The Eye of the Fish

March 25, 2010

Parnell Rising and Falling

A little segue to Auckland here, to feature a building sent in by one of our Auckland readers, Chris. If anyone can shed any light on who designed this building, we’d be interested to know.

The building has recently been demolished for, as our contributor puts it, “some sad ass developers wet dream.” I’m not sure what the developer is planning to replace it with, but, as Chris notes, “It was a two storey kauri villa 1800s in style that during the 80s had been re-worked very cleverly and well – it was an absolute gem.”

It appears to have been altered more than once, with the retro-fitting of signage supports coming perhaps after the initial deconstructivist steelwork explosion that appears to have happened inside, that pierced the outside and gave the building a very unique effect. Although Chris states that he is “pissed off that the right wing council doesn’t give a figs toss about our built heritage” I’m not really sure on this one. Yes, you get what you deserve if you live in a city stupid enough to vote a talk back radio host as revolting as John Banks in twice, but on the other hand – is it really that good a piece of architecture?

I’m inclined to think that it has been designed as a structure to shock and surprise, much the same as this picture of two recent creations by much lauded fashion icons John Galliano (left) and Kate Sylvester (right), where all I can say is that in this case, rather than shock and surprise, instead they have lost the plot and produced works of extreme crapness.

So what are your thoughts on the building featured above? Should we be mourning for its passing, or had it already had its five minutes in the sun?

25 - 03 - 10

I confess I was an Aucklander in the 1980s and it seems to me that the building in question was altered by Auckland furniture/product designer Michael Glock in the midst of the stock boom and much trumpeted as the arrival of post-modern deconstructivism or somesuch. It was coincidentally sited right next door to the fabled Ray Smith’s Goldcorp bullion scam. Glock also operated an interior design shop in Ponsonby around the same time and was one of Felicity Ferret’s favourites. I also recall a rather messy end-of-the-80s financial imbroglio.

These days he seems to have moved on…

25 - 03 - 10

There is certainly a strong similarity between the building and the Galliano. The model, suitably buff and well proportioned, has been set upon by inappropriate accoutrements such as the mad raffia-style headpiece and the strapped on corset / codpiece. Without a doubt, like the building, he would look better without all that crap.

26 - 03 - 10

Thanks for the reference Starkive – I vaguely recall Glock being mentioned as “the man” at the height of Auckland’s big 80s boom too. Interesting that he know seems to have been reincarnated as a very odd web persona. Your link through to “Dr” Glock’s page showed me that there are depths to the web (and the american psyche) that I was previously unaware of. A small taste (warning: capitals used):

“Michael believes in the power of ideas, great information design and the generation of emotional impact that can only be achieved by getting into the depths of the cultural psyche. Having foresight, being a futurist, and designing for it, is Michael’s specific strategic and tactical advantage. Michael is a member of the World Future Society and The International Association for Jungian Studies (IAJS) (in the United Kingdom), a member of “The Academy of Political Science” in New York, and sits on various boards.”

“As a Ph.D., Michael has developed a social science methodology that explores how the unconscious within significant business and cultural events informs the future. Cultural Futuristics is a practical methodology that produces insight and foresight into the future and is a vital tool that creates substanial enhancements to scenario based planning. Cultural Futiristics is now in use by the Future Intelligence Agency and by Genius Stone Partners. These tools have been designed to amplify and support current methodologies in use by futurists. These new approaches will lead Dr. Glock, inexorably towards the development of a philosophy of futuristics that will advance the precision of predictions and generate greater accuracy in cultural forecasting.”

But not so good on spelling I see. Three spelling mistakes on your own web page – not such a good look for the future, Glockenspiel…

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and even more revealing, a sample press release:

Dr Michael Glock’s 2004 Fantastica Book Now Available in India Imported Edition. Order now and get it in 14-21 business days.
My book is now availble in India! “Raisin Bread Toast and other collected tales of fantastica.”

MICHAEL GLOCK was born in Newtown, just outside of Lyall Bay and next to Kilbirnie, where he bought his first pair of cowboy boots. On Saturday afternoons he would with his grandmother, walk to Kilbirnie to watch the movie matinees. It was t… More

Contact Michael Glock
thinkAlchemy LLC
4115 Glencoe Ave #105
Marina del rey
CA 90292 USA