UPDATE 23–11–2006: As per the comments, the images & .kmz model now show the Union building at 47m OAH.
I never thought I’d be modelling a stadium but this shows what a bit of time, Architectural Desktop and Google Earth can achieve.
There has been a fair amount of controversy about a proposal to build “Stadium New Zealand”. This new sports stadium will be located in Auckland and built for the 2011 Rugby World Cup but the $300 – $1,500 million cost, depends who you believe, will endure long after that game is over. This could be considered a local issue but they are considering both “hotel bed” and “airport” taxes so tourists may contribute to this folly.
What I consider to be the most important question, "Do we actually need a 60,000 seat stadium?", seems to be beyond the debate as we simply get the choice of extending an existing stadium, Eden Park, or building on a proposed new Auckland City Waterfront site. The consultation process for this project has been crazy and shown both National & Local Body politics at it’s worst. Tonight on TV news the Mayor of Auckland mentioned taking advice, hearing voices, from the spirit of a long dead and revered former Mayor which shows how weird it, and he, has become.
I oppose the proposed waterfront location as it just seems wrong to put a massive inward focused building in such a prime harbourside location. Some people quote similar stadium locations working in Wellington & Melbourne but, although near the city & water, neither compares. This site impacts all future development in the waterfront and when that land, currently in port use, is made available for public use I’m sure a better activity can be found.
The waterfront proposal has been presented with flashy videos and artist impressions. Given the impact of a bulky/high structure the visuals seem a little bit, to be kind, “creative”.
I’m not alone in thinking this and Architect/Blogger Peter Cresswell (NotPC Blog) provides some evidence. In his post “Stadium drawings deceptive” he shows that Union House (white building with diagonal bracing – indicated by red arrow in the image) is
44m 47m high while the stadium, quoted as being 37m high, seems much shorter in the illustration. Another blogger, Whaleoil, has also commented on this comparing other measures including container crane booms and port lights, both supposed to be about about 30m, to estimate the shortfall.
Curious I decided to investigate. Using Peter’s Union House measure as a datum and the published plan, sections & height of the stadium I created a mass model in Architectural Desktop. I also traced some surrounding building plans (from an image) and used heights estimated from photos to mass them. There are many estimations in the surrounding buildings but Union House (red) is
44m 47m high & the Stadium section is scaled to 37m above ground level and as accurate as working from images allows.
I then used the Autodesk Labs AutoCAD Google Earth plug-in to create a Google Earth model. The result looks somewhat different to the artist impressions released. Have a look comparing that the red mass to the Union Building in the illustration & decide for yourself;
Is the artistic impressions use of height/perspective is rather approximate.... or creative... or maybe, deliberate?
Download Google Earth – http://earth.google.com – and the model and have a look.
Related sites & links at: http://www.waterfrontstadium.co.nz/
Have your say: http://www.aucklandcity.govt.nz/stadium/default.asp