Home » April 2017 »Regular Features » Currently Reading:

Two by Two

April 11, 2017 April 2017, Regular Features No Comments

Two-by-Two “Architecture starts when you carefully put two bricks together. There it begins”. As said Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, the urbane, cigar smoking, patrician German who was once one of the most influential architects in America.
When Frederick Charles Daniell submitted his competitive plans for the Martinborough Town Hall*, carefully drawn with ink and water colour on cream paper in 1912, he was very aware of the visual solidity of brick structures. The bricks made in Silverstream, in relatively close proximity, could easily be supplied to Martinborough – the perfect building material.

There was at that stage no thought of the earthquake risk. The Waihinga Centre project is of course bringing the building up to current earthquake strengthening requirements.
As part of the demolition process, the construction team pulled the lining off the wall, between the supper room and the main auditorium, exposing the inner brick wall 300 mls thick, carefully built and robust.

“It was just as solid as we had expected,” said Dave Borman, the project manager, “There was not a brick out of place even after a hundred years, but more than that, we immediately realized just how stunning it would be if it were left as a significant feature wall.”
So this wall will be left intact. It will be water blasted and then finished with a protective coating for posterity, a strong reminder of the historical and cultural heritage of this building.

It was also no surprise to find the original piles were kerosene tins filled with concrete as with other buildings of this vintage. “Waste not Want not!!! “. Past generations were consummate savers. The ethic of “Use, Recycle and ReUse” was a priority requirement, and put to good practice. As for the joists, only the Borer were the definite winners here. However, imitating the ethics of that previous generation, any flooring that is in good condition will be saved for future reuse.
Over the next few weeks as the demolition debris is removed, preparation for the piles for the existing building will begin. Demolition of the back stage area is complete, and fencing is already up in preparation for the new building extensions.

While this is underway some of the playground will be out of commission. Those items of playground equipment, which do not meet modern health and safety standards, have already been taken away and in discussion with the Community Board the pergola will be transferred to another site.

Quote of the Day: Oscar Wilde
“I like talking to a brick wall. It is the only thing that doesn’t contradict me”
* Although Frederick C Daniell’s architectural plan was accepted, it was modified before construction began by Varnham and Rose, with further drawings being undertaken by Natusch and Sons.

If you would like to contribute:
• You can either donate directly to the Waihinga Charitable Trust bank account
 02 0680 0056066
• or call Victoria Read on 06 306 8570 or Max Stevens on 06 306 9095.
• Alternatively, you can contribute through GiveaLittle.co.nz/cause/waihingacentre.nz
• All stories of Town Hall functions, festivities and any photographic memorabilia will be gratefully accepted by Lisa Cornelissen either via emailinfo@waihingacentre.co.nz or drop off documents for scanning at the Martinborough TOP 10 Holiday Park Reception (10 Dublin Street West)

Supporter Profile – Tom and Di Bunny
Tom and Di Bunny have been living in the Martinborough area for 17 years now, after retiring from their farm Te Roto near Masterton.
Originally they didn’t think the old Town Hall, with its badly dated amenities, was worth saving but once they saw the new plans they were converts.
It was last year’s Contemporary Art Auction, a fundraiser for the new Waihinga Centre, that really enthused them to become active supporters of the project.
“We were just so impressed with the energy and commitment of the young people organising the event, and wanted to make a contribution too. We see the centre as important for the future of the town and for the next generation who will live here.”
They like that it will bring more activity to a quiet part of The Square and that by providing an improved event venue it will help keep money in Martinborough and attract more visitors and rural people into the town.

Comment on this Article:



The 2019 is well underway for our Senior teams, we are enjoying some good rugby and look forward to the rest of the season.  With our Premiers and Reserves often playing at different places we often have at least one of them playing at home. Congratulations to Nikora Ewe,Tristan Flutey, Tipi Haira, James Pakoti and Christopher …

Martinborough Junior Squash Tournament

Sunday the 8th April saw 40 enthusiastic junior squash players descend on Martinborough Squash Club to play the Martinborough leg of the Under 900 series. The players came from Wellington in the South to Manawatu and Pahiatua in the North with ages ranging from 8 to 17. We witnessed some …


The Weather hasn’t been to kind to our  Womens Captain in the month of April, Elaine has rescheduled more fixtures than the rest of us had to for the entire year due to the inclement weather on a Wednesday. Finally though mid month the sun shone  and there was very …

Regular Features

Waihinga Centre

A Very Generous Gift The Martinborough Lions have always been very active supporters of our …

Wharekaka News

Our beautiful oak trees have begun to turn into the most stunning orange and golden …

Regional Council notes

Mother nature delivered us another warning recently by way of a storm that hammered Auckland …

News from First Church

Weep for the waste of all that might have been Weep for the cost that …

Maree’s musings

MEASURE for MEASURE How far? How long? Us mortals love to calculate distances so we …

Library News

Well the pressure is really on now.  The deadline for this article came forward because …

Know your town

Deer stalking around Martinborough New Zealand is indebted to Prince Albert for donating some of …

Recent Comments