Process

30 November, 2007

The final Process for 2007 will be held this coming Monday night, at Loop as per usual.

It is taking the form of a debate of the topic “Architecture affects positive social change”, to be adjudicated by Michael Roper and argued by Nicola Garrod from Antarctica,  Peter Hogg from Peter Hogg Architects, Tim Stats from MGS, Karen Alcock from Neometro, Daniel Khong from VicUrban and Nigel Smith from Delfin Lend Lease. It doesn’t say who is affirmative and who opposing unfortunately. But I think that this Nigel Smith guy from Delfin Lend Lease deserves credit for bravery.

Monday the 3rd of December, Loop, Meyers Place, 6:30pm

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The ambience of Camberwell

30 November, 2007

It appears that the Camberwell Station redevelopment is back! And the NIMBY’s aren’t happy.

camberwell

Apparently even Randall Marsh‘s mum wasn’t too happy with her son’s take on the site. And you can be sure that everyone’s favourite conservative liberal art types, Geoffrey Rush and Barry Humphries, will be up in arms loudly holding forth with their very own version of Pauline’s “I don’t like it”. The resident’s action group spokesperson is priceless though “This is worse than we expected, apart from a small strip of land near the station, the entire site will be covered in buildings and the ambience of Camberwell will be destroyed forever.”

Yes dear, what will happen when those dreadful people move in to live in the apartments? They might even be something other than white anglo-saxon protestants, heaven forbid! Because really, all of these new houses that Melbourne needs, can’t they just build them somewhere else? Those new housing estates are frightfully ugly, but at least one doesn’t have to look at them. Yes, send those people out there, somewhere else away from me and my time warp.

There is also the small issue of “the ambience of Camberwell”, does this woman see nothing odd about talking about the ambience of some train tracks?

Unfortunately, there aren’t any more images on the Wood Marsh site and I can’t even find a site for the developer, Tenterfield.


Carfeul with the flashing kids…

28 November, 2007

So I’m sure we’ve all heard about the whole MIT-sues-Gehry-because-their-building-is-leaking shamozzle, but apparently it is a bit of a beat up.

mit

According to none other than Bill Mitchell however: “It was all about insurance, of course, an uninteresting wrangle over how to pay to fix some routine construction problems that inevitably arose in a large, ambitious and complex building.”

Importantly he points out that MIT are happy with the design, because several crusty old and not-so-old curmudgeons have been opportunistically using this incident to get stuck into Gehry’s design and have a big old “I don’t like it” whinge.

There is of course always the possibility that the efflorescence and cracking are the fault of the engineer or contractor. I remember reading that Steven Holl used the construction of the Pratt Institute as a teaching exercise for the archi students there, notably making a point of getting local and Canadian contractors to provide concrete and showing all of the students the difference between them. The local contractor’s concrete was pretty bad, so I wonder if this says something about the quality of construction in the north east USA?

Then again, perhaps it was all due to a badly written contract, shouldn’t responsibility for rectification be sorted out before building goes ahead?? Who knows, but I’m feeling a pull to get back to that box gutter I’m working on…


Oh no, not the view!

24 November, 2007

Apparently the view from the St Kilda Esplanade over the current concrete carpark to the beach is “unique” and must be saved! Personally, I assumed it was just another view of the beach and a somewhat unlikely one at that, fewer people walk along the footpath on the side of the Esplanade that has beach views than the other side where all of the actual (current) buildings are. That and the fact that you can look at the beach from a few other places in St Kilda…

Triangle

But no, apparently it appears that ARM + Citta’s St Kilda Triangle will alter the view from the upper Esplanade. Never mind the fact that there is a seriously ugly carpark sitting in the middle of that view at the moment, or the fact that the views from the new development will be of the beach. Now, apparently there is a planning provision in place that says that beach views can’t be blocked, but being in contravention of a planning law is a different thing than sheer NIMBY-ism.

Are we still living in the bloody picturesque?


“…it’s the academic equivalent of ‘Survivor’…”

23 November, 2007

Exhaustion, uppers, downers, crashing computers, hysterical laughter… Triple J’s current affairs program, Hack, interviewed a bunch of final year students at UQ, listen here.

Apparently, studying architecture makes your friends think you’re a wanker, well yeah, mostly…. And newsflash of the freeking century: crits suck!


Architects vote too

14 November, 2007

An interesting addition to the Festival of Silliness that is the current federal election campaign is the RAIA’s party poll on issues affecting architecture and the built environment.

Basically, they’ve provided a bunch of statements to the parties and asked them to respond. So far only the Greens and the Coalition have gotten back to them it seems. There is so much bloody spin in the Coalition’s response that I could barely read it without feeling ill (from the dizziness you know), though I think they basically said that they wouldn’t give any money to the Venice Biennale. But they do quite clearly and in all seriousness quote a Demographia study, so they’re obviously a pack of simplistic morons. And the Greens, jeez, why can’t they work out how to print to PDF? They also want to “promote a distinctly Australian style” within architecture. Which sounds a) impossible and b) like jingoistic crap.

The RAIA has also created three BBQ Stopper Podcasts (their term, not mine), which seem to be recorded panel discussions, on the topics of housing affordability, sustainability and nation building. Will have to investigate further and report back, because I am in fact going to a bbq this weekend, so I’ll see if shouting something from the podcasts gets everyone to shut up and stop eating.


sublime and ridiculous

12 November, 2007

Heard the other day over drinks in a city bar: in between designing some extraordinary renovations for the heritage-listed terrace of a well-known Melbourne media player -including a full-size concrete pool on the roof deck- Buro Architects are currently busy designing a 22-storey tall statue of Buddha, to be erected in Bhutan. Apparently the sculpture is currently being fabricated in China, and the current dilemma is how to get a greater that 22 storey crane set up on a mountain in a country that only has one traffic light.