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Dave Strachan

From EverybodyWiki Bios & Wiki

Dave Strachan is a New Zealand Architect[1] and the Director of Strachan Group Architects.[2] He is originally from Te Awamutu, and studied architecture at the University of Auckland.[3] Strachan Group Architects has been operating since 1980,[4] and began as a design and build company, because of Strachan's previous experience as a carpenter during the 1970's.[3] The company is legally registered, as SGA Limited.[4] Their studio and workshop is located in Morningside, Auckland.[5]

Notable Work[edit]

Strachan’s prominent projects include:

  • 339, Mt Eden. A robust and compact urban home.[6]
  • SGA Studio and Workshop, Auckland. The Architect’s own workplace; A warm working environment with a large, well organized workshop.[7]
  • Boatsheds, Auckland. A robust and elegant home which utilises natural materials.[8]
  • Owhanake Bay House, Auckland. A generous home that is well integrated into it’s coastal site.[9]
  • Urban Shed, Mt Eden. A significant renovation of a bungalow, which utilizes natural ventilation and passive heating.[10]

Dave is recognized for his involvement in Studio 19; A design and build programme which he ran with Unitec School of Architecture from 2008-2014, that produced holiday homes, conventional houses, and social housing projects.[11] Primarily as a means to support charity, the first Studio 19 building was sold as part of a telethon and raised more than $100,000 for the KidsCan charity.[11] Studio 19 demonstrated how to build economically without losing design quality,[11] through engaging with new prefabrication techniques and building off-site in modules. The result was faster, cheaper and higher quality buildings.[12] According to Tony van Raat, former Head of the Department of Architecture, Unitec Institute of Technology, the Studio 19 programme “has been a defining element in the school of Architecture at Unitec”.[11] It also had a positive social effect, improving the standards and quality of social housing.[11]

Architectural Style[edit]

Throughout his career, Dave has developed an interest in energy efficiency, prefabrication and low environmental impact.[12] David Mitchell was an influential teacher for Strachan, introducing him to environmental design during his studies at Auckland University.[3] Dave later returned to the University of Auckland to complete his Masters in sustainable design.[3] He admired the design of Glenn Murcutt and Peter Stutchbury, whom he studied under in 2002.[3]

Strachan favours environmentally sustainable, and climate responsive passive design.[5] He developed the innovative idea of a ‘Climate Modifying Room’; a bridge between the landscape and the interior, which can be adapted to provide cooling natural ventilation, or warmth from thermal mass.[3]

Dave encourages building and making as part of the architecture process, to further learning and understanding of construction.[5] His commitment to sustainable principles, experimentation, and prefabrication is evident in the design of the SGA Studio and Workshop.[7]

The nature of the land and the nature of the climate informs each design.[3] His use of the shed form reflects a direct approach to architecture, and is reminiscent of the New Zealand landscape.[10] Aesthetically, he often uses dark cladding materials, as a means of receding into dense native bush, and respecting the tradition of black houses in New Zealand. [2]


  1. NZ Registered Architects Board https://www.nzrab.nz/Search/ArchitectDetail.aspx?r=2882
  2. 2.0 2.1 Crafti, Stephen (2013). Designing with Black: Architecture & Interiors. The Images Publishing Group, Victoria, Australia. ISBN: 9781864704853
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 3.6 Nichols, Peta (2010). Profile: Dave Strachan. Houses, 17 (Spring 2010). 77-93.
  4. 4.0 4.1 SGA Limited, New Zealand Companies Office https://app.companiesoffice.govt.nz/companies/app/ui/pages/companies/109734?backurl=H4sIAAAAAAAAAC2LQQrDMAwEf%2BNLD3mBKDmFgg%2BF9APCWlpDLbuWXMjva0JvO8Ps0vgJW1ItjTXPZeCeXtdSBWTOKtwl%2BNFAUM8%2Bk%2FChfVsv8VayQwLLlzVB7qx4k%2FeBcJbHY56M1hj%2FvDv7sK3X0U79A%2BHJ0uR7AAAA
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 Khouri, Camille (2017). All in the family. Interior, 24 (June - Aug 2017). 28-36.
  6. McCall, Claire. This home’s robust exterior is the perfect protection from a busy main road, HOME https://www.homestolove.co.nz/inside-homes/home-features/architecture-provides-respite-busy-urban-setting
  7. 7.0 7.1 2017 New Zealand Architecture Awards Winner - SGA Studio and Workshop https://www.nzia.co.nz/awards/national/award-detail/7100
  8. 2015 New Zealand Architecture Awards Winner – Boatsheds https://www.nzia.co.nz/awards/national/award-detail/1820
  9. 2012 New Zealand Architecture Awards Winner – Owhanake Bay House https://www.nzia.co.nz/awards/national/award-detail/3647
  10. 10.0 10.1 Stratford, Stephen (2007). Trenta Case: Thirty Houses in New Zealand. GEON, Auckland. ISBN: 978000TRENTA1
  11. 11.0 11.1 11.2 11.3 11.4 Stratford, Stephen (2015). Studio 19: Design Document Build. Unitec, Auckland. ISBN 9780473329228 Search this book on Amazon.com Logo.png.
  12. 12.0 12.1 Farrell-Green, Simon (2014). Social Housing: Report. Monocle 72(08). 224-225.

External links[edit]

339 house on Seven Sharp

Strachan Group Architects website

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