Bank of New Zealand Building, 205 Princes St (cnr Rattray)

Dunedin 1883 blg taken 1976 lowresBNZ Bank, The Exchange 1976

### ODT Online Tue, 26 Feb 2013
New lease of life for BNZ building
By Debbie Porteous
A grand old dame of the Dunedin streetscape is being brought back to life by a Dunedin law firm. The historic Bank of New Zealand Building at the corner of Rattray and Princes Sts, in the Exchange, will, come June, be home to commercial law firm Van Aart Sycamore Lawyers, after the company bought the building and is having it renovated. BNZ main entry detail - City WalksFirm directors Michael Van Aart and Tony Sycamore said they were looking for permanent premises and the building’s location, natural light and character had appealed. Mr Sycamore said he expected the building would be “a really nice place to work”. The location was also great. Buildings around the Exchange area were filling up with commercial tenants, in what was historically the commercial heart of Dunedin. The company’s 14 staff would be based on the first floor, and once they had moved in the firm hoped to find tenants for the other three floors.

The company was strengthening the building from 67% of code to 100%, and installing full fire sprinkler systems throughout, as well as renovating and fitting out new offices, while retaining the heritage features of the building preserved by previous owner Ted Daniels.

The company was working closely with the Dunedin City Council and the New Zealand Historic Places Trust on the refurbishment.
Read more

Heritage New Zealand – Category 1 Historic Place
(No. 7299) Registration Report – the history and significance

The Bank of New Zealand Building was designed and constructed over the period 1877-1883. The architect, William Barnett Armson, was one of the first colonially-trained architects to work in New Zealand. He trained at Melbourne in architecture, engineering and surveying, and returned to New Zealand in 1862. The building is considered to be the architect’s masterpiece, and New Zealand’s finest surviving nineteenth century bank.

Dunedin interior built 1883 lowresInterior, before alterations circa 1960. Campbell Photography, Dunedin

The bank is elsewhere described as one of the few New Zealand buildings to reflect the large scale of the sixteenth century Italian palazzo, its prototype. The richly carved exterior features New Zealand plants and landscapes carved by Louis John Godfrey. The interior was extensively modernised by the architects Mandeno and Fraser in 1958 but the superb plaster ceiling over the banking chamber was preserved.

Dunedin Ceiling 1883 lowresCeiling, main banking chamber

Related Post:
27.7.13 Heritage: Old BNZ, Dunedin —restored

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

*Images: BNZ Archives, Wellington (via Ted Daniels); Athol Parks, citywalks.co.nz

3 Comments

Filed under Architecture, Business, Construction, Design, Economics, Heritage, Inspiration, Media, Name, NZHPT, People, Project management, Property, Site, Urban design

3 responses to “Bank of New Zealand Building, 205 Princes St (cnr Rattray)

  1. ### ch9.co.nz March 1, 2013 – 6:57pm
    Part of Princes Street re-emerging from the past
    Part of Princes Street is re-emerging from the past as it’s restored to its former glory.
    Video

    DCC ‘Heritage’ needs a bloody ruck-up due to its one-eyed ignore of the South Princes Street Townscape Precinct. This area contains the old Chief Post Office, Clarion Building (linking into the Bing Harris Building to High St – significantly, both buildings are strengthened and adapted for contemporary use), and a host of other heritage buildings in the old CBD (dating from the gold rush period when the Dunedin wharf area was at ‘Jetty St’, immediately adjacent to Princes St prior to reclamation).
    Don’t worry, we know exactly who to blame and why.

  2. ### ch9.co.nz July 25, 2013 – 7:22pm
    New occupants to breathe new life into Exchange area
    Life and commerce are about to return to the historic former Bank of New Zealand building in Princes Street. Scaffolding was coming down on the building today, and its owner says new occupants should breathe new life into an Exchange area struggling with recent events.
    Video

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