Wellington Mayor Pays Tribute to Sir Ian Athfield

16 January 2015

Wellington Mayor Celia Wade-Brown has today expressed her sadness at the passing of renowned architect Sir Ian Athfield, who has died at the age of 74.

She said Sir Ian, who was knighted in the 2015 New Year Honours, made an enormous contribution to New Zealand architecture, especially in the Capital where he spent most of his life and career.

“Sir Ian has changed the face of our city, designing some of our most prominent buildings and contributing to the vitality of our city,” said Mayor Wade-Brown.

“His buildings are distinctive, innovative and eclectic. The Wellington Central Public Library, his sprawling Khandallah cliff-top home, quirky City Housing buildings, and so many others designed by Sir Ian and his colleagues at Athfield Architects, embody the Capital’s sense of creative flair.

“I love the metal nikau palms which have become a city icon.

“The 2012 book Athfield Architects, by Julia Gatley who also curated a City Gallery Wellington exhibition, beautifully captures the impact of Sir Ian’s work on our place, and I encourage people to read it for an insight into a man who captured our imaginations.

“I express my deepest sympathy to Sir Ian’s family, friends and colleagues,” said the Mayor. “He was a passionate Wellingtonian and always keen to support our city.”

Prominent designs by Sir Ian and Athfield Architects include the Central Library, Church of Christ Science on Willis St, Telecom Building on Manners Street, the Odlins NZX refurbishment, Pukehinau and Arlington Council Flats, Civic Square, the Adam Art Gallery at Victoria University, and the Chews Lane precinct.