A Christchurch architectural firm is gaining a reputation for creating distinctive homes specifically for an alpine environment and has turned its focus to the Southern Lakes.
Allfrey + South Architects director Craig South says often the practice of architecture can appear quite formal but his firm believes that greater openness can change perceptions and promote constructive outcomes.
“When I first started out in this industry more than 20 years ago, I’m sure I would have thought that creative skills alone held the key to great design. In fact, as I’ve discovered good design invariably evolves out of building good relationships with clients, spending time with them on-site and getting to know their lifestyle and aspirations. Equally, good open communication is fundamental to building a healthy, friendly work environment. Once barriers start coming down between people, the relationships that form are generally very positive and productive.”
“As barrier busters go my family’s Newfoundland puppy Murphy is proving a real champ,” says Craig. “ Studies suggest that pets in the workplace are fantastic at relieving stress and encouraging social interactionandI’ve recently started bringing him into the studio with me and it has been a great experience for everyone.”
Together with Cymon Allfrey, Craig formed Allfrey + South nine years ago and they have developed a professional architectural and design team reinforced by its marketing and administration staff.
“Our team is truly passionate about everything architectural and that means always doing the very best for our clients. The relationships we build don’t stop at the office door. Sharing our lives with our clients is what makes this both a fun and fulfilling journey for all involved. One of my hobbies outside of work is brewing craft beer and clients who have been willing to give it a try it will no doubt remember the experience well.”
Craig says the firm’s website runs fascinating stories from its staff with blogs on a range of topics – not just architectural trends and innovations but also furniture restoration and travel.
“It has made me appreciate what a diverse group we are, with many different outlooks and pastimes. While we are all employed in the same architecture sphere, we bring a range of experiences and talents to the practice. All of this feeds back into an exceptional service for our clients, focused on celebrating their uniqueness in turn so as to create truly bespoke homes.”