R. A .Lawson: Victorian Architect of
Dunedin was launched last Wednesday by ’s
Mayor, Dave Cull. Fittingly the launch was held in the Municipal Chambers in
the Octagon, a grand old building designed by Lawson. Dunedin
The book is written by Norman Ledgerwood with contemporary photographs by Graham Warman, and documents and celebrates the work of R A Lawson who designed many of
most important buildings. In his 28 years working in Dunedin Dunedin
from 1862 onwards Lawson designed over 250 buildings in Otago, South Canterbury and Southland, including 45 churches large and small;
commercial, residential, educational, civic and institutional architecture.
The author, Norman Ledgerwood is a retired architect who spent most of his working life in
Dunedin and Hong Kong.
His interest in R A Lawson was triggered by his accidental discovery in 1954 of
a collection of 82 architectural drawings and sketches by Lawson. These were
covered in dust and rolled up in an attic in the offices of Arthur Louis
Salmond the architectural firm where
was working as a junior draughtsman. Lawson had worked briefly in the firm of
his former pupil, James Salmond, after his return from Norman in 1900. Melbourne
Lawson’s most significant works — First Presbyterian Church of Otago, Knox Presbyterian Church, Larnach Castle, Otago Boys’ High School, Dunedin Municipal Building — take their place amongst the country’s most important historical buildings and grace Dunedin to this day, giving the city its distinctive character, unique among New Zealand’s towns and cities.
The book provides a well-researched historical record of the life of R. A. Lawson and his life and achievements. The book is stunning, and between them, designer Richard Stedman and photographer Graham Warman have achieved an elegant, contemporary feel to an historical subject.
Available from UBS Otago Ltd, Email firstname.lastname@example.org,. Or at your bookseller.
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