El Thorvaldo Moderator

Parliament House
Parliament House by @Thorvald (El Thorvaldo)

Centre block of the New Zealand Parliament, Wellington. The parliament buildings were originally built from wood, and in 1907 everything burned to the ground but the library, which was built from stone and had an iron-fire door. The government took the opportunity to redevelop the legislature under a unified aesthetic; a design contest was held in 1911 and two blueprints by John Campbell were adopted. The design was to be conducted in two phases: the first stage was a neoclassical Parliament House and intended redesign of the Library. Construction began in 1914 and quickly suffered supply shortages due to the onset of the war; while it remained unfinished, politicians began moving into the building in 1918. Stage I was finally completed in 1922, but Stage II never started; consequently, even after designating both Parliament House and the Beehive Category I heritage buildings, Heritage New Zealand admits that taken together, Parliament "has little aesthetic or architectural coherence".

Parliament House underwent extensive renovations during the 1990s, including earthquake-proofing the structure by splitting the foundation and mounting the structure on what amount to giant springs. Guided tours are performed daily, although access to the public gallery in the house of commons is separate and is only available when the house is in session.

Original photo taken May 2014. Submitted to DeviantArt September 2015.

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