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Architecture and Urbanism in the British Empire$
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G. A. Bremner

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780198713326

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198713326.001.0001

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New Zealand and the Pacific

New Zealand and the Pacific

(p.356) 10 New Zealand and the Pacific
Architecture and Urbanism in the British Empire

Ian Lochhead

Paul Walker

Oxford University Press

New Zealand’s first architecture was shaped by the country’s geographical remoteness, its seismically active geology and its natural abundance of timber. Māori settlers, from around 1250–1300 CE, developed a unique timber architecture embellished with decorative carving. British colonization from 1840 resulted in timber variants of contemporary Victorian building types being erected in the principal settlements, although by the 1870s these were being replaced by brick and stone structures. Wooden Gothic Revival churches were a distinctive feature of the colony. British influences remained strong into the early twentieth century but were supplanted, after World War I, by American technological Modernism. Adoption of European Modernism, from the 1930s onwards, paralleled growing political independence. The search for a local modern architecture became a dominant theme of the 1950s.

Keywords:   Māori buildings, colonial architecture, timber construction, Gothic Revival, Modernism, seismicity

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