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About Us

Based in central Auckland, we're an architectural practice led by three experienced architects who design, document and deliver on building projects throughout New Zealand and the Pacific Islands.

Three very experienced and talented architects form the core of this company with an in-house design and drafting team and additional external resources to call upon when necessary.  Our size adjusts to suit the project size or time constraints our client has.

We have a reputation for quality work that is both aesthetically pleasing and thoroughly documented. Where appropriate, we endeavour to maximise the potential of a particular site or given building.
Our clients range from individual home owners to commercial investors, developers, design-build construction firms and government bodies.

We assist our clients through the minefield of Resource Consents, Building Consents, council processing, tendering, contract administration, construction observation and quality control to maintain standards and deliver good design solutions.


our history

building for 50 years
Swan Railley Architects has its origins in the 1950's when David Swan left Walker Hillary & Swan to found the 1959 practice of D. G. Swan specializing at that time in new homes, alterations and additions in the desirable suburbs of Auckland. In 1969 Robert Railley partnered with David Swan to form Swan & Railley.  The practice size and name changed over the years (Swan Railley & Associates, 1977; Swan Railley Paterson, 1981; Swan Railley & Associates Ltd, 1988; Swan Railley Clapham & Associates Ltd, 1995; and again Swan Railley & Associates Ltd, 2001) with David retiring in 1986 and Robert collaborating with various gifted designers over the years - in particular Robert Paterson and later Linda Clapham.

In 2010 the practice was restructured as Swan Railley Architects (australasia) Ltd with three long term employees (Chris Pollard, Graeme Ricketts and Ron Fox) taking on the directorship role.  Robert Railley remained with the practice until 2011.

recent practice
Since the early 1990's significant commercial and resort work has been carried out in the Pacific Islands. Recent designs, in both New Zealand and the Pacific, have encompassed multi-residential housing, renovations, tourism, commercial and governmental projects whilst always retaining a core of exquisite, carefully crafted homes in the company repertoire.

design philosophy
Over the years our team has maintained a consistently high standard of operation, creating design solutions that integrate the building functions and site harmoniously whilst reflecting the individual aspirations and objectives of the particular client. A solution that is appropriate to one architectural problem is unlikely to be appropriate for another. The resulting building character is allowed to evolve in response to the design brief rather than a preconceived formula or an applied style. The large number of works completed to a high standard and the variety of building form is testimony to the degree of thought and effort that is invested in each individual project.


meet our team

Within the practice of architecture many skills are necessary to take any project from concept to fruition. Whilst many of us are seduced by those glossy photographs in the latest design magazines we often forget the effort it takes to get there. Our team combines experience, design ability, innovation, aesthetic sensitivity, understanding of economical construction techniques and build-ability, technical detailing, selection of materials, specification writing, contract documentation, quality control and teamwork with a bit of sweat and determination necessary to deliver such buildings. 
Chris Pollard sml
Chris Pollard
Chris graduated with an honours degree in architecture from Auckland University in 1981 ....
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Graeme Ricketts sml
Graeme Ricketts
Graeme began his architectural training as a drafting cadet for White & MacDonald, Hamilton (1981-1985)....
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Ron Fox
Ron travelled extensively for many years prior to pursuing a career in architecture and brings an international appreciation to the firm....
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Thanks for designing such a wonderfully attractive and livable home

Barbara and John Judge, Whisper Cove

contact us

09 379 0381