MEET SIMON!

Simon Richmond Originally from Christchurch, Simon decided on Wellington to study and successfully graduated from Victoria University of Wellington School of Architecture and Design in 2012. 

Simon Richmond

Originally from Christchurch, Simon decided on Wellington to study and successfully graduated from Victoria University of Wellington School of Architecture and Design in 2012. 

What inspired you to become an Architect?

I have been interested in drawing, the way things are put together and design for as long as I can remember. Whether it was playing with Lego as a kid or enjoying graphics at high school. My progression into a career in Architecture seemed natural, fulfilling my desire to combine creativity with practicality and problem solving. I can’t imagine doing anything else.

Do you think that living overseas changed the way you think about Architecture?

Yes, I think it did. It definitely strengthened my passion for architecture. While touring around Europe, I spent a lot of time being a bit of an “architecture nerd” visiting various icons of architecture…

What excites you about residential Architecture in Christchurch?

Post-earthquake Christchurch is an interesting place to live and work. While it is sad to see the damage to homes and empty sites, they also speak of opportunity. We have a chance to improve upon things and provide people with better living environments. Giving back to the city which I grew up in, restore it to its former glory so to speak. Repair and rebuild… When working on the scale of residential architecture, you get to work closely with the users, the homeowners. This means you have the opportunity to tailor the design to meet their individual lifestyles, needs and aesthetic preferences thus create a unique piece of architecture

Is there any period of residential Architecture that takes your interest?

As a Christchurch local, I have had much exposure to the works of architects like Sir Miles Warren of Warren and Mahoney. While this covers a relatively large period, his designs of various townhouses and flats throughout the late 1950s through 60s resonate with me the most – For example; 65 Cambridge Terrace, Dorset Street and Carlton Mill Flats.

If you could choose to design a house anywhere in New Zealand where would it be?

There are two places I can think of, Wanaka, for its beautiful surroundings (lakes and mountains) that promote the use of natural, raw materials. In stark contrast, I would love to design an inner-city house or housing complex, this would ideally be in the developing central city of Christchurch. I feel that the city could benefit from more inner city accommodation and densification and would enjoy the numerous challenges that accompany urban developments – small footprints, balancing privacy issues with creating desirable livings spaces etc

Do you have a favourite house in New Zealand?

No specific house comes to mind. However, I am a fan of the New Zealand bach aesthetic with its simplified volumes and spaces reduced down to only what is needed, coupled with a rustic material pallet.