John Mills Architects
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.
FOUNDER / ARCHITECT
“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.
DESIGNER / DRAFTSMAN
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 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 His research tracks an arc with an obsession with imagery, historical references, typological studies to a richer understanding of architectural conventions and formal principles.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.
HOW TO START
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!
SCOPE OF SERVICES
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
Completion & Feedback
” Our journey with John Mills Architects started with a run down fish factory that was housed within an old, original 1939 brick building in Petone. It was hard to see the potential at times and did we really want to be involved with such a complicated process? John’s enthusiasm and creativity enabled us to envision the final result way before it happened. John and his team (Mark and Jason) were so helpful and patient with us and between us all the decisions were made.
” John and his team were extremely professional in their approach, especially since it was an old 1963 warehouse!
Having worked with him on a previous project, we knew he had the vision and skills to create a unique home for us using quality materials. We worked together at all stages to realise this home and we are thrilled with the outcome. “
” Going into the renovation and extension of our Ian Athfield home, we knew we wanted to respect what was built in the past but we also wanted to make the house ours – not a pastiche of what Athfield designed at the time. John walked us through this process sensitively and helped coach us through the whole experience. We particularly enjoyed how he took time to get to know us, how we like to live, and the things we like to do and have in our lives. “
” We’d known John from twenty years ago, when he arranged the colours and designs for the interior of our restaurant in Wellington (Serrano’s). In the years since, we’d seen more of his great work pop up. It was an easy decision to trust John with conceptualising our extension dreams. We loved the way he approached our thinking and helped with the visualisation of our ideas. “
” We had a great site with a 270 degree vista, located in the hills of Melrose in the eastern suburbs of Wellington. But one of us was a stripped-back modernist, while the other was a woody, whimsical romantic. What to do? We interviewed several architects without gelling…. but in-depth conversations with John Mills resulted in a design that reconciled our mutual desires. “
” This is a great home to live in. It’s a pleasure coming up the driveway seeing the house bathed in all day sun, and the inviting deck. While many might not have seen how this property adapted to a unique living environment, John had that vision and we are reaping the benefits. This home is not replaceable; it is more than a home to us, it is now our lifestyle. “
” Working with John is like collaborating with your best friend who knows everything about you, what you like and what you don’t. He will nudge you in the right direction if you seem to be getting too far away from exquisite taste. Your best friend loves to spend time with you, is kind, and always wants the best outcome for you, right? That’s John “
” Our Mount Victoria home is the culmination of four years of enjoyable work led by John. From the initial discussion determining what we wanted, through the resource and building consent stages, and on to the construction, John guided the team through to the final completion of our renovated house, which has become the wonderful home that we love. “
” Having had the pleasure of working with JMA in previous projects as the building contractor, it was a rewarding experience working with John to push each other and experiment a little on my own home. I was really pleased with the outcome our combined expertise created. I am proud of the end result we created in collaboration. Darryn Lyons, D A Lyons Building Contractors Limited “
” I enjoyed having John work with us to design our house. The original house was old and odd, and he really helped us transform it into something modern, open and really enjoyable to live in. He imparted some really unique design touches but also the elements that were important to me to help make it a very inviting and practical home. He is great to deal with and I really appreciated how well he conveyed his ideas and concepts to me, with artistic drawings and explanation. What resulted was a testament to his architectural design, Darryn’s building expertise and my few little ideas and desires – all culminating in a remarkable build. “