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Keep Our Town Hall

by on August 27th, 2013 in Architecture | One comment

This is a letter that was just sent to a group of people supporting the retention of the Christchurch Town Hall.

Dear Keep Our Town Hall supporters.

We have reached a critical point in the effort to stop the demolition of the Town Hall.  The Council is meeting on Thursday to make a decision, and this is likely to be the final one.  An extraordinary campaign is being run by The Press in favour of full (or partial) demolition.  I have counted around 14 articles as either editorials or opinion pieces in the last month arguing for the demolition.   The supporters of the Town Hall have not been able to get a single article to articulate the views in favour of it. We now face the very real possibility of losing the vote on Thursday.

With this in mind I ask that if you want your voice to be heard as part of the campaign, can you please take the opportunity to email the Councilors who are voting on the issue.    The email addresses for the 13 councilors and the Mayor are:

barry.corbett@ccc.govt.nz,

bob.parker@ccc.govt.nz,

claudia.reid@ccc.govt.nz,

glenn.livingstone@ccc.govt.nz,

helen.broughton@ccc.govt.nz,

jamie.gough@ccc.govt.nz,

jimmy.chen@ccc.govt.nz,

ngaire.button@ccc.govt.nz,

peter.beck@ccc.govt.nz,

sally.buck@ccc.govt.nz,

sue.wells@ccc.govt.nz,

tim.carter@ccc.govt.nz,

yani.johanson@ccc.govt.nz,

You can just copy and past all there addresses into one email. The vote is first thing Thursday morning, so I think the emails need to be sent either today or tomorrow so there is time for the Councillors to read them.   (please also bcc us: keepourtownhall@gmail.com)

Update

Recent articles about the Town Hall can be found here:

Ian Lochhead: http://www.stuff.co.nz/the-press/opinion/perspective/8823394/Symbol-of-great-innovation

Barnaby Bennett: http://info.scoop.co.nz/Barnaby_Bennett

Since we last emailed you in March the key development is that a large rebuild cost-sharing agreement between the local Christchurch City Council and the Government was signed in late June.   The result of these negotiations was that the development of Town Hall and Arts Precinct was handed over to the Council to continue (along with the Library and Stadium).

Initially this was greeted with some positivity by those working to protect the Town Hall as the Council has been consistent in it efforts to keep it, most notably in the unanimous decision last November.

The Council staff have been working on options for the full retention for the past 9 months and these were presented to the councilors at a workshop a few weeks ago.
The Council were to vote on this, but the campaign by the Press and some members of the business and arts community have been vociferously calling for a reconsideration of the decision to keep the Town Hall.  This is based on the legally questionable idea that the insurance money from the Town Hall can simply be transferred to a new arts precinct.  The Press is arguing for the complete demolition of the Town Hall and for all the funding to go towards a new arts centre on the south side of the river, and others are asking for the demolition of all but the auditorium, with the remaining $80 million (or less) to go to the new arts precinct.

Sir Miles Warren, Ian Lochhead and Barnaby Bennett presented to the  Council’s Community, Recreation, and Culture committee last week, and the committee recommended the full retention option to the full Council.  However the pressure has really turned up this week, so it is likely some Councillors will turn.

Our main points are:

  1. The Council has already consulted on this and there is widespread community support for the full retention.
  2. The Council itself has already unanimously voted in favour of full retention.
  3. It is a heritage one listed building and the Council would be breaking its own guidelines to vote in favour of even partial demolition.
  4. The money to repair, and upgrade, the building has already been budgeted and approved as part of the Councils Three year plan.
  5. There is now reasonable cost certainty over the price of the repairs, and the total includes fees and many large contingencies for unforeseen cost increases.
  6. The building is a civic building and so the idea of demolishing it to make way for an arts precinct is culturally questionable.
  7.  It is an internationally recognized, and gold medal award winning, building of great quality.  In the context of a city that has lost 80% of its down town buildings and over half of its heritage listed stock it would be an travesty to add this building to the rubbish heap.
  8. The cost includes a full upgrade to current fire, structural, and services standards.  The acoustic improvement of the James Hay is also included and some previous issues with accessibility.

Even if you have already written to us or the council in support it is important to remind them again. If you have the time please do write a few comments about why you think the Town Hall should not be demolished, this is a critical moment.

Thanks you for your contribution to saving this important and amazing building. We can hopefully come back with good news on friday!

Regards

Keep our Town Hall group

Sir Miles Warren

Maurice Mahoney

Dr. Ian Lochhead.

Duncan Craig

Dr. Jessical Hallliday

Barnaby Bennett

 

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Voices for Equity in the Profession.

by on August 27th, 2013 in Advocacy, Architecture, Politics | No comment

It is the last week to provide feedback to a set of important gender equity guidelines being developed in Australia for the architecture profession.

The commentary and resources published by Parlour and their researchers are formidable, and their conference Transform earlier this year was the most engaging I had been to in a long time. Parlour is probably the most important and articulate voice in the profession right now, and they want to talk to you.

It’s immediately clear that a great deal of care, experience, and intelligence has gone into these guidelines. I believe Neph Wake and Naomi Stead are to thank for the hard yards in producing these documents (please correct me if I’m wrong), which is yet another significant outcome of the parent project ‘Equity and Diversity in the Australian Architecture Profession: Women, Work and Leadership’ funded by the Australian Research Council through the Linkage Projects scheme, made so much more accessible thanks to Parlour, edited by the “effective” Justine Clark. (This wonderfully cryptic and completely deserved title was recently used to introduce Justine).

They explain:

The Parlour Guides to Equitable Practice are being developed to help architectural workplaces facilitate change towards a more equitable profession. Aimed both at employers and employees, the guidelines will address the specificities of small, medium, large and regional practice. They will provide hints and tips, and guides to thinking on a range of issues relevant to the architecture profession in Australia today.

As tailored as these are for the culture of the architecture profession, these really have relevance to all workplaces, so if these issues ring true, regardless of your professional penchant, I’d recommend a good sit down with these.

The ten Draft Guidelines address:

1. Pay equity: Moving towards equal pay between women and men in architecture.

2. Leadership: How to promote and support women to senior roles in architecture.

3. Recruitment: Equitable recruitment and hiring diverse talent in architecture.

4. Mentorship: Mentors, sponsors and career champions in architecture.

5. Negotiation: Negotiating flexible working conditions in architecture.

6. Long hours: Challenging the long-hours culture in architecture.

7. Part-time: Meaningful part-time work in architecture.

8. Flexibility: Making flexible patterns work in architecture.

9. Career break: Returning from parental leave and other career breaks in architecture.

10. Registration: Supporting women who choose to register in as architects.

11… Parlour also offers suggestions for other areas they haven’t already addressed.

 

If you can, these drafted guidelines should be devoured at length, they are highly addictive and very readable. Even if you take a crack at two or three of the issues close to you heart, it’s worth offering your contribution this way as the online form below allows specific feedback to each individual theme, so every bit counts.

You can download the Draft Guidelines here, and link to the feedback form on that page. Following consultation, the finalised Parlour Guides to Equitable Practice will be published later this year.

www.archiparlour.org

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Festival of Transitional Architecture 2013: Expressions of interest.

by on August 21st, 2013 in Architecture | No comment

After the successful launch of Christchurch: The Transitional City at last years festival Freerange is beaming with joy to be again involved with this year’s Festival of Transitional Architecture (FESTA).  We are going to launch our Journal Freerange Vol.7: The Commons at the event!

Please put these dates in your calendar and book your tickets, the festival occurs over a packed long weekend and the programme is looking amazing.

FESTA has put a call out for Expressions of Interest to to involved with this years event.

Idea’s for project, performances, publications, or events due this Friday!

Expressions of Interest

We welcome expressions of interest from those wishing to present a transitional project or event during the Festival of Transitional Architecture (25-28 October 2013). 

The first and only festival of its kind in the world, the annual Festival of Transitional Architecture is a free, public event that engages with the city of Christchurch (New Zealand) by exploring urban regeneration through large scale collaborative projects and interventions.

We would love to hear what you could bring to transform Christchurch’s urban environment. To find out more about this opportunity, please download the Expressions of Interest document or contact info@festa.org.nz

Make sure you have a look at our updated website and the fantastic photos from last year’s headline event, LUXCITY: http://festa.org.nz/luxcity

 

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NZ Barn Owl Bird-of-the-Year Poster Brief

by on August 20th, 2013 in Design | No comment

Freerange is supporting the annual Bird of the Year  competition which launches at the end of September and run by Forest and Bird New Zealand.

http://www.birdoftheyear.org.nz/

Our task is to get as many people as possible to vote for the bird that we are supporting: The New Zealand Barn Owl.

The NZ Barn Owl is New Zealand’s newest native bird.  It is not uncommon for the Barn Owl to make their way here occasionally, or to get blown over in storms from Australia, but it is only recently that a few pairs have started breeding.  Freerange supports the rights of immigrants so we say we should acknowledge and welcome our new feathered, winged, bipedal, endothermic (warm-blooded), egg-laying, vertebrate avian friends.

It’d be rude not to, eh?

Barn_owl_darrelbirkett

Information about our little hero is here:

Forest and Bird.

Wingspan.

NZ Birds online.

Poster Competition.

As part of the general profile raising that we are tasked with for this project a poster is needed.

So this is a call out to ALL designers, (and non-designers) that Freerange is running a small competition to come up with the best poster to support our goal of getting the Barn Owl to be the favourite NZ bird of the year.

The winning entry will receive: $50 cold-hard cash, and a subscription to Freerange Journal.

Brief.

1. The brief is to design an a colour A3 poster.

2. It needs a a punchy one line sentence/tagline (no longer than 15 words) that sums up why people should vote for the Barn Owl.

3. Poster needs to be given to the Bird of the Year campaign on the 15th of September. So we are closing our competition on the 10th of September.

4. The poster needs to be 300 dpi and version in both CMYK and RBG as it will be both printed and used online.

5. This url needs to be on it: www.birdoftheyear.org.nz

6. email me and I’ll send you the photos of the BarnOwl Forest and Bird have given us, and the freerange logo.  (barnaby@projectfreerange.com)

Examples of previous posters are:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/33450140@N03/sets/72157631770313710/

Questions and Submissions to:

Barnaby@projectfreerange.com

BarnOwl_TonySutton

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