Newspaper Article 2007 – Hastings property recognised as ‘Historic place’

Hastings property recognised as ‘Historic place’

THE deputy prime minister, Dr Michael Cullen presented a registration plaque to Bruce Martin, a renowned NZ potter, for his house and Kamaka pottery at a ceremony recently.

The house, located in Valentine Road, Bridge Pa, Hastings was registered under category one, as a place of special and outstanding heritage significance selected by the Historic Places Trust Board in December.

Constructed in 1970, the house was designed by New Zealand Maori architect, the late John Scott (one of NZ’s first recognised Maori architects) and considered to be one of his best works. Though there are many examples of Scott’s work in Hawke’s Bay and throughout the country, the Martin residence is thought to be one of his most notable residential achievements.

Politicians, local authority leaders, members of the Martin and Scott families, staff, board, Hawke’s Bay branch members of NZ Historic Places Trust and select others were welcomed from a local kaumatua.

Bruce Chapman, CEO of NZ Historic Places trust spoke on the importance of the property, Michael Cullen then addressed the public and presented the registration plaque to Bruce Martin.

John Scott’s son, Jacob also addressed the guests adding of his father’s work, “each form has its own integrity and is allowed to be what it is. Every bit of space is used, it relates to this place, our identity.”

Scott is celebrated as an architect with a definite style, mostly attributed to his inspiration by traditional New Zealand structures as well as post-war Modernism which is apparent throughout his work. There are imprints of European modernism, Japanese design traditions and the New Zealand vernacular movement in the 1950s, coupled with Kiwi lean-tos and the provision [of] negative detailing, forming the basis for the Martin premises.

The NZ Trust selected the Martin home on the basis that there are few houses in New Zealand that so successfully combine vernacular elements with those sources from overseas. The iconic architect created the home based on simplicity, but is arranged in such a way to create an elegant and sculptural composition.

The home was built for the Martins as a family home. John [Bruce] and the late Estelle were among the country’s most important and celebrated potters of the late twentieth century and were instrumental in establishing dialogue between Japanese and New Zealand potters in the post World War 2 period and for spreading knowledge of Japanese ceramics in New Zealand.

Their hand-made kiln, which only ran once a year for 10-12 days per firing, housed 1000 pieces of pottery and was the first traditional anagama kiln in New Zealand.

These days, the condition of each building and room on the Martin property is exceptional. The colours of paint and decor have hardly changed since the home was built and most colour schemes have remained almost entirely unchanged.

Photo captions –

Bruce Martin’s Bridge Pa property.

Bruce Martin addresses the crowd.

Original digital file


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Kamaka Pottery


64 Valentine Road, Bridge Pa

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Newspaper article

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March 2007


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