Trusting Architects to Design Your New Home

New Plymouth’s central business district is an exemplar of preservation. Unlike the drab malls that have blighted the centres of other regional cities, the buildings here stand firm.

The city hosts fantastic public art, particularly along the 13km Coastal Walkway, including Len Lye’s Wind Wand. Other significant works include the neoclassical State Fire Insurance (1924) at 42 Egmont Street, and Ryder Hall (listed 1997) by Frank Messenger.

Sustainable Design

The concept of sustainability is not new, but it is increasingly being incorporated into architectural design. It encompasses a broad range of ideas and aims to minimise negative environmental impact. Sustainable design also focuses on the health and well-being of building occupants, while reducing energy and material use.

Greenbridge architects and builders in New Plymouth are leading the way in environmentally responsible buildings, both in Taranaki and beyond. They have a philosophy that centres on regenerative design.

They work with clients to develop their building plans in the best possible way. This includes orienting the house so it captures sunlight and minimising waste in construction. They also help their clients choose the right materials, such as using thermally broken aluminium joinery. They also encourage the use of renewable resources and aim to maximise on-site energy generation. This ethos is carried through to all of their commercial designs. They also have a strong commitment to sustainability, with Alec Couchman being an internationally recognised expert in this field.


The reworked floor plan and addition of heritage features turned this New Plymouth home into a showstopper. It also helped the owners heal following the death of their mother. The house is now for sale.

Unlike many cities, New Plymouth is blessed with a wealth of architectural heritage. Its temperate climate and fertile soils encouraged early settlers to move north. Their arrival, however, was at a turbulent time in New Zealand’s history. Intermittent Maori occupation, dicey land deals and violence were followed by relentless colonial progress.

A key part of the survey’s fieldwork was the development of a “Nolli Map”. This special drawing combines a site plan with a strip elevation of Parliament Street. It reveals the way the buildings in the area are arranged and their relative spacing proportions. It’s a fascinating insight into the city’s urban fabric, and an important reference for future preservation. The survey team documented several of these historic buildings including the Cecil Lowe, Mama Issie’s and Uncle Pres’s houses.

Designing a New Home

If you are planning a house extension or building a new home, it is important to find an architect who you can trust. You will be working closely with them, sharing personal details about your habits and lifestyle, so you want to feel comfortable talking with them. This is particularly true if you are using sustainable design principles, which will be discussed throughout the design process.

This project was a chance for Greenbridge to demonstrate its commitment to holistic and regenerative design. Rather than simply designing buildings, the company seeks to make a positive impact on the environment, community and economy. It achieves this by forging partnerships with architects in New Plymouth to work collaboratively on larger projects. The Brunswick Door Lever in Bronzed Brass is a great example of this approach, with its rounded form complementing the soft lines of this home. Its detailed knurling also adds texture and contrast to the contemporary refinement of the home.

Commercial Design

Commercial design involves a lot more than just meeting functional requirements. A successful building needs to offer upscale aesthetics that elevate the client experience, and that requires an extensive amount of planning.

A good architecture firm will have extensive knowledge of the local rules and regulations that apply to your project, and they can help you select local contractors for plumbing, electrical, construction work and landscaping. They will also oversee the construction process to ensure that everything is on track and to meet all of your deadlines.

Founded in Christchurch, JTB Architects is a medium-sized firm that designs residential and commercial buildings in New Zealand. They use modern techniques and materials to create spaces that are unique and innovative, and they have a strong focus on sustainability. Their recent brewery and apartment project is a great example of how the firm integrates contemporary with historic while also maintaining a high standard of energy efficiency. It uses an offset cuboid form, composite aluminium split into a random pattern cladding and unique apartment interiors to blend the old with the new.