The Eye of the Fish

Maximus
April 28, 2011

No Royal Wedding in this house

While I’m steadily more and more amazed at the sycophantic press coverage afforded to the nuptials of a certain couple this week, not just from the gutter press of No Idea and Women’s Weakly etc, but also from TV1 and TV3, I swore a solemn oath on the fin of my father’s flipper that I wouldn’t cover the wedding, and hence won’t say another word about them.

Instead I’d like you to feast your eyes on this choice morsel of world’s worst design – ever.

A design courtesy of one of the three “successful” winners of a bid to supply transportable homes for the poor devastated folk in Christchurch, this design is beyond inept and deserves to be sunk without trace. Let’s hope that the poor burghers of ChCh just stick two fingers in the air and resolve to stay in their crack-ridden ruins than lower themselves to submit to such an appalling piece of design. I mean, honestly, what were the designers thinking?

It is fairly obvious that no architect was involved – but I doubt if the person who drew the plans has really ever designed more than a dog-kennel or rabbit-hutch before. I’m speechless at how bad it is.

Luckily, someone at Project Freerange has been able to put it into words more coherently than I can, noting that it: “reveals some peculiar planning” and has:

” * no laundry,
* it appears that the kitchen is completely walled in,
* you can’t get to the 2nd bedroom without climbing over the couch,
* the master bedroom 3/4 the length of the single bed,
* inefficient separation of kitchen and bathroom plumbing.”

That’s what happens when you leave a Brownlee or a Joyce, an English or a Key in charge of something important: they cock it up. It’s not like the good folk of Christchurch are slum dwellers escaping form a shanty town in Botswana – they have come from decent homes with decent designs and probably even decent neighbourhoods – and to offer them a piece of substandard housing like this is really insulting. I’m not expecting it to be high class sophisticated design – you’ll never get that if you have a three bedroom “house” in a 50m2 shoebox – but it doesn’t need to be as bad as all that.

Can the readers of the Fish do better? Not that I think you should give your intellectual copyright away for free, but honestly – truthfully – we can’t let something as rubbish as that get promoted.

Feel free to send me in an image – anything – scanned, photoshopped, pencil, or pen – anything better than this wins a beer at the bar with the fish of your choice. Email us now.

minimus
28 - 04 - 11

When i first looked at the floor plan I thought it was for some new apartment block in Te Aro.
I thought that the master bedroom looked a bit big for that though.
I’m not sure if I was relieved or disturbed to realise it was not.

Maximus
28 - 04 - 11

Well, it is over twice the size of a new bedsit apartment in the laughingly renamed “The Peak” apartment building in Te Aro (formerly known just as half of Te Aro Towers), but it is even worse in planning. At least the Te Aro tower gives 20m2 for one studio room – and about 35m2 for a one bedroom unit – but this design, at 50m2 (gross), takes the cake by trying to squeeeeeze in 3 bedrooms.

Spencer
28 - 04 - 11

Where do you put the 50″ TV to watch the wedding?

Denny
28 - 04 - 11

I always loved this 24 room apartment that is around 35m2…
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lg9qnWg9kak

sav
28 - 04 - 11

Atleast if the plan is to be believed you get 360 degrees of external paving. Or do you just get giant maths grid-paper..

60 MPa
28 - 04 - 11

Kitchen and bathroom back to back straddling the middle with a laundry cupboard incorporated there too.Living area down one end and bedrooms down other end.
Living area to face the street and bedrooms at quiet end separated for noise by the utility areas would seem to be the basic. External shape is presumably dictated by what shape can fit on a truck – speaking as an ex-housemover.
Sorry my Photoshop skills suck

In other news
http://katemiddletonforthewin.tumblr.com/

“Humanity will not be free until the last king is strangled to death with the guts of the last priest”

Byron
28 - 04 - 11

For those interested, the drawing above is an existing ‘transportable’ project, of which there are a few variations of equal quality. The article does suggest there will be changes from this one, lets consider Barnaby’s critiques as rather constructive. Link to the work of NZTransportables, the joint succesful awardee of the Chch Temporary Housing bid. Hallelujah.
http://www.nztransportables.co.nz/portapad/plans?start=2

Maximus
29 - 04 - 11

Byron, it behoves me to point out that the “designs” of NZ Transportables appear to be devoid of any signs of intelligent life. The planning is… just inept. Incompetent. Incoherent. Inequitable. Indescribably bad.

There is honestly no earthly reason for any plan to be that bad – and certainly no reason for every single one of their plans to be that bad.

Byron
29 - 04 - 11

Hear Hear!

davidp
29 - 04 - 11

Soon after the quake I proposed that the government should be converting shipping containers in to emergency homes and emergency retail and office spaces. I still stick by that. One of the advantages of containerisation is that after things have returned to normal you could stack them up somewhere dry and then use them for the next natural disaster, whether in NZ or overseas. And handle them with the normal container infrastructure. You also had a chance of actually delivering several hundred by now, whereas winter has arrived and the government is still arsing about.

But…

>the master bedroom 3/4 the length of the single bed

I just don’t understand this. What does it mean? As far as I can see, the master bedroom is significantly larger than a single bed in both dimensions. But then nobody dissed my granddad, so I didn’t study architecture at Weltec, so I’m not an architect, so I may not understand how to read a plan.

>you can’t get to the 2nd bedroom without climbing over the couch

I’m shocked that tenants aren’t allowed to position furniture how they like, but are being forced to arrange it according to the dictates of the poorly drafted conceptual view. This is the sort of nanny state micromanagement that a Brash-led ACT Party will no doubt oppose. In the mean time I’d be happy to organise a FREEDOM TO ARRANGE FURNITURE campaign if anyone would like to join me.

>Can the readers of the Fish do better?

I’d do away with the beds and bedrooms. Instead I would have a giant pile of beanbags down one end of the house for communal sleeping. You could get half a dozen people sleeping in an area of 2m x 2m, altho they’d have to spoon.

Guy
30 - 04 - 11

I’m disappointed that the Fish decided not to cover the Royal Wedding, cos the architecture coverage was pretty fantastic.
However, I have to say that David P has a point – re containerization. The plan shown here – leaves the 2 single bedrooms at about 2.35m wide – which is damn small. Not really any room for a wardrobe or even a toy box. These units are so mean spirited that yes, a container with bean bags may be nicer than this.

minimus
30 - 04 - 11

Those designs are so bad.
If only a local university was working on a transportable house…

davidp
1 - 05 - 11

>If only a local university was working on a transportable house…

No need Minimus… someone has already designed a perfectly good transportable house here:

http://www.ohgizmo.com/2011/04/25/qtvan-camper-trailer-designed-for-use-with-electric-scooters/

And it has space for a big television.

Guy
1 - 05 - 11

Minimus – as it happens, there is indeed a local university, Victoria, doing just that. A fantastic project with really good design and planning. On show right now too, right here in Wellington.
http://architecture.org.nz/2011/04/27/firstlight-house-flying-up-on-frank-kitts-park/

m-d
2 - 05 - 11

OK – same awful kit of parts, but with storage space (a wardrobe for the master bedroom, and a storage closet in the lower right hand corner), space for a washing machine, if clean clothes must be had (next to the kitchen sink English-style + dryer above if necessary), the obligatory tv facing arrangement of lounge-ware (with the added bonus of only needing a small screen given viewing distance), concentration of wet areas in one zone of the building, and actually allowing access into the kitchen fwiw. (I’m sorry, I don’t quite understand the criticism of the master bedroom..?).

All in the same footprint, but I note now as I post it that I needed to rearrange fenestrations slightly (esp storage room!). You can sleep five by simply giving over wardrobe and storage space to a small single bedroom – but I’d rather keep the storage space and use bunks for the other single beds if more beds were required (I can’t believe that, given restraints, 1 room per bed is considered a bare minimum…)

No architects were harmed/used in the creation of this design: http://25.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_lkjifxWE5G1qz5gamo1_500.jpg

bear28@vodafone.co.nz
3 - 05 - 11

Come on – it’s not that hard.

a 10m x 5m 3 bed house:

– 3 bedrooms that can fit a real double bed (queen beds shown) – each with a decent wardrobe
– 4.8 x 3.9 living room that can take some decent designer furniture and a big TV
– decent kitchen with room to expand
– discrete door to a bathroom with a proper bath (shower over), toilet, vanity, washing machine and HWC
– can be split into 2x 2.5m wide sections
– only uses 90 framing on exterior and plumbing walls,

https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/_PAFYx-5EyKo/Tb6MUdMhahI/AAAAAAAAAVs/UvoUFBNV1Fg/s912/5-x-10-house.jpg

All intellectual copyright reserved (not that it actually takes that much intellect)

m-d
3 - 05 - 11

That is much better, of course, but why reserve the copyright? Why not just give it to Jennian etc for the reconstruction effort, and then have them ‘buy’ it if they want to use it beyond that…?

bear28@vodafone.co.nz
3 - 05 - 11

I think the Jennian ones are 83sqm whereas the challenge here was to do a 50sqm one like the picture at the top.

m-d
3 - 05 - 11

oh – sorry – I thought that was the Jennian plan…

starkive
3 - 05 - 11

Meanwhile, in Japan….

http://smh.domain.com.au/real-estate-news/shipping-container-housing-for-japans-homeless-20110428-1dy60.html

m-d
3 - 05 - 11

I like it starkive, but I don’t think it would go down well with the people after the discussion re accommodation in shipping containers had earlier: http://www.guide2.co.nz/politics/news/shipping-container-prison-cells-take-shape-at-rimutaka-prison/11/8954
I can already imagine how the conversation would play out…

60 MPa
7 - 05 - 11

This conversation is being had in the national press also

http://www.nzherald.co.nz/property/news/article.cfm?c_id=8&objectid=10723924

Maximus
7 - 05 - 11

and this conversation is also going on….

http://www.stuff.co.nz/auckland/local-news/nor-west-news/4964762/Maximus-a-lean-fighting-machine

60 MPa
7 - 05 - 11

Max, don’t tell us you’re a ginga..

In unrelated news, I tried sending you an email about a mysterious object in Welly and got bounced back from your published email address – if
contact@eyeofthefish.org.nz
isn’t right then what is please?

Are you purring or is that my bass speakers?

Maximus
8 - 05 - 11

Just .org not .org.nz