European settlement in mid-nineteenth century gave birth to a new residential architectural style, which is similar in some aspects to that of other former French colonies. Despite their strong symbolic identity, the colonial houses tend to disappear under housing pressure and weather.
The City Museum, the Céllières houses, and the Château Hagen- i.e. Hagen Castle in Noumea, as the Château Grimigni- i.e. Grimigni Castle in Pouembout, are among the specimens accessible to visitors and are the most emblematic rectangular buildings, with walls and foundations of stone, lime or wood. They have a tin roof and the veranda that sometimes go all around the four walls. The most valuable houses are decorated with elaborate railings, faux pinnacles on the roof and latticework, blinds or canopies.