Posts Tagged ‘urban design’

Architects Draw: history

Saturday, November 1st, 2014


Hugh Ferriss “Metropolis of Tomorrow” (c.1929)

Drawing has been a staple of an architect’s profession for longer than architecture has been a profession … (more…)

Wellington’s Urban Design

Tuesday, November 23rd, 2010

At the Architecture Centre we feel it is time to ask some questions. The rumblings from our city have been going on for some time – the big question is : what IS going on at the Wellington City Council with regards to the Urban Design and Planning of the capital city?

Arch Centre has a long history in this respect. In fact, Arch Centre has been commenting on Wellington’s Urban Design even before Wellington had a Town Planning department. We still have active members who remember what used to happen, or not happen, and the Town Planning and Urban Design of Wellington was one of the prime reasons that Arch Centre even came into existence on. Sixty to seventy years ago, Wellington had a slum problem. Te Aro flat in particular was a suburb of drink, drugs, destitution, and prostitution, in a mix of bad buildings. Nowadays, of course, nothing much has changed…. except new buildings for old. But our concern for Urban Design continues. We campaigned on it back then, we have even run Council candidates in the past, so we feel that we have an absolute right to ask as highly concerned Wellingtonians, about just what is happening to the Urban Design Team at Wellington City Council.

We’ve been watching and waiting in the sidelines for some explanations of what the ‘Team’ is doing. Wellington used to have a very strong Urban Design Team, up until about 10 years ago. Rumour has it, our Urban unit was even the envy of Auckland. We had strong urban reviewing capabilities, with architects and urban designers working in the team and all extremely knowledgeable about the history of Wellington. But things have been changing a lot since then, and there has been a gradual and steady loss of institutional and intellectual knowledge. There are still some fantastic dedicated souls there. But many others have left, or been forced to leave.

Although we don’t have figures to hand, there have been a number of restructurings at WCC’s Urban Group over the last few years, reaching way back before the current lot of managers. Is it five restructurings (more…)

Invercargill leads the way.

Monday, August 30th, 2010

Quite alot happens at the edges of our roads. (more…)

Looking out for us … all

Wednesday, May 26th, 2010

Sitting in Mojo’s in Dunedin last weekend, sheltering from wind and rain, a chance glance at the ceiling revealed the ominous black perspex globe hiding a security camera.


On the Prowl

Friday, February 26th, 2010

In recent weeks (something about tragic airline promotions), the notion of the cougar has been roaming the airwaves (probably more than our streets).  Rather than Baudelaire’s notion of a flaneur (the more placid experience of the city through walking), a more aggressive and sexually-charged urban exploration is gaining currency in our city’s lexicon. (more…)

Fashion offensives

Wednesday, November 11th, 2009

Architecture has historically had a difficult relationship with fashion, and, despite the challenges of the Urbis generation, it continues to perpetrate an image of consistent fundamentals, along with its younger siblings: Urban Design and Town Planning. (more…)

The Elephant in the Room

Saturday, September 12th, 2009

Phil Jones‘ talk on last Wednesday (9 Sept 09) presented the idea of shared spaces (also known as naked streets) in the context of the council’s proposal to convert lower Cuba St into a shared space.