Saturday, August 29, 2009


What is currently an abomination of architecture, the 70's Seafarer's Building, could be history if and when Cooper & Company get their way. They propose to demolish the Seafarer's Building and replace it with a luxurious boutique Hotel. We cannot think of a better place for this Hotel. It will be in the heart of the up-and-coming Britomart Precinct with views across the Harbour and very close to ferry's, trains and buses. The only thing that is holding them back is bureaucracy, residents with tunnel vision and political agendas. We fail to see what the issue is.

The height of the hotel is apparently the number 1 concern, judging by the height of the East Building that is rising behind this site, the Hotel will hardly stick out like a sore thumb. [EYE] ON AUCKLAND has seen the plans for the Central Building and that is even taller than the East Building. We feel that the proposed Hotel will create balance between all the buildings in the Precinct. The number 2 concern is that the building doesn't compliment the heritage buildings. So what ? we have traveled the Globe and we have seen how heritage and contemporary buildings compliment each other, no matter how tall they are. A city is not a time capsule and the two can live in perfect harmony. Successful urban spaces dictate that different building styles and heights actually create a far more exciting urban scene.

As for the Design, CONCEPT A is unusual, there is colour and is inspired by it's location, that is, the water. We won't mind if this is eventually built but we would much rather see CONCEPT B grace our city skyline. It just screams 21st century sophistication, glitz and glamour. We can't help not think of the dynamic architect duo - SANAA - who designed similar buildings such as The Museum of Contemporary Art in New York City and our personal favourite, the House of Dior in Tokyo [see below]. We truly hope that Auckland has reached some level of maturity and will stand behind this latest proposal. Britomart Precinct will not be the same without it and we all know that Auckland needs that touch of glamour.

Saturday, August 1, 2009


It is no secret that at [EYE] ON AUCKLAND we love Melbourne and the cutting edge architecture & design that is so prevalent in that marvelous city. We are pleased to see that the same kind of architecture and progressive thinking is starting to take root in our fabulous city. The repressed mentality of the 70's that is so instilled here should soon be a thing of the past as people realise that quirky and adventurous architecture is not something to be afraid of but that it creates a far more exciting, progressive urban landscape.

One such building is the new [BIRKENHEAD LIBRARY] currently under construction on Auckland's North Shore. A sod turning ceremony was held on the 19th of December. The library will house some of council’s important community services such as the Birkenhead -Northcote Community Board meeting rooms. It will also be home to the Citizens Advice Bureau, Plunket and will allow Community Co-ordinator contact.

The building will be built to Green Star NZ status, which is New Zealand's first comprehensive environmental rating system for buildings. The design concept for the new library responds to the existing established trees in the Nell Fisher Reserve, which in ancient times was part of an extensive Kauri forest. Panoramic views of Auckland, Rangitoto and the upper harbour edge are able to be seen through the trees from the reserve.

The building will also deploy Environmentally Sustainable Design (ESD) principles giving substantial energy savings for cost in use, recyclable materials, night purging in summer and natural rather than artificial lighting where possible. The ESD is further supplemented by mechanical & fire services where because of site orientation and the libraries floor plan arrangement to the brief, further cooling or heating is required in some circumstances. We will bring you more once this project has been completed.