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Old St Pauls, Wellington, NZ

            Old St Paul's Church, Wellington survives through the belief and conviction of many whom see the great worth of this building as an exemplary instance of a timber colonial ecclesiastical building and vital piece of New Zealand's culture and history. When approaching this building one can treat it as a journey both physically and symbolically starting with the exterior and moving through to the chancel. Throughout I will attempt to present my impressions and observations in relation to its significance as a key colonial example of romantic gothic revival architecture in New Zealand. .
             On arriving at Old St Pauls, first impressions are not of utter awe and wonder of its size or beauty but more a feeling of peace - an oasis of calm set amongst a vastly different environment consisting of lack lustre concrete monsters looming down on the church's plot of land. Its scale in relation to many of its stone counterparts elsewhere was limited by pragmatic issues: The adaptation of materials to the local timbers rather than stone and fear of earthquake and high winds restraining the architect, Fredrick Thatcher, to this design. For me this stands out as a very unique design aspect, one that sets it apart in those respects. Set in a surrounds of native Pohutakawa trees filled with cicadas really tranquilises the mind as one enters the grounds plus the whitewashed vertical board and batten cladding raises the eyes and soul skyward. .
             As the eye dances over the building, as pictured above in the two photographs it is obvious that this structure is focused on an elevated being, with ones" eye drawn to gaze at the spire which marks the entrance. The ecclesiologist sixty degree roof pitch dominates while light plays on the cleverly stepped back barge boards set against an intense blue New Zealand sky. The building is unmistakably Neo Gothic of the Early English Period. There are many geometric forms when one looks at the exterior.

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