Art institutions are understandably skittish about architecture exhibitions. The best way to experience architecture, of course, is to be in a building. While we agree with this, we also believe that experiencing a building through photographs is a worthy stand-in for the real thing. At the exhibition, the excellent photographs of Warren & Mahoney buildings are combined with plans, helpful information panels and Sir Miles' beautiful watercolours of his buildings.
Sir Miles has also recently published an autobiography with the Canterbury University Press - we feature an excerpt in our current issue. It's a lively read, especially the part about how proud he was of the early notoriety of his Dorset Street flats, which were described soon after their completion as one of the ugliest buildings in Christchurch. Our article features some of Paul McCredie's photographs of the flats. The passing of time has shown them, in our opinon, to be anything but ugly:
One of the striking things about the exhibition is the awareness it promotes of the great architectural legacy of Warren & Mahoney, which has given New Zealand some of its most beautiful modernist buildings. Take the chance if you're in Christchurch to see the show and, if you have time, drop by the Christchurch Town Hall, one of the firm's masterworks. It is as elegant and seductive today as it was when it opened in the early 1970s.