University of Canterbury and the Registry Building

Hall & Mackenzie was commissioned in 1970 to design the Registry Building. Keith MacKenzie oversaw the project and John Blair was responsible for the concept and sketch plan development.

"The building’s strong form, expressed in the brutalist, concrete style that was Canterbury at its best, created an iconic building that has stood the test of time. The expressed structure, with a vertical emphasis modulated with spandrels and sunscreens, sits proudly opposite the James Hight Library to create the centre of the campus."

John Blair has commented: “Internationally at that time, much discussion, and some concern, was being expressed around halls of learning as to appropriate defences necessary to keep at bay ‘revolting students’. The Registry being the bastion of University administration and ‘place of respite’ for the perceived beleaguered Council members to meet, I recall
that our concern was that it should express something of both its time and place - if boiling oil was required to be poured from the battlements to repel invaders – then so be it!”"

The building has been repaired following the February 2011 earthquake.

Residency in Creative Writing
The Ursula Bethell Residency in Creative Writing, jointly funded by the University of Canterbury College of Arts and Creative New Zealand, was established by the University of Canterbury in 1979 to provide support for New Zealand writers and foster New Zealand writing. The Residency allows authors of proven merit in all areas of literary and creative activity an opportunity to work on an approved project within an academic environment at the University of Canterbury.
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