Given London property prices, many have left this city for another country (Barcelona, Berlin, Brussels… ). Tourism NZ’s advertising cry of the 1980s was: “don’t leave home until you have seen the country”. In 2017 the real estate picture has changed so dramatically that this now means, for many NZ ex-pats, you can no longer afford to call that country your home. According to NewsHub:
“It’s official – New Zealand has the most unaffordable housing in the world, according to The Economist.
“Across five different measures, New Zealand has come out on top of three of the five measures for the most expensive global housing market. New Zealand has had the highest rise in house prices, costs the most against the average person’s income and now has the biggest difference between house prices and renting prices. In the latest edition of The Economist, figures show that in the past 46 years New Zealand’s house prices have risen by more than 8 percent on average a year.
It’s a trend repeated among other first world countries, including the United Kingdom, which had a 7.65 percent average rise annually over the same timeframe, and Australia, where house prices rose more than 6.4 percent a year on average. According to The Economist, those numbers have remained solid in the past seven years with New Zealand’s numbers showing a 7.9 percent consistent increase per year since 2009.
The Economist puts this trend down to “a growing horde of rich foreigners” coming to New Zealand because they see it as a “safe haven”. “In 2016 overseas investors bought just 3 percent of all properties. But their purchases were concentrated at the expensive end of the market, which is growing fast: sales involving homes worth more than NZ$1m increased by 21 percent.”
The findings don’t get any better for New Zealanders, showing that in the last 10 years, the average price against a person’s income has risen dramatically. The numbers are backed up by the Demographia International Housing Affordability Survey released in January showing Auckland is ranked the forth least-affordable housing market in the world. The average house price in Auckland is now more than £500K.”
#SpendItLikePeckham is the hashtag for a project where the architect spending, is to put her money money where her, blablablarchitecture, mouth is. So #SpendItLikePeckham leads the architect-developer to aspire to design their own brand of spatial economics. Case in point: how to design something of interest yet in accordance with Approved Document K: Protection From Falling. The White Picket Fence Balustrade? The History of My White Picket Fence begins with Dennis Hopper’s House in Santa Monica… TBC
The Peckham Project has three leading facades: two leaning in at 5 and 30 degrees, one leaning out at 20 degrees. This presents a technical issue for the window fabricators (air and water egress according to Velfac…) which lead us to the renovation of the John Hancock Centres’s observation deck which leans out 30 degrees to afford the viewer a vertiginous outlook of Chicago from 450m above ground level. In the video, the guy in the white shirt looks less enthralled…
Buildings are inert. They don’t move much. Maybe millimetres in an earthquake if designed correctly. Buildings thus fix a space to a place. Your home is as much a geographic location as it is a sequences of interior spaces. Yet relocating buildings happens because: why? Due to the attention of you the reader, this text seeks to only engage why buildings might move because of : heritage.
Heritage is ‘old money’! If heritage aspires to an idea of cultural value, this must be legal tender to anyone from the age of 16…. TBC
FIAT, Fabbrica Italiana Automobili Torino, have produced notable modern infrastructure with innovative rings roads both at the scale of architecture, Lingotto, and landscape, Nardo Ring.
FIAT opened Lingotto in 1923 and the design (Matté Trucco) was unusual in that the production assembly line spiralled up the five floors such that raw materials entered at ground floor and completed cars emerged at rooftop level where there was a test track. At the time of opening in 1923, Lingotto the largest car factory in the world at that time. For its time, the Lingotto building was avant-garde, influential and impressive—Le Corbusier called it “one of the most impressive sights in industry”, and “a guideline for town planning”. 80 different models of car were produced there in its lifetime, including the Fiat Topolino of 1936.
By the time Lingotto closed in 1982 (today Lingotto is a Hotel), FIAT had produced an even greater feat of test track engineering but this time in the South of Italy in the town of Nardò in Puglia which was completed in 1975.
The circular track has a 12.5 kilometre circumference and has four 4m lanes for cars and motorcycles totaling 16 metres in width and has a separate inner ring for trucks at a width of 9 metres. In the cars/motorcycle ring the lanes are banked at such a degree that a driver in the outer most lane doesn’t need to turn the wheel while driving at speeds of up to 240 kmph. In essence, at the so-called neutral speed which is different for the four lanes, one can drive as if in a straight lane. However extremely fast cars still require the steering wheel to be turned when going faster than the maximum neutral speed. In the process of fighting a turn as needed when going faster than the neutral speed quite a bit of potential top speed is lost and hence a fast car will go faster in a straight line than what is possible on the Nardó Ring. Even at the neutral speed, in a banked turn a car runs a bit heavier than it would in a straight line, since the downforce created by the banking increases the rolling resistance on the tyres.
The neutral speed for the four car/motorcycle lanes are respectively:
However the Nardo ring configured as an ‘endless runway‘ would mean this rolling resistance would help in braking a landing plane. TBC
<iframe width=”400″ height=”500″ frameborder=”0″ src=”http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-39284294/embed”></iframe>
Prior to establishing WHAT_architecture, I had the privilege to work for three renown practices whose founding partners were: women. Louisa Hutton (Sauerbruch Hutton), Alison Brooks (Alison Brooks Architects) and Francine Houbine (Mecanoo). Being Maori in London, perhaps I am naturally susceptible to a legacy of women who ‘operate’ at a level beyond, or below, politics and power, and whose organisational creativity is based on something more urgent: the familial. Here I think of: Esther Jessop who established Ngati Ranana. It takes a strong man to stand by a strong woman.
Our Peckham project raises the question of what architectural value(s) can be assigned to the structural expression of exposed contiguous piling: aesthetically, commercially? Piling is not very sexy and is typically hidden behind a layer of applied cement but does it have to be like this? This is not the architecture language of hi-tech but deep-tech! Piling after all looks like a foundation colonnade. The pile depth can be a condition of the lateral load requirements of the site: a house to the North, roads to the South and West, a garden to East.
The slightly odd form of our proposal for Peckham is derived from its context: we call it a leaning mansard. It’s a mansard in deference to the adjoining property yet rather than lose headroom, our mansard leans towards the mature trees on the boundary. This has produced a technical issue whereby the brick work will also lean, rendering the entire facade as an over-scaled corbel. Whilst our structural engineers are worried about the induced lateral stresses created by the brick ties pulling on the CLT walls, I wondered if the corbel facade was to be self supporting, how far could lean? Welcome to the Mathematics of the Ideal Villa.
Data Genetics asks: how far can you overhang blocks? The rules of this game are: 1. No glue! Blocks have to be placed and supported entirely by their own weights. 2. Only one block per level. We’re making a skewed tower. 3. All blocks are of the same shape, weight, and are of uniform density. The answer relates to defining the Centre of Mass and keeping this within the line of the foundation to avoid overturning…