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International Architect Designed Community Centre

Media Release
For Immediate release
Monday, November 05, 2001

International Architect Designed Community Centre – Now To Be Demolished

"The threat of demolision hanging over Cashmere Community Centre establishes that New Zealand still under values architecture even if it is internationally significant," says Simon McLellan, President of the Architectural Centre. "This shows New Zealand has a long way to go in acknowledging the real worth of the cultural and architectural capital of this country.” Plischke was a significant influence through his work for the Housing Department during World War II under the first Labour government, when investment was made into the social and cultural capital of this country.

International architect Ernst Plischke who worked in Vienna, New York and Austria as well as New Zealand designed the threatened Cashmere Community Centre. In an article in 1970, New Zealand architect, Geoffrey Nees stated that Plischke "gave twenty-four years of his best years to the improvement of the human environment of a reluctant New Zealand." In 1939, when Plischke fled to New Zealand to escape the Nazis, he was already well known as one of the young leaders of European architecture. Nees continued in the article to note "Plischke was in the main responsible for our [New Zealand's] architectural lurch into the twentieth century, a fact which we have seldom had the humility to acknowledge."

Plischke's architectural work included planning for town centers, community and shopping centers and high rise flats. His international standing was recognised when he left New Zealand in 1963 to take up an appointment as Professor at the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna.

Simon McLellan
025 408 936

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