Margot McRae: Exciting welcome that says something about the city

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Margot McRae contributes the first article in a Herald series in which prominent Aucklanders nominate their favourite buildings built since 2000.

The TelstraClear Events Centre in Manukau is dynamic, exciting and a wonderful gateway to Auckland. Photo / Supplied
The TelstraClear Events Centre in Manukau is dynamic, exciting and a wonderful gateway to Auckland. Photo / Supplied

I just think the TelstraClear Events Centre in Manukau is dynamic, it's exciting and it is such a wonderful gateway to Auckland.

You see it on the Southern Motorway as you come to Auckland.

It says something about Auckland, about the sort of people who live here, especially the community of Manukau.

It reflects the people who live around here in a really stunning way and must be a huge source of pride for the local community.

It has got the waka and the net. I also love the use of the wood. It is not all steel and glass. It is incredibly individual and a building that could live only in Auckland. It is not borrowed from anywhere else in the world. It says this is a Pacific city. A building like this ought to be on Princes Wharf, the other gateway to Auckland.

That is the sort of thing we need, not something borrowed from overseas.

Our old buildings reflect the people, the times and the history and new buildings can also reflect that.

Most of them don't, they reflect fashions from overseas. But this building does reflect this community and it is history in the making.

This is a building that generations that grew up in that community will be able to look back on. Our little villas and cottages, they just grow out of the community too.

I think architects have a social responsibility. It is not just about them doing a building they like and their tastes, but a building that has a public ownership and says it belongs to this community. I think this is the most successful building to show that that I have seen in Auckland. I don't think any other building is so individual and idiosyncratic and says Auckland. That is a huge achievement.

* Margot McRae

Heritage campaigner Margot McRae is chairwoman of Devonport Heritage, which is fighting to preserve the Masonic Hotel.

She is also a member of the Victoria Theatre Trust, which holds a 33-year lease to run the local landmark as a cinema and performing arts centre.

The ex-journalist turned playwright wrote Finding Murdoch, a play about an intrepid reporter tracking down disgraced former All Black Keith Murdoch.

She lives in an 1880s villa in Devonport.

She nominates: The TelstraClear Events Centre in Manukau, which was designed by Cox Creative Spaces.

The indoor area/events centre was opened in April 2005 at a cost of $49 million.

It has won numerous awards, including the Institute of Architects' local award for architecture.

- NZ Herald

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