Media release from Architectural Centre
This Thursday, Wellington City Councillors will consider a report by WCC officers assessing alternatives for the redesign of the Basin Reserve. The Architectural Centre believes this report to be inaccurate, inadequate, and biased.
“The report fails to consider key issues concerning the negative impact of the NZTA flyover on the Basin precinct.” Architectural Centre President, Christine McCarthy stated.
“The assessment of visual impact, in particular, romanticises the experience of the cars on the flyover while forgetting the plight of people below it. It’s really hard to see how this report has seriously considered the council’s aim for the Basin precinct to be a vibrant inner-city community. Good open spaces will be difficult to achieve with a great big flyover plonked smack in the midst of it.”
“It’s not only this,” continued Immediate Past President, Guy Marriage. “The report contains many inaccuracies and is incredibly biased. For example, the report appears to forget where the Vance Stand is, and how big it is. It shouldn’t have seen the light of day.”
“I guess one of the key problems is that rather than starting out with an image of what we want for the city, and deriving the assessment principles from this, the council officers have borrowed inappropriate criteria from NZTA for this report.” McCarthy observed.
Marriage continued: “I wonder how many of the local community really understand what a nasty and malevolent infrastructure the flyover will be.”
(1) The Urban Design Report is inaccurate, inadequate, and biased.
(2) The WCC report does not fairly take into account the fact that Option X is a concept design.
(3) The WCC report appears to be biased against natural landscape forms, and green open space.
(4) The visual impact of the Option A flyover has been minimised in the report, while factually incorrect statements regarding the Option X green bridge have been used to try to discredit this design.
The Architectural Centre, which was formed in 1946, is an incorporated society and a registered charitable trust.
It has developed a concept design for the Basin: Option X, one of the four options considered in the report, alongside the NZTA’s Option A flyover. Option X would extend the Memorial Park tunnel, and build a green bridge linking Memorial Park with the Basin and the townbelt. It would separate SH1 traffic from local traffic at the Sussex/Buckle St corner, and create a new open space: Dufferin Park outside the three schools, and Government House.
Five pages: The Architectural Centre’s response in full.