Victoria Street West – fin central ?
You may have heard this mentioned – “Auckland is a one trick pony”. Judging by some of the contemporary architecture (which I feel is already outdated) I am starting to agree. Two new buildings have emerged from fields of waste in Victoria Street West and another is receiving a much needed facelift. You will notice that they all seem to be copies of each other (with slight variations) and they all feature fins. Surely our local architects have the imagination to be more adventurous. Why are they so afraid of colour and afraid to experiment ? Most of us will agree that we are living in a decade where we demand vibrancy, excitement and surprise. They say that the old and conservative Auckland is gone and I am starting to see evidence of this but not when it comes to architecture. Our architects / developers are playing it too safe – broaden your horizons and sell it to the client – that is what good designers do. Push the boundaries and dream big !
At 200 Victoria Street West, Mainzeal are refurbing a rather old and weary looking building which will become Mainzeal House.
Arc en Ciel in Bordeaux, France (by Bernard Buhler) is a classic example of how an architect can push the boundary and create something far more interesting than adding fins. Mainzeal House could be more colourful and way more adventurous, a gateway, but instead we have what we have – something safe, something mediocre. Maybe one day things will progress. We can only hope.