Studio - Taiwhanga

Tū ngātahi, ka tapu
// Through unity, we grow.

Designgroup Stapleton Elliott is an architectural practice that celebrates diversity and fosters inclusivity. Our people are our strength, and through unity, we grow.

Our Practice

Maintaining the culture of one office across multiple studio locations.

DGSE is a nationwide practice with roots stemming back 50 years. Formed by a large team with diverse backgrounds and skills, we assist with a refined scope of design services, including Architecture, Interior Architecture, Masterplanning, and Landscape Architecture.

While our presence in Aotearoa has grown over the years, the culture hasn’t changed. We maintain the tight-knit, inclusive community from which we grew and consider it the foundation of our success.

Today, our studios are located in Auckland, Tauranga, Napier, Palmerston North, Wellington, and Queenstown. Working as a collective, our people maintain strong connections across Aotearoa and work as one studio.

The greatest outcome of this collaborative working style is our ability to achieve the highest levels of design. Our work reflects the synergy of our talented architects, designers, and specialists.

Our Purpose

Whakahaumako i te oranga mā te hoahoanga // Enriching lives through architecture.

Architecture is capable of making profound impacts on our planet and people. We’re not just shaping the built environment; we’re altering our relationship with nature, influencing social behaviour, and paving the direction of our future.

At DGSE, we acknowledge the weight of our responsibility as architects and approach every project with manaakitanga // care and respect. What is the spirit of the place? Who are the people? How will our design balance with nature? People, culture, and context are at the heart of our design processes, and it’s with a deep understanding of each that we create architecture that enriches lives.

DGSE continues to evolve its processes, focusing on cultural identity and environmental impact. This development has become instrumental to our work and enables our team to align with our guiding purpose.

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Our Values

Manaaki whenua, manaaki tangata, anga whakamua // Care for the land, care for the people, go forward.

People

We are dedicated to enriching the lives of many. We listen to understand and seek design opportunities that will profoundly impact how people live. Whether designing public architecture, urban landscapes, or homes, people are always at the fore of our practice.

Culture

The built environment plays a prominent role in a country’s identity. We create architecture that reflects the culture of its place and contributes to shaping the country’s design language. As a leading practice in Aotearoa, we recognise the value of Te Ao Māori in our processes.

Context

Designing architecture that gives people tūrangawaewae // a place to stand // requires deep comprehension of the project’s location and history. We think locally, from a holistic lens, and search for regenerative solutions that positively impact our future.

Partnerships

Collaborating with a nationwide association of independent architectural practices.

Designgroup Stapleton Elliott is a member of Designgroup New Zealand (DGNZ), a nationwide association of independent architectural practices. We work together to provide our clients with a wide range of expertise and an extended resource capability.

Designgroup New Zealand has ten offices in eight locations and employs over 200 staff, making the company one of New Zealand’s largest architectural institutions.

Collectively, DGNZ offers a unique combination of specialist skills coupled with local, hands-on leadership and support. The association’s key strength lies in teamwork; we embrace collaboration and consider it the foundation of successful projects.

Awards
Award
Project
NZIA Wellington Architecture Award 2022 (Multi-Unit Housing)
Sunset West
Resene Colour Award 2022
Sunset West
NZIA Wellington Architecture Award 2021
Takahē House
NZIA Auckland Architecture Award 2020 (Multi-Unit Housing)
Te Hononga Tāngata Royal Oak Housing
Resene Colour Award 2020
Te Hononga Tāngata Royal Oak Housing
NZIA Waikato / Bay of Plenty Architecture Award 2019 (Housing)
Matua House
NZIA Western Architecture Award 2018 (Commercial)
Property Brokers Head Office
NZIA Gisborne / Hawke's Bay Branch Award 2018
Marine Parade Napier
Property Council New Zealand Rider Levett Bucknall Property Industry Award - Merit Award 2018
Unitec: Mataaho Trades Building
NZIA Western Architecture Award (Public Architecture)
Arena Manawatu
NZIA Western Architecture Award 2017 (Residential)
Elliott House
NZIA Wellington Architecture Award 2017 (Housing)
Kirkway House
NZIA Wellington Architecture Award 2017 (Education)
Weltec: School of Construction
NZIA Hawke's Bay Branch Award 2017
Waimarama Surf Tower
Hastings Landmarks Trust Award for Architecture 2017
Waimarama Surf Tower
New Zealand Commercial Project Award 2016 (James Hardy Gold Award)
Commercial Office Building
NZIA Wellington Architecture Award 2016 (Commercial)
Commercial Office Building
NZIA Hawke's Bay Branch Award 2016
Napier Port
NZIA Wellington Architecture Awards 2016 (Education)
Hutt International Boys' School: M Block
Property Council New Zealand Rider Levett Bucknall Property Industry Awards 2016
Hutt International Boys' School: M Block
New Zealand Commercial Property Award Winstone Wallboards Residential Project 2016 (National)
Marshall Court
Coffey Education and Arts Property Award of Excellence 2016
Hutt International Boys' School: M Block
NZIA New Zealand Architecture Award 2015 (Multi-Unit Housing)
Marshall Court
NZIA Wellington Architecture Award 2015 (Multi-Unit Housing)
Marshall Court
New Zealand Commercial Project Award 2014 (Silver Award Winner)
Kāpiti Coast District Council
New Zealand Commercial Project Award 2014 (Special Project Award Winner)
Te Takeretanga o Kura-hau-pō
New Zealand Commercial Project Award 2014 (National Category Winner)
Te Takeretanga o Kura-hau-pō
New Zealand Commercial Project Award 2014 (Silver Award Winner)
Te Takeretanga o Kura-hau-pō
NZ Commercial Projects Award - National Award Winner 2014 (Commercial Project $2-$5M)
Te Takeretanga o Kura-hau-pō
NZ Commercial Projects Award - Special Award Winner 2014 (Restoration)
Te Takeretanga o Kura-hau-pō
NZ Commercial Projects Award - Silver Award 2014 (Restoration)
Te Takeretanga o Kura-hau-pō
NZIA Wellington Architecture 2013 (Commercial Architecture)
Kāpiti Coast District Council
NZIA Western Architecture Award 2013 (Public Architecture)
Te Takeretanga o Kura-hau-pō
NZIA New Zealand Architecture Award 2013 (Housing)
Regent Park
NZIA Architecture Award - Western Architecture Award 2013 (Public Architecture)
Te Takeretanga o Kura-hau-pō
NZIA Wellington Architecture Award 2012 (Housing)
Regent Park
NZIA Wellington Architecture 2012 (Interior Architecture)
Embassy Theatre
Residential Exterior Resene Total Colour Award 2012
Regent Park
Colour Maestro-Nightingale Award Resene Total Colour Award 2012
Regent Park
World Architecture News Awards 2012 (Residential Shortlisted)
Regent Park
NZIA Colour Award 2012
EIT: Te Ūranga Waka
NZIA Gisborne / Hawke's Bay Branch Award 2012
EIT: Te Ūranga Waka
NZIA Architecture Award - Wellington Architecture 2011 (Commercial)
Mt Cook School: Hall & Gym
Resene Colour Award 2011
Mt Cook School: Hall & Gym
NZIA Wellington Architecture Award 2010 (Residential)
Martinborough House
Master Builder's Award 2010
Martinborough House
NZIA New Zealand Architecture Award Western Architecture Award 2009 (Heritage)
UCOL: Henry D Bennett Building
NZIA Wellington Architecture Award 2009 (Commercial Architecture)
Central Forklift
NZIA Wellington Architecture Award 2009 (Interior Architecture)
Osteria Del Toro
Resene Colour Award 2009
UCOL: Henry D Bennett Building
NZIA Wellington Architecture Award 2008 (Commercial Architecture)
Pelorus Trust Sportshouse
Resene Colour Award 2008
Pelorus Trust Sportshouse
NZ Property Council Top Urban Design Award 2008
Talbot Park
NZIA Western Architecture Award 2008 (Interior Architecture)
UCOL Whanganui: New Building
NZIA Western Architecture Award 2008 (Public Architecture)
UCOL Whanganui: New Building
NZIA Western Architecture Award 2008 (Urban Design)
UCOL Whanganui: New Building
Australasian Housing Institute Award for Contribution to Community Renewal Practice 2008
Talbot Park
NZ Master Builders Award for Family Housing 2008
Talbot Park
NZIA Regional Award 2008 (Apartment Building Design)
Talbot Park