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Graphic: An Encyclopaedia of New Zealand 1966.


This information was published in 1966 in An Encyclopaedia of New Zealand, edited by A. H. McLintock. It has not been corrected and will not be updated.

Up-to-date information can be found elsewhere in Te Ara.



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Modern Trends

At the present time there are many further changes impending. The architecture of public buildings since the last war has been subject sometimes to cliches or to obvious solutions–that is, that of glass wall with side contrasts, or blank wall. This type of building can look sterile, and seems to be at one with the anonymous architecture of New York, London, Tokyo, Wellington, Brasilia, or Copenhagen. Actually it is not as sterile as it looks. Under the skin is a complex tangle of services such as air conditioning and electrical wiring; the interior may carry decorative design work of distinction. It is, however, a swing of the pendulum, giving an austerity that needs some humanising.

The changes impending, therefore, may well be more exciting, a swing towards the flexible, shell, concrete forms or to those revolutionary designs as typified in the Sydney Opera House. In this regard the young New Zealand architect has opportunities that were denied his predecessors. Today there is available a magnificent portrayal of world architecture in the various journals that come from England, Italy, Europe, America, and Japan. For those designers who have not travelled, but who have the ability to see into the spirit of the law of architecture, rather than its letter, there is the chance to analyse the superb designs to be seen in Domus, the Architectural Forum, or L'Architecture d'Aujourd'hui.

At the present time, therefore, there are many valid approaches to designs, and very many good solutions of one problem are possible. The New Zealand architects and engineers, however, face two disciplines that restrict their freedom, namely, the need for safe structure to meet earthquake shocks, and the more severe discipline of limited finance. It is to their credit that they have successfully surmounted these difficulties.

by Paul Pascoe, A.R.I.B.A., Architect, Christchurch.