Urban Designer - Vernacular Architect - Maritime Planner - Owner-Builder - Servant of Piglet - Educator - Author - Revolutionary - Peacenik - Tour Guide 

Tony Watkins

 ~ Vernacular Design 

Maurice's own house Print E-mail

ImageMaurice Smith built his own house as an assemblage of infinite architectural complexity.


Harvard is about two hours drive north west of Boston.


In the spring the house is lost in greenery, in the fall it is lost in a dazzling array of colour, in the winter the forms are etched out by snow.


Maurice could have been Dean at the University of Auckland, but he was too radical for the conservative establishment, and he returned to devote his life to MIT.


Every joint is an open ended possibility, so that nothing can be a misfit.



Maurice Smith hoped to head the School of Architecture at the University of Auckland. However the narrow minded bigotted bureaucrats felt that he was too challenging, and he was lost to New Zealand. For most of his life he taught at MIT Boston. He became acknowledged as the world's leading exponent of zero-waste assembly, but he was far ahead of his time. Very little of his work has been published. Some can be found in "Space and Architecture". A book on his life and work is however in preparation.

Mayor Bob Harvey bought the house Maurice built for himself and continues living in it. A few other examples of Maurice's work can be found in Auckland, including the mosaic mural on the stairwell which used to lead down to the Odeon Theatre.