Creative Arch

29 Nixon Street, Grey Lynn,
Auckland, NZ

09 309 ...
0800 246...

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Creative Arch is an award-winning, multi-disciplined architectural design practice, founded in 1998 by Architectural Designer / Director Mark McLeay.

The range of work at Creative Arch is as diverse as our clients, encompassing residential homes, alterations and renovations, coastal developments, sub-division developments, to commercial projects.

The team at Creative Arch are an enthusiastic group of talented professional architects and designers, with a depth of experience, from a range of different backgrounds and cultures. Creative Arch is a client-focused firm committed to providing excellence in service, culture, and project outcomes.

Client service is our first priority. Our guiding principle is to always listen and understand our client's needs and requirements. We view each client's architectural project as unique and deserving of an innovative plan and tailored design approach.
Any design project is a complicated creative undertaking with a multitude of tasks and issues to be resolved.

We believe in collaboration. Experience teaches us that the most successful architectural design projects are the ones when the client is committed to excellence and teamwork. We work alongside clients through the complete process from initial briefing to developing the design, through to the consenting process, and to construction and final completion.

Our Focus on Client Service

Creative Arch’s architects and designers are here to support your architectural vision and fulfill your dreams.

We work collaboratively with clients and offer ideas and solutions to achieve the best results. We pride ourselves on taking the time with an open mind to gather feedback and integrating them to turn the ordinary into the memorable.

Client service is our number one priority. This means we listen and understand, and listening is fundamental to creating successful architecture together.

Our architectural values incorporate an emphasis on approaching projects as a team and adherence to our fourteen points of culture.

Our work is as diverse as our clients, spanning throughout New Zealand and overseas. We specialise in:

  • Residential new homes,
  • Residential alterations.
  • Apartments & mixed use developments,
  • Holiday homes,
  • Commercial & Retail
  • Remedial Works
Our Fees Tailored To Suit

Our architectural services are modelled to suit your needs and budget.

For each project, a Letter of Offer will be provided, individually tailored to projects. Our fees use industry-standard percentages to match the size and complexity of the design brief.

From pre-design through to contract documentation, Creative Arch generally provides a fixed price. For the remaining stages involving tender and contract administration, we have found hourly charge to be the best win/win.

Our point of difference is the considerable savings in the contract documentation phase. Extensive time and money has been invested by Creative Arch in developing unique systems and processes, along with an extensive library of templates and details. This gives us a distinct advantage in enabling us to work smarter, not harder.

We are totally transparent about this and pass these cost savings on to our client. This also benefits you, the client, allowing greater time and energy to be focused on at the front end of the design phase--the basis of a successful architectural outcome.

Contact us now to request a letter of offer for your next architectural project:

The design process for any architectural project generally follows through multiple stages of varying time lengths. Beginning from pre-design, any project undergoes multiple iterations and consultations before project completion.

1. Pre-Design & Site Analysis

This is the first step for your architectural project. This covers the gathering of all information required prior to commencing design. Scope of work would typically include:

  • Site analysis and gathering planning and council information
  • Measuring the existing building
  • Developing brief
  • Gathering initial advice from separate consultants

You may already have a lot of this information

2. Preliminary Sketch Design

This next step involves relating the client brief with the opportunities of the site through a series of iterations and solutions. Preliminary design is informed by a myriad of parameters including visual prospect, daylight orientation, existing trees / structures, town-planning requirements, and other applicable elements.

Initially, this stage is concerned with developing shape, forms, and establishing spatial relationships. In some cases, we also address the look and style in terms of colour and materiality.

For preliminary design, the scope of works would typically involve:

  • Proposed layout plans,
  • Key external sketches, and
  • Study cross-sections.

Successful preliminary designs normally integrates feedback derived from back-and-forth dialogue and communication with the client.

3. Developed Design

The next step is the refining of design ideas and shaping of a final building design, while structural and services design continue to be addressed. Space and form planning for both inside and out will be finalised with material selections and palates.

External consultants like engineers for the project will be engaged at this stage. For kitchens, we have found it best to involve a kitchen/cabinetry company at this stage. Developed design drawings would typically involve:

  • Resolved floor plans, site plan, elevations and key sections
  • Finalised space planning, exterior forms, services, materials, and structural design
  • Product specifications and cost estimation
  • Developed 3D computer model
  • Engaging with an interior design service
  • Meeting with required consultants
  • Preliminary engineering design

In addition, a quantity surveyor is recommended at this stage to gain a more comprehensive and independent costing to check that the construction costs reconcile with the budget.

4. Resource Consent

If a Resource Consent application is required for a project, it is generally performed on a hourly time charge basis.

Resource Consents typically involve:

  • A written Assessment of Effects on the Environment (AEE),
  • Additional drawings/documents required for neighbours sign-off, and
  • Council lodgement and answering council queries.
5. Contract Documentation

These final stages further develop the design into detailed construction drawings, and complete necessary documentation for consent applications and building works.

We generally allow 6-12 weeks for processing Building Consent documentation that is lodged with the Council or Local Authority.

  • Working drawings including plans, sections, elevations, schedules, and construction details for consent applications and contract builder
  • Detailed specification of all products and materials
  • Finalised engineering design
  • Ensuring compliance with codes and regulations
  • Building Consent and/or Resource Consent lodgement with Council (allow 6-8 weeks each for processing)
6. Tendering and Negotiations

This stage of the process prepares the final design for construction through tendering for contractors to execute construction. We supply clients an appropriate schedule of services, with an agreed hourly rate charge.

The tendering process begins with the preparation of contract documentation and tender documents for supply to selected tenderers. There may be queries from the various contractors and sub-contractors which may prompt document revisions and issuing any notices to tenderers.

Overall, this stage typically involves:

  • Assessing and analysing suitable contractors,
  • Checking tender compliance,
  • Recommending a main contractor, and
  • Preparing tender report.

The stage concludes with a selected contractor and notifying all tenderers of the results.

7. Contract Administration

We offer our clients a schedule of services we see as appropriate for this phase, charged at an hourly rate. We would like to confirm your requirements for this phase once Contract Documentation is nearing completion.

We prefer to confirm the requirements for construction phase services when Contract Documentation is nearing completion. Contract Administration typically involves:

  • Scheduling and recording minutes from regular site meetings,
  • Answering project queries and resolving architectural matters,
  • Checking shop drawings, providing extra drawings as needed,
  • Processing instructions through Variation Price Requests, site instructions, and variation orders
  • Ensuring prices are fair and reasonable,
  • Administrating and certifying project payments,
  • Inspecting and approving Practical and Final Completion, and
  • Administrating maintenance defects during the maintenance period.

"Without any hesitation we can say that the best thing about our new home project was choosing Creative Arch as our design team. They came up with a design that was aesthetically pleasing, functional and suited to a challenging coastal site. They completely understood and worked closely with our brief. The panoramic windows and outdoor living space enhanced the views, complimented by a pleasingly casual and open interior. We had an excellent working relationship with Creative Arch right to the end. Communication was open and we had complete trust in our architect. 

The way in which our building plans and documentation passed through Council without any hitches is testament to the architect’s skill. We have received many compliments for our house from both friends and total strangers. We would not hesitate to recommend Creative Arch to anyone looking for innovative and competent architectural services." Grant and Rozelle Edwards, Edwards Residence

"We place "Excellence in Design" as one of the most important components of building a home. Even more important is producing a great design within budget. It is all too common to hear that a great design never made it past the drawing board due to costs not being considered carefully throughout the design stage.

Finding the right architect is paramount to our business, we need designers that have the skill & flair and understand the importance of maximizing our customers varying needs. Our projects can range from a first home with a modest budget to some large complex homes on very demanding building sites. Each project deserves the very best we can obtain for our customer's dollars.

Creative Arch & David Reid has built a working relationship over the last few years that work well for all. We have jointly developed a design service for our clients that exceeds any other we have seen in the marketplace. It offers design with an "Architects" level of skills at extremely reasonable capped fees with checks at every stage of the design process to ensure there are no budget blow outs.

Our customers come from different parts of the world, have varying lifestyles, they are looking for a home to reflect their personalities, not a repetitive production line model. Many designers / architects homes are immediately recognizable by the design style. Not so with a David Reid Home, it is our customer's home, not ours, not our designers. Creative Arch have a team that produces the style that our customers want, not a monument to their business."R. Barrington, North Shore, Auckland

Creative Architecture were commissioned to redesign an old Titirangi Bach into an aesthetically modern functional home, merging with the hilly bush clad Titirangi terrain.  With no clear ideas on form, Creative Architecture provided various conceptual designs with the final design providing the aesthetical requirements established in the brief.

A unique roof line and innovative construction approach help keep the cost of the renovations in control for maximum return.  Creative Architecture incorporated our own ideals and requirements with their experience and design influences, resulting in a combined team effort with exceptional results.

Creative Architecture has been accommodating prior to and post-construction, and has hands on approach to dealing with requests properly. We would like to thank Mark and Creative Architecture for their work and would have no hesitation in acting as a referral for future clients."

 - Mark Wyman, Wyman

2017 Creative Arch
Best of Houzz Design 2017 Award - Selected Winner

2016 Thompson Park Apartments
ADNZ National | Multi-Unit Dwelling Award - National Finalist
ADNZ Regional | Multi-Unit Dwelling Award - Winner

2016 Day Residence
ADNZ Regional | New Home over 300m2 Award - Highly Commended

2016 Garrod Residence
Master Builders House of the Year | Gold Reserve Award - Winner
Master Builders House of the Year | Auckland / Northland - Gold Award

2016 Creative Arch
Best of Houzz Design 2016 Award - Selected Winner

2015 Hodgson Holiday Home
ADNZ Regional Resene Colour in Design Award - Winner

2015 Creative Arch
Best of Houzz Design 2015 Award - Selected Winner

2014 Davy House
ADNZ Regional Residential New Home between 150 - 300 sqm - Winner
ADNZ Regional Resene Colour Design Award - Winner

2014 Pataua Holiday Home
ADNZ Regional Residential New Home over 300 sqm - Highly Commended

2014 Arlott Residence
ADNZ Regional Residential New Home up to 150 sqm - Highly Commended

2014 Red Box Apartments
ADNZ Regional Multi-unit Dwelling - Highly Commended

2013 Thomson House
ADNZ Regional Residential Interiors - Winner
ADNZ Regional Residential New Home over 300 sqm - Highly Commended
ADNZ National Residential New Home over 300 sqm - Finalist
ADNZ National Residential Interiors - Finalist

2013 Rothesay Bay House
ADNZ Regional Residential Alteration & Additions - Winner
ADNZ National Residential Alteration & Additions - Winner

2013 Cook
ADNZ Regional Residential New Home Between 150-300 sqm - Winner
ADNZ National Residential New Home Between 150-300 sqm - Finalist

For a full list of our awards and recognition from the industry, visit our website:


Mark McLeay, Managing Director
021 927 639 |

From the beginning, I had a vision to start up and be part of a reputable award-winning architectural practice. A practice recognised by clients and peers alike for providing high quality design and documentation, from residential to commercial projects, whilst offering great customer service.

Creative Arch is that Practice.


Mark Callander, Associate

I have been part of the Creative Arch team for over 12 years with many new opportunities and challenges. Creative Arch has a great relaxed atmosphere and I hope to continually contribute towards the expanding of knowledge of technical and design aspects of architecture.

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