John Blair Architect

The Oak Complex, 50 Buckingham Street, Arrowtown (View map)

  • John Blair Architect

John Blair: Architect John Blair has been practicing in Queenstown/Arrowtown for near-on forty years. His span of work covers all the styles and developments in New Zealand over that time.

Prolific career of Arrowtown architect in new book

An Arrowtown architect who has designed almost 1000 buildings in the Wakatipu and around New Zealand says his new book is a "stock take" of his career, not the final chapter.

John Blair, of Blair and Co, profiled and illustrated 75 projects from the 969 he has worked on over his 38-year career.

The New Zealand Architectural Publications Trust and Mr Blair started work on the book in 2006, for the benefit of architectural contemporaries, enthusiasts and students.

The book, John Blair Architect, was launched in Auckland, Hawkes Bay, Christchurch and Arrowtown last month.

The October 22 launch party in the Lakes District Museum was attended by more than 100 people, including many peers and colleagues.

Architecture is a dynamic process which changes often and takes as long as construction, Mr Blair told the Queenstown Times.

"You have to think about the building's purpose, its place and what are the influences of that place as far as topography and climate and aspect are concerned."

"Then you have to think about your clients and what their aspirations and expectations are, not the least of them being budget."

The Christchurch-born and raised graduate of Auckland University's School of Architecture moved to Arrowtown in 1973.

He was asked to be site architect for the construction of what was then the largest building in Queenstown, the Travel Lodge Hotel, now known as the Crowne Plaza Hotel.

However, designing the previous base building at Coronet Peak in 1982 and the existing base building at the Remarkables ski area in 1984 made his name, with the projects winning several awards.

In Queenstown, Mr Blair designed O'Connell's Pavilion in 1986 and the buildings which are now home to BNZ, Westpac and the Salvation Army.