Housing – Creating Neighbourhoods + Communities
In the past decade, New Zealand has moved on from the traditional ‘house on the quarter-acre section’ to a more sophisticated and diverse range of living options.
Studio Pacific has been part of this evolution, with a number of projects that respond to changes in our lifestyles across a diverse range of houses and housing typologies. These include contemporary and kitset baches, apartments, town houses, courtyard, terrace and patio houses, suburban villas, student accommodation, worker housing and hotels.
We have been engaged in creating residential neighbourhoods and communities across a diverse range of sites from those located in outstanding landscapes to those in innercity urban sites.
Over the years we have developed in-house reference material, including Urban Design and Housing workbooks, which form a framework to tackle new projects enabling us to focus on the site-specific and unique qualities of each new project.
Arts + Culture
Studio Pacific has a reputation for its conceptual and creative work on artistic and cultural projects.
A particularly significant example is the New Zealand Memorial in Anzac Parade, Canberra, a monument to the historical, cultural, social, spiritual, economic and geographic closeness of the relationship between New Zealand and Australia. Designed in collaboration with the artist and sculptor Kingsley Baird, the memorial took the form of a bronze sculpture representing the handles of a kete. This design was inspired by a Maori proverb loosely translated as “you at this handle, I at this handle of the kete”, a metaphor for working closely together and sharing both experiences and burdens.
The Studio also designed the award-winning Aratoi Museum building, based on the concept of a storehouse for taonga. More recent arts commissions include modifications to the forecourt of the National War Memorial and Carillon, including the Tomb of the Unknown Warrior also designed by Kingsley Baird, and Wellington’s Waititi Landing, designed with sculptor Ra Vincent.
Within our practice we have several staff with specialist skills in heritage building work. We are experienced in developing conservation plans and remedial/maintenance plans for significant heritage buildings and have acted as project architects for a number of heritage building refurbishments.
Emphasis is always put on understanding the existing building, and developing sensitive and appropriate strategies for adaptive reuse. Rather than demolishing and replacing them, we believe that the best of modern technology can be used to strengthen, restore and modify existing buildings to extend their working life. As well as representing a more sustainable approach, this allows us to preserve, and add to, our architectural heritage. Recent examples of our award-winning refurbishment work include Xero House (formerly called the John Chambers building), and Chevening Apartments, in Wellington. Both buildings are listed heritage buildings.
We are also architects for extensive refurbishment projects of two heritage buildings at Massey University, the Sir Geoffrey Peren Building and the Refectory, together forming part of Turitea Campus in Palmerston North. These refurbishments exemplify a meeting of old and new; preserving two significant examples of New Zealand's architectural history, while ensuring each facility can continue to provide world-class learning and teaching environments into the future.
Safety in Design
Studio Pacific Architecture has always been proactive in ensuring we meet (and we think often exceed) our Health and Safety obligations as a company. This involves continual review and improvement of our in-house systems and staff training. We also have a history of addressing Safety in Design in our project work.
With the advent of the Health and Safety at Work Act 2015, this now extends into formalised obligations that relate to our design work, and the effect this has on the people that build, occupy, maintain and alter our projects.
We have refined a suite of resources to guide the Safety in Design process which supports our existing design methods and our newly defined duties as a designing PCBU, and which provides risk assessment information of benefit to the client and contractor in meeting their own PCBU responsibilities.