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Architect Athfield

Film (Full Length) – 1977

David Cade
7 Jun 2009 - 04.48am
This is a fascinating documentary. So many older buildings have been unnecessarily demolished in New Zealand, destroying the country's history and so many new buildings are mere shafts of glass, concrete, and steel. It is good to see that Athfield has sought to resist this process, seeking to give older buildings new life. However, where he is commissioned to design new buildings it is good to see that he has sought to create buildings which have individuality and character and that he strives to have that individuality and character emerge, as it were, from the immediate New Zealand landscape. New Zealand is in desperate need of architects with this vision. The city-centres of Auckland, Wellington, and Christchurch have suffered badly at the hands of architects and town planners in the past 30 years. Only Dunedin, perhaps by virtue of its geographical isolation, has remained relatively unscathed, retaining a good number of exceptionally fine older buildings and allowing Dunedin a sense of history which the other larger cities now unfortunately lack and can never retrieve.
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