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Elsa Miller
Saturday, January 24, 2015

THIS is an encyclopaedia architecture from colonial times in the South Pacific Islands until today.

Jennifer Taylor and James Connor have created a monumental book, 256 pages with over 400 colour photographs of buildings many old black and white photos, over 50 architectural drawings and 25 maps.

It is a product of many journeys to many islands throughout the South Pacific over 10 years. It is what you call "passionate about architecture".

From the Solomons, New Caledonia, Vanuatu, Fiji, Tonga, Samoa, Cook Islands, Tahiti, Wallis and Futuna, this book covers the modern built environment in each of these countries.

This is the "built" history of the South Pacific rather than the "political" history with a cast of characters who settled here, designed and built that we may enjoy their buildings today. The indigenous architecture has over time integrated with modern materials to create a unique building style to the South Pacific.

Fiji has the best collection of colonial buildings in the South Pacific with it's two capitals, Levuka and Suva. Levuka is now a World Heritage Site, the only built centre in the South Pacific Islands to have this title. Suva has the grand old buildings of the South Pacific that give a dimension of solidity to the city.

And then there is the French style of New Caledonia and Tahiti.

All the Pacific Island Countries feature their most prominent and prestigious buildings of the South Pacific that give a dimension of solidity to the city. And then there is the French style of New Caledonia and Tahiti.

All the Pacific Island countries feature their most prominent and prestigious buildings and built environments. Government buildings, commercial and civic buildings, houses and religious buildings are all beautifully photographed and described.

Resort complexes are a category on their own. The construction of airstrips during World War II led to the development of aviation and overseas investment in tourism after the war. Fiji has a wonderful collection of world class resort complexes reviewed in this magnificent book.

This book is a must for anyone seriously interested in the built environment in the Pacific — architects, offices, university and public libraries, Pacific embassies around the world and anyone interested in church architecture.

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