 5 is missing). Never before has the relationship between love, sex, patricide, and Modernist architecture been so clearly expressed – it’s enough to make contemporary Modernist revivalism look hollow and superficial in comparison to the seriousness with which Mister Glasses and his team approach architecture and its meaning…

My favourite is the second episode – although ep. 6 is pretty good too, especially if you are looking for architectural pick-up lines to try out… If there is a moral in there somewhere, it seems the Modernist always ‘gets the girl’… (perhaps this explains the current revival?)…

Episode 2; episode 3, episode 4, episode 6.

Update: the ‘lost’ episode 5 was taken down by youtube, but is available here. That youtube felt compelled to remove it is quite ironic in the context of structural nudity honesty that the client initially rejected… However, the real question is, where can we get an engineer as blankly persuasive as Hard Hat…?

Posted on 10th March 2009
Under: Uncategorized, Video of the Week | No Comments »

Recent & future Arch Centre site visits – what say you?

We have been pleased by the positive feedback that we have received from members who took advantage of our recent house visits, and would like to take this opportunity to acknowledge the efforts and hospitality of Jane Black (Black House visit), Jule Einhorn and Di Austin (Einhorn House visit) and Bob White (Renwick House visit).

    

Viewing these houses allows us not only the chance to make connections back to the beginning, and in many ways the founding principles, of the Architectural Centre, but they also provide us with the opportunity to consider how we live and design for living today… Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on 6th March 2009
Under: AC EVENTS, Uncategorized | 7 Comments »

Site Visit: Einhorn & Toomath houses

Click on the invitation for a larger image.

Just when the Modernist house becomes cool again (in terms of contemporary retro-modernist design at least), owners of the actual Modernist houses can’t wait to get out of theirs (actually, its not quite that simple) – giving us all a chance to view and perhaps make a purchase of authentic architecturally-designed heritage.  Ditch your villa/bungalow pretensions and (for a night at least) come and check out ‘design for living’ at the Einhorn and Renwick Houses … see you there!! Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on 3rd March 2009
Under: AC EVENTS, Site visits | 2 Comments »