‘A special man who quietly gave so much to his family and Christchurch’

It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of Maurice Mahoney, architect and friend of College House. Maurice was born in London to Doris and Ernest Mahoney and trained in architecture at the Christchurch Architectural Association's Atelier. After working with several Christchurch firms, he teamed up with Sir Miles Warren in 1958 to remodel the Dental Training School. Their firm, Warren and Mahoney, designed many of the country's most significant buildings from the 1960s to 1980s, including College House, the Christchurch Town Hall, which they won the right to design in a competition, and the Michael Fowler Centre in Wellington. Most were in their trademark concrete, blocky, geometric designs and were noted for their great scale and complexity.

Other Christchurch buildings that bore the Warren and Mahoney stamp were the Crowne Plaza – originally known as the Parkroyal Hotel – the AMI building on Latimer Square, Dorset Towers, the Transport Ministry building on Montreal St, the Harewood Memorial Gardens and Crematorium, and numerous residential buildings. The former Central Library, New Brighton Library and South Library were also all designed by Warren and Mahoney. Mahoney's last major project, the refurbishment of the New Zealand Parliament Buildings and the Parliamentary Library, won numerous architecture and design awards. Though much of his legacy was obliterated in the Christchurch earthquakes, Mahoney collected several awards for his work, including the inaugural Distinguished Fellowship in 2017 in recognition of his career and became an Officer of the NZ Order of Merit for services to architecture in 2010.

At the 2017 Canterbury Architecture Awards, Mahoney and the Warren and Mahoney company were a standout, winning an Enduring Architecture Award for their work at 18 Butler St, a Christchurch house clad with mirror glass, as well as a Commercial, Enduring Architecture and Heritage Award for the practice. The firm amassed more than 300 architectural awards, including four New Zealand Institute of Architecture's Gold Medals – its highest honour – awarded to the practice between 1959 and 1973. 

Sir Miles Warren said he admired the way Maurice put things together with such great clarity and precision, and his expert draughtsmanship and ordered approach to design problems. Mahoney retired from professional practice in 1992, with Warren, the public face of the firm, following in 1994.

Mahoney is survived by his wife, Margaret, four children – Sarah, Jane, Nigel and Emma – and several grandchildren and great-grandchildren. A service will be held in St Barnabas Anglican Church, in Fendalton, at 1.30pm on Tuesday.

Pro Ecclesia Dei

 P1190501

  Sir Miles Warren and Maurice Mahoney

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