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India is full of surprises. Every time I visit, I discover something new. After every trip, I return to New Zealand with a better appreciation of and different attitude towards the two cultures.

You were born in Bangalore and lived there until you were 12. Tell us about growing up in Southern India.

Bangalore is a city of 8 million people so it was big, busy and bustling. My immediate family includes my parents and my brother, who is eight years younger than me. School holidays were spent with cousins at my maternal grandmother’s, and after school we went to my paternal grandparents’ house – so I grew up around a lot of people.

I have vivid memories of after-school rickshaw rides to my grandparent’s house where they had an English garden and red oxide flooring. I remember the Friday evening ritual of getting street food down the road with my mum, the smell of jasmine while walking past local temples, and late night movies and lights along the central city streets.

When I was 12, my parents, who both worked in banking, opted for a change. They moved to Auckland at a time when the world and its opportunities were open to them.

You own a worker’s cottage in Onehunga with your husband Sajeev who is also doing architecture at Patterson Associates. Tell us more.

Our house is about 110 years old. I still remember the day of the open home – I was hooked straightaway. There are colonial English aspects to it that remind me of my grandparents’ house and Bangalore at times. We were very lucky to be able to buy it – at 75m2, it probably appealed to a niche market as it also has a few zoning restrictions meaning we can’t alter the exterior.

We’re still finding out things about the cottage. When we bought it, it came with a name plate outside our front door - ‘Temuka’ – and we’re working on discovering its significance. Just the other day, we met a lady who told us that our street was named after one of her ancestors. There is so much history here and I feel like we’ve only just scraped the surface.

We have a courtyard and a sleepout at the back which we are doing up and hope to rent out soon but with two design opinions in the house, things are taking longer than expected! We’ll eventually get around to renovating the main home; when we do, it’s important to us that we stay true to the heritage and history of Onehunga.

What made you decide to study architecture?

I have always been interested in drawing. I started with anatomy and moved onto objects, eventually drawing the built environment around me. This led me to doing art and design in school – but I also enjoyed the practicality of some of the sciences.

I had a few career options open but by the time I visited Auckland University for their open day, and after talking to a few teachers at school, it felt natural to go with architecture. It was a no-brainer and I’ve never looked back. I graduated in 2012.

Do you ever travel back to India?

Auckland is now home, but with the first 12 years in India, I’ve spent some of the most influential years of life in a completely different context. I still have extended family in India so I make the trip back as often as I can.

More recently, I’ve started to travel to the northern part of the country where the architecture, the people and the food are quite different to the south where I was born. I’m still ticking things off the list – the next is to get to Chandigarh, the city that was planned by Le Corbusier.

India is full of surprises. Every time I visit, I discover something new. After every trip, I return to New Zealand with a better appreciation of and different attitude towards the two cultures.

How does your cultural background affect the way you think about design?

I revisited India while I was studying architecture and learnt a lot about what is embedded in its culture. Indian art, textiles and architecture are all heavily crafted. From the historic places such as the Taj Mahal and Fatehpur Sikri, to brass sculptures and sarees, there is crafting everywhere and at every scale. This reminds me a bit of what we do here at Warren and Mahoney. Even though we have some great large scale projects, every aspect is designed and articulated, every staircase is treated like sculpture, while every detail is scrutinised. We get to work on craft at the micro and macro level on a day-to-day basis.

As part of the Wynyard Quarter Innovation Precinct team, I was fortunate to work on larger scale elements as well as smaller – for example, the signage on the Mason Bros. building. That was an exercise in itself and I took inspiration from the original engineering company logo.

Although I’m slowly losing the time to do things, I try to maintain this idea of crafting through a few community courses, the highlights being pottery and jewellery making. They’re both patient crafts but also a lot of fun and make for great presents.

Who are your mentors and what have you learned from them?

I started at Warren and Mahoney in April 2015 and one of the first projects I worked on was some feasibility/concepts for Wynyard Quarter with Blair (Johnston). It was so different to anything I had done before – these buildings are changing the face our city. It was a privilege to get an insight into Blair’s thinking process and the speed at which he works. He’s also been extremely supportive of other opportunities that have come up along the way.

I’ve also worked on a housing development with Patrick (Sloan) and it was fascinating to learn from his experiences in China. He encouraged me into some leadership of aspects of the project (with guidance), such as taking the lead at weekly meetings with clients.

Lastly, I’ve learnt a lot from working with Lynda Simmons, co-chair of Architecture +Women NZ. Listening to her talk about why she does what she does showcases the passion with which she carries out her work for A+W. The depth of her research and analysis is evident – her work shines the light on other incredible people and provides opportunities for many more. This takes a kind of selflessness, and it is something I have always admired.

What are you working on at the moment?

My time is predominantly split between two projects: Wynyard Quarter Innovation Precinct (commercial) which has a number of buildings at varying stages and Tauranga Crossing, a retail mall typology. Interestingly, my thesis project at university looked at the homogenisation of architecture, particularly in regard to retail environments so it’s great to be part of a team that is making the Tauranga building contextually relevant. The strategies can be relatively simple and by breaking retail mall conventions, we are able to achieve much more warm, relevant and gritty outcomes rather than an all-white faceless box.

How far along the path to registration are you?

I’m hoping to get there in a year or two, but it’s not a race. Some graduates get the relevant experience in two or three years. Others work on projects that take a bit longer. Learning is the invaluable thing and architecture, for me, is bigger than registration. So yes, it’s on my ‘to do’ list but I’ll do it when I’m ready. Besides, I’m still under 30 – and they say that at 45, you’re still a young architect – so I have a way to go!

You are the liaison between the NZIA and Architecture + Women NZ. How did you get involved in that organisation?

A+W-NZ is an active group that promotes visibility and inclusiveness for those who work in architecture via four channels – networks, events, research and policies. And the NZIA Auckland Branch Committee is filled with people who are driven and contribute immensely towards their various portfolios with their time, energy and networks. As secretary of A+W-NZ, my role is to carry information between the two organisations, to update them on events, share knowledge, report on activities and seek potential opportunities.

I also think A+W-NZ is an important organisation because discussing issues around diversity and workplace culture can be a great tool for the visibility of many other groups in the profession. We wouldn’t be where we are if it wasn’t for previous generations of female architects who have worked tirelessly to achieve this nurturing environment for the rest of us.

You will be taking part in the Architecture + Women and SGA workshop soon. What does that involve?

Lily Wong and I will be sharing participation in the 8-week project that is held at the SGA workshop. We’ll be prefabricating a building for the Motu Kaikoura Trust whose research facility in Kaikoura Island burnt down in 2013 due to arson.

The new building, designed by SGA, will be prefabricated at the SGA and Crate workshops in Kingsland and barged to Kaikoura Island (off Great Barrier Island) for assembly over Labour Weekend.

This workshop will help us understand the building process from inside out and the value in efficiency of materials and processes. But most importantly, this is an opportunity for us to build for the community. The most rewarding outcome will be to observe how the building gets used over time, how it weathers, and the satisfaction of people using and moving through something you built with your own hands.  It’s an exciting, one-of-a-kind opportunity – but first, I think I’ll need to find myself a tool belt.

Daryl Maguire 76 Lightened

Warren and Mahoney is pleased to announce the appointment of Daryl Maguire as Melbourne Studio Principal, after six years as a Principal at its Christchurch studio.

The move is reflective of Warren and Mahoney's one-studio approach, where architects from across our seven international studios work collaboratively on projects. 

Daryl's new role comes in addition to his position as the practice’s sports sector leader and Chair of the Australian Board. Daryl will focus heavily on business development alongside leading the Melbourne studio and managing the team day-to-day.

Daryl joined Warren and Mahoney in 2012 and has an impressive track record successfully delivering a host of complex and long-term projects. With a portfolio spanning 30 years and three continents, Daryl 's extensive history within sports architecture has seen him leading the direction of major stadiums and sporting precincts throughout New Zealand and Australia.

One of his memorable achievements during his tenure has been working with the local indigenous people to incorporate cultural narratives into key civic buildings such as King Edward Barracks and the Metro Sports Facility.

Daryl's design philosophy contends great architecture grows out of a bilateral understanding of the client’s vision and the site’s unique urban context, echoing Warren and Mahoney’s humanist approach to architecture.

“ This promotion is a wonderful opportunity to oversee the practice’s many exciting civic, education, residential and sports projects,” said Daryl.

“ Architecture allows me to flex my creative muscle to its capacity; navigating the needs of various community members and stakeholders. It’s a challenge Warren and Mahoney continuously lives up to.

“ For architects, large-scale recreational developments can often be the most challenging but also the most gratifying as each facility quickly transforms into a community hub.

“ For community projects, cohesion and simplicity drive Warren and Mahoney’s design approach and we follow through with precise execution to deliver authentic, meaningful and enduring design.

“ At the core of our business is a belief that identity matters; that the most successful and enduring projects are those that connect people together and create a sense of belonging.”

In the Melbourne studio, Daryl is currently working on two university sports facility projects: a recreation centre, and a sports science and research park.

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The World Architecture Festival gives us the opportunity to take New Zealand design to the world. As New Zealanders, we are outward looking, and always seeking new creative possibilities.

John Coop

The World Architectural Festival has today announced the finalists for their 2018 awards, which include two transport and two education projects by Warren and Mahoney; Memorial Bridge, Christchurch, Waterview Connection, The University of Waikato Marae and Multi-Purpose Facility and Lincoln University and AgResearch Joint Facility.

Managing director John Coop says Warren and Mahoney is delighted to have so many of its projects receive this level of recognition on a global stage.

“The World Architecture Festival gives us the opportunity to take New Zealand design to the world. As New Zealanders, we are outward looking, and always seeking new creative possibilities.

“All of these projects are the result of understanding the essential purpose and context of a project, working closely with our clients, the community and iwi to express identity and enhance belonging.

“To achieve four project finalists is proof that our design approach resonates beyond our shores,” says Coop.

World Architecture Festival organisers noted that the competition received a record number of entries this year, making a shortlist nomination a true feat. The complete shortlist includes 536 projects from 81 countries across its 39 categories. Each of the category winners will be announced at the festival in November, and winners will go on to compete for the World Building of the Year award or the Future Project of the Year award.


The plan will focus on improving connectivity and increasing the overall cultural offering for the precinct, including public realm improvements, early interventions, pop-up opportunities, and flexible and adaptable spaces that can serve a wide variety of community needs throughout the year.

Over the next 12 months Warren and Mahoney and Oxigen will develop a precinct plan that reflects the needs and aspirations of a young and dynamic community that values community life, social inclusion and financial and environmental sustainability.

City Renewal Authority chief executive Malcolm Snow said the successful tender demonstrated a history of using design-led and people focused planning to deliver world-class precincts.

“Warren and Mahoney and Oxigen have all of the technical skills to formulate a comprehensive precinct plan and they also have an approach to city design consistent with the City Renewal Authority’s values,” Mr Snow said.

“The plan will focus on improving connectivity and increasing the overall cultural offering for the precinct, including public realm improvements, early interventions, pop-up opportunities, and flexible and adaptable spaces that can serve a wide variety of community needs throughout the year.

“The team we have selected for this critical project has proven experience in delivering high-profile civic redevelopment in Australia and New Zealand and a demonstrated commitment to community engagement, innovation, sustainability and design excellence.”

Gavin Kain, Managing Principal of Warren and Mahoney said the project was symbolically important.

“Canberra Civic and Arts Precinct is really important in the context of Australia and even potentially beyond,” he said.

“Having been involved in similar projects in other cities, how do you take what are interesting and important buildings, arts facilities, plazas, potentially convention centres which in many of our cities are typically places that can be low on energy and activity, and turn them into places that are vibrant? That's a challenge that I've been involved with previously and was keen to be able to bring some of those experiences to Canberra.”

Gavin is looking forward to working within the capital.

“Some of the most interesting residential and urban areas in Australia are emerging out of Canberra,” he said.

“Change is there and often it's about seizing particular opportunities and momentum. This feels like that sort of opportunity and a privilege.”

The Civic, Arts and Cultural Precinct spans from Constitution Avenue to Northbourne Avenue and is bordered by London Circuit to the east and City Hill to the west.  It also includes Ainslie Avenue from London Circuit to City Walk.  It is home to the Canberra Theatre, the ACT Legislative Assembly, the Canberra Museum of Gallery and the new ACT Government Office Block currently under construction.

For more information visit


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Waterview Connection

The New Zealand Institute of Architects honoured innovation and celebrated old and new at their local awards this year.

The awards are part of the New Zealand Architecture Awards programme run by the New Zealand Institute of Architects

This year’s Canterbury jury was led by architect Melanda Slemint. 

“What really stood out is the way architects have been able to keep sight of the human scale, and the context within which the projects sit. Christchurch is undergoing a period of identity change, and some of the new projects speak eloquently about the quality of life we celebrate here,” Slemint noted.

“The world’s best cities have a fine-grained rhythm that creates interest and variation and prevents streets and public spaces from being overwhelming. As post-quake Christchurch continues to develop, it is heartening to see that the city’s architects are attuned to the needs of people.”


King Edward Barracks – Commercial Building Award 

“A fearless sense of adventure and invention is expressed by the skin of this building, that is lyrical and sensuous, and complementary to both the plan and the commercial character of the building. The building acknowledges the river and courtyard like a parent loves a good daughter or son. The Right Honourable R. J. Seddon, Premier and Minister of Defence, would be proud of the fact that 113 years on, his stone still holds centre stage in this fine new building,” the jury commented.

The Arts Centre of Christchurch – Heritage and Restoration Award 

“Designed by Colin Hammond, the EA building is one of several Gothic Revival Buildings that combine to form the Arts Centre, a unique and important part of the cultural and historical heritage of Christchurch, even more so in the post-earthquake city. Accessibility has been introduced to all levels and spaces reconfigured to allow the School of Music to operate effectively in this historic building.

Every detail has been carefully considered in this sympathetic restoration which has breathed life back into the building,” the jury said. 

RJ Stewart Glandovey Road – Heritage and Restoration Award 

A large part of the comprehensive repair of this 80 year old Helmore and Cotterill home was the process of jacking up and relocating the primary structural to allow access to the subfloor. The judges commended the architects for their respect of the original detailing in creating this elegantly designed home.

“Sensitive alterations and extensions to the primary plan have allowed for a conservatory, new service buildings, glasshouse and garage that complement the original building and create seamless transitions from old to new,” the jury said.

Chapman Tripp – Interior Architecture Award 

The jury commended the simple and elegant materiality of this project noting that the light timber and white walls complement the art displayed. Gorgeous views, two exterior terraces, staff breakout rooms and flexible spaces make this workspace a delight to be in, the judges say.

“The simple idea of dividing a long, narrow interior with a spine wall imparts a clear sense of order. This wall also offers a welcoming gesture by creating a stepped series of panels where art is hung and built-in seating provided.”

Christchurch Justice & Emergency Services Precinct – Public Architecture and Interior Architecture Awards

The Justice and Emergency Services Precinct is a Christchurch rebuild ‘anchor project’ that the jury described as a “building without local precedent” that “encompasses many public functions necessary for society to work well.”

“Arranged loosely around a courtyard, this is an imposing building of incredible complexity. Formally ordered to the last sun louvre, it has a palate of materials that suggests endurance. In court, it is perfectly permissible to seek clarification of any ruling. In this instance the ruling is good; this is a well-conceived and beautifully constructed project.”

University of Canterbury College of Engineering – Education Award 

“Separate engineering facilities are now connected to form one cohesive College of Engineering through the design of a new central linking core. This new hub is the strength of this project: the primary elevation is carefully composed, the entry to the college provides an interesting spatial experience, and the hub provides for a wide variety of activities. The atrium is enclosed by a trussed ceiling that is a clear, and appropriate, expression of structural engineering,” the jury said.

The Wool Exchange – Enduring Architecture Award 

This building that originally housed the auction of wool goods was converted into a religious meeting place. The auctioneers’ podium was made in to a lectern for preaching and the square plan that once housed hectic auctions is now used by a Chinese religious congregation. 

The jury said, “The skylight and stairs are exciting architectural moves in an otherwise stolid structure built for endurance like a tight-head prop. In a post-earthquake city, this building has reinforced to the public the message that architecture can endure adversity.”


119 Great North Road – Commercial Building, Interior Architecture and Colour Awards 

A winner of three awards this year, this building thoroughly impressed the jury inside and out. “The exposed steel and concrete beams and concrete trusses evoke the modern industrial genesis of automobiles, and sleek surfaces complement the cars’ sculptural forms,” the jury commented about this luxury car showroom and office building’s interior.

The meticulous logistics planning and rigorous detailing mirror the intricacy of the luxury cars on offer. Office interiors are highly polished and the two-storey concrete truss that braces the building is a dramatic diagonal element that adroitly frames the ‘jewel box’ car displays.

King’s School Centennial Building – Education Award 

The jury said the design of this building has “clearly articulated the desire for a learning environment that would create a positive pedagogical impact.”

The well-resolved design incorporates open, flexible and specialised teaching areas that support strong student engagement and interactivity. By opening to Portland Road, the project also shows generosity to the public realm.

Waterview Connection – Planning and Urban Design Award 

This project was a response to growing pressure on Auckland’s infrastructure and the jury commended it for its, “sheer grandeur.” Of particular note was Te Whitinga, the Hendon footbridge, of which the jury said, “[It] successfully and dramatically stitches back together a community that had found itself on either side of the motorway.”

Warren and Mahoney has added a layer of sophistication to the development of this motorway infrastructure project. The use of pou at ventilation shafts and as markers at each portal, seamlessly integrated with the tunnel, brings sheer grandeur to the project.


Te Toki a Rata Victoria University of Wellington – Education Award

On the University’s Kelburn campus this science building provides a “legible new gateway.” The jury said, “The building unites this part of the university and forms a dark, reflective backdrop to the array of existing buildings on the opposite side of the courtyard.”