Design Principles

Whether it's a new build, alteration or addition, designing living spaces for others requires me to tailor a design to you. Just as different tailors take different approaches to ensure your clothes fit you, different architectural designers have a different design approaches to ensure the space they design for you, works for you. For that reason, it's important for you, as a client, to understand how I work and the principles I use to underpin my designs.

As a kid, I loved playing with Lego. I enjoyed the creative freedom as well as the quality of result I could produce and knew then that I wanted to work in some form of construction. After school I took a year out before university and worked on building sites as well as traveling through Canada. I enjoyed the process of construction and loved the large and sociable homes I stayed in in Canada constructed from natural materials. After the year out, I started a degree in Civil Engineering, which, sadly, even after a few weeks, I realised was not going to be my future career. While I am very much an engineer in the way I think and approach problems (I always want to find a solution that works), for me Civil Engineering did not engage my young adult self in the way Lego had for me as a young child. I certainly learned a lot about structure and function which underpin two of my design principles (efficient and affordable) as well as being integral to understanding of two of the others (healthy and beautiful), but I knew for me, a certain something was missing.

Like many Londoners who were unsure of where to go next in their career, I went into computing. I still knew that I wanted to create a beautiful home for my family, but was unsure of how to do that in the UK. So like many people who want to improve their standard of living, I came to New Zealand.

When I moved to New Zealand in 2003, I initially worked in computing, but had dreams and aspirations to build a house. In my spare time, I renovated houses, researched earth building, energy efficient construction and renewable energy technologies. I spent a week ramming clay in to tyres, helping the Gubb family in the early stages of them building New Zealand's first earthship (see image below).

After gaining residency, I traveled around the North Island with my wife and child, helping to construct a wide variety of homes including an abode brick house, straw bale house and cob house. We eventually settled in Central Hawke's Bay and, after creating a beautiful home there, I realised that my passion was architecture and quit my day job to go back to University and study for a Bachelors in Architecture at Victoria University of Wellington.

Throughout my degree, I focused on creating healthy, affordable homes that supported their inhabitants way of life, taking my experience and applying it to a wide variety of scenarios. These considerations were never just limited to the initial cost of build, but also ensuring that ongoing maintenance and heating costs were minimized through energy efficient building.

However, to me architectural design is not just about making a functional house, it's also about making a beautiful, sociable home. These principles are important as, like clothing, though many outfits can fit you, fit alone is often not enough. And, when it comes to your home, a building in which you'll spend a lot of your life, it's essential that it's a place that doesn't just function for you, but fulfills your social and aesthetic needs. The below image shows a design I did for a family home. Though its open plan living was designed to support the family's way of living, a great many of the features were there not just to ensure function, but also to ensure the space they were in was also physically beautiful.

So, if you would like to use an architectural designer who can create a design for your home that truly supports the way you love to live, please get in touch. To help you clarify your ideas, you can fill in this form and send it to me. As soon as I receive your form, I will contact you to discuss your project and start the design process. If you want to know more about costs and timelines, please call or email me and I can talk you through the process in more detail. I look forward to speaking to you.