McKay Architecture, a boutique architecture practice, has been in business since 1990 providing architectural services to individuals, business owners, and developers. I am now based in Wellington and Martinborough, New Zealand and am working on projects throughout New Zealand. McKay Architecture is a registered New Zealand architecture practice.
My latest project is a restored 160-year-old villa in Greytown that has been getting national attention from Fairfax Media for its innovative reuse of original old-growth timber and period details married with 21st century design and building technology.
My first project in New Zealand, a new residence in Martinborough, was completed in 2008 and has been featured in a couple of publications, including the cover and accompanying article in Trends Magazine. Other projects include an energy efficient lifestyle residence in Northland, a green residence in Martinborough in the Wairarapa, and a nearly off the grid working farm-house for dry-stock farmers in the Wairarapa. I am also undertaking modern and traditional renovations to existing structures in Wellington and the Wairarapa and have participated in the design of a mixed-use apartment/commercial development in Christchurch.
The majority of my completed projects have been located in California, primarily in the Silicon Valley and San Francisco Bay Area and also scattered all around greater California. In 2012, After 22 years of practice in California, McKay Architecture closed the Berkeley office and relocated to New Zealand. While I maintain my California architecture license and occasionally take on projects for clients in California, my focus is on interesting new design challenges in the Southern Hemisphere.
I obtained both my BA and MA in Architecture from U.C. Berkeley. After my BA degree, I worked for a year ‘on the tools’ as an apprentice in construction, learning everything I could about the way buildings are actually built and most importantly, how to get on with builders and clients. I then apprenticed with Jarvis Architects, a Berkeley firm specializing in custom and historic residential and commercial projects. After four years of architecture apprenticeship, I returned to University for two years, earning my Masters degree. Following graduation, I became a registered architect and practiced architecture for four years in partnership with another Berkeley architect before starting McKay architecture in 1995. I designed my first project in New Zealand in 2008 and made the permanent shift from California to New Zealand in 2012.