Sir Miles Warren defends his town hall

LOIS CAIRNS
Last updated 05:00 18/06/2013
Sir Miles Warren
JOHN KIRK-ANDERSON/Fairfax NZ
SIR MILES WARREN: The architect says Christchurch's Town Hall is worth saving.

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One of the architects who designed Christchurch's Town Hall is disputing claims the building is damaged beyond repair and not worth saving.

"To say the building is torn apart is absolute nonsense," Sir Miles Warren said yesterday, after Earthquake Recovery Minister Gerry Brownlee called for the civic building to be torn down and replaced.

Warren had been inside the building since the quakes and said that apart from on the lower floor, which had been damaged by the raised water level, it was hard to spot the damage.

"Unless you have a careful eye you would not notice the building had moved.

"You could walk around and not believe anything had happened to it at all."

The Town Hall was the only New Zealand building that had an international reputation for architectural design and acoustics and it would be a tragedy if it was demolished.

"It gives me a thrill every time I go into it - it is an extraordinary space," Warren said.

"The Town Hall is more than just a venue for all forms of music; it really is our living room. It's a great space where we all gather."

The Christchurch City Council has voted unanimously to restore the Town Hall but Brownlee believes the building should go.

In a Perspective piece published in yesterday's Press Brownlee described the building as "broken and unusable" and suggested it no longer met modern needs.

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