30 Oct 2016

Modernist treasures in the Hutt

From Standing Room Only, 12:08 pm on 30 October 2016

Lower Hutt, Wellington's neighbour, is home to a treasure trove of post-World War II modernist buildings.

Some have been lost, and others are in need of a lot of work. But many of the buildings have already got a new lease on life, restored to their former glory and in daily use.

Just after the war the Hutt was booming, it had a burgeoning population, a huge need for housing and a progressive council and mayor.  

Meanwhile New Zealand architects who had served in the war had returned with a taste for the modernist architecture they had seen in Europe.

Mayor Jack Andrews and his council employed one of New Zealand’s first town planners and set about building civic amenities, housing and commercial buildings.   

“This was very much a community-centred period and there was a huge housing shortage.

The government and local authorities got together to develop housing plans and in about a five to ten year period they built over 5000 houses just in the Hutt,” architect  Ian Bowman says.