GORDON WILSON FLATS

GWF elevation
[Exterior view, State Flats, The Terrace, Wellington, 16 Jan 1959, ATL ref: EP/1959/0969-2-F]

UPDATE: The Environment Court hearing of Architectural Centre v WCC occurred Monday June 12th-Wednesday June 14th.  On Wednesday 9th August 2017 the decision from the Court was released.  It can be found here: [2017] NZEnvC 116 The Architectural Centre v Wellington City Council.

The decision noted that the appeal process had:

provided information that raises the heritage significance architecturally, socially and technically … of the GWF.  Rather than diminishing the building’s heritage value … it has in fact strengthened the reasons for it to be listed” (at [51]).

The decision also noted that:

It seems to us that in a time of apparent scarcity of social housing in Wellington and the increase in the level of homelessness reported in the media that great care should be taken before demolition.  The fact that the proposed use of the site (post demolition) is the creation of a park/green space and a strategic land banked asset by Victoria University for some yet unidentified Victoria University purpose further strengthens our view” (at [55]).

MEDIA COVERAGE has included:

Daalder, Marc “Ghost flats: The battle for the Gordon Wilson Building” The Spinoff (21 August 2017)

Cann, Ged “Victoria University determind to demolish Gordon Wilson flats” Dominion Post (17 August 2017)

“Editorial: The Gordon Wilson flats do not deserve heritage protection – tear them down” Dominion Post (17 August 2017)

Schrader, Ben “In defence of the Gordon Wilson Flats and postwar Modernism” (15 August 2017)

Cann, Ged “Gordon Wilson flats – architecturally significant or significant eyesore?” Dominion Post (14 August 2017)

Schrader, Ben “Saving the Gordon Wilson Flats” Scoop (14 August 2017)

“The Panel” Radio New Zealand (11 August 2017)

McSweeny, Jacob “Empty “brutalist” flats saved from demolition” Radio New Zealand (10 August 2017)

Flahive, Brad “Gordon Wilson flats to remain standing as court upholds heritage appeal” Dominion Post (10 August 2017)

“Environment Court confirms heritage value of Gordon Wilson Flats” Scoop (9 August 2017)

Gordon Wilson Memorial Flats is currently under threat of demolition.  Victoria University of Wellington bought the Gordon Wilson Flats site on The Terrace, from Housing New Zealand in September 2014 and applied to have this high rise modernist social housing block demolished via a Plan Change.  The hearing for the consequent Plan Change 81 was held on 15-17 December 2015.  The hearing commissioners (Andy Foster, David McMahon and Mark Peck) recommended that the WCC accept the Plan Change.

The documents from the WCC Plan Change hearing can be found here.

The Architectural Centre submissions to the hearing can be found here.

In June 2016 the Architectural Centre appealed the decision.  Mediation occurred on Monday 19 September 2016.  Unfortunately mediation didn’t resolve the issue so we are off to the Environment Court.  The hearing has been set for the week commencing 12 June. Philip Milne is representing us and Hazelton Law are our solicitors.

Roger Walker My favourite modernist building … Gordon Wilson Flats

Gordon Wilson Flats background and history

My favourite modernist building … a series in support of Gordon Wilson Flats

Why is modernism so important?

History Repeats: The Tale of the Hunter Building

Can ugly buildings be heritage?

Demolition by ignorance?

The RIBA on “Brutalism”

The Terrace Flats under construction, Wellington
[The Terrace Flats under construction, Wellington, 16 Jan 1959, ATL ref: EP/1959/0164-F]