City's Edge Forestry - Information and Records Management - University of Canterbury - New Zealand


1968 - 1970, Hall & Mackenzie, $402,000


The School of Forestry was the first building to be completed under the University Grants Committee's "cash constraint" scheme, by which the University was offered a sum of money to plan, build, equip and furnish the building, with maximum freedom within that constraint to go ahead.

Forestry plans

Architectural Plans - School of Forestry - 1969

The scheme proved extremely satisfactory and the building was opened only 29 months after the brief was handed to the architects, Messrs Hall and Mackenzie. The School, of 22,000 square feet gross, is a simple, functional building with a distinctive character. It has identity as a school of Forestry and features the use of wood yet maintains a relationship with the surrounding buildings.

Extract from March 1970 Chronicle (PDF, 1.11MB)


Chronicle - Nov 1967 page 1 Chronicle - Nov 1967

"It was proposed that the South Island Forest Research Institute should share the site with the School of Forestry. The two organisations are separate but have a community of interests and together would form a "Forestry Complex".

The Work of Hall and Mackenzie 1965 - 1985

Landscaping of the Forestry Complex was suggested to reinforce the Forestry identity within the overall University landscape.

Forestry building -completedChronicle March 1970
Completed School of Forestry buildings - 1969


Founded in 1921, Canterbury's School of Forestry was closed in 1934 when the Government of the day cut off its grant during the economic depression and warned the University that if the School continued to operate, the University's grant would be reduced by the cost of the School's operations.

The re-establishment of Forestry at Ilam was commemorated with the opening of the new School at Ilam in February 1970 by the Minister of Forests, Mr Duncan MacIntyre. He expressed the hope that it might become the envy of the world. In that year 22 students began the first of two professional years of the four-year course leading to the degree of Bachelor of Forestry Science. The School would accommodate 70 students.

Chronicle - March 1970 page 1

In his address, Mr MacIntrye said consideration had been given as early as 1885 to the establishment of a forestry school in the colony because of the need to perpetuate Kauri forests, which at that time dominated thinking about forestry. But 40 years later the growing afforestation on the pumice country of the North Island and the development of Hanmer, Tapanui and Naseby forests and the Selwyn Plantation Board's activities in the South attracted attention and two claimants for the School appeared - Auckland and Canterbury University Colleges. The position was resolved by forming two schools - an unfortunate decision which resulted in sufficient finance for neither and which meant that neither survived the depression that followed soon afterwards.

Extract from March 1970 Chronicle (pdf, 1.11MB)