Updated post Thu, 23 Jan 2014 at 5:28 p.m.
Public Memorial Service (1 February) details below.
█ Sir Ian Charles Athfield KNZM (15 July 1940 – 16 January 2015) was a New Zealand architect. He was born in Christchurch and graduated from the University of Auckland in 1963 with a Diploma of Architecture. That same year he joined Structon Group Architects, and he became a partner in 1965. In 1968 he was a principal partner in setting up Athfield Architects with Ian Dickson and Graeme John Boucher (Manson). Link to profile
Sir Ian had recently been made a knight companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit for his services to architecture. Photo: NZ Herald
Athfield made a knight (2014) | Wellingtonian Interview Q&A (2009)
Review of Athfield’s biography (2012)
Website: Athfield Architects | Google Images: Ian Athfield
### stuff.co.nz Last updated 17:51, January 16 2015
The Dominion Post
Renowned architect Sir Ian Athfield dies, aged 74
By Simon Bradwell and Tom Hunt
Renowned Wellington-based architect Sir Ian Athfield has died. He was 74.
Athfield Architects associate Rachel Griffiths said Sir Ian died in Wellington Hospital early this morning surrounded by family. His death was the result of “unexpected complications” during a procedure to treat his colon cancer.
“Ath had been dealing with cancer for some time with his usual stoicism and inappropriate humour,” Griffiths said. “There is … no-one else like Ath and we are devastated by his passing.” The Athfield family had asked for time to deal with their grief, she said. No date had been set for the funeral or memorial service at this stage.
A statement released this morning by the New Zealand Institute of Architects announced his death. “It is with great sadness that we inform Members that Sir Ian Athfield, one of New Zealand’s finest architects, has passed away in Wellington,” it said. “Our deepest condolences go out to Ath’s family, friends and colleagues. There are few details to share at this stage, but we will notify members of any funeral or memorial service arrangements as soon as they arise.”
Athfield, who was knighted in the most recent New Year Honours for his work in architecture, won more than 60 awards for his work. In a professional career spanning half a century, his stamp was imprinted across Wellington, and with Roger Walker, he was probably New Zealand’s leading exponent of modernist architecture. His most well-known works included the City Library and its nikau palm columns, built as part of the Civic Square redevelopment in the 1980s, and his own sprawling Khandallah house. He also designed Jade Stadium in Christchurch, which was damaged in the February 2011 earthquake.
Walker said he was “still in shock” on getting the news of Athfield’s death.
● 3 News: Kiwi architect Sir Ian Athfield dies [+ newsclip]
● New Zealand Herald: His designs offended and inspired: Architect Sir Ian Athfield dies [+ tweets with photos]
● ONE News: ‘Heavy hearts’ as renowned architect Sir Ian Athfield mourned
● Yahoo.com: ‘Rebellious’ architect Ian Athfield dies
● Wellington.scoop: Death of architect Ian Athfield
● NBR: Sir Ian Athfield, one of NZ’s most influential architects, has died
ODT 20.1.15 (page 21)
Death Notice – The Dominion Post [online]
█ Public Figure: Ian Athfield https://www.facebook.com/Ian-Athfield
Sir Ian Athfield – Public Memorial Service
The New Zealand Institute of Architects (NZIA) have organised a public memorial service to celebrate the life and work of Sir Ian Athfield, to be held at 3pm, Sunday 1 February, in Civic Square, Wellington.
Details of the service are yet to be finalised, but it is envisaged that it will include eulogies from people who knew Ath well. The service will very much be a memorial to Ath the Architect, and many Members will wish to attend. https://www.nzia.co.nz/
archivesnz Published on May 5, 2013
Architect Athfield (1979)
New Zealand National Film Unit presents Architect Athfield (1979)
‘Architect Athfield’ examines the frustrations and achievements of one of New Zealand’s most lively and innovative architects. In 1975 Ian Athfield won an international competition directed towards providing housing for 140,000 squatters from the Tondo area in Manila. Ironically, Athfield had jumped to international prominence before any wide-ranging acceptance in his own country. This film examines Athfield’s practical philosophy of architecture, and culminates in his trip to the Philippines, where he hopes to make his prize-winning design a reality.
Ian Athfield – Central Library architect
wclchannel Uploaded on Nov 30, 2011
[YouTube] Julia Gatley’s interview with Sir Miles Warren and Ian Athfield on the 23rd of June 2012 at City Gallery Wellington.
Ian Athfield Interview 23 June 2012 Part 1 of 4 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4
Ian Athfield at the 2009 Gold Awards
Phil O’Brien Published on Apr 14, 2013
Related Posts and Comments:
24.4.13 Ian Athfield at Dunedin | Open Lecture Friday 26 April
3.3.13 RNZ Sunday Morning | Ideas: Re-imagining the Urban House
9.11.12 New Zealand Urban Design Awards
25.6.12 New Zealand Architects: Pete Bossley, and Ian and Clare Athfield
7.12.11 Ian Athfield on post-earthquake Christchurch #eqnz
19.9.11 NZIA members on Christchurch City Plan
13.7.08 Some thoughts
Samples from What if? Comments
### rnz.co.nz Sunday 11 August 2013
Arts on Sunday
1:43 New Arts Icon Ian Athfield
Ian Athfield on his new honour and he talks about this weekend’s forum on how architects and designers can help out following natural disasters.
Audio Ogg MP3 (6′59″)
### ODT Online Sat, 27 Apr 2013
‘Look at heritage differently,’ Athfield says
By John Gibb
Leading New Zealand architect Ian Athfield yesterday praised Dunedin’s wealth of heritage buildings but urged a rethink of aspects of the city’s one-way-street system. Mr Athfield, of Wellington, was in the city yesterday to give the annual New Zealand Historic Places Trust R.A. Lawson Lecture, as part of the Dunedin Heritage Festival. Addressing about 200 people at the University of Otago’s St David lecture theatre, he said “we have to look at heritage differently”. One-way street systems, in Dunedin and elsewhere, could sometimes separate important heritage buildings from their communities, and could make it difficult for people to approach such buildings on foot because of traffic volumes. Mr Athfield […] urged people to take a more flexible and holistic approach to heritage, treasuring the wider context of historic buildings, including their landscape settings, rather than seeing them only in isolation.
Photo: City Gallery Wellington
Aalto Books profiles Portrait of a House by Simon Devitt
Published by Balasoglou Books May 2013
Only 1,000 copies printed with 100 special edition copies that include one of five photographic prints. At 140 pages, a true collector’s item for those interested in New Zealand history, architecture, design and photography.
Portrait of a House is a photo book by photographer Simon Devitt in collaboration with graphic designer Arch MacDonnell (Inhouse Design). This is Devitt’s first foray in the photo book genre. His book explores the Athfield House – the ‘village on the hill’ – an architectural experiment that Ian Athfield started in 1965 on the Khandallah hillside in Wellington, and which he is still altering and extending today.
The house is renowned in bohemian and academic circles for its many colourful dinner parties and occasions, and is infamous with neighbours past and present for the antics of its free-range livestock and frequent run-ins with Council. Roosters have been shot, construction shut down and architectural pilgrimages made.
This is an extraordinary story told through Devitt’s sensitive eye, blended with historic photographs, paintings and drawings from the Athfield archive. Clare Athfield’s contribution of her own recipes (dating from the 1960s until now) complements a selection of personal letters by family, friends, colleagues and clients which are insightful and often very funny – memories that make Simon’s photographs all the more potent in their beauty and silence.
The idea for the book came from Devitt’s admiration of Robin Morrison’s work and in particular Morrison’s 1978 photo book Images of a House about a William Gummer-designed house built in 1916. “A house is a pretty refined subject to make a book about,” explains Devitt. “It is not market driven, it is content driven and born out of passion. Life has happened there like in no other house, and the ‘living’ leaves its evidence, time has played out on its surface. There is a lot to be said about sitting still and how that looks. The Athfield house is a wonderful example of this. An accessible counterpoint to a largely asset based living that pervades New Zealand.”
### radionz.co.nz 3 March 2013
Radio New Zealand National
Sunday Morning with Chris Laidlaw
Listen on 101 FM or online at radionz.co.nz
10:06 Ideas: Re-imagining the Urban House
Arguments for intensifying the density of housing tend to fall into two categories: Affordability and putting a halt to urban sprawl.
Ideas talks to two architects who advocate higher density housing not just for those reasons but because they believe, if done right, it will result in more liveable houses and communities.
Robert Dalziel, the co-author of A House in the City: Home Truths in Urban Architecture, has travelled the world looking at traditional models of high density housing and come to some interesting conclusions; and Ian Athfield, one of New Zealand’s most celebrated architects, talks about the lessons he’s learnt from building his own house which now combines living quarters for 25 people with office space for another 40.
Audio Ogg Vorbis MP3 (49′59″)
“Get rid of those traffic engineers, which is another bloody thing, y’know, they’re singularly minded, quite stupid, y’know, they don’t think of anything else other than how long it takes to move a car from one space to another – that can’t happen in our cities in future.”
“The word “urban design” is now an abused profession – just like planning was in the sixties, y’know, and I said in the sixties if we knew as much about planning as we thought we knew about apartheid, we’d be demonstrating against planning, before we demonstrated against apartheid, because it is really really important. We had zoning at the time, absolutely ridiculous…”
Athfield House, Wellington. Photo: Grant Sheehan
### stuff.co.nz Last updated 07:46 23/03/2011
Architect Athfield not softening
Source: The Press
Architect Ian Athfield is refusing to back down from his ultimatum about Christchurch’s development. Today he defended his comments, saying it was “absolutely the best time ever” to have the debate about how the city would look in the future. He was backed by former Christchurch Mayor Garry Moore who said the city now had a “clean slate” that presented opportunities like never before. NZPA
Read more + Comments
### radionz.co.nz Monday, 07 March 2011 at 8:22
Morning Report with Geoff Robinson & Simon Mercep
Architectural ambassador joins rebuild debate
The rebuilding of Christchurch is clearly an emotive issue. Wellington architect Ian Athfield and Christchurch planning and resource management consultant Dean Crystal join us to discuss the rebuild debate.
Audio Ogg Vorbis MP3 (6′22″)
Posted by Elizabeth Kerr