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New Zealand is a one-of-a-kind island in the Pacific with a unique blend of architectural heritage. Famous for its indigenous Maori architecture, the country has managed to preserve an array of historical aboriginal ruins, such as marae (meeting grounds) and wharenui (meeting houses), despite its European colonization during the 19th century.

Apart from the country’s ancient ruins, New Zealand is also home to several notable architectural landmarks that serve as powerful symbols of cultural identity and community. From the famous Sky Tower piercing the skyline of Auckland to the organic forms of the Te Papa Tongarewa Museum in Wellington, these structures stand as testaments to the country’s creativity and ingenuity. Renowned architects like Sir Ian Athfield, whose works blend modernist principles with a deep respect for the natural landscape, have left an indelible mark on the country’s architectural legacy.

Being home to a stunning landscape of tropical rainforests, New Zealand architects have developed practices that effectively integrate the built environment with nature. From eco-friendly residential designs that harness the power of renewable energy to visionary urban developments prioritizing livability and connectivity, the country’s architects are at the forefront of shaping a more sustainable future. A notable example is Turanga Central Library in Christchurch, a project that exceeds all eco-friendly design standards and benchmark emissions. Concepts like passive design, which maximizes natural light and ventilation to reduce energy consumption, are increasingly becoming standard practice in architectural circles, making New Zealand a pioneer in architectural sustainability.

With so many architecture firms to choose from, it’s challenging for clients to identify the industry leaders that will be an ideal fit for their project needs. Fortunately, Architizer is able to provide guidance on the top design firms in New Zealand based on more than a decade of data and industry knowledge.

How are these architecture firms ranked?

The following ranking has been created according to key statistics that demonstrate each firm’s level of architectural excellence. The following metrics have been accumulated to establish each architecture firm’s ranking, in order of priority:

  • The number of A+Awards won (2013 to 2024)
  • The number of A+Awards finalists (2013 to 2024)
  • The number of projects selected as “Project of the Day” (2009 to 2024)
  • The number of projects selected as “Featured Project” (2009 to 2024)
  • The number of projects uploaded to Architizer (2009 to 2024)

Each of these metrics is explained in more detail at the foot of this article. This ranking list will be updated annually, taking into account new achievements of New Zealand architecture firms throughout the year.

Without further ado, here are the 25 best architecture firms in New Zealand:

25. Christopher Beer Architect Limited

© Christopher Beer Architect Limited

© Christopher Beer Architect Limited

Christopher Beer Architect Limited is an architectural design studio which delivers carefully-crafted and thoughtfully-designed buildings. Our projects have been recognized with high-level awards, including HOME Magazine’s Home of the Year Award and an NZIA New Zealand Architecture Award for Housing.

Some of Christopher Beer Architect Limited’s most prominent projects include:

The following statistics helped Christopher Beer Architect Limited achieve 25th place in the 25 Best Architecture Firms in New Zealand:

Featured Projects 1
Total Projects 1

24. CoLab Architecture

© CoLab Architecture Ltd

© CoLab Architecture Ltd

CoLab Architecture is a small practice of two Directors, Tobin Smith and Blair Paterson, based in Christchurch New Zealand. Tobin is a creative designer with a wealth of experience in the building industry. Blair is a registered architect and graduate from the University of Auckland.

“We like architecture to be visually powerful, intellectually elegant, and above all timeless. For us, timeless design is achieved through simplicity and strength of concept — in other words, a single idea executed beautifully with a dedication to the details. We strive to create architecture that is conscious of local climate (hunker down in winter, open up in summer) and the environment (scale and relationship to other buildings and the natural environment).”

Some of CoLab Architecture Ltd’s most prominent projects include:

The following statistics helped CoLab Architecture Ltd achieve 24th place in the 25 Best Architecture Firms in New Zealand:

Featured Projects 1
Total Projects 1

23. Paul Whittaker

© Paul Whittaker

© Paul Whittaker

Paul Whittaker is an architect based in New Zealand. His projects are centred around residential architecture.

Some of Paul Whittaker’s most prominent projects include:

The following statistics helped Paul Whittaker achieve 23rd place in the 25 Best Architecture Firms in New Zealand:

Featured Projects 1
Total Projects 1

22. Space Division

© Simon Devitt Photographer

© Simon Devitt Photographer

Space Division is a boutique architectural practice that aims to positively impact the lives and environment of its clients and their communities by purposefully producing quality space. We believe our name reflects both the essence of what we do, but also how to strive to do it — succinctly and simply. Our design process is inclusive, and client focused with their desires, physical constraints, budget, time frames, compliance and construction processes all carefully considered and incorporated into our design. Space Division has successfully team is committed to delivering a very personal and complete service to each of their clients, at each stage of the process.

Some of Space Division’s most prominent projects include:

The following statistics helped Space Division achieve 22nd place in the 25 Best Architecture Firms in New Zealand:

Featured Projects 1
Total Projects 1

21. Sumich Chaplin Architects

© Sumich Chaplin Architects

© Sumich Chaplin Architects

Sumich Chaplin Architects undertake to provide creative, enduring architectural design based on a clear understanding and interpretation of a client’s brief. We work with an appreciation and respect for the surrounding landscape and environment.

Some of Sumich Chaplin Architects’s most prominent projects include:

The following statistics helped Sumich Chaplin Architects achieve 21st place in the 25 Best Architecture Firms in New Zealand:

Featured Projects 1
Total Projects 1

20. South Architects Limited

© Stephen Goodenough Photographer

© Stephen Goodenough Photographer

Led by Craig South, our friendly professional team is dedicated to crafting for uniqueness and producing carefully considered architecture that will endure and be loved. At South Architects, every project has a unique story. This story starts and ends with our clients, whose values and aspirations fundamentally empower and inspire our whole design process.

Working together with our clients is pivotal to how we operate and we share a passion for innovation in design. We invite you to meet us and explore what we can do for you. As you will discover, our client focussed process is thorough, robust and responsive.
We see architecture as the culmination of a journey with you.

Some of South Architects Limited’s most prominent projects include:

The following statistics helped South Architects Limited achieve 20th place in the 25 Best Architecture Firms in New Zealand:

Featured Projects 1
Total Projects 4

19. BOX™

© BOX™

© BOX™

BOX™ uses a modular system to design custom architectural homes to suit site and brief. The style is modern with a heritage in 1950s and 1960s modernist architecture. BOX™ is based in Auckland, New Zealand.

Some of BOX™’s most prominent projects include:

The following statistics helped BOX™ achieve 19th place in the 25 Best Architecture Firms in New Zealand:

Featured Projects 1
Total Projects 5

18. AW Architects

© AW Architects

© AW Architects

AW Architects is a creative studio based in Christchurch, New Zealand centered around residential architecture.

Some of AW Architects’s most prominent projects include:

The following statistics helped AW Architects achieve 18th place in the 25 Best Architecture Firms in New Zealand:

A+Awards Finalist 1
Total Projects 9

17. Archimedia

© Archimedia

© Archimedia

Archimedia is a New Zealand architecture practice with NZRAB and green star accredited staff, offering design services in the disciplines of architecture, interiors and ecology. Delivering Architecture involves intervention in both natural eco-systems and the built environment — the context within which human beings live their lives.

Archimedia uses the word “ecology” to extend the concept of sustainability to urban design and master planning and integrates this holistic strategy into every project. Archimedia prioritizes client project requirements, functionality, operational efficiency, feasibility and programme.

Some of Archimedia’s most prominent projects include:

The following statistics helped Archimedia achieve 17th place in the 25 Best Architecture Firms in New Zealand:

Featured Projects 2
Total Projects 25

16. MC Architecture Studio

© Mick Stephenson

© Mick Stephenson

The studio’s work, questioning the boundary between art and architecture, provides engaging and innovative living space with the highest sustainability standard. Design solutions are tailored on client needs and site’s characteristics. Hence the final product will be unique and strongly related to the context and wider environment.

On a specific-project basis, the studio, maintaining the leadership of the whole process, works in a network with local and international practices to achieve the best operational efficiency and local knowledge worldwide to accommodate the needs of a big scale project or specific requirements.

Some of MC Architecture Studio Ltd’s most prominent projects include:

The following statistics helped MC Architecture Studio Ltd achieve 16th place in the 25 Best Architecture Firms in New Zealand:

Featured Projects 2
Total Projects 19

15. Daniel Marshall Architects

© Simon Devitt Photographer

© Simon Devitt Photographer

Daniel Marshall Architects (DMA) is an Auckland based practice who are passionate about designing high quality and award winning New Zealand architecture.  Our work has been published in periodicals and books internationally as well as numerous digital publications.

Daniel leads a core team of four individually accomplished designers who skilfully collaborate to resolve architectural projects from their conception through to their occupation. DMA believe architecture is a ‘generalist’ profession which engages with all components of an architectural project; during conceptual design, documentation and construction phases. We pride ourselves on being able to holistically engage with a complex of architectural issues to arrive at a design solution equally appropriate to its context (site and surrounds) and the unique ways our clients prefer to live.

Some of Daniel Marshall Architects’s most prominent projects include:

The following statistics helped Daniel Marshall Architects achieve 15th place in the 25 Best Architecture Firms in New Zealand:

Featured Projects 2
Total Projects 2

14. Andrew Barre Lab

© Marcela Grassi

© Marcela Grassi

Andrew Barrie Lab is an architectural practice that undertakes a diverse range of projects. We make buildings, books, maps, classes, exhibitions and research.

Some of Andrew Barre Lab’s most prominent projects include:

The following statistics helped Andrew Barre Lab achieve 14th place in the 25 Best Architecture Firms in New Zealand:

A+Awards Finalist 2
Featured Projects 1
Total Projects 1

13. Warren and Mahoney

© Simon Devitt Photographer

© Simon Devitt Photographer

Warren and Mahoney is an insight led multidisciplinary architectural practice with six locations functioning as a single office. Our clients and projects span New Zealand, Australia and the Pacific Rim. The practice has over 190 people, comprising of specialists working across the disciplines of architecture, workplace, masterplanning, urban design and sustainable design. We draw from the wider group for skills and experience on every project, regardless of the location.

Some of Warren and Mahoney’s most prominent projects include:

The following statistics helped Warren and Mahoney achieve 13th place in the 25 Best Architecture Firms in New Zealand:

Featured Projects 3
Total Projects 5

12. Pac Studio

© Pac Studio

© Pac Studio

Pac Studio is an ideas-driven design office, committed to intellectual and artistic rigor, and fueled by a strong commitment to realizing ideas in the world. We believe a thoughtful and inclusive approach to design, which puts people at the heart of any potential solution, is the key to compelling and positive architecture.

Through our relationships with inter-related disciplines — furniture, art, landscape, academia — we can create a whole that is greater than the sum of its parts. We are open to unconventional propositions. We are architects and designers with substantial experience delivering highly awarded architectural projects on multiple scales.

Some of Pac Studio’s most prominent projects include:

The following statistics helped Pac Studio achieve 12th place in the 25 Best Architecture Firms in New Zealand:

Featured Projects 4
Total Projects 8

11. Jasmax

© Jasmax

© Jasmax

Jasmax is one of New Zealand’s largest and longest established architecture and design practices. With over 250 staff nationwide, the practice has delivered some of the country’s most well known projects, from the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa to major infrastructure and masterplanning projects such as Auckland’s Britomart Station.

From our four regional offices, the practice works with clients, stakeholders and communities across the following sectors: commercial, cultural and civic, education, infrastructure, health, hospitality, retail, residential, sports and recreation, and urban design.

Environmentally sustainable design is part of everything we do, and we were proud to work with Ngāi Tūhoe to design one of New Zealand’s most advanced sustainable buildings, Te Uru Taumatua; which has been designed to the stringent criteria of the International Living Future Institute’s Living Building Challenge.

Some of Jasmax’s most prominent projects include:

The following statistics helped Jasmax achieve 11th place in the 25 Best Architecture Firms in New Zealand:

Featured Projects 4
Total Projects 21

10. Condon Scott Architects

© Condon Scott Architects

© Condon Scott Architects

Condon Scott Architects Ltd is a boutique, award-winning NZIA registered architectural practice based in Wanaka. Over the past 30 years, our practice has designed a wide range of high-end residential and commercial projects in Queenstown, Wanaka, the Central Otago region and further afield.

Directors Barry Condon and Sarah Scott, together with their highly skilled architectural team of ten, deliver a full design and construction management service from initial concept design through to tender management, contract administration and interior design. We approach each commission as a bespoke and site specific project. Our studio offers strong design-led architecture and focuses on integrating our clients’ needs with sound building practices to maximize the potential of each project.

Some of Condon Scott Architects’s most prominent projects include:

The following statistics helped Condon Scott Architects achieve 10th place in the 25 Best Architecture Firms in New Zealand:

Featured Projects 4
Total Projects 16

9. Patterson Associates

© Patterson Associates

© Patterson Associates

Pattersons Associates Architects began its creative story with Architect, Andrew Patterson in 1986 whose early work on New Zealand’s unspoiled coasts, explores relationships between people and landscape to create a sense of belonging. The architecture studio started based on a very simple idea; if a building can feel like it naturally ‘belongs’ or fits logically in a place, to an environment, a time and culture, then the people that inhabit the building will likely feel a sense of belonging there as well. This methodology connects theories of beauty, confidence, economy and comfort.

In 2004 Davor Popadich and Andrew Mitchell joined the firm as Directors, taking it to another level of creative exploration and helping it grow into an architecture studio with an international reputation.

Some of Patterson Associates’s most prominent projects include:

The following statistics helped Patterson Associates achieve 9th place in the 25 Best Architecture Firms in New Zealand:

Featured Projects 5
Total Projects 5

8. Team Green Architects

© Sam Hartnett

© Sam Hartnett

Established in 2013 by Sian Taylor and Mark Read, Team Green Architects is a young committed practice focused on designing energy efficient buildings.

Some of Team Green Architects’s most prominent projects include:

The following statistics helped Team Green Architects achieve 8th place in the 25 Best Architecture Firms in New Zealand:

Featured Projects 5
Total Projects 7

7. Creative Arch

© Creative Arch

© Creative Arch

Creative Arch is an award-winning, multi-disciplined architectural design practice, founded in 1998 by Architectural Designer / Director Mark McLeay. The range of work at Creative Arch is as diverse as our clients, encompassing residential homes, alterations and renovations, coastal developments, sub-division developments, to commercial projects.

The team at Creative Arch are an enthusiastic group of talented professional architects and architectural designers, with a depth of experience, from a range of different backgrounds and cultures. Creative Arch is a client-focused firm committed to providing excellence in service, culture, and project outcomes.

Some of Creative Arch’s most prominent projects include:

The following statistics helped Creative Arch achieve 7th place in the 25 Best Architecture Firms in New Zealand:

Featured Projects 6
Total Projects 18

6. Smith Architects

© Smith Architects

© Smith Architects

Smith Architects is an award-winning international architectural practice creating beautiful human spaces that are unique, innovative and sustainable through creativity, refinement, and care.

Phil and Tiffany Smith established the practice in 2007. We have spent more than two decades striving to understand what makes some buildings more attractive than others, in the anticipation that it can help us design better buildings.

Some of Smith Architects’s most prominent projects include:

The following statistics helped Smith Architects achieve 6th place in the 25 Best Architecture Firms in New Zealand:

A+Awards Finalist 1
Featured Projects 8
Total Projects 22

5. Bossley Architects

© Bossley Architects

© Bossley Architects

Bossley Architects is an architectural and interior design practice with the express purpose of providing intense input into a deliberately limited number of projects. The practice is based on the belief that innovative yet practical design is essential for the production of good buildings, and that the best buildings spring from an open and enthusiastic collaboration between architect, client and consultants.

We have designed a wide range of projects including commercial, institutional and residential, and have amassed special expertise in the field of art galleries and museums, residential and the restaurant/entertainment sector. Whilst being very much design focused, the practice has an overriding interest in the pragmatics and feasibility of construction.

Some of Bossley Architects’s most prominent projects include:

The following statistics helped Bossley Architects achieve 5th place in the 25 Best Architecture Firms in New Zealand:

Featured Projects 8
Total Projects 21

4. Monk Mackenzie

© Monk Mackenzie

© Monk Mackenzie

Monk Mackenzie is an architecture and design firm based in New Zealand. Monk Mackenzie’s design portfolio includes a variety of architectural projects, such as transport and infrastructure, hospitality and sport, residential, cultural and more. Celebrating the world’s best architecture and design through projects, competitions, awards and stories.

Some of Monk Mackenzie’s most prominent projects include:

The following statistics helped Monk Mackenzie achieve 4th place in the 25 Best Architecture Firms in New Zealand:

A+Awards Winner 2
A+Awards Finalist 4
Featured Projects 4
Total Projects 14

3. Dorrington Atcheson Architects

© Dorrington Atcheson Architects

© Dorrington Atcheson Architects

Dorrington Architects & Associates was formed in 2010, resulting in a combined 20 years of experience in the New Zealand architectural market. We’re a boutique architecture firm working on a range of projects and budgets. We love our work, we pride ourselves on the work we do and we enjoy working with our clients to achieve a result that resolves their brief.

The design process is a collaborative effort, working with the client, budget, site and brief, to find unique solutions that solve the project at hand.The style of our projects are determined by the site and the budget, with a leaning towards contemporary modernist design, utilizing a rich natural material palette, creating clean and tranquil spaces.

Some of Dorrington Atcheson Architects’s most prominent projects include:

The following statistics helped Dorrington Atcheson Architects achieve 3rd place in the 25 Best Architecture Firms in New Zealand:

Featured Projects 9
Total Projects 14

2. Fearon Hay Architects

© Fearon Hay Architects

© Fearon Hay Architects

Fearon Hay is a design-led studio undertaking a broad range of projects in diverse environments. With studios in Auckland and Los Angeles, the firm is engaged in projects on sites around the world.

Tim Hay and Jeff Fearon founded the practice in 1998 as a way to enable their combined involvement in the design and execution of each project alongside. In 2018, Olivia Williams joined the leadership team to head up the Los Angeles branch. Together, they lead an international team of experienced professionals. The studio approaches every project with a commitment to design excellence, a thoughtful consideration of site and place, and an inventive sense of creativity.

Some of Fearon Hay Architects’s most prominent projects include:

The following statistics helped Fearon Hay Architects achieve 2nd place in the 25 Best Architecture Firms in New Zealand:

A+Awards Winner 2
A+Awards Finalist 3
Featured Projects 10
Total Projects 17

1. RTA Studio

© RTA Studio

© RTA Studio

Richard Naish founded RTA Studio in 1999 after a successful career with top practices in London and Auckland. We are a practice that focuses on delivering exceptional design with a considered and personal service. Our work aims to make a lasting contribution to the urban and natural context by challenging, provoking and delighting.

Our studio is constantly working within the realms of public, commercial and urban design as well as sensitive residential projects. We are committed to a sustainable built environment and are at the forefront developing carbon neutral buildings. RTA Studio has received more than 100 New Zealand and international awards, including Home of The Year, a World Architecture Festival category win and the New Zealand Architecture Medal.

Some of RTA Studio’s most prominent projects include:

The following statistics helped RTA Studio achieve 1st place in the 25 Best Architecture Firms in New Zealand:

A+Awards Winner 2
A+Awards Finalist 6
Featured Projects 9
Total Projects 15

Why Should I Trust Architizer’s Ranking?

With more than 30,000 architecture firms and over 130,000 projects within its database, Architizer is proud to host the world’s largest online community of architects and building product manufacturers. Its celebrated A+Awards program is also the largest celebration of architecture and building products, with more than 400 jurors and hundreds of thousands of public votes helping to recognize the world’s best architecture each year.

Architizer also powers firm directories for a number of AIA (American Institute of Architects) Chapters nationwide, including the official directory of architecture firms for AIA New York.

An example of a project page on Architizer with Project Award Badges highlighted

A Guide to Project Awards

The blue “+” badge denotes that a project has won a prestigious A+Award as described above. Hovering over the badge reveals details of the award, including award category, year, and whether the project won the jury or popular choice award.

The orange Project of the Day and yellow Featured Project badges are awarded by Architizer’s Editorial team, and are selected based on a number of factors. The following factors increase a project’s likelihood of being featured or awarded Project of the Day status:

  • Project completed within the last 3 years
  • A well written, concise project description of at least 3 paragraphs
  • Architectural design with a high level of both functional and aesthetic value
  • High quality, in focus photographs
  • At least 8 photographs of both the interior and exterior of the building
  • Inclusion of architectural drawings and renderings
  • Inclusion of construction photographs

There are 7 Projects of the Day each week and a further 31 Featured Projects. Each Project of the Day is published on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram Stories, while each Featured Project is published on Facebook. Each Project of the Day also features in Architizer’s Weekly Projects Newsletter and shared with 170,000 subscribers.

 


 

We’re constantly look for the world’s best architects to join our community. If you would like to understand more about this ranking list and learn how your firm can achieve a presence on it, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us at editorial@architizer.com.

The post 25 Best Architecture Firms in New Zealand appeared first on Journal.

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