We nurture a strong studio culture. Our inter-disciplinary team of designers share a common purpose. We work together as ‘one studio’, putting forward best-for-project teams with the right blend of skills and knowledge. In this way every client gains access to the depth and breadth our collective experience and intelligence.

Aaron Miller

Aaron Miller.

MArch (Prof), BAS, NZIA Grad

Intermediate Architectural Graduate

Wellington Studio   

Aaron has a keen eye for detail and has applied this to a range of architecture projects since joining the team in 2016.
As a systems thinker, Aaron has a keen interest in offsite construction – prefabricated and modular systems – and is excited to see isthmus moving into this space. He also regularly uses his skills in other scales across landscape architecture and urban design, having particular interest in the various cycleway projects Isthmus is involved with. Aaron has always been interested in the interaction between building, landscape and place to create well integrated and site-specific architecture, and isthmus projects strive to achieve this every day.

Outside of work Aaron enjoys the outdoors, whether it be a tramp or fishing adventure, and also sings in a local youth choir.

Projects Aaron Miller has worked on:

Adelle Hammond

Adelle Hammond.

BAS, MArch Prof. (Hons)

Intermediate Architectural Graduate

Auckland Studio   

Adelle’s experience spans across commercial and residential projects and all aspects from concept design through to contract administration. She is a talented creative with a particular love of detailing.

For example Adelle has a tangible passion for integrated design solutions which harmonise the built form with the environment in which it resides.
She is in the constant pursuit of designs that challenge the norm, that delight and that makes peoples everyday lives more enjoyable.

Projects Adelle Hammond has worked on:

Alan England

Alan England.

Bachelor of Architectural Studies

Associate Geospatial Specialist

Auckland Studio   

Alan is trained in architectural studies and brings to Isthmus experience within the visualisation, design, gaming and architectural industries.

He plays a key role in major design and planning projects, producing GIS land analysis, mapping and accurate 3D digital models for design studies, communication and as expert evidence for consent hearings.
Alan has an in depth knowledge of digital design tools, techniques and IT, and a proactive approach to working with project teams. He also has a role in the development and delivery of social enterprise projects associated with Isthmus’ environmental management fund.

Alex Foxon

Alex Foxon.

PgDip Landscape Architecture

Graduate Landscape Architect

Auckland Studio   

Alex has experience in landscape design for residential development, public park and stream reinstatement projects.
He is driven by creating landscapes for people to explore and use for health and well-being, leisure and education. The process of taking a project from the concept through to detailed design along with planting design is particularly interesting for Alex. 

Alex takes every opportunity he has to continue exploring the New Zealand landscape and documenting his travels through photography.

Projects Alex Foxon has worked on:

Andre de Graaf

Andre de Graaf.



Auckland Studio    Board Members   

Andre is the Director of Architecture. He has shaped a high quality architectural team that is fully integrated with the firm’s wider design offering.  Andre brings a rigorous and inquiring approach to design and has considerable experience in masterplans for intensive residential and mixed-use developments that is founded in over two decades of designing buildings across a wide spectrum.  Andre brings skills that champion innovation and is sought after for his strategic design thinking.  He is currently a member of Auckland Council’s Urban Design Panel.

Andrew Mirams

Andrew Mirams.



Auckland Studio   

Andrew brings over twenty years of professional experience specialising in Architecture and Interiors. His expertise includes a wide range of projects including residential (single family and multi-residential), commercial, interiors and fit-outs, with a particular passion in building refurbishment and adaptive re-use.  Outside the studio, Andrew can be found taxiing his children around Auckland sportsfields.

Andrew Norriss

Andrew Norriss.

BLA (Hons), NZILA Registered

Senior Landscape Architect

Auckland Studio   

Andrew specialises in medium to large scale urban renewal projects in the public realm. He has built his experience largely around the implementation of projects varying from civic plazas, parks and open spaces, strategic masterplan frameworks, and work within botanical gardens. He enjoys the challenge of stitching a landscape into its existing fabric, whether urban or within the natural landscape.

Andrew enjoys exploring what culinary delights a place has on offer as much as escaping to the natural environment to recharge. He is equally likely to be found in front of a stove or out and about keeping active.

Ashley West

Ashley West.

MArch (Prof) Hons.

Architectural Graduate

Auckland Studio   

Ashley has a very human centred approach with an interest in how the relationship between space and form can influence individual and collective well-being.
She has been predominantly working on medium density housing and master planning projects and feels at home in the middle of a park with her dog and a tennis ball.

Projects Ashley West has worked on:

Azmon Chetty

Azmon Chetty.

BAS, M.Arch (Prof), NZDAT

Intermediate Architectural Graduate

Auckland Studio   

Azmon holds a National Diploma in Architectural Technology and completed his Masters of Architecture (Prof). in 2013.
Through his engagement in part time work with architectural practices over the past few years, Azmon has gained valuable experience, including excellent design and CAD drafting skills.

Azmon’s passion for innovative construction detailing and assembly compliments the established and growing architecture team at Isthmus. His Masters research paper focused on a design-build project blending Polynesian and Japanese architecture, reflecting his unique hands-on approach and understanding of cultural design vernacular and identity.

Ben Scott

Ben Scott.

IT Manager

Auckland Studio   

Ben is the site fix-it man, making sure that the technologies of Isthmus run smoothly, and the staff can get on with their job without any computer hitches.

With that is also the plan for what Isthmus does in the future.

Ironically Ben is a hippy at heart, while tinkering with the server he is dreaming of wandering through his land planting trees and communing with Nature.

Blair Brixton

Blair Brixton.

BLA (hons)

Associate Landscape Architect

Wellington Studio   

Blair is a landscape architect with significant experience within range of commercial and public realm projects in both New Zealand and in the United Kingdom. They include urban regeneration and waterfront projects, large urban parks, historic squares and small scale site specific interventions and installations. In his roles he has regularly led multidisciplinary teams from inception to project completion. He particularly enjoys detailed design phases and the realisation of projects.

Blair has a passion and respect for good design across all disciplines and so embraces Isthmus ‘no boundaries’ approach to design.

Projects Blair Brixton has worked on:

Brad Coombs

Brad Coombs.

BLA (Hons), BHort. NZILA (Registered)


Auckland Studio   

Brad works in the complex world of problem solving under the RMA.  He thrives on navigating a path through the RMA process and also loves the practicality of seeing his projects implemented and delivering maximum benefit to his clients.

With over 20 years of experience Brad has worked on some of the most exciting and challenging residential, infrastructure and coastal projects in New Zealand, always delivered through a considered and tailored response to the specific project and the land.  He is passionate about his role in helping to make New Zealand an even better place.  Brad has considerable experience as an expert witness to Council, Environment Court and Board of Inquiry hearings and as an RMA decision maker.

Travelling extensively throughout New Zealand for his work during the week, Brad can be found on the weekend discovering the land from a different vantage point either on his bike or on the water – preferably with his family in tow.

Projects Brad Coombs has worked on:

Brad Ward

Brad Ward.

MLA, BAS (Land), NZILA (Reg)

Senior Landscape Architect

Auckland Studio   

Brad is highly skilled in working across scales from masterplanning and urban design down to the detail design of streetscapes and parks. He has been involved heavily in Aucklands largest masterplanning project within a complex environment.

Brad is passionate about the role that landscape architecture can play in providing positive outcomes for society. Brad is also a keen explorer, adventurer, sportsman and enjoys honing his drawing skills.

Brennan Baxley

Brennan Baxley.

Master of Landscape Architecture II – Harvard GSD

Graduate Landscape Architect

Wellington Studio   

Brennan possess educational experience in geography, adaptable spaces, art, recycled material installations, ecology, and disaster management. In practice he has analysed sustainability, urban agriculture, protective ecologies, public engagement, mapping systems, and the preservation of heritage environments.  He is a teaching fellow for Victoria University Wellington in the Landscape Architecture Department, continuing research on form, urban technologies, and prolific landscape design.

Bruce McKenzie

Bruce McKenzie.


Principal Landscape Architect

Auckland Studio   

Bruce is passionate about business development and design with a client focus on complex problem solving through the design process in a professional services environment. He has a practical, “can-do” work ethic, and is an effective and collaborative member of multidisciplinary teams. He aims to achieve innovative, sustainable and cost effective outcomes for clients and communities alike.  

Bruce’s focus is enabling integrated infrastructure solutions applying his design and communication skills as a key member of winning project teams such as the Mount Messenger Alliance and the Northern Corridor Improvements highway projects. Part of this success is Bruce’s belief in a rigorous design process and his experience through the RMA process – while at the same time celebrating design opportunity and having fun.

Caroline Sollerhed

Caroline Sollerhed.

BSc Spatial Planning, MSc Urban Design

Urban Designer

Wellington Studio   

Caroline works on a range of projects supporting the landscape and design team. Her recent work has included streetscapes, open space strategy and cycleways. She has a keen interest in the relationship between urban and rural, public spaces and community involvement.  

Caroline hails from Sweden, is a climbing enthusiast and enjoys exploring New Zealand’s landscapes and native wildlife.

Catherine Munro

Catherine Munro.


Auckland Studio   

Catherine has whakapapa connections to Ngati Rehua Ngatiwai ki Aotea, Ngati Hine and Ngapuhi.  She comes with a background in Education and is about to undertake the Master of Architecture programme at Unitec.  She is interested in how good design can improve peoples day to day quality of life.

Charlotte Warren

Charlotte Warren.

BLA (Hons) NZILA Grad

Graduate Landscape Architect

Auckland Studio   

Charlotte works largely on masterplanning projects that focus on supporting communities and facilitating recreational activity.

She has a keen interest in how people use public spaces and how they interact with the built and natural environments.
Charlotte enjoys exploring the fine grain of Auckland city and the wider region, whether that be on her bike or on foot.

Projects Charlotte Warren has worked on:

Chelsea Kershaw

Chelsea Kershaw.

Bachelor of Architectural Studies (Major in Landscape Architecture)

Landscape Architectural Intern

Wellington Studio   

Chelsea is currently undertaking her Master of Landscape Architecture with a particular focus on rehabilitative landscapes and health and well-being, in relation to ecological and societal sustainability. She is interested in getting outdoors and being active either running or cycling around Wellington. This passion often integrates into infrastructure planning projects, with an aim to develop relationships between recreational, ecological, social and economic opportunities at various scales.

Chris Combrink

Chris Combrink.

ACI, Autodesk prof, VLI, V-Ray prof

Senior Visualisation Specialist

Auckland Studio   

Chris joined Isthmus as a Senior Visualisation Specialist with extensive technical knowledge and skill.

With over 11 years industry experience across various disciplines Chris holds a high level of spatial awareness which translates into a strong vision for visual outcomes. While producing evocative imagery and driving internal development of technical visualisation workflows and rendering systems, Chris brings an artistic take on what we do adding mood and elegance to our projects across all disciplines.

Dale Harrop

Dale Harrop.


Intermediate Urban Designer

Auckland Studio   

Dale comes from a background in local government working in both New Zealand and Australia on city wide strategic plans and community placemaking projects before moving to Isthmus.

Dale works largely on strategic masterplanning projects that focus on building and supporting new neighborhoods and communities.

Dale enjoys spending his time playing Ice Hockey nationally and internationally, he also has recently discovered a new passion for scuba diving.

Damian Powley

Damian Powley.


Associate Landscape Architect

Auckland Studio   

Damian brings extensive experience and background in Local Government, working with and delivering for the diverse communities of South Auckland. As a Landscape Architect and Project Manager, Damian brings 12 years focused on stakeholder liaison, project strategy, design setting, community engagement and facilitation, and project implementation.

Having led cross-council wide initiatives for Auckland Council, through a broad scope of recreation and open space projects, Damian has continued his development to understanding what meaningful engagement can really mean for our communities, and the sustainable benefits that evolve out of this approach.


Projects Damian Powley has worked on:

Danny Turgeon

Danny Turgeon.


Intermediate Landscape Architect

Auckland Studio   

Danny specialises on large scale public works that connect and revitalise diverse metropolitan communities and neighbourhoods. He has a keen interest in public transit which he has used exclusively after selling his car in 2009.

David Irwin

David Irwin.

BHort. PG Dip. LA

Founding Principal

Auckland Studio    Board Members   

David is a founding Director of Isthmus and Fellow of the NZILA with over thirty years’ experience in the field of landscape architecture and urban design. His experience encompasses a wide range of projects throughout New Zealand including large scale urban developments, town centres, coastal edges and residential framework planning. David specialises in providing design leadership in complex project teams. His work has been awarded numerous times by the NZILA for its quality, innovation and contribution to place making for communities in New Zealand.

Dion Mortensen

Dion Mortensen.

Independant Director

Board Members   

Dion is a full time Director and Investor he is passionate about building high performing, purpose driven companies in New Zealand. He has served the Isthmus Board since 2010 and is a chartered member of the Institute of Directors.  Over the last 15 years he has held several CEO roles and has worked with 23 different Boards.

He is particularly interested in the profession of design and what design thinking can contribute towards solving some of the important questions facing society today.

Duncan Ecob

Duncan Ecob.

BA(Hons) LA, Grad Dip LA, MA UrbDes, CMLI (UK)


Auckland Studio   

Duncan is an Urban Designer.
He has over twenty eight years experience in designing and delivering regeneration in the built environment. He leads the Place service, with a focus on Urban Design and Masterplans, creating healthy neighbourhoods for communities to live, work, learn, play and thrive in.  He works closely with clients to deliver their visions.
Duncan is an avid rider of his British racing green Brompton bicycle.

Projects Duncan Ecob has worked on:

Earl Rutherford

Earl Rutherford.

B.Arch (Hons) NZIA Registered

Associate Architect

Wellington Studio   

Earl has over 17 years experience and is a recognised leader in commercial scale modular construction projects, as well as civic and residential projects. He firmly believes any design problem can be solved with an integrated design team, great teamwork and productive work environment. Earl is a family man and designed and help build the family home. His recreational activities include drinking coffee and the great outdoors.

Emma Davis

Emma Davis.

BAS March (Prof) Hons.

Intermediate Architectural Graduate

Auckland Studio   

Emma works largely on the architecture components of masterplanning projects both greenfield and redevelopments. She has a keen interest in providing housing at a larger scale for the everyday person and has developed a lot of experience around the urban design impacts of designing entire blocks of housing.

Emma enjoys getting out in the New Zealand’s landscape to explore the beautiful scenery and great walks around the country.

Frank Hoffmann

Frank Hoffmann.

Dipl.-Ing., B.Eng., Ing.

Intermediate Landscape Architect

Wellington Studio   

Frank is a Landscape Architect from Germany and enjoys the variety of projects across all work stages in the intersection of landscape architecture, climate adaptation, strategy, urbanism and nature. His strong holistic planning approach through stakeholder engagement and design workshops is complemented by his sketching and illustration skills. Communicating ideas and visions to both public and private clients is a major element in his design – thinking and ensures the targeted audience understands the key project elements and design intent. His passion to understand open space better in its complexity is driven by the connection of the landscape and its intended users to provide an appropriate “sense of place”. He is probably the only one in the studio not drinking coffee – and still manages to come through the day.

If not in the studio, Frank can be found outdoors exploring countries and cultures with his backpack while maintaining a mix of adventurous sports such as rock-climbing, surfing, mountain biking or mountaineering.

Frank Pierard

Frank Pierard.

BLA, MUrbDes (Hons), NZILA Grad

Intermediate Urban Designer

Auckland Studio   

Frank works predominantly on large scale master planning projects within the studio. He has a keen interest in city-wide regeneration and believes that quality design can have an extraordinary impact on peoples lives.

Francis is also passionate about the natural landscape and can often be found exploring the West Coast beaches and bush.

Gavin Lister

Gavin Lister.

BA Dip LA (Post grad), M Urb. Des.

Founding Principal

Auckland Studio   

Gavin is a founding Director of Isthmus and Fellow of the NZILA with over twenty five years’ experience in the field of landscape architecture and urban design. Gavin specialises in the integrated design and planning of large scale infrastructure projects, such as highways and renewable energy projects including windfarms and geothermal plants.

With a high level of expertise in regional landscape assessment and policy, Gavin regularly provides expert evidence and has acted as an Independent RMA Commissioner. His work has won numerous NZILA National Awards for Design and Landscape Planning.

Ginny Pedlow

Ginny Pedlow.

B.Arch, ANZIA (Registered)

Principal Architect

Auckland Studio   

My involvement in architecture over 25 years encompasses public buildings, education, medium density housing, and single house residential work.

My focus is on design excellence, always looking for spatial opportunities to shape space.

Grant Bailey

Grant Bailey.

BLA, NZILA (Registered)

Principal Landscape Architect

Auckland Studio   

Grant leads the Isthmus Space service with our team of landscape architects to deliver high-quality design solutions. A landscape architect with over 17 years of public and private sector experience Grant is a proven design leader, he has directed innovative award-winning, large-scale complex urban public realm, open space and infrastructure project’s. Grant is at the forefront of green infrastructure and open-space master planning, his project experience covers recreation, commercial, residential, civic, transport, water and education sectors. With a collaborative approach he works across stakeholders, design teams, and specialists including integration of public art. He has served on the Isthmus board and is active in the governance and leadership of the practice.

Greer Oliver

Greer Oliver.

BAS, Currently Studying MUrbPlanUrbDes

Urban Design Intern

Auckland Studio   

Greer has been an intern with Isthmus since May 2016. She is currently studying a Masters of Urban Planning and Urban Design at the University of Auckland after previously completing her Bachelor of Architectural Studies.

Greg Lee

Greg Lee.

BAS, BArch, NZRAB Registered Architect, NZIA

Senior Architect

Auckland Studio   

Greg is a graduate from the University of Auckland and since then he has worked on many residential projects from small alterations to large high end homes and Apartments. He became a Registered Architect at the beginning of 2015. His interest is in detailed design and he enjoys taking design ideas and working them through to finished buildings.

Greg is a Certified Diver and is always looking for a new exciting dive site, extra bonus if the fishing is good too.

Greta Christensen

Greta Christensen.

MLA, BAS (Land), Grad NZILA, UDF

Intermediate Landscape Architect

Auckland Studio   

Greta has a range of experience on a number of urban design, landscape architecture and master planning projects. She is passionate about community building through people and place based design and is currently involved in a ‘nature play’ playground in Hobsonville and the documentation of the community lead Clevedon Village design framework.

Greta is able to work across a wide range programs, adding value to the documentation process, particularly on interdisciplinary teams. She frequently works alongside our architecture team to produce integrated and community orientated design outcomes. She is currently working on a podium landscape featuring a pedestrian accessway and shared courtyard for a 50 unit residential subdivision in Onehunga, as well as a podium landscape including a green street, laneways and two public open spaces which support a 139 unit subdivision in Ponsonby.

Greta is passionate about the great outdoors and has a keen interest in horse riding, travel and hiking and is looking forward to learning how to dive this summer.

Projects Greta Christensen has worked on:

Haylea Muir

Haylea Muir.

BLA (Hons), NZILA (Registered)

Associate Landscape Architect

Auckland Studio    Board Members   

Alongside her extensive experience in large scale residential masterplanning projects and writing Architecture and Landscape design guidelines, Haylea has had a primary role in several award winning play spaces. She has a special interest in how people live, play and connect in their neighbourhoods.
Haylea is also an amateur photographer who’s travel destinations are usually chosen on the basis of indulging this hobby.

Hayley Wright

Hayley Wright.

BAS, MArch (Prof)

Intermediate Architectural Graduate

Auckland Studio   

Hayley brings to Isthmus a range of design and leadership skills combined with a positive, energetic approach to architecture.

She has professional experience in both New Zealand and London on small scale residential designs, large scale developments and commercial architecture.

Hayley represents Isthmus on the NZIA Auckland committee and focuses on building strong relationships with fellow industry members, clients, consultants and suppliers.

Helen Kerr

Helen Kerr.

BLA (Hons), NZILA (Registered)

Principal Landscape Architect

Auckland Studio    Board Members   

Helen has grown deep roots with Isthmus since 1999, and is invested in our kaupapa of land, people and culture. She takes a collaborative approach to her work, and finds that exploring and creating with communities is the real deal- knowing when to listen, when to observe and when to lead.

Play is her passion, finding the story of place is her skill, and wellbeing is her mission. She believes we should invest in the future of children and whanau by supporting community networks, sparking positive change and creating healthy habitats. Through leadership of award winning destination projects, Helen always strives to weave together the narrative of land, people and culture through the design process – whether it be Botanic Gardens, greenways, Universities, learning landscapes, parks or playspaces.

Ivy Llanera

Ivy Llanera.

BAS Land, MLA (Merit), NZILA Grad

Graduate Landscape Architect

Auckland Studio   

Ivy works closely with the masterplanning team, where she gets to develop her knowledge and skills in residential masterplanning, superlot designs, and streetscape and planting designs. She mostly helps in production and delivers graphic, technical and written deliverables. Ivy has a strong passion in landscape urbanism, urban informality and designing with communities. She is also a foodie. She loves experimenting with food and unleashing her other side of creativity in the kitchen.

James Patullo

James Patullo.

MLA, (Merit), BAS (Land), NZILA Grad

Intermediate Landscape Architect

Wellington Studio   

James is involved in a broad range of projects from coastal and open space strategies to urban design and infrastructure. He also has a skilled background in 3D modelling, renders and video simulations, and graphic design. James is a workaholic who volunteers time to the NZILA and VUW. He enjoys adventurous travel and making art in his spare time.

Projects James Patullo has worked on:

James Ure

James Ure.

BAS, MArch(prof)

Architectural Graduate

Auckland Studio   

James works largely on medium density residential projects. James is passionate in designing with practical, artistic solutions for the social integration of people and the land with a specific interest in small efficient spaces. James enjoys exploring the wider Auckland isthmus, travelling and surfing around the world when he can.
In the weekend you’ll find James hitting the sun drenched streets of his local neighbourhood with his feet firmly on his skateboard.

Projects James Ure has worked on:

Jia Ying-Hew

Jia Ying-Hew.

MArch (Prof)

Architectural Graduate

Auckland Studio   

Hew works largely on residential housing projects including terrace housing and apartments. She has a specific interest in how the integration of architecture and landscape design can encourage meaningful interaction between people and improve neighbourhood quality.

Hew has a strong interest in painting and hand crafting. She is passionate about how art and design can improve society and quality of life.

Projects Jia Ying-Hew has worked on:

John Broadbent

John Broadbent.


Senior Architectural Graduate

Auckland Studio   

John has several years of professional experience in private practice, his expertise also includes design and detailed documentation for a range of architectural projects, with a particular focus on high end residential commissions. He enjoys the creative process of exploring many perspectives to find innovative design solutions.

John enjoys travelling, both locally and internationally visiting new and old locations exploring the culture, architecture and food.

Jordyn Hesketh

Jordyn Hesketh.

Studio Administration

Auckland Studio   

Jordyn deals with the studio administration in Auckland, Jordyn is a warm and gentle communicator who has to juggle a number of balls to keep the studio running effectively.

Kamelia Peneva

Kamelia Peneva.

BArch, MUrbDes (Hon), NZRAB Registered Architect

Senior Urban Designer

Auckland Studio   

Kamelia is an Urban Designer and Registered Architect with over ten years’ experience in the industry, predominately based Auckland and Melbourne. She has worked on large scale projects like Auckland’s City Rail Link and Arts Centre Melbourne, as well as residential masterplanning and is passionate about the delivery of community regeneration projects.

Her belief that design and development are interconnected, and integral to creating a better built environment, has led to her involvement in both the NZIA and Property Council.

Projects Kamelia Peneva has worked on:

Lisa Rimmer

Lisa Rimmer.

BHortSc (Hons) MLA (Hons)

Principal Landscape architect

Wellington Studio   

Alongside her landscape architectural practice, Lisa’s background in horticultural science and education has informed her specialist expertise in strategic planning projects that integrate environmental planning and RMA processes with detailed design.  She has worked on a wide range of projects including large scale infrastructure, public and civic facilities and commercial developments. Lisa has strengths in project management, leadership and team communication, as well as contract documentation and planting design, especially for complex urban sites.

Marcus Richardson

Marcus Richardson.

BAS, MArch

Intermediate Architectural Graduate

Auckland Studio   

Marcus is passionate about the positive human effect architecture plays in peoples work and home lives. This in part is translated by understanding the importance of relationships with the building spaces, how the building is occupied, the relationship with the landscape and the wider context.

Ten years’ experience in architecture and commercial interior architecture has created an understanding of clients across a range of professions, that openly challenges the clients brief and also challenges himself.

Projects Marcus Richardson has worked on:

Marita Hunt

Marita Hunt.

BDES (Hons), MLA, NZILA Grad

Senior Landscape Architect

Auckland Studio   

Marita works across disciplines at Isthmus, contributing to landscape architecture, master planning, urban design, and infrastructure projects, and she believes good design improves the lives of the communities it serves.

Marita does more extracurricular activities than is sensible, but is particularly enthusiastic at the moment about learning to speak te reo māori.

Projects Marita Hunt has worked on:

Mark Sayegh

Mark Sayegh.

BArch, NZIA (Registered)

Principal Architect

Auckland Studio   

With a strong family background in construction, leading to a carpentry apprenticeship and trade experience, the progression to study and practise Architecture was natural.

As an all-round generalist, Mark has strong interpersonal skills enabling him to relate well to clients and project team members. He is an excellent project planner/strategist at design, developmental and build-ability levels. With a sound knowledge of materials suitability, he is often seen as a “go to” person.

Born, bred, and a lover of his city Auckland, Mark is married with three adult children.

Matt Jones

Matt Jones.

BLA, NZILA (Registered)

Associate Landscape Architect

Auckland Studio   

Matthew is a highly motivated landscape architect with particular expertise in the integration of design, planning and management. He is a skilled design planner, working across the disciplines of landscape architecture, masterplanning and urban design. Matthew has a strong appreciation for the relationship between people and their surrounding environment and developing design outcomes that engage and enhance this notion.

Matthew is passionate about urbanism with a particular interest in the design and integration of mode-share in urban environments. He is a self-proclaimed sports fan and is multi-genre music obsessed. 

Megan Otto

Megan Otto.

BFA, currently studying Diploma of Interior Design (after hours)

Studio Concierge

Auckland Studio   

Megan has mainly worked in administration. If you ever need helping finding the Isthmus building and our visitor car parks, please call her. And when you arrive she’s on hand to offer you any number of herbal teas, coffee, juices, mineral water – still or sparkling, (you get the picture)…just ask!

Michael Chu

Michael Chu.


Intermediate Landscape Architect

Auckland Studio   

Michael has worked extensively on suburban regeneration projects, preparing comprehensive landscape packages from concept through to detailed design. He is interested in how people occupy and experience space with his passion for hand rendering present in the work he produces.

When he isn’t sketching or listening to music, Michael enjoys exploring Auckland’s diverse eateries.

Projects Michael Chu has worked on:

Michael Morgan

Michael Morgan.

Bid & Marketing Manager

Auckland Studio   

Michael has a strong focus on Isthmus’ future, working extensively with service leaders to exceed our strategic goals and increase the breadth of Isthmus’ reputation.

He is driven to enhance relationships between land, people and culture to nurture New Zealand’s destiny that is diverse and balanced, a nation that future generations will be proud to call home.

Living near the sea, Michael enjoys the coastal environment and proximity to the natural amenities of the Waitematā Harbour.

His talents include playing the guitar badly, singing in the shower and whipping up the perfect poached egg.

When not expressing his talents, he can be found at home, in the garden or exploring the roading network on two wheels.

Mihali Katsougiannis

Mihali Katsougiannis.


Graduate Landscape Architect

Auckland Studio   

Mihali joined Isthmus in early 2017 having concluded his study at Victoria University of Wellington. His thesis focused on the revitalisation of abandoned cultural landscapes and the preservation of the ‘everyruin’ using Landscape Architecture to bring new life to forgotten sites.

Hitting the ground running, Mihali’s first project at Isthmus involved the use of his skills in 3D modelling to assist in large infrastructural works in addition to providing assistance on various other projects when required, with his team-first mentality contributing to the dynamic work environment.

With a passion for storytelling Mihali has developed a knack for intertwining design with tales evoked from an empathetic response to people and place to best serve the landscape and the lives of everyone connected to it.

Nada Stanish

Nada Stanish.

BFA, BLA (Hons)

Associate Landscape Architect

Auckland Studio   

Nada works on a wide range of projects from small urban plaza to large recreation parks and botanical gardens. Her practice bridges art and landscape. Her core specialisation is in concept through to detail design, she provides high level graphic conceptualisation throughout the design process. Nada produced the suite of hand sketches for the award winning isthmus CCNC book, and enjoys working between hand and digital production. Nada draws on her artschool background being experimental in her approach and development of ideas. She has a strong interest in native flora – complex bespoke and, broadbrush planting plans. Having worked in museum and historic gardens she has developed a keen interest in cultural and historic landscapes and taonga.

Core competencies:

Visual Communication
Object Art

Natasha Whitlock

Natasha Whitlock.

BAS, Barch (Hons), MUrbDes (Hons)

Associate Urban Deisgner

Auckland Studio   

Starting her career as an honours graduate in 2006, Natasha is a competent Urban Designer with extensive experience in significant master-planning, architectural and urban design projects, and specialist knowledge in the feasibility and design of multi-residential projects.

Natasha has participated in extensive stakeholder and external party consultations, and has had a prominent role at Isthmus in the development of design guidelines, development controls, master planning projects, urban design reviews and assessments.

Projects Natasha Whitlock has worked on:

Nick Pearson

Nick Pearson.

BLA, NZILA (Registered)

Senior Landscape Architect

Auckland Studio   

Nick works mostly at the detailed design and contract administration end of projects, spending nearly half his time in a hi viz and hard hat on site.

Off duty Nick is a keen musician, sports watcher and DIY plodder.

Projects Nick Pearson has worked on:

Nikki Peck

Nikki Peck.

PGDipBus - Human Resources, RCoN

People and Development

Auckland Studio   

With 20 years experience Nikki is a well respected and sought after human resource practitioner. People and Culture is at the core of Nikki’s focus at Isthmus and she builds the heart of our place by genuinely engaging with our people. With a ready smile Nikki contributes to improving business function, builds strong high trust relationships, and provides clear, concise advice, coaching and direction.

Oriane Merindol

Oriane Merindol.

M.Arch/Architecte D.E

Graduate Urban Designer/Architect

Auckland Studio   

Oriane studied Architecture and Urban Design in France and in Italy, then worked with Gehl Architects in Denmark, she joined Isthmus in November 2016.

Oriane is interested in designing cities and neighbourhoods in a more sustainable way that promotes social equity. She has been mostly working on masterplanning projects, with a specific focus on creating walk-able places where everyone feels welcome. Oriane is an unconditional walker, loving to explore new places and countries, going everywhere on foot!

Penny McIntyre

Penny McIntyre.


Principal Finance

Auckland Studio   

As a member of the senior management team and a qualified Accountant, Penny is a valued and trusted member of the senior management team , who brings a wealth of experience and knowledge as well as a cracking good sense of humour!  Penny works collaboratively across Isthmus providing clear financial direction, analysis, process improvements as well as ad hoc projects helping to ensure that our business objectives are met.
Outside of the busy working week, Penny spends quality time with friends and family sharing great yarns whilst fishing, walking, pilates and a good glass of chardonnay!

Ralph Johns

Ralph Johns.

BSc MA, NZILA Registered


Auckland Studio    Wellington Studio    Board Members   

Ralph takes care of the business; he leads the strategic direction of isthmus.

As a landscape architect Ralph has won a number of industry awards. He was the driving force behind the Isthmus book, Coast Country Neighbourhood City. As Isthmus’ design-led CEO since 2014, Ralph has led the practice through a period of rapid growth. Ralph ensures that Isthmus stays grounded, committed to purpose, and keeps an eye firmly fixed on the horizon.

Ralph lives in Wellington, works in Auckland and rides a bicycle whenever he can.

Projects Ralph Johns has worked on:

Rebecca Jerram

Rebecca Jerram.

MRRP, MLArch, Dip Sust, NZILA & AILA (Registered)

Senior Landscape Architect

Auckland Studio   

After working as an Urban Planner in NZ and Canada, Rebecca made a right brain move 11 years ago to Landscape Architecture and has worked in Melbourne & Auckland in design and build roles across open space projects, pocket parks, stream restoration and streetscape upgrades.

At Isthmus she currently manages major projects through the construction phase, and enjoys being intricately involved with the technical details of the delivery.  In her design work Rebecca is passionate about threading ecology back through the built environment, and achieving a practical, functional outcome on the ground for Clients.

Recent projects Rebecca has delivered include Kopupaka Reserve Stage 2, Airfields in Hobsonville and is currently wrangling the live build of Te Hauauru Reserve at Westgate.

Projects Rebecca Jerram has worked on:

Sam Gwynn

Sam Gwynn.

BArch (Hons)

Intermediate Architectural Graduate

Wellington Studio   

Sam has had over 8 years experience in several architectural practices in Wellington working within a range of typologies including – education, hospitality, retail and residential. He is interested in creating meaning in architecture and space as a reflection of physical and mental contexts to add value to everyday lives.

Sam can be found exploring the outdoors usually hitting the road mountain biking, skiing or surfing.

Projects Sam Gwynn has worked on:

Sam Irvine

Sam Irvine.


Chief Operating Officer

Auckland Studio   

Sam is a highly skilled senior executive with significant experience and expertise in complex stakeholder relationships, business and people leadership, formulation and implementation of high growth strategies, and the development of high performing teams.

He has an enduring passion for developing New Zealand’s unique land, people and culture both locally and internationally.

Sarah Bishop

Sarah Bishop.

CMLI (UK), BLA (Hons), BBSc

Principal Landscape Architect

Auckland Studio    Board Members   

Sarah is a Landscape Architect and Urban Designer with over ten years’ professional experience gained in the UK and here at home in New Zealand. She has expertise in a broad range of projects types from strategy and masterplanning, to the design conceptualisation and development, through to preparation of construction documentation. Sarah can move from large scale complex masterplans to intricate spaces that knit into urban fabric, to natural elemental environments – bringing the same level of design sensitivity, clarity and refinement.

Recent projects have included masterplanning for urban centres and coastal environments; the design and delivery of public parks, plazas and streetscapes. She works collaboratively with public and private sector clients, stakeholder and community groups to deliver high quality outcomes loved by their communities.

Sarah’s interest in urban renewal projects, particularly where the land meets the sea is informed by a fascination with maps and their language of how our towns and cities evolve.


Scott Donnell

Scott Donnell.

BAS, BArch (Hons), NZRAB Registered Architect, NZIA

Principal - Architect

Auckland Studio   

With more than 20 years of professional experience in New Zealand and the UK, Scott is highly skilled in design at both the conceptual and detailed level. He values equally the high level big picture and the intimate crafted detail. After developing a strong skill base in commercial and private residential work, Scott has led teams in multi-unit residential and mixed-use masterplanning projects of increasing complexity. Scott is passionate about the natural as well as built environments, and can often be found exploring both city and countryside by foot, bike, kayak and occasionally horseback.

Scott McKerrow

Scott McKerrow.

M.Arch (Hon), BAS, NDAT

Senior Architectural Graduate

Auckland Studio   

Scott has over 10 years industry experience with a broad range of project exposure ranging from high end residential, medium density housing, industrial processing facilities to commercial developments.

Scott is interested in the role architecture plays in facilitating community, developing indigenous and reinforcing cultural relations.

Sean Burke

Sean Burke.

BSc, BLA (Hons), NZILA (Registered)

Principal Landscape Architect

Auckland Studio   

Sean has 16 years experience in a range of landscape architectural work predominantly associated with infrastructure and the coastal edge.

Sean combines strategic thinking with core design skills underpinned by an ability to understand the natural and people context. A champion of the holistic view and noted keeper of overall project design visions, Sean offers a collaborative approach integrating the needs of many across a variety of procurement models.

Sean has a passion for well thought through design that advances the conversation of place, identity and human experience, yet goes beyond the visual to engage with the dynamics of the natural world in a meaningful proactive manner.

Simon Nicholson

Simon Nicholson.

Accounts Assistant

Auckland Studio   

Sophie Fisher

Sophie Fisher.


Graduate Landscape Architect

Auckland Studio   

Sophie has predominantly supported the design team in delivering the Schools PPP3 project and is especially interested in developing these engaging designs in response to strong cultural narratives.  

Having moved to New Zealand from the UK, Sophie enjoys spending time outdoors, exploring the diversity of Auckland culture and its wider landscape.

Sophie Jacques

Sophie Jacques.

Bdes, Larch (Hons)

Senior Landscape Architect

Wellington Studio   

Sophie works broadly across a range of projects, from inception through to detailed design. A specialist in construction management she has taken this role on a number of complex projects including the Children’s Garden, Wellington Zoo and currently working on the delivery of North Kumutoto on Wellington’s Waterfront. Sophie is particularly interested in community based projects and inter-generational spaces that take place within the urban framework. Sophie enjoys creating places that have a direct impact on how people (and animals!) live. You’ll find Sophie taking photos of people and landscapes, most likely powering up a mountain somewhere on Wellington’s ridgeline.

Projects Sophie Jacques has worked on:

Stefan Beconcini

Stefan Beconcini.

BArch (Hons), BSocSc,

Senior Architectural Graduate

Wellington Studio   

Stefan is a senior architectural graduate with over 14 years’ experience in the New Zealand architecture industry. He has a wide background designing and documenting small to large scale residential, commercial and community projects. Stefan is proficient in detailing complex structures and producing 3D visualizations that can facilitate understanding and presenting ideas to clients, builders and the team working on a project. He is passionate about architecture and an enthusiastic self-starter that works well in a team or able to work on  my own initiative managing projects from start to completion. He has a strong interest in prefabricated and green architecture encouraging sustainability and pushing for innovation in design and construction.

“The part that I enjoy the most is designing concepts, I get really excited about coming up with new ideas catering for each client’s brief. Isthmus has provided me with such a great opportunity and range of diverse projects in which I have been able to explore the role of architecture strengthened by its relationship to the land, people and culture.”

Hobbies: Drawing and illustrations, kiteboarding, surfing, spearfishing and teaching Body Pump at Les Mills.

I also started a volunteer group with my wife in 2015 called volunteer fitness, bringing people together to help the community.


Projects Stefan Beconcini has worked on:

Suchita Jain

Suchita Jain.

MArch (Prof), BAS

Architectural Graduate

Wellington Studio   

NZIA Student Member, Asia NZ Foundation- Leadership Network Member.

Suchita has keen interest in storytelling through architecture where site- specific designs address the current and past local context of a place. Additional to the functionality of architecture -a people centric design, in her opinion, is what lies at the core of successful design thinking. Suchita enjoys working in leadership, working with young volunteers and graphic design. She utilises her creative skills through her Photography business where she covers a range of events and fashion portraiture.

Tessa Macphail

Tessa Macphail.

Senior Landscape Architect

Wellington Studio   

Projects Tessa Macphail has worked on:

Travis McGee

Travis McGee.

MLA, BAS (Land), NZILA (reg)

Senior Landscape Architect

Auckland Studio   

Travis designs public spaces, large and small scale parks, subdivision planning, sports facilities, walkways and cycleways, skate parks and education. He predominately focuses in the design of schools where he leads the concepts through to the construction.

Travis’ passion lies within the natural environment and the ecological processes that are integral to landscape architectural design. This originates from growing up in the rural North Island where he developed a strong connection to land and the outdoors. His thesis, titled Catalysts for Environmentalism, was developed around public relationships with the natural environment and used Landscape Architecture to develop links between natural and urban environments as a means of reconnecting residents to their local river systems.

Travis Wooller

Travis Wooller.

BLA, NZILA (Registered)

Associate Landscape Architect

Auckland Studio   

Ever the perfectionist, Travis thrives on detail.  Over 11 years of construction administration and overseeing landscape builds in the urban environment have provided for a solid design ethos that enables him to convert clients aspirations, concepts and desired outcomes into a solid reality.
Travis firmly believes that listening is designing too, and meaningful input by the end user and client is key to a projects success. With his extensive experience designing, managing and delivering streets, plazas, large scale parks, sport infrastructure, and skate parks, Travis has proven to be a safe pair of hands to carry complex and technical projects through to the last detail.

Wade Lipsham

Wade Lipsham.


Landscape Architect

Wellington Studio   

Wade experienced a 10 year hiatus from Landscape Architecture,  where he was involved in Business and management. He brings these new skill sets with him and applies it to practice.

Wade’s background is in High-end Residential developments and his passion and expertise lies in concept design and masterplanning. Wade has an ability to offer creative and artistic solutions to any design problem brief.

He also has a great love and sound knowledge of native plants and their positive ecological contribution to the wider New Zealand Landscape.

Projects Wade Lipsham has worked on:

Zarah Zaheb

Zarah Zaheb.


Wellington Studio   

Past Team Members

Garth Falconer, Mike Jones, Helen Ballinger, Nicola Williams, Richard Hart, Tim Fitzpatrick, Simon Rackham, Philip Henderson, Jeremy Cooke, Anna Bolton Riley, Laura Andrews, Lisa Atkinson, Catherine Alington, Katie Banks, Nik Kneale, Justin Morey, Jane Gilmour, Kara Maresca, Nat Lawrence, Lee Brazier, Guy Protheroe, Nicola Charles, Yoko Tanaka, Joanna Soanes, Fraser Miller, Allen Nicholson, Orson Waldock, Francois Vienne, Iryna Prokopchuk, Nina Harrison, Alan Gray, Kristy Haliday, Margaret Poppelwell, Rui Seguchi, Maree Garnett, Peter Wilson, Kent Potter, Linda Kerkmeester, Evan Williams, Jeremy Wilks, Fabian Low, Bridget Murdoch, Paul Browne, Sophie Schmeltz, Esther Hjelstrom, James Bentley, Rochelle Adams, Abbie Baumgart, Charlotte Grant, Claire Macky, Simon Bogalo, Danbi Park, Karen Ehlers, Sean Leogreen, Jamie Johnson, Shonagh Lindsay, Kaye Reihana, Paul Roper Gee, Nicola Rees, Nigel Parker, Wade Robertson, Rebecca Hughes, Grace He, Sarah Baumann, Sarah Finlayson, Adrian Taylor, Emma Golightly, Scot Bathgate, Kent Lundberg, Kirstin Johnson, George Woolford, Jade McFarlane, Hoa Luu, Kylie Agraval, Liz Clarke, Fiona Nightingale, Rachael Annan, Nathan Young, Sandeep Cyril, Hanna O’Donoghue, Rosie Allen, Katrina Kidson, Wendi Nicoll, Liz Plank, Sue McManaway, Jess Lam, Kristyn Aldridge, Bernard Wind, Catherine Wilson, Daniel Yang, Ellen Aronsson-Jones, Matt Peacocke, Annette Allwood, Paggy Shen, David Gregory, Alfred Chan, Gabrielle Free, Matt Faulk, Jimmy Zhuang, Stephen Bay, Rewi Thompson, Dean O’Donnell, Taylor Davis, Maria Bergvall, Ella Tisdall,  Mark Radford, Sarah Poff, Sarah Al-Anbuky, Dan Males, Alistair Luke, Julia Wick, Rhonda Corbett