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Museum Lecture Series - Mark Southcombe

Date: 19-9-2017
Time: 5.30pm

Davis Theatre
Watt Street

Tuesday 19 September at 5.30 pm
Entry free - koha welcome
Wine and juice and nibbles available

An International Exchange – Whanganui Architect, Don Wilson

A brief overview of Whanganui architecture in the 1950s will provide a context for the work of Don Wilson, a provincial New Zealand Modernist architect. In 1958 Wilson travelled to Chicago to study experimental building techniques at the Illinois Institute of Technology. This presentation reviews Don Wilson’s architectural education and travel, his American scholarship and two of his most significant buildings completed in Whanganui immediately after his return, his own house and the Government Life Insurance office building. Both were designed and constructed at a time when post-war import restrictions on materials were still affecting construction in New Zealand. The presentation reflects on the effects of Wilson’s study and travel on his work and the contribution it made to modern architecture. The presentation will conclude with brief mention of the Whanganui Regional museum extension of 1968 and some other work of the practice in the period that Don joined Belchambers, and eventually retired to work internationally in development and aid agencies.

Mark Southcombe is Senior Lecturer at the School of Architecture, Victoria University of Wellington. He worked for many years as a partner in the Whanganui architectural firm of Southcombe McClean & Co Ltd, later merged with Belchambers Architects to form BSM.

Mark will introduce the talk with a brief discussion and recognition of his former colleague Wendy Pettigrew who contributed to the base research for the paper and presentation.