George Penlington

George Penlington (CEB Architect for Shirley Primary & Richmond Schools)

“Obituary: There died yesterday Mr George Penlington, who was for many years architect to the Canterbury Education Board. He was 30 years an employee of the board and retired last year.
Mr Penlington received his early training with the Public Works Department and joined the Education Board as a draughtsman. He soon gained warm appreciation of his good taste and artistic qualities which were clearly shown in his later work, some of the best of which includes the Phillipstown, Shirley and Richmond Schools.
Mr Penlington was also noted for his wide knowledge of botany, a science to which he was closely addicted as a hobby. He was a very likeable man and enjoyed a wide circle of friends, particularly among professional men and in the building trade.”

“The day takes on extra significance in Christchurch, which has a strong identification with its educational institutions, and is still recovering from the loss of much of its heritage after recent earthquakes.
New Zealand Historic Places (NZHPT) Southern Region General Manger Rob Hall says it’s more important than ever to celebrate the city’s remaining heritage.
“Despite recent events in Christchurch and the loss of so many of our heritage buildings a good number of the city’s original educational buildings have survived.
Heritage consultant and chair of ICOMOS New Zealand Jenny May agrees.
“We do tend to forget about our educational buildings. But it is so unusual to have such a concentration of our colonial beginnings in one small area and they tell us so much about our social history,” she says.
Some of the city’s foremost and celebrated colonial architects designed these institutional buildings: William Armson, Thomas Cane, Collins and Harman, Benjamin Mountfort, George Penlington, Samuel Hurst Seagar and Cecil Wood.”

“Building Yesterday’s Schools: An Analysis of Educational Architectural Design as practised by the Building Department of the Canterbury Education Board from 1916-1989, By Murray Noel Williams.
“One development, unique to Canterbury, was that for a short period, from 1924-29, a local pressure group, the Open Air Schools’ League became so powerful that it virtually dictated the CEB’s design policy until the Board architects George Penlington and John Alexander Bigg reassumed control by inflecting the open-air model into the much acclaimed veranda block.”
Building Yesterday’s Schools Volume 2: Illustrations (WilliamsIllustrationsfinal-1.pdf)
– Page 1: Photo of George Penlington: NCEB and CEB architect, 1900-1931
– Pg 12: Addington,
– Pg 13: Somerfield,
– Pg 14: Waimairi,
– Pg 15: Phillipstown,
– Pg 16-17: West Christchurch District High School (The southern corridor shows the ventilation system used by Penlington.)
– Pg 18: Richmond School (completed in 1925, the third and last of Penlington’s two storey schools in notable for its plainer facade, especially in respect of the gable over the formal entrance.)
– Pg 20: Papanui Primary,
– Pg 21: Killinchy,
– Pg 22: Christchurch Teachers’ College,
– Pg 27: Sumner (‘Fresh-Air’ School),
– Pg 28: Fendalton,
– Pg 29: Temuka District High,
– Pg 30: Linwood Avenue,
– Pg 31: Addington,
– Pg 32-33: Willowby,
– Pg 35: Sydenham,
– Pg 108: Harihari.”

“Former West Christchurch School/Hagley Community College, 510 Hagley Avenue, Christchurch
Designed by architect George Penlington who was an old boy of the school…The Hagley Community College main building has high architectural and aesthetic significance for its inter-war neo-Georgian styling and association with George Penlington, Canterbury Education Board architect (1900-31)…Penlington’s design may nod to the collegiate gothic with is central fleche and gables but use of this style is more evident in his former Teacher’s College building in Peterborough Street (1924-30, aka Peterborough Centre) was executed in the Collegiate Gothic educational buildings.
The façade of Hagley Community College’s main building has a symmetrical ‘centre and ends’ composition, whereby projecting entrance and terminal bays emphasise the formal symmetry of the gabled building. Ionic columns frame the entrance beneath a decorative pediment inset with a clock. A flagpole mounted on a fleche, directly behind the central pediment, further enhances the symmetry of the principal elevation. The decorative brickwork of the façade and the building’s fenestration and ventilation system, the latter based upon modern ‘open-air classroom’ principles, are also notable features of Penlington’s design.” of Significance/Central City/HID 231.pdf

“Hagley Community College Main Building, 510 Hagley Avenue, Christchurch. The main building at Hagley Community College (formerly West Christchurch School) suggests the architecture of English private schools. Its style is neo-Georgian, with a Queen Anne inflection: sedate and symmetrical, built of brick with masonry quoins at the edges, a pediment and flagpole in the middle, and lonic columns framing the main entrance. When new, West Christchurch School was a breath of fresh air, a modern learning environment of its time. George Penlington (1865-1932), chief architect of the Canterbury Education Board, designed the building to meet New Zealand’s first school building code, which addressed post-First World War concerns about national health and hygiene by mandating standards for natural light and ventilation.”

Archives New Zealand, Architectural plans of the former Teachers’ Training College Building
Completed in 1930, the building was designed in Gothic Revival style by George Penlington, the Canterbury Education Board Architect. The training college was a department of the Christchurch Normal School in Kilmore Street, where trainee teachers could observe their peers in a ‘normal’ school environment. The trainee teachers were based in the Normal School until the Teachers’ College was built for them.
In 1978, the Teacher’s Training College moved to new facilities at Ilam. In 1981, the building was registered by the New Zealand Historic Places Trust as a Category II historic place. The building was then occupied by various tenants until it was converted into apartments in 1999. The building sustained serious damage in the 2010-11 Christchurch earthquakes, and has since been sold to developers.

Hornby School and War Memorial, 190 Waterloo Road
The war memorial which was also a water tower was designed by George Penlington and commemorates those lost to the Boer War., Page 30