Not adding to the ''mess'' of clashing designs presents a
challenge for the University of Otago as it goes ahead with its
massive construction programme, Dunedin historian Peter
Mr Entwisle said the university's ambitious building
programme was Dunedin's largest construction boom since the
1960s and 1970s, when Cargill House, Wickliffe House, the
Forsyth Barr building, the Dunedin Hospital and a range of
others were built.
If the demolition of the six-storey arts building went ahead,
it would probably be the most significant building to come
down since the 1980s, when the old Otago Daily Times
buildings were demolished, he said.
It was crucial the university's new buildings fitted with the
rest of the campus and had an overarching theme.
''It's very important, because these buildings become facts
for a very long time,'' he said.
In the past, poor design decisions had been made and the
university was left with those. An example was the ''robustly
ugly'' Sciences 2 building.
''I think the only solution there is dynamite, but they can't
afford to do that sort of thing.''
The biggest obstacle the university faced was the ''mess'' of
clashing designs it had been left with, including everything
from Gothic revival and bluestone to the space-age glass and
steel of the dental school building.
If he had one piece of advice to offer the university it
would be to ''try to find some overarching unifying theme or
motif that will link these buildings''.
''So that when people are there, they think 'Oh yes, I am at
the University of Otago'.
''The way things are at present you haven't the slightest
idea where the university begins and ends.''