Raupo to Deco: Wellington Styles and Architects 1840-1940
By Geoff Mew & Adrian Humphris (Steele Roberts Aotearoa, $69.95)
Reviewed by Simon Nathan
Wellington has its own distinctive architecture. Many visitors, arriving by sea or by air, have commented over the years about the steep winding streets and houses perched precariously around the hills, contrasting with the compact city centre with its government buildings. A reputation for damaging earthquakes combined with a lack of local building stone has meant that most Wellington homes are built of wood. As a Wellingtonian who walks around the city and suburbs, I have often wished that I could identify different architectural styles, and this beautifully illustrated book fills that gap.
Authors Geoff Mew and Adrian Humphris have previously given an account of the development of the suburbs of Kelburn and Kilbirnie in their Ring around the City, but this book covers the whole of Wellington, with examples from almost every suburb and the central city.