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Video of the Week

Christchurch On Screen

By Video of the Week

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 JĂžrn 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 !

Directing traffic from the past…

By Video of the Week

It wasn’t so long ago, really, when the woes  of Wellignton’s traffic congestion could be sorted out by one man with white gloves and thick black eyebrows…

No flyovers here, just good old 8mm retro goodness of traffic congestion ala Wellington 1963 (before traffic lights came to town…)

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Making porridge pancakes: Te Aro Park

By Architectural History, Comment, Heritage, HISTORY, RANTING, urban design, Video of the Week

I haven’t been down to the container exhibition of WCC’s Wellington 2040 vision, but am looking forward to doing so soon. What I have seen is the recent post over on EyeoftheFish, which gives us a sneak preview of a small part of the type of outcome that might be expected to emerge from that vision: in this case, a new green space where the Oaks building is currently sited. As the Fish reports, that site has been the subject of many suggestions for ‘improvement,’ some of which are captured in this thread. A particularly intriguing one was the suggestion of a ‘Flatiron’/wedge-shaped building on Te Aro Park, and a park where Oaks currently is – a swap of building for open space and vice versa.

Anyway, WCC’s artist’s impression for this specific site (in accordance with the 2040 vision), has been published by the Fish, which I have plagiarised (above) for this post (click on the image to see it larger over on EotF). Although WCC might well be congratulated for a bold vision and a positive intervention in our urban fabric, at a detailed level, the featureless expanse of lawn probably leaves a lot to desire (and would present a heck of a maintenance issue, even worse that those that currently exist on the Te Aro Park part of the site). That aside, there are other, I think more interesting, issues here that seem always to be overlooked when discussion of what to do with Te Aro Park arises – in particular, issues of both urban and cultural heritage. Read More

architectural moves

By urban design, Video of the Week

I really wanted to embed this video by Diana Wesser but it is disabled for embedding so you’ll just have to follow the link to youtube. Called Dancing Around Architect 1: inside the frame, it is part of a series with 2: office and 3: graffiti, but I think one is best.

Wesser is a media-performance-artist-choreographer working out of Leipzig. She has recently completed Movements of Lindenau / Ausschnitte a study of urban spaces through dance.

Video of the Week XLII – Besti Flokkurinn

By Video of the Week

OK, so this one is doing the rounds at the moment, so pretty much old news, and it’s not really about architecture and design either – but just so funny, especially given that they are a ‘real’ party, who actually contested the recent Reykjavik City Council elections, and won 6 of the 15 seats. Read More