Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Christopher Wren is dead, sorry.

It is said that nothing concentrates the mind as does imminent execution.

Another relevant statement when a sportsman drops a hanging ball in cricket, baseball or rugby etc,"he/she had too long to think about it".

In having only 100 days to deliver a plan for the basis of reconstructing the central area of Christchurch, many are surprised at the coherence and attractiveness of what was delivered last evening.

When, following the destruction of much of the then city of London following the Great Fire, Sir Christopher Wren, who was already working on a restoration of St Pauls, was engaged or embarked on a burst of architectral activity that involved sixty churches, Hampton Court, the buildings that are the backdrop to the Olympic Equestrian events and others, the legacy of which have inspired calls for a 21st century Wren to take on the CBD rebuild plan for the village of the dammed.

Two things make that impossible;
Wren was not able to do more than plan rebuilds or New structures that fitted the existing infrastructure,
and he was pretty much the only person available albeit with a team around him.

Today we are all qualified to have opinions worthy of inclusion even if they are supported by a minority of one.

The plan revealed yesterday by the PM is the result of work by among others CERA and Boffa Miskel that will gradually draw criticism from barrow pushers and the perpetually discontent.
For me it is clean, forward looking , achievable and inspirational.
It does not tick all my boxes but as others have already stated, accept it, stand back and let those who are willing to invest in it make their moves.

Just do it or we will still be discussing it in 50 years time, hang on I wont, that aint gunna happen.


Tinman said...

For me the plan has a couple of major flaws, the main one being the very shortsighted height restriction.

This sounds great right now when many people are still wary of the earth moving once again but ten years down the track will simply stop development and growth.

The second is the creation of a stadium far too large to be used properly in the foreseeable future.

Overall though I think it is far more postive than negative.

Anonymous said...

The council are still looking at consents as though its business as usual. Someone please tell them that there's been an earthquake, the city is rooted and being flexible about existing use variations may be sensible. Approving what's sensible and not being fixated with petty rules and consultation would help.

Who is paying for the Ngai Tahu, sorry, culural centre?


Anonymous said...

I think the plan has merit, but why repeat the mistakes of the past and re-build on the same liquefaction prone ground? The city centre ought be to the west of the old centre...say nearer the airport.


Paulus said...

The Great Fire of London was not caused by seismic activity - just a fire. Should seismic activity virtually cease with in 10 years then Chch central may have a future.
Chch can do without a covered stadium, contrary to the All Blacks coach on the radio, for the next 10 years until people are finally housed - although many will still be bitching that the Govt owes them still.

gravedodger said...

@ Paulus

Liquifaction was of little consequence in the CBD most damage was from acceleration, direction and intensity coupled with age and design deficit.

PGC, Town Hall, and other buildings on or near the river yes, The proposed plan moves away from that proximity.