Water Front

With the final unveiling of the winning solutions for the Outer Tee being announced next week, at a breakfast function on 4th November, it is time that we looked at what might actually be likely to win.

There were, sadly, not many really serious solutions. Lots of lovely stuff from the children of the city, which are great on visionary talent, but low on drawing capability, and if we take the childrens’ submissions and the results of our poll to the right, then we’d have to say: build a Roller Coaster, build a Ferris Wheel, and that by and large, Girls (and boys) Just Wanna Have Fun.

But on a more serious side, what really might be worthy of winning? My guess is that anything that builds a large structure in the middle of the viewshaft will not get through. The public has fought so long and hard for those viewshafts from the city to the sea, and WWL know better than to do away with them at this stage. So, good as it may be, this one here just ain’t going to get through:

and nor, thankfully, is this ugly monster:

Nor, I suspect, is this one going to get to the fore: while we all love Venice, a lone wharf on rotting stilts is not the place to start a medieval mudflat dwelling aristocracy. But nice try:

There are a couple here that look the same, with an identical Sketch-Up model of the city, and fine as they look I’m not really sure what the actual buildings do. The writing is too small to see:


But what about an underwater drinking den? A fantastic visual that shows at least someone took this competition seriously, although perhaps too seriously with a pint of scotch in one hand:

There is an Iconic Beacon that seems like it has had some hard work, although the writing is too small to read:

And a fantastic entry from someone keen on transporting a School of Hospitality there, even though I can’t really see why a class full of cooks need to hog the best view in Wellington as they’ll just have their heads in clouds of steam:

In a way, that has as much going for it as the hand-written entry from someone asking that it be set aside as a place for Tourists to sample NZ-made Fruit Juices, NZ-made Mineral Water, and sample NZ-made kiwifruit etc. Why don’t they just go to New World and buy some, like the rest of us?

No, in the end, I reckon it is going to be the Monster Mashup of all things known and wanted by humankind: this one here. Fantastic.


5 responses to “Water Front”

  1. Actually, the Hospitality School is not a silly idea at all. It would bring a ground-floor cafe, restaurant and bakery to make good use of the sun & views, while providing a lot of guaranteed round-the-clock activity. All sorts of other food & drink-related activities could also co-locate there, and it looks like it could fit within the current envelope so it wouldn’t interfere with views & sun any more than the existing shed.

    As presented, it’s hardly an iconic structure, but then this was an ideas competition not a design competition. I could imagine all sorts of recladding schemes that could bring life & imagination to the old shed without requiring major structural work.

  2. Delusions of grandeur, monumentality, iconism (is that even a word), I’m sensing a slight inferiority complex. You can’t build iconic structures. If you set out to build something iconic it will end up looking pretentious. So what’s wrong with having a nicely landscaped bit of flat land on the waterfront? I guess the hectares of empty wasteland space along the waterfront really need to be better utilised so we better cram some more buildings in there. Sheeesh, and if I see one more wind turbine or a solar panel I’m gonna have to get my wrecking ball out 🙂

    OK, I didn’t do a submission so I guess I should keep my mouth shut.


  3. Horatio Hornblower Avatar
    Horatio Hornblower

    No, it’s a good comment Tomek. You’re right – if you set out to build an icon then you rarely get there – witness Te Papa. And then look at Maranui surf club (discussion over on eye of the Fish) and everyone seems to agree that’s an icon.

  4. It’s like trying to define “good” architecture. You just can’t. A bunch of people will usually agree on whether a structure is “good” or “bad” or “not at all” architecture but you can’t quantify those terms.

    I think that that strive for monumentalism is a function of our age as a nation. We are basically teenagers, hungry for attention and full of self-doubt, shouting out “Hey world! look at me! I’m just as good as you are. I am right? Right?”

    I think that we need at least another 50 years before we have a collective “aah!” moment and our national psyche is mostly rid of the inferiority complex. Then, once we’re relaxed and comfortable with who we are, only then we’ll be able to produce truly magnificent work and be proud of it.


  5. Sorry Tom, you had been caught in our Spam filter for some unknown reason. Free now !

    New post coming soon….

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