Kiwiosities: The largest wooden building

The Old Government Building in Wellington is often claimed to be the largest wooden building in the Southern Hemisphere (the Japanese Todaiji Temple is larger, destroying the claim for world pre-eminence). Located below Parliament Buildings on Lambton Quay, Wellington, it appears in the classic carpenter style of building from the 19th century, with wood used to resemble stone blocks on the Italianate facades. The building is framed in native rimu and Tasmanian blackwood, floored with matai and clad in kauri. With a floor area of more than 9400 sq m, some 1,100,000 super feet of timber was used in its construction. From 1876 until quite recently it housed government offices, but after restoration it became the Law School of Victoria University of Wellington.

Excerpts from Kiwiosities, a book by Gordon Ell on the traditions and folklore of New Zealand.

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Gordon Ell, a former journalist and wildlife film-maker, is the author of many popular books about New Zealand's historic and natural heritage.