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dc.contributorLeach, Andrew
dc.contributorStickells, Lee
dc.contributor.authorHall, Min
dc.contributor.editorAndrew Leach and Lee Stickells
dc.description.abstractEarth was once widely used as a building material in Aotearoa New Zealand; it was an integral part of the vernacular architecture. Māori used earth in various ways and nineteenth century European settlers brought earthen technologies from their countries of origin. Cob, sod, adobe, wattle and daub, and rammed earth were adapted to suit the local materials, and many of these early buildings still survive. However, earth construction fell out of favour during the twentieth century; by 1925 it was all but non-existent. After WW2 a new interest emerged in a number of places, for reasons that varied with circumstance. At Riverside, a fledgling pacifist community near Nelson, the motivation was pragmatic. They had no houses, no money and plenty of suitable soil. In Whanganui, returning soldiers, inspired by the earthen houses they experienced while stationed in Europe, built earth houses for their families. Neither group of builders looked back to pioneer traditions, rather, they looked to modern technology and current research in soil engineering, in particular the work being carried out at the University of Canterbury by P.J. ('Pip') Alley. Alley was motivated by his concern for the wholesale felling of native forests for house building. His experiments with Canterbury soils showed they were imminently suitable for soil cement wall construction and subsequent publication of his research attracted the attention of both owner builders and commercial builders who built houses under his guidance. However, Alley’s vision of earthen walled houses once more becoming part of the vernacular is yet to be realised. Using a combination of published and unpublished literature, interviews, and critical investigation of surviving houses in five locations, this paper looks back and seeks to record and interrogate a key moment in the history of earth building in Aotearoa New Zealand. Aotearoa is a long way from anywhere. When organised settlement began in the mid nineteenth century immigrants brought building techniques, including earthen ones, from their distant homelands. Earthen walled houses were common place until processed timber became available in sufficient quantity to supplant the use of earth as the major construction technique for house building. By the 1930s building with earth had become rare in Aotearoa New Zealand, but after the second world war a new interest emerged. That interest occurred in a number of places and the reasons for its reappearance varied according to circumstance. At the fledgling pacifist community at Riverside near Nelson the motivation was pragmatic: they had no houses, no money and plenty of suitable soil.en_NZ
dc.publisherUniversity of Sydney for Society of Architectural Historians, Australia and New Zealand (SAHANZ)en_NZ
dc.rightsCopyright of this volume and the published individual papers (which are also available for individual download) belongs to SAHANZ. Copyright of the content of individual contributions remains the property of the named author or authors.en_NZ
dc.subjectearth buildingen_NZ
dc.subjectsoil cementen_NZ
dc.subjectrammed earthen_NZ
dc.subjectpisé de terreen_NZ
dc.subjectsun-dried bricksen_NZ
dc.subjectCentral Otago, New Zealanden_NZ
dc.subjectdomestic architectureen_NZ
dc.subjectNew Zealanden_NZ
dc.titleBack to earth : earth building in Aotearoa New Zealand 1945-65en_NZ
dc.typeConference Contribution - Paper in Published Proceedingsen_NZ
dc.subject.marsden120104 Architectural Science and Technology (incl. Acoustics, Lighting, Structure and Ecologically Sustainable Design)en_NZ
dc.identifier.bibliographicCitationHall, M. (2019). Back to earth: earth building in Aotearoa New Zealand 1945-65. In Andrew Leach and Lee Stickells (Ed.), SAHANZ - Distance Looks Back 36th Annual Conference of the Society of Architectural Historians, Australia and New Zealand, Vol. 36 (pp. 205-216).en_NZ
unitec.publication.titleDistance Looks Back : Proceedings of the Society of Architectural Historians, Australia and New Zealand, 36en_NZ
unitec.conference.titleDistance Looks Back - 36th Annual Conference of the Society of Architectural Historians, Australia and New Zealanden_NZ
unitec.conference.orgSociety of Architectural Historians, Australia and New Zealand (SAHANZ)en_NZ
unitec.conference.orgEuropean Architectural History Network (EAHN)en_NZ
unitec.conference.locationSydney, New South Wales, Australiaen_NZ
dc.contributor.affiliationUnitec Institute of Technologyen_NZ
unitec.publication.placeSydney, New South Wales, Australiaen_NZ

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