"Peter was a remarkable architect, one who lived and breathed architecture all his life and was still designing with undiminished creativity until the very end. I can’t think of another New Zealand architect with a greater ability to think three dimensionally (not such a universal skill among architects as might be imagined) and although he had a great capacity for formal invention he was never interested in form for its own sake; he wanted to make buildings that were expressive and that told us something about who we are. Perhaps most famously, he likened his Lyttelton Tunnel Administration building to a fifth ship, a point of origin or place of entry to Canterbury for everyone who didn’t have ancestors on one of the First Four Ships.
His Chateau on the Park is an unabashed homage to Mountfort’s Provincial Council Buildings with all the quirky individuality he
admired in Mountfort’s work.
He was a passionate advocate for good quality design and for liveable cities and he never ceased advocatingfor both. He was also a prolific speaker and writer about architecture and made a huge contribution to architectural debate in
New Zealand; he wasn’t afraid to speak out when others in the profession considered it safer to stay silent. Although he had a very high public profile and was honoured by the architectural profession as a recipient of the NZIA Gold Medal and awards for many buildings, he was never accorded the formal recognition that a person of such eminence in his field might have been expected to receive. That doesn’t diminish Peter’s achievements but it is a cause for regret.
He was one of the giants of New Zealand architectural history and helped to shape the direction of Christchurch and New Zealand architecture for over 60 years. He will be hugely missed."
Professor Ian Lochhead