Michael Thomson


Registered Architect
BArch, University of Auckland
Fellow of the New Zealand Institute of Architects
NZGSAP (New Zealand Green Star Accredited Professional)


Michael is a founding principal of Architectus, having established the practice alongside fellow directors, Patrick Clifford and Malcolm Bowes in 1986. A registered architect and a fellow of the New Zealand Institute of Architects, Michael oversees the production of documentation and technical research across the practice. He has over 35 years experience in the development of sound technical resolutions to complex constructional challenges.

His interests lie in the tectonics and craft of architecture and a concern for the creation of ‘well tempered environments’ in the widest sense of Reyner Banham’s phrase. He is on the Continuing Practice Development Board of the New Zealand Institute of Architects (NZIA) which encourages and structures ongoing research and self-education by members, and until recently was on the Awards Advisory Board of the NZIA. He was the NZIA representative on the BRANZ Building Whole of Life Research Programme and has been an invited critic at Auckland University and Unitec Schools of Architecture. Michael is also a New Zealand Green Star Accredited Professional.

Michael’s design philosophy aligns with the practice’s commitment to exploring new technologies and techniques of building, as well as research into sustainable building approaches and integration of structure and services in the design process. These themes were first developed at a large scale on the Erskine Building for the University of Canterbury in Christchurch. Reinforcement for this approach has come with the ongoing success of the building in qualitative and quantitative surveys against international benchmarks.

Michael has played a key role as Director-in-Charge for Ministry of Justice courts projects  such as the Manukau Precinct, Special Jurisdictions and Auckland High Court Chambers. He has also led student accommodation projects at both Victoria and Auckland Universities.