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Photo of the Day- Pt Resolution Revisited.

A few weeks back I returned to the new Pt Resolution Bridge to see how it’s settling in. Earlier post here.

PT RESOLUTION BRIDGE_4297

This is a great setting for investment in good design, and popular in the mornings with exercisers from the expensive properties above the point, but here’s to the same high standards being met all over the city and not just for a relatively small number of users at the bottom of the Prime Minister’s street.

PT RESOLUTION BRIDGE_4394

It does of course also connect to the Modernist wonderland that is Tibor Donner’s fabulous Parnell Baths. The Hungarian emigre architect also designed the Pt Erin pools, High St’s Ellen Melville Memorial Hall, and the Civic  Building now unwanted by it’s owners [us] having been stranded by the appalling [and also typically Modernist but of much lower quality] re-planning of that area that resulted in the twice-built Aotea carpark and the destructive sweep of Mayoral Drive; all of course expensively done in the name of accommodating the private vehicle. Joel Cayford is good on this sorry history here.

PT RESOLUTION BRIDGE_4176

Soon the wires for the new trains will be added to this scene so it won’t look this uncluttered for long, but then eventually there will be fewer diesels staining the underside of the bridge with their dirty fumes. Looking forward to seeing- and barely hearing- the new EMUs flying through here.

21 comments to Photo of the Day- Pt Resolution Revisited.

  • Exaucklanderinsydney

    That looks stinking I must say. I have very strong memories of that ugly blue thing that used to be there and this is a million times better now.

  • Exaucklanderinsydney

    Stunning*!!

  • Matthew

    It looks just like the bridge at Kaiwharawhara Station that the Great Wellington council couldn’t be bothered fixing, hence shutting down Kaiwharawhara station.

    If only the prime minister was put into a puppy cage at the pet shop there, it’d be fixed in a jiffy.

    • Ian

      http://www.metlink.org.nz/news/kaiwharawhara-station-to-close-21-november-2013/
      Paul Swain, who has probably never caught a train here in his life, just doesn’t get it. Of course the passenger count was low, the shelters on the platforms were demolished in the 80s and never replaced. I don’t think I ever saw a regional councilor huddling under the foot bridge structure looking for a little respite from the weather. There wasn’t even a decent sign advising the public of the stations existence. Hurry up and rip out the platforms Mr Swain, the sooner the station is expunged from the the landscape the better.

      • Mike

        That’s a silly personal remark about Paul Swain – a good way to damage the credibility of your comments.

        The key thing about the Kaiwharawhara closure was the complete absence of any consultation or notification – closure of the station didn’t even appear on the agenda of the meeting that decided it.

  • Sigmund

    I love the snide remarks on here – rebuilding of this bridge had ZERO to do with the Prime Minister’s home being nearby (it’s not really but that would dampen a good beat-up) and more to do with a pretty effective Local Board getting in on the act. There are beautification projects like this all over the city in both wealthy and very poor areas… and everything inbetween. Get over yourselves.

  • TheBigWheel

    Nice pictures, atrocious words..

    “…popular in the mornings with exercisers from the expensive properties above the point, but here’s to the same high standards being met all over the city and not just for a relatively small number of users at the bottom of the Prime Minister’s street”

    You reveal a cynical and patronising attitude that undermines your credibility and demeans this blog.

    • ejtma

      Couldn’t agree more, I for one am sick of the cynical and patronising attitude of some on here. There is wealth in every society in the world, which doesn’t mean you have to hate people for having it. I am just an average person doing an average job, but admire those who have done well, and gives me something to aspire to.

      I can only wish this blog would go back to its thought leading articles and stop blaming eveything on capitalism, as stated above these types of articles do nothing for credibility of the blog, or encourage people to take it seriously.

      You have done some fantastic work, and produce and led some transformational ideas for Auckland, are are now one of the top 10 sites in NZ I understand. Please go back to what put you in this position.

    • Greg N

      Patrick has a point – can you see those residents (John Key notwithstanding) putting up with the same crap developments put up elsewhere around the place?
      Without a major series of protests and ongoing bollocking of the local board for permitting such crass developments?

      And as Patrick says, this should set the standard for quality public architecture – so that we will expect and demand this also be the case “as of right” for the rest of the cities public spaces.

      Anything else, is simply pandering to the rich and influential.

      • Sigmund

        Cite examples or this is a waste of time. Newmarket, a pretty wealthy area, has a host of terrible spaces care of the Council and that’s smack between Remmers and Epsom.

        Meanwhile, the Otara Interchange looks fabulous (though a case of design trumping actual usage as locals stay away and skateboarders take over the well-intentioned but still lacking space there behind the main shopping centre).

        But hark! It’s a far-right plot to “pander” to the influential! Are you serious? A conspiracy behind every footpath, I guess. Perhaps there was local advocacy for it. Perhaps it does reflect local interest in the project. So perhaps, just maybe, the project reflects the interaction between interested locals, their elected representatives and the bureaucracy. That puts the onus on local residents to give a damn. Given the horrific nature of Auckland’s architecture and the general upkeep of property in some areas, I wonder if they truly do.

      • TheBigWheel

        Greg, Patrick completely misses the point, and you are both sadly deluded if you believe the wonderful new Point Res bridge is there for the pleasure of “a small number of users at the bottom of the Prime Minister’s street”.

        There are plenty of us who do not live “at the bottom of the Prime Minister’s street” and use the bridge, for….

        Commuting by bike: it’s the easiest cycling route up to Newmarket, avoiding steep Ayr Street and short cutting Beach Road / Gladstone (and avoiding the worst part of Tamaki Drive and all those container trucks).

        Running: I go out of my way to include the bridge (I can just get there in a long run), because it is such a fantastic place to stop and stretch.

        Accessing Parnell baths from Tamaki Drive.

        Crossing Tamaki Drive e.g. to access the waterfront shared path.

        “Pandering to the rich and powerful” ..strewth how on earth did you get there? It’s a good design well implemented.. yes, absolutely, do the same everywhere.

      • Greg N

        Sigmund,
        As Luke C pointed out below, there are plenty of examples of just this sort of thing happening – especially under the old Auckland City Council. Panmure, GI, Otahuhu, Onehunga, Pt Chev, Mt Roskill, Avondale – all have past and not so distant examples of how the city planners and engineers run roughshod over the locals with crap designs irrespective of the fact that better design doesn’t cost a lot more in the long run., but makes a hell of a lot of a difference to everyone in the meantime.

        Also a good example – The Auckland City Council (and I’m sure the AC now also) removes the iconic volcanic rock kerb stones previously found all over Auckland, from “lesser” suburbs and replaces them there with cheap-as concrete blocks whenever their footpaths are “upgraded”, And its all (on the councils own admission) for the primary purpose so that the residents in the “nicer” parts of town like Remmers & Parnell can continue to have their volcanic rock kerbs “are kept in the style they’ve become accustomed to”.

        Is that not a case of one rule for the rich and powerful when it comes to way the council allocates it resources?

        So doesn’t this prove my point – that the council does appear have one set of rules for the rich and influential and another one for everyone else who doesn’t?
        How else do you explain it? Why aren’t the kerb stones removed from Remuera and used to fix up Panmure or Onehunga kerbs?

        Your examples of “good” stuff for the less influential cited are token, and either primarily in other previous City Councils areas (not ACC) or are now under the Auckland Council ambit.

        I am not deriding in anyway the sterling efforts of the Waitemata local board who campaigned actively for this design and who ensured for example that the cycle wheel wells on the stairs exist for example – against the council experts and bean counters – who wanted the cheaper design to prevail.
        These guys do and continue to do a sterling effort to ensure that their patch does live up to its potential even if the rest of the place falls short.

        You can directly contrast that effort with the neighbouring Orakei local board, who do cover Remmers and all those Eastern Bays suburbs [who in the words of their own councillor, pay the biggest share of the city rates and get much less of a share in return] to see how little progress they have to show for their last 3+ years of existence.

        800 metres of shared board walk beside Orakei basin, and the bus lanes made T3 lanes on Remuera road is the best I can conjure up – not a good record by any stretch.
        That boardwalk by comparison to this Glass and Concrete bridge was cheap.

        You state that such poor outcomes elsewhere are partly the locals elsewhere fault as they don’t give a damn
        - well that maybe so, Often thats because these locals speak English as a second, third or fourth language – if they speak it at all,
        Usually they don’t own the home they live in – they rent, and move every few years to somewhere else.

        So they don’t have the ability or resources to become engaged in these local issues the same way that people “at the big end of town” tend to have when their neighbourhoods or peace and quiet are threatened in any way (Eh Phil?).

        But these folks still care too, and are entitled, as we all are, to nice kerb stones and a half decent city that functions – and looks good as it does so.

        BigWheel:
        I’ve used the bridge myself, nice design, real pity about the crappy rickety wooden steps between the new bridge and the street above.
        Really shows up the contrast between old and new markedly.

        “It’s a good design well implemented.. yes, absolutely, do the same everywhere.”

        Yep, in a nutshell what I said.

        And what I also said – that failing to do the same elsewhere is simply pandering to those who have money and influence who can oppose endlessly the crap stuff like Motorways in their back garden or sewer pipes running across their million dollar view – so that they get the benefits even while everyone else ends up without those things because they don’t have the same ability money or influence to prevent it.

        And yes, the Motorway proposals in Otara are a recent example, but not the only one, or likely the last.

        • Sigmund

          So no matter what example I cite (despite being a physical demonstrable example of solid local projects in poorer areas, you can just write off as “token” and be done with it? Seen the
          Panmure interchange of late? Pretty decent huh? Tokenistic ya reckon?

          And yeah, curbside stones were removed from wealthy areas too – the CBD for example.

          Then, amazingly, you prove that it isn’t wealth-based by citing the example of the less effective Orakei Board, which contains some the city’s most wealthy residents and suburbs. Are you even aware of your amazing contradiction?

          But there’s more! You suggest it’s because of a lack of language skills or higher number of renters in poorer suburbs – again reinforcing that it’s the quality of the local board interacting with their constituents (that includes landlords who have a particular vested interest in upping local amenities) than it is about wealth (there are Billionaires in Mangere – true story). And that doesn’t stop quality design projects, they can still happen regardless. And look, they do!

          But go on, cite me an example of where moneyed influence actually affected a local project. Distinct, of course, from local residents actually paying attention and giving a damn. Can you link any $$ to influence of decisions? I suspect not and that you’re falsely attributing wealth to the quality of projects, when in fact it’s just reflecting an active, participatory local citizenry (god help you if you live in the Albert-Eden Board – absolutely useless, anti-growth, anti-new).

  • Luke C

    Throughout the old Auckland CIty era it was a a common theme that poorer areas were left behind. Note Panmure, Avondale and especially Otahuhu. Otahuhu had to get the Super City to finally get funding for their pool, and all those 3 centers were lacking in town centre upgrades.
    Again compare New Lynn with Avondale to see the hugely different approach of 2 old councils.

    • Sigmund

      I’d argue that reflects the quality (or lack thereof) of local representation. An effective Counsellor usually equates to some pretty decent local projects. Sadly there’s a dearth of those in local body politics.

      • Greg N

        “An effective Counsellor usually equates to some pretty decent local projects”

        An effective Councillor is one who can bend the unelected council officials who run the city around to their end.
        An effective Counsellor is usually one who can threaten the same officials with legal red tape if they don’t do it his way.

        Regardless its usually the amount of rating $$s that the local elected councillor “represents” in his ward, not the number people in it, that counts in the scheme of things.
        So, yep the richer residents tend to get a bigger say. Thats why some councillors are more effective than others – they simply have more resources behind them.

        Doesn’t get you any better representation though.

        • Sigmund

          What a total fallacy. You cite elements that make up an effective Counsellor, then mangle (“Regardless”) the wealth of local residents into the picture as the real driving force. Terrible, terrible logic. But don’t let that stop your class warfare nonsense from polluting and undermining this blog.

  • I’m sorry to have upset some of you here but the fact is that you are wildly over-reacting to a couple of my observations, while ignoring others.

    Let me try again: I have high standards, I love this bridge, I am delighted that this highly visible place has had this attention. But I would also like to see more work to this standard all over the city, including in places that have higher pedestrian and cycle traffic, but are not so prominent. I spent a lot of time here and it is used fairly sparsely and generally by people exercising- which is a fact and worth mentioning, because low use is often used as a reason not to build either well or at all in other places. This does not mean I don’t think this should have been built or built so well. I do and I do- anyone who has read my contributions to this blog will know that I am a champion of place value as well as a simple ‘transport utility’ metrix for our investments in the public realm.

    It is true that one of the PM’s houses is on the street above. I did not say that this is why this bridge got built [nothing to do with him]. But referred to this to show just how high-tone this area is. If you are looking for subtext here my thinking was much more about how this very area, through the activism of well funded locals [and yes I know them and know exactly how well funded] managed to prevent a nasty new motorway disgorging its contents at this very location. Yet we are right now looking at a fight to prevent a new motorway in another neighbourhood, Mangere, where the locals will be neither well funded nor well connected. It would be naive to argue that money and influence are irrelevant in the politics around both big and small public interventions.

    Again this is an observation, it isn’t a criticism of this project but rather an urging that its standards are spread more widely. And nor is it a criticism of this neighbourhood nor the people in it. But an accurate description, read more into it if you like, I can’t prevent that, but my intention was a discussion of design quality and how to get more of it, and get it more widespread. Oh and to draw attention to an aspect of our design heritage that I value; Modern Architecture, that faces very real threats.

    But I guess some of you were so busy being offended that you didn’t get round to expressing a view on the work of Tibor Donner. It is hard to get anything postwar to be considered heritage in this city for some reason. The DUP considers the past to have ended in 1944, and everything after that date to be automatically expendable, for example. So it goes.

  • Sigmund

    Oh please. Why even mention the Prime Minister? You were called out on your weak argument and now you’re trying to justify it.

    I don’t think anyone’s taking offense, but that’s not stopping you dismissing the criticism by describing it as such.

    We have a high profile amenity that enables use of a significant, larger local amenity (Parnell Baths) and provides access to a local neighbourhood, is highly visible and is replacing a structure that needed replacement anyway. It is well designed and attractive, and is likely to encourage further use. Great, wonderful even. The bridges out west (Pt Chev? – that big swirly red thing) or by St Mary’s Bay are likewise, prompting several posts on this very blog. All were approving.

    But instead of appreciating that, and being consistent with this blog’s theme of “build it and they will come” (Skypath, cycle lanes, bus lanes, rail investment), you choose to fling in a conspiracy slant and rich v poor angle. You were called out and deservedly so.

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