John Wickliffe House.
A Dunedin city planner has added her disapproval to a
proposal to paint the concrete panels of John Wickliffe House.
To paint them black would be inappropriate for the building's
architecture and in its setting, Dunedin City Council planner
Sophie Lord says in a report to the hearings panel
considering the application.
The company that owns John Wickliffe House has applied for
resource consent to repair and paint the building, which is
in a protected townscape precinct zone.
Its plan is to paint the concrete panels - which are covered
with exposed and polished West Coast serpentine stone - black
and grey to cover up what they say will otherwise be visual
repairs they intend to make.
Plaza Property Trust's plans have already drawn a strong
response from five opponents who said such a paint job would
be out of place with the original design of the building and
with its surroundings.
Three other submitters supported the plans.
Miss Lord said the council's urban designer, Peter Christos,
viewed the building as one of the most prominent in the
Exchange, which contributed significantly to the character of
She quoted Mr Christos as saying it represented a time when
architecture was used to project a sense of modernity and
progress, and the concrete panels were unique and integral to
the architecture of the building.
Council consultant surveyor Philip Hartley also told her the
building was of high historical importance, despite its lack
of heritage protection.
''In the context of its location, the building's profile,
scale and relationship to its setting contribute value and
integrity to the townscape precinct.
''Consequently, a relatively simple matter such as the colour
of the building can have a significant impact, either
positive or negative,'' Mr Hartley was quoted as saying.
After considering comments by submitters, Mr Christos and Mr
Hartley on the colour of the stone panels and the integral
nature of them to the building, Miss Lord said her view was
that the colour chosen was inappropriate and painting the
building at all would detract significantly from the precinct
and the aesthetic of the area.
The applicant should investigate further how they could
repair the cracks on the building in a way that was
sympathetic to the original design and material of the
exterior cladding to a standard where painting was not
required, she said.
''It is my opinion that the applicants should make every
effort to maintain the serpentine panels to their original
design and aesthetic.''
She recommended the application to paint the building be
declined, but consent be granted for the repairs, subject to
A hearings panel of Crs Kate Wilson, David Benson-Pope and
Aaron Hawkins will consider Miss Lord's report, alongside
other submissions and will hear from the applicant and five
opponents of the proposal at a public hearing on Friday.