The Hunter Building

The University's iconic brick Hunter Building was our first home, but it has had an uncertain history.

In 2004, Victoria University of Wellington proudly celebrated the 100th birthday of its first home, the Hunter Building.

On 27 August 1904, Lord Plunket, the Governor of New Zealand, laid the foundation stone for Victoria College on an unlikely site in Kelburn, Wellington.

The building, designed by architects F. Penty and E. M. Blake, was opened on 30 March 1906, providing the first official home for the students and staff of the fledgling University.

The building housed the entire university, and as student numbers grew, extra wings were added to the building, including the impressive north wing, with its imposing stained glass memorial window.

The south wing was completed in 1923 and the building remained largely unchanged, servicing generations of students, until the 1970s.

In 1974, the building was declared an earthquake risk, evacuated, and seemed destined for demolition. A group of determined alumni and friends formed the Friends of Hunter Society to save the building, which was strengthened, refitted and reopened in 1993.

Today, the building acts as the centre of the university, housing the offices of the Vice-Chancellor, official reception areas including the Council Chamber and the Victoria Room, and a number of pieces of the Victoria University of Wellington Art Collection. There is free public access to the Hunter building during the University’s opening hours.