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Whare Maori pays tribute to a pioneer maori architect

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Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media
Whare Maori pays tribute to a pioneer maori architect

One of New Zealand's greatest architects and the first Maori to practice architecture professionally in this country, John Scott, features on Maori Television series WHARE MAORI this weekend.

This Sunday night at 8pm WHARE MAORI presenter and architect Rau Hoskins takes an insightful look at Scott's work as presenter and architect Rau Hoskins visits some of his most enduring buildings including the Fotuna Chapel in Wellington, which has just celebrated its 50th anniversary, and his magnificent residential house, Ngamatea in rural Hawke's Bay.

Scott, who died in 1992, was a prolific designer conceiving over 200 projects in his lifetime. A man ahead of his time, he was the first architect to bring elements of the wharenui and marae into contemporary architecture. His rural roots also show references to the woolshed in many of his buildings.

Bruce Martin, 80, still lives in and loves the house Scott designed for him more than 40 years ago. He remembers how Scott would turn up at all hours of the day and night and convince him of a new idea and then just as I agreed it was a good one, Scott would return and say "no scrap that I've got a much better plan".

"He was a perfectionist and gradually educated us about what good design was," Martin says.

Scott's family, son Jacob and daughter Ema, both artists and designers, and granddaughter Hana Scott who has recently graduated from architecture school, show WHARE MAORI presenter Rau Hoskins through their fathers and grandfathers buildings and talk candidly about his devotion to his work and his unique fusion of Maori, Pacific and European influences in his buildings.

WHARE MAORI is a fascinating 13 part series on historical, current and future trends in Maori architecture. It uniquely explores Maori cultural and social history through its built environment.

Hoskins (Nga Puhi) is a lecturer in Maori architecture and director of architectural company design TRIBE.

The series was funded by NZ on Air and screens weekly on Maori Television on Sundays at 8pm, produced by Meg Douglas and Karen Mackenzie.

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