Auckland’s Civic Building first skyscraper #Modern

Aotea Square 1981 [heritageetal.blogspot.com] 1

Photographer Patrick Reynolds says the Civic is an important building by an important architect – chief city architect Tibor Donner (1946-1967) – and it appealed enormously as “Hotel Moderne” with its modernist credentials.

Civic Building on Aotea Square [metromag.co.nz]

### metromag.co.nz June 10, 2014
Urban Design
The Civic Building: Modernist Folly, Architectural Treasure
By Chris Barton
Why we should all be up in arms at the threatened demolition of the Auckland Council Civic Building.
There’s a surprise at the top of the hated Civic Building. From afar, you could guess there was some sort of observation deck, but the central roof-top courtyard open to the sky and to terrific east and west viewing across the cityscape to the harbour is a delight. Shut to the public since the 1970s, the restricted area is looking a little shabby, but one can easily imagine how the space could be brought back to life and, combined with a makeover of the staff cafeteria a level below, could be the tearoom talk of the town. Here might be a rare commodity in Auckland — public space on high — given that most other high places are either off limits, commercialised or privatised.
No 1 Greys Ave, formerly known as the Auckland City Council Administration Building, has plenty of other unique features: the rolled Corbusian corners of the metal-clad plant room, the curvy Le Corbusier-inspired entrance canopy, the mezzanine lobby and the precast terrazzo treads and iron balustrades of the open staircase.
Read more + Photos by Patrick Reynolds

Civic Building on Aotea Square (2011) by Caleb [stuffcrush.blogspot.co.nz]

### NZ Herald Online 11:51 AM Tuesday Nov 18, 2014
Bid to save NZ’s first skyscraper
By Bernard Orsman – Super City reporter
Plans to save New Zealand’s first skyscraper, the Civic Building on Aotea Square, or demolish it have been outlined to councillors and the media today. Council officers have been investigating options and market interest to refurbish the building, which will be empty by the New Year after serving as the city’s main civic administration building since 1966. The wrecking ball has been hanging over the building since the Auckland Council paid $104 million for the 31-storey ASB Bank Centre in Albert St for its new headquarters. The 100m tower was designed in the 1950s and completed in 1966. It has been criticised as an ugly box, but many architects marvel at its features. Architect Julia Gatley, an authority on modern architecture in New Zealand, has praised it as a beautifully proportioned, slender building that encapsulates modernism. It has no heritage status, but two reports have suggested it warrants a category A listing, and the council’s heritage division says it merits category B status. Heritage New Zealand also wants to see it gain heritage status and saved. The council’s property arm said without major refurbishment and the removal asbestos it would be unsuitable for council or other uses, such as commercial, residential and hotel. Auckland Council Property said it would cost about $78 million for full refurbishment to modern office and code requirements, or $60 million for a residential conversion. Demolition and site reinstatement is estimated at between $11.5 million to $12.5 million.
Read more

Aotea new [Regional Facilities Auckland via nzherald.co.nz]Civic Building demolished – revamped Aotea Square with new ‘teletubbie’ commercial buildings | Regional Facilities Auckland

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

*Images: (from top) heritageetal.blogspot.com – Former Auckland City Council Administration Building, 1 Greys Avenue (1981); metromag.co.nz – Civic Building on Aotea Square by Patrick Reynolds; stuffcrush.blogspot.co.nz – Civic Building, fenestration detail (2011) by Caleb

4 Comments

Filed under Architecture, Business, Construction, Design, Economics, Heritage, Heritage NZ, Hotel, Inspiration, Media, Name, New Zealand, People, Politics, Project management, Property, Site, Town planning, Urban design

4 responses to “Auckland’s Civic Building first skyscraper #Modern

  1. Cars

    Let’s start the demolition of Auckland – by any means possible. To imagine that there is any building of architectural merit in the whole of the greater united city perhaps apart from the museum and maybe the art gallery is to demonstrate zero taste.

    As an example, trawl through Remuera one of Auckland’s most prestigious suburbs! Only dumps in sight. Except maybe the house of the Bassett Street murders!!

    {Sorry Cars, your comment automatically went to Spam. -Eds}

  2. Kevin

    It doesn’t make sense to renovate it….. cost wise or aesthetically. The building, in my opinion, has not gained any grace with ‘age’.
    It is a sign of how desperate NZ is to preserve its built heritage when there is a debate over preserving THIS.

  3. Elizabeth

    Good buildings complicated by excellent strands of architectural criticism, public debate and intense observation become collectable, drawing greater appreciation and iconic value – it’s a great relief to me that the story of New Zealand’s cultural, historic and architectural heritage doesn’t smash and die at the brick wall of Victorian/Edwardian accomplishment.
    Who really wants to forget ‘concrete’ expression of twentieth century architecture —a lot happened in that hundred years including two world wars and human travel to the moon. The Civic Building is practically movie set. We’re in a different timeframe now. Nostalgia has wide membership.

  4. Elizabeth

    At Twitter:

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