Act of making – architect felt calling as a child

Even before he knew strictly what an architect was, Pat de Pont wanted to be one – decades on and he is a director at leading city architecture firm SGA 

This light-filled kitchen provides a social hub for
This light-filled kitchen provides a social hub for a young family – it also draws together elements of the home's architecture for a wider harmony. The kitchen forms part of a new home by SGA.
Pat de Pont, practice director, SGA (Strachan Group
Pat de Pont, practice director, SGA (Strachan Group Architects)

Award-winning architect and director of Auckland architecture firm SGA (Strachan Group Architects) says it was the act of making that attracted him to architecture.

"I liked to make stuff and working with my hands as a kid – all sorts of crafts, drawings and model making. 

"I decided I was going to be an architect at quite a young age, long before I had any real understanding of what that entailed."

de Pont left school as soon as he was able to enrol at Auckland University and attended the School of Architecture through the 1980s, graduating in ’87, and has worked in Auckland ever since. 

"I have been with SGA for 30 years and am practice director."

SGA is a multiple award-winning Auckland practice, with accolades Includes, among others, many NZIA National and Local Branch Awards, Interiors, BEST design and TIDA Awards. Dave Strachan, the design director, was awarded the 2020 NZIA Gold Medal.

SGA is a medium sized company, currently with 16 staff and based in Kingsland in Auckland.

Continuing the tradition of refurbishment of Auckland’s heritage
Continuing the tradition of refurbishment of Auckland’s heritage housing stock, this renovation by SGA is a re-interpretation of the ‘lean-to’ form. Existing lean-tos have been replaced with a lower-roofed link, connecting the old house to a modern living arrangement. 

Recognised by the company's peers as an innovative and exciting practice, SGA comprises a group of highly skilled people with a diverse range of complementary skills and the capability of undertaking work at any scale. 

The company has a special interest and experience in sustainability, pre-fabrication, construction, community responsibility and teaching.

When asked what his design style is in broad terms, de Pont says he would probably avoid the idea of style in favour of responsibility and responsiveness.

"Projects, for me, are inspired by their context, be it the physical environment, site factors, the clients’ brief or the broader purposes of the project and end users – the priorities and combination of these things shift from project to project."

Pat de Pont says his favourite and also often the trickiest part of a project is getting to know and work with all the people involved.

As with any civic- and planet-minded practice, Sustainability has always been a core principle in SGA's work and is considered as an integral part of the design process. 

The company continues to develop design responses to issues around sustainability on every project and works hard to keep abreast of new research and developments.

On the immediate horizon for Pat de Pont and SGA there are a number of exciting projects at varying stages of development. 

These range from civic, mixed-use and multi-unit residential projects, to bespoke houses and smaller prefabricated buildings.

To find out more and talk to Pat de Pont, contact SGA (Strachan Group Architects)

  See more from Pat de Pont

Story by: Trendsideas

10 Jul, 2022

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