Open Access Te Herenga Waka-Victoria University of Wellington
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Cemented in Time: Concrete Bungalows designed by Cambridge Architect James Thomas Douce 1914-1928

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posted on 2021-11-14, 06:52 authored by Gainsford, Jennifer M.

This study examines the significant architectural commissions of James Thomas Douce in Cambridge and the surrounding districts between1914 and 1928. The major component of the thesis will encompass a historical and an architectural discussion of 15 of his major works that were constructed in concrete. Added to this discourse there will be a conversation around their relationship with the town of Cambridge, the urban environment, contemporises who constructed the vernacular in concrete, the importance of these buildings in their setting. The focal point of the study will highlight Douce’s prowess and contribution as an architect. During the early part of the twentieth century he was at the height of his career when he received commissions from prominent Cambridge identities. An onsite investigation will underscore the exceptional qualities and design of each structure. Attention to the architectural merits, historical context and heritage values of each bungalow will be analysed. The examination of primary and secondary sources will focus on; historical records, the construction and the design elements, how his bungalows contributed to the architectural landscape and what impact Douce’s bungalows had on the Cambridge streetscape during the early1900s. Douce was Cambridge’s most successful architect from 1910 to his retirement in 1945. An honours paper undertaken at Auckland University (2003) established that many vernacular and commercial buildings in the Cambridge District can be attributed to him. This thesis encompasses a time frame that reflects his principal commissions and their relationship in the urban setting of Cambridge.


Copyright Date


Date of Award



Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

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Author Retains Copyright

Degree Discipline

Architectural History

Degree Grantor

Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

Degree Level


Degree Name

Master of Architecture

ANZSRC Type Of Activity code

970112 Expanding Knowledge in Built Environment and Design

Victoria University of Wellington Item Type

Awarded Research Masters Thesis



Victoria University of Wellington School

School of Architecture


Gjerde, Morten