An arts collective in NZ's oldest urban stables ...
A consortium of a major construction firm, heritage architects and a corporate law firm join forces with a new vision to save a heritage building and conserve a vibrant community.
The Stables Artists building in St Benedicts St, central Auckland, housed a unique ten-year-old colony of painters, sculptors and artisans in a 19th century horse stables. The collective had created a remarkable atmosphere of collaboration and artistic cross-fertilization, and a number of the artists had had success in showings, competitions and with dealer galleries.
The property had been purchased by a leading Auckland property developer, and we assembled and chaired a consortium consisting of NZ’s second largest construction firm, Hartner Construction; Graham Scott, heritage architect; Preston Camp, property adviser; Hesketh Henry corporate lawyers; and the artists collective themselves, to prevent demolition of the property and develop a proposal for the artists colony to be preserved.
The Stables Artists campaign featured prominently for a year in the NZ Herald news pages, as a variety of people, including mayoral candidate Christine Fletcher, expressed their support for the proposal.
The proposal was the centerpiece of the Hesketh Henry Heritage Programme, which John Cranna had developed on behalf the 140 year old corporate law firm, and which was shortlisted for the National Business Review Sponsorship of the Arts Prize.
The campaign was ultimately successful in helping prevent the demolition of this historic precinct but the project did not proceed due to the decision by the landlord to convert the space into boutique offices.