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Architect's Visit to Wellington Cancelled

Media Advisory

1 September 2006

“Quirk of Fate” Sees Star Architect’s Visit to Wellington Cancelled

Illness has forced architect Ben van Berkel to cancel his visit to Wellington. Mr van Berkel’s Dutch architecture firm, UN Studio, designed one of the winning entries in Wellington Waterfront Limited’s 2005 International Design Competition to find concepts for four building sites within the waterfront’s Waitangi Precinct.

Ben van Berkel is considered to be one of the brightest stars in contemporary world architecture. He has been a Visiting Professor of Architecture at Columbia University, a Visiting Critic at Harvard and taught at the Architectural Association London. His work has been described as ‘spectacularly delightful’ and innovative, an example being the stunning Erasmus Bridge in Rotterdam, a sculptural icon that has completely transformed the way that city operates.

“Months of planning have gone into the Ben van Berkel visit and all arrangements were well in place. He was to have presented a public lecture at the Wellington Town Hall on Sunday 3 September and had a number of other engagements in the city” said Ian Pike, CEO of Wellington Waterfront Limited. “So, we are all extremely disappointed at the timing of this strange quirk of fate, none more so than Ben himself”.

While Ben van Berkel himself is no longer coming, a representative of UN Studio, Holger Hoffman, will still be visiting to take place in a series of workshops to firm up the design of the winning concept for the Transition Building, so called because it will be built on a site between Te Papa and Waitangi Park.

“So, while it is unfortunate that UN Studio’s public programme has had to be cancelled, at least all is not lost” added Mr Pike.


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