Dawson & King

1929 - 1950

The longstanding practice of Dawson and King, later King and Dawson, have been a recognized name in the New Zealand construction industry for over a century. The practice was formed by Joseph McClatchie Dawson.

Joseph McClatchie Dawson (c.1876 – 1956) was born in the Wairarapa, and was the son of a building contractor. In 1900 he left New Zealand and travelled to South Africa, England and Australia, returning in 1906 to establish his own architectural practice in Wellington.  His buildings include the T. G. McCarthy Building, Willis Street (1913); Hatricks Motor Garage (now Manthel Motors), corner Taranaki and Wakefield Streets (1913); and the Hope Gibbons Building, Dixon Street (1925). Dawson was an inaugural member of the New Zealand Institute of Architects, formed in 1905, and became a Fellow of the Institute in 1913. He was its president from 1938-1940.

Dawson appointed long-term employee, Jack Ian King (1900-1972), as a partner to form Dawson and King in 1929. Jack King was born in South Africa but came to New Zealand as a child and studied at the Wellington Technical College and at University College, London. He was apprenticed to Joseph Dawson from 1917 – 1922 and later became a senior assistant. After a visit to London from 1927 – 1929 Jack King re-joined the firm as a junior partner. King was president of the NZIA from 1953 – 1955 and a prominent member of the Standards Council.

Joseph Dawson semi-retired in 1946, and the practice became King & Keith Cook in Association with J M Dawson. Joseph Dawson’s son, Eric, became a partner in 1948 and the practice became King, Cook and Dawson, and finally King and Dawson in the c.1950s. King and Dawson continues as one of Wellington’s oldest and most enduring architectural practices.

NZHPT Glossary
Mew, Geoff & Adrian Humphris. “Raupo to Deco: Wellington Styles and Architects 1840 – 1940” (Wellington: Steel Roberts Aotearoa, 2014) 
WCC Heritage Inventory 2001.


Last updated: 8/11/2016 9:54:23 p.m.