Tibor Donner

The highly talented Tibor Donner is one of New Zealand's most significant modernist architects and designers.

Tibor Donner (1907–1993) is one of Auckland’s most influential Architects. His tenure as Chief Architect to the Auckland City Council from 1946–67 has left a legacy of inspired and outstanding modernist buildings across the city. Highlights include the Parnell Baths (1951) and City Council Administration Building (1954).

Fleeing persecution in Romania, Donner emigrated to New Zealand in 1927. On arrival, he studied architecture at Auckland University College and was a prize winning student with great ambition. Donner’s work often incorporates ‘high modernism’ influences from North and South America, although the use of local materials gives his work a distinctly New Zealand flavour.

Donner was not only a pioneering architect, he also was a gifted furniture designer. In 1949 the Mayor of Auckland, John Allum, asked Donner to remodel the council offices. In response, Donner produced some of the most sophisticated modernist furniture in New Zealand. Unfortunately, most examples were thrown away in the 1990s.

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