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Shifting sands at Oriental Bay

In the past 100 years the “rotunda” at Wellington’s Oriental Bay has been buffeted not just by wild seas, but also the less predictable winds of change. Shifting needs, mores, and economies have seen the structure reinvented several times, and it’s about to happen all over again.

09.11.19 in buildings authorities

A sentiment in a minor key

The Palace of Fine Arts in San Francisco is out of the way now, sandwiched between The Presidio military barracks and a residential neighbourhood. It was out on the edge because it it sits on what used to be the swampy 635 acre home of the 1915 Panama-Pacific International Exposition (“The Innocent Fair”). There’s little left to see of the buildings that made up the expo, but it was well-documented – here’s a good glimpse showing the Palace in construction.

19.06.14 in buildings heritage

Tall skinny stories

elenberg fraser towers
Tower Melbourne (left and middle), Abode 318 (right). Elenberg Fraser

29.10.12 in buildings urban-design

Comment [3]

Panel drop

The National Mutual tower in Collins Street (Godfrey & Spowers, Hughes, Mewton and Lobb) lost a marble facade tile today, clearing the plaza 10 storeys below. The Age has more, mistakenly referring to a fallen ‘concrete slab’, a scary thought.

30.01.12 in buildings 

Comment [4]

Venice pavilion shortlist yawner

The Australia Council yesterday announced its shortlist for the Venice pavilion competition. As expected, they are playing it safe, with just a couple of smallish practices. Given the level of discontent surrounding the competition, it’s surprising and provocative of them to play it this safe. It’s the competition you have when you’re not having a competition. All blokes who graduated before 1986, so a total lack of Gen X, Y or Z, or XX chromosomes. Of the 67 expressions of interest, the jury of five chose:

24.11.11 in buildings 

Comment [10]

Ted's top ten

Manchester Unity building

22.11.11 in buildings 

Comment [1]

A decade

The news caught up with me on the morning of September 12th 2001, when I got to work. I wrote a stunned mullet wikipedia-style post when I got home. I was mainly trying to get to the bottom of how both towers could implode on themselves, using the scant information available at the time. The death toll at the towers was unknown and incomprehensible. A few days afterwards I received an emotional email from the late New York Times critic Herbert Muschamp, touched that people “with kangaroos in Austria” would be thinking of them. The internet was a small place back then.

11.09.11 in buildings 

Comment [3]

Stonehenge might even start

stonehenge visitors centre

05.09.11 in buildings architects

Architect / protaganist:

Bridge building

A great 2007 doco is on ABC iView, until June 14th, on the construction of the Sydney Harbour Bridge. Design plagiarism, kidnap attempts, fascists on horses, bank robbing… it’s exhausting.

06.06.11 in buildings 

Comment [2]

Venice Pav

The Oz tin shed is to be replaced. Di Stasio wins. From the news :

04.06.11 in buildings 

The Architects hit Fed Square

Good? Bad? Ugly? All three? This video from Sunday’s Art Nation also contains a glimpse of Lab’s ideas for Fed Square East. Think leafy and shady!

23.05.11 in buildings video-clips

Architect / protaganist:

Comment [23]

Grand Huf

As a preface to an upcoming article on prefab housing, which may not be ready for a while… here is a Grand Designs repeat about the construction of a german Huf Haus , demonstrating how ridiculously quickly they can be erected, and also how weirdly it sits in its English suburban context. It expires VERY soon though – May 23. iView here .

21.05.11 in buildings 

10 Murray crunch time

Here’s a link to ABC 730 Tasmania’s video coverage last Friday of the 10 Murray St debate in Hobart – all coming to a head in the supreme court today and tomorrow.

19.05.11 in buildings heritage

Architect / protaganist:

Lift to view

OK, so you’ve paid $32M for a site in Point Piper, but it’s not on the sea side of the road, and its pretty damn steep. First thing to do is clear the existing historic mansion. Next, build a new one. Then build a Bat Cave, but swap the bat poles for a bat lift.

05.01.11 in buildings weird-wonderful

Qatari stadia

20.12.10 in buildings 

Comment [2]

Media, museum

Braille NMA

11.10.10 in buildings 

Architect / protaganist:

Comment [9]

Birdcage slide

The old Birdcage hotel in Auckland is sliding very slowly up the hill to temporarily make room for a new tunnel (which will help that city’s enormous traffic jams for a wee while). The move is pretty slow, as this time lapse shows, as the old brick hotel was not very strong in the first place. The last thing it needed was to be put on skates.

01.09.10 in buildings weird-wonderful

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