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Paying tribute to Megan Wraight

Posted 01 09 2020

in News

Megan Wraight
Megan Wraight

We’re incredibly sad to share the loss of one of our industry’s shining lights. Megan Wraight died yesterday after a long battle with cancer.

Many of you will know Megan, the founder of Wraight + Associates, and at this time it is appropriate to pay tribute to her and her many achievements.

Close friend and colleague Nicole Thompson describes Megan as a tenacious design collaborator, superlative space maker and above all, a much loved friend.

NZILA President Brad Coombs says Megan was one of the industry’s Wahine Toa, one of the true leaders of our profession.

“Megan carved her own path and often set the benchmark that other designers measured themselves against. We have lost a great talent and a force of nature. My heart goes out to Megan’s whānau at home and at Wraight + Associates as we stand with you in mourning one of the leaders of our profession.”

“Feisty and tenacious are two words that are often used to describe Megan Wraight. Megan had both of those qualities in spades and they were hallmarks of her career as one of the leading public space shapers in Aotearoa and also her long and spirited fight against her greatest foe, which eventually won. Megan stood out in a male dominated world of public space design and creation, partly because of these qualities.”

Brad says Megan was one of very few landscape architects in Aotearoa to cross professional boundaries into architecture and the arts.

“Megan was an enthusiastic collaborator with some of the best architecture practices in Aotearoa and in 2013 she was the first landscape architect to receive the Arts Foundation of New Zealand Laureate Award.

“She has touched the urban landscapes of the four corners of Aotearoa, however she focused her design energy on crafting the public places of the capital city, where she based her practice. Waitangi Park, Pukeahu National War Memorial Park and Taranaki Wharf on the Wellington Waterfront have all quickly become some of the most loved and best used spaces in Wellington.

“Megan leaves a legacy of beautifully conceived spaces that are practical, imbued with a sense of place and cherished by all that visit them.”

With current Covid restrictions it will be very tough not to be able to come together as a profession to farewell Megan but we will work on a suitable way for us all to pay tribute to this remarkable woman and keep you updated.

LAA interviewed Megan to celebrate her project, the Pukeahu National War Memorial Park, which won a 2017 Resene NZILA Pride of Place Landscape Architecture Award. You can see that video here.