Wairarapa – hills, plains and pinot noir….

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!


3 thoughts on “Wairarapa – hills, plains and pinot noir….

  1. On our trip in the South Island we also saw some great buildings. I think that the little town of Clyde had the best collection of New Zealand houses over the years.
    I also loved the Wairapapa although we olny drove through it, I would love to explore the area sometime. Do you need company when you are checking on build progress?


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