The Eye of the Fish

Maximus
May 9, 2012

wiggly

wiggly wiggly wiggly wiggly wiggly. Five wigglys – that’s how wiggly this is.

Tory Street, 2012: the year this city got its wiggle on. I can’t overstate how much fun this building is – a plan, ugly, bog-standard black box of a building with the world’s worst pudding basin hairdo before (Mansard Roof, pug nose: traincrash ugly), this little Tory St palace has been transformed into a wiggly white worm, snaking its way along the street. I can’t believe how much fun you can evidently have with a piece of powdercoated white aluminium angle, and a laser cutter.

OK – so there is not much else to the building, but there will be, when the proverbial market picks up. Forget the doldrums. Forget Squish Net., or Woosh, or whatever it was – its different now. The Advance electrical suppliers have moved out (into Real Groovy – sacrilege!) and one day the restauranteurs will move in, and then finally we will get a foodie street on the south side of Courtenay.

The transformation is from ArcHaus, who seem to have a monopoly on all the work around here – except for Moore Wilsons across the road of course, and Roger Walker just down the street, and, oh heck, they clearly haven’t got a monopoly here at all. Some of the work in Tory St is a bit hit and miss – Century City, by Roger Walker I think, had both good bits and bad bits. A curate’s egg perhaps, but you could never call Roger a curate or an egg I presume. Some of the buildings down the side streets near here are worthy of celebration, while others are more likely to make you cry – but this one just makes me laugh. I hope that all the shops fill up quickly, cos i want to go there and spend my evening under a floating aluminium verandah. It’s just one simple idea, but executed oh so well. Good on you ArcHaus.

Not much more I can say until it is full of people and food and life. But it is by small and slightly significant works such as these that our days get just a little bit more enjoyable. Hurray !

davidp
9 - 05 - 12

It’ll be nice when it is full of restaurants, especially on a summer evening when people can sit outside. It’s making Tory St a bit more of an extension of C Place, rather than a street of supermarkets and car park entrances and big box retail.

But… I wish they’d done something about the fake slate roof. It just doesn’t match the rest of the building. At least paint it white, even if they don’t want to re-clad it with something that matches the new additions.

Michael Hudson-Doyle
10 - 05 - 12

One of the units says “leased” on it already — anyone know what it’s going to be?

Tory
10 - 05 - 12

Apparently a restaurant called “Asian Kitchen” is going in there. There’s one by that name in Victoria St at the moment, but I don’t know whether they’re moving or opening up another branch.

Best thing about the existing Asian Kitchen? Chocolate wontons.

minimus
10 - 05 - 12

So I’ll give a bit of free promotional credit. Apparently the panels are water jet cut and were done by a firm in sea view called Accrete. They were recently subs on my job. Nice guys and have had the chance to do some pretty premium work of late.

greg
11 - 05 - 12

Wavy bits are nice but in all honesty you can’t make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear. As davidp says, the roof needs to go, and then there’s all that awful brown tinted glass. Would have been great if they’d gone the whole hog with it tbh

Maximus
11 - 05 - 12

Tory and minimus, thankyou for your helpful information.
Greg and DavidP, we may have to agree to disagree there. While the building roof did indeed used to be just about the most awful thing on Tory St ( we can take a vote on what the MOST awful building is – there is a lot to choose from), I reckon that in this case the mansard has moved from naff to stylee. It’s like a flat cap. We all know that on the traditional Andy Capp type aged Pom from Up North, the flat cap can look as dull and stupid and unexciting as a bag of unreeled potatoes, but on the head of a stylish young rake like one of the Bresolin boys, it takes on an air of rakish glamour.

And here it is doing just that. Perhaps when the whole building was colored charcoal, and the roof was prominent, it looked awful – but now the great wiggly white worm becomes the most prominent part of the composition, and the black cap slides into relative obscurity. Except from where one of our readers is sitting of course, cos he’s got a ring side seat of the roof. But to the average punter in the street, I honestly don’t think they will even notice the roof any more.

Speaking of great white worms, has anyone seen the film Lair of the White Worm ? Wow. Years later, I still remember that as intense.

davidp
11 - 05 - 12

>it takes on an air of rakish glamour

A flat cap never has glamour… Unless you’re a 80 year old British Northerner then you just look like a twat. Same with the brown roof, which can be seen by anyone on Tory St who walks with their eyes level or moving rathere than looking at their feet.

>we can take a vote on what the MOST awful building is – there is a lot to choose from

I’d have to go with the carpark opposite the Mountain Safety Council. One side of the street is quite nice. The other looks like it was built by people who really hate us. The cluster of buildings at the Warehouse are a close run second. And my thoughts on the concrete bunker on the Tory/Vivian corner are well known.

My favourite is the Zebra Backpackers, for no other reason than it is PAINTED LIKE A ZEBRA!!! I think the inside of Red Ginger is suburb. And I’m fond of the little art deco topping on the building that has Brooklyn Bread and Bagels in it, and the neat balcony addition at Chow. Strangely, I don’t mind Harvey Normans. I think the huge steel columns are kind of neat.

Guy
11 - 05 - 12

The car park building opposite the Mountain Safety building was a Chase Corporation development, back in the day (80s), when the whole of that block (Tory to Taranaki, Courtenay to Wakefield), was going to be a massive tower and assorted other blocks. Only the car park building was finished before it got stopped by a combination of concerned locals, and a worldwide financial crash.

DeepRed
13 - 05 - 12

“The cluster of buildings at the Warehouse are a close run second. ”

Currently owned by the Chow Bros, whose reputation needs no explanation.

“The car park building opposite the Mountain Safety building was a Chase Corporation development, back in the day (80s), when the whole of that block (Tory to Taranaki, Courtenay to Wakefield), was going to be a massive tower and assorted other blocks. Only the car park building was finished before it got stopped by a combination of concerned locals, and a worldwide financial crash.”

Chase Corp did a lot of architecturally dubious stuff in Wellington during the 1980s. Not least of all the late, un-lamented Mid-City Cinema on Manners St (now Conservation House). What is now Reading Cinemas was originally bulldozed by Chase in the 80s but left vacant for about 15 years.