Loving the Libraries

The new Turanga Library in Christchurch Square won this years John Scott NZIA Award for Public Architecture. Danish public library specialist architects Scmidt, Hammer Lassen Architects designed this important addition to the Christchurch public facilities rebuild with assistance from local practice Architectus. Its recognition richly deserved and in terms of public interaction it has over a million visitors in its first year of operation. Malcolm... Read More

The Pertinence of Park Mews

I was sitting in my office one day minding my own business when the phone rang. The caller introduced himself as comedian Billy Connolly’s New Zealand agent. “Billy wants to meet you,” he said. Apparently on the way in from the airport, he’d passed Park Mews in Hataitai and stated: “The architect clearly possesses a sense of humour.” Read More  Read More

Enduring Again

In addition to the Flint House, Roger Walker’s 1969 Stroud House also won an Enduring Architecture Award recently, this time in the NZIA Wellington Region Local Architecture Awards.   Judges commented; “This house has worn extremely well. It remains a wonderful insight into a more gentle and optimistic time. The tiny but nurturing scale is extraordinary and the ordinary materials are reassuring. The complex spaces and labyrinthine... Read More


A few years ago I attended an architectural conference in Melbourne. Students from the University of Melbourne School of Architecture conducted a guided tour by bus of their cities newest marvels. The Ashton Raggatt McDougall designed Shrine of Remembrance Visitor Centre, completed in 2006, was on their programme.  It is a new insertion sitting below the Shrine on the city side. Back on the bus, a refined English architect I had been sitting next... 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

Light Architecture

The most successful event in this year’s Wellington Festival of the Arts , was the ‘Powerplant’ lighting display held in the botanical gardens. This demonstrates that the primary human sense is the visual. Building on the public appeal of artificial lighting displays, a recent public lighting festival called ‘Lux Wellington Night Lights’ turned Wellington’s waterfront into  a captivating celebration of light, art, technology and design’... Read More

Weather or not

It’s been rough around the planet in recent times.  Hell hasn’t frozen over, but recently the Niagara Falls did. England has been subject to flooding of almost biblical proportions. Parts of Christchurch have been hit by tornados and the Australian states of Victoria and New South Wales regularly catch fire. Car production was recently halted in northern Japan because of snow drifts.  It’s ironic isn’t it, that science blames the cars themselves... 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

Checking on the Children

I’ve been blogless for a few weeks – mostly head down working on this.  I took a breather just as Wellington’s worst southerly storm weather since Wahine day arrived.  The insurers have barely recovered from Christchurch. I’ve designed several houses around the South Coast and while I didn’t really expect architect designed and structurally engineered houses to have suffered too much, I felt a need to go and ‘check... Read More

Park Mews – Wellington Modern

  Roger Walker’s Park Mews has been featured in Designer Hamish Thompson’s recent work “Wellington Modern”. The series includes an A1 poster and individual gift cards of Wellington’s most iconic modern architecture.     Support the local and celebrate NZ Architecture by clicking to buy a copy of the poster for yourself. Or look out for the fantastic cards in Unity Bookstore and other locations around town!        Read More