History of the School

Read about the history of the School of Architecture and Planning, a highly regarded centre for advanced multidisciplinary study and research.

The Auckland University College School of Architecture was founded in 1917, and recognised by the University of New Zealand in 1919. It began with evening classes taught by two part-time lecturers. Then in 1924 Cyril Roy Knight was appointed as the first Professor of Architecture in New Zealand, and both the School and its syllabus were restructured, introducing full-time courses in architecture and attracting students from all over the country. In 1931 the School received international recognition by the Royal Institute of British Architects, and thereafter graduates could expect their qualification to be accepted throughout the world.

In 1955, the Senate of the University of New Zealand approved the foundation of a Department of Town and Country Planning within the Faculty of Architecture, as it had become. The Department aimed “not only to provide instruction in Town Planning but to act as a centre for planning research and to foster public interest in the subject throughout New Zealand”*. The first Chair, Professor Robert Kennedy, was appointed in 1957 and continued until his retirement in 1969. Between 1969 and 1982, the Department produced 480 graduates – three-quarters of New Zealand’s practising planners.**

Temporary buildings included surplus army huts and wooden sheds

For sixty-five years after its founding, the School of Architecture was housed temporarily in other peoples' often humble buildings. It wasn't until 1982 that the School could claim to be housed in a permanent building designed for the purpose, with a full range of facilities including a library and photographic suite.

In 2006 the School of Architecture and the Department of Planning merged to become the School of Architecture and Planning, located within the Faculty of Creative Arts and Industries. Today the School continues to enjoy an international reputation, with around 40 permanent academic staff and many hundreds of students enrolled in our taught, research and professional programmes.

*University of Auckland: department of Town Planning Prospectus 1958
**Boileau, I. "Town and Gown", Planning Quarterly 1984, p.5