Registration Proposal 2006

Martin House, Kamaka Pottery and Kiln, Bridge Pa, Hastings
Registration Report – Proposal 02 October 2006 (Ben Schrader)

REGISTRATION PROPOSAL — HISTORIC PLACE

Name of place   Martin House, Kamaka Pottery and Kilns
Address 1 – Street no.   64
Address 2 – Street name   Valentine Road
Address 4 – Town/ Locality   Bridge Pa, Hastings
Address 5 – Region   Hawke’s Bay

Brief description   Designed by the prominent architect John Scott (1924-1992), the Martin House and Kamaka Pottery were built for the potters Bruce and Estelle Martin and their family in 1970. Built in a modernist style, but with strong vernacular references, the house is considered to be among Scott’s best work and rates among the most important New Zealand dwellings of the period. The Pottery is unusual in being architecturally designed. Each room serves a different function in the manufacturing process: from potter’s wheel to showroom. On the site Bruce and Estelle built a wood-fired kiln and pioneered the production of anagama pottery in New Zealand. Their subsequent work established the couple at the forefront of New Zealand potters. The house, pottery and kiln have been well maintained and are little changed since their construction.

Local authority   Hastings District Council

Listing by local authority   Not currently listed.

Legal description   Lot 9 Deposited Plan 11871, Hawke’s Bay Registry (Certificate of Title HBC3/1468)

Current use (s)   House [Residential buildings and associated places]
Shop  [Retail and commercial]
Kiln – Potter [Manufacturing and Processing]

Notable buildings/ structures/ features/chattels   The house and pottery are the main notable buildings. Two anagama kilns are located behind the house.

Proposed Extent of Registration   Registration includes the land comprised in certificate of title IIBC3/1468, the house and pottery (including fittings and fixtures), two anagama kilns, and garden thereon.

Dates (fill in as many as possible)   Date designed: 1969
Date construction begun: 1970
Date construction completed: 1970
Date formally opened: 1970
Date of any alterations or significant modifications (plus details): Extension to workshop in 1978.

Martin House, Kamaka Pottery and Kiln, Bridge Pa, Hastings
Registration Report – Proposal 02 October 2006 (Ben Schrader)

HISTORY OF THE PLACE

The Martin House and Kamaka Pottery are located close to the settlement of Bridge Pa, 10 kilometres east of Hastings on the Heretaunga Plain. Maori knew the pa as Korongata and before the 1931 Hawke’s Bay earthquake it was sited on the banks of Te Awa Ateaatua stream. In the nineteenth century Pakeha settlers bridged the creek and used it as a resting point and watering hole for stock travelling to market in Hastings. Unable (or unwilling) to pronounce Korongata, they renamed the settlement Bridge Pa. After the quake the stream dried up and the bridge was demolished. 1

By then pastoralism dominated the district — sheep and beef cattle — but the high pumice content of the soils meant stocking ratios were lower than in more fertile parts of the region. From the 1960s this led some farmers to subdivide their land for other uses, including winegrowing, which is now well established. 2 Among those seeking property were Bruce and Estelle Martin.

Bruce was born in Levin in 1925 and Estelle in Southland in 1930. They married in 1950 at Hastings where Bruce worked as radiographer; Estelle was employed in an accountancy firm. They lived in a house in Pakowhai Road, raising three sons: Brett, Dean and Craig. In 1957 Estelle joined an Ikebana class given by Louis Theakstone from Napier. The ceramic Japanese vases enchanted Estelle and, encouraged by Bruce, she decided to make her own. She enrolled in night classes in clay modelling and from books and notes taught herself to use a potter’s wheel, working with earthernware before specializing in stoneware. Bruce built a small kiln at the back of their house and decided to contribute to the first firing, using slab building techniques to create his pots. 3

In 1965 Bruce and Estelle established a partnership called Kamaka (stone) and became full-time potters making glazed domesticware. By 1969, a lack of space led the Martins to move to the country where they could easily combine their living and working arrangements. However, their proposal to build a pottery workshop and kiln shed on their Bridge Pa property caused consternation among Hawke’s Bay County officials. It was classified as a non-rural activity, requiring a specified departure County Council’s planning scheme. This was eventually granted on condition that the rural character of the property was retained and no flags or bunting were flown at the front gate! 4

After seeing a friend’s house designed by Len Hoogerburg [Hoogerbrug], Bruce and Estelle decided to commission an architect for their new home and pottery. Not wanting to be ‘copy cats’ they approached Hoogerburg’s colleague John Scott. They had no fixed ideas about the design other than what they didn’t want: carpets, venetian blinds and wallpaper. Importantly, they felt as artists themselves they should allow another artist to have free creative reign. This was music to Scott’s ears. He accepted the commission and began visiting the Martins at their Pakowhai Road home to see how they lived, discussing plans and ideas. As Bruce recalls, John ‘educated us really, so we stopped thinking of a house as a kind of box-like thing and

1   A W Reed, Reed Dictionary of New Zealand Place Names, Auckland, 2002 edition, p. 57; Discover New Zealand: A Wise ‘s Guide, Auckland, 1994 edition, p. 162.
2   Mary Boyd, City of the Plains: A History of Hastings, Wellington, 1984, p. 315; Michael Cooper, The Wine and the Vineyards of New Zealand, Auckland, 1989, pp 191-207.
3   Slab building is the use of prepared slabs of clay to create pots. Bruce Martin Interview, Kamaka Pottery, 27 April 2006, notes held by Ben Schrader; Peter Shaw, Kamaka. The Ceramics of Bruce and Estelle Marlin, Hastings, 2005, pp. 9-11.
4   Bruce Martin Interview.

Martin House, Kamaka Potter)/ and Kiln, Bridge Pa, Hastings
Registration Report – Proposal 02 October 2006 (Ben Schrader)

came to understand open planning. 5 Through these visits the design evolved. By this time the Martin’s children were teenagers with a passion for loud music and their own space. Scott overcame this issue by creating a separate wing for the boys, containing their bedrooms and a separate living area. This was then linked to the main house by a covered walkway. The main house was not large, but had sufficient space for Bruce and Estelle. As Bruce explained, he and Estelle were relatively private people and did not require large areas for entertaining or show. 6

Scott initially sited the pottery and kiln in a basin just below the house, believing it created a stronger composition. However, Bruce and Estelle wanted greater physical distance between their home and work, private and public spaces. Consequently, the workshop and kiln was sited further north, about 50 metres from the house. Originally the house and workshop were to be clad in clinker brick, but the high cost of this material saw a change to concrete blocks. Building began in June 1970 and was completed by December. Bruce doesn’t remember any major hiccups, but does recall the high standard of workmanship. When John presented the details of the fireplace wall to the block layer he was very unsure of the design and decided to lay the blocks dry to verify the layout and the block sizes. When he was about seven rows high he realized that John had everything correct and proceeded to rebuild the wall with morter [mortar]. 7

The Martins were thrilled to move into their new home and pottery. They quickly established a rhythm of working, leaving the house in the morning and sitting at their potter’s wheels or standing at their benches in the workshop until late afternoon. Large windows provided ample light into the workspaces, which looked out onto a developing garden of trees and shrubs, `randomly’ planted by the family. In 1978, they employed Scott to extend the workshop to create another workroom, but when it was completed they decided it was too good to work in and made it a display space instead. 8

In the same year they also visited Japan, a trip that proved a career watershed. They met Fujii Yukio, who used anagama kilns to “produce wholly unglazed pottery, with soft, subtle colours and textures…produced solely by the action of flames and the fall of ash on clay surfaces.’ 9 They were so taken by the work that they resolved to build an anagama kiln at Kamaka. It was first fired in 1982 and while not wholly successful, the results led to the potter Fujii-sensei coming from Japan to work with the Martins and improve their skill base. The next firing was a great success (each firing lasts about 10 days and is a 24 hour operation) and `immediately propelled them to the forefront of New Zealand potters.’ 10 Since then, Bruce and Estelle have collected numerous art and ceramic awards. 11 The large kiln was fired for the last time in 1990. However, Bruce and Estelle ‘suffered withdrawal symptoms’ so Bruce built

5   Peter Shaw, ‘A Shared Aesthetic’, Home and Entertaining, Dec/Jan 2004, p. 62.
6   Bruce Martin Interview
7   Elevation plan held by Bruce Martin; Bruce Martin interview; ‘Registration Proposal Martin House’ Email from Bruce Martin to NZHPT, 8 July 2006, NZHPT File 12013-1117.
8   Bruce Martin interview.
9   Shaw, ‘A Shared Aesthetic’, p. 61. The Anagama kiln originated in Japan and was first developed in medieval times. Although the design differs from kiln to kiln, most Anagama kilns will be constructed on a slope, to create a better updraught, and will have a long firing chamber with a firebox at one end and a flue at the other. Firing times can vary from a single day to a number of weeks. The Anagama kiln can produce a natural ash glaze finish to pottery, and remains an important kiln style among contemporary potters. http://[ww]w.ceramicstoday.com
10   Douglas Lloyd Jenkins, ‘Flame into Flame, Listener, 22 Oct 2005, p. 51.
11   These include the Fletcher Challenge Ceramic Awards, 1986, 1987; the Norsewear Art Award, 1988, 1990; and the Suter Art Gallery Awards, 1990.

Martin House, Kamaka Pottery and Kiln, Bridge Pa, Hastings
Registration Report – Proposal 02 October 2006 (Ben Schrader)

a smaller kiln next to the existing one, which was used until April 2001. 12 Estelle died in 2001. Bruce continues to live in the house.

PHYSICAL DESCRIPTION

Architect   John Colin Scott (1924-1992)

John Scott was born in Haumoana, Hawke’s Bay, on 9 June 1924 and was of Taranaki, Te Arawa and British ancestry. In 1946 he enrolled in the School of Architecture at Auckland University. He grew disillusioned with the academic environment and dropped out before completing his degree. After stints working for the architectural firms Structural Developments and Group Architects he returned to Hawke’s Bay and established a private practice, working alongside Len Hoogerburg. He married Jean Moffat in July 1951. Inspired by traditional New Zealand structures — such as the whare and woolshed —as well as post-war Modernism, Scott focused on houses, of which the Savage and Falls Houses in Havelock North (1952-53) were among the first to showcase his individual style. His growing reputation led to commissions to design a chapel for St John’s College, Hastings (1954-56) and the Chapel of Futuna in Karori, Wellington (1958-61). The Futuna Chapel was registered as a Category I Historic Place on 28 May 1999. It is considered by the architectural historian Russell Walden to be Scott’s masterpiece, sensitively combining ecclesiastical elements with those of a wharenui. Other public buildings that fused Pakeha and Maori design traditions include the Maori Battalion Memorial Centre in Palmerston North (1954-64) and the Urewera National Park Headquarters Building, Waikeremoana [Waikaremoana] (1974-76). While celebrated as a brilliant designer, Scott was not renowned for his professionalism. He worked in bursts and rarely to schedule; his management skills were few and he never became rich. He died in 1992. His immense contribution to New Zealand architecture and the search for New Zealand identity was acknowledged in 1999 when he was awarded a posthumous gold medal by the New Zealand Institute of Architects. 13

Builder   Ian Kepka

Construction and main materials   Both the workshop and house are built on a concrete platform. The exposed timber framing and windows are Douglas Fir and Radiata Pine, stained with black/brown oil. The ceilings and walls are lined with polyurethened chipboard. In the house, the doors are faced with rimu plywood, as is some of the joinery. The exterior walls of the lean-tos are clad with concrete blocks and sheets of fibrolite; the connecting horizontal structures are covered in fibrolite only. (Originally, the concrete blocks were unpainted, but they were found to be porous and

12   Shaw, Kamaka, p. 26.
13   Walden, Russell. ‘Scott, John Colin 1924-1992’, Dictionary of New Zealand Biography, updated 7 July 2005 URL: http://wwwdnzb.govt.nz; Brown, Deidre. ‘Inventing an Idiom’, New Zealand Heritage, Spring 2005, pp. 8-13.

Martin House, Kamaka Pottery and Kiln, Bridge Pa, Hastings
Registration Report – Proposal 02 October 2006 (Ben Schrader)

were sealed by paint.) The pitched (lean-to) roofs are laid with Monier concrete tiles; the flat roofs with panel deck roofing. 14

From the interior the Japanese post and beam system of structural support is evident — Scott had visited Japan on a Churchill Felllowship in 1969. Of particular interest is the way elements are joined. As one architectural historian explains: ‘Junctures between concrete block and timber are not abutted or covered by a batten but left open to create a shadow — negative detailing.’ 15 Scott’s skill is further evident in the use of materials. The floor is laid with quarry (red brick) tiles — chosen by Bruce and Estelle. The concrete block walls are unpainted, but the golden ply and chipboard offset their coldness. While the floor area is not large, the height of the lean-to elements provides an unexpected sense of roominess; counterbalanced by the horizontal axes, which offer more intimate spaces.

Description   Pottery

Trees now shroud the buildings from Valentine Road, so it is only after coming up the drive that they come into view. The first to be reached is the pottery. This comprises three lean-to elements and two horizontal constituents. The first two lean-tos are workrooms and are sited front to back so they resemble (not inappropriately) a traditional factory roofline. A flat roofed porch signals the entrance to the workshop. This leads into a small vestibule and display area, fronted by a plate glass window and door. To the right is the first workroom, where Estelle and Bruce had their potter wheels – the Matai floor is marked by dozens of pot bases. The room is south facing, but a large ceiling height window fills it with light. (Bruce recalls the space getting cold in winter, necessitating the use of an oil heater). 16 A double-sized entrance leads to the second workroom, largely lit by clerestory windows. This had the glaze table and the slab-building bench, the focus of Bruce’s work. To the left double doors lead to an extensive storeroom. This is the major horizontal element in the pottery and runs the full length of the western side. Pots were stored here before and after firing in the original oil-fired kiln; located outside at the northern end, under a roof that extends the horizontal planes of storeroom.

The third lean-to is rotated at a 90-degree angle to the other two and is located east of the vestibule. This was added to the workshop in 1978. Designed by Scott, it was built as another workroom — with a heated concrete floor – but when completed the Martins thought it too attractive for this purpose and made it another display area. The main feature of the room is a band of windows cantilevered from the eastern wall, providing a long bench for the display of artworks. Clerestory windows puncture the western wall.

14   Addition to Pottery for Mr and Mrs B. J. Martin, John Scott Architect, hnm 673, 20.9.78-13.11.78, Plan held by Bruce Martin
15   Shaw, p. 63.
16   Bruce Martin interview.

Martin House, Kamaka Pottery and Kiln, Bridge Pa, Hastings
Registration Report – Proposal 02 October 2006 (Ben Schrader)

House: Exterior

The Martin House is situated behind the Pottery on a small terrace. From this frontal (northern) perspective the two wings of the dwelling are immediately apparent, with the main house on the western side of the site and the boy’s wing to the east, elegantly linked by a flat-roofed, screened porch or walkway. Bruce says Scott wanted a narrower distance between the two wings, but he and Estelle insisted they were kept well apart to ensure (particularly aural) privacy.

The main wing comprises three lean-tos, arranged along a low, horizontal axis in a zig-zag pattern. Moving to the western side of the house, the main feature is the chimney, which rises ziggurat-like up the side of the middle lean-to. At the southern end is a small porch, the back entrance to the house. From this side most of the walkway is clad in fibrolite, providing protection from biting southerly winds.

The eastern wing has one lean-to, which faces the northern lean-to of the main house, their rooflines creating an imaginary apex above the walkway. At the base of this lean-to is another horizontal structure. It runs perpendicular to the walkway element, both meeting at the southeast corner. There is a high degree of symmetry between the two wings, a feature reinforced by the two roofed porches that project from the northern facade.

The house has a series of casement, double hung and bay windows. The long and narrow casement windows are used in the utility and bathrooms; the double hung windows in the east wing bedrooms and dining room; and the bay windows in the living spaces. A highlight is a round window in the southern lean-to of the main house — similar to Scott’s Visitors’ Centre at Lake Waikeremoana — but which has a patterned screen designed by Keith Reynolds who was working with John at that time. 17 Other decorative details are the koru-shaped barge covers and the colour scheme, where the dominant white is countered by the use of strong primary colours: red for flashings and window sills, yellow for vents, and purple for gutters and downpipes.

House: Interior

The walkway signals the entrance to both wings. The main house is entered through a vestibule off the dining room. This features a small window opening to the living room. The hole was made, says Bruce, so the children could see the fire burning from the other wing, an incentive for them to come over. The dining room and kitchen is housed within the southern lean-to. The eastern wall has a near-floor to ceiling double hung window, now partly shaded by an exterior screen. The room is open plan, with a dividing (matai) ply and chipboard storage unit separating the two spaces; the unit also accommodates a large stainless steel sink and bench. Behind this is a pantry and further storage. On the southern side, a door leads to the laundry and back entrance. On the

17   Bruce Martin interview.
18   Shaw, Kamaka, p. 18.

Martin House, Kamaka Pottery and Kiln, Bridge Pa, Hastings
Registration Report – Proposal 02 October 2006 (Ben Schrader)

western side the space flows through to the living room, the middle lean-to.

To the right, French doors open to a small porch. Opposite this are the ziggurat fireplace and two symmetrical bay windows. A small alcove on the southern side of the room provides a storage area. The northern wall has an opaque, green glass window, dividing the living room from the main bedroom, accommodated in the northern lean-to. Its main element is an off-centre, vertical window in the eastern wall, through which pass shafts of filtered light. Built-in wardrobes line the southern and western walls and a glass door opens to the northern patio. Next to this is an en-suite. Painted burnt orange, it features abstract tiles by the English (ex New Zealand) ceramic artist Kenneth Clark. The room also opens to the northern porch.

A small hall leads into the eastern wing. Lining the southern side is a bathroom, which also has tiles by Clark. The hall flows into the common room, designed as a place for the Martin boys to relax and entertain. It faces north, with a bay window and door opening to a porch. On the eastern side of the room are three bedrooms, two single and one double.

Kilns

The two anagama kilns are sited to the south of the house and located under an open iron-roofed shed. This protects the kiln and provides space for the storage of firing wood. The kilns are semi-buried in pits and constructed of brick and concrete blocks. The arched roofs are at ground level and covered in Havelock clay. Flues rise behind the kiln to outside brick chimneys. Inside, the vaults have silicon carbide shelving. The larger kiln can accommodate 1,000 pots, the smaller one just 80.18

Current physical condition   The condition of the workshop and house is exceptional. There have been no major additions or modifications to the house since it was built and only one addition to the workshop. Most of the fittings are original, as is some of the paintwork; areas that have been repainted have been done so using Scott’s original colour scheme. The grounds are imaginatively landscaped and well maintained.

Martin House, Kamaka Pottery and Kiln, Bridge Pa, Hastings
Registration Report – Proposal 02 October 2006 (Ben Schrader)

ASSESSMENT OF HERITAGE VALUES: Statements of Significance

Statement of the historical significance or value of the place

The Martin House and Pottery is the home and former workplace of Bruce and the late Estelle Martin. During the 1980s they pioneered the use the anagama pottery in New Zealand. This had been developed in Korea and Japan from the fourth century AD and necessitated firing pots for up to two weeks in a wood-fired kiln. The Martin’s use of this method gave the couple a national profile and led to them becoming among the country’s most important and celebrated potters of the late twentieth century.

The Martins were unique among their peers in building an architecturally designed pottery. Their architect was John Scott, New Zealand’s first recognised Maori architect; critically acclaimed for the way he skillfully fused Maori and Pakeha cultural elements in his buildings. 19 The Pottery was designed in such a way as to streamline work processes, each room serving a different function in the production process: from potter’s wheel to showroom.

Scott also designed the Martin’s house, located behind the pottery. Built as a family home for Bruce and Estelle and their three teenage boys, the house follows the 1960s trend to open plan living, where rooms open to each other rather than being closed off by walls and doors. This was to encourage social interaction and flow between rooms. An interesting aspect of the house was the creation of a separate wing for the boys. This reflected wider societal recognition of adolescence as a period when children asserted their independence from parents. The Martin house is unusual in giving spatial recognition to this.

The property is also the site of the largest traditional anagama kiln in New Zealand. This makes it a pivotal site in the history of New Zealand ceramics.

Statement of the architectural, archaeological, scientific, technological and/or aesthetic significance or value

The Modernist style of the Martin House and Pottery has its roots both in European Modernism, Japanese design traditions, and the New Zealand vernacular movement of the 1950s, the latter inspired by the simplicity of the whare and woolshed. 20 The ubiquitous Kiwi lean-to (a structure with a half-gable roofline) forms the basis of both buildings, with Scott juxtaposing several of these elements to striking effect. Each lean-to is connected by a series of low, horizontal structures and planes to make a unified whole. There are few houses in New Zealand that so successfully combine vernacular elements with those sourced from overseas. The house is considered

19   Walden, Russell. ‘Scott, John Colin 1924-1992’, Dictionary of New Zealand Biography, updated 7 July 2005 URL: http://wwwdnzb.govt.nz
20   Peter Shaw, A History of New Zealand Architecture, Auckland, 3rd edition, 2003, pp. 154-55

Martin House, Kamaka Pottery and Kiln, Bridge Pa, Hastings
Registration Report – Proposal 02 October 2006 (Ben Schrader)

by one architectural critic to be ‘the major work by the iconic modernist architect John Scott.’ 21

The house and pottery is of great technological significance in that Scott employed the Japanese post and beam system of structural support and the provision of negative detailing. This system is relatively rare in New Zealand. The place is also important in being the site of the first traditional type anagama kiln in New Zealand.

Scott was mid-career when he designed the Martin House and Pottery and the complex is also extremely valuable in being amongst his finest buildings. It can be considered his most architecturally significant house, mainly for its mastery fusion of vernacular and overseas forms, which is more accomplished than that achieved in the likes of the Savage and. Falls houses.

Scott is now recognized as a brilliant designer, instrumental in promoting ‘a local vernacular that could inform contemporary design’. 22 His immense contribution to New Zealand architecture was acknowledged in 1999 when he was awarded a posthumous gold medal by the New Zealand Institute of Architects.

Statement of spiritual, traditional, and/or value

The Martin House and Pottery has immense cultural value at both a regional and national level. Bruce and Estelle began as local potters cultural significance or who through their work undertaken on the site established a national profile. The couple was instrumental in establishing dialogue between Japanese and New Zealand potters in the post-World War Two period and spreading knowledge of Japanese ceramics in New Zealand. Their work and ideas had a profound influence in the New Zealand ceramic community. This was recognized in 2005 when the Hawke’s Bay Cultural Trust hosted a retrospective exhibition of their work at the Hawke’s Bay Exhibition Centre.

There is also a poetic dimension to the Martin House. Even after 35 years the house is arresting and strikingly modern. The forms of the buildings could hardly be simpler, but are arranged in such a way to create an elegant and sculptural composition.

21   Lloyd Jenkins, p. 51
22   Deidre Brown. ‘Inventing an Idiom’, New Zealand Heritage, Sprartining 2005, p. 13.

Martin House, Kamaka Pottery and Kiln, Bridge Pa, Hastings
Registration Report – Proposal 02 October 2006 (Ben Schrader)

Further Assessment

(a)   The extent to which the place reflects important or representative aspects of New Zealand history
The place is among the best examples of the fusion of vernacular and overseas influences in New Zealand domestic architectural design. It is also important in the history of New Zealand ceramics, the first pace where traditional anagama pottery was produced in the country.

(b)   The association of the place with events, persons, or ideas of importance in New Zealand history
The architect of the Martin House and Pottery is John Scott, recognised as among New Zealand’s most important architects. Bruce and the late Estelle Martin are leading potters, pioneers of the anagama style of pottery in New Zealand.

(d)   The importance of the place to the tangata whenua
John Scott was New Zealand’s first recognised Maori architect, with Te Arawa and European ancestry. Bridge Pa is a significant Maori community near Hastings.

(e)   The community association with, or public esteem for, the place
The Pottery has had a long community association, with many local (and other) people visiting it to watch the Martins at work and purchase their wares. The Martins are well respected in the community for their work and involvement in the Arts.

(f)   The potential of the place for public education
There is potential for public education — especially with the pottery and kilns — but this would depend on Bruce Martin and future owners. The pottery and kiln has huge potential to provide knowledge of the creation of the ceramics in New Zealand. Each room was designed for a particular purpose in the production process. The house is a vital place in the history of New Zealand domestic architecture.

(g)   The technical accomplishment or value, or design of the place
The Modernist style, Martin House and Pottery is considered by one architectural critic to be ‘the major work by the iconic modernist architect John Scott.’ 23 The Japanese post and beam system of structural support and the provision of negative detailing is of technological interest.

Staff recommendation:   Office use only
That the place should be registered under the following criteria:
Section 23 (1): aesthetic, architectural, cultural, historical, social and technological significance or value.
That the place should be assigned Category I status, based on the following criteria: Section 23(2): a, b, d, e, f and g.

23   Lloyd Jenkins, p. 51

Martin House, Kamaka Pottery and Kiln, Bridge Pa, Hastings
Registration Report – Proposal 02 October 2006 (Ben Schrader)

Summary of significance:

The Martin House and Pottery is the home and former workplace of Bruce and the late Estelle Martin. They are among the country’s most important and celebrated potters of the late twentieth century, with their work and ideas having a profound influence on the New Zealand ceramic community. The property is also the site of the first traditional anagama kiln in New Zealand, making it a pivotal site in the history of New Zealand ceramics.

New Zealand’s first recognised Maori architect, John Scott, was both the architect and the designer of the Martin House and Pottery. The style of the house is significant, with few houses so successfully combining vernacular elements with those sourced from overseas. It is considered by one architectural critic to be ‘the major work by the iconic modernist architect John Scott’. The house and the property is also of great technological significance with Scott employing the Japanese post and beam system of structural support and the provision of negative detailing, a system relatively rare in New Zealand.

Martin House, Kamaka Pottery and Kiln, Bridge Pa, Hastings
Registration Report – Proposal 02 October 2006 (Ben Schrader)

SOURCES OF INFORMATION

1   Brown, Deidre. ‘Inventing an Idiom’, New Zealand Heritage, Spring 2005, pp. 8-132
2   Boyd, Mary, City of the Plains: A History of Hastings, Wellington, 1984
3   Chafe, Kevin, ‘One Man’s World: John Scott, Architect’, Research Report, Victoria University of Wellington, 1982
4   Cooper, Michael, The Wine and the Vineyards of New Zealand, Auckland, 1989
5   Discover New Zealand: A Wise’s Guide, Auckland, 1994 edition
6   Lloyd Jenkins, Douglas, ‘Flame into Flame, Listener, 22 Oct 2005, pp. 50-52
7   Martin, Craig, ‘John Scott: Architect’, URL: http://wvvw.johnscottnet.nz
8   Procuta, Antanas P, ‘The Nature of John Scott’s Domestic Architecture’, Research Report, Victoria University of Wellington, 1986.
9   Reed, A W, Reed Dictionary of New Zealand Place Names, Auckland, 2002
10   Scott, J and M Ching-Fan, ‘Of Woolsheds, Houses and People’, Islands 2, Spring 1973. pp. 289-302
11   Shaw, Peter, Kamaka. The Ceramics of Bruce and Estelle Martin, Hastings, 2005; ‘A Shared Aesthetic’, Home and Entertaining, Dec/Jan 2004, pp. 58-64; A History of New Zealand Architecture, Auckland, 3rd edition, 2003
12   Walden, Russell. ‘Scott, John Colin 1924-1992’, Dictionary of New Zealand Biography, updated 7 July 2005 URL: http://wwwdnzb.govt.nz
13   Plans: (All held by Bruce Martin): ‘House for Mr and Mrs B J Martin’, Hoogerburg Scott Architects, 255.69 (1970); ‘Addition to Pottery for Mr and Mrs B. J. Martin’, John Scott Architect, hmn 673, 20.9.78-13.11.78 (Also miscellaneous, unnamed and undated plans and elevations.)

LIST OF APPENDICES

1   Current Certificate of Title
2   Location Information
3   Maps and Plans
4   Photographs
5   Other Supporting Information

Martin House, Kamaka Pottery and Kiln, Bridge Pa, Hastings
Registration Report – Proposal 02 October 2006 (Ben Schrader)

APPENDIX 1: Current Certificate of Title

COMPUTER FREEHOLD REGISTER UNDER LAND TRANSFER ACT 1952

Search Copy

Identifier   HBC3/1486
Land Registration District   Hawkes Bay
Date Issued   11 December 1968

Prior References
HBB2/765

Estate   Fee Simple
Area   4.0469 hectares more or less
Legal Description   Lot 9 Deposited Plan 11871

Proprietors
Bruce John Martin as to a 1/2 share
Brett MacDonald Martin, Dean MacDonald Martin and Craig Roderick Martin as to a 1/2  share as Executors

Interests
Land Covenant in Transfer 225934

Martin House, Kamaka Pottery and Kiln, Bridge Pa, Hastings
Registration Report – Proposal 02 October 2006 (Ben Schrader)

APPENDIX 2: Location Information

Martin House, Kamaka Pottery and Kiln, Bridge Pa, Hastings
Registration Report – Proposal 02 October 2006 (Ben Schrader)

APPENDIX 3: Maps and Plans (source Bruce Martin)

Figure 1: Early elevation of Martin House showing its proposed construction in clinker brick (1970).

Figure 2: Early floorplan of Martin House and Pottery showing Scott’s initial proposal to have the pottery situated next to the house (1970)

Martin House, Kamaka Pottery and Kiln, Bridge Pa, Hastings
Registration Report – Proposal 02 October 2006 (Ben Schrader)

Figure 3: Floorplan of Martin House (1970)

Figure 4: Floorplan of Pottery showing new extension (1978)

Martin House, Kamaka Pottery and Kiln, Bridge Pa, Hastings
Registration Report – Proposal 02 October 2006 (Ben Schrader)

FOR VIEWING BY THE NZHPT ONLY

Your Name and contact details   Dr Ben Schrader
19A Pembroke Road
Northland
Wellington
Ph 04 475 4284

Current owner(s) of the place   Bruce John Martin (half share) and Brett MacDonald Martin, Dean MacDonald Martin and Craig Roderick Martin (half share)
As at: (date)   14 June 2006

Address(es)   64 Valentine Road, Bridge Pa, Hastings
As at: (date)   14 June 2006

Current occupier(s)   Bruce Martin
As at: (date)   14 June 2006

Original digital file

MartinBJ615_NZHistoricPlacesTrust_Proposal.pdf

Non-commercial use

Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 New Zealand (CC BY-NC 3.0 NZ)

This work is licensed under a Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 New Zealand (CC BY-NC 3.0 NZ).

 

Commercial Use

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Business / Organisation

Kamaka Pottery

Format of the original

Computer document

Date published

2 October 2006

Creator / Author

  • Dr Ben Schrader

People

  • Mary Boyd
  • Deidre Brown
  • Kevin Chafe
  • Michael Cooper
  • Len Hoogerbrug
  • Douglas Lloyd Jenkins
  • Brett MacDonald Martin
  • Bruce Martin
  • Craig Roderick Martin
  • Dean MacDonald Martin
  • Estelle Martin
  • Jean Moffat
  • John Scott
  • Peter Shaw
  • Louis Theakstone
  • Russell Walden
  • Fujii Yukio

Accession number

545052

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