Betterways Advisory Ltd was working on an ''extraordinary''
new high-rise hotel design for Dunedin, with help from
architectural designer Fred van Brandenburg, when it scrapped
the project, it has been claimed.
Jing Song, of Queenstown, told the Otago Daily Times she had
recruited Mr van Brandenburg, the principal of Architecture
van Brandenburg, to help redraw plans for the hotel.
Mr van Brandenburg, who has an office in Dunedin, has worked
on designs for Millbrook Resort and several luxury lodges.
In 2009, he was asked to design a 75,000sq m fashion house
worth hundreds of millions of dollars, featuring gardens, a
hotel, catwalk, factory, water features and a 35m-high lotus
Ms Song said Mr van Brandenburg, who was a friend, had been
recruited in response to community concern about the original
hotel's height and appearance.
He had already presented some ''fantastic ideas'', and that
work was continuing, simultaneously with work on traffic
problems, when Monday's decision to scrap the project was
The revised design was not expected to be considered by a new
urban design panel until after the traffic issues were
However, Ms Song said the new design would have been
''Nothing was like what we'd done before. We were looking at
an iconic look ... a different shape and a completely
''We had some really fantastic ideas shown to us, and it's
very shameful that we didn't even get to that stage.''
Ms Song said that was likely to have included a reduction in
the building's 27-storey height, which triggered much of the
controversy when plans for the project were revealed in 2012.
''We wanted to offer something extraordinary to Dunedin - we
always have been.
''We were willing to deliver those extra miles.''
Mr van Brandenburg could not be reached for comment
Asked if his design work could continue for a new hotel at
the Otago Regional Council's waterfront site, Ms Song said:
''I don't know. No. Well, at this stage, I've said stop.''