Vertical Living: The Architectural Centre and the Remaking of Wellington
… we of this Architectural Centre in Wellington are a group of architects and draughtsmen and wood engravers and other people whose greatest claim to affiliation is an overriding enthusiasm for good design. – Design Review, 1948. In 1946 a group of students and idealists got together to realise their visions for a modern city. Over the following half century, the Architectural Centre they founded helped to shape the possibilities of modern life in urban New Zealand and profoundly influenced the remaking of Wellington. More than just an association of architects, the Centre wrote manifestos, furthered education, published a magazine – Design Review – hosted modernist exhibitions in its gallery, staged an audacious campaign for political influence called ‘the Project’ and fought for better planning, better design, better built environments in Wellington. Its members also built a demonstration house, but ‘planning was the battle-cry’. Charting these activists and their projects over the years, Julia Gatley and Paul Walker in Vertical Living also offer a history of urban Wellington from the 1940s to the 1990s and beyond. The book reminds us that, in modernist ideology, architecture and urban planning went hand-in-hand with visual and craft arts, graphic and industrial design. In recovering the multi-disciplinary history, politics and planning of the Architectural Centre, Gatley and Walker begin writing the city back into the history of architecture in this country.
"Julia Gatley has established herself as the country's leading commentator on our architectural heritage." --"Art News" on "Athfield Architects"
Julia Gatley is a senior lecturer in the School of Architecture and Planning at the University of Auckland. A graduate of Victoria University of Wellington and the University of Melbourne, she is author of Athfield Architects (2012) and editor of Group Architects: Towards a New Zealand Architecture (2010) and Long Live the Modern: New Zealand’s New Architecture, 1904–1984 (2008). Paul Walker is a professor of architecture at the University of Melbourne. Educated at the University of Auckland, he is co-author with Justine Clark of Looking for the Local: Architecture and the New Zealand Modern (2000). Recent publications include chapters in The Sage Handbook of Architectural Theory, edited by Greig Chrysler, Stephen Cairns and Hilde Heynen (2012); Neo-Avant-garde and Postmodern: Postwar Architecture in Britain and Beyond, edited by Mark Crinson and Claire Zimmerman (2010); and Colonial Modernities, edited by Peter Scriver and Vikramaditya Prakash (2007). Vertical Living: The Architectural Centre and the Remaking of Wellington also includes contributions from curator and art historian Damian Skinner and from Justine Clark, an independent architectural editor, writer and critic.