The VIC (Lotus Restaurant Building)

154-156 Cuba St, Wellington

  • The VIC (Lotus Restaurant Building).
    Copyright: Heritage New Zealand. Taken By: Anika Klee. Date: 4/03/2009.
  • The VIC (Lotus Restaurant Building). Image courtesy of
    Copyright: Minicooperd – Paul Le Roy. Taken By: Minicooperd – Paul Le Roy. Date: 4/05/2014.

List Entry Information

List Entry Status Listed List Entry Type Historic Place Category 2 Public Access Private/No Public Access
List Number 5356 Date Entered 22nd August 1991 Date of Effect 22nd August 1991


City/District Council

Wellington City


Wellington Region

Legal description

All DP 2686


This historic place was registered under the Historic Places Act 1980. The following text is from the original Proposal for Classification report considered by the NZHPT Board at the time of registration.

Built 1936.

Essentially streetscape value, and historical interest. Of note for its late Art Deco facade, containing chevron and stylised lotus motifs.


Construction Professionalsopen/close

Bennie, James

Bennie was born in Ayrshire, Scotland, immigrated to New Zealand in 1880 and settled in Brunnertown near Greymouth. In the early 1890s he attended the Working Men's College in Melbourne, Australia, where he studied under artist and architect Thomas Searell. On completion of his studies he returned to Greymouth and set up in practice as an architect. In 1902 Bennie moved to Wellington and went into practice with E C Farr before establishing his own practice in 1905.

Some of Bennie's designs include the Albermarle Hotel, Wellington (1905), the Carnegie Library at Levin (1910), the Karori Methodist Church (1912), and the Oriental Bay Tea Kiosk (1912, demolished 1978). He designed a number of theatres including Kings (1910), Queens (1916), the Crown (1916) and Paramount (1917), all in Wellington and was also responsible for the design of many houses including the Wedge, Glenbervie Terrace (1906) and Bennie house, Salamanca road (1907) both in Wellington. He also had an interest in prefabricated house design.

Bennie was an inaugural member of the New Zealand Institute of Architects, founded in 1905, and was later elected a Fellow. He retired in 1935 and his son Malcolm took over the Wellington practice.

[Source: an advertisment in the Evening Post, Volume LXIV, Issue 58, 5 September 1902, Page 7 confirms that Bennie entered into partnership with E C Farr on 14 August 1902].

Additional informationopen/close

Physical Description

Art Deco, 1936

Originally hotel with shops below.

Notable Features

Emphasis on the vertical, pilasters, decorative parapet, various Art Deco motifs

Construction Dates

Original Construction
1936 -
Art Deco

Completion Date

1st August 1991

Report Written By

Mary O'Keeffe

Other Information

A copy of the original report is available from the NZHPT Central region office

Please note that entry on the New Zealand Heritage List/Rarangi Korero identifies only the heritage values of the property concerned, and should not be construed as advice on the state of the property, or as a comment of its soundness or safety, including in regard to earthquake risk, safety in the event of fire, or insanitary conditions.