Crichton, McKay & Haughton

1923 - 1946

Crichton and McKay is one of Wellington’s oldest and most enduring practices. It was formed by William Crichton and James McKay in 1901; became Crichton, McKay and Haughton in 1923; Haughton, Son and Mair until at least 1956 and is now known as Bulleyment Fortune Architects Ltd.

William Crichton (1862-1928) was born in Cornwall and studied architecture under James Hicks of Redruth. He came to New Zealand on the ‘Chile’ in 1879 and was appointed to the staff of the Colonial Architect. After twelve years he set up his own practice. He was, for a time, secretary to the Association of Architects in Wellington, and he took an active part in the formation of the NZ Institute of Architects, being Honorary Secretary, Branch Chairman, Vice President and finally president in 1922-23. In 1891 he won the competition for the design of the Wellington Municipal Library and in 1901 he won second prize for the Wellington Town Hall. In 1901 he formed the firm of Crichton and McKay in partnership with James Hector McKay (c.1866 – 1944).
James McKay was born in Scotland and moved to Australia in c.1884 where he practiced as an architect until the early 1890s. He moved to Wellington by 1896 and formed a partnership with Rob Roy McGregor from 1898 to 1901 which produced over 40 houses, a few commercial buildings, and the fine timber Italianate St James’ Church in Newtown.  The partnership of Crichton and McKay was similarly prolific, and notable examples of its work include the Bank of New South Wales, the Bank of Australasia (now ANZ) in Hunter Street and Customhouse Quay, the Dominion (newspaper) Building and many of the later buildings at Wellington Hospital.

Vivian Palmer Haughton (1891 – 1956) joined the practice in 1907 as a draftsman, but his career was interrupted by service in WWI as an officer in the Field Artillery. He fought at Gallipoli, in Egypt, France and Belgium but was invalided out of the army in 1917. He then returned to work at Crichton and McKay where he became a partner in the practice in 1923. Although William Crichton died in 1928 and James McKay retired at some time in the early 1920s, Haughton retained the name of Crichton, McKay and Haughton until 1946.
Haughton’s practice continued the extensive work of Crichton and McKay including work for various hospitals and hospital boards in the lower North and upper South Islands, and the construction of bank branches across New Zealand, commercial buildings across Wellington, and houses in Island Bay, Lyall Bay, Strathmore, Karori and Khandallah. The practice continues today as Bulleyment Fortune Architects (BFA), and BFA retain an archive of early drawings, some of which are available online.

Bulleyment Fortune Architects website accessed July 2015
Mew, Geoff & Adrian Humphris. “Raupo to Deco: Wellington Styles and Architects 1840 – 1940” (Wellington: Steel Roberts Aotearoa, 2014) 
WCC Heritage Inventory 2001.


Last updated: 11/8/2016 9:49:19 PM