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New Zealand Institute of Architects








Good architecture matters

Ostend House, Bull O’Sullivan Architects. 2015 New Zealand Architecture ward winner.

Photo by Simon Devitt


There are plenty of benefits from well-designed buildings and public spaces – these are just a few.

Great architecture enriches our lives physically, psychologically, spiritually and emotionally – and leaves a legacy for generations to come. Well-designed buildings enhance and enrich their occupants’ activities and lives. Living or working in a well-designed building can change the way we think and feel; it inspires us, uplifts us, brings us together in new ways and promotes wellbeing and health. 

Well-designed buildings make a positive contribution to the urban or rural landscape. Great architecture does more than simply meet its brief. It works in relationship with the landscape, enhancing our appreciation of the physical environment it occupies.

A building that has been well-designed will sustain and protect the environment. Great architecture shouldn't come at an environmental cost. It works in a sustainable relationship with the environment and makes a minimal impact.

Well-designed buildings provide an opportunity for sound investment. A mediocre building, built cheaply will never be more than the sum of its parts, while a building that responds mindfully to client needs and site specifics will inevitably result in a building that attains and retains value beyond its initial costs.

Thoughtfully created buildings leave a legacy for future generations to enjoy. We have a responsibility to recognise that what we build today should endure and enhance the lives of those who come after us.

A skilled architect can:

  • Bring vision, design skill and creativity to the project.

  • Maximise potential and create value by taking the project beyond the ordinary.

  • Avoid predictable responses to a site or brief and offer practical solutions to problems.

  • Offer a broad range of skills including design, cost analysis, contract management and project supervision.

  • Liaise and consult with other professionals including engineers, quantity surveyors and building contractors.

Useful links

The Auckland Design Manual website has information and case studies to help understand the design process.

More information