Personal reflections on urbanism, urban life and sustainable urban design in Wellington, New Zealand.

Monday, November 05, 2007

Last chance feedback

Feedback on the Frank Kitts Park and Kumutoto schemes closes today, so if you haven't done so, today's your last chance to pop down to the Waterfront Project Information Centre and give your feedback. If you can't make it in person, just add your comments here or to the posts on individual schemes, and I'll print out all the posts and schemes later this afternoon and post the lot in the suggestion box.

To summarise, here are my incredibly oversimplified thoughts on each scheme.

Frank Kitts Park
  • Option A: Safe but practical, though the location of the Chinese Garden might be problematic.
  • Option B: Nice clean geometry, with a good tight cluster of buildings, but too much bleakly flat lawn.
  • Option C: One for the hippies.
  • Option D: A good crisp design, but with too much blank lawn and a Chinese Garden that breaks the rules a little too much.
  • Option E: Good spatial arrangements, with some bold touches.
If I had to choose one scheme it would be E (with some of the flow problems and bottlenecks addressed), though A is pleasant enough and I wouldn't object to it winning.

  • Option A: Some interesting geometry, but the architecture is not compelling enough to make up for its urbanist shortcomings.
  • Option B: Bold and inspiring, but wildly impractical for the climate.
  • Option C: Cheeky and potentially iconic, but perhaps derivative and definitely a political minefield.
  • Option D: Quirkily appealing at Site 8, handsome and urban at Site 9, but unconvincing at Site 10.
  • Option E: Some interesting deviations from the brief, but impractical and overscaled.
  • Option F: Striking design and inventive spaces at Site 8, pleasant and practical at Site 9, and quietly innovative at Site 10.
Since picking and choosing is definitely on the cards, I'd go for Option D or F at Sites 8 and 9, with either Option F or a heavily modified version of Option B at Site 10. While I'm at it, I'd also insist on a ground floor indoor sports space at Site 10, and let Site 8 interact more directly with the water (perhaps with a basement-level "old sea wall bar" after Option A).


At 10:55 AM, November 06, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Tom, as ever, very information posts - thank you for covering these important proposals.

On indoor sports, fyi, the old GolfWarehouse is currently being fitted out to partly replace Shed 1 & 6, should they go. The GolfWarehouse is further away, but will allow at least some netball to be played, but not 5-aside soccer (too narrow)....so the groundfloor of Site 10 is still very much needed. Although I note the Waterfront SubDevelopment Committee was scrapped by Kerry shortly after it voted for "Site 10 to be seriously considered for indoor sport"....

At 3:44 PM, November 06, 2007, Anonymous maximus said...

Anon - are you serious? They scrapped the Waterfront sub-Development committee? Or are you just joking? I think that many of the schemes could quite simply incorporate an indoor sports centre into the ground floor - and i am sure that if the architects were asked to incorporate it, or wihdraw their schemes, then all objections would miraculously be withdrawn.

Let's face it: the ground floor of site 10 is not really suitable for retail, especially on the road side. Its a big, wide, smelly, fast, steaming motorway, and there ain't no-one going to be looking for a new frock down there. But a big glass wall into a thriving sports centre (think of Auckland Uni's Rec Centre - one of the most interesting bits of Auckland's otherwise mediocre urban landscape). Now that'd be good !

At 4:09 PM, November 06, 2007, Blogger Tom said...

I certainly hadn't heard anything about the WDSC being scrapped: it would be a major change to the governance structure if that were the case, and I don't imagine the mayor alone would have that power. The only thing I can thing of is that maybe it's had to be temporarily dissolved until new councillors had been appointed to replace the two of the three councillors previously on that committee who lost their seats: Ruben & Armstrong.

Maximus: I certainly agree that in terms of location, Site 10 would be better for indoor sports than for retail. However, to replace not just Shed 1 but Shed 6 as well, a huge and relatively uninterrupted section of the ground floor would be required. All of the entries divided up the ground floor with lobbies, atria, parking and ramps to the extent that getting even two courts, let alone the three required, would be nearly impossible. I don't know how much flexibility the various structures would offer, but I hope that indoor sports could somehow be incorporated there.

At 11:36 PM, November 06, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

As I understand it, the Council's Strategy & Policy Committee on Sept 18th said "with the finalisation of many aspects of the WDP there is no need for a separate Waterfront Development Subcommittee" and that, as they say, was that....

At 6:01 PM, November 12, 2007, Anonymous maximus said...

...and that is that... except: that there was not a Stategy and Policy meeting on the 18th of Sept, and the meeting on the 20th Sept never mentioned the waterfront subcommittee, and while i am sure you may be right, i still can't find out where it is that you Are right. Can you check your references and post again please? Its important we know ! cheers, Max


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