Civic Building, Auckland

Date: 27.09.12   Categories: Uncategorized   Posted By: JMG

Heritage is a matter of national importance and when it comes to heritage retention, local authorities should be leading by example. Thus it is shocking to read in the NZ Herald (20 July 2012, p. 2) that Auckland Council is considering demolishing its Civic Building in Aotea Square.

The Civic Building, designed by Council Architect Tibor Donner from 1954 and built 1964-66, has been identified by DOCOMOMO New Zealand as one of the country’s 20 most important modern buildings.

The Civic Building is a highly visible and well-known landmark. Its key features include a narrow footprint and a steel-framed construction which through 19 floors combine to give it unusually slender and thus elegant proportions. It is clad in glass, aluminium and pre-cast concrete, all carefully detailed to ensure interest and variety at the level of surface and texture.

Heritage does not stop in 1940. Key modern buildings also have heritage value. This needs greater recognition now, to ensure the survival of the best and most important of them in the future.