Architectural designer Bryce Monk Architectural designer Bryce Monk CREDIT: Concilio

Canterbury quake rebuild offers great scope for sustainable design

Tuesday 14 December 2010, 4:56PM
By Concilio

Following recent events in Canterbury, Christchurch based, Bryce Monk believes Cantabrians have a great opportunity to introduce sustainable design aspects into their projects. Monk believes we all have a personal responsibility towards environmental issues and this belief forms an integral part of the philosophy of the architectural firm that bears his name.

Many of the Christchurch buildings, which Monk once admired and studied, have been reduced to rubble since the events of September 4th. While sad at the lost of some of Christchurch’s iconic landmarks, Monk prefers to focus on the positive and believes good commercial and residential architectural design has a significant role to play in the recovery of Canterbury.

According to Monk, the introduction of new sustainable technologies and materials to the New Zealand market is constant. One of our objectives is to reduce the overall impact of the buildings we create on the environment. This can be achieved by the introduction of measures such as more efficient use of energy, water, and other resources and also reducing waste and pollution. In many cases, choosing all the possible sustainable design options for a new home isn’t a realistic option for many Kiwi families however more and more clients are choosing to introduce some sustainable measures into their new homes.

Bryce Monk believes that now, more than ever is the time to get Cantabrians thinking and talking about architecture. According to Monk, there is a place for template driven plans but today’s homebuilder often seeks more from their home. True architecture is about designing a home around the customer’s lifestyle rather than trying to ‘shoehorn’ a customer into a predesigned format or box. Monk also believes that good design – whether radically modern or traditional should relate to the environment, landscape and neighbouring structures. According to Monk, it’s often the case that standardised plans don’t tick all these boxes.

‘We’re passionate about working with clients who value great design and sustainability. Exploring and ultimately integrating a client’s ideas into the process, makes it a much more personal and rewarding design experience, says Bryce Monk.

Founded in 2007, and based in Christchurch, Monk Architecture is a young practice, which has quickly developed a reputation for delivering buildings of the highest architectural excellence, combining innovative design, craft, and environmental responsibility. Despite the economic slump in recent years, the firm has been able to grow, even as the economy contracted. Monk is determined to remain a small boutique operation and believes success is based on good one on one relationships. The company designs custom residential and commercial projects and also specialises in planning, unique problem solving and interior design.

‘We enjoy the fact that we work directly with each and every client, they in turn benefit from the one-on-one relationship’, says, Monk.