Architectural vision on display

Wednesday 10 October 2012, 1:42PM
By University of Auckland

An exhibition showcasing the architectural career of Ian Athfield arrives in Auckland next week. Originally shown at the City Gallery in Wellington, Athfield Architects: People and Place gives locals an opportunity to marvel at the works of one of this country’s best known architects.

The exhibition at the George Fraser Gallery, traces four decades of the firm’s dynamic history, presenting a vivid sense of Athfield’s vision. It provides unparalleled access to a range of architectural projects, from early innovative house designs to major civic and urban-scale projects.

Established in 1968, Athfield Architects presents architectural forms that respond proactively to the pressing challenges of our time: the need for sustainable design, quality housing, public spaces that reflect the community, and collaborative practice.

Athfield’s voice continues to be at the centre of architectural dialogue around the country, most recently as part of the Christchurch rebuild discussions. New Zealanders recognise and rejoice in his signature buildings with major works spread across the country.

Curated by Julia Gatley, the show sits alongside her major publication Athfield Architects, launched recently by Auckland University Press. Gatley is a Senior Lecturer at the School of Architecture and Planning at The University of Auckland. Her previous books include Long Live the Modern: New Zealand’s New Architecture, 1904-1984 (AUP, 2008) and Group Architects: Towards a New Zealand Architecture (AUP, 2010).

As part of Auckland Architecture Week, Athfield Architects will present a public lecture on Saturday 27 October discussing their work.

Public lectures:
First Floor, Old Government House, Corner of Princes Street and Waterloo Quadrant.
2pm: Julia Gatley will talk about her recent book, Athfield Architects (AUP, 2012), and the history of the firm and its work.
3pm: Athfield Architects will discuss recent and current projects.
4pm: Adjourn to the George Fraser Gallery for drinks, nibbles and the closing of the exhibition. Athfield Architects, the book, will be available for purchase, and both Ath and Julia will be on hand for signing.
For more information email

Athfield Architects: People and Place
George Fraser Gallery
25a Princes Street
Auckland Central
Opens 5.30pm Tuesday 16 October
Exhibition runs 16-27 October