Architecture services for your home, tiny house or commercial space
We begin every minimal design with a two-hour meeting to discuss your unique vision, project goals, sustainable requirements and budget. We then apply our minimal ethos to your home, tiny house or commercial space, working with you to identify the best approach and services required.
We then offer a full suite of architectural and interior design services, and will provide advice and support throughout the entire process, from pricing, building consent and construction through to the day you move in. Agile and experienced, all our services are customisable to your unique project.
The MINIMAL design ETHOS
Seek global inspiration not materials, minimising international demand and the environmental cost of shipping.
Minimise impact on our unique environment and limited natural resources.
Efficiently maximise the use of accessible, quality materials and local people.
Maximise the lifespan of our design, aesthetically and functionally.
Maximise value with warm, dry, comfortable and beautiful spaces.
Minimise your footprint and cost of living for years to come.
As architects, we create projects that deliver a true reflection of your needs, wants and personality. Pre-design preparation is a continuation of our initial meeting, where we really get to know you, your vision and the unique requirements and regulations of your home, holiday house or commercial build.
It is during this phase that we will visit your site and document notable features, challenges or opportunities, including any existing structures and natural qualities. You may be asked to obtain a land survey to support the upcoming design phase.
Conceptual + schematic design
All information gathered during pre-design preparation is analysed and brought to life through our first round of conceptual diagrams.
Diagrams and quick sketches begin to look at the general functions of the building and their basic relationship to each other, the site and the surrounding environment. Sun path, slopes, wind and outlook are carefully considered.
This phase typically encompasses two to four meetings depending on your project’s complexity. Open communication and feedback are key as the project continues to evolve throughout this process. Once you’re pleased with the plan, the project will move into the design development phase.
Interior design, bathroom layouts and fixed joinery are also discussed in this phase.
In this stage the building is refined, evolving into the foundation for precise work drawings with an additional focus on exterior finish materials. We’ll also guide you through selecting the required consultants to join the project team to develop the coordinated technical construction drawings.
The timing of builder involvement differs depending on the project. We encourage dialogue early and will assist in the relationship as needed. The design development stage is the perfect time, as their experience and rough pricing can be extremely beneficial.
Building consent process - before application
The building consent process can be a time consuming one. Whether your project involves a new home or alternation, applying often requires the following documentation:
Architectural drawings including floor plans, elevations, cross sections, plumbing and electrical plans, and construction details showing how the building is put together and how it complies with the building code.
Structural drawings and calculations including information relating to foundations, beams bracing and connections.
A specification, which is a written document containing information about each trade that is too detailed to show on the drawings.
Geotechnical information e.g. soil tests and reports on the ground conditions.
Producer statements and design certificates from consultants involved in the project.
Energy efficiency calculations demonstrating heat loss from the building.
Information relating to specific products or materials to be used in the building.
And last, but not least, an application form and checklist.
Building consent process / after application
We strive to minimise the time and energy spent during the consent process by ensuring all
documentation is detailed and complete, however, requests for information can occur. Once
your project is approved, council will issue the consent documents, a copy of which must be
kept onsite at all times. This will include a list of all the inspections that council will undertake
at various stages.
Projects that don't require building consent
Under Schedule 1 of the Building Act, certain work is deemed to be exempt from building
consent, including tiny homes or those on wheels, many types of repairs and maintenance
work, minor alterations and carports.
There can be worthwhile savings in documentation and compliance costs achieved by
avoiding the formal building consent process, but the onus is on the homeowner to ensure
all work complies with the building code and the district plan. As such, it is important that
architectural and structural work is designed by suitably-qualified professionals, particularly
as there will be no council inspections as the building work progresses.
Construction process - tender
If your builder was not selected in the design development phase, now is the time to initiate
communication and request pricing from one or more competing builders. We are here to
answer any questions and provide prospective bidders with additional information.
Construction process - construction administration
Continuing to provide architectural services throughout construction is vital to ensuring the
success of the design execution. Once your project is underway, we are available to attend
regular meetings with your builder and site observation reports are issued to the client to
maintain communication and track the overall progress. Though our detailed construction
documentation minimises unforeseen construction challenges, we will collaborate with the
builder as issues arise to verify the design integrity is maintained.
Interior design process
Questions regarding the specific functions of the space, who will be using the space,
furniture and equipment requirements will be discussed in the conceptual and schematic
design phase. Space planning and furniture layouts are developed with a consideration for
circulation patterns and minimum clearances. Rough sketches and 3D schemes are created,
preliminary furniture and finish ideas are developed and then presented to the client for
review and revision.
After final approval of the schematic design, we will develop floor plans, elevations and 3D
renders. Colours and finishes are refined, furniture, fabrics and equipment are selected, and
cost estimates are prepared. The resulting design is presented to the client for final
In the final stage where things are built and installed, we will visit the site during installation
to ensure items are received in good condition, installed correctly, and that documents have
been followed properly.