Introducing Nicole Toi, Architectural Graduate
Born in South Africa, Nicole moved to Auckland 20 years ago. In the time since, she has had the opportunity to watch the city and its cultural diversity flourish. She is experienced in residential projects, including alterations, extensions and new builds. Nicole holds an MArch (Prof) from the University of Auckland and believes that good design is equally practical and attractive.
What inspired you to work in the architectural space?
I’ve always been drawn to the creative arts space, particularly its practical aspects. I recall an early school project where my class was asked to consider what it might be like to live on Venus – what would we build, what would it look like, how would it feel? It was my first introduction to the concept of how people interact with the built environment.
Since high school I knew I wanted to be an architect so I pursued the qualification at the University of Auckland. My first job following graduation was in civil drafting. It has been a fantastic platform to progress towards architecture and instilled in me a real appreciation for how different elements of a building work together. After three years I became a licensed building practitioner. My ultimate goal is to become a registered architect, which is what I’m working towards with Construkt’s support.
What is it you love about architecture and design?
For me, architecture is the ultimate expression of practical, creative art. The biggest thrill for me is sitting with a client, listening to their wants and needs, then interpreting these to develop an architectural solution. It’s exciting, and humbling, to know the impact that architecture has on how people live and feel.
What is one of the biggest architectural challenges facing Auckland?
Clearly housing supply and affordability are key issues for the city. We need to explore the things that influence affordability and look to find solutions to these. One of the issues is the speed of delivering new housing stock. The construction boom is putting additional pressure on the Council. It lacks the infrastructure to process the volume of consents required. The consent requirements are now more stringent, which is important, but if there aren’t sufficient staff or staff with the right expertise to process them it slows everything down.
What was it that drew you to Construkt?
Construkt is committed to growing its people. The team works hard and plays hard, and provides a lot of support to individuals to develop. I’m excited by the opportunity to progress my career, and looking forward to developing my skills in the medium-density residential space, an area in which Construkt excels.