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Chris Pollard - Director

Chris Pollard

professional experience

Chris Pollard graduated with an honours degree in architecture from Auckland University in 1981 and gained a thorough grounding in the practical aspects of building through his cadetship with the New Zealand Ministry of Works and Development from 1978-1986. He worked both in Christchurch and Auckland, focusing on buildings for the departments of Justice; Defence; Scientific and Industrial Research; and Education. Chris also has a passion for heritage buildings. He was mentored by architects involved in the restoration of many Christchurch buildings including the Provincial Chambers, and he wrote his undergraduate thesis on the salvage and rejuvenation of His Majesty's Theatre and Arcade, Auckland. He later worked as part of the initial design team on the restoration and renovation of the Auckland High Court.

After a four-year contract with Auckland City Council (1986-1990) as part of the design/build team for the Aotea Centre (Auckland's premier performing arts and conference venue), Chris ran his own practice for 10 years before joining Swan Railley & Associates in 1999.

As an associate of the practice Chris was responsible for over-seeing design teams for larger projects in New Zealand and the Pacific Islands, giving personal attention to the special needs of clients such as Fletcher Construction South Pacific and the United States Government. He also developed a close rapport with private residential clients and assisted with human resources and day-to-day administration within the design office.

In 2010 Chris and two of his work colleagues restructured the practice and took on the directorship of Swan Railley Architects (Australasia) Ltd.

Although proud of his contribution to the many new buildings generated by the practice, Chris still loves the challenge of reworking existing buildings, discovering the essence of space, proportion and detail embodied in each. His designs work to emphasize and enhance the best existing features and remedy inherent shortfalls. Where the historical significance of the building is not such that any intervention must be clearly identified, Chris has the ability to blur the distinction between old and new, respecting heritage building stock yet reinventing it in an environmentally sustainable way.

significant projects

The Waterfront Suites, Paihia, Bay of Islands, NZ (Heritage Boutique Hotel)

Aggie Greys Lagoon Beach Resort and Spa, Mulifanua, 'Upolo, Samoa

Point Ridge Gated Community, Albany, North Shore, Auckland, NZ (townhouses, terraces, apartments)

US Embassy Security Fit Out, Accident Corporation Building, Matafele, Apia, Samoa (specialist secure offices)

Whisper Cove Residential Development, Snells Beach, NZ (3-storey condominiums & apartments)

Pago Pago Harbour Commercial Complex, Malaloa, American Samoa (Farmers Market & Business Start-Up)

Alterations and Additions to the Royal Palace, Nuku'alofa, Kingdom of Tonga (Palace offices, archives, privy council)

Cable Landing Station, Nuku'alofa, Kingdom of Tonga (SPIN Cable Building)


1981 - Bachelor of Architecture (Hons) - University of Auckland
1984 - Registered Architect - New Zealand Registered Architects Board
1985 - Associate Member - New Zealand Institute of Architects (NZIA

Thanks for designing such a wonderfully attractive and livable home

Barbara and John Judge, Whisper Cove

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09 379 0381