Bicultural Architecture




Biculturalism—New Zealand, Biculturalism in architecture, Te Tiriti o Waitangi, The Treaty of Waitangi


The 1980s appears to be the first time in New Zealand that "biculturalism," a term first coined in Canada in 1940, became linked to New Zealand architecture. The 1980s was a period when the significance of Māori art and culture was increasingly apparent. Te Kōhanga Reo was established in Wainuiomata in 1982, Keri Hulme's The Bone People won the 1985 Booker Prize. The enormously successsful "Te Māori" exhibition, the first international exhibition of Māori taonga, opened at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York in 1984, later touring New Zealand in 1986 renamed: "Te Māori: Te Hokinga mai. The Return home." The cultural and political inevitabilities of the Tangata Whenua (1974) television series, the establishment of the Waitangi Tribunal (1975), the Māori Land March (1975), the republication of Dick Scott's The Parihaka Story (1954) as Ask that Mountain (1975), the Bastion Point protests (1977-78), the occupation of Raglan Golf Course (1978), and the Springbok Tour (1981), meant that by the 1980s Pākehā and Māori were questioning their relative postions in New Zealand society. In architecture the success of urban marae, the construction of institutional marae (e.g. Waipapa Marae, University of Auckland by Ivan Mercep, Jasmax, 1988), and the recognition of John Scott's Futuna Chapel as bicultural, twinned with a growing awareness of the asymmetrical privileging of Pākehā over Māori, would all contribute to a greater motivation for biculturalism in architecture. This paper examines the development of the use of the term "bicultural architecture" in New Zealand, and the architecture proposed as warranting it, during this period of New Zealand's history.


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How to Cite

McCarthy, C. (2009). Bicultural Architecture. Architectural History Aotearoa, 6, 21–32.

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