Robert Lawson (* Newburgh, Scotland, 1 of January of 1883 - † Canterbury, New Zealand, 3 of December of 1902 ) was one of New Zealand is the majority of the eminent architects of Century XIX . They have described like architect to it that did more than any other to form the architectonic face of New Zealand is cities of Victorian, especially the city of Dunedin . He is the architect exceeds of forty churches, including his First Gothic Church monumental and New Zealand is only “complete castle”, Castle of Larnach, for they remember which it more better possible.

was born in Newburgh, in Fife, Scotland, he emigrated of Scotland in 1854 to Australia then and in 1862 to New Zealand. of died in age 69 3 of December 1902 in Canterbury, New Zealand . They acclaim to Lawson for its work in the gothic Renaissance and styles of classic architecture . It was prolific, and whereas the isolate buildings remain in Scotland and Australia, he is in the area of Dunedin that the majority of the examples surviving can now be found.

They today maintain it in high esteem in its adopted country. Nevertheless, at the time of their death their architectonic reputation and abilities still were carried out in scorn by which mental Disease followed the partial collapse of his in psychiatric Hospital, in that then greatest building of New Zealand. In 1900, shortly before its death, he returned to New Zealand from acquiring voluntarily, Exilio of ten years to reestablish its name, but its sudden death prevented one Rehabilitation completes of its reputation. To the great they denied it aclamations in its course of the life were not to come until Century almost after its death, when the glories of the architecture of Victorian again began to be recognized and to be appreciated.

Early life

Lawson was the fourth boy of Father James Lawson, carpenter, and of Mother Margaret. The Lawson young person was educated in the local school of parish . Then Architecture studied, first in Perth (Scotland) and more ahead in Edinburgh underneath James Gillespie Graham . In Age 21 years, emigrated first a Melbourne 16 of July of 1854, in the ship Tongataboo . Like other new arrivals in Australia, he tried many new occupations, including gold mining and Journalism . During this period from time to time it gave return at his hand to the architecture. In Steiglitz he designed School of Free Church of Scotland and in 1858 a Catholic school . Whereas it came Lawson realizes the low probability of the success in the attacks of gold and precaution of a race in journalism, that decided to full-time return to his first chosen race and to find a position like architect in Melbourne .

To half-full of the year 1860, New Zealand was gradually colonized by British . The architect Mountfort Youngest child had begun to introduce the Gothic style of the Renaissance to colony in the province of Canterbury . In January of 1862 a competition was celebrated to design the first church - to cathedral like the place of Adoration to serve like presbiterianas Churches quickly main in the city that extended of Dunedin in Island of the south . Dunedin had New Zealand turned is capital commercial during Fever of gold in Central Otago, that began in 1861 .

Works in the gothic style

British the Protestant religions were in this period still influenced heavy by Movement of Oxford of Anglian-Catholic, that it had decreed gothic like the unique architectonic style satisfied for the Christian adoration ; thus never they gave to Lawson opportunities such as Francis Petre enjoyed when last great basilicas reconstructed the Renaissance of Italianate such as Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament in Christchurch . Dunedin in fact had been founded, only thirteen years before Lawson is arrival, next to Free Church of Scotland, a denomination nonknown for its love of the ornament and the decoration, and certainly not it architecture of the most catholic countries. Lawson is work in gothic design, like the one of the majority of the other architects of this period, was influenced clearly of the sort and the philosophy of Pugin . Nevertheless, it adapted the style for the form of simplistic adoration used by the Presbiteriano denomination. The deficiency of religious ritual processions and rendered unnecessary great apse ; therefore in Lawson it is the version of the gothic one, transeptos apse and (the areas that traditionally in the Roman churches and Anglian-Catholic contained Mrs. Chapel and others chapels of smaller importance) is made reference in a simply the design. Thus the church tower is at the outset on the entrance to the building rather that in its traditional place in center of the church in the axis of ship, the apse and the transeptos. In all, Lawson designed on forty churches in the gothic style. As Mountfort Youngest child is, some were constructed entirely of the wood; nevertheless, the majority was in stone.

First church, Dunedin (1862)

This architectonic extravagance in the gothic style adorned began in 1862 . The initial work was delayed after Lawson discovered that their initial plans had to be altered, due to a decision of provincial advice of Otago to reduce the hill of Bell, in who it was to be unemployed, by about 12 meters: the hill had demonstrated a impedimiento important to transport quickly in the city that was extended.

The church is dominated by his multi- Pinnacle the tower crowned by Gablete that rises to 54 meters. The pyramid is unusual because gablete in all the sides is perforated two doors of windows close, that even give an illusion of the greater height. Such era Lawson is perfeccionismo that the cover of the pyramid had to be disassembled and to be reconstructed when it could not measure until his standards. It can be seen of much of central Dunedin, and dominates the horizon of a place more under Moray.

It is probable that, nine years it advanced more, the church is the inspiration for San jOse is Catholic Cathedral in Dunedin, also in the city, designed by Francis Petre in 1871, as this one were also thought to have an adorned pyramid (never finished). Nevertheless, the design of Lawson for the first church, the moment at which of its completion the third church in Dunedin, was not without critic, and some members of the congregation of presbiterianas Churches for that was designed felt too outlandish the gothic style ostentatiously adorned for the religious adoration. Ironic, the shady presbiterianas finally had the most outlandish church, whereas the church of Roman catholics was stylistic most serious.

Externally the first of the church retorts successfully, if in one it climbs smaller, the last Norman cathedrals of England . The Cathedral as design and size can be only appreciated truth of the later part, where the true size of the building can be considered; here apse is flanked by Small towers these small towers by the massive jib that contains great window rose color . It is this great circular window that after the pyramid becomes the focal point of the later elevations. The architectonic test of the set almost appears here European in its gothic design. Nevertheless, the similarity to the great churches of the northern hemisphere finishes in the door; internamente a more colonial style prevails. Instead of stone the jumped ceiling of a Norman cathedral, the ceiling is of thrown wood, and arc accentuated of stone acts like simple Proscenium to the pulpit of central preaching. On this spread light enters through one window rose color of the stained crystal. This window is flanked by crystal stained additional in the level inferior, whereas the twin pipes of the organ add to the perfect symmetry of Pulpit of marble.

The building is constructed of Stone of Oamaru, system in foundations of Basalt of Port Chalmers, with the details carved by Louis Godfrey, that also it did much of woodcarving in the interior. The use of the crystal stained shiningly colored for the window rose color is a characteristic of Lawson, also found in his churches through Otago . The remarkable person between these is the previous church of Wesleyan in the street of Estuardo, Dunedin (now used like home for Theater of the Fortune ), pyramid the Church of Knox in the north of the city, and presbiterianas Churches of Tokomairiro in Milton, claimed at the time of her construction to have been the building more located more to the south of her height.

Lawson more ahead designed one more a tower simpler but very similar to the one of the “first church” for the Church of Knox, also in Dunedin. This, simpler in less well known design and than the first church, was designed in gothic style of Century XIII, of the bluish premises with the coatings of the limestone stone underneath a roof of the slate. It is becoming to up to 1,000 people and it is a prominent signal towards the end of the north of the main city is street, Street of George .

Castle of Larnach (1871)

Lawson designed several great private houses, the most known at the outset call “the field”. Today is better known like Castle Larnach. for William Larnach was constructed in 1871, local and political businessman of the doubtful reputation. It has been hailed as one of New Zealand is the finest mansions, described in its completion like: “doubtless plus the prince, as it is the most substantial and more elegant residence of New Zealand”. There is a tradition that Larnach designed its castle after the Forbes castle, its father is house in Baroona in Australia . The plans, nevertheless, are of Lawson are unquestionably office. In the Forbes castle of the reality (now demolished) it belonged to Larnach is of the grandfathers, infamous James Mudie . Larnach is homemade childhood in the Forbes Castle that the S-state known like Rosemont, and whereas in certain way is resembled today the Castle of Larnach, these similarities, the entrance, and a tower encastillada with a small tower of the stairs, it was constructed in the year of 1890, on twenty years after the Castle of Larnach.

Whereas the architecture of the castle of Larnach is often described like Scottish baronial, this is not final truth. The main facade is resembled small, señorío gothic encastillado that appeared to sit down in two provisions, the fused iron enameled the opening. which could be only found in the southern hemisphere. The house has been described exactly like " House of encastillado field surrounded in two story abierto" ( castellated town wrapped in a two storey verandah ). The main facade is dominated by a complete central tower with a small tower of the stairs that do that the building appears like a castle. The interior of the building was not any less adorned, with used imported marbles and the Venetian crystal in the decoration of Italianate. Like with the first church, there are also adorned statures numerous of Louis Godfrey. It took to 200 men three years to construct to the castle and twelve years more so that the interior is finished. In 1884 the castle was extended thorough more by the addition of a dance hall of 3000 square feet. In 1880, which follows the death of his first wife, Larnach had Lawson that the design in Dunedin is northern cemetery to the miniaturized version of the first church like Mausoleum of the family. Larnach was to use the mausoleum more soon than he had imagined: whereas he served as New Zealand is minister of the finances and mines in 1898, he trusted suicide the house of the parliament, Wellington, following heavy losses in the collapse of the colonial bank.

Secondary school of Otago Boys (1885)

The secondary School of Otago Boys, Arthur Street, Dunedin, was finished in 1885 . Designated often gothic, in fact obvious Renaissance is a hybrid of several orders of the architecture with, style of Tudor, and the gothic influences: the nearest style in which it can be categorisen is probably Jacobethan (an English peculiar form of Neon-Renaissance . The building has been watched of length like one of the finest pieces of architecture in Dunedin, constructed of stone with many loopholes of the window and slighter corners of quoins . The school is many small towers and towers lead to the Country of Wales de Nathaniel of the architect who describes in 1890 like “building semi-ecclesiastic to it” in the “domestic style of Tudor of the medieval architecture”.

The building, although like the castle, is not encastillado. Their higher points, the towers, are adorned by balustrading of stone. Greatest and most dominant of the towers it has four great chimneys in each corner disguised like small towers, that add to the gothic subject. This adornment of the chimney, joined with balustrading instead of battlements, is in something of châteaux of the Renaissance of Loire, thus more far composing the mixture of the Renaissance and of gothic styles, the towers that were similar in design of Bridge of the Tower in London, designed the previous year in 1884 . Whereas the arc of the entrance was designed obvious to distribute an ecclesiastical air, the school itself has, in the truth, plus the one atmosphere Victorian house of English country prosperous of .

Works in the classic style

Lawson is classic works tended to be confined to the buildings corporative public and. It appears that the gothic style favored by Protestant for its churches was also its option preferred for its houses. Of the classic work of Lawson he is in the city of Oamaru, 120 kilometers of north of Dunedin much ., Like in Dunedin itself, Lawson constructed here in the stone of Oamaru, a limestone stone lasts especially that he is ideal for the intentions of the building, where requires the adorned molding. Finished stonecutting has a creamy, sandy color. Unfortunately, he is not strongly resistant to today it is contamination, and it can be prone superficial to crumble.

National Bank of Oamaru (1871)

This building, finished in 1871, is one of Lawson is right exercises in the classic architecture, designed in a near style of Palladio . Prostyle perfectly provided of Porch, his fronton supported by four columns corintias, projects of five a squared building of bays, the three central bays that are behind the porch. Temple as porch gives the impression to enter pantheon rather that Bank . The proportions of the main facade of this building exhibit a symmetry of Palladio, almost worthy of same Palladio; nevertheless, of resemblance of a true design of Palladio, both floors of the bank are of equal value, is only distinguished by the windows of the round plant that is hopeless, whereas those above is of the same size but they have flat covers. Of all the Lawson they are the classic designs, National Bank are perhaps most conventional in terms of adhesion to the classic rules of the architecture as defined in Palladio is I Quattro Libri dell'Architettura . Whereas its race progressed he made more adventurer in his classic designs, not always with the harmony and the success that reached in National Bank of Oamaru ( National Bank of Oamaru ).

Whereas worked in National Bank elegant simple, they also used to architectonic Lawson simultaneously in the extremely different from Castle of Larnach, that it suggests of resemblance of the many remarkable architects that they graduate with its races from a style to another one, Lawson could produce what required its client in any stage in its race.

Bank again Wales of the South (1883)

This public building of Oamaru was designed in 1883. Neoclásico in design, its facade of the limestone stone is dominated by great six column, impediment Porch . The columns in Order corintio support Entablamento divided; the section or Architrave more loss takes to the inscription “Bank Wales of the South again” ( Bank of New South Wales ), whereas on Friso decorated. The building, whereas it does not shake, has less architectonic merit than National Bank that constructed, even though was thought originally to be more classic and impressive than its neighbor. The imposing effect the looked for architect is diminished in the level of the ground where the porch is columns is bound by a railing. This extinguishes the clean effect aligned one would hope in a classic building of this stature and would order and reduces the building is aspect to the one of a wrist is house. This effect is exacerbated by the windows within the porch (flat finished off in the lowest plant and the round one finished off in the floor superior); these are great out of proportion and destroy the effect of the “temple” that great Porch was thought to create. Today, this externally inalterable building is used like Gallery of art .

The hotel of the star and the league

This Hotel of Oamaru is one of Lawson is sackings more adventurers in classic architecture. Leaving the temple Palladio influenced to have taste of columns and Porches he initially took like its inspiration Palazzo from Manierismo, that was a reaction to the high style more adorned of Renaissance of early Architecture popular in Century XVI of Italy . There are even some similarities of smaller importance between this building and Palazzo of You . Hardly like in the level of the street that palazzo often has a plant of the stone of rusticación, it made so this hotel. The massive blocks of Sillar were used to create an impression of the force, supporting the most delicate floor above designed; this sensation of the force was heightened thorough more by the double pilasters that served simply to imply a necessity to support the great weight above.

On this solid and severe facade that Lawson chose both instead of or three customary floors, the massive blocks of the stone aid as soon as a floor. This floor superior is not obvious Piano nobile, but it appears, although of a more delicate and simpler design, to be of equal value to the floor down. rusticación the pilasters of the lowest plant is continued above, but they make dressed stone smooth to match the facade superior. The capitals of the corintios pilasters are, and like in the bank again Wales of the South that supports undecorated entablature. The center and the focal point of the building are marked by pediment, that again gives the air of palazzo.

Nevertheless, what Lawson created was not Palazzo of Manierismo or in fact of a city of Palladio in all only a hybrid, whereas he is similar, at first sight, to houses of country neon-Palladio of last Century XVIII found in Italy and England, examples that are Villa I gave to Poggio Imperiale and Abbey of Woburn . The star and the league, although, through Lawson of the “selection, mix and phosphorus” approach to diverse forms of classic architecture is of its own absolutely unique way.

From the star and the league it has been blocked or the completion has enlarged, many of its windows, the changes that have been detrimental to the architectonic effect created Lawson. The building now is used mainly by a company of Theater, although a restaurant in the end of the east of the building conserves the hotel is original name.


The exhibition in 1882, Christchurch provided a stone walking in Lawson is race. After the death of Mountfort Youngest child, that had monopolized the new city is architecture, comisionaron Lawson to design the corridors of the exhibition that lead to the commission important and prestigious to design the opera house. This period was to be the pinnacle of Lawson is success and prestige in its course of the life. The commission that was the accolade of its success, the design of New Zealand is the single greater structure and Lawson is the most ostentatious design, had simultaneously to make the cause of its fall and loss of reputation.

Between 1874 and 1884, Lawson worked in Diseño and Construction of Seacliff Lunatic Asylum, designed to contain to 500 patients and the 50 personnel. In its completion that was New Zealand is the greatest building. The old woman photographies demonstrate an enormous, huge building freely in the gothic style, but with almost one quality of Neuschwanstein . More in front of the design was said than “the Victorian one could not have wished its lunático that lived with them, but had taste to contain them magnificent”. Architectonic this one was Lawson in more ebullient, outlandish his and adventurer: The secondary School of Otago Boys looks like almost severe and checked in the comparison. The stone small towers project of almost each corner; the line gablete of the roof is dominated by a complete gigantic tower with other small towers and a pyramid. The extensive building contained four and average ones million bricks done of the local clay in site, and had 225 meters in length next to 67 meters in width. The great tower, designed really so that the interns could be observed must they tries to escape, was almost 50 meters of stop.

The structural problems within the building began to even pronounce themselves before the completion. Finally in 1887 an important Earth slide happened that it made the wing of the uncertain north; the problems with the design could not more not be made case. In 1888 an investigation in the collapse was installed. In February, realizing that he can be in Legal hardship, Lawson was applied to the investigation not to be prohibited the advice to defend it. During the implied investigation everything in the construction - including the contractor, the head of the department of public works, the salesman of the projects of works and same Lawson - was forced to give evidence to support their capacity; nevertheless, he was the architect in whom the last responsibility lowered, and that incurred the dishonor when the investigation published its results. They found “negligent and incompetent” Lawson. New Zealand was in this time that underwent an economic recession and Lawson was unemployable virtually. After a short period that attended the architect of Wellington William Turnbull in 1890, it returned to Melbourne .

Final years

In the final period of its life, following its fall of the tolerance in New Zealand, Lawson designed rarely only. Melbourne, entered society with the gray of Frederick Congregation architect. Together they designed Earlsbrae Corridor, a great neoclassic house in Essendon, Victory . This one now is considered by some experts to be one of its greater works. Said often to resemble Temple Greece, this mansion really is related more close by in style to the architecture neon-Palladio that was developed in the southern houses of the plantation of North America in the last one tenth eighth and early of Century XIX . Whereas Lawson was implied doubtlessly in the design, it is impossible to distinguish its entrance of the one of the gray. Then the stone of the foundation is the mansion was put in 1890, the same year that Lawson is of return to Melbourne, he probably looks like that the gray had begun to work in the plans before it assembled it to Lawson, especially the then Earth had been bought to construct to the mansion two years of previous. There are several tacts in the design that are Lawson are almost certainly - Porch corintio is similar to that one designed by him for National Bank in Oamaru, but are extended here and flanked by two doors of the window that Lawson used in Castle of Larnach . Desemejante of this previous construction in Earlsbrea, stone and unglazed imagine elegant in. The cost of construction to Collier McCracken of the owner was £35,000; £ more ahead sold in 1911 by just 6,000. The commercial buildings that survive of Lawson are Melbourne that the years includes the warehouse of Dwell and Catechu in Fitzroy and the pontifical university in Parkville, which they were finished in 1897 .

In 1900, in the age of 67, Lawson left an acquisition voluntarily, Exilio of ten years of New Zealand and returned to Dunedin . Here it entered practice with his previous pupil J. A number of commercial and residential buildings was erected under their common names, including the house of the well-known brick like “Threave” constructed for Watson Shennan in main street 367 in Dunedin. This one is one of Lawson is past works. Threave has particularly verandahs chartted adorned in the gothic style, but today it is better known for his gardens that architecture.

The society of Lawson-Salmonde would not last of length. In 1902 Lawson suddenly died in Pleasant Point, Canterbury, 3 of December . For the moment at which of his death he had begun to reestablish his reputation, being chosen vice president of the institute of architects of Otago.

Valuation and inheritance

Robert Lawson was mainly Architect of his time, designing in the popular styles then. The British emigrants to the colonies would want that the architecture remembered home, and is not surprising so Lawson is the majority of the remarkable buildings is everything in a form of gothic. Many, such as Castle of Larnach and asylum of Seacliff, has described like Scottish baronial ; nevertheless, this is not an exact description, although that particular form of gothic could occasionally have been its inspiration. Lawson is particular ability mixed several forms of similar architecture to create rather Building that was of its own unique way, that mere Pastiche of a previous style; reaching this, then one ignited to adapt his architecture to accommodate to the climate and the materials locally available. The local stone and the wood were favorite individuals his, especially the limestone stone of the good quality of Oamaru, and these were of frequent use preferably to excellent bricks equally available. small windows of Lancet gothic were avoided and replaced often by the great windows of bay, allowing that the quarters are flooded with the light rather that creating the darkest interiors of true gothic buildings. The castle of Larnach has been criticized often like being clumsy and incongruous, but this one drift of the persistent interpretation of Lawson is work like Scottish baronial. It is truth that in a Scottish gorge, of its work would be incongruous much, but Lawson realized that he designed does not stop the gorges and mountains of his mother country, but something for a new country, with new ideals and extensive views. Thus, the system on its two windows, and watching towards outside on Peninsula of Otago and Port of Otago from 800 feet on level of the sea, the mansion perfectly looks like placed.

At the time of Lawson it is the work the rival schools of classic and gothic architecture was both equally fashionable. In its ecclesiastical commissions, Lawson worked exclusively for the protestant denominations and it never received therefore the opportunity to construct a great church in the classic style. Their important works therefore must be valued with their use of the gothic one. The first church must be watched as well as its masterpiece. Their classic works, although executed often competent and capably, were confined mainly to buildings smaller public. It never had the opportunity to refine and to sharpen with stone his classic ideas, and therefore these never had the opportunity to hit the same target that its gothic works.

Of Lawson it is work much is demolished or much is altered. Two his the gothic churches of the wood survive in Kakanui ( 1870 ) and Gore This ( 1881 ). Designs still that was stopped (that includes all the described works in detail above) have assured that it is Lawson of the reputation have recovered completely of the condemnation that it received following of the investigation of Seacliff .

Today, they praise to Lawson like the architect of some of the finer historical buildings of New Zealand . The Archives of the branch of New Zealand Historic Places Trust (NZHPT). has inaugurated a commemorative program of the conference, the conference of Lawson of the RA, that is presented/displayed in Dunedin annually by eminent a local or overseas loudspeaker. Archives of the branch of NZHPT of Otago, Dunedin.

Buildings of Lawson

Many buildings in South Island of New Zealand are thought to be by Lawson but they are not possible to be attributed him definitively. In fact, although mentioned frequently like his architect, Lawson it supervised only the construction of the municipal compartments that constructed in Dunedin, the competition for his design that was cattle by another one previous Scotsman, architect T. Cameron of Auckland .

An incomplete list of the works authoritarian attributed to Lawson includes:

  • Park's School, Dunedin (1864).

  • First Church, which you have been described by the Institute of Architects ace to “Magnificent example of Gothic Architecture” (1867– 1873).
  • Wesleyan Church, Dunedin (1869).
  • East Taieri Presbyterian church, East Taieri . Gothic, to lighter quoins, spire, substantial buttresses.
  • National Bank, Oamaru Palladian.
  • Arthur Briscoe & Co. Warehouse, Dunedin (1872).
  • Larnach Castle & (1872– 75).
  • Knox Church, Dunedin.
  • Union Bank (to later ANZ Bank), Princes Street, Dunedin (1874). Palladian, similar to the National Bank in Oamaru. Currently used ace to nightclub.
  • Municipal Dunedin Chambers (supervisor only) (1878– 1880). This site claims there am was the architect; there am was not.
  • Seacliff Asylum.
  • Brown, Ewing Company building, Dunedin (1880s).
  • Bing Harris Company building, Dunedin (1881).
  • Bank of New South Wales, Oamaru (now Forrester Gallery).
  • Otago Boys' High School.
  • Tokomairiro Presbyterian Church, Milton .
  • " Wychwood" (private house), Dunedin (very likely Lawson's work, although certainty not completely established).
  • " Threave" (private house), 367 High Street, Dunedin.
  • Presbyterian church, Hampden .
  • The Manse, Palmerston .
  • The Gothic monument in the Northern Cemetery, Dunedin.
  • The old Fire Station, Dunedin.
  • Bank of New Zealand building, Dunedin.
  • Christchurch Opera House.
  • The Star and Garter Hotel, Oamaru.
  • South District School, William Street, Dunedin. (1864)
  • Post Office, Lawrence .
  • Trinity Wesleyan Church (to later the Fortune Theater ), Dunedin (both 1869).
  • St Andrew's Presbyterian Church (to later Word of Life Church).
  • Union Bank of Australasia (1874) to later the ANZ Bank), Dunedin.
  • Earlsbrae Hall, Essendon, Victory . Today known ace Lowther Hall, it forms part of an Anglican Grammar School.
  • East Gore Presbyterian Church (1881)


Random links:Battle of Saint-Aubin-du-Cormier | Clandestine Stipa | Sacred book | Saints San Cristóbal | The Dump (desambiguación)

© 2007-2008; article text available under the terms of GFDL, from