11 October 2011

Curtains for Whakatane Airport Terminal?

The Whakatane Airport Master Plan seems to indicate that while the destruction of the existing building may not happen soon, it could be an eventuality. The document, which is available for public viewing, reveals a phased implementation for the development of the airport with the preferred location of a new terminal next to the site of the existing one. The master plan proposes an initial phase featuring a relocatable building including new departure lounges as a low-cost means to increase the capacity of the airport. However, accompanied by an extension of the length and width of the runway to accommodate direct international flights from Melbourne the existing 250sq m terminal building would have to be demolished to allow for an apron for the maneuvering and parking of aircraft and construction of a new 12,000sq m two-storey terminal building at some future stage. The master plan can be viewed at: http://www.whakatane.govt.nz/Public-Documents/Policies-and-Plans/Whakatane-Airport/

So Whakatane wants to join the list of those towns/cities dreaming of an international airport http://3rdlevelnz.blogspot.com/2011/07/im-dreaming-of-international-airport.html

Whakatane's terminal, August 1981. Photo : S Lowe
A LEADING architect is rallying New Zealand’s building community in a bid to save the iconic terminal building at Whakatane Airport from being altered beyond recognition or even demolished. The quirky structure has long divided opinion between those who consider it an eyesore and those who like it. However as part of the Whakatane District Council’s airport master plan indicates its expansion and/or possible replacement. According to the council, there are no current plans to demolish the building – likened by some to a structure made from Lego blocks – however Jeremy Treadwell, a senior lecturer at the University of Auckland’s School of Architecture and Planning, is calling for urgent measures to ensure the building’s retention be introduced, as plans to redevelop the airport take shape. Built in 1974, the airport building was designed by the internationally-renowned New Zealand architect Roger Walker, who has also designed the iconic Ropata Village complex in Lower Hutt; the Park Mews community housing development in Hataitai, Wellington; and Britten House in Wellington – among many others. “This building is a crucial part of New Zealand’s history and its architecture,” Mr Treadwell wrote in an appeal for support through the Beacon. “It also represents Whakatane as a place that was visionary enough to build it at a time when architecture was struggling to be more than routine and, I hope, wise enough to keep it as an iconic element within a town that rises above the others of the Bay of Plenty.” Mr Treadwell said he was hoping to obtain the support of other architects around the country to lobby the council to retain the terminal. “It is a building that is a pleasure to arrive at and a building that is not of the usual mundane and corporate blandness. In a world of global sameness, demolishing a crucial civic building of startling and original architecture is nothing short of perverse.” Mr Treadwell’s ire was raised after reading the recent Whakatane District Plan review, which includes the 2008 document master plan for Whakatane Airport. “My concern with the report is that it sees the present airport terminal building as an impediment to the wider development and capacity of the airport and that it failed to identify … architecture of national importance. “The wise response to this report would be to castigate its authors and ask them to reconsider their findings, this time factoring the building into its formulations as an asset.” The destruction of Mr Walker’s work in not unprecedented. In the early 1980s the Wellington Club Building, his first large and acclaimed design, was demolished following a very public battle to save it and went to the High Court before it was finally lost. Council transportation manager Martin Taylor said people could be assured the council “currently has no plans to demolish the existing terminal building”. “The airport master plan establishes a framework for the future development of the airport. It identifies that as demand for scheduled flight services increase there will be a need for expanding terminal capacity. “The plan identifies the capacity limitations of the existing terminal and provides options for a managed expansion programme. This includes an option to add to the existing terminal building. This expansion, whenever it occurs is likely to meet growth demands for more than a decade before further expansion is likely to be considered. “It is important to observe, the master plan is a strategic planning document and not a detailed development plan. It identifies the future growth opportunities and raises aspects that we will need to consider along the way.”

Source : http://www.whakatanebeacon.co.nz/ 7 October 2011



1 comment:

  1. I think the destinctive terminal is safe. The Whakatane Airport Master Plan is a good example of charlatan consultants providing good news reports to gullible politicians at great expense.