Public Trust Building
|Public Trust Office Building|
The building in 2014
|Architectural style||Edwardian Baroque|
|Address||131-135 Lambton Quay and Stout Street|
|Town or city||Wellington|
|Current tenants||Ministry for Culture and Heritage|
|Named for||New Zealand Public Trust|
|Opened||9 June 1909|
|Design and construction|
The Public Trust Office Building is an office building in central Wellington, New Zealand, completed in 1908. It is the only (surviving) building "made of a true New Zealand granite – from Tonga Bay in north-west Nelson." It is also believed to be New Zealand's first steel-framed office building.
Design and construction
Occupation by Public Trust and Creative NZ
The building was occupied by Public Trust from 1909 to 1982. In 1982, the Public Trust moved to a building next door.
In 1975 a public campaign successfully saved the building from demolition.
Period of vacancy and renovation
Doubts about the building's future were (again) raised following the 2013 Seddon earthquake. Most of the building's tenants were evacuated following the earthquake. Creative New Zealand's Wellington office had been in the building since 1985. After the building's body corporate (Creative New Zealand; Stout Street Chambers; Julian Parsons and Reedy Holdings) commissioned an assessment by engineering firm Dunning Thornton, they decided to sell the building to a party better placed to strengthen the building.
After it was largely evacuated, the building was bought by Maurice Clark, who was labelled a "hero" for taking on one of Wellington's largest heritage strengthening projects.
From 2014 to 2015, the building was renovated and earthquake strengthened. The restoration work was undertaken by Maurice Clark's construction firm McKee Fehl with architects Warren & Mahoney. The two companies also collaborated on the restoration of Defence House across the road on Stout Street.
Following the strengthening of the building and its opening on 27 October 2015, the Ministry for Culture and Heritage has occupied most of the building. A Jamie Oliver restaurant was also planned for the large downstairs room, but is now not proceeding and alternative uses are being sought.
The building is listed by Heritage New Zealand as a Category 1 historic building. When the building was first listed by Heritage New Zealand, the citation said that:
|“||This building is a superb example of a public and commercial building of the Edwardian period. Its corner site and powerful blend of architectural styles combine to create an outstanding piece of townscape. Chief Government Architect, John Campbell, was responsible for the design of this building which was erected in 1908. Historically the building's importance lies with its use as the Public Trust Office which when established in 1872 was the first of its type in the world.||”|
The Wellington Architecture Centre describes the building as:
|“||possibly the most architecturally elaborate façade in the capital – if not the entire country, and is without doubt in my mind, Government Architect John Campbell’s finest work outside of his design for Parliament House. It is, literally, our nation’s crowning glory.||”|
In 2013, Wellington City Council Councillor Andy Foster said the Public Trust building was one of the heritage buildings he would most like to see strengthened and saved.
- "Public Trust building". Architecture Centre Wellington. 20 August 2013. Retrieved 1 June 2015.
- "Old Public Trust Building, Wellington". Te Ara. Ministry for Culture and Heritage. Retrieved 1 June 2015.
- "Reinforcement project awaits new owner". The Dominion Post. 23 November 2013. Retrieved 1 June 2015.
- "Public Trust Office building opens - 9 June 1909". Ministry for Culture and Heritage. Retrieved 28 May 2016.
- Creative New Zealand (26 September 2013). "Old Public Trust Building to be sold". Creative New Zealand. Retrieved 13 October 2015.
- "Old Public Trust building to be sold". Radio New Zealand News. 29 September 2013. Retrieved 13 October 2015.
- "Hero developer buys Public Trust Building, plans to save and strengthen it". Wellington Scoop. Scoop. 14 January 2014. Retrieved 13 October 2015.
- Harris, Catherine (8 August 2015). "Old Public Trust building revival nearly complete". Stuff.co.nz. Retrieved 13 October 2015.
- "Public Trust Office Building (Former)". Heritage New Zealand. Retrieved 1 June 2015.
- Foster, Andy (23 September 2013). "Irreplaceable heritage – choosing the buildings that must be saved". Wellington Scoop. Scoop. Retrieved 13 October 2015.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Public Trust Office Building, Wellington.|
- Profile of the building, Architecture Centre Wellington
- Information on the Ministry for Culture and Heritage's website