The myth of the nation: Historiography of New Zealand architecture since 1907

Leach, Andrew (2007). The myth of the nation: Historiography of New Zealand architecture since 1907. In: The State of the Nation: New Zealand's Centenary as a Dominion: 14th Annual Conference of the New Zealand Studies Association: The State of the Nation: New Zealand's Centenary as a Dominion. 14th Annual Conference of the New Zealand Studies Association: The State of the Nation: New Zealand's Centenary as a Dominion, London, United Kingdom, (24-24). 28-30 June 2007.

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Author Leach, Andrew
Title of paper The myth of the nation: Historiography of New Zealand architecture since 1907
Conference name 14th Annual Conference of the New Zealand Studies Association: The State of the Nation: New Zealand's Centenary as a Dominion
Conference location London, United Kingdom
Conference dates 28-30 June 2007
Proceedings title The State of the Nation: New Zealand's Centenary as a Dominion: 14th Annual Conference of the New Zealand Studies Association: The State of the Nation: New Zealand's Centenary as a Dominion
Place of Publication London, United Kingdom
Publisher New Zealand Studies Association
Publication Year 2007
Year available 2007
Start page 24
End page 24
Total pages 1
Language eng
Abstract/Summary This paper considers the relationship between the recent historiography (of the last quarter century) of “New Zealand architecture” and the historical notion of “New Zealand-ness” invoked in contemporary architecture. It argues that a more recent programmatic uptake of post-War discussions on national identity and regional specificity has fed the tendencies of practicing architects to defer to history in rhetorical defences of their work: the beach-side mansion as a contemporary expression of the 1950s bach; a formal modernism divorced from the social discourse adherent to the historical moment that it “restates”; and so on. The paper will consider instances in the historiography of New Zealand architecture where historians have compounded, consciously or accidentally, a problem that is systemic to the uses made by architects of historical knowledge (in the most general examples), identifying the difficulties of relying upon the tentative conclusions of an under-studied field in developing principles of contemporary architectural practice under the banners of New Zealand-ness, regionalism, or localism, or with reference to icons of New Zealand architectural history. At the heart of this paper is a reflection on historiographical responsibility in presenting knowledge of a national past to an audience that is eager to transform that knowledge into principles of contemporary production. What, the paper asks, is the historical basis for speaking of a New Zealand architecture? Can we speak of a national history of architecture distinct from a regional history, or from an international history of architecture?
Subjects 310101 Architecture
310105 History of the Built Environment
430103 History - Pacific
EX
Keyword New Zealand
Architectural History
Waitangi
Stacpoole, John
Beaven, Peter
Wood, Peter
Mitchell, David
Australia
Verge, John
Bach
Q-Index Code EX

 
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Created: Fri, 03 Aug 2007, 15:16:56 EST by Andrew Leach on behalf of Faculty Of Engineering, Architecture & Info Tech