With a family heritage in construction and as a qualified builder himself, Mike Holmes established Holmes Architecture as an architectural design practice, while completing the Masters of Architecture programme at Victoria University. Working on complex residential and commercial projects fostered an affinity with built form, and Holmes Architecture was initiated through connecting this intimate knowledge of the construction process with an intuition and passion for architecture and design.
Mike’s approach to the design process is fluid and intuitive, although his non-linear approach is always coupled with a strong sense of 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.”
Identity may be communicated through architectural style, environmental considerations, materiality, detailing, form, landscape but developing well-defined geometries and tectonics in relation to the natural landscape is often a theme of the practice. Client and context is a conversation that is initiated early in every project, where the many competing forces of a design problem are reconciled through design thinking, visualisation and documentation.
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.”
Mike’s ultimate aim is that elegant, unexpected and delightful design solutions are achieved through balancing function, construction and efficiency with a deep empathy for site, context and client.
Senior Architectural Technician
James decided to pursue a career as an Architectural Technician over 13 years ago and from labouring on building sites to becoming an experienced Senior Architectural Technician, he has amassed an extensive knowledge of the New Zealand building code, CAD and BIM systems, and design expertise.
He is a Licensed Building Practitioner, senior architectural technician and talented designer and is intimately involved across all aspects of project delivery and an invaluable member of the team.
Lena recently graduated from the Weltec Architectural Technology course with top marks and has since been rapidly soaking up everything there is to know about high-quality documentation and architectural design as part of the Holmes Architecture team.
Her infectious enthusiasm for all aspects of the design process is a great asset to the studio and her specific interests in passive design and building science integrate perfectly with the ethos of the practice.
A professional, considerate and innovative architect.
We had designed our first new home ourselves, but second time around it wasn’t so easy. We had a basic concept in mind, but couldn’t bring it all together and “make it fit”. We chose Mike for two reasons, firstly he’d been recommended by a friend to check him out and we loved the look of his previous designs, and secondly because he’d completed a builder’s apprenticeship. It was important to us that our architect also had practical building knowledge.
Mike came back to us with a design that incorporated all the things that we had asked for, but also added some quirky features and design elements that we would never have come up with on our own. He visited us on site, and was always respectful of our preferences and worked hard to pull the whole design together. We would definitely recommend him to others who are looking for a professional, considerate, and innovative architect.
A great outcome in every respect.
Our dream home in Martinborough was completed in time for Christmas 2002. It's in a beautiful location overlooking our vineyard and on through to the Tararuas. Unfortunately it didn't properly capture the view out over the vineyard and as a result just didn't hit the mark.
Holmes Construction has done all the construction work on the property so I took my problem to Tim Holmes. He suggested we have a chat to his son Mike who qualified as a builder with the family company going on to study architecture and establish Holmes Architecture.
Mike spent time with us at the property so as to properly understand what we were trying to achieve. Over some months we developed through Mike a design concept which we loved - to cut a long story short it was built on time and on budget and we love it - a great outcome in every respect.
Under Mike's lead, everyone is motivated to put their best effort.
Mike Holmes was the Architect for our Café renovation at CQ Hotels Wellington undertaken by Holmes Construction. I have had the pleasure of working with Mike Holmes over a number of years. Mike and his team have been incredibly responsive when it comes to providing detailed drawings and information to support the project. Mike is very organised, extremely responsive and has an amazing eye for modern design.
Mike has built a network around him that enables projects to progress smoothly. At each turn of the construction process he has an informed answer to our technical questions, which allows the project to drive forward without delay. Mike has the depth of knowledge and experience to lead a project from pre-construction planning through to completion like very few others.
The Holmes Construction team is incredibly responsive and provides us with timely answers and architectural details as issues come up. I also attribute Mike's success to his ability to bring out the best in the project team. Under Mike's lead, everyone is motivated to put their best effort forward for the common goal of making the project a success.
Mike nailed it perfectly for our family.
Mike understood our brief perfectly — to create a home with open plan living with a dedicated outside BBQ and entertaining area. A place for our grandchildren to sleep dormitory style and most importantly, site the house to the views and sun. He nailed it perfectly for our family.