Rewi reviewed on New Zealand Arts Review


Rewi: Āta haere, kia tere is a major book exploring the work of the late architect Rewi Thompson (Ngāti Porou, Ngāti Raukawa) who was  a groundbreaking designer and visionary  thinker. It brings together a range of his projects, from conceptual work  to innovative houses such as his own house and one which was designed for the German artist Katharina Grosse,

His public projects include Wellington’s City to Sea Bridge, Puukenga School of and  Māori Studies at Unitec in Auckland. He was also involved in a proposal for the new Te Papa Museum in Wellington with Calder, Fowler Athfield Architects and Frank Gehry. This was half a dozen years before Gehry’s Guggenheim  Bilbao. This was one of the great unrealised New Zealand architectural  projects which would have given the country a truly iconic building.

His involvement with projects such as the Mason Clinic the Ngawha Correction facility and the Kaitaia Hospital saw him become influence on the design of prisons and mental health institutions.

He had a wide range of projects including an involvement with the “Future Islands” exhibition where New Zealand exhibited work at the Venice Architectural Biennale in 2016 which consisted of several dozen models of important New Zealand houses, all floating on clouds.

He originally trained as an engineer at Wellington Polytechnic and, for a short time, worked as a structural draughtsperson at Structon Group before to studying architecture at the University of Auckland. This combination of engineer and architect gave him both a pragmatic and creative approach to his work.

Read John Daly-Peoples full review here