Music Memorial Radio Station is a concrete building in the modern style. At the
time of its construction (by D C Street Construction Ltd., Hamilton) it was
likened to the forepart of an aero plane with two single storied wings on either
side of a tall tower. The driveway and grounds represented the jet stream of an
aircraft. The Transmitting Station at Oliver Road continued this theme. A two
– storied, streamlined bay with generous windows represented the aircraft’s
nose. The building is approached from the southern side via a formal driveway
dominated by the tower. The vertical aspect of the tower is emphasized by a tall
narrow bay of windows extending for the two of the three floors above the
centrally located entrance.
main entrance opens into a small memorial hall approximately five metres square.
Although this area serves as a central lobby, the heights and symmetry of the
hall bestows a form of dignity befitting its function as a memorial. The eastern
and western walls bear an American Eagle in plaster relief and a bronze plaque. A corridor
runs from the memorial hall along the south side of each of the wings. The
western wing was originally staff quarters. The eastern wing accommodates a work
room and emergency generator room.
main operations rooms were originally housed on both floors of the building’s
curved northern section overlooking the sea. Administrative accommodation for
superintendent and supervisor on both floors was divided from the main
operations room by a low wall; however, this space was later formalised by
internal partition walls. The flat-roofed areas of the streamlined bay and wing
sections provide a promenade.
The influences of the Modern style, with its commitment to the aesthetics of the
machine age are evident not only in the building shape but also in details such
as metal framed windows divided by metal sash bars and door catches. A circular window also occurs on the external wall each side
of the second floor operations room. Circular windows with their nautical
associations were an appropriate motif for a building from which amphibious
flying boats were guided.
The Oliver Road transmitting site was one of the two essential components to
the Musick Memorial Radio Station complex, the other being the receiving
station. One could not operate without the other. To this end, the transmitting
station was built in the same Modern décor. The transmitting station was located three
miles back along the point from the main building. It housed 18 transmitting
sets in 1946 and the largest had a power of three kilowatts, while the smallest
was 100 watts. The transmitters had a selection of 29 aerials spread over an
area of 35 acres. Miles of underground cables connected the transmitters with
the main building. The area of the transmitting site covered what is now the
Ocean Point sub-division, existing transmitting paddock and the playing fields
at Maclean’s College
transmitting station comprised a main transmitting hall (approx.17 metres by 13
metres) an engine room (approx. 4 metres by 3 metres) a technician’s workshop
(approx. 5 metres by 3 metres) Kitchen, storage room and toilet facilities.
The Music Point Memorial Building and Transmitting Building express modern life in an ‘aesthetic’, which was developed by the movement architects in Europe such as Gropius and Corbusier.
modern architects based their architectural forms on the products and methods of
industrial technology, the ship, aeroplane and car, so that buildings too could
be in context with modern life. The two buildings are very representations of
their type. They are good examples in the New Zealand context, which adds to
their importance as a regional asset.
Musick Memorial Radio Station, has
been little altered and retains its architectural integrity and memorial
function. Designed and constructed when the international industry was in its
infancy, the building is a fitting tribute to American aviator Edwin Musick and