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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Well it looks we finally have movement on this site
https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/po...or-new-chinese-embassy-near-the-basin-reserve






I've gotta say that I am pretty disappointed by this, basically we have a great big concrete wall, that has absolutely no softening what ever.
Less that 2 years ago we were told

"The Chinese embassy is planning a "mini village" beside the Basin Reserve, to be designed by one of the architects behind the Beijing Olympics' Bird's Nest stadium."
"Young described the plans as looking "like a mini village, rather than a monolithic building" – two or three storeys tall in parts, and in keeping with the style of surrounding Mt Cook suburbia"
""I explained Mt Cook is one of Wellington's older suburbs with a lot of heritage; that Mt Cook Mobilised is a very proactive residents' association, and [residents] are looking forward to welcoming them to the neighbourhood," Young said.

"The Edwardian terraced houses at 53 and 55 Rugby St will be retained and renovated, although there will be some modifications."
https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/87...ign-new-chinese-embassy-in-central-wellington

Well the Edwardian terraced houses are gone, and I am not sure you could describe this as "keeping with the style of surrounding Mt Cook suburbia"

And While I understand the need for a wall, I am not sure that building hard up to the edge of the footpath is the best way to blend in with the surrounds....- sure that's what was allowed in 1960s around Adelaide Road, but haven't we moved on from that.....
 

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Yeah I'm not sure about it either, but I think it'll turn out better than those renders (which are dreadful). Also why are they bothering to keep that old industrial building on the Rugby Street elevation, kind of takes away from the design. But I think the courtyard/village design is pretty cool

I like the fact they've used traditional Chinese architecture though, as I say I think it'll be a lot nicer than these renders show and also I don't think that's concrete, it's probably stone

It's also a lot better than most embassies/high commissions in this city
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
Also why are they bothering to keep that old industrial building on the Rugby Street elevation,
Because they don't own it...

-I suspect its held by some CIA deep cover front company :)

Also a quick squizz at the Council online maps show there is a 900m brick Storm water pipe that runs under the site... I'm thinking that will get removed in the construction, otherwise it sets the place up a perfect Mission impossible location :)
 

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Seems obvious that China wants to project a sense of "hard power" with this design, as with the US Embassy. By comparison, the Thai Embassy has large-ish windows which give a sense of openness; the Malaysian High Commission genuinely comes across as a slice of "little Kuala Lumpur"; and the British High Commission looks suitably Old World-ish.
 

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There's this article about those two Edwardian houses on the site of the new Embassy on Stuff https://www.stuff.co.nz/business/property/106416866/race-on-to-save-wellingtons-edwardian-houses-from-chinese-wrecking-ball

People are trying to save them but there's no obligation on the part of the Chinese to save them by the sounds of it - their demolition was part of the consent. I guess if the Chinese paid for them to be relocated it would be a good PR move and considering the tenor of the Stuff commenters (not an accurate reflection of society at large I know), who seem to have never heard of the concept of an embassy and who think its outrageous that China should even contemplate opening a new one here, they might benefit from a bit of good PR.

I don't really care what happens to them to be honest but it would be nice to see them relocated.

And in other news, there was a consent application lodged a week ago for a new 12 unit apartment block on the corner of Tasman Street and Rugby Street, on the opposite side of the road to the embassy. They actually look really good and they're designed by my favourite Christchurch Architects, Sheppard and Rout.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
There are a whole lot of conflicting statements in that stuff article

The Chinese Government has a Certificate of Compliance that enables the lawful demolition of the two buildings.
David Chick, the council's chief city planner, said he understood demolishing the houses was not what had been applied for in the consent. He would also like to see them relocated.
Err, so if they didn't apply for consent to demolish the houses, how did they get one.....
 

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Some news about those terraced homes on the embassy site: https://www.stuff.co.nz/dominion-post/news/113271257/unique-1912-wellington-homes-to-be-bowled-for-chinese-embassy

It's certainly sad that they have to be demolished when according to the heritage people it would only be another few weeks before they could get them removed from the site.

Also I can't understand why they're bothering to keep the 60s brick warehouse - it seems completely random, but there you go.

Anyway the good news, I guess, is that it sounds like construction is imminent - I wonder what will be completed first, the Chinese Embassy or the Indian High Commission?
 

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Re: the Indian High Commission, it's likely a combination of Ebert's liquidation proceedings and the recent Indian elections.

Been just over a year since I posted this, and it still rings true...
Seems obvious that China wants to project a sense of "hard power" with this design, as with the US Embassy. By comparison, the Thai Embassy has large-ish windows which give a sense of openness; the Malaysian High Commission genuinely comes across as a slice of "little Kuala Lumpur"; and the British High Commission looks suitably Old World-ish.
 
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