Is there any architectural plan that’s in sympathy with our natural beauty?
October 29 2019 by David Gibbs - Commercial Operations Manager
Is there any architectural plan that’s in sympathy with our natural beauty? The Wakatipu Basin has some of the most beautiful natural scenery in the world. We have views that the rest of the world envies and the scenery here will forever be used to market New Zealand. But, turn your back to the mountains and lakes and look at humanity’s creation. Why have we allowed developers to build such ugly little boxes – architecture that falls short of the standard that we, and mother nature, deserves?
It seems imagination and inspiration have been pushed aside to better cater for greed and short-term needs. Imagine Frankton Road or Gorge Road 150 years from now; can anyone honestly say the architecture here will be admired by our children’s children? Around the world, ancient cities and towns built in less technologically sophisticated times are renowned for their design. But in modern-day Queenstown, we can’t seem to think that far ahead. We are basically turning our town into a trailer park without wheels. Full of temporary structures never intended to stand the test of time. Very little is built with longevity in mind, meaning Queenstown will be in a state of disrepair and/or construction for eternity unless the minimum requirements are improved (and policed).
I don’t enjoy the constant disruption and noise pollution associated with the construction business, like everyone else, I tolerate it as part of the growth cycle we find ourselves in. Unfortunately, my fear is it will never end, no sooner is one job done another starts. It seems peace and serenity will not be part of the Queenstown experience any time soon.
A big talking point at this time is affordable housing. We have a booming population that’s predicted to continue growing. We have a vibrant economy and an ever-expanding workforce. At some point we will cap this growth as our environment and infrastructure cannot sustain this pace for too much longer, something many have campaigned for.
There is a saying, ‘quality not quantity’. Simply because there is perceived demand it does not necessarily follow that we should meet that demand at the expense of good planning and quality execution. The current way of thinking is to increase the low-quality rubbish at the expense of everything else which makes this place special. This is wrong.
Quality designs and craftmanship should be the norm not the exception. However, the award-winning efforts are few and far between in this blind drive to become larger. Take your foot off the accelerator for a moment and have a look at the road ahead. Sometimes, mistakes are discovered way too late and trying to pull off a u-turn at 100 kilometers an hour will most definitely end in tears.
David Gibbs - Commercial Operations Manager