Introducing Simon Khouri, Architect

Simon has spent the past 17 years practising, training, searching and devouring architecture. He has a Bachelor of Architecture from Unitec Institute of Technology. Simon believes that good design requires flexibility and experience, and the ability to identify and adapt to the unique needs of each project.

 

What inspired you to work in the architectural space?

I’ve always been creative; I’ve always liked to draw and explore spaces. In many ways, architecture was a natural progression for me.

When it came to study, I had a bit of a split personality. I enjoyed maths and physics because I got a lot of satisfaction from solving complex mathematical problems. This contrasted with my interest in the humanities and English literature.

At university the architecture course focused strictly on form and function, which I found a bit limiting in isolation. My appreciation and aptitude for architecture really broadened from taking additional papers outside of the discipline – sociology and English literature, for example. It taught me a lot about the human element of architecture.

 

What is it you love about architecture and design?

I love collaborating with clients on their projects to develop a tailored architectural solution to suit their needs. I really enjoy how the relationship evolves over time – progressing from transactional to collegial. It’s a satisfying process and pivotal for a successful outcome to the job.

If something looks good and works well it demonstrates to the client that the architect has applied a high level of care and attention to get the desired result. I love that architecture, by enhancing spaces, has the power to change the way people live and work for the better.

 

What is one of the biggest architectural challenges facing Auckland?

There are so many ways Auckland could go but a big challenge will be to maintain the diverse social fabric we presently have, ensuring a socioeconomic mix within the same places. It’s already fading, people are being displaced – it comes down to housing affordability in the city.

 

What was it that drew you to join Construkt?

First of all I was struck by Construkt’s genuine pride about its track record of projects, particularly its contribution to proving Auckland can achieve a high quality of medium-density housing solutions.

I’m also excited about the practice’s vision for Queenstown, which is facing similar challenges to Auckland in terms of housing availability and affordability. Queenstown needs inspired solutions to ensure it retains its strong sense of community and continues to be a great town.