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45-48 The Square - The Square Edge

The -Square -Edge

Building Details

Building name: The Square Edge
Address: 45-48 The Square
Construction date: 1923 and 1945
Architect:  R Thorrold-Jaggard
Architectural sytle: Stripped Classical/Functionalist
District Plan Category: Street Character 16
Building number: 10
Heritage NZ Category: N


The earliest part of this building was erected in 1923. This section was originally an addition to the Colonial Bank of New Zealand building, erected late last century and taken over by the borough council in 1905 after the collapse of the bank. This building was used as council offices and was demolished to make way for new offices, completed in 1945. The 1923 addition was incorporated in the rear of the new municipal offices, built by McMillan Brothers at a cost of £42,200. Square Edge was given its name and new function as an arts centre when the new civic chambers were completed in 1980. It continues in that capacity.


The style used by the architect is Stripped Classical with elements of the Inter-War Functionalist style. The Stripped Classical style is symmetrical, with vestigial CIassical elements such as columns, entablature and pediments. These are visible in the Square Edge where the vertical panels between the windows suggest columns, and the large plain surface above the window an entablature. There is a stepped pediment over the main entrance. The base of the building is in granite accentuating the Classical elements. The Square Edge conforms to the Inter-War Functionalist style in the use of simple geometric shapes with plain surfaces, large areas of glass, and semi circular projecting canopies.


Jaggard was born and educated in England. He received his articles there before emigrating to New Zealand in 1913. He settled in Palmerston North and soon met, and married Lily Daisy Collier who had been recruited in London by the local firm of Collinson and Cunningham as a dressmaker. Jaggard was initially in the employ of Oscar Jorgeson, a well known local architect, before setting up his own practice. In the ensuing years many local buildings and domestic dwellings were designed by Jaggard. Among those still standing are the Former Hepworth Building (1917), King St Flats (1925), Square Edge (1945), Ward Brothers building (1936), Family Entertainment Centre, The Square (1935) and House, 314 Church St. The firm was carried on by his son W Thorrold-Jaggard, who sold the business in 1962.

Summary of Heritage Values

The building has an historic, symbolic and political value by virtue of its association with the City Council.

The building is associated with the Councillors and staff of the City Council for the period of its occupation, and the events occurring during that time, and it is associated with an important local architect.

The building is significant in its location as an 'edge' building to the Square, acting as one of the gateways to the Square.

The building is a landmark building in its forms, scale and location at the comer of the Square.

In its new use the building has economic, functional, and social values.

Statement of Significance

Although not an old building Square Edge has had, by virtue of its position on The Square, its distinctive style and its original role as a council administrative building, a relatively prominent place in recent Palmerston North history. It has an important urban design function in the Square, being on one of the Square's corners and also as a gateway into the Square.

Building Permit Register, PNCC, Archives Series 4/13/1, granted nd
Pers Comm W Thorrold-Jaggard
Thorrold-Jaggard Papers, PNCC Archives