When we set up a temporary venue, we came into a lot of criticism for what some saw as “an ugly eyesore”. I am comfortable with criticism because I figure if you do something different, there will always be critics. I think the popularity of the place with both locals and tourists has proved that what we have created is something that was wanted and needed.
My argument for the temporary has always been that if we allow a temporary infilling of spaces, this gives us time to calm down and work out what we all want our city to look like. But the Council has succeeded in making temporary so hard that there is no point. If you are going to be subjected to the rules for making a building, you might as well build a building. Why waste your time creating something temporary if the cost exceeds that of building?
And so we have reached the phase of the rebuild where buildings are starting to go up. And what a horrible reaction some have received. It seems people are critical of anything modern and square. “Ugly glass boxes” to quote some of the comments floating about the internet (and don’t get me started on how destructive the comments section on the ever-crappy Stuff website is).
In the paper over the past few days we have seen plans for the new Carlton site to be constructed across the road. This has caused the armchair critics to move into hate mode and saturate the internet with their unqualified opinions. You’d think they were all fucking promoters of Rudolph Steiner architecture by the way they rave on about how ugly right angles are.
I just want to point out that the “ugly glass boxes” are buildings being constructed according to modern trends. In exactly the same way as Napier represents a snapshot in time from when it was built, these boxes represent what architects are creating now.
To the complainers I always want to ask “What have you done?” If you can show me something you have created that is full of inherent beauty and perfect form we would all like to see it. Please show us an example of what you’re doing and we can all use it as a blueprint for the architecture that we can rebuild our city.
I’m more than happy if you don’t like the design, but you need to propose something as an alternative if you are going to get all hateful toward someone’s hard work.
But no, all there people do is criticize and spread hate and negativity. So my message to them is: If you can’t bring anything constructive to the debate, just shut up and get on with your crappy little life.
To those rebuilding: Good on you for committing your money to this city. Without people getting on making things happen again we will be stuck in this horrible limbo forever. And to the owners of the Carlton: I look forward to having a beer at your new pub and wish you well.