Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Rufus & Doofus Design Co.

Despite the rain storms during this long weekend, we went to the newest mall in Auckland: Sylvia Park. It used to be an industrial complex, but retail is more lucrative than the rent of hundreds of small industrial wings. And, well... our government doesn't care much on supporting development of local industry: why bother, if you can import everything cheap from Asia... so, let's give the people a MEGA-warehouse*, where they can buy cheap imports... the local industry is shutting down production or going overseas anyway. I must admit that most of the industrial workshops at sylvia park were already closed two years ago... but, that's maybe because they were just about to build the mall.

Anyway... my problem with Sylvia Park is... that I don't understand how or why investors, who are putting millions (literally) can give the project to Rufus & Doofus Architects Studio Inc. Ltd. (I can't find their real names on the site) But, just look at the main render. 3rd year students could do a better render, not to mention a better design! Honest!... I know that a project like these would probably fail the semester.

Try to find the main entrance on the picture... Yes! that IS the main entrance to the mall... I thought that we parked on the loading decks, but no... that is the main elevation side. I don't understand how multimillion projects can end up in the hands of terrible pseudo-architects. I can't believe that in the 21st century, someone still builds a multimillion shoe-box, without any regard whatsoever to architectural history and knowledge about how things should be done. Don't get me started on the horrible restrooms at Sylvia Park. I could forgive the people living on city slams, who don't have any idea of soil mechanics, or how to develop a master plan... but a well established (as one might believe) architectural firm making shoeboxes and disguising it with glass and woodstick roofs... that is unacceptable. This is one for the "X-listing : architecture hate forum".

I am not asking for something like Jean de Gastines and Shigeru Ban's centre Pompidou at Metz! Although... it would be nice to have buildings like that here. That is a building that makes sense.


*For those who don't know "the warehouse"... it's like a walmart, only cheaper (still) for kiwi rednecks.
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