An architectural icon

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Sir Ian Athfield was one of New Zealand's leading exponents of modernist architecture.

Sir Ian Athfield was one of New Zealand’s leading exponents of modernist architecture. Image: Supplied

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Te Hononga Civic Centre in Christchurch, designed by Athfield Architects.

Te Hononga Civic Centre in Christchurch, designed by Athfield Architects. Image: Supplied

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Civic boulevard by Athfield Architects.

Civic boulevard by Athfield Architects. Image: Supplied

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Athfield's home and workplace, Amritsar.

Athfield’s home and workplace, Amritsar. Image: Supplied

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Taranaki wharf, designed by Athfield Architects.

Taranaki wharf, designed by Athfield Architects. Image: Supplied

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The Hodge Sports Centre, Wellington.

The Hodge Sports Centre, Wellington. Image: Simon Devitt

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Athfield Architects' Clyde Quay Wharf, Wellington.

Athfield Architects’ Clyde Quay Wharf, Wellington. Image: Jason Mann

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The College of Creative Arts at Massey University’s Mt Cook, Wellington Campus.

The College of Creative Arts at Massey University’s Mt Cook, Wellington Campus. Image: Jeff Brass

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Victoria University of Wellington Campus Hub and Library.

Victoria University of Wellington Campus Hub and Library. Image: Paul McCredie

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Sir Ian Athfield, the renowned Wellington architect, passed away on 16 January 2015. The 74-year-old founder of Athfield Architects Limited, best known for his asymetrical, unconventional residential designs and for his great civic structures, will be remembered as not only one of New Zealand’s architectural greats but also one of the industry’s best-loved personalities.  

Sir Ian was knighted in 2014 and won more than 60 awards throughout his career and from 2006 – 2008 he was president of the NZIA. Under his directorship, Athfield Architects has won more than 100 design awards and has been the subject of an exhibition and a number of books.

In 2004, Sir Ian was the recipient of the New Zealand Institute of Architects’ highest honour, the Gold Medal. Tony van Raat interviewed Sir Ian for Architecture New Zealand, where they spoke about his education, his career and its turning points, and the evolution of New Zealand architecture’s most extraordinary house. To read the full interview, click here

In the same article, Architecture New Zealand asked eight of his friends and peers to share some words about Sir Ian. To read what they had to say, click here.

More recently, in 2011, Sir Ian wrote about post-earthquake Christchurch. To read the article, click here.

Below is a list of just a handful of Athfield Architects’ recent projects:


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