Complete renovation, grand restoration.

The CAB will have an all new double glazed exterior façade along with state-of-the-art materials used throughout, while being faithful to its modernist architecture. The building has plenty of unique features including the curvy Le Corbusier-inspired entrance canopy and the precast terrazzo treads and iron balustrades of the open staircase.

History & Design

The CAB is one of Auckland's most notable landmarks with a rich history. After construction was completed in 1966, it was New Zealand’s first and only “skyscraper”.

Designed by a Hungarian emigrant, Tibor Donner, who was appointed Chief Architect of the Auckland City Council from 1946 to 1967, The CAB used the most innovative building techniques of its time. Donner, it is worth noting, also designed the city’s iconic Parnell and Pt Erin baths.

Some of the construction methods were so technically advanced that Donner and the structural engineer, Vern Coleman, went to North America and Europe to research other buildings and construction sites using the proposed methods.

While The CAB was the first skyscraper in New Zealand, it was certainly not the first in the world. Steel had to be imported; welders were specifically trained to work on the construction. On a more personal level, Donner himself was so committed to his craft that he went to the trouble of grinding down old whiskey bottles to add to the aggregate window panels, giving them a unique reflective quality that largely endures to this day. The building is truly a testament to early New Zealand modernism.

Experience transformational city living in Civic Quarter

Enjoy its vibrant laneways where there’s a boutique supermarket, a luxury hotel, artisan food offerings, and contemporary dining. Located in the arts and theatre district and only moments away from the new central rail station. Everything you desire is right here on your doorstep.

References:

Hail the CAB!, Hamish Firth, Auckland Town Planning Specialist, The Hobson Magazine, June 2017

The Civic Building: Modernist Folly, Architectural Treasure by Chris Barton

https://nzhistory.govt.nz/people/tibor-donner

Auckland City Libraries Photographic collection

Decently and in Order, by G.W.A. Bush, Collins, first ed. 1971

Donner Papers, University of Auckland School of Architecture Archives

Auckland City Corporation, CAB Official Opening Programme, 1966 Auckland City Library

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