“I see architecture as a social science, in that the spaces we create have an effect on people.”
Born in Auckland, and with a practical and wide ranging background in architecture, Chris is Jasmax’s expert in tertiary education design. He has been project architect on a number of inventive, defining university buildings, including AUT’s Business School and AUT’s Sir Paul Reeves building.
With an interest in ‘how things work’, Chris is both practical and lateral in his thinking. He went to architecture school at 16, before moving into practice. Chris designed his first house – his own – at 27, then spent two years physically building it. Building another three since, he has learnt a very clear lesson: "Don't make things complex" he says.
Chris seized an opportunity to work in London before returning to New Zealand to practise at Gibbs Harris – one of two firms that were later to merge with Jasmax. During this time, and in working in his own practice for ten years; Chris developed experience leading many commercial, residential and café projects.
Joining the Jasmax team in 2002, Chris has been immersed in large and challenging projects, as an architect, project architect and team leader. Within six months of starting, he was made Project Architect on AUT’s award winning Business School followed by the Sylvia Park Development "Not just designing buildings; designing teams" he says. It is this aspect that Chris excels at: bringing together the right teams, with the right focus, and infusing them with a shared vision.
Chris was the project lead on the Sir Paul Reeves Building – a showcase piece of architecture for AUT, and transformational for the campus. “AUT have a by-line: University of the Changing World – and their brief aspired to highlight this. We engaged the university community, and the public in order showcase AUT in this capacity, transforming and enhancing the campus through the excellence of the building” he says.
Guardianship of the environment, client satisfaction and social enrichment are cornerstones of Chris’ architectural philosophy. A keen sailor, avid tramper, and enthusiastic traveller Chris says: “I’m not one to put things off. If I have a great ambition, I love to make it happen.”