The Practice

Architecture Studio is a design based practice formed by Richard Tunstall and Richard McNeill , in 2004. We operate from a creative space, located in Christchurch, New Zealand. Having both grown up in the Canterbury region we have a strong desire to make a positive difference to the City of Christchurch and the greater Canterbury province.

Collectively 50 years experience in design and project management, coupled to exceptional technical and construction knowledge, we believe in responsive pro-active management style, which we maintain throughout the building development process. Both Directors previously worked closely under the expert direction of renowned Master Builder Chas S Luney who was responsible for a large number of iconic buildings within Christchurch City. Unfortunately a number of these buildings no longer exist following the devastating Canterbury Earthquakes. Thankfully, Architecture Studio remains focused and committed to rebuild and transform the City into a community where families can establish, grow and prosper, and a place where businesses can flourish.

Our staff are young, energetic and cosmopolitan, bringing an exceptional level of innovation and creativity to our vibrant working environment. Our Clients vary from commercial developers, builders, current and retired professionals to family home owners. We are always excited to become actively involved in any project, large or small and always keen to meet new Clients, discuss and develop their great ideas and provide the best design service possible. Although the majority of our work is based in Christchurch we have undertaken work in other parts of the North and South Island and advised on projects overseas (Fiji/UK).

Our Consultants are renowned and respected local firms that have proven experience in their specialist fields. With our Consultant relationships, our ideas can flow more freely, allowing us to work together creatively from the beginning concept to the celebrated completion of the project. We combine all our knowledge to devise a sustainable, pragmatic, fully integrated design solution. Alongside the Structural and M&E Engineers, there are other specialist teams whose expertise underpins our approach.

Prior to the Canterbury earthquakes our offices were located in the beautiful Old Public Library Chambers on Cambridge Terrace. Unfortunately this iconic building and our beloved office was reduced to rubble following the earthquakes and with a major shortage of office space in the City, we had to quickly come up with a creative solution. We developed our own relocatable offices in the form of transformed shipping containers. These provide an innovative, cost effective, working environment for the Design Practice and our Clients.

Architecture Studio is an equal opportunities employer.

Design philosophy

Our innovative and pragmatic approach to architecture provides a strong stimulus for ideas to flourish and challenges to be resolved. We take time to understand the design problem fully, allowing us to develop solutions that don’t cost the earth. As a famous New Zealander once said “We’ve got no money, so we’ve got to think” Earnest Lord Rutherford.

We believe the most critical aspect of creating a new environment is not so much to satisfy a set of existing pre-defined needs but rather to arrive at a new and unique definition.

We have a duty to design responsibly, developing implementable,  sustainable solutions, that where possible, use totally renewable sources of energy and offer dramatic reductions in carbon emissions. Environmental awareness is an integral part of the practice’s culture and our practice continually evolves to meet the new challenges arising in the modern world.

We are equipped to deal with ever-changing: technology, planning constraints; client expectations; and the changing face of commercialism. We remain closely connected to city planners and regulators, in order to lead our multidisciplinary design team from the front.

Our commitment to research and development has allowed us to bring our combined expertise together on a wide range of projects. Although design work tends to be focused in Christchurch, New Zealand, we are constantly monitoring international architectural trends and innovations within the construction industry and the built environment.

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