Some six months after returning to New Zealand, and starting Fraser Architecture Ltd, the legwork is starting to show signs of reward, with several new and potential projects being added to our books.
Although the current economic situation is concerning, there are signs of a slow but steady lift to the industry. There is still an enormous amount of work yet to be done in Christchurch - if only a master plan can be agreed, and the insurance companies be induced to make reasonable payment. The indomitable spirit of the residents of Christchurch is remarkable. Here in Auckland, there is a housing shortage, especially affordable housing. Both developers and the new Auckland Council need to step up to the plate to ensure that Auckland can continue to grow, but in a sustainable and productive fashion. The Council’s proposed plan is making some excellent moves in the right direction, but appears to lack some of the core steps required to enable the achievement of their goals. If they really want to intensify, they should focus on underutilized main roads, such as Great North Road as it runs through Grey Lynn. This stretch is occupied largely by car-yards - an unsustainable and unattractive use of a main thoroughfare. However, to enable intensive housing along this strip, the Council would need to liaise with the Government and the Ministry of Education to establish new schools in the area - unfortunately not likely in the current economic and political climate.
I remain positive for the future, for all that it may yet be a while coming. To quote Daniel Libeskind: “architecture is that complete ecstasy that the future can be better.”