The South Island city of Dunedin is home to some of New Zealand’s most impressive architectural creations. Its historic buildings have been greatly influenced by Edwardian design conventions, and the area’s strong Scottish connections also helped shape these remarkable structures. Here are 10 gems that you’ll get to discover on a typical downtown heritage expedition.
Old Bank of New Zealand
The Old Bank of New Zealand is a Venetian Renaissance architectural style building on the corner Princes and Rattray Streets. It was designed by W. B. Armson, one of the first professionally trained colonial architects to work in New Zealand, and completed in 1882. Oamaru stone facades, adorned with carvings of New Zealand plants and landscapes, is this structure’s standout feature. The interior was refurbished in 1958 by Mandeno and Fraser, and the building currently houses a law firm.
Completed in 1898, Dunedin Prison was the second jail to be built in the city. The structure, designed by Scottish architect John Campbell, is renowned for its contrasting brick-red and white exterior hues and its Edwardian neo-Baroque aesthetics. The building was recently sold to the Dunedin Prison Charitable Trust, a group that was established to restore the prison and transform it into a prime visitor destination.
This is the only castle to have ever been built in New Zealand. Larnach Castle was constructed in 1871 under the commission of local politician and businessman William Larnach. An elevated Otago Peninsula setting, impressive Victorian style design, and remarkable 14-hectare gardens are some of the castle’s key highlights. Today, Larnach Castle is a popular tourist attraction as well as host for conferences, weddings and special events.
Larnach Castle, 145 Camp Rd, Dunedin 9077, New Zealand, +64 3-476 1616
The Law Courts
The Law Courts were also designed by John Campbell, and are considered one of New Zealand’s finest examples of Gothic civic architecture. Opened in 1902, the courthouse was built on the site where the very first prison was situated. The building is still used as Dunedin’s law courts, and comprises four courtrooms as well as the local Law Society’s library.
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