Karori Teacher Training College

Not remotely a pretty building, Karori Teacher Training College is nevertheless touted for preservation as a building of national importance both for its function and as a piece of architecture. It has a reputation as Brutalist: in fact little of it is truly Brutalist poured-and-formed concrete, but it’s certainly got the tough look of many a 1960s secondary school. For some years now the complex has been abandoned: full of asbestos and impossibly expensive to run, hopelessly non-accessible by today’s standards, and ultimately just not right for today’s teacher training methods.

I deliberately visited on a gloomy winter day, anticipating the gloom would deepen around me as I went on. But in the event I was surprised: as I pushed my way through the jungle and the smell of pigeon poo I got the sense that this tight, hilly little complex with its multiple layers running around is quite neatly put together. If someone had $10M to spare then yes, it could be quite fun to see it back in action. (Or perhaps the pigeon poo was getting to me by then.)