Returning to housing

Exhibition drawing of a theoretical ‘Te Aro Replanned’ scheme exhibited at the Wellington Public Library in 1948. Drawn by William Toomath.

In the summer of 1947-48 the Architectural Centre ran its second summer school – a series of lectures, tutorials and an urban design project – Te Aro Replanned. The school attracted 60 students who were tasked with surveying and analysing the existing problems and needs of the ‘Te Aro Flat’ – most of central Wellington.

To say the resulting proposal was unconcerned about heritage and the existing fabric of the city is possibly an understatement. Consistent with central and local government policies of ‘slum clearance’, the students’ proposal suggested replacing all housing with tower-in-the-park buildings which would accommodate the entire Wellington population within an Arcadian park setting, planned for walking and recreation.


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