The Eye of the Fish

Maximus
November 28, 2008

Architecture Awards night

Yes, tonight is the night for the architectural community, as the local Wellington region Awards for Architecture and annual knees up are being held tonight. Last year the awards went to the New Dowse, the Masterton Police Station and the Greytown Town Hall, Holiday Inn, the new Maritime Tower, Len Lye’s water whirler, the waterfront refurbishment of Shed 13, and the highly deserved award for Conservation House (which went on to win a Supreme Award by the year’s end), as well as a swathe of awards for some very fine housing. Awards are being held in the very evocatively period Shed 13 tonight – lets hope that the owners have managed to install some toilet and kitchen facilities which are noticeably absent in this picture from last year!

shed13inner.jpg

While Eye of the Fish hasn’t been invited to participate in the awards, hopefully we can bring you an update soon after to confirm what are Wellington’s top architect-designed buildings for 2008. While there are lots of projects to consider this year, the global (and eventual Wellington) slow down will have a restrictive effect in years to come. Residential building consents have plummeted apparently, with commercial consents surely not far behind. Indeed, by this time next year there are likely to be a lot less architects in Wellington full stop, judging by shockwaves from the credit crunch echoing around the world. New York and London have been hit hard, with vast swathes of architects finding themselves out of work in recent weeks. There’s a lot of money being thrown into the vast vat of global sloshfunds, in an effort to make this whole credit crunch go away.

It would be nice to think that our government’s efforts to kickstart the economy with spending on “infrastructure” might include architectural works such as perhaps an extension to Te Papa by UN Studio, or more money for public housing, or even upgrading of Wellington’s tacky architectural commercial legacy, it’s more likely that any funds will just end up on the inevitable roading projects (read: Auckland motorways). While no doubt by this time next year we’ll know whether the crunch has bitten or been beaten, my personal hope is that the corporate crooks that got us all into this mess haven’t simply run off with the funds. When sums in the region of hundreds of  Billions are being shovelled around, the sound of pigs with snouts in the trough is inevitable.

Anyway, enough of the doom and gloom for you lot tonight: eat, drink and be merry – enjoy the drinks and let us know who got the gongs.

M-D
28 - 11 - 08

(read: Auckland motorways) – don’t forget the giant taxpayer slush funding of our very own Transmission Gully, not to mention the proposed Basin Flyover, and no doubt other N2A projects in the pipeline, all of which tend to be heavily subsidised by taxpayers across the country – it doesn’t pay to be too parochial…

On the actual awards, I can’t even begin to think of which projects might be worthy – so the results should be interesting. Do you think they (is it the Wgtn branch of the NZIA?) would ever have the fortitude to not give out awards where no projects were of sufficient merit?

Maximus
28 - 11 - 08

I’ve said it before, and am willing (and stubborn enough) to say it again:

Transmission Gully will never happen.

No-one is willing to pay for it. And we don’t even have a National MP in Wellington, so guess how much sway the Green and Red List MPS are going to have in voting for it to happen to Wellington ! It’ll never happen, never happen, never happen….. if i say it often enough it may begin to sink in.

But I’m sick of banging on about that. More interested in your other comment: I’m sure there will be some awards tonight, but I agree that they are likely to be facing a bare patch a few years down the track! It’d be great to have it said: “Sorry, but there is nothing worth giving an award for this year” !

That’d give a kick up the backside to the slackers amongst the architects and developers in town who insist on building shite….

Seamonkey Madness
28 - 11 - 08

“Transmission Gully will never happen.”

And so it shouldn’t…

Maximus
29 - 11 - 08

the full list of Local Awards for Wellington has been posted at the NZIA website :
http://nzia.co.nz/content.aspx?c=218&t=Local-Architecture-Awards

» Australian High Commission, Thorndon
» ICI House (currently Deloitte House), Thorndon
» DSIR – Physics & Engineering Laboratories, Gracefield
» DLA Phillips Fox, Customhouse Quay
» Opus Architecture Studio, Willis Street
» Restoration & Additions, 32 Tinakori Road
» Glogau House, Thorndon
» Meridian Building Jervois Quay
» “Omarapiti”, Carterton
» Garage Cinema, Bar & Gymnasium, Old Tablelands, Martinborough
» Bengal Street House, Khandallah
» Hataitai Kindergarten Storage Snake
» Wellington Night Shelter
» Dawn Trust House, Lower Hutt
» Scots College Boarding House, Strathmore
» Kumutoto, North Queens Wharf, Wellington Waterfront
» Pelorus Trust Sports House, Hutt Park
» Rembrandt Suits, Naenae
» Commercial Retail Development, Cuba Street
» “The Wellington”, Cuba Street
» Quattro Maison, Newtown
» The Crescent Point, Roseneath
» Ira Street Townhouses, Miramar
» Strathmore House
» Small House, Mt Victoria
» Kinsman Home, Lowry Bay
» Ahikouka Weekend Retreat, Greytown
» Jones House, Eastbourne
» Ngaio House
» Kelburn House
» Raumati Beach House
» House at Pounui Ridge, Wairarapa

rondo
29 - 11 - 08

Hmmm, interesting list. If you take out the residential element ie houses and townhouses, and internal fitouts, all of which most of us will never see, you’re left with the following:
» Australian High Commission, Thorndon
» ICI House (currently Deloitte House), Thorndon
» DSIR – Physics & Engineering Laboratories, Gracefield
(all of which have been there for years, so must have been 25 year awards), and so:
» Meridian Building Jervois Quay
» Wellington Night Shelter
» Kumutoto, North Queens Wharf, Wellington Waterfront
» Pelorus Trust Sports House, Hutt Park
» Rembrandt Suits, Naenae
» Commercial Retail Development, Cuba Street (Kate Sylvester shop in Lower Cuba ?)
» “The Wellington”, Cuba Street

and of course:
» Hataitai Kindergarten Storage Snake

which is actually a really short list. I’m impressed there is something in there in Naenae ! Must check that out!

archinonymous
29 - 11 - 08

As one who was at the Awards night, and who greatly enjoyed the food and drink: great night out. Makes up for the cancelling of the Resene party that usually happens.

But goodness me: there are a few in that list that were scraping the lower limits. No names mind, but some of those houses….

fog
30 - 11 - 08

shed 13 is brilliant – contratulations to Wellington Waterfront and the architects who have upgraded it

Robyn
1 - 12 - 08

I’m impressed there is something in there in Naenae!

It’s quite a spunky building – I go past it every day on the train. From memory, it’s got a sexy ’70s feel to it. It’s completely refreshing compared to the neighbouring shitboxes of Naenae.

Robyn
2 - 12 - 08

Google Street View has come along just in time! Now we can check out buildings and places and sites without inconveniencing ourselves by – ugh – going outside.

Here’s the Naenae Rembrandt building.

archinonymous
4 - 01 - 10

As one who was at the Awards night, and who greatly enjoyed the food and drink: great night out. Makes up for the cancelling of the Resene party that usually happens.

But goodness me: there are a few in that list that were scraping the lower limits. No names mind, but some of those houses….