State Insurance Building

116 Worcester Street, Christchurch

  • State Insurance Building. From: www.flickr.com.
    Copyright: Iain Fergusson. Taken By: Iain Fergusson - iainfergusson.co.nz. Date: 25/12/2009.
  • State Insurance Building. Original image submitted at time of registration. January 1985.
    Copyright: NZHPT Field Record Form Collection. Taken By: P R Wilson.

List Entry Information

List Entry Status Registered List Entry Type Historic Place Category 2
List Number 1931 Date Entered 26th November 1981

Locationopen/close

City/District Council

Christchurch City

Region

Canterbury Region

Legal description

Lot 1 DP 7296

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Construction Professionalsopen/close

Wood, Cecil Walter

Born in Christchurch, Wood (1878-1947) was articled to the local architect Frederick Strouts between 1894 and 1899. He worked for a short time as a draughtsman with the firm Clarkson and Ballantyne before travelling to England in 1901. Here Wood was exposed to a high quality of architectural design in the Edwardian Free Style, and was employed by two leading Edwardian architects Robert Weir Shultz and Leonard Stokes.

In 1907 Wood returned to New Zealand to take up partnership with Samuel Hurst Seager. The partnership lasted for only one year for Wood set up his own practice in 1908. The years 1908-1915 were dominated by domestic commissions, but it was also during this time that he began his association with Christ's College, which included such commissions as Hare Memorial Library (1915), the Memorial Dining Hall (1923-5), Jacob's House (1931) and Open Air Classrooms (1932). During the 1920s Wood's practice began to expand and a Georgian influence can be seen in such works as Weston House Park Terrace (1923-4) and Bishopscourt (1926-7).

A short lived partnership in 1927 with R S D Harman allowed Wood to travel to the United States while another in 1937 with Paul Pascoe allowed him to travel to England, Europe and the United States without neglecting his practice. During this second trip he made preparations for the design of St Paul's Anglican Cathedral in Wellington, which was erected after his death.

During his life Wood had made a substantial contribution to the architecture of Christchurch, having an enthusiasm for both European and American styles.