Position Statement: The Architectural Centre

Photo above: Mr and Mrs W. Shaw and son Nicholas, first tenants in the Gordon Wilson state flats on The Terrace, Wellington. Evening post (Newspaper. 1865-2002) :Photographic negatives and prints of the Evening Post newspaper. Ref: EP/1959/1911-F. Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand. /records/23503306

Decision from the Minister for Housing, Chris Bishop: The Architectural Centre’s Position

Off the back of the decisions on Wellington City Council’s District Plan from the
Minister for Housing, Chris Bishop, The Architectural Centre wish to make clear
our position:

The decision doesn’t affect the credentials of the Gordon Wilson Flats (GWF)
suitability for adaptive reuse. The Architectural Centre hopes such a scheme can
aid both students, to provide accommodation, and the building’s owner, Victoria University of Wellington. We reject that the GWF’s particular status is an impediment to progress.

Our previous experience working with employees of organizations protecting select
buildings informs us that they are practical people who know the only way to preserve the past is to ensure the building is fit and usable in the present day. Such agencies are usually sensible and pragmatic about repair and modification for such buildings to survive.

The Architectural Centre has no interest in the preservation of a relic. We wish for this
building to be used and tenanted, to provide much-needed housing, in a sustainable way, to alleviate the current accommodation-affordability crisis. We note a VUW representative was quoted recently “we have taken on board positive comments about the potential for student accommodation on the site, and this is one of the options we are considering (retention of GWF)”. Fiscally and environmentally responsible building owners and developers around the world now have policies to reuse existing buildings before building new – a practice we wholeheartedly support.


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