Blog 5: Locovisual
Architectual site: Public Trust Building, Lambton Quay
The Public Trust Office was established in 1872; by 1890 it was handling some 1500 estates and demand for a new, bigger building grew. In 1899 Parliament passed the Appropriation act, which allowed the construction of the new building. Land was purchased in 1900; however the Government anxious of earthquakes sought quake resistant steel frame designs. The building is one of the major works of John Campbell; Government Architect. Although plans were to finish the building in 1908, final construction was not finished until the following year, largely due to difficulties in acquiring Tonga Bay Granite.
The building reveals a large influence from the Renaissance and Baroque Architectural style, especially during the brief period of Edwardian Baroque. This can be seen through the presence of large, dysfunctional pillars, whiplash curves (the end of Baroque/start of Rococo), and the Cylindrical drum/copper dome. The paired columns are an example of drawing on the Baroque style similar to that used by Michelangelo in the 1500’s, an example of this would be the Michelangelo’s Laurentian Library. Essentially they are dysfunctional; the columns are a form of re-worked classical design, present for aesthetic and decorative qualities over structurally holding the building up. The cylindrical dome depicts other forms of the Baroque style such as Roman Baroque commonly used by Bernini (and Borromini) in such Architectural designs as the St. Peters Church in Rome.
The choice of materials was also important in the design, Tonga Bay Granite was specifically imported from the top of the South Island as it was easy to carve into appropriate shapes such as the whiplash style curves used in French and German Rococo.
Lift Education. (2009). Old Public Trust Building Centenary Website. Retrieved May 31, 2012, from Lift Education: http://www.lifteducation.com/_5.php
Norberg-Schulz, C. (1971). Baroque Architecture. Milano: Electa Architecture.
Wellington City Council. (2012). Heritage - Public Trust Building. Retrieved May 31, 2012, from Wellington City Council: http://wellington.govt.nz/services/heritage/details.php?id=120&m=search&building=public%20trust
Terence Hodgson, Colonial Capital- Wellington 1865-191. Random Century Publishers (1990)
Daniels, R. (1986). The Old Public Trust Building. A Renovation Case Study (Thesis) , 30-72.