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Consecrated ground, Ian Lochhead

Historic Churches: A Guide to Over 60 Early New Zealand Churches
Linda Burgess (Robert Burgess photographer)
Random House, $50.00, ISBN 9781775537335

Worship: A History of New Zealand Church Design
Bill McKay (Jane Ussher photographer)
Godwit, $85.00, ISBN 9781775538363

One of the inexplicable paradoxes of the human condition is the way in which the religious impulse leads, irresistibly, to the creation of beauty, but also, with seemingly equal passion, to its destruction. Throughout history, buildings and works of art have been created to serve religion, only to be destroyed by reforming zealots who see such works as inimical to worship. The iconoclastic purges of the early Christian churches, the destruction of images and the demolition of monastic buildings during the Protestant Reformation of the 16th century and, in our own day, the dynamiting of monumental Buddha figures by the Taliban in Afghanistan, all testify to these contradictory urges.

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Posted in Architecture, Non-fiction and Review

Brave new worlds, Ian Lochhead

Vertical Living: The Architectural Centre and the Remaking of Wellington
Julia Gatley and Paul Walker
Auckland University Press, $60.00,
ISBN 9781869408152

The very notion of so rapid and wholesale a change to a city’s fabric … is a high-risk undertaking, not unlike performing open-heart surgery with a Kango hammer. The feverish uncoordinated fingers of the city’s many, self-appointed quacks have ripped out flesh and transplanted organs with almost total disregard for the patient’s ability to survive in any recognisable form. Not surprisingly, the city is bleeding – badly – with many of its inhabitants in deep, post-operative shock.

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Houses and homes, Robin Skinner

Group Architects: Towards a New Zealand Architecture Julia Gatley (ed) Auckland University Press, $75.00, ISBN 9781869404666   Home Work: Leading New Zealand Architects’ Own Houses John Walsh and Patrick Reynolds Godwit, $75.00, ISBN 9781869621667   Sixty years ago The Group

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Posted in Architecture, Biography, History, Non-fiction and Review

An other architecture, Mike Austin

Whare Karakia: Maori Church Building, Decoration and Ritual in Aotearoa New Zealand 1834–1863  Richard A Sundt Auckland University Press, $69.99, ISBN 9781869404567   One of the perennial architectural questions concerns the international versus the regional, the foreign versus the indigenous,

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Posted in Architecture, Maori, Non-fiction, Review and Sociology

Strength and integrity, Graeme McIndoe

Long Live the Modern: New Zealand’s New Architecture 1904-1984 Julia Gatley (ed) Auckland University Press, $64.99, ISBN 9781869404154 In this unashamedly celebratory volume, Julia Gatley has exercised a judicious eye in selecting and describing virtuoso architecture from all eras. Long

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The sparkling, the homely and the cool, Douglas Lloyd Jenkins

Built for Us: The Work of Government and Colonial Architects, 1860s to 1960s Lewis E Martin University of Otago Press, $49.95, ISBN 1877276642 We Call It Home: A History of State Housing in New Zealand Ben Schrader Reed, $39.99, ISBN

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Posted in Architecture, History, Non-fiction, Review and Sociology

Built-in anodyne, Hamish Keith

Architects at Home — 30 New Zealand Architects and their Houses Adrienne Rewi & Euan Sarginson Shoal Bay Press, $49.95, ISBN 0 908704 32 1 The Bungalow in New Zealand Jeremy Ashford Viking, $34.95, ISBN 0-670-85673-8 Wellington’s Old Buildings David

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Posted in Architecture, Non-fiction and Review

From the marae to modernism: the buildings in which we live, Pam Wilson

New Zealand Architecture from Polynesian Beginnings to 1990 Peter Shaw, photographs by Robin Morrison, Hodder & Stoughton, Auckland, 1991, $59.95 ‘New Zealand’s European-derived architectural history may be short but it should be accorded the same respect we now give as a

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Posted in Architecture, History, Non-fiction, Pacific and Review

Pinning down New Zealand architecture, Christoper Vine

Looking at the Architecture of New Zealand Terence Hodgson Grantham House, Wellington, 1990, $39.95 Though architecture is the most public of the arts and lays claim to being the mistress of them all to boot, it is ill served by

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