Introducing Angus McLachlan, Architectural Graduate
Following a successful international corporate career, Angus made the bold move to follow his passion and re-train as an architect. Today, Angus is a proud architectural graduate with three years post-degree experience. He gained his Bachelor of Architecture from the University of Auckland and also holds a Master of Arts in Japanese from the University of Canterbury.
What inspired you to work in the architectural space?
Even as a child growing up on a farm I’d always intended to be an architect. Early on I developed an interest in architecture, languages and music. In high school I entered an annual Christchurch student architecture competition and won an award with my design for a family home set on a sloping Canterbury hillside. In my final year of school I studied maths and physics so that I could continue on to study architecture, as well as Japanese, French and German.
It was when I got to university that I became further sidetracked by languages. The plan then was to gain a BA first and then embark on a degree in architecture. But I became hooked on Japanese and then won a scholarship to complete my MA in Japan. I then joined Sony in Japan to solidify my language skills and that led on to developing a solid corporate career, living in the UK, The Netherlands and Singapore before returning to New Zealand. It was four years after I was back on home ground that I decided it was time to get back on track and fulfil my passion for architecture.
What is it you love about architecture and design?
I’ve always liked the combination of the creative and the practical. I’m interested in the technical aspects of architecture as much as the design. I enjoy taking a methodical approach and I have a strong eye for detail. To me, architecture is art with purpose – it must be inspiring yet function well and serve a need.
What is one of the biggest architectural challenges facing Auckland?
The housing shortage and issues with affordability present a huge challenge for the city. I’m a strong supporter of quality intensification – increased density done well. Unfortunately Auckland has many poor examples of this.
I’d also like to see a more cohesive city centre, one with a heart and soul. There has certainly been a great deal of improvement in this space in the past few years with spaces like Britomart and Wynyard Quarter. We need to do more of this type of development.
What was it that drew you to Construkt?
The first thing that attracted me was the diversity of the practice – there is a fantastic mix of people from all over the world and a good gender balance. Also, the practice’s focus on quality medium-density new build and being part of the housing solution really appealed to me.