Go to National Library of New Zealand Te Puna Mātauranga o Aotearoa
Volume 42, 1909
– 38 –
Second Meeting: 6th July, 1908.

E. V. Miller, Esq., President, in the chair.

Mr. F. E. Powell, C.E., delivered a lecture on “The Influence of Engineering upon Architecture.”

The lecturer attempted to show what effect recent developments in engineering are likely to have on architectural art. The interdependence of the ornament and the structural base is known to have existed in all architectural styles, from which comes the natural deduction that a scientific knowledge of stresses and strains must lead to types of buildings hitherto undreamt-of. Not only, however, is the structural part likely to be modified in future edifices, but the introduction of new building materials paves the way for an entirely different artistic treatment. Suggestions were advanced as to the lines on which such treatment may develop. Some consideration was also given to other possible building materials and methods. Reinforced concrete, as the most notable scientific production of recent years in this connection, was discussed and shown to be even more interesting in the possibilities it foreshadows than in its ordinary practical uses. Various other scientific considerations, such for instance as those connected with sanitation and public health, were shown to have an effect on design, and it may be considered as proved that the present indiscriminate imitation of earlier styles must eventually give way to a new “style,” representative of the age and of modern conditions. The lecture was fully illustrated by lantern views and diagrams.