If you’re an architect or architectural groupie in Wellington, waking up this morning with a hangover, then you must have been at Athfield’s party last night. By all accounts, it was a “ripper of a night” and a great time was had, drunk and eaten by all. The ears and eyes of the fish reported back that the Embassy Theatre was packed, with faux movie trailer posters of the practice in various guises – as the assorted members of Sergeant Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band, as Kong, The Athfather, and many more. Good to hear those photoshop skills are coming in useful for more than just client renders! Just about every significant architect in town went along to celebrate 40 years of Athfield Architects, as well as their clients and consultants, and the evening started with a film on the celebrated and well-lubricated master architect and his oeuvre of work.
The film “Ian Athfield, Architect of Dreams” will be shown at a later stage on late night TVNZ, no doubt at a time guaranteed to be unhelpful to all. Still, it’s nice to see another film being made on a New Zealand Architect, and focusing mostly on Athfield’s extensive production of severely iconic (and at times deeply ironic) New Zealand architecture. It’s the second documentary made on Athfield and his work – he is, after all, one of the few architectural ‘names’ that the public would recognise in New Zealand, and we hope that the producers will look to expand their subject range to explore other homegrown architects as well. The main documentary was preceded by a short film, made by a dedicated Fan: it’s clear that those that know him, absolutely adore him and his architecture. The rest of Wellington’s architects must just be thankful that when Ath takes a rare break from winning all the work in town, he certainly knows how to throw a good party.
If I’m not much mistaken, the proposed 109 Featherston St precinct will be Athfield’s tallest to date, at 80m high.
Coming soon to a post near you…. there’s so much happening in this town, despite all the gloom and doom, that it’s hard to keep up. Seemed to be nicer to discuss the parties for once than to launch a broadside into them for their architecture.
Engineers Beca are having a big party tonight – it’ll be good to see how their party measures up. Probably not so many dancing girls…. See you there Maximus?
Sam Neill’s 1977 documentary on Ian Athfield, “Architect Athfield” can now be watched in its entirety on the brand new NZ On Screen website!