Thursday, 28 August 2014

Sayers medical Library

My First impressions of this building is that it is very harsh, and sort of menacing looking. It sits in quite a shadowey area and it is made out of  a combination of dark concrete and off white metal shaped as triangles which go up the top of the building, sort of stacking on top of eahother. The shape of these triangles remind me a bit of toblerone chocolate bars. There is a lot of harsh lines and angles incorporated into the design of this building, even seen in the font choice of “futura medium” which has been used to spell out “sayers medicial library”. 

This is written in red, which matches the red trimmings around the edge of the windows and over the bars covering them. I find the bars covering the windows quite an intimidating design feature, I definitely don’t think this building is ugly but it also isn’t exactly what I imagine when I think of a library. It is a great example of modernist design though, incorporating key modernist design principles such as geometric forms, incorporating new materials (concrete, metal) and a lack of ornamentation.
In contrast to the quite fascinating exterior walking into the interior was a bit of a let down, the theme of hard edges and angles did continue into the stair case (which was shaped like a zig zag) but other than that there was no interesting design features- maybe aspects have been re done over the years? I continued to venture upwards to the library though, which once I got there I realized was not really worth the walk up the stairs. The Sayers library area was incredibly plain and not very big, so I continued through it to find the over bridge tunnel that links the library to the hospital. Aside from the minor vertigo I got from walking across it was really cool to be up there looking down at the Sayers building and the pedestrians walking past. I didn’t have a good camera with me, but I think getting a full shot from this angle could look really cool.

Over all I think The sayers Medical Library is a very interesting piece of architecture that links strongly with the modernist era.

Thursday, 14 August 2014

Moana Pool

Moana Pool 

 Photo of Moana Pool as it sat in 1964 supplied by Allied Press.

Moana pool was first opened on the 14th of November 1964 with a cost of 450000 pounds. It included an Olympic sized main pool accompanied by a 44ft diving pool. Shortly after the pools were opened the learners pool was completed and a restaurant was added that seated 120 people. At the time of its build people did not like the idea of spending that much money as they saw it as not needed. This might have been true at the time but due to increased numbers of people going to the Tepid Pools, built in 1914, there was a need to upgrade or change locations in the councils eyes. 

 Photo of the current entrance to Moana pool looking out over the city. 

Although this was not included in the original design of the pools back in 1964. It is consistant with the general feeling around Moana Pool with its abundance of natural light and sweeping views of the city. 

View from what would have been behind the original east wall.

this is nice

 View of the original North facing wall.

The large windows on the north facing wall meant that Moana pool was filled with natural light, unlike the traditional closed, artificial light, disney-world like pools of the past.

 The old and the new.

During the 90s several contractors started up businesses within the facility including personal trainers. On the left we can see the current facility that houses the gym at moana pool that was built, complementing the angle of the existing building in such a way that it seems as if it was never added at a later date. 

Moana pool from its side. 

Here we have another picture of the gym and pool behind it,

 Old and unused, old and used.

It is acceptable to call the pools old? Here is a photo of the original stands that the swimmers used, still on site but not used anymore. In the background we see the the north facing wall that only alterations have been the addition of advertising. 

A new century brings a new design. 

In the beginning of the 21st cnetury DCC architect Robert Tongue was given the brief of designing the new additions to the pool with a major emphasis on retaining the centers abundance of natural light. This photo if of the new wave pool that was build in the place of the former outside small pool and recreation areal of the original pools were. 

/ fin \

Tuesday, 5 August 2014

Tudor House

Located at 97 Filleul St it is not the most aesthetically pleasing building to look at but is a great example of and early attempt at a modernist building having been built in 1960. Unlike the larger commercial modernist buildings this is a two storied factory that produces clothing for school uniforms. Being in such a commercial spot I wondered if the exterior was created to mask the inside of the building itself creating a false identity in the facade of the building as I would not have guessed that there was a factory inside that building. 

My initial reaction to my building was that it was rather small, old and dirty looking. Although being small there is a definite grid like pattern and simplified exterior, the side and back of the building also shows no need for ornamental properties as it is painted concrete block and windows laid out in a grid like form. 

Overall due to the lack of information I am becoming more intrigued about my building and managed to get hold of the original plans which helped to show me that the exterior of the building has not changed since it's build in 1960. There is also a high possibility of it being demolished next year just shows it really is a building no one has paid much attention to.

Monday, 4 August 2014

St Paul's Cathedral / Luke

St Paul’s Cathedral, Chancel Addition

The first thing I really liked were the tall slots of glass that open up the chancel wall, allowing light to shine on the older stonework.  I also liked the unpainted block work and the textured concrete surfaces, which Michael Findlay states in ‘Long Live the Modern’ that it is representative of the materials and technologies of the time it was originally built. It is built from re-enforced concrete and cast cement blocks, which allow it to match the vertical volume of the original stone-vaulted building. After seeing St Paul’s Cathedral, I can see that Ted McCoy’s work takes direction from the old building but kinda’ reinterprets it by taking a modernist approach.

(Photo's to come)


(I'm killin' it yo)
Burns Building

When you first look at the burns building it probably doesn't strike you as very interesting. The out side of the building has quite a simple and structured look to it while the inside can be strikingly similar to a hospital interior. Long empty corridors with a quiet build noise humming though it. The simplicity of modernism is reflected though the building. The facade is unfortunately falling apart and the bottom level is surrounded by scaffolding and a green mesh. The building has a lot of concrete on its facade in a very ordered and simple fashion.

The general feeling towards the building is that of disgust because the down trodden nature of the building with the facade literally falling off. The building has been scheduled for demolition and a lot of people are glad about this. This building feels out of place between the library and a few other much more modern buildings it certainly looks out of place.

This is the view from the side of the union building, in front of the university library i think this shot contrasts the old and new styles between the buildings.

 This is another shot from the courtyard to the side of the building as you can see the facade is very modernist with the large concrete slabs on the side.

A shot showing the scaffolding around the building, recently a lot of the facade has been falling off of it so the scaffolding is required to keep it safe.

A Factory for Academia

The college is dark, illuminated by the sun it is darker still, body stained and ravaged by the wind, the rain and time itself. Stubbornly it seems it almost as if it stands simply to spite the natural elements that seek its ruin. Its sharp edges and straight lined stone seems to revolts against nature, refusing to age gracefully.
As the college of education its contents are a stark contrast to its grim outward fa├žade and the almost violent impersonal lines of the building itself.
 Paper clambers the grey concrete walls like a hoard of insects, delicate and yet unstoppable; it scatters across the wall a hotchpotch of gaudy finger-paintings, red green and blue in the small hands of a child. Somehow this dichotomy only lends itself to feelings of unease.
When empty and only one or two people drift through the wide sterile corridors it is reminiscent of images of Chernobyl, it feels cold, abandoned with these bright colours simply haunting its walls; images of cheer that only forces the mind perceive its surroundings as more brutal and desolate.

This building was designed by Davidson in 1968 as a replacement for the old college of education which had burnt down a couple of years prior. The college is part of a wider collection of modernist buildings that are scattered throughout both the university campus and the wider Dunedin area. As a building the college of education looks industrialist with a large metal chimney protruding from the back. Its surroundings include the Leith River which includes a split concrete channel and an iron bridge further adding to its industrial modernist element. Some attempts have been made to soften the buildings harsh exterior, cherry trees have been planted along the outside walls and curves have been added to the exterior. Despite this, as a piece of architecture this building retains an imposing presence overshadowing its entire area with its concrete rich material and grid inspired design. 

Southern Community Laboratories (former Plunket House)

At first glance there is nothing awe inspiring or eye catching about the Southern Community Laboratories (SCL). Its settled in the ever evolving main street of Dunedin that countless people pass by who never take a second thought as to what this modernist building retains. It was designed by Dunedin architect Fraser Oakley Pinfold and built on February the 17th 1965.
Looking at it from the street, it is understandable why people do not take a second glace and marvel at its form. The miss match between the SCL’s bright banners on the windows, the bushes and the Plunket House entrance that over hangs all come together in some ugly portrait.

Taken opposite Rob Roy dairy
But this building should not be judge by its cover for if you walk round to the rear you are greeted with a familiar modernist design that’s pleasant on the eyes and clean in its form. This is what people should see when they make their daily commutes to and from town. No element back there seems to fight for more attention than the other, they all work together in a well framed grid of stone, concrete, glass and steel.
The rear of the building with car park

Walking around to its north side you are greeted with the same piece of architectural candy. Except this side has two air tunnels that scale the top side of the wall like a “pair of caterpillars hanging by the train tracks” (thanks Leigh).

Viewing it from newly found angles I began to favorite this side of the building above all the others as it made me feel something I didn’t feel with the rest of the building. A strange love perhaps? Or maybe it was more of a helpless feeling as if I was falling into the deep blue sky. Whatever it was, I am interested to discover more of this weird concrete relationship…

By Chris Clapham