Lyttelton Tunnel Authority Administration Building: demolished

Date: 17.07.13   Categories: Uncategorized   Posted By: JMG

We at DOCOMOMO New Zealand mourn the loss, in 2013, of the Lyttelton Road Tunnel Authority Building.

The Tunnel Building, designed by Peter Beaven from 1962 and completed in 1964, was one of the country’s finest modern buildings, demonstrating Beaven’s interest in contemporary international architecture while at the same time creating a local metaphor – Canterbury’s ‘fifth ship’ – for the people of Christchurch and Lyttleton.

The Tunnel Building was registered as a Category I historic place. It was identified by DOCOMOMO New Zealand as one of the country’s 20 most important modern buildings. As such, it was published in The Modern Movement in Architecture: Selections from the DOCOMOMO Registers (Rotterdam: 010 Publishers, 2000), which profiles the best modern buildings from 30 different countries. More recently, the building gained further international recognition through inclusion in 20th-Century World Architecture (London: Phaidon, 2012), an expansive volume that presents the world’s most significant buildings of the 20th century for an international readership.

When will the heritage recognition of our modern buildings start to mean something to the decision makers?