butter paper australasia : greaseproof architecture links 2000 - 2019

Spell in AKL

I have just returned from a few days in New Zealand. The house extension I have been working on there for four years got its code of compliance certificate as I left – a major relief as any NZ architect will know. I may pop a photo below when I figure out how to get one onto this Macintosh…

It was an odd and awful time to be there. On the first day the mine near Greymouth exploded and an old hotel was demolished early in the morning by Auckland’s council. The first devestating event has been well covered, the second understandably not so much.

Auckland has a bit of a reputation for getting rid of old buildings worth holding onto, and replacing them with… well usually junk. The annexes of the Aurora / Palace Hotel in the central city had started falling down of their own accord on Thursday afternoon and council took it upon themselves to help the whole 124 year old building on its way the same night, in the interests of public safety.

To my eye, the cracks shown in the photos are only between the annex and the main building, but I am no engineer. Apparently something happened in the basement that caused the whole building to teeter. The timing is a bit strange though. The building was on the verge of being redeveloped into an “upmarket brothel” for the Rugby World Cup being held in 2011. Those plans are now dust and the developer is planning to sue the council. He was not consulted about the demolition.

NZ Herald 24.11.10 – Demolition report withheld
stuff.co.nz 24.11.10 – history

Posted by Peter on 25.11.10 in heritage

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