Story: Public buildings

Christchurch Town Hall, exterior (1st of 2)

Christchurch Town Hall, exterior

When the Christchurch town hall opened in 1972, it was the first new town hall in New Zealand in nearly 50 years. It comprises an auditorium, a theatre (the James Hay Theatre), and conference and catering facilities. Christchurch architectural firm Warren and Mahoney designed it in the modernist style, of which it is one of the country's best examples among public buildings. Its success led to the firm designing the Michael Fowler Centre, a civic auditorium built in Wellington in the early 1980s. Auckland built a new civic auditorium soon after – the Aotea Centre. Both northern cities kept their existing town halls. This view shows part of the James Hay Theatre, with the town hall restaurant cantilevered over the Avon River. Damaged in the 2010 and 2011 Christchurch earthquakes, the town hall was rebuilt and reopened in 2019.

Using this item

Warren and Mahoney

This item has been provided for private study purposes (such as school projects, family and local history research) and any published reproduction (print or electronic) may infringe copyright law. It is the responsibility of the user of any material to obtain clearance from the copyright holder.

All images & media in this story

How to cite this page:

Ben Schrader, 'Public buildings - Civic and cultural buildings', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, http://www.TeAra.govt.nz/en/photograph/36783/christchurch-town-hall-exterior (accessed 4 August 2021)

Story by Ben Schrader, published 20 Jun 2012