NZ Architectural Designers

Innovative and environmentally aware design from an established architectural studio

As one of the leading architectural design firms in Wellington, our team offers stylish and functional design solutions for residential and commercial clients throughout New Zealand.

We bring practical knowledge and expertise to each project combined with innovation and a focus on future-proofed eco-friendly buildings.

Holmes Architecture works with clients throughout New Zealand, with award-winning contemporary architecture in Queenstown, Hawkes Bay, Wellington and Martinborough – each one with their own unique style and character, balancing modernity with functionality. Our team can come to you or you can visit us in our Wellington office. Contact us to arrange your consultation today.

The Team

Meet the Holmes Architecture team. We are a small collaborative design studio with a diverse range of skills and interests that we bring to each project…

Mike Holmes


With a family background in construction and as a qualified builder himself, Mike established Holmes Architecture in 2011 while completing the Master of Architecture programme at Victoria University.

Founded with an intimate knowledge of the construction process and a passion for architecture and design, Mike’s approach is fluid and intuitive, paired with identity, purpose and process.

“Establishing identity is fundamental to the creative process, and establishing who you and your clients are will ensure a clear project vision.”

Mike believes that architecture is communication in both practice and product – “The spark that delivers an initial design insight is a relatively brief moment in the process. The practise of architecture is then the communication of this brief and intense moment. What elevates buildings to architecture is when a designer has something worthwhile to say and does so in an insightful and honest way.”

His ultimate aim with Holmes Architecture is to achieve elegant, unexpected and delightful design solutions through balancing function, construction and efficiency with deep empathy for site, context and client.

When he’s not busy growing the practice, Mike enjoys catching up with family and friends, getting out of town and dabbling in a bit of DJing.

Favourite quote: “The secret of getting ahead is getting started” – Mark Twain.

James Burke

Senior Project Lead

Starting his career ‘on the tools’ in the UK, James quickly realised working in a warm office was a better long-term objective. In 2008 he gained a Diploma in Construction and Architectural Technology, followed by on-the-job experience in residential projects involving small alterations, extensive complex rebuilds, high-end homes and commercial work such as multi-unit developments, large warehouses and office fit-outs. James is a Licensed Building Practitioner (Design 2) who has amassed extensive hands-on knowledge and is currently involved in “a bit of everything”. His key objective is to ensure each project runs smoothly by keeping everyone informed along the way thanks to his wealth of industry experience.

Outside of the architecture world, James can be found making memories with his family – camping, surfing or trying to catch a fish.

Favourite quote: “There are things known and things unknown and in between are the doors” – Jim Morrison, The Doors

William Piper-Jarrett


After graduating from Victoria University School of Architecture in 2015, William gained experience across a broad range of projects, from designing and developing off-site modular housing systems to high-end greenfield residential developments. He brings this strong, all-around knowledge to Holmes Architecture, alongside a deep-rooted value of viewing architecture as a holistic process extending well beyond the client’s brief.

Off duty, you’ll find William soaking up the unique taonga of New Zealand’s wilderness – disconnecting from the digital world and going back to basics.

Favourite quote: “Always design a thing by considering it in its next larger context – a chair in a room, a room in a house, a house in an environment, an environment in a city plan” – Eliel Saarinen

David Geira

Senior Architectural Designer

David has worked with New Zealand’s largest commercial architecture companies on some of Wellington’s largest office buildings, as well as new houses and heritage projects. David is particularly experienced in the refurbishment of prominent Wellington buildings, with his portfolio featuring New Zealand Post House, Bowen Campus, The National Library of New Zealand, and the award-winning 15 Stout Street. He has also worked on new office buildings such as 1 Whitmore Street.

“The architectural process begins with understanding the client’s business at a strategic level” he says. “All businesses are grappling with disruptive economic forces. The resulting evolution as a business often leads to the need for smarter, more adaptive buildings that can flex, support connectivity, and be a place where talented people want to work”.
David brings to the Holmes team solid technical expertise in relation to commercial design. His design instincts lean towards simplicity and clarity and he believes that relationships and communication are the bedrock of a successful design and construction process.

Patrick McDonald

Architectural graduate/CAD technician

With a background in visual communication, design and illustration, Patrick went on to receive a Diploma of Architectural Technology at WelTec. His design skills have quickly become a key asset within the Holmes Architecture team in his role as a CAD technician.

Patrick brings a unique sense of patience, empathy, irony and humour to the Holmes Architecture team, alongside a penchant for stories like Joy Cowley’s classic The Fierce Little Woman and the Wicked Pirate and Mary Oliver’s thought-provoking New & Selected Poems: Volume 1.

When he’s not in the office, Patrick is often found surfing, cycling or reading reviews of esoteric films (he’ll happily leave the viewing to someone else).

Favourite quote: “Cladding fixed over drained and vented cavity” – BRANZ House Building Guide

Leanne Rookes

Admin Assistant

I am one of those rare people who loves to-do lists. Actually it’s the ticking off tasks that gives me the most satisfaction. I spend my time helping clients stay on track, managing their inboxes and calendars as well as countless other tasks..

Clients particularly appreciate my ability to work independently. I’ve always been self- directed and am happy to take the initiative in everything from upskilling to pointing out details or perspectives that are in danger of being overlooked.

A born organiser, I’m committed to quality, consistency, focus and accuracy.

What Our Clients Are Saying