Imagine If Old Buildings Were Pieces of Art

Imagine if city leaders allowed buildings to become pieces of public art.

grrsmind blogspot & aerial photo from retrolens (link to 1986 aerial photo)

Imagine if the Government Building on Knox Street had not been removed for the sake of less than a dozen car parks; imagine if it had been allowed to stay in place as a piece of public art. Hamilton Library Heritage Collection writes that the building was completed in 1913, with aerial photography from 1986 showing that the building remains on the site over 70 years. Imagine if it was still part of Hamilton’s public art collection with the option of repurposing the interior for future use.

from google

Imagine if Euphrasie House had been called ‘architectural art’ instead of a heritage building that requires continuous use. Euphrasie House was built in 1939, used as hostel until closing in 2011, and demolished in 2017; this one also survived just over 70 years. Imagine if it was still standing and part of Hamilton’s public art collection with the option of repurposing the interior for future use.

from google

Imagine if the hundred-year-old St Paul’s Methodist Church (on London Street) had been allowed to be repurposed into a cafe, giving a ‘self-sustainable option’* for this ‘piece of land’ for the ‘parish’*. Sadly ‘the church says it has no alternative other than to begin the process of seeking permission from Hamilton City Council to bowl the building’* (*Waikato Times 22 Dec 2015 Old St Paul’s Church in Hamilton needs a saviour).

‘Once the church has gone from London Street, the site will be used as a pocket park until the Methodist church gets consent for a new activity’** (**Waikato Times 26 Jan 2018 Hamilton’s oldest surviving church to become a cafe in Te Kowhai).

Like the Government building on Knox street, the ‘self-sustainable option/new activity’ for St Paul’s London street is car parking.

Founders Theatre built in 1962 is in that ‘awkward stage of between getting older and being historic*’ like the Government building on Knox street was when it was flattened for car parking. Imagine if Founders Theatre was allowed to be a piece of Hamilton’s public art collection with the option of repurposing its interior for alternative use in the future.

Founders Theatre Submission – option 3

*Credit to Robbie Price

Review of reports on Founder Theatre see Andrew Bydder submission attachment

Future option for Founders Theatre see Margaret Evans, TOTI submission

Category: News

Building Up is Heavy on the Earth

The taller the building, the more of the earth’s resources are needed to support it. As an example ‘On average a 4 to 5 floor apartment building in The Netherlands comes close to 1 ton per m2 living area’. Compare this to ‘the Empire State building [which] is around 1.7 tonnes, or Taipei 101, which consumes 1.8 tonnes’. The negative impact on the environment from building up can be reduced by using renewable materials: wood for instance. So ask yourself: ‘How tall is a sustainable building?’

Liverpool Street Hamilton

In my opinion the tipping point for adding weight is between 3 and 5 storeys. New Zealand’s building code NZS 3604 can be used for timber-framed buildings with one, two or certain configurations of three storeys. In Hamilton, concentrations of two and three storey residential buildings can already give a population density of over 4,000 people per square km, within the existing height control planes (DP 4.4.5 – Height in Relation to Boundary). Question: what is good density?

It’s time for an upfront carbon emissions tax on buildings – Lloyd Alter

The higher you build, the more weight you need at ground level and every subsequent level to manage movement from wind pressures. Add extra elevators, which increase the lobby area and reduce the floor space for which the building is built, and you increase the per square metre cost of usable space. The outcome is less affordable accommodation and a higher carbon footprint.

Category: News