The appointment of eight new associates at Ignite signals the Australasian practice’s deep focus on growth across all areas of its business.
“This announcement marks a significant step in Ignite’s evolution, as we continue a period of to sustained growth’,” says Ignite managing director Jeremy Whelan. “The fourth decade of our practice is one of exponential growth in all sectors of our business and investing in our in-house talent, while embracing new expertise and perspectives, ensures we’ll continue to deliver quality, innovative designs not limited by sector, geography or scope.”
Six of the appointees are from within the Ignite business. Auckland-based senior technician Brian White is a specialist in façade design, with experience working on significant projects from the UK and UAE to Ignite’s Star Mountain Plaza hotel, conference and retail development in Papua New Guinea. He is project team leader and façade lead for the complex’s Hilton Hotel.
Eric Tell joined the Ignite team in 2011 and was instrumental in delivering the Te Awa Shopping Centre at The Base, Hamilton. As an architectural graduate at Ignite he has worked on significant retail and mixed use projects, including Queenstown Central and Lakewood Cambridge which are both currently in construction.
Shara Paulo is an experienced architectural graduate and has been with Ignite for the past three years, based in its Tauranga studio. She has worked on several projects for Ignite in the Bay of Plenty region including the Bethlehem Town Centre development, aged care facilities in Pyes Pa and Rotorua and Tauranga’s landmark Latitude Residences apartments. Shara is also an active member of the NZIA in Tauranga, and was instrumental in establishing the NZIA Festival of Architecture in the Bay of Plenty in 2017.
Neil Munro brings more than 30 years of industry experience from New Zealand and the UK to Ignite’s Christchurch studio, keeping at the forefront of new technologies. In 2008 Neil co-founded the Christchurch Revit Users Group (RUGCC), now known as BIM South Island New Zealand (BIMsiNZ). Neil is currently involved in the new Sudima Hotel and office building in Christchurch and also a number of commercial projects across the country, from New Zealand’s largest car showroom in Auckland to office parks in Hamilton.
Szymon Gozdzikowski is part of the Christchurch rebuild and transformation team, with a background working across various projects in Singapore, India, the Maldives, Australia and Poland. Szymon has native insight into how the design process can shape the environment and create an identity for a city, hailing from Gdynia in Poland, a city built from nothing over a space of 20 years. Szymon is the project team leader for the Woolston Community Centre and Senior Architect for Sudima Hotel in Christchurch and has extensive experience in design, documentation and delivery of notable projects.
Also becoming an associate is Ignite’s marketing manager, Nicky Taylor. Nicky works across all projects and teams and takes the essence of Ignite to the market. Her previous industry background, as both an architectural graduate and creative brand professional, has been instrumental in the success of Ignite’s visual identity refresh in 2017 and the positioning of Ignite in new and existing markets across Australasia. Through Nicky’s leadership and discerning ability, Ignite is now providing brand and publishing services to customers to assist in the communication and promotion of their developments. “It’s very easy to do your job when you love the firm you work for,” she says. “Ignite’s strong values, unique culture and progressive approach to the industry have remained unchanged, but the new people, projects and regions we have invested in allow us to evolve as a business and create an exciting, always developing environment we all want to work in.”
Ignite also welcomed two new associates to its team in April. Vesna Paligora brings more than 21 years’ experience in the architecture industry in New Zealand and her native Macedonia. A registered architect and residential specialist, Vesna has worked on high spec individual homes, high-density housing and mixed-use apartment and commercial buildings.
Christopher Samuelian is a highly-experienced architect of more than two decades. He has worked on projects as diverse as the University of Auckland Faculty of Engineering building, Maggie’s Centre Breast Cancer hospice in Scotland and several structures for Walt Disney Imagineering, from the Seven Dwarfs Coaster at Shanghai Disneyland to the Disneyland Grand Californian Hotel. While at Frank Gehry & Associates he was part of the project team for the Disney Concert Hall.