Sir Miles Warren, born 1929, is regarded as one of New Zealand’s leading architects and has been at the forefront of the industry for more than 40 years.
He has been instrumental in the creation of many impressive and original private and public buildings throughout New Zealand and overseas. Over the years, he has focused on integrating the disciplines of design by creating enduring and sustainable infrastructure and environments in New Zealand. He has also made a significant investment in developing specialist knowledge in ecologically sustainable building design, which has helped to provide practical guidance in large scale public and private buildings.
In 1958, he established Warren and Mahoney Architects, who have developed into one of New Zealand’s leading architectural firms and are notable for their original designs and their contribution to New Zealand modernism. The company now have offices in four of New Zealand ’s major cities and have won the New Zealand Institute of Architects (NZIA) Gold Award on five occasions between 1959 and 1981, more than any other local practice.
Although Sir Miles has been instrumental in countless notable constructions in New Zealand, there are several buildings which are considered the highlight of New Zealand architecture. In 1958, he created the Dental Nurses Training School, which won him national recognition as well as a NZIA Gold Award. In 1973, he designed the Christchurch Town Hall, also awarded an NZIA Gold award, which is considered as one of his key architectural designs of the decade, thus creating a national reputation for him and his firm.
It is also said that, together with the culmination of a national architectural renaissance, the Town Hall’s design changed the way Christchurch is perceived in New Zealand. The other buildings which have won NZIA Gold awards are College House in Christchurch, which has an enduring appeal due to its open space and carefully crafted buildings, and the Harewood Crematorium. He was also instrumental in the creation of Ohinetahi Gardens in Canterbury, which is ranked as one of New Zealand’s best formal gardens.
He has won NZIA Regional and National awards for nearly everything he has designed. In addition to his significant achievements, he has created many other prominent national buildings, including Canterbury Public Library, the Civic Offices of the Rotorua District Council, the Michael Fowler Centre in Wellington, Telecom House in Christchurch, the Christchurch School of Medicine, the Christchurch Convention Centre, and St. Patrick’s Church in Napier.
In addition, Sir Miles has designed the New Zealand Chancery in Washington, D.C. in the United States of America, which won an NZIA Gold Award in 1981 and the Annual Brick Award for the Eastern States of the United States of America for its brickwork.
Sir Miles is a Past President of the Canterbury Branch of the New Zealand Institute of Architects, was a Member of the Council of the Institute, and Chairman of the Education and Registration Authority. He is an active Member of a number of other professional and artistic organisations, including the Canterbury Society of Arts and the Theatre Royal Christchurch Charitable Management Committee.
He was made a Fellow of the New Zealand Institute of Architects in 1965, awarded the NZIA Award of Honour in 1987, and established the F M Warren Scholarship in Art History at the University of Canterbury in 1994.