Athfield Architects

Ian Athfield was one of New Zealand’s top architects, with over 60 national and international architecture and design awards. Just a few of his iconic buildings are: the Buck house at Te Mata in Hawke’s Bay, the Athfield house in Khandallah tumbling down the hill like a Greek village, and the Wellington City Library. Ian Athfield played a major part in the design of many of the buildings designed by his firm but it now has a national presence and other architects have taken lead roles. The influences which led to Athfield's distinctive architecture are diverse. He admired the contrasting work of Antoni Gaudi, Mies van der Rohe and Frank Gehry and started his architectural life in Christchurch where a post-war style had been developed by Miles Warren and others. Another strong influence was Dutch architect Aldo van Eyck who emphasised community values, admiring vernacular architecture, cluster and a sense of neighbourhood; ideas Athfield continued to preach. He died in January 2015. Athfield Architects lives on because Ian believed in succession planning and passed responsibility over to his partners. This raw and illuminating 1977 documentary film will help any interested viewer understand the young Athfield virtually firsthand.