In this 1986 Kaleidoscope piece, presenter Mark Wigley offers his take on grand designs in Auckland housing. Fresh from completing a doctorate at Auckland University in architectural theory, Wigley argues that New Zealand has "had a building tradition rather than an architectural tradition". He finds that contemporary houses (from a David Mitchell-designed house in Parnell, to a Paritai Drive mansion) are starting to explore potential beyond simple boxes, toward being works of art. Wigley went on to become Dean of Architecture at Columbia University in the United States.
It's just a simple box with a pitched roof. We've been building variations on that theme for 150 years. But that is just building, and this is something more. This is architecture.– Mark Wigley compares a standard Kiwi house with an award-winning house designed by David Mitchell