our studio

Our Story

Studio Pacific was established in Wellington in 1992 by the three directors: Nick Barratt-Boyes, Stephen McDougall, and Evžen Novak.

Prior to establishing the Studio, all three directors studied and/or worked together in New Zealand before working for a period in Europe: Evžen studied in Berlin and worked in Switzerland and London, while Nick and Stephen were based in London and worked on projects throughout the U.K. and Europe.
The collective international experience gained by the directors in Europe set the platform and influenced the direction of the practice. From early design competitions and small residential commissions Studio Pacific has evolved into an award-winning substantial and creative practice with diverse projects throughout New Zealand. Particular recognition has been given to the studio for working with the arts, urban regeneration, housing, masterplanning and contemporary workspace planning.

Studio Pacific undertakes a large range of projects, from small individual furniture items to large projects involving entire new towns. Our small scale work includes new houses, additions and alterations, and retail work. Our larger schemes include large multi-unit residential and commercial buildings as well as masterplans and landscaping.

We enjoy having a mix of project sizes and types in the Studio – each project has different challenges, and offers varied opportunities for us to express our creativity in response.

The Studio fosters innovation and creativity, drawing inspiration from our landscape, its forms, textures and quality of light.
  • Collaboration 2.jpg
    Collaboration is fundamental to the way we work. The Studio fosters a willingness to collaborate with a range of designers, from other architects and landscape architects to specialist fitout designers and other specialist consultants.
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    We approach every project afresh, and we are actively looking for the unusual design solution or idea that can unlock the design direction. We are open-minded about possible design solutions and search for innovative, progressive and inventive means of achieving design results.
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    Studio Pacific is at the forefront of the development of sustainable design in New Zealand and we are committed to sustainability as a central component of contemporary design.

Our ethos

As architects and designers we work in a creative and collaborative studio environment. We enjoy searching for a bold poetic move in each project and creating architecture that has meaning, depth and tactility.

We like the element of surprise. The Studio fosters innovation and creativity, drawing inspiration from our landscape, its forms, textures and quality of light. Critical analysis of the context and the concept of site-specificity, create a unique ‘design imprint’ for each project. The work is optimistic.

Our approach is to work on projects with intense personal involvement in all parts of the design and construction process. At the same time we want to draw on the collective talent and commitment of the entire studio. We value being well organised and professional. We strive for planning clarity, logic and functionality. We like the simplicity of the diagram.

Architecture is a slow art and we are always learning. Our ambition is to continually lift our expectations and to capture the imagination of our clients.


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.


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.  

Urban Regeneration

Studio Pacific’s inception came on the back of winning an urban design masterplan competition and this skill has been core to the practice ever since. 

Studio Pacific brings international experience to New Zealand projects, combining local knowledge of the qualities of the New Zealand landscape and sociocultural fabric with an awareness of approaches to urban design adopted from around the globe. We have completed a substantial number of award-winning urban design and masterplanning projects, including the Kumutoto precinct and Harbour Quays precinct on Wellington’s waterfront and the Waterfront development at Seatoun, the Lighter Quay development in Auckland’s Viaduct Basin.

Our primary focus in masterplanning sites is to create places for people, exploring the use of building forms to give shelter from wind and sun, opening frontages up to the outside and considering pedestrian flow. We seek to continually improve the visual life of the city and work to bring intrigue and delight into the projects we undertake.

Our current masterplanning projects include the Ormiston Town Centre in Manukau, Auckland and Sunderland A in Hobsonville, Auckland. We have also completed projects for Wellington’s inner city public spaces, such as the Cuba Street bus shelters and the refurbishment of the forecourt for the Tomb of the Unknown Warrior. 

Education + Learning Spaces

We believe that, fundamentally, effective learning can be supported by clever spaces. As well as facilitating learning activities in a practical way, educational environments can stimulate and inspire, promoting collaborative work and the sharing of knowledge. Our education projects are diverse and each has its own specific set of requirements and characteristics.

We are currently the architects for the upgrade, seismic strengthening and interior refurbishment of two significant heritage buildings, the Sir Geoffrey Peren Building and the Refectory Building, which now form part of the Massey University Turitea campus in Palmerston North. 

We were also the architects for the new Royal Society of New Zealand Thorndon campus. The building includes a strong science education focus, with a dedicated education department and conference facilities designed to accommodate visiting lectures, science fairs and symposiums.


Workplace + Workspace

Studio Pacific has been designing and delivering workplaces since its inception. Over the last 26 years we have built up an extensive portfolio of award-winning interior fitout projects for satisfied clients. We have also developed ongoing relationships with a number of clients from both the public and private sector, and over 70% of our work portfolio is generated by existing or previous clients. All of our clients speak positively of the impact of workspace design on their organisation.

In our workplace design work, we have sought to evolve the conventional idea of office ‘fitouts’ to the more sophisticated concept of contemporary workspaces that reflect the values of the client organisation and enhance the way it works. Specifically, workplace design can create a more productive, flexible and efficient environment that supports modern ways of working and encourages interaction and cross-pollination between different individuals and teams within an organisation. We understand the need for a variety of spaces that include formal and informal meeting areas, including vibrant communal break spaces, collaborative workspaces and quiet rooms for concentrated individual work.


Studio Pacific has a team of specialist landscape architects that is completely embedded within the Studio. 

The team’s primary focus is the design of integrated urban environments and public open spaces that reflect a deep understanding of New Zealand’s unique cultural and natural landscape. Every site has a story to tell and our objective is to creatively bring the narrative of a place to life and inspire the imagination. Throughout the design process we are able to blend a range of social, cultural and artistic aims with a strong environmental awareness to realise rich, diverse and meaningful spaces. This site specific ‘place making’ approach is key to everything we do and informs every aspect of the design. Equally, our approach reflects a strong commitment to understanding and working with complex environmental systems and we hold strong the concepts of stewardship and responsibility towards the environment in all of our work. There is a strong focus on WSUD (Water Sensitive Urban Design) and LID (Low Impact Design).

The cross-disciplinary nature of the studio allows the team to work at a range of scales and provide integrated solutions for both the public and private sector. Current work includes a number of large-scale masterplans, private and social housing developments, civic spaces, public parks, schools and a selection of residential gardens.


Since its inception, Studio Pacific has always had a commitment to Sustainability. This is reflected in both the culture of the studio and in our design work.

We have several environmental initiatives in the studio and are committed to managing and reducing our carbon emissions and setting annual targets to support the New Zealand Government’s programme of action to achieve the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. 

Studio Pacific is a certified Toitū carbonzero architectural practice and is also a signatory to the international Aotearoa New Zealand Architects Declare Initiative. Through this, we have made a commitment ‘to strengthen our working practices to create architecture and urbanism that has a more positive impact on the world around us’.

Studio Pacific has a dedicated cross-disciplinary Sustainability Working Group which provides sustainability leadership in all areas of our studio. We incorporate Environmental Sustainable Design (ESD) principles into our projects and are actively engaged in looking for new and innovative sustainable approaches and technologies, and growing our specialist team.

Studio Pacific's commitment to sustainability is reflected in a range of award-winning projects including being the architects for New Zealand’s first Green Star Rated Building, the Meridian Building, on Wellington’s waterfront. 


Notable Achievements include:

Aorangi House, Wellington – 5 Green Star rating.

XXCQ, 20 Customhouse Quay, Wellington – 5 Green Star rating.

30 Madden, Auckland – 7 Homestar rating.

Tākina, Wellington Convention and Exhibition Centre – designed to achieve a 5 Green Star rating.

Sunfield – NZ’s first car-less, solar grid neighbourhood.

Nelson Airport – Timber technology structure and passive ventilation.

Air New Zealand Hanger 4 – The largest single span timber arch aircraft hangar in the world, and use of new industry low carbon concrete technology.



We view research as something that spans both theory and practice, from academic study to the development of innovative designs, methods and uses of materials on actual architectural projects.

Since the 2010/2011 summer, Studio Pacific has partnered with Victoria University in hosting joint summer scholars. Some of our past summer scholars have researched the means needed to improve thermal and heating/cooling energy performance in Studio Pacific designed housing. Studio Pacific has also taken on in-house interns from the Victoria University School of Architecture's Master of Building Science programme. While innovation usually involves a creative leap, we are also knowledgeable about the empirical and technical considerations that need to underpin new directions and innovative design thinking.

Selected Research Projects

Practicalities of lowering energy consumption in residential projects

Investigations into raising thermal performance and reducing the heating energy in the nine residential projects using different design strategies

Investigation into how dense office fitouts perform

Investigation into embodied energy, embodied CO2 use and used these results and the operational energy information from the above research to analyse cost-benefits for a variety of construction and design strategies

Modular timber construction for multi-unit housing

Selecting External Roof and Wall Cladding for Multiple Housing

We view research as something that spans both theory and practice.

Work with us

Studio Pacific offers a creative, open and relaxed environment within an award winning team, working on an exciting portfolio of diverse projects around the country.

With 30+ years’ experience in the industry, we have grown to be one of New Zealand’s most successful practices, and have received over 100 national and international awards since the company was founded in 1992.

With a strong design focus and team structure that encourages collaboration and input from everyone, our studio culture is vibrant, open and respectful. Surveys measuring employee engagement consistently score highly and well above the benchmark for organisations of our size – offering clear evidence of the engaged, healthy and friendly culture that is fostered at Studio Pacific. 

As an inclusive, equal opportunity employer, we have a number of diversity and inclusion initiatives in place, including part-time and flexible work opportunities for all staff, annual diversity measurement and analysis, along with regular pay parity audits. Studio Pacific is a proud founding partner of the Diversity Agenda and Diversity Accord which aims to achieve better gender balance and diversity in architecture and engineering.

We take the professional development of our team very seriously, creating an empowering, inclusive and flexible working environment, and take a holistic approach to the career and professional development of our team.


If you are interested in joining our team, please email your cover letter, detailing why you want to work at the Studio, current CV and 6-8 PDF examples of your portfolio work to people@studiopacific.co.nz.