Personal reflections on urbanism, urban life and sustainable urban design in Wellington, New Zealand.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006


A couple of well-known Wellington Art Deco buildings are currently being refurbished, and it looks like the colour schemes will bring out their Deco features quite nicely.

Hotel St George - new colour schemeThe Hotel St George on the corner of Boulcott and Willis streets is having only a minor revamp, since it'll still be a student hostel. When it was sold by Massey University a couple of years ago, there was a brief controversy about the inclusion in the sale of a small patch of open land at Flagstaff Hill behind it, which ended when the council stepped it to ensure that the land remained public. The refurbished building will look quite a bit darker than the previous colour scheme, and Rosamund Averton will probably call it "dreary", but it looks like it will actually enhance the verticality of the façade and bring out the "ziggurat" detailing in the moulding.

The Free Ambulance building at Taranaki Wharf should be near the end of its refit soon, with some sort of restaurant and bar on the ground floor and offices above. It's getting a more restrained exterior treatment, with subtle shades of yellow and cream highlighting the details a bit more than its previous all-white paint job did.

The Wellington Free Ambulance building - new colour scheme
It's expected to be ready in April, and while recent experience with waterfront developments has made me a bit wary of proposed completion dates, it does look like the contractors are moving into the final phases. However, it won't reach its potential as a waterfront dining venue until the public space redevelopment is complete: once that's done, the lagoon will be much closer to the building, and separated from it by just a gently sloping lawn rather than the large mound. I will kind of miss the mound, though.


At 9:05 pm, February 09, 2006, Blogger David said...

Scribblers, attached to the St George, was our student pub-of-choice when I was at university. It was a dive. Really grotty. Spotted an oily film on the surface of my beer once.

Sigh... the Good Old Days.


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