Karori Teachers’ College: site description

Address: 26 Donald Street, Karori
Legal description: Pt Sec 67 Karori DISTRICT
Survey area: 3.0225 ha
Land area: 30,225m2
LINZ document reference: shape length: 800.800024; shape area: 30214.365491
Longitude: 174.741
Latitude: -41.286
Rates: 100% non rateable
Capital value: $22,500,000

The Wellington Teachers’ College is located between Donald and Campbell Streets, in the well-established suburb of Karori.  The lowest part of the site is a relatively flat piece of ground in the south west corner where playing fields are currently located.  According to an article in the NZIAJ in 1964, the decision to locate the playing fields on this part of the site was due to “unfavourable bearing values for building.”  About two thirds of the site is flat, the remainder is relatively steep, with a fall of approximately 12m across the site. 

This topography has resulted in a “stepping” down the site by the buildings.  The Teachers College which was initially designed in 1963-65 was built in two Stages.  The first stage is that closest to Donald Street.  The second stage largely comprises the buildings west of gully that Lopdell Garden so elegantly winds through.  Early on (1964) the architects had committed to retaining as much of the existing trees and vegetation as possible.  The Wellington Teachers’ College campus is a designed site rather than simply a collection of buildings on a bit of land.  A part of its significance is the care and skill in siting the buildings, and creating a complex of architecture within its landscape setting.

“26 Donald Street, Karori 6012” Wellington City Council http://www.wellington.govt.nz/services/rates-and-property/property/property-search/details?account=1803134
“26 Donald Street” Webmap  Wellington City Council http://wellington.govt.nz/webmap/wccmap.html
“Wellington Teachers’ College, Karori: Architects: Toomath and Wilson” NZIA Journal (August 1964) 31(7): 225.