Teachers' College, Karori, Wellington, New Zealand

The Karori Teachers’ College has been sold on the open market.  Since its beginning, the campus has been in government or quasi-government ownership. In 2014 the campus was transferred from the Ministry of Education to Victoria University for the princely sum of $10.  The site was valued at over $20 million, and the university, keen to sell, handed it over to Ryman Healthcare in late 2017.  As is often the case in these situations, this important heritage site is likely to compromised or lost forever. Link here to Ryman’s FaceBook page showing the latest site development plans.

The Karori community is mobilising to protect the public amenities on the site and a Save the Karori Campus petition was begun in 2017.

Architectural Centre position
We believe that the Wellington Teachers’ College, Karori must be retained because:

(a) it is incredibly well-built (apparently it meets 100% seismic code) and it would be a shocking waste (in terms of sustainability and common sense) to demolish it.

(b) it is an important community facility (including: dance studio, lecture theatres, marae, playing fields).

(c) it could be adaptively re-used as housing (which we need).

(d) it is an important heritage site (and should be listed).

(e) a redevelopment could be mixed-use incorporating recreation and cultural programmes (like the Barbican in London).

(f) it could be NZ’s first “Barbican of the South” and an exemplar of a high density residential community with public cultural and recreational facilities for the wider community.

Information on the Karori Teachers’ College
(a) Site description
(b) The architect
(c) Description of the architecture

Barbican of the South - Karori-x-3-sm

What should happen now?
(a) Heritage listing

(b) “Barbican of the South” Project and gallery.

What can you do?
(a) sign the Save the Karori Campus petition

(b) tell us your stories so we can use them in submissions to support arguments for a sophisticated adaptive reuse design of the site. 

(b) write to the WCC (councillors@wcc.govt.nz) asking for them to enable the Karori Teachers’ College site to be adaptively re-used for housing.

(c) write to the WCC (councillors@wcc.govt.nz) asking for the Karori Teachers’ College to be heritage-listed.

(d) contribute to the “Barbican of the South” Project.  Write a poem, draw a drawing, confound Photoshop, do a concept plan for an apartment. Details at the “Barbican of the South” Project. Send them to us at arch@architecture.org.nz so we can add them to our gallery on the website.

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