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Wellington Hosts Commonwealth Assoc. Of Architects

MEDIACOM-NZ-INSTITUTE-OF-ARCHITECTS

WELLINGTON TO HOST COMMONWEALTH ASSOCIATION OF ARCHITECTS

A world leader on bioclimatic architecture and an architect of London's Millennium Bridge are amongst award winning architects from around the world who will be key note speakers at an international architecture conference taking place in Wellington in early April.

The New Zealand Institute of Architects is hosting the Commonwealth Association of Architects triennial conference from 5 - 8 April.

NZIA executive director Beverley McRae says this is the first time New Zealand has hosted the Commonwealth Association of Architects (CAA) and it will help put local practice and thinking on a world stage. Delegates are coming from such diverse places as Namibia, Malaysia, Britain and the United States. The CAA Council and General Assembly will take place over three days immediately preceding the three day conference.

Conference Convenor and chairman of the Wellington branch of the Institute Stephen McDougall says the global phenomenon of urbanisation will be a prominent theme at three day conference and many of the issues confronting architects are similar whether they are in London or Wellington.

"We expect architects such as Andy Bow, of Foster and Partners in London who have played a leading role in the drive to bring about an urban renaissance in London with the "World Squares for All" project, will have interesting insights to offer to local architects. Similarly the research and development driven work of Malaysian architect Ken Yeang which is at the leading edge of ecologically sustainable architecture will be very interesting to architects from all around the globe," Mr McDougall said.

There are 12 keynote speakers in all at the conference with eight from overseas and four from New Zealand. Other speakers include the artist and architect Will Bruder who practices from a desert studio in Arizona and has achieved global recognition for his design of the Phoenix Central Library.

Two New Zealand raised architects, who have achieved recognition internationally, will be returning to attend the conference. Brendan MacFarlane is coming from Paris where he is best known for a new restaurant in the Pompidou Centre and a peace monument in Normandy. Ian Moore's Sydney based practice Engelen Moore has achieved notoriety for the rigorousness and purity of their simple modernist houses.

New Zealand based architects giving keynote addresses at the Conference include Wellingtonian Ian Athfield, and three Auckland architects: Pip Cheshire, Patrick Clifford and Felicity Wallace.

"We intend the programme to be provocative and challenging. We want to provide a critical forum to review the shaping influences on architecture in the last decades of the 20th Century and to look forward to where it is going in the 21st Century - hence the title VISION RE VISION," Mr McDougall said.

ENDS....


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