It’s been a busy year which is why posts have been few and far between. But as the year slips away we get to that time where I hit the road for the NZIA Graphisoft Student Design Awards. Two weeks ago I was in Wellington for the Victoria School of Architecture Awards and last night was Unitec’s turn.
Wednesday night however was the major event where we celebrated the work of the top 12 fifth year students across the three schools of architecture. The quality of work on display continually improves and astounds all involved.
This year I had the great privilege of awarding the top prize to Arnika Blount from Unitec – the first time Unitec have picked up the top award during our five year involvement with these awards.
The jury citations for Arnika along with the two highly commended students are below the photos of Arnika’s project.
Arnika Blount Unitec Department of Architecture
Recognising that a chance discovery presented a wonderful opportunity, the entrant has produced a highly resolved scheme that draws on impressive research and expresses a strong vision. The imaginative, credible and compelling re-use of an underground reservoir buried alongside Auckland Museum as a contemporary cabinet of curiosities is an inspired and innovative premise. With its echoes of Sir John Soane’s Museum and the cavernous realms of Piranesi’s drawings, the sophisticated project is a celebration of structure; it posits an outcome that is both poetic and tantalizingly possible.
Victoria University of Wellington, Faculty of Architecture and Design
Project: A New Agora
In this timely, well-researched and cleverly conceived project, an existing site in coastal Sumner, and familiar recreational activities, are used as the basis for a new type of suburban settlement. A sports field and its attendant grandstands are turned into a model of more intensive and more interesting habitation. The ‘new agora’ incorporates dynamic and well-planned living and working spaces, and is a vehicle for gently moving reluctant suburbanites towards a more intensive built environment. It’s a disarmingly casual and impressively creative solution.
Erica Austin, Jacky Lee, Praveen Karunasinghe, David Wong, Biran He, Alexander Haryowiseno University of Auckland School of Architecture And Planning
Project: Future Christchurch
This is an exceptionally professional treatment of a challenging situation – the reconstruction of post-earthquake Christchurch – presented in an exemplary manner. Indeed, the presentation would be the envy of many professional bodies or agencies. The rigour of the research is evident, as is the concerted effort to make sense of the findings. The whole exercise demonstrates the virtue of collaboration; the project could not have been realized to this level if it had not been a collective effort. Therefore, besides being admirable in itself, it shows the way forward for the architectural profession by highlighting the skills architects bring to complex urban problems.
Since I started this Blog I have at various times posted photos of architecture from my overseas visits. For a long time I’ve been meaning to post about New Zealand Architecture, so here goes.
Late last year I visited the upgraded Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki. I took a few photos with my phone but never got round to posting them.
Last month, at the NZIA Annual Architecture awards the Art gallery was awarded New Zealand’s top prize in Architecture the New Zealand Architecture Medal. This recognition prompted me to finally write a post.
“The Auckland Art Gallery is a most deserving winner of the Architecture Medal,” says the convenor of the awards jury, Wellington architect Hugh Tennent. “There were high hopes for this building, and big challenges to overcome. The architects had to work with an existing heritage building and a sensitive site on the edge of Albert Park, as well provide all the spaces and amenities required by a twenty-first century art gallery.”
Originally built in 1888 (an old building by New Zealand standards) the Gallery has been restored, strengthened and extended. The detailing of the extension is amazing with the quality of craftsmanship clear to see.
As an aside, for those of you who aren’t from Auckland, while you can’t experience the building in person you can view the Gallery’s collection via Google’s recently released Art Project.
There is no doubt that Building Information Modelling (BIM) is and there are a number of initiatives happening in both New Zealand and internationally that reinforce this. However, exactly what BIM is still causing wide-spread confusion.
A recent survey by Masterspec here in New Zealand while on one hand showed a high percentage of respondents saying they use or are aware of BIM, when asked what BIM was results varied greatly! The survey is definitely worth a look for those in the NZ Building Industry.
Lastly anyone who thinks BIM is just about software needs to read this article - Getting a BIM Rap: Why Implementations Fail, and What You Can Do About It – again from AEC Bytes. It outlines that significant organisation change is required for BIM adoption and those that don’t make fundamental changes are likely to fail with their BIM adoption. I particularly liked the story of the CEO who attended all the training sessions to help set an example. CEOs in my mind should almost be called CCM’s – constant change managers but that is a topic for another post I have been meaning to write for sometime.
Winner, RMB Commercial Project of the Year, Registered Master Builders Awards 2011
A challenging brief with a double ambition meant that the redevelopment of the Wellington International Airport Passenger Terminal, completed in 2010 in association with Warren and Mahoney Architects, required a unique and innovative design.
The first task was to meet a set of complex technical specifications and optimise the available pocket building site, heavily constrained by aircraft choreography. In conjunction with external apron works, the project involved the expansion of interior open lounge floor area, new retailing, linkages from the new passenger processing area and an increase to eight aerobridge-capable gates.
As the gateway to Wellington for international passengers, the brief also demanded that the building offer a memorable visitor experience through a unique, edgy aesthetic that embodied a strong sense of place.
The oscillating outline of the new building was derived from the curved indentations of aeroplane docks into the confined triangular site. The organic irregularity of this outline dovetailed with the concept of the building as a crusty, enigmatic rock embedded in the runway – a gesture to the land’s geological past, recalling its kinship with the craggy, sea-battered Wellington coast. A radical departure from contemporary airports worldwide, preoccupied with the imagery of lightness and flight, the Rock terminal instead evokes the anchoring qualities of the land that rises to meet planes as they touch down and the coast that recedes away from them as they depart. Its copper finish is a mirror for Wellington’s swift transitions from grey sky to gold sunlight, as well as providing unparalleled durability in a corrosive environment of sea air and aircraft fuel gases.
In contrast to the bland, mall-like interiors that typify most international airports, the interior of the Rock exudes warmth and resounds with personality. Honey-coloured macrocarpa ply softens theatrical strata of dark-stained panels fissured with light. Spaces unfold on varying levels and exploration is welcomed, with journeys through the interior gently modulated by a series of ramps. Travellers are able to enjoy interior areas that are engaging and restful, impressive and intimate.
Client: Wellington International Airport Ltd.
The Company– Studio Pacific Architecture
Studio Pacific undertake a large range of projects, from small individual furniture items to large projects involving entire new towns. The small scale work includes new houses, additions and alterations, and retail work. The larger schemes include large multi-unit residential and commercial buildings as well as masterplans and landscaping.
Studio Pacific was established in Wellington in 1992 by the three directors: Nicholas Barratt-Boyes, B. Arch, ANZIA, RIBA; Stephen McDougall, B.B.Sc, B.Arch, FNZIA; and Evzen Novak, B. Arch (Hons), ANZIA, RIBA. Prior to establishing the Studio, all three directors studied and/or worked together in New Zealand before working for a period in Europe: Evzen studied in Berlin and worked in Switzerland and London, while Nick and Stephen were based in London and worked on projects throughout the U.K. and Europe.
The collective international experience gained by the directors in Europe set the platform and influenced the direction of the practice. From early design competitions and small residential commissions Studio Pacific has evolved into an award-winning substantial and creative practice with diverse projects throughout New Zealand. Particular recognition has been given to the studio for working with the arts, urban regeneration, housing, masterplanning and contemporary workspace planning.
Marcellus Lilley – Associate, Lead Project Architect for The Rock
B.B.Sc, B.Arch, ARB (UK), ANZIA
Marcellus Lilley joined Studio Pacific in 2003 and has been an Associate since 2005. Marcellus has a Bachelor of Building Science and a Bachelor of Architecture from Victoria University of Wellington, and has completed post-graduate study at Westminster University, London en-route to becoming a registered architect in the United Kingdom. He is also a New Zealand registered architect.
Marcellus has broad experience in urban renewal, mixed-use and multi-unit residential projects during five years of working in London, and before that, education and residential projects in the Hawkes Bay. Since joining Studio Pacific, Marcellus has been lead Project Architect on the MOTAT Aviation Display Hall project, the Wellington International Airport Terminal Development Project (Stage 01 and Stage 02) in addition to various smaller commercial and civic projects and competition work such as the Royal Society of New Zealand Campus.
Marcellus also co-ordinates the Studio systems group (SPARK) that monitors and develops the Quality Management System utilised by the Studio.
He has travelled extensively and maintains a keen interest in design and the delivery of projects through the role of Project Architect.
Karl Frost – Senior Technician
Karl graduated with a Bachelor of Building Science degree with Honours from Victoria University in Wellington in 1990. He started in the building industry with Jasmax, working on the Te Papa Tongarewa Museum of New Zealand project in the Auckland office for 2 years and then on-site in Wellington for 2 more years. This was followed by a brief stint overseas before he returned to Wellington in 1999 and joined Studio Pacific Architecture. Since then he has worked on a wide range of urban and commercial projects.
Karl is one of Studio Pacific’s most experienced CAD users, skilled in both modelling and documentation. He has worked as a team member on a number of commercial projects as a CAD leader and technician. His experience is invaluable for coordinating CAD information between Studio Pacific and other consultants.
I have been planning on writing this post since the first day of 2012 and am only now getting round to it and we are almost 5% into the year! [Updated: I didn't complete this till the 19th January so we are now over 5% into the year!]
One year ago I was beginning my 15th year at Cadimage Group (formally Cadimage Solutions) and my 7th year as the Managing Director.
In general I spend more time thinking about the future than looking at the past, but I find it good as I plan for a New Year to review and reflect on the previous year.
Without going into a huge amount of detail as I look back on 2011 I would say that like most years Cadimage Group has achieved a lot. A few highlights across our Group include:
GRAPHISOFT New Zealand
We started there year by reaffirming our commitment to Architectural Education in New Zealand by sponsoring the Victoria University FirstLight House. This was the first time a Southern Hemisphere team had been picked to compete in the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon. As keen observers we followed the progress both in New Zealand in preparation and then in the US as they were competing and we were stoked to see them take out third place.
In mid-year we released ArchiCAD 15 throughout New Zealand. This was the first time I had visited Christchurch since the disastrous earthquakes and I was a little nervous. Overall I was impressed with the resilience being shown by our Christchurch based customers and there approach to simply getting on with the job at hand.
The end of the year saw the fourth year of the NZIA Graphisoft Student Design Awards which saw 60 Architecture Students receive prize money totaling $60,000 and Software to the value of $30,000.
2011 started with us securing the distribution for Solibri Model Checking Software in New Zealand and Australia. Taking on a new product is a major undertaking and we were pleased to complete the year with a handful of sales and a strong position for 2012.
In March we launched a couple of new websites which marked the completion of the Strategic Branding work we had done with Brian Richards and his team.
Mid-year in conjunction with the ArchiCAD 15 release we released the updates to all our Tools. This is the sixth successive version where we have launched our Tools on the same day as the ArchiCAD International release. June was a record month for our export sales in conjunction with the ArchiCAD 15 Upgrade but this was short-lived with July trumping June by a further 15% increase.
Later in the year we expanded our website to include additional ArchiCAD software from different suppliers and relaunched ArchiCAD Objects.
Overall we have continued to grow our international business during a tough world economic climate. While growth is not at the level we would hope for progress is being made!
Andrew Ecker the founder of Cadconsult has been involved with ArchiCAD as our South Island Reseller for 20 years and has also been selling and supporting Solid Edge Mechanical Engineering software since 1997. We merged the South Island ArchiCAD business in to GRAPHISOFT New Zealand and created Cadconsult PLM to focus on the Sales, Service and Training of Solid Edge and a number of other Siemens PLM Velocity Products.
As with all mergers there have been challenges and teething issues but 3 months in the entire team is excited about this achievement and the platform it has created for 2012.
As a result of the merger and growth we were pleased to see our team expand by 3 full-time and 2 part-time people. The New Zealand economy has had a bumpy recovery and still has a long way to go but I do enjoy being able to grow and expand our team.
On the personal side there were a few achievements as well. In April I took [almost] a month off. The reasons behind this were two-fold. One, it was time to have a break and, Two, it was a chance for others within the company to take the lead. While in hindsight the timing was not necessarily the best the team stepped up and as mentioned above we achieved a successful launch of ArchiCAD 15 and our Tools.
In 2010 I ran 15 times for a total distance of 105km – the main catalyst was being stuck in Hungary as the Icelandic Volcano did it’s thing. As a result of this lack of exercise (and a couple of other factors) the pounds went on. 2011 started and I wasn’t overly impressed with my weight so I started running. For the first time in a long time I ran without a goal or an event in mind. Over the year I lost almost 10% of my weight and for the first time since I have been tracking it I ran every month of the year. As I was not training for an event I gave myself little goals. The one I am most proud of was the goal of running ten, 10km runs in May. Over the course of the month I managed to achieve 13 runs and took a total of 5 mins off my time.
By the end of the year I had clocked up 82 runs for a total of 753km.
2011 saw the Rugby World Cup come to town and I was finally able (after two previous attendances) to see the All Blacks lift the trophy (just.) Having watched France knock out the All Blacks at my two previous World Cups I was almost banned from attending the pool match where the All Blacks made up for Cardiff. In the end I managed to watch 11 of the 20 teams play live and ended up watching the French 3 times!
2011 closed with me attending the Boxing Day Cricket Test at the MCG. While India didn’t live up to their quality on paper the MCG test has proved to be the closest in the series so far. The MCG is an incredible ground and attending a test match with 70,000 people on the first day and a total of 190,000 over the 4 days was something quite unreal.
2011 saw me make two European trips. One for the Graphisoft International Partners conference in Berlin and later a trip through Sweden, Germany, Czech Republic, Hungary and the UK where I finished up attending the ArchiCAD Summer School held in Liverpool.
Overall I was away from home for 56 days which is a reasonably significant amount of time and in 2012 am looking to stay closer to home and allow other members of the team the opportunity to attend these events.
As our business continues to change we continue to look forward and plan ahead. 2012 is shaping up to be challenging for us with potential European recessions on the back of the Euro issues and with ongoing quakes in Christchurch the rebuild is further delayed. However, we have a number of exciting initiatives planned and with a bigger team we are all excited about the year ahead.
CityViewAR is a mobile Augmented Reality application that allows people to see how the city was before the earthquakes and building demolitions. Using an Android mobile phone people can walk around the city and see life-sized virtual models of what the buildings looked like on site before they were demolished, and see pictures and written information.
I am currently in Malmo visiting BIMobject and Graphisoft Sweden.
I was here briefly in 2008 and saw the Turning Torso by Calatrava but didn’t have time to get up close!
The tower is 190 metres high and has 54 stories. It is the tallest building in Sweden and when completed in 2005 it was the 2nd tallest residential building in Europe.
Santiago Calatrava is a spanish sculptor, architect and engineer and the building was based on a sculpture of Calatrava’s known as the Twisting Torso – a white marble piece based on the form of a twisting human being.
The building is constructed in nine segments of five-story pentagons that twist as it rises; the topmost segment is twisted ninety degrees clockwise with respect to the ground floor. Each floor consists of an irregular pentagonal shape rotating around the vertical core, which is supported by an exterior steel framework. The two bottom segments are intended as office space. Segments three to nine house 147 luxury apartments.