Business Central August 2022

80 | ARCHITECTURE ADNZ: Imagine Architecture High quality, high performance homes Virginia Wright Single level easy living was a key for the design of this mid-century modernist home. Texture, material and form and a strong sense of space and light were other considerations. The multi award-winning practice Imagine Architecture has evolved through many iterations since 2002 to arrive where it is now, with company director Tony Biesiek operating out of Tauranga while his associate Steven Dixon works out of New Plymouth. Tony credits his first boss with helping him get where he is today, with expertise in both residential and commercial design. ‘I worked for Elliott Architects in New Plymouth for seven years, initially as the sole draftsman and then being responsible for a team of nine or 10 after a few years. Jim Elliott gave me heaps of opportunity and mentored me really well. We worked quite closely on a lot of different projects and he passed on a lot of his knowledge of design,” says Tony. With the multi-national fast-food chain McDonalds as their major client Tony learnt a lot about systems, structures and processes which has stood him in good stead ever since. “We were doing new buildings, interior designs, restaurant fit-outs, and services. It was very multi-disciplinary, broad-spectrum work which from an educational and growth point of view was huge,” says Tony. Other clients included the local council and Tony equally credits his job designing a skate part, working with the local skaters, bikers, and rollerbladers, as feeding into his understanding that the key to good design is both being able to listen to clients and also to offer them something they might not have thought of. “Architecture is all about people and so for me you can have all the design flair, all the capability in the world, but if your purpose isn’t for people then it’s just vanity. So my philosophy is about making a difference and the skate park is a good example of engaging with people to help them pursue their dreams,” says Tony. Tony’s first experience of residential was in 1997 when he designed (and helped build) his own home. It gave him a taste for residential builds although he was still working in a commercial firm. Fast forward to 2002 and Tony decided to launch his own practice Imagine Architecture. Then based only in New Plymouth it quickly grew from taking on his first employee, Steven Dixon, to building up a team of nine, before a decision a few years ago brought the team back to the original two with Steven now an associate. “Steven has very much embraced the technical and production side of the business whereas my area of expertise is the design and the relationship management side of things. I chase the work and work with the client to design the build, and Steven does the drawing and documentation that helps us get it built. From a team point of view we’re a good yin and yang combination,’ says Tony. “Architecture is all about people and so for me you can have all the design flair, all the capability in the world, but if your purpose isn’t for people then it’s just vanity.” Having spent 20 years doing what Tony describes as “trying to do champagne builds on a beer budget”, Imagine Architecture now aims for the $1million to $3million bracket. “That allows us to make some quite good decisions building high value, high-quality, high-performance homes,” says Tony. Given where the two principals live their practice mainly covers Taranaki and the Bay of Plenty, but an increasing number of clients are finding them online. One of their most recent about to go out for pricing is a good example. “The briefing document from the client had some excellent things around sustainability, energy efficiency, comfort, so all the things that we’re pursuing; as well as some neat ideas around structural and materials used like timber ceilings and concrete walls which certainly takes your energy efficiency down a road less travelled,” says Tony. Suffice to say that they’ve really enjoyed working up the concept with the client and doing the modelling to prove that their energy hypothesis will work. With an all-inclusive budget of $2.5 million it’s exactly the sort of job Tony aspired to with the decision to downsize. “It’s been a cool journey and I still love what I do, I’m still passionate about every design, probably more passionate than ever.” CONTACT US 0274 239 997 PROUDLY SUPPORTING IMAGINE ARCHITECTURE NEWBUILDS • RENOVATIONS • PERGOLAS DECKS & FENCES • SHOP FIT‡OUTS • Building Structures • Industrial Facilities • Land & Infrastructure • Subsoil Investigations Proudly supporting Imagine Architecture 06 759 0999 | | 3 Davidson St, New Plymouth