Isthmus

Ethos

Land.
People.
Culture.

We respect the land.
We take a human-centred approach.
We are all people of the land.

Land.

As an island nation separated from the rest of the world by vast expanses of ocean, we have a particularly resonant relationship with the land. New Zealand is a destination; you don’t arrive here by accident. We choose to be here, and as such we are strongly physically and spiritually connected to this place. The land is where we are from, it is where we stand, and it is where we will return. As designers we read the land, we listen carefully to its stories and we sense its moods; we tread lightly, pay respect and give it room to breathe. In this way we explore deeper connections to nature, working with its underlying inherent qualities to create places that inspire and endure.

People.

Collectively, we have shaped our land, but more fundamentally, it is the land that has shaped us. In our work we aim to celebrate and bring balance to the relationship between people and place. We are passionate about creating inclusive, healthy, inter-generational communities. We work with people, helping connect them to their environment by listening, understanding and interpreting their stories. In the process of designing places where people live, learn and play we engage fully with human and spiritual dimensions, and constantly search for deeper meanings and richer connections. In this way we create places with a distinctive identity.

Culture.

Shaping land, making spaces and forming architecture are deliberate, cultural acts influenced by our collective relationships. We follow a process of design enquiry that places whanau and whenua at the centre and is creative, inclusive, collaborative, engaging, inspiring and meaningful. By working alongside tangata whenua, and learning and understanding the stories of this country, the environments we create are enriched with the collective culture of place and community. Our places are built upon the histories, narratives and identities of Aotearoa and strong and enduring relationships.