(g) The technical accomplishment or value, or design of the place.
The Dorset Street Flats are one of the earliest attempts to construct a building in New Zealand from load-bearing concrete block. Although this form of masonry construction was not fully- resolved in this complex as local authority engineering requirements necessitated the use of reinforced-concrete columnb, this project enabled the exploration of this construction method which was fully exploited in later developments by the architect and building contractors.
The design of the Flats constitutes an early expression of the aesthetics of New Brutalism in New Zealand in the use and treatment of materials, structure and form. Warren's total design approach is also significant and the complex possesses high integrity as many of the original elements of his design remain unaltered.
Summary of Significance or Values
This place was assessed against, and found it to qualify under the following criteria: a, b, e and g.
It is considered that this place qualifies as a Category I historic place.
Miles Warren's Dorset Street Flats are outstanding as a pioneering example of a building type, construction method and aesthetic approach that was repeated in other projects by Warren and later architects that constituted a characteristic Christchurch architectural idiom of the post-war period. The Flats are recognised as one of the most important Modern Movement buildings constructed in New Zealand, as identified by DOCOMOMO New Zealand.