Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Architectural Icon

Top Left: Corridor; Top Right: Timber Chamber; Bottom: the Stone Chamber. Ajr
In the hushed flagstone corridors of Christchurch’s Canterbury Provincial Council Buildings, you could be forgiven for imagining robed monks shuffling through the silence. I sought refuge here yesterday – away from the wintry elements – in one of the most spectacular examples of Victorian Gothic architecture in the country. Designed by Benjamin Mountford, New Zealand’s leading Gothic Revival architect of the time, the Provincial Council Buildings (1858-1865) are the only purpose-built provincial government buildings still in existence in New Zealand. My favourite features are these moody flagstone corridors, the beautiful timber chamber and the spectacular Stone Chamber, which features amazing stained glass, timber carving, elaborate tile and stone work, a ceiling to die for and one of only five double-faced clocks in the world. www.ccc.govt.nz/provincialbuildings

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