Horace Lovell Massey, WW1 Serviceman and Architect (Architects of Remuera)

Horace Massey

Craigmore, 47 Victoria Avenue, Remuera

4 Cotter Avenue, Remuera

Horace Lovell Massey (1895-1978) was a notable architect who designed many houses in Remuera. He was born in Auckland in 1895.


Horace Lovell Massey’s father Water Henry Massey was from Warrington, England. Walter was the manager of the Bycroft and Company, flour merchants and biscuit makers, but died during a visit to England when Horace was only two.  [1]  Horace was educated at Auckland Grammar School and then started an apprenticeship as an architect with both Roy Binney and William Gummer. [2]

When World War One broke out, he joined the 27th Reinforcements E Company with the rank of Sergeant. He served in France and spent time in hospital with infections and then worked at the 1st Battalion Auckland Regiment in the Head Quarters during 1918. He was discharged from the NZ Expeditionary Force in 1919.

While still working with the NZ Expeditionary Forces he was awarded the Ideal Homes Daily Mail 1st prize of 500 Pounds and a scholarship and worked for three years with the Architectural Association in London developing his skills. [3]

On his return to New Zealand, Horace set up the architectural practice of Massey, Morgan, Hyland and Phillips. From 1928 to 1935 he was the junior partner in the practice of Tole and Massey.

Then in 1940 he established Massey Beatson Rix Trott Carter and Co. Horace Massey, was by then one of the most prolific architects in New Zealand. Massey designed many stately residences, as well as commercial and public buildings through the 1930s and 40s which still define our cities and towns today, collecting 4 Gold Medals from the NZ Institute of Architects along the way. [4]

Horace Massey embraced the styles of Arts and Craft, Modern, Moderne and Art Deco, for a range of houses, flats, churches and commercial buildings. His own house was built at 452A Remuera Road.

Horace Lovell Massey designed the following houses in Remuera:

  1. 29 Bassett Road for Leonard Caughey
  2. 4 Cotter Avenue for Marshall
  3. Eastbourne Road for W A Black
  4. 1 Hiriri Avenue
  5. 22 Lucerne Road in a Spanish Mission style for Massey’s mother 1930, 1938, 1946, 1950, 1954
  6. 16 or 21 Manawa Road for himself 1928, 1935, 1938
  7. 21 Ngapuhi Road
  8. 101 Orakei Road
  9. 168 Orakei Road, for Goodman
  10. 28 Ranui Road, with Rix Trott. Now derelict.
  11. 48 Ranui Road
  12. 226 Remuera Road – Entrance gates for Norman Berridge Spencer
  13. 452A Remuera Road for himself 1946, 1948, 1949 – J L Cunningham. Zoned THAB.
  14. 619 Remuera Road, Remuera practice. Zoned THAB.
  15. 738 Remuera Road, William McKail Geddes. Was 302 Remuera Rd in 1938. Zoned Residential Single House.
  16. 50 Spencer Street
  17. 17 Victoria Avenue, for G A Abel
  18. 21A (1932) now 59 Victoria Avenue, Pavilion, J C Whitney Esq, Remuera. Demolished?
  19. 31 Victoria Avenue,  for J R Rendell Draper
  20. 47 Victoria Avenue (Craigmore), Art deco style, for G H Abel. 1936
  21. 153 Victoria Avenue
  22. Remuera Golf Club & Course (120 Abbotts Way) 1929
  23. St Michael’s Church (6 Beatrice Road, Remuera) by Tole and Massey. The church was designed by George Tole and Horace Massey. It opened in 1933 and was awarded the NZIA gold medal the same year. It was registered as a historic place on 2 April 1985, with registration number 118. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/St_Michael%27s_Catholic_Church,_Auckland#cite_note-:0-3
  24. Gray’s Pharmacy (565 Remuera Road), a single-storey shop designed for chemist, W. G. Gray, by well-known architect, Horace L. Massey. A small number of well-known architects are associated with the design of buildings in Upland Village. The most prominent, Horace L. Massey, was one of the country’s most successful and prolific architects during the 1920s, 30s and 40s, receiving both national and international acclaim for his work. He designed the modest single-storey building at 565 Remuera Road.

Horace Massey died in 1978 in Tauranga.