- I am interested in in the art of architecture and the economics of the resulting construction.
While I recognise the fashionable nature of architecture theory, in practice this means my architecture is concerned with history, technology, innovation, aesthetics, construction, engineering, and real estate.
I look for solutions to include the entire scope of problems and attributes presented by a project. This includes the site, programme, branding, budget, and cultural, environmental, and economic issues.
I cater for our client’s physical needs and budget constraints, always mindful of the need to make excellent architecture and design.
My concern and expertise in these many and varied aspects of design distinguishes my work from those principally concerned with style and merely technical specialists.
I endeavour to use and develop construction methods that produce innovative architectural forms and streamline the design and construction process where possible.
While the aim is to innovate technically I never really worry about the final form, grace, flamboyance, elegance, character, beauty, or whatever character is required usually just springs naturally out of an efficient plan.
- I use the term efficient, to mean “with as little waste as reasonably possible” instead of sustainable.
Sustainable is a buzzword whose meaning is now muddied by abuse.
To some it is a quasi-messianic call to arms, to others a cynical grasp for political power, to many young it is the current protestable idealism.
To the technical it is technology, to the religious it becomes spiritual.
Sustainable under what conditions? Unknown future conditions, current conditions, presently unmeasurable conditions.
I abhor the way “sustainable” has been corrupted from meaning a practice derived from cool, clear, rational examination and testing, into red hot political manipulation from the green-left as much as the cynical green commercialism of some on the right.
- I come from a reasonably large family where my father was an engineer, my rather quiet inward mother looked after us at home, and four and a half children. My brothers are a surveyor turned administrator (½ brother), a business systems computer guy, a theoretical nuclear physicist and my sister was an Olympic gymnast turned coach in the USA. I have three children of my own spread around the world as are many other relatives.
So, a lot of deeply technical people and nothing artistic, until I started drawing, and I never really stopped drawing. After getting my degree from the Auckland School of Architecture I worked in Wellington on complex site planning and multi-story projects until I was offered a job with the late John Scott in Hawkes Bay, having got to know John from holiday work in his office and there I became a Registered Architect. My work there was largely on churches, houses and some university work until the time came to leave and start my own practice.
At first I did housing developments, houses, many houses, and then a large Napier youth centre for the YMCA, alterations for an insurance company who seemed to like what I did and got me to do several more much larger buildings, then banks and of course as my children arrived and grew the usual pro bono play-centre work, a high school swimming pool and the like.
After a few years I started employing staff then more and more work came until I acquired a partner (which really didn’t work out), then right back to just me and occasional staff.
The rapid development of computer CAD and management systems has meant I now focus on design, innovation and on site work, mainly by contracting out the purely technical aspects like drawing, accounting, estimating etc.
And of course I have wonderful consultants without whom no architect can undertake complex works. All the various types of engineer as well as consultants for surveying, estimating, landscape, environmental aspects, project management, investment and even a number of artists for special parts of some projects.
On occasions I present design or theory lectures and seminars on architecture, mainly to other architects or students. The next lecture will be on the design development of the Brisbane South Bank later this year.