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Historic Place Category 2
Lot 2 DP 318203 (CT 71200), Wellington Land District
Extent of Registration
Extent includes the land described as Lot 2 DP 318203 (CT 71200), Wellington Land District and the building known as the Ford Motor Company Workshop and its fittings and fixtures.
This building was constructed in 1935 for the Ford Motor Company of New Zealand Ltd, a wholly owned subsidiary of the Ford Motor Company of Canada Ltd, and was used for the assembly of cars from imported parts. The plans were based on a standardised plan prepared in Canada, but the detailed designs of the elevations were the responsibility of the Wellington-based architects Joseph Dawson (1877-1956) and Jack King (1900-1972), of King and Dawson, who had been chosen to supervise the project. The construction was divided into a number of separate contracts and the building was barely finished when the first cars rolled off the production line in late 1936. In the following year the building was extended to meet an unexpected demand for vehicles. During the Second World War the building was used for the production of munitions and explosives, as well as the construction of army jeeps. By 1987 Ford New Zealand had moved most of its operations to their site at Wiri, Auckland, and the decision was made to decommission the Seaview plant. The plant was closed in 1988 and the building remained empty for some years. It is now used as a shop.
The design of the building has Classical elements such as the use of pilasters and triangular pediments, but also has Art Deco features in the facade of the main entrance. The building is principally brick with stucco facings. The structural steel frames, prefabricated by the Canadian Bridge Company, enabled the installation of extensive glazing including glass curtain walling on the north, east, and south elevations. The Ford Motor Company Building has significance because of its architectural qualities and its association with the Ford Motor Company in New Zealand.
Glass curtain walling of the north, east and south elevations. Steel-framed butterfly roof.
- Original Construction: 1935 (circa) - 1936 (circa)
- Addition: 1937 (circa)
- Modification: 1988
- John Wilson (ed.), Zeal and Crusade: The Modern Movement in Wellington, Te Waihora Press, Christchurch, 1996
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