Behind the Build: Megan - Architectural Designer

As a bespoke home builder, we pride ourselves on offering our customers the best customer service.
Our Build7 team works across the country, delivering excellence in service and architectural design. We recently caught up with Megan, an architectural designer in Christchurch who works with our team. We asked her some questions about her work and behind the scenes of the design process.

Here's what we asked Megan.

Tell us a little about yourself?
I am a Christchurch based architectural graduate. I live by the beach with my husband and two dogs. We have just sold our villa dream and moved into a wee 60's bungalow; our next project. In our free time, we love to be in the outdoors, whether it be walking through Bottle Lake Forest or finding a new coffee spot on the beachfront. I was born and raised in England, moving to New Zealand just before I started High School. Since then, I have been heavily involved in Surf Life Saving and the outdoors.Following High School, I attended Victoria University in Wellington, spending five years studying towards my Masters of Architecture, MArch(Prof).’

How long have you been working as an architect?
I've been lucky to begin working in the industry from my first year at University in 2012, starting as administration assistance, slowly working my way up to Summer internships and successfully securing myself a job at a large, well-known firm straight out of University. Since then, I have worked within the Schools team and residential team at well established architectural firms for the past four years.

What inspired you to become an architect?
I was on the fence between Sports Science and Architecture. My last year of school was the Canterbury earthquakes year; this was the deciding factor for me that architecture was the route to take. Not only seeing, but living amongst the devastation the earthquakes caused to mine and my families and friends communities it inspired me to seek the opportunity to help rebuild Christchurch and make it even better than it was before.

What is your favourite part of the design process?
My favourite part of the design process is the whole thing!

I love sitting down with clients and hearing how they interpret their dream, but even better: I love seeing clients no longer have to imagine their plans and instead step into their new home, making the virtual ideas into reality

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“Good design is planning and designing the architecture to be more functional, aesthetic and durable.
Ultimately good design responds to the site and the surrounding climate, sustainably and aesthetically.”

What do you consider when you're designing from a client's design brief?
It is essential to understand every client's objectives and goals because no two briefs are the same. It is imperative to listen and understand what my client's are wanting to achieve.

I always encourage clients to produce a Pinterest board and research what they like and dislike before writing their brief. It is crucial to view homes and designs not only online but also physically to engage with them.

What are some current architectural design trends that you think a prospective home buyer should consider or be aware of?
I would suggest prospective house buyers always consider the narrative of their build and how they intend family and friends to experience the space. How will they enter the dwelling? What are the key aspects they want to capture? Where is the natural light coming from?

Three key words I would focus on when purchasing or building are:

1. Commodity: is the space fit for purpose?

2. Firmness: is the design sustainable, durable and built well?

3. Delight: does the design compliment the surrounding environment, and is it pleasing to the eye?

What does ‘good design’ mean to you?
Good design is planning and designing the architecture to be more functional, aesthetic and durable. Ultimately good design responds to the site and the surrounding climate, sustainably and aesthetically.

Megan is one of many amazing people that collaborate to create dream homes for everyday people and families across New Zealand. We're excited to be sharing some of the process and the faces behind the builds. We'll be back again soon with another interview, and as always, we're just an email or a call away.