The Eye of the Fish

Deadly dull housing

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Following on from the entertaining architecture of Queenstown, where the residential architecture is rigorously controlled and ruthlessly rectilinear, and the commercial architecture is uniformly confused and bizarrely ugly in most respects, I thought I would head to somewhere where the opposite is apparent. In Napier, by comparison, the commercial architecture of the town is uniquely […]



The Eye of the Fish was recently spending some time down in Te Wai Pounamu, on the shores of Lake Wakatipu. Along with several hundred other architects who jetted in to Queenstown for the NZIA New Zealand Architectural Awards, those of us that actually got there were pretty much a captive audience – bad weather […]

Crocodile bikes and peeps


If you haven’t seen Stephen Colbert’s trip to NZ yet, then click here and watch it – its great! And spends time in my favourite local bar – without giving away where it is! Excellent! But there is also a wonderful sequence where they pass a woman, keen on walking, while Stephen and a couple […]

A-frame fever


How do you feel about A-frame houses? Being a child of the 70s, I grew up with the humble A-frame as an example of daring, alpine, exciting architecture, even if it was in Titirangi rather than halfway up the Swiss Alps. An A-frame spoke to me of an adventurous spirit in architecture – perhaps some […]

Wellington 2030


I’m never particularly enamoured of Karl du Fresne’s writing in the Dom Post – he’s as subtle as a tap on the head with a brick – but I did think that he got it spot on in his post last week, entitled: Ghostly buildings and projects at a standstill – Wellington in 2030. So […]

Let’s Get Wellington Flooding


Venice is flooding, as we speak, with a tide that is the second highest ever recorded. Only 1966 was higher. Venice has flood gates, being built by Project Noah – Italy being Italy, it is incomplete. Venice being built on mudflats in a river delta, you can’t be exactly surprised – it is much like […]

Let’s Get Wellington Feedback


LGWM is clearly on a path of “They told us off for not consulting last time, so let’s consult the hell out of it this time” and so they have released a couple more agonisingly slow feedback mechanisms. It’ll probably take them another 3 years to collate the data, but let’s give them some data […]

Pretty Awful in pink


It’s a tough life being an architect – even tougher when others don’t respect what you do. You spend all your time working on a modern marvel of a building, slogging out the hours to create a building that will last the years, suspending it on base isolators to make it last 1000 years, and […]



Despite our continued lack of a certified Mayor (recount? what recount?) the really big story this week continues to be the 2040 announcement by Wellington Airport that they want to expand. Not just expand the length of the runway, but expand the parking for planes, expand the retail, expand the terminal(s) and expand their scope. […]