Leading Waikato architect to head new Tauranga studio

July 19, 2017: News, People

Award-winning Architect Les Matthews has been appointed studio manager and Senior Architect at Warren and Mahoney’s new Tauranga studio.

Leading Waikato architect to head new Tauranga studio

Award-winning Architect Les Matthews has been appointed studio manager and Senior Architect at Warren and Mahoney’s new Tauranga studio.

Les, who holds an honours degree in Architecture from the University of Auckland and a doctorate in Architectural and Urban Studies from the University of Cambridge, has significant experience as a Registered Architect in the Waikato and Bay of Plenty region on projects ranging from institutional, commercial, residential and urban design. He has been involved in 35 celebrated architectural projects to date, including the new six level Law-Management building at the University of Waikato which received an award in the recent 2017 Waikato Bay of Plenty Architecture awards.

Other high profile projects in which he has played a major role include the Science Innovation and Research campus masterplan at Ruakura, a civic library in Te Awamatu, the Hamilton Transport Centre, redevelopment of the Hamilton airport terminal building at Rukuhia, and police and fire stations at Mt Maunganui.

Les is currently deputy chair of the Hamilton Urban Design Advisory Panel and is one of three architects on the Technical Advisory Group set up by the Tauranga City Council. He is enthusiastic about being involved with implementing the Masterplan for the Tauranga CBD, which was prepared by Warren and Mahoney in conjunction with Landlab landscape architects and the City Council.

Les Matthews says the city is extremely fortunate in that it has the bones of a truly great city.

“Tauranga is a beautiful city set in an amazing environment.  It has always had lovely views and many of the buildings have had some visual connection with the water but there is a wonderful opportunity to improve the urban environment itself. Tauranga is not unlike other cities in the world that are revitalising their central urban area within the confines of natural landform features.”

But he says that in this case the Council has been able to take the lead in town planning of the central business district as it owns a sizeable and strategic amount of land as well as buildings in the heart of the peninsula.

“The Masterplan document recognises this uniqueness, and really sets the scene for an exciting and robust way of moving forward.”

Warren and Mahoney has already embarked on a number of major projects in the Tauranga area, including the interior fit out of the Trustpower building, the new Zespri headquarters, and, in partnership with Novare Design, the Wairoa Cycleway Bridge, which will be part of the Omokoroa to Tauranga Cycle Trail. Warren and Mahoney is currently working on the first project of the Heart of the City regeneration project: a transport hub.

Les Matthews has relocated to Tauranga to lead the new studio team. However, he is looking forward to continuing his close association with the Waikato region by working on projects from Tauranga, through to Taupo and Hamilton from the new location. The Warren and Mahoney studio is located at 76 Grey Street in the Central Business District.