Saturday, October 16, 2010

North & South

There is an article in the November North & South on the Futuna Chapel and the mystery surrounding the missing figure of Christ. My bet is the developer knows more than he is telling...

Futuna - To the Future, Nov 2nd

Click to enlarge.

Friday, October 1, 2010

'Seminal' Scott building mothballed

A building of "seminal" national architectural history has been mothballed and its future is uncertain after it was classified as unsanitary. More

Sounds like we are being softened up for something to me. $1.6m to repair?

Saturday, September 4, 2010

BBC Modern Masters series 2010

While we're speaking of chapels, this is a clip from the BBC Modern Masters series about Matisse's Chapelle du Rosaire de Vence built and decorated between 1949 and 1951.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

The Elegant Shed - Scott Interview

From the 1984 television programme The Elegant Shed, presented by David Mitchell. Lovely interview with John Scott. Stunning shots of the Apatu house at Ngamatea towards the end. You have to forgive the music...

Monday, August 23, 2010

St John's College Chapel

I visited St John's College last week. Scott designed several of the buildings here, including the chapel, very early in his career (1955). You can see a number of ideas explored in the chapel that he uses in other buildings later. The roof design is interesting with the beams making a transition from inside to outside to create the space for the narrow windows that break up the roofline. Another set of narrow windows is created by the beams at the junction of the the roof and wall. The chapel is currently being renovated, with the centre skylight missing in these photos.

The original staffroom at St John's (below) is also a delight. The 1955 classroom blocks are worth a look too.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Futuna Chapel 1992

These are all from a roll of film I took in July 1992, the weekend Scott died. They are taken in the late afternoon with a wide angle lens, probably 28mm, on 35mm film (ah, the good old days).

Saturday, August 14, 2010

The Elegant Shed - Futuna Chapel

A short clip from the 1984 TV programme The Elegant Shed hosted by David Mitchell. The complete episode is here.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Martin House

Heritage protection

There has been some discussion in the media this week regarding private homes being listed in district plans as heritage buildings. I have some sympathy with owners objecting to having to seek resource consent to do alterations or renovations or change colour-schemes for their houses.

But I also think that if councils had acted earlier on listing significant buildings in district plans we might have had better "maintenance" solutions for a number of Scott buildings, including the re-roofing of both the Futuna Chapel and Our Lady of Lourdes, and the replacement of the coloured acrylic windows with clear glass in St Joseph the Worker in Turangi, all of which have buggered up a lovely feature of each building.

It seems important to me that district councils and the Historic Places Trust take a more active role in protecting 20th century buildings, before ill-considered alterations stuff them. By just recognising that a building is significant we go some way to encouraging owners to think twice before ripping out the wooden joinery and replacing it with aluminium, or ripping off a tiled or stainless steel roof and replacing it with something inferior.

The Futuna roof, before (left) and after (right).

Our Lady of Lourdes, before and after.