My story is rooted in the remnants of an Anglo American colonial New Zealand: white clapperboard facades, thresholds gleaming in their Cardinal Red polish and wide open front doors. All well-mannered and staged beyond green lawns. But these were also the post war decades and everything was changing. Lead by academics and modernists, the call was for "Urban Renewal". It was hard edged and ruled without compromise. Comfort, detailing and beauty in our architecture seemed to have no place alongside the plywood, plastic paints and glassy shine that was everything new. At the time my feelings had no form of expression, but I knew even then we had been duped and were losing a valuable part of our heritage and identity.

Feeling robbed and empty and needing to rediscover, I travelled. I saw America, Italy and France, but it was in England that for the first time in my life I was halted in my tracks. I had discovered Lutyens in the Home Counties, Lorimer in Fife and Lothian, and Macintosh in Glasgow. This was a revelation; I walked, I cycled, I read and I sketched my way through a country that, by comparison to my own, appeared to have escaped the ravages of the Modernists. I was enthralled, I felt at home and wonderfully connected.

Although I was unable to distinguish myself at school, I was offered places at three Scottish universities. Contrary to what I stood for at the time, I felt most challenged and most welcomed by the overtly modernist concrete and glass outpost that was the School of Architecture at the Unversity of Strathclyde, Glasgow.

After graduating with my degree in architecture I was offered a three year training place in the London office of Donald W Insall and Ascossiates, leading conservation architects and at the time lead architects for the restoration of Windsor Castle following the great fire. ‘Insall’s’ was then a small but highly skilled team dedicated to safeguarding the country's most beloved historic buildings. I was privileged to work at a detailed survey level on buildings that most people only look upon from afar as tourists. This was my time to formally study the essence and character of great architecture in all its forms and expressions. It was from this experience that I learnt to understand and articulate architectural form for myself and my drawings were hung over three successive years at the Royal Academy of Art, Summer Exhibitions.

I emerged capable and confident in my expression of architectural form. I no longer saw modernism as the enemy of our architectural heritage - that was and still is a consequence of our consumer driven age. In sole practice I set about aggressively breaking down the barriers that had arisen between the 'professional' architect and the trades; I rose with the tradesmen and craftsmen of the job and together we achieved solutions that were alive and passionate in their celebration of form, function and decoration, and strong in their character and identity.

Now, in New Zealand, we find ourselves working alongside a wonderful team of people of diverse skill and dedication, designing and building extraordinary homes to an exceptionally high standard which we hope will endure the ages to come. I couldn't be more proud.