English French German Spanish Italian Dutch Russian Portuguese Japanese Korean Arabic Chinese Simplified       

Monday, July 25, 2011

Sheep And Dog Buildings, Tirau, New Zealand

The Sheep Building, Tirau, New Zealand
Tirau is a small town [population 732, 2006 census] in the Waikato region of New Zealand's North Island and lies around 30 miles or so south of Hamilton. Traditionally a farming community the town has started to generate income as a tourist destination. The town was in decline during the late 20th century and was on its last legs by the late 1980's. A revival of sorts was initiated in 1991 by Henry Clothier, a local businessman. Tirau's location is significant in that it lies ...


40 Main Road, Tirau, Waikato, New Zealand [Approximate]

37°58'37.02"S 175°45'22.43"E

... just north of the intersection of two of the major routes in the New Zealand State Highway Network [SH1 and SH5]. Clothier believed he could leverage high traffic volume in Tirau along with cheap real estate and he opened an antique shop in a former grocery store building. Over the following years other businesses followed Clothier's example and in time Tirau began to build something of a reputation for antiques and became a "destination".

Another trend that started in the town and continues to this day is the use of old, discarded, corrugated iron to create "works of art". Perhaps the most significant of these are the "Sheep" and "Dog" buildings on Main Road, Tirau. Housing a wool and craft store the "Sheep" building would be considered a great example of mimetic architecture. The "Dog" building houses the town's Information Center. We have found conflicting information on the dates of construction though the most common dates reported seem to be 1994 for the "Sheep" and 1998 for the "Dog" which was built to compliment the "Sheep".

Tirau maintains an information website which can be accessed here.

The Sheep Building, Tirau, New ZealandClick For Image Source

The Dog Building, Tirau, New ZealandClick For Image Source

Sheep and Dog Buildings, Tirau, New ZealandClick For Image Source


  1. I wish we had a dog building here in Little Rock, Arkansas! I would go there to do my grocery shopping, Mr. Walton, who owns WAL-MART!

  2. What a fantastic innovation ~ so creative! Absolutely love them :)

  3. ``totally adore these all these creative ventures"!!!

  4. Great to see! My late father-in-law Fred Luckman painted the 360degree mural inside the information centre