IN SITU CONFERENCE 2015

  Just as my cellphone needs regular recharging, my creative juices need replenishing. Every two years our Institute arranges presentations for us, from an array of local and international architects. They inspire, entertain, agitate and impassion us. Between the 10th and 13th of February last, this event happened at the Viaduct Events Centre in Auckland and it was brilliant. It’s great to learn how different cultures respond to design issues... Read More

ATH 1940-2015

Ath was adopted. His birth parents were 17 years old, so maybe that it why his mind remained perpetually young and inquiring. In November last year, a few of us architects of a certain age had our regular lunch in Wellington. At 12.30 Ath said he had to leave, in order to catch a flight to Dunedin at 2.30. ‘Thats fine’, we said, ‘you’ve plenty of time.’ Ath replied that he just had to pop into the hospital on the way to the airport,... Read More

Walker in the News

Roger Walker’s Avalon Townhouses recently featured in the Hutt News as an exemplar of urban intensification.  Read More

Hero House

While the Bay of Plenty recently I got the opportunity to indulge my interest in sustainable design with a visit Te Uru Taumatua, the new Tuhoe headquarters in Taneatua. I was fortunate in that both Tamati Kruger the chair of the Tuhoe Trust, and Kirsten Luke, its CEO, were on hand. They gave me an enlightening and inspiring tour of their pride and joy. Read More  Read More

Icon Envy

A recent survey commissioned by UK Building/Architecture website InBuilding.org was recently profiled in The Architects Journal under the headline, ‘It’s true: people don’t know what architects do.’ People visiting The Guggenheim in Bilbao or the Shard in London are given a bit of a clue as to what architects do. Having recently returned from a visit to Sydney, I tripped over at least two real eye poppers. One being American Frank... Read More

Bending Beauties

Ugly low buildings to a degree can merge with their surroundings, but ugly tall ones have nowhere to hide. Some years ago, when I was staying with an architect friend in Glasgow, I was invited to a planning meeting with the developer, his consultants, and the council to discuss a high rise proposal in that city.  The Glasgow District Plan has no height limits because it wants to control the design and appearance of buildings by means other than the... Read More

In Praise of the Picturesque

Miss M and I have just returned from a trip around Northland.  It was in 2002 when I last visited the Far North. The Kerikeri Stone Store and Kemp House in Kerikeri, The Mission House in Waimate and Pompallier House in Russell, were all looking pristine, gorgeous in their settings, and were attracting hordes of tourists. The Stone Store As I was steering around the lovely Far North roads, I got to contemplating what has happened to the design of... Read More

Plan to keep breathing

The team from Walker Architecture and Design was in Christchurch last night to hear the Minister of Building and Housing announce the winning project for the Breathe Urban Village. By now you may well know through media coverage that ours was not the winning scheme (at least not in the eyes of those who made the decision!)   The news was not new to us.  After a period of intense meetings and negotiations with us and one other team, organisers... Read More

THE TEZUKA’S TALK

Another warm, humorous and imaginative Japanese architect popped up in our soup last night. Takaharu Tezuka began a talk at the University by speaking of the importance of family. ‘I dress always in blue, my wife in red, and our daughter in yellow’ he explained. He said architects should be happy in order to make other people’s lives happy. Apparently Takaharu and his wife Yui’s career began with clients who regularly climbed out their window... Read More

New Plymouth Redux

In 1975 I designed a large house perched high above New Plymouth for a local businessman. This was a challenge to a young frisky architect, and I gave it my best. My client ran a successful and innovative furniture company, based largely on wood as a material. Read More  Read More