Hutt City Council Precinct – proposed demolitions

Date: 12.12.13   Categories: Uncategorized   Posted By: JMG

Docomomo New Zealand is alarmed to hear about the proposed demolition of the Lower Hutt Town Hall and Horticultural Hall, both designed by King, Cook & Dawson and built in 1957 and 1959 respectively. The two halls are part of a unique group of exemplary Modern Movement buildings designed by two highly regarded architectural firms within a garden setting, also unique in New Zealand. The buildings follow the lead of the European modernist architects, now recognised and celebrated throughout the world. The New Zealand Institute of Architects gave Hutt Council an enduring architecture award for the Civic Centre in 2011 and the St James’ Church, one of the buildings in the group, was awarded an NZIA Gold Medal in 1954. The group has also been identified as being of national heritage significance by the New Zealand Historic Places Trust, and the Hutt Council itself.

 Docomomo New Zealand urges the Hutt Council to reconsider its decision. The loss of the two halls would irreparably damage the Civic Centre group and remove its heart. It would mean the loss of the best of the Hutt’s Modern Movement architecture, imbued as it is with considerable social history. The city would lose the tourism opportunity to celebrate the best of its architecture of the 1950s.

 If we continue to demolish recent heritage, we will have no old heritage in the future.

 Ian Bowman

Architect and Conservator