Government Buildings, Suva

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Government Buildings
Gouvernment Building Suva MatthiasSuessen-8442.jpg
Victoria Parade facade of the Government Buildings.
General information
Type Government offices
Architectural style Inter-War Stripped Classical
Address Victoria Parade
Town or city Suva
Country Fiji
Coordinates 18°08′45″S 178°25′28″E / 18.145858°S 178.424413°E / -18.145858; 178.424413Coordinates: 18°08′45″S 178°25′28″E / 18.145858°S 178.424413°E / -18.145858; 178.424413
Construction started 1937
Completed 1939
Client Colony of Fiji
Owner Government of Fiji (current)
Design and construction
Architect W. F. Hedges
OBE FRIBA

The Government Buildings in Suva are the offices of the executive wing of Government of Fiji. Built in the late 1930s as the seat of the colonial administration, the Art Deco buildings today house the Prime Minister of Fiji's offices, the High Court, and several government ministries. It is also the seat of the Parliament of Fiji since 2014, having previously been the seat of Fiji's parliament from independence in 1970 until the 1987 coups.

History[edit]

With the foundation stone laid in 1937, the Government Buildings were designed by the Chief Colonial Architect, Walter Frederick Hedges, who had served from 1928 to 1931 as chief architect in the Federated Malay States, where he designed the Kuala Lumpur Hospital and Istana Iskandariah, the palace of the Sultan of Perak.[1] Hedges had previously served as Chief Architect in the Public Works Department in the Gold Coast Colony, where he designed the Prince of Wales College, Achimota, and was made an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE).[2][3][4][5][6][7]

The Government Buildings were formally opened in May 1939 by Governor Sir Harry Luke.[8] From the time of its opening, the buildings were the seat of the colonial administration and the Legislative Council of Fiji. With independence in 1970, the Legislative Council became the Parliament of Fiji and remained its seat until the 1987 coups. Parliament then moved to temporary premises until the opening of a new Parliament complex in 1992. Parliament was suspended following the 2006 coup d'état and when it returned following the 2014 general election, Parliament returned to its historic seat within the Government Buildings.[9]

In 2013, Chief Justice Anthony Gates commissioned various renovations for the Courts section of the Government Buildings, which includes restoration of the clock tower on Gladstone Road. The clock was built and assembled by the Cumbria Clock Company in 1939.[10][11][12]

Location[edit]

The building is located across the street from Albert Park, bounded by Southern Cross Road, Gladestone Road, Thurston Street and Victoria Parade.

There are two statues located in the front of the building:

The buildings should not be confused with Government House to the south on the same street (Victoria Parade).

Gallery[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Ian Lochhead; Paul Walker (13 October 2016). "10. New Zealand and the Pacific". In Bremner, G. A. Architecture and Urbanism in the British Empire. Oxford University Press. pp. 382–383. Retrieved 24 January 2018.
  2. ^ "MR. W.F. HEDGES WEDS". The Straits Times. 11 March 1934. p. 12. Retrieved 24 January 2018.
  3. ^ "No. 33280". The London Gazette (1st supplement). 31 May 1927. p. 3617.
  4. ^ "MALAYA'S NEW ARCHITECT". The Straits Times. 22 August 1928. p. 8. Retrieved 24 January 2018.
  5. ^ "F.M.S. CHIEF ARCHITECT". The Singapore Free Press and Mercantile Advertiser. 22 October 1931. p. 3. Retrieved 24 January 2018.
  6. ^ "MR. W. F. HEDGES". The Singapore Free Press and Mercantile Advertiser. 13 October 1931. p. 14. Retrieved 24 January 2018.
  7. ^ "F.M.S. CHIEF ARCHITECT". The Straits Times. 14 October 1931. p. 17. Retrieved 24 January 2018.
  8. ^ "AUSTRALIAN EXHIBIT AT NEW YORK WORLD'S FAIR — SOVIET'S AIR INFANTRYMEN — NEW BUILDINGS IN SUVA". The Sydney Morning Herald (31, 635). New South Wales, Australia. 23 May 1939. p. 14. Retrieved 24 January 2018 – via National Library of Australia.
  9. ^ "Our Story > History of the Parliament of the Republic of Fiji". Parliament of the Republic of Fiji. Retrieved 24 January 2018.
  10. ^ "COURT REPAIRS TO IMPROVE SERVICES" (Press Release). The Fijian Government. 7 May 2013. Retrieved 24 January 2018.
  11. ^ Vuibau, Tevita (13 November 2014). "Government Buildings clock stops ticking". The Fiji Times. Retrieved 24 January 2018.
  12. ^ Smith, Geoffrey (6 July 2014). "Suva Government buildings clock undergoing refurbishment". FijiTV. Retrieved 24 January 2018.