Scoop Review of Books

Miles Warren Autobiography Published

Media Release
The autobiography of Sir Miles Warren, one of New Zealand’s foremost architects, will be released by Canterbury University Press this month.

Miles Warren: An autobiography offers an insight into the life and career of the celebrated architect who designed such notable buildings as the Michael Fowler Centre in Wellington, the Christchurch Town Hall, the Civic Offices in Rotorua, the TVNZ building in Auckland and the New Zealand Chancery in Washington DC.

Written with wit and passion, Sir Miles gives an account of his illustrious career in residential and commercial architecture, revealing the processes behind design, construction, client relationships and contractor negotiations, and offers readers an entertaining insight into his life in architecture through delightfully-told anecdotes.

“It is by no means a solemn treatise on the role of architecture,” says Sir Miles “but it is about the architectural process. In a way it pictures a very different world from today in that in those days you were simply given a set of instructions and told to get on with it. Nowadays everything is much more constrained.”

The book also, for the first time, brings together the many watercolour perspectives Sir Miles produced of his projects which, along with plans, were part of the design package given to clients. Also scattered throughout the book are watercolours he painted as a student, while on holiday and since his retirement in 1994.

Sir Miles, who studied architecture at the University of Auckland, was a founding partner of the architectural practice Warren and Mahoney, established in 1955. In 1985 he was made a Knight of the British Empire for services to architecture and 10 years later was awarded the Order of New Zealand.

Miles Warren: An autobiography, published by Canterbury University Press, November 2008, RRP NZ$69.95, Hardback, 200pp, colour throughout, ISBN 978-1-877257-76-6.