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

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Architecture on show

Here's a quick round-up of some events and exhibitions related to architecture and urban development.

Museum of Wellington City and Sea - logoAs part of the Wellingtonia Live festival at the Museum of Wellington City and Sea, there's a lunchtime talk next Wednesday about developments on the waterfront. Then on Saturday (the 22nd) there's the final instalment in the "Why I do architecture" series of panel discussions, with Sam Donald of Parsonson Architects, Gina Jones of Accent Architects and Stephen McDougall from Studio of Pacific Architecture. McDougall also joins Mark Southcombe from the VUW School of Architecture to discuss the churches of St Joseph (by the Mt Victoria tunnel) and St Anne (in Wanganui). That's at 6.30pm tomorrow night in Lecture Theatre 1 of the School of Architecture in Vivian St.

Back at the Museum, there's a room dedicated to the Architectural Centre's Manifesto exhibition. This not only displays the finished manifesto, but also documents its evolution in the form of discussion threads from the Arch Centre's online forum (including comments from one particular meddling non-architect). What's more, they've papered the walls with all sorts of manifestos (manifesti?), both architectural (Le Corbusier's Vers Une Architecture) and other (the Communist manifesto, the SCUM manifesto). Pity they missed the Futurist Manifesto of Lust, which is rather an entertaining read.

There's an intriguing exhibition at Enjoy gallery called Inner City Real Estate. Fiona Connor has recreated the interior of the gallery's former site at 174 Cuba St entirely within their new space at number 147. It's quite a disconcerting experience, and it's accompanied by a series of events exploring urban change. At 2pm this Saturday, gallery manager Melanie Hogg will discuss the architectural, historical and social implications of the move. The closing party (next Friday at 6pm) will have performances from The Stumps and Birchville Cat Motel: members of both bands were involved in a particularly interesting night at Happy that got blogged about here and there.

Photo from 'The Velveteen City', an exhibition by Alastair McAraAnother art exhibition with a focus on architecture and urbanism is The Velveteen City at the Arts Centre. Photographer Alastair McAra uses a pinhole camera to document the people and buildings of upper Te Aro, and in the words of the press release, he has "sought out sites that have developed character over time through use or non-use and buildings that are being relocated as part of the Inner City Bypass construction. What I am exploring is whether they retain this sense of character." I suspect not.

As the countdown in my sidebar indicates, the film festival is nearly upon us, and there's one documentary of particular interest to architecture fans. Sketches of Frank Gehry shows the processes that the eponymous starchitect follows to create his famously sculptural buildings. The local science fiction thriller Event 16 also sounds intriguing: it'll be interesting to see what a digitally-recreated Wellington of 1893 and 2038 looks like on screen.

Looking further ahead, as I mentioned in yesterday's post, on the 26th of August the Civic Trust will host an all-day seminar about the future of what it calls the "Northern Gateway". That's the flat area between the CBD and Ngauranga, and as well as the contentious Harbour Quays development, it will also consider better rail access to the port, improved ferry access, State Highway realignments, cruise liner berthing, revitalising the railway station and the creation of a landmark sculpture. Full details are still to be published, beyond what's in the press release (116kB PDF), but it will be held at Rutherford House and will cost $40. This is a vital chance to look at all those issues in an integrated way, in contrast to the uncoordinated developments that have left it so messy and unappreciated for so long.


At 11:45 am, July 13, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

thanks for the link to Manifesto of Lust... enjoyed that.

At 5:46 pm, July 13, 2006, Blogger s. said...

Or www.myspace.com/stumpsthe, possibly. ;)

At 10:01 am, July 14, 2006, Blogger Tom said...

Ah yes, much easier to remember! I just defaulted to the old Ctrl-L, Ctrl-C, Ctrl-Tab, Ctrl-V routine. Updated now.


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