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Valerie A. Clack

Australian city and capital of the state of South Australia. It is situated on the banks of the River Torrens, between the Mt Lofty Ranges and Gulf St Vincent in the south-eastern part of the continent. The city (population c. 1 million) is noted for its fine colonial urban plan. Adelaide was founded in 1836 as an exercise in planned settlement, jointly controlled by the British Government and a London committee whose members were influenced by Edward Gibbon Wakefield’s ideas on systematic colonization. The final site for the city, c. 8 km from the sea, with a suitable inlet for a harbour (Port Adelaide) c. 11 km to the north-west, was selected amid considerable controversy by Surveyor-General Colonel William Light (1786–1839). Light’s urban plan is remarkable for its public squares and parkland, features not included in Governor Darling’s regulations (1829) for New South Wales, which dominated 19th-century urban planning in most parts of Australia. Light planned Adelaide in two parts, north and south of the river. The grid of the southern part, the principal commercial area, was orientated to the cardinal directions, with two main streets (King William Street and Grote/Wakefield streets) intersecting at a central square (Victoria Square). Four smaller squares were also included, and the outer streets on all four sides were planned as broad terraces, with North Terrace, bordering the river, intended for the best residences: Government House, a stuccoed Regency villa by ...

Article

John Stacpoole

City in New Zealand. It is situated on a narrow isthmus between the Tasman Sea and the Pacific Ocean in the north of the country’s North Island. The city is an important port, with harbours on both sides of the isthmus. It is New Zealand’s largest centre of commerce and industry, with a metropolitan population of c. 900,000. European settlement began in 1840, when the British Lieutenant-Governor William Hobson chose the isthmus as the site for the capital of the new colony of New Zealand. In 1841 the Surveyor General drew up an elaborate town plan, but the unfavourable topography and early economic conditions meant that little of it was executed, although considerable foresight was shown then and subsequently in setting aside areas of parkland. The most significant surviving buildings of the early colonial period are the Old Government House (1855–7) by William Mason and Hulme Court (...

Article

Gordon Campbell

Australian pottery founded in 1858 by a Scot, George Guthrie (1808–1909), in the town of Bendigo, Victoria. The factory made household wares, including acid bottles, bricks, clay pipes, roof tiles and tableware. During World War I it also made portrait jugs of military commanders, and in the 1930s it made agate-ware vases that were marketed as Waverly ware. The pottery is still active, but since ...

Article

Christine Clark

Australian city and capital of the state of Queensland. It is situated on the banks of the Brisbane River on the eastern coastal plain of the continent, c. 400 km south of the Tropic of Capricorn, and it is Australia’s third largest city (population c. 1.25 million). Brisbane was founded in 1825, when a convict settlement established in 1824 at Redcliffe, Moreton Bay, was moved c. 20 km up-river to the present site in a deep S-bend of the river. By the time the penal settlement was closed (1839) there were only two streets of any importance, one of which later became Queen Street, the city’s principal retail thoroughfare. In 1842 Brisbane was opened to free settlement and the first land sale held; several plans drawn in 1840–43 by Henry Wade show the adoption of a rectangular grid, although Governor George Gipps ordered the streets to be made narrower than initially planned. The first official residence was Newstead House (...

Article

Michael Spens

Capital of Australia. Founded as a result of the federation of the Australian colonies (1901), the city (population c. 270,000) is noted for its urban plan, a remarkable combination of garden city and Beaux-Arts ideals. The inland site for Canberra was established in the Australian Capital Territory c. 250 km south-west of Sydney and c. 480 km north-east of Melbourne. An international competition for the design of the urban plan was won in 1912 by the American architect Walter Burley Griffin. His scheme (for illustration see Griffin family) combines formality, befitting the ceremony of state, and informality, reflecting the democratic structure of Australian society. The plan is closely related to the undulating topography of the site, with prominent hills employed as radial hubs for a system of formal axes that are in turn aligned to distant topographical features. The focus of the entire plan is Capital Hill, site of the parliament, which forms the apex of the Parliamentary (or Federal) Triangle where the principal government buildings are located. A central, tree-lined land axis links Capital Hill with Mt Ainslie to the north (site of the Australian War Memorial, ...

Article

Ian J. Lochhead

Largest city in South Island, New Zealand, near the coast on the eastern plain. It was founded in 1850 by idealistic Anglicans, led by John Robert Godley (1814–61), as the principal settlement of the Canterbury colony and as an ideal English diocesan and university town. A commercial and cultural centre, the city has a grid plan varied by extensive parks and the meandering Avon River. At its geographical and symbolic centre stands Sir George Gilbert Scott (ii)’s Anglican Cathedral (1863–1904). The first timber buildings were replaced during the 1860s and 1870s by brick, stone and occasionally concrete. The dominant architectural personality throughout the 19th century was Benjamin Woolfield Mountfort, whose Canterbury Provincial Government Buildings (1858–65) were the outstanding architectural achievement of the colonial period. Mountfort’s public and ecclesiastical buildings established the Gothic Revival character of Victorian Christchurch. The rebuilding of the city’s commercial centre during the 1870s and 1880s in Italian Renaissance and Venetian Gothic style was largely the achievement of ...

Article

Neil Clerehan

Australian city and capital of the state of Victoria. It is Australia’s second largest city (metropolitan population c. 3,200,000) and is situated on the flat coastal plain of the Yarra River at the head of Port Phillip Bay in the south-eastern corner of the continent. European settlement of the area, then part of the colony of New South Wales, began in 1835 when two separate groups of entrepreneurial settlers or ‘squatters’ led by John Batman and John Pascoe Fawkner arrived from Tasmania (formerly Van Diemen’s Land) in search of grazing land. Crown ownership of the unauthorized settlement was reasserted in 1836 and Robert Hoddle (1794–1881) defined a rectangular town reserve based on a grid related to the river bank, its principal streets designed as broad boulevards backed with a network of ‘little’ streets or service lanes. In 1844 the town reserve was extended, allowing for generous areas of parkland (e.g. the Domain and the gardens created by Baron Sir ...

Article

Napier  

Robert McGregor

New Zealand city on the east coast of North Island, famous for its Art Deco architecture. Napier was established in the 1840s with the arrival of missionary and trading settlers, and by the 1920s, with a population of 16,000, it was the main administrative centre and port of Hawke’s Bay province, with a reputation as a resort due to its attractive seaside location, spectacular hilltop residential areas and Mediterranean climate. On 3 February 1931 a violent earthquake measuring 7.9 on the Richter scale convulsed the region, destroying all but recently built reinforced concrete buildings in the city centre. Fires broke out and completed the devastation.

The city was rebuilt in 1932–3, following a building moratorium while plans for the new Napier were considered. All services were placed underground, street corners splayed and standard verandah heights set for commercial buildings. The restriction on building heights to two storeys and the use of reinforced concrete for safety reasons resulted in a townscape remarkably cohesive in scale and materials. Because the collapse of ornate embellishments on Victorian and Edwardian buildings had caused many of the 162 deaths and countless injuries in the city, the new buildings were designed in simple but, for a small isolated city, radically modern styles. The four local architectural practices formed a loose association to share resources and bring a unity of purpose to the task of rebuilding, although each firm tended to prefer a particular style. ...

Article

Perth  

Vyonne Geneve and Biron Valier

Australian city and capital of the state of Western Australia. It is built on the banks of the Swan River about 20 km from the port of Fremantle and the Indian Ocean, in the south-western corner of the state. Perth (population c. 1,300,000) was founded in 1829 as the Swan River Colony, a free settlement establishing Britain’s claim to the territory. The city is planned on a rectangular grid aligned to the river and is overlooked by the 400-ha Kings Park. The colony’s Civil Engineer Henry Reveley designed many early public buildings, including the Court House (1836–7; now Francis Burt Law Museum), but the isolated settlement grew very slowly. From 1850 to 1868 convicts were admitted for a public building programme and were accommodated in the Georgian-style Old Gaol (1855–6; by R. R. Jewell; now part of the Western Australian Museum). Other notable early buildings include the former Treasury Building (...

Article

Sydney  

Michael Spens

Australian port city, capital of New South Wales. It is built around a beautiful natural harbour, Port Jackson, on the south-eastern coast of the continent. Sydney (metropolitan population c. 3.7 million) is Australia’s largest city and was the first European settlement on the continent. Founded in 1788 by Captain Arthur Phillip as a penal colony at Sydney Cove, it experienced haphazard development from its earliest days. Urban plans were drafted in 1788 and 1790 but not realized, and in 1807 Surveyor James Meehan was instructed to regularize the existing street pattern, including the principal road (now George Street) that led south from the cove along the Tank Stream to the brickfields. Among the earliest substantial structures was the first Government House (1789; destr.), a simple Georgian building of brick with stone dressings by James Bloodworth. In 1788–9 a second settlement was established at Rose Hill (now Parramatta), c. 22 km up-river from Sydney Cove, where more fertile farmland was found. Australia’s first formal urban plan (...

Article

Chris Cochran

Capital city of New Zealand. It is situated at the southern tip of the North Island on Port Nicholson, an inlet of the Cook Strait. The city (population c. 345,000) has a fine, almost landlocked harbour surrounded by steep hills; it is one of the country’s most important ports as well as the centre of government. Maori settlement in the district began around ad 1200. Organized European settlement began in 1840, when the New Zealand Company purchased land from the Maori Ngati Toa and Te Atiawa tribes. A grid layout of the new town was heavily distorted by the city’s harbour and hilly setting. Major earthquakes in 1848 and 1855 led to the use of timber for virtually all buildings until the 1880s; consequently fire became a problem in the first decades of settlement. Rangiatea Church (1851) at Otaki, built by local Maori under Chief Te Rauparaha and ...