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Architecture profession mourns passing of Maurice Mahoney


Maurice Mahoney, one of New Zealand’s most distinguished post-war architects, has died in Christchurch aged 89.
Mahoney, who passed away on 31 October, formed with Sir Miles Warren one of the country’s most successful and prolific architectural partnerships. Under their leadership, the firm of Warren & Mahoney designed many of the country’s most significant buildings from the 1960s through the 1980s.

Notable projects from this period include College House in Christchurch, an icon of New Zealand Modernism, and Christchurch Town Hall and the Michael Fowler Centre in Wellington, which set a high bar for New Zealand public buildings.

Tim Melville, President of the New Zealand Institute of Architects, said Mahoney was a meticulous architect who demonstrated an impressive command of the technical aspects of complex projects.

“Maurice was an outstanding practitioner who, calmly and without fuss, made a great contribution to the architecture of his city and country.”

“He was enormously respected by his peers, and the Institute was pleased to award him an inaugural Distinguished Fellowship in 2017 in recognition of his career achievement.”

Sir Miles Warren has also praised the ability and skill of his long-time practice partner.

“I admired the way Maurice put things together with such great clarity and precision, his expert draughtsmanship and his ordered approach to design problems.”

Mahoney was born in London and trained in architecture at the Christchurch Architectural Association’s Atelier. After working with a number of Christchurch firms, he joined with Sir Miles Warren in 1958 to establish what would come to be seen as a seminal New Zealand architecture practice, Warren & Mahoney.

Mahoney retired from professional practice in 1992 but his architectural activity did not stop then. After the Christchurch earthquakes the home he had designed for his own family in 1966 was demolished. Mahoney re-designed the house and had it rebuilt.

In 2017 Mahoney received an Enduring Architecture award for 18 Butler Street, a Christchurch mirror-glass-clad house for a family member that shared some of the characteristics of the commercial buildings which Warren & Mahoney was working on more than a generation ago.

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