Group Architects

Edited by Julia Gatley

We know there is another way of living in which a house is logically contrived for peace and comfort, where the sun brings life without faded carpets, and in which leisure and beauty are not interred in respectable museums. And we mean to find it for ourselves and make it real to everyone who feels as we do… Because we want this in New Zealand, overseas solutions will not do. New Zealand must have its own architecture, its own sense of what is beautiful and appropriate to our climate and conditions. – The Group Manifesto.

So wrote a precocious bunch of second-year Auckland architecture students in 1946, establishing themselves as the Architectural Group. They resurfaced several years later as Group Architects, in time becoming one of New Zealand’s most celebrated architectural practices.

Group Architects: Towards a New Zealand Architecture is the first full assessment of the firm. It follows the Group and their work through the middle of the twentieth century – from the early student collective to the Group Construction Company, Group Architects, and Wilson & Juriss. In these various incarnations, the Group operated until the death of founder Bill Wilson in 1968, but have enjoyed an even stronger afterlife, influencing generations of younger New Zealand architects.