Architectural History Aotearoa 2021-12-08T23:29:51+00:00 Christine McCarthy Open Journal Systems <p><em>AHA: Architectural History Aotearoa</em> is a forum for broad-ranging discussion on the built environment and related issues in Aotearoa.&nbsp; Each issue focuses on a specific decade.&nbsp; It encourages experimental, raw thinking and investigation, from researchers and scholars (academics, enthusiasts, practitioners, and students) from all career stages and experiences that opens up new understanding of architecture in our country.&nbsp; It aims to be intellectually expansive in its investigations of each focussed time period and academically generous.</p> <p>Aha is both an acronym and a word in te reo Māori; translates "aha" as a verb meaning: "to do what? treated in what fashion? to do anything" and a noun meaning "what?"</p> "And ... the dazzle continued inside ...": New Zealand interior and landscape architectures of the 1930s 2021-12-08T00:27:32+00:00 Christine McCarthy <p>The Depression began in the late 1920s, but was not simply triggered by the October 1929 crash in Wall Street. In the two years between 1928-29 and 1930-31, "export income nearly halved. ... The government ... slashed expenditure," including severe cuts to public spending in health and education. As Ann Calhoun notes:<br>[t]he effect of the 1930s Depression on [Schools of Art] students and instructors alike was massive: salaries were reduced, the school admission age was raised, overscale salaries were limited, grants for sewing and science were withdrawn, administration grants were cut back, training colleges in Wellington and Dunedin closed and student allowances decreased, and grants to kindergartens were withdrawn.<br>A proposal for a town-planning course by John Mawson (the Director of Town Planning)) and Cyril Knight (Head of Architecture, Auckland University College) likewise failed due to "lack of numbers and Depression cutbacks." Helen Leach also notes the impact of cuts to education more generally, writing that: "[m]others of young children who expected them to start school at four or five learned in May 1932 that the age of entry would be raised to six."</p> 2021-12-08T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 2021 St James and the Good Shepherd: windows on the landscape 2021-12-08T20:03:08+00:00 Paul A Addison <p>Two New Zealand churches completed in the 1930s, St James' Church at Franz Josef/Waiau (James Stuart Turnbull and Percy Watts Rule, 1931) and the Church of the Good Shepherd on the shores of Lake Tekapo (Richard Strachan De Renzy Harman, 1935), feature large plate glass windows behind the altar, affording expansive views of the natural landscape beyond. This represented a significant departure from prevailing ecclesiastical design ideas of the time, with the interior of the churches being intimately connected to the landscape outside, rather than the usual largely internalized atmosphere with any sense of the surroundings limited to light coming through strategically placed decorative or stained-glass windows. It is, however, a design aesthetic that has seldom been utilized in New Zealand since. This paper traverses the history and design of the two churches and their relationships with the landscapes in which they are situated, and concludes that St James' Church provides a heightened religious experience and is a more successful metaphor for the Christian journey.</p> 2021-12-08T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 2021 The Ideal and the Real: interior linings in 1930s New Zealand homes 2021-12-08T20:13:55+00:00 Eva Forster-Garbutt <p>The choices made by New Zealanders in terms of how they line the floors, walls and ceilings of their homes, both today and in the past, is driven by various influencing factors. These include economic factors such as supply and demand, changes in technology, societal norms, as well as the agency of people themselves, ranging from the manufacturer and supplier to the designer and homeowner. In 1930s' New Zealand, architectural and building publications aimed to influence consumer behavior in terms of the products and methods used to design, construct and decorate buildings. These magazines also played a pivotal role in both reflecting and shaping current societal ideals and the associated ideal homes, which are almost always the homes of the middle and upper classes. This paper takes a case study approach by looking at the first eleven issues of the Home &amp; Building magazine between October/November 1936 and November 1939, extracting from these the construct of the ideal home interior and the types of interior linings that were advertised and used for this purpose in the homes that are presented. To investigate the extent to which these trends are reflected in the homes of real New Zealanders, a sample of Wellington building consents and historical interior photographs available through DigitalNZ are used.</p> 2021-12-08T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 2021 Frederick Tschopp, Landscape Architect, OE in New Zealand 1929-32 2021-12-08T20:22:59+00:00 Adrian Humphris Geoff Mew <p>Frederick Tschopp was a naturalised American of Swiss birth who had trained as a horticulturalist specialising in landscape architecture. He and his wife arrived in Auckland in September 1929 and he soon found work with some of the local bodies there. Works and Development in Wellington later employed him in designing gardens for several important government properties. This was not a permanent position however and about July 1931 he moved to Rotorua with a major contract to beautify the city, including extensive street plantings and an upgrade of the lake shore. Most of this work was well-received but there were some dissenting voices. The contract was terminated in November 1932, but with several goodwill gestures. While in Rotorua, Frederick had visited both Hamilton and Tauranga, commenting on landscape design aspects. The family (now with the addition of a son) left New Zealand for home in Los Angeles in late November 1932. Frederick had a subsequent career with the Department of Water in California and died at Laguna Hills, Orange, California in February 1980.<br>The reasons for Tschopp's visit to New Zealand can be interpreted in two ways. Clearly the newspapers regarded him as an overseas expert with a talent for landscape design, still a fairly new concept in the country in the late 1920s. He undoubtedly stood out as an American with drive and initiative. But he was only 24 when he first arrived, and his motives may well have been to gain overseas experience (OE) to help his chances of obtaining a lucrative job on his return to America. One paper described him as being in the course of a world tour but there is no conclusive evidence for him having spent long in other countries at this time.</p> 2021-12-08T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 2021 Standing Tall: the evolution of habitable room height limits in New Zealand building controls 2021-12-08T21:05:59+00:00 Nigel Isaacs <p>Although it is often thought that the 3 February 1931 Napier earthquake led to the first New Zealand building codes, they have a far longer history. Often developed by the local town, city or borough engineer, these codes or by-laws covered a wide range of topics, not just structural safety. Two surveys of local government building bylaws undertaken to support the development of national building controls, have created digests of details from a number of these codes. The 1924 survey of 37 municipalities supported the development of the first national code for timber buildings, while the 1938 survey of 84 municipalities was used to develop NZSS 95 Model Building By-law during the 1930s and early 1940s. The digests provide an opportunity to explore the 1930s development of building by-laws by geographical and topic coverage, as well as the impact on building controls since that time.<br>These local building bylaws often included requirements that affected the interior architecture of buildings, such as the requirement for minimum dwelling or bedroom room heights. In 1924 these minima ranged from 8 ft to 10 ft (2.4 m to 3.0 m) for either a dwelling or an attic room. However, by 1938 while the height range for dwelling rooms was unchanged for attic rooms the range was reduced by 1 foot (0.3 m) to 7 ft to 9 ft (2.1 to 2.9 m). Although the 1992 New Zealand Building Code does not specify minimum habitable room heights, the House Improvement Regulations 1947 are still in force. These initially set the habitable room height requirement to 2.1 m, increasing in 1975 to 2.4 m.<br>The paper explores the development of minimum dwelling height requirements in New Zealand using these two surveys with analysis of Wellington and Dunedin City Councils from the 1870s to the 1930s. These requirements will be compared to UK codes, exploring both the international evolution of room height requirements and the relationship to New Zealand.</p> 2021-12-08T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 2021 "Interior view of a hut ...": Stereography and the depiction of an Interior Architecture in 1930 2021-12-08T21:14:51+00:00 Peter Wood Michael Dudding <p>This paper is an exploration of a stereographic photograph taken inside a New Zealand backcountry hut. Matter-of-factly entitled, "Interior view of a hut, with mugs, a bottle, plate and cutlery on a table, looking through door to another hut, location unidentified," the photograph is attributed by the Alexander Turnbull Library to keen amateur photographer Edgar Richard Williams. The image gives little detail away in its depiction of the hut interior, except for a utilitarian table tableau that begins to suggest a nascent New Zealand interior defined by no-nonsense pragmaticism and Lea &amp; Perrins. But, far from being a scene of Depression-era poverty and deprivation, close examination of the photographed situation and its broader context provides a glimpse into a monied amateurism that heralded an emergent leisure class. As a stereoscopic image, the photograph does more than depict a scene. By placing us within a spatial view, we become immersed in questions concerning interiority and exteriority. We are presented with two spatial contrasts: one in the subject of the image, the other in the object of the image. By taking a close reading of both contrasts, this paper is an attempt to make some architectural sense of these dualities.</p> 2021-12-08T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 2021 "if other arrangements can reasonably be made": the interior architecture of Children's Courts in New Zealand in the 1930s 2021-12-08T21:24:49+00:00 Christine McCarthy <p>In 1925, the Child Welfare Act was passed. The Act introduced the idea of the Children's Court as a space "separate from the premises in which another Court usually exercises jurisdiction" (s28). In 1927, an amendment to the Act provided further elaboration, clarifying that: "persons attending any sittings of a Children's Court shall not be brought into contact with persons in attendance at any other Court." To achieve this the amendment stipulated that: "for this purpose the sittings of the Children's Court shall not, except in cases where no other suitable room is available, be held in any room in which any other Court ordinarily exercises jurisdiction; nor shall a sitting of the Children's Court, if held in the same premises as any other Court, be held at a time when such other Court is sitting, if other arrangements can reasonably be made" (s18(1)). This paper investigates the locations, and interior architectures of Children's Courts in New Zealand in the 1930s. It aims to establish whether or not the interior architecture of Children's Courts, with their legislated requirement to be physically distinct from the rest of the court system, was also distinct, and in what ways children were specifically accommodated for in this interior architecture.</p> 2021-12-08T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 2021 Konka Board: a cement-pumice-tow sheathing board 2021-12-08T21:36:30+00:00 Nigel Isaacs <p>Konka board was a New Zealand invention which combined cement, pumice and flax fibre ("tow") into a fibre-cement board, replacing the imported asbestos-cement sheet. Sold soon after manufacture, Konka, it could be nailed or screwed, and over time it hardened. A waterproof plain or stucco plaster finish provided a resilient, borer proof, fireproof, low maintenance house. Three patents created the Konka system – 34,845 for the fibre-reinforced board, 37,354 for the stud and support system into which a concrete grout was poured to lock the panels in place, and finally 52,50 for metal strips to ensure a smooth final plaster surface. A waterproofing additive in the plaster provided the final part of the system.<br>The company quickly setup a national series of agents, with manufacturing ultimately occurring in Wanganui, Gisborne, Christchurch and Timaru. Patent 34,845 was challenged in 1927, with the Privy Council finding in 1930 that it was invalid, opening the way for similar products to be made. The development in the 1930s of NZSS 95 Model Building By-law allowed Konka to be used nationally, without further evidence as to its performance. However, competitor other products were also included e.g. Excell, Rotorua, Thermax, Duro, Wangan, Walasco and the asbestos based Fibrolite.<br>Konka survived until the 1960s, when flax production was in decline, the high labour costs and manufacturing time meant it was no longer competitive. Even so, in a twist of fate it was a Konka style approach which led to cellulose fibre replacing asbestos in fibre-cement sheeting. In the twenty-first century, Konka could even be considered a desirable product – a natural fibre reinforced, composite sheet.</p> 2021-12-08T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 2021 An Eye for Detail: the Dallard years 2021-12-08T21:46:32+00:00 Christine McCarthy <p>It is often considered that the 1930s was a mundane period in the history of New Zealand prison architecture. This paper re-evaluates this conclusion by examining the specific aspect of prison interior architecture and the incremental changes that occurred to prison buildings during this period of New Zealand's prison history.</p> 2021-12-08T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 2021 The Cottage that Kids Built: Jack's Mill School and the significance of architecture for progressive education in New Zealand in the late 1930s 2021-12-08T21:58:51+00:00 Peter Wood <p>Even today, the tiny West Coast community of Kōtuku is difficult to find. In 1935, when Edward Darracott arrived to the position of sole teacher at Jack's Mill School, it must have felt very far removed indeed from the rest of New Zealand. Yet here, in what might be described as a Department of Education backwater, Darracott implemented an audaciously progressive educational experiment. Central to his teaching, Darracott embarked on two major projects with his students. The first (and in keeping with an interschool competition at that time) was the design and establishment of a garden. The second project would prove more ambitions. With responsibility for the planning and building passed to the students, Darracott initiated the construction on the school grounds of a three-quarter scale bungalow, complete with furnishings, running water and electricity. The "miniature bungalow" received national attention at the time, and survives today under the care of the Department of Conservation, but outside the interests of back-road tourists, Darracott's educational experiment remains largely neglected. This paper will provide an overview of Darracott's achievements in Kōtuku before focusing attention of the specific architectural interests he activated. This begins with the self-conscious civility on display in the garden, before moving on to the opportunities and consequences of domesticity at work with the cottage itself. Viewed in this way, it is hoped that the isolation of Darracott's achievement (geographically and educationally) will begin to be replaced by a well-informed alignment with international practices of the time. Moreover, it will be shown how these "radical pedagogies" saw architecture as a necessary - perhaps inevitable - tool of implementation.</p> 2021-12-08T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 2021