Last weekend we visited the Wairarapa as a research trip for a beautiful project we are working on there. I have to say I have fallen hook line and sinker for the area – it is wonderful. Between meetings we explored, sketched up ideas and photographed the hills, plains, vineyards, and buildings, and (naturally) sampled the local wine from some of the oldest pinot noir vines in the country.
There is a wonderful collection of beautifully maintained traditional New Zealand architecture in Greytown, Carterton and Martinborough which, having found new lives that are different from their original functions, continue to serve as vibrant centres within the community. The early buildings are often of timber, with a few later ones of brick (as stone was a more expensive construction technique), yet mimic the detailing of quoins, voussoirs, keystones to maintain the European tradition where stone was a symbol of security and permanency.
Finding new functions for these buildings is the key to their maintenance and preservation. One lovely villa in Carterton used to be a nunnery, a hospital and a retirement home at different stages of its life. Now as a family home and Bed and Breakfast it has been beautifully restored and cared for – ready to start the next part of its journey.
Looking forward to heading back at some stage in the future to check on the build progress!