Building Disputes
Orchiston Architects Ltd      An architecture firm with specific expertise in building disputes


Design Philosophy

Architecture is more than "design". It is the management of the process between the dream and the realisation.  It requires the experienced application of skills in design, communication, management,  law, economics, and building technology.  My personal view is that it also requires decency, fairness, and understanding.

With my background in restaurant and bar design, hundreds of house alterations, townhouses, many "big-box" retail or industrial/warehouse projects, and several (unbuilt) multi-storey projects, I understand that priorities change depending on function, budget, and aesthetics; and the need to balance short and long term requirements. I know that an architect is the generalist essential to the team of consultants involved in building design, and vital to the communication between the design team and the build team.

In alteration/upgrade projects the value/design/utility of the existing will give context to the new.  Where is the budget spent to best advantage?  To what extent do the existing aesthetics, functions or level of compliance drive the new work?  How do we transition between existing and new?

I have many clients who have returned to me with new projects over the years, and now I am doing new projects for some of their sons and daughters.  I am often contacted by other designers and architects looking for guidance based on my experience in architecture and building disputes.  I am happy to help with building projects in whatever way I can. 

(Disclaimer:  the buildings in the header photo are by others!)

Current and Recent Work

Orchiston Architects Ltd:  
Commercial projects:  Showrooms, retail stores, warehousing, bank premises, offices, workshops, real estate offices, etc… (Project architect) Also 
numerous property reports, feasibility studies, & lease negotiations.
Restaurants, bars catering kitchens, and functions centre in Wellington, Upper Hutt, Palmerston North, Taupo, Rotorua, Auckland (Project architect) 
Wellington Repertory Theatre (Project architect), Wellington Operatic Society (alterations), Cinema/live theatre Masterton (Design architect); Mosque (Project architect documentation & tendering)
Retirement home redevelopment and alterations Upper Hutt; townhouse developments Wellington & Auckland,  and numerous housing projects both new and alterations, mostly in Wellington and Lower Hutt. (Project Architect)
Arbitrations, mediations, adjudications, expert reports and litigation support.  

Colin Orchiston as employee:

Resort complex China (Design and documentation team)

Airport redevelopment Hamilton (Project architect - construction)

Commercial/industrial new/redevelopment/alterations (several – senior team member design & documentation)
Quality management audits:  Akld Superclinics; Hamilton Mental Heath unit;  BIA Territorial Authority Building Consent processing.

Management of staff and business involved in work with an ongoing value of $30 - $40 M,  (2003 – 2006) and senior team member (2007- 2010) involvement in feasibility studies, multistorey office developments, commercial fitouts, townhousing, large-format retailing, warehousing and industrial buildings, and retirement homes. Development of business plans and quality management processes.

Teaching:  1993 - 2006, part-time teaching design management, practice management, economics and construction for Weltec Interior Design degree.

Quality audits:  2011 - 2019.  Quality review and editing of WHRS assessor reports and leaky building remediations