The politics of architecture

by frog

The September-October issue of the ArchitectureNZ magazine asks each political party leader to nominate a building which they admire or is significant to them.  And what it found was:

The Left’s traditional, the Right’s radical, the Greens are right–on, the Maori look in and the Centre looks back.

Russel chose the Ataturk Memorial, which stands at the southern end of his electorate on a ridge above Tarakina Bay. It was designed by Architect Ian Bowman.

Accessible only by foot, it is located in a rugged yet serene location with an incredible view to the south. The inscription – a quote from Ataturk – is a message of forgiveness and peace and reminds us that we are all part of the same human family.  It reads:

Those heroes who shed their blood and lost their lives,

you are now lying in the soil of a friendly country.

Therefore rest in peace.

There is no difference between the Johnnies and the Mehmets to us where they lie side by side in this country of ours.

You, the mothers

who sent their sons from far away countries wipe away your tears,

your sons are now lying in our bosoms

and are in peace.

After having lost their lives on this land they become our sons as well.

Jeanette pricked the recently retrofitted Department of Conservation Building in Wellington:

Fresh air, daylight, low energy, low water use, systems for waste management, and so pleasant and healthy to work in that I understand absenteeism from winter colds and ‘flu have halved this year. To me, making an old building beautiful and functional is even more impressive than designing a building from scratch.

Meanwhile, Rodney Hide has picked the presumably publicly funded extension to the Auckland War Memorial Museum and John Key picked the Auckland Sky Tower, a building Russel described earlier this year:

In the Auckland CBD there is a memorial to Roger Douglas and Ruth Richardson, it is a casino in the shape of a syringe. They created a society in which desperate people’s only hopes are pokies and drugs.

Photo credit: Rodney F

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