John Mills Architects

Established 1990 

Greetings and welcome to the JMA website. We hope that you enjoy looking at our work and seeing what we do. JMA has been operating in Wellington, New Zealand since 1990. We have a distinctive aesthetic that seeks to combine our passion for materials and colour with a desire to create uniquely tailored architecture for the individual or specific organisation. We have completed projects around New Zealand, including Auckland and Nelson.

We endeavor to create architecture that speaks of its sites and surroundings, with grace, poetry and personality – unencumbered by blind conformity and dictates of transient fashion. We work together with clients and builders to craft beautiful forms and engaging spaces that make the heart leap and the soul sing.

Please enjoy our website and contact us with any enquiries.


John Mills


“Everyday life is where the important things happen.”

John established JMA in 1990, with an intent to produce quality, unique New Zealand architecture. From residential work, he has developed the practice into a wide-ranging entity that still predominantly creates enduring design-driven homes and alterations.

Aside from ensuring that every project is designed and managed to the last detail, John is a Fellow of the New Zealand Institute of Architects, has been a convenor and member of local NZIA and other national awards juries, and is a visiting lecturer and tutor at the VUW School of Architecture.

John believes the story begins and ends with the client. By understanding who they are and what they value, John is committed to creating spaces that will work for the client as well today as they do in twenty years time.



Mark joined JMA in 2003, bringing fifteen years experience in a wide range of commercial and residential architectural projects. He has a strong background in commercial, healthcare and government sectors, having previously worked as a designer for Worley Consultants where he was involved in numerous projects throughout New Zealand.

Marks’ specialist skills include working-drawing documentation, specification writing, interior design and project management. His pragmatic approach to architecture enables him to co-ordinate with a diverse range of consultants, integrate client needs and deliver projects to a deadline and within budget.

Jason Tan


Jason joined JMA in the summer of 2016. He completed his final year of his Master’s degree at Victoria University in 2018 where he studied abroad in Munich for a semester.

Jason’s thesis looks at architectural form and what motivates architectural form. His research tracks an arc with an obsession with imagery, historical references, typological studies to a richer understanding of architectural conventions and formal principles.

Practicality and comfort are so fundamental to quality building, form and space. The heart should leap, the eyes should widen and the soul should sing. This is the aim of architecture.




We welcome potential clients to our Garrett Street studio for an initial meeting. This is a free and non-obligatory way for you to meet our team and discuss the aspects of your project that will determine how it will evolve.

Gather as much information about your project as you can, in terms of location, special features and any existing structures. Start thinking about what you would like to achieve (we’re talking wildest expectations here), and give us a call!



A successful building hinges on much more than a creative solution. It requires the collaboration of an enthusiastic client and a supportive architect who are both prepared to listen and to question!

Architecture requires good communication and open relationships to achieve a successful result: one that engages with the site and environment, while still expressing the individuality of the client. We’re here to respond to your needs and ideas – and to exceed your expectations.
At John Mills Architects we are not only responsible for the design, we prefer to be involved throughout the construction of the finished project. The process can be roughly broken down into the eight following phases below.

Our role includes liaising with builders, engineers and other consultants, administering the contract and observing construction….and we will also assist on the essential elements of joinery design, energy efficiency, appliance selection, furnishings, colours (we have won the Dulux award for best NZ residential interior three times), right through to landscaping.



Architecture is about creating lovely, robust and meaningful, spaces and forms made with purpose and delight, to SUSTAIN the needs of the occupants and evoke an enduring sense of homecoming and place.

It is the understanding of past and embracing the present, in order for future generations to discover, shelter, peace and belonging, unknowing of the original occupants, builders or architects.

Waste is not an option. No innovation abandons age old wisdom.

Dwellings should mature and improve with age. Materials should be fit for purpose, giving people the ABILITY to live comfortably, simply, and well, experiencing the joy of “home” daily.

Fashion is the enemy of art and is abandoned quickly with all the consequential waste. Choose art, choose quality, choose to build carefully and consciously.

Athield said it best ….”Build less, better”.



Initial meeting and brief delivery



CONSENTS & Working Drawing



information gathering & site analysis






Concept Design






Developed design



Completion & Feedback

For a little more information

Information about local building rules and regulations can be found at the Wellington City Council website.

To find out more about working with architects, take a look at architecturenz.net – published by the New Zealand Institute of Architects.

John Mills Architects

21 Garrett Street,
Te Aro, Wellington 6011
+64 4 385 2255
Facebook Instagram
JMA Logo