FROM: Sky City Project Management Team

TO: Speer and Speer Architects

RE: NZ International Convention Centre - Plan B

G'day boys,

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Guess you've heard the bad news by now that our friends holding the reins of power (yeah, right) won't be forking out over the table with the actual cash payout they reckoned they'd stump up with when we took them out for drinkies before the election. While this is disappointing, it is not entirely unexpected, because to presume something along the lines of a spine from a politician was a bit of a long shot, eh? Still, we got the extra pokies under the radar so, as we say in this business: you win some, you lose some, but the house always wins at the end.

Anyway, the upshot for you architect fellas out of all this political flim-flam is that we're going to have to cut a few corners when it comes to the building of the actual building. Don't worry though, 'cause what we're looking at won't come out of your end of the deal but actually from the actual building. If we can literally cut corners, then by crikey, that is what we are going to do.

The starting point for us to hack away at this bastard is to ask the question: why will people go to the NZICC? Will they go to look at the architecture? Of course not. Will they go to attend conferences, shows or trade exhibitions? On the surface, maybe. Will they go there to gamble? Yes. Leaving all the bloody PR fluff aside, gambling is the only reason we're building the bloody thing so everything in the building must lead those horses to our sweet water.

Take the flash (read: expensive) air-bridge over Hobson St, for starters. Do we really need this? What about a tunnel under Hobson St that connects the Convention Centre directly to the gaming floor? This way people moving, on foot, between the two buildings won't be distracted by the outside world from their prime purpose of giving us all their money. Design-wise this should be supported by an interior corridor system in the NZICC that funnels everyone toward this tunnel and therefore the gaming floor.

This design ethos, of sub-consciously reinforcing the desire to gamble, needs to be consistent through every part of the design project. All the so-called "public" spaces should be depressing and windswept, and devoid of greenery and anything remotely comfortable to sit on. The objective is to drive people inside, towards the gambling areas, and not to have them standing outside enjoying Auckland's balmy weather. Think the barren wasteland of Federal St but without the restaurants.

In terms of cost-cutting when it comes to the actual exhibition hall, remember that people come into the hall to look at stuff, not to look at the outside world; therefore do we actually need any windows at all? Studies we have conducted show that if you trap people in a windowless, soulless space for long enough, their desire to gamble as a way of making the world a better place increases markedly, which is the desired outcome here.

Okay, yes there might be those who accuse us, ultimately, of building a large cupboard. But isn't that essentially what and exhibition centre is - a place to put stuff? Also once it is built and doing its job of maximising gambling revenue then who gives a rat's arse what anyone thinks, eh?

In terms of what architectural style you fellas want to employ, that is up to you - as long as it is cheap. Neo-Stalinist brutalism; 80s Auckland mirror glass monstrosity; whatever style you call the Aotea Centre, it matters not a jot - as long as it slashes dollars from the budget and gives the proles somewhere to come to give us all their money.

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Think of this as an open chequebook, but a chequebook open to an account where there is less money than you thought you had. Rise to this challenge to go as low as possible. The Keyzer uttered the word "eyesore" when talking about this building, so the challenge we're giving you architect fellas is to turn that phrase around to say that what is an eyesore can also be a sight for sore eyes.

Oh, and just a heads up that the North Korean construction company that put in the tender so low even we laughed, well they're back in the game. It's apparently amazing, the tensile strength of rice-paper these days.

Off you go boys, make us proud - even if you're not making Auckland proud at the same time.