In memoriam - Distinguished Alumnus David Mitchell (1941-2018)

27 April 2018

The University pays its respects to Distinguished Alumnus David Mitchell, who died on 26 April 2018 aged 77.

David was one of New Zealand’s foremost architects, having produced a substantial body of joyful work over many years. Favourites for many include the Gibbs House in Parnell, the two Mitchell-Stout Houses, one in Freemans Bay and the other at Narrow Neck, and the Music School Building here at the University.

In recent years, the addition to the Te Uru Waitakere Contemporary Gallery, formerly Lopdell House, in Titirangi, has been particularly celebrated, and David led the team that conceptualised and produced the first New Zealand Pavilion at the Venice Architecture Biennale in 2014. He was the recipient of a New Zealand Institute of Architects Gold Medal in 2005.

In addition to practice, David was a Senior Lecturer in the University of Auckland’s then School of Architecture for 15 years, from 1972 to 1987, teaching design and environmental control. He wrote two books on New Zealand architecture, of which The Elegant Shed remains a key point of reference today. He was an engaging and perceptive commentator in a range of other media, including television.

The University recognised David as a Distinguished Alumnus in 2016. In 2017, on the occasion of the School of Architecture and Planning’s centenary, he was the keynote speaker at its alumni gala dinner.  It was a wonderful talk, delivered with such wit that David laughed even himself to tears.

The School and the University extend their deepest sympathies to David’s family, including his partner in life and work, architect Julie Stout, who is also a Professional Teaching Fellow in the School.