Architecture NZ September-October 2021

Architecture New Zealand is the journal for New Zealand’s architects. For over fifty years it has been at the centre of the profession – keeping architects informed, inspired and engaged with reviews of the latest projects, insightful commentary on key issues and critical discussion of practice matters.

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6 Numéros

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4 min
a wound upon a building

A FOURTH DEATH – A 14-YEAR-OLD BOY visiting on 29 July with his family – from Vessel, the 16-storey, 46m-tall, staircase sculpture at Hudson Yards in Manhattan. The tragedy has seen the honeycomb structure, variously derided as the “colossal shawarma”, the “stairway to nowhere”, a “giant’s wastepaper basket” and a “pineapple thing”, now labelled a “suicide machine”. Amidst calls for the $US200-million tourist attraction opened in 2019 to be demolished, its designers, Heatherwick Studio, released a statement: “We’re distraught about the news of last week’s tragedy. Working with our partners at Related, the team exhaustively explored physical solutions to increase safety. [These] require further rigorous tests, and we continue to work to identify a solution that is feasible in terms of engineering and installation.” The statement doesn’t say that all the deaths…

6 min
force de frappe

I’M SITTING IN THE SUN ON OUR verandah in a gentle, warm, reflective moment: a rare and welcome respite from rain and work as I consider the awful good fortune of being here. We were the beginning of the bourgeois rot: an insidious displacement of Samoan, Tongan, Niuean and the occasional palagi student occupants, forced to move away from crowded villas and the front-room churches with their Baptist-style exhortations and booming hymns. On that gentle sunny morning, I mused over the government’s pronouncement that those of us within walking distance of the city should be prepared to start packing, loading our handcarts with our widescreen TVs and designer furniture for our own shlep out of the neighbourhood, the picturesque little villas on either side cleared away to make an apartment block…

6 min
the journey into knowing

ONE OF THE GREAT PLEASURES of working as an academic in the discipline of architecture is teaching studio. Of the thousands of worship spaces in the discipline, teaching studio, for me, is right up there with miracles because, every semester, students come to you with empty journals, desires (some misplaced, others inspiring) and anticipation that is, in equal parts, wariness and inquisitiveness. Together, you set off in the waka with open-ended questions, curiosity and infinite creativity. Over the course of the semester, for me as a tutor, it is a journey with smooth sailing, rough waters, gorgeous sunsets and profound moments for self-reflexivity; I hope the students experience the same. Finally, we arrive at the destination – after the absolute storm of hand-in week – to the tranquil bay of student…

8 min
across the board

NO STRAIGHT LINES The last architectural design by the late Austrian artist and architect Friedensreich Hundertwasser, the Hundertwasser Art Centre with Wairau Māori Art Gallery, is scheduled for completion in December. Detailed design for the 2125m2 tile-clad project was developed by local Whāngarei practice HB Architecture, based on a simple original sketch. WATERFRONT WELCOME In the most significant upgrade to Auckland’s ferry infrastructure since the Edwardian Auckland Ferry Terminal was built in 1912, the Isthmus-designed Te Ngau o Horotiu opened to the public in July. The downtown ferry basin redevelopment project comprises the new six-berth Ferry Landing together with the public downtown waterfront space, Te Wānanga. “Over the next 10 years, it’s projected the number of people travelling through the ferry terminal will increase by up to 50 per cent from the six million…

4 min
obituary: ron sang

The life of the late Ron Sang was celebrated at St Michael’s Church, Remuera, on Saturday 19 June by family, friends and colleagues. The church was full, with standing room only and attendees dressed in a swathe of bright colour as Sang had wished. Sang was more than a multi-award-winning architect; he was, also, an avid collector and patron of art, pottery and sculpture, a publisher, a photographer, a pillar of the Chinese community and, notably, a great cook. In 2000, he received the prestigious recognition of being named an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit for his contribution to architecture and the arts. I first met Sang on the Brian Brake site when I was seven years old. My family lived next door in a modernist house from the…

4 min
brick bay folly 2021 finalists

This year, perhaps more than others, the folly finalists appeared to be driven by more-searching imperatives than has previously been the case, with four offering different takes on sustainability and one drawing on our emotional responses to colour. “As always, the entries sought to navigate the area between sculpture and architecture, and, in doing so, highlighted some underlying differences between the two disciplines and some contemporary architectural issues,” says Brick Bay Folly chair, architect Pip Cheshire. “Perhaps the foremost consideration is the extent to which entries offered some spatial experience: something that transcended visual inspection and provoked a consideration of the folly’s making and its place in the wider Brick Bay landscape.” In Between the Rings of the Kauri is a spatially enticing tent-like form, which draws a link between the kauri…