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Talk: Is Wellington’s Modernism too Ugly to Love?


Wed 28 Oct 2020, 5:30pm

Where: City Gallery Wellington, Civic Square, 101 Wakefield St, Wellington

Restrictions: All Ages

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Listed by: felicity_wong6e6

The event features two prominent New Zealand architects: Bill McKay and Ken Davis. By looking at a range of mid-century Wellington modernist buildings, the speakers will consider whether they’re too ugly to love or simply misunderstood.

These include the controversial and much-maligned Gordon Wilson Flats on the Terrace. Its owner, Victoria University of Wellington/Te Herenga Waka, wants to raze the structure and rebuild on the site.

Many Wellingtonians seemingly agree. This is despite the building having been identified by the Environment Court as having very high heritage values.

A divergence exists between what heritage experts consider significant and what the general public thinks. Is it possible to bridge the gap so Wellingtonians might better understand and love their city’s modernist heritage?

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