Plischke furniture finds a new home at Marlborough Museum

January 29, 2016 by Keren Cook
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The Yard Bar in Marlborough holds special and surprising historical significance and, is a popular spot for locals who to enjoy an after-work pint.

The house designed by Plischke

The house designed by Plischke

The original building, designed in the 1950’s, located on Maxwell Road, was designed by famous 20th Century Austrian architect Ernst Plischke, and includes the furniture, which he designed to go with the house. The house has found a new home at the Marlborough Museum.

In particular, the furniture is a real point of interest. Marlborough Museum chief executive Steve Austin says there is more to the furniture than people think.

“There’s quite a rich back story. Plischke was really one of the leading international architects of his day, and we’re so lucky he came to New Zealand,” says Austin.

Born in 1903, Austrian Plischke, immigrated to New Zealand with his Jewish wife and their son in 1939 to escape World War II and the Nazis.

He designed many homes, furniture and landmarks while in New Zealand, including Massey House in Wellington – the city’s first modern high-rise.

Austin says: “He designed the Tasman Memorial in Golden Bay. Then in 1948, the New Zealand Government gave Princess Elizabeth, as she was known then, a writing desk which was designed by Plischke.” He says he found out about the furniture by chance.

Ernst Plischke

Ernst Plischke

“Dr Peter Jenkins, who owned the house, died recently, and he bequeathed an amazing collection of history books to the museum. When I went to meet the family about that, we started talking about other things and I realised that the Plischke furniture was something very unique. It turned out that one of the leading architects of the 20th Century just happened to design the house and furniture.”

Dr Jenkins had lived in the house with his wife Pauline and their 3 children.

The Yard Bar was built around the shell of the house designed by the architect in the early 1950’s, and Steve says its “incredible” that Plischke designed something for “little old Blenheim”.

“It’s quite cool because people know the Yard Bar, but they might not know the story behind it.

“We felt that the furniture needed to stay in Marlborough, it’s part of the story here,” he says.


One Response to “Plischke furniture finds a new home at Marlborough Museum”
  1. Unbelievable says:

    What the …. is this article about?
    Who, what or where is Marlborough?

    You have to read halfway down (if anyone bothers to do that) to realise what Marlborough is in NZ!!

    And so what?

    And what does this have to do with Jews?

    Who writes and edits this blog?? And why?

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