Practical, genial and down to earth – Chris is Christchurch studio co-leader and principal of Jasmax.
For Chris, architectural expression is deeply influenced by the green, sustainable roots of his childhood as well as the open, vaulted spaces of the wild coast. Nowadays, his interest is piqued by vast, complex public projects – at the cutting edge of shaping a city. He leads large multidisciplinary teams where stakeholder engagement is the norm, technical precision in delivery is a prerequisite and diplomacy is paramount. These are often civic projects in infrastructure, tertiary education, transport or leisure, where public and political scrutiny is high.
Most recently, Chris spent four years working at the helm of Auckland’s CRL (City Rail Link) – a super-fast delivery, underground city rail initiative that will galvanise public transport in the city. Central to this and other projects is a methodology that focuses on ‘outside in’ and ‘inside out’ architecture: a philosophy to place as much importance on learning about the context of the building that is being designed as the thinking about the activities within.
As Chris says, “You have to look ten streets beyond the building to get a wider understanding of what the building response should be. I understand the context as well as the way people will use the space inside.”