Rog on Beauty

Rog on Beauty is the personal blog of Roger Walker - architect, designer, traveller, car man, magazine reader, and raconteur. He started this blog as a cheaper alternative to holding court at various drinking establishments around the town to tell stories and share his opinion on the beauty of architecture, planning, design, cars, travel and anything else that takes his fancy.

Joe Lstiburek

Here I was, going to an after work function along with many building professionals and architects to listen to a “building scientist’”give a presentation,

Thinking this would be all about flashings, durability and roof/wall junction detailing ,the promised food and drinks to be generously provided by the sponsor made the decision to attend viable.

It transpired that the “building scientist” was Dr. Joseph Lstiburek, the highly qualified and founding principal of The Building Science Corporation, as well as a respected educator and advisor on Canadian and US building codes.

His work has had a lasting impact on building methods and practices throughout the World.

But we weren’t told he was one of the finest stand-up raconteurs I have ever experienced. Read More

Save our unique library

A wonderful event a couple of weeks ago on the date of Ath’s birthday (he would have been79) was organised by the NZIA, seeking to guage public sentiment and offer supporting efforts to save Wellington’s iconic library building.

After Judy Keith’s excellent introduction, Gordon Moller Spoke eloquently of the history of the Civic Square development with its library anchor. The closing of the eastern end of Mercer St. was the genesis.

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Whakatāne Airport Recognised

Just over 12 years ago, I met my then new girlfriend’s father for the first time at a restaurant in Wellington.

“Where did you fly from,” I asked.

“Whakatāne,” he replied.

“Oh, I designed Whakatāne Airport.”

There was a pause (a nervous pause on my side).

“I like Whakatāne Airport,” he said.

And we’ve been good mates ever since.

And it is fair to say that not everybody loves it – it has its share of friends and foes.

But last week I was honoured to hear that Heritage New Zealand Pouhere Taonga has just added the Whakatāne Airport Terminal to the New Zealand Heritage List Rarangi Korero as a Category 1 Historic Place.

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Earthquake Overreaction

In the late 1990s I fell for a beautiful brick building in Egmont St. which is reminiscent of a Melbourne laneway. It has fantastic walkable connections to inner city shops, restaurants and parks.

My apartment in this 1921 building, known as The Tea Store, was completed in 2000. Because the building was converted from a warehouse into 19 residential units, the developer was required to earthquake strengthen the building. It was strengthened to NZCC’s 1965 Chapter 8, which was the Code applying at the time.

All was well and happy until the Christchurch earthquakes.

‘Poor Christchurch’ I thought. But little did we owners realise that the effects of those earthquakes would manifest themselves in Wellington.

Despite the relative lack of damage to heritage buildings in Christchurch, zealous officials and conservative structural engineers in Wellington now deem buildings such as ours to be ‘earthquake prone’.

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NZIA IN:SITU Conference 2019

Every two years New Zealand architects have their conference.

I really look forward to it, and after weeks of anticipation, the two days of it were over in a flash.

I needee to comment on the last conference and I need to comment on the significance of this one.

It was the largest ever, with 1300 attendees. Morning , lunch and afternoon breaks were so socially intense that I actually looked forward to getting back to the auditorium to sit quietly and listen to the amazing line up of very special speakers.

Hearty congratulations for the Institute for organising such a stunning world-class lineup.

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