Kia ora, my name is Cuningham House conservatory. A conservatory is another word for a greenhouse or a glasshouse for growing tropical plants. I was born in 1924 and was named after Mr Charles Cuningham, a Christchurch law clerk who bequeathed the funds to build me.
I was designed by Christchurch architectural firm Collins and Harman in a neoclassical design. You might have heard of the word ‘neoclassical’ being used to describe other heritage buildings in Christchurch such as the Robert McDougall Art Gallery, which is also in the Botanic Gardens.
A common characteristic of neoclassical buildings is its symmetrical design, which means that if you were to split me vertically down the middle, you’d end up with two sides which are a mirrored version of each other.
I also have other neoclassical design features like my portico, the porch leading to the entrance supported by paired columns. Above the portico is the balustrade; a railing supported by balusters.
People often comment on how I can transport them to another place with my heat and humidity and display of plants that usually only grow in much warmer climates.
“Flower power is my daily mantra.”
Cuningham House Conservatory
Christchurch Botanic Gardens,