Warren and Mahoney deepens design leadership

December 9, 2021: News, People

Warren and Mahoney recognises leadership of the studio’s cultural design unit, Te Matakīrea, and one of New Zealand’s few design experts in high-rise commercial construction.

Michael Whare BW

Tēnā rā tātou e te whānau whanui.

Warren and Mahoney’s evolution and growth continues with the appointment of two Principals, Whare Timu and Michael Mason, further broadening the international architecture practice’s capabilities in indigenous design and high-rise commercial construction.

In advancing the company’s Te Matakīrea capability, Whare Timu’s leadership and expertise is enabling Warren and Mahoney to deepen its relationships with iwi through its approach of prioritising collaboration, and the integration of the outcomes through co-design processes.

Of Ngāti Kahungunu, Te Arawa and Tūwharetoa decent, Whare has a strong sense of how architecture can be used to connect culture, sustainability and technology. This approach is increasingly being woven into the practice’s strategic thinking, cementing Whare as a creative leader across Warren and Mahoney’s Australasian studios.

While Warren and Mahoney has worked with indigenous communities across the Pacific for more than 60 years, Te Matakīrea was formally established in 2019. Since then, this design unit has challenged the parameters of both indigenous and mainstream design, creating outcomes of increasing depth and understanding.

Locally, Te Matakīrea ensures te ao Māori and the values and ideas of Māori mana whenua partners of tika (holds truth) and pono (fair) are incorporated at the outset in project work so that it is realised and built with aroha (compassion).

Speaking of Whare’s leadership appointment, Managing Director John Coop said: “Whare represents a new generation of indigenous architects. His leadership of Te Matakīrea and expertise in iwi collaboration has brought people together in unique ways to better influence and shape the projects we design.”

“Warren and Mahoney operates across the Pacific Rim, so our understanding of indigenous practices and values must also extend beyond New Zealand. Whare’s capabilities and knowledge of how culture can impact architecture for the benefit of communities is something our studio and our clients have valued.”

Also appointed as a Principal is Michael Mason, which comes after seven years in the Auckland studio. During this time Michael has built strong client and consultant relationships.

Michael is one of the country’s few architectural experts in high-rise commercial construction and played a pivotal role in the design of Commercial Bay. The high-profile development brought together many transformational elements including public transport, retail and workplace. The project was awarded the Supreme award this month at the 2021 New Zealand Property Council awards.

Michael’s experience working for leading practices in New Zealand and London covers a wide range of building typologies including residential, commercial and hospitality projects and he has worked extensively with the adaptive re-use of historic buildings.

John Coop says Michael’s appointment to Principal speaks to the firm’s continued ambition of becoming the most influential design practice in the Pacific Rim.

“Michael’s thoughtful and steady leadership on large, high-profile projects further strengthens our strategic capabilities. Commercial Bay is one of the few mixed-use high-rise office buildings to be built in New Zealand over the last decade and Michael has led that project superbly.

“We are confident that both Michael and Whare will play an integral role in our success and expansion across the Pacific, and we look forward to supporting their achievements in partnership with our clients throughout 2022 and beyond.”