State Insurance Office Building (Former)

137-143 Lambton Quay And Stout Street, Wellington

  • State Insurance Office Building (Former).
    Copyright: Heritage New Zealand. Taken By: Rachel Connolly. Date: 10/01/2009.
  • State Insurance Office Building (Former). Right. Image courtesy of www.pro-photography.co.
    Copyright: Alex Efimoff. Taken By: Alex Efimoff. Date: 11/11/2011.
  • State Insurance Office Building (Former). Image courtesy of www.flickr.com.
    Copyright: Geoff Goddard. Taken By: Geoff Goddard. Date: 2/07/2009.

List Entry Information

List Entry Status Listed List Entry Type Historic Place Category 1 Public Access Private/No Public Access
List Number 231 Date Entered 26th November 1981

Locationopen/close

Extent of List Entry

Extent includes the land described as Lot 1 DP 85058 (CT WN53A/209), Wellington Land District and the building known as State Insurance Office Building (Former) thereon.

City/District Council

Wellington City

Region

Wellington Region

Legal description

Lot 1 DP 85058 (CT WN53A/209), Wellington Land District

Summaryopen/close

This historic place was registered under the Historic Places Act 1980. The following text is the original citation considered by the NZHPT Board at the time of registration.

This building is the earliest of the major commercial buildings in Wellington City to show the influence of the modern movement in architecture. Its fine exterior wall and absence of decoration mark the end of historicism in architecture. Located on a corner site, the building's mass and simplicity in design make a very positive statement and provide a superb contrast to the elaborate Edwardian Public Trust Office nearby.

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Construction Professionalsopen/close

Gummer & Ford

The architectural partnership of Gummer and Ford was established in 1923, and became one of national importance.

William Henry Gummer (1884-1966) was articled to W.A. Holman, an Auckland architect, and was elected as an Associate of the Royal Institute of British Architects in 1910. In the period 1908-1913 he travelled in the United Kingdom, Europe and the United States. During this time he worked for Sir Edwin Lutyens, leading English architect of the time, and for Daniel Burnham in Chicago. Burnham was a major American architect and one of the founders of the influential Chicago School of Architecture. Gummer joined the firm of Hoggard and Prouse of Auckland and Wellington in 1913. In 1914 he was elected a Fellow of the New Zealand Institute of Architects, was president of the Institute from 1933-34 and was later elected a life member.

Charles Reginald Ford (1880- 1972) was born in England and served in the Royal Navy. He was later with Captain Scott's 1901-1904 expedition to Antarctica. He trained as an architect working in Wanganui as an engineer. In 1926 he wrote the first treatise on earthquake and

building construction in the English language. Ford was president of the New Zealand Institute of Architects from 1921-22.

Buildings designed by the partnership include the State Insurance Building Wellington, (1940) the Dilworth Building (1926), the Guardian Trust Building and the Domain Wintergardens (1921 and 1928), all in Auckland, and the Dominion Museum (1936) in Wellington. Gummer and Ford were awarded Gold Medals from the New Zealand Institute of Architects for the designs of Auckland Railway Station and Remuera Library.

Gummer was one of the most outstanding architects working in New Zealand in the first half of this century and was responsible for the stylistically and structurally advanced Tauroa (1916), Craggy Range (1919), Arden (1926), and Te Mata (1935) homesteads at Havelock North.

Additional informationopen/close

Construction Dates

Original Construction
1940 -

Other Information

NZHPT Heritage Order (10 December 1987)

Please note that entry on the New Zealand Heritage List/Rarangi Korero identifies only the heritage values of the property concerned, and should not be construed as advice on the state of the property, or as a comment of its soundness or safety, including in regard to earthquake risk, safety in the event of fire, or insanitary conditions.