Derek Wong Nam (BArch, ANZIA) Registered Architect
Translates ideas into drawings so well, some say he can see around corners…
Derek began his architectural career in Lower Hutt in 1985, working primarily on residential, commercial and educational projects.
From 1990 Derek travelled around Europe, Asia and Egypt. He returned to New Zealand in 1992, taking a position with Abacus Design in Blenheim in 1993, where he later became a partner in the firm, alongside Structural Engineer Richard Evans.
Diversity of projects in Marlborough a welcome challenge
Working in a small provincial town has meant covering a wider variety of projects, creating new opportunities for Derek to push the boundaries with his designs.
“The scope is so much larger here, I’m covering everything from commercial to residential and industrial – whatever comes our way actually.”
Through Abacus, Derek and Richard came to know John Smart and Paul Williams.
“We had collaborated on a number of projects, so forming Smart Alliances was a logical step for us all,” explains Derek, “to create a business that allowed us to handle projects from conception to completion.”
Client and project the real winners in formation of Smart Alliances
Among the advantages of joining forces, believes Derek, is the convenience of having the project management, structural engineering, design and resource consent management all handled in-house.
“Information is so accessible. Where once we were waiting for responses from consultants, now everything we need to know is readily at hand. We have an open dialogue on projects which helps identify crucial elements of projects at an early stage.”
Creating successful designs without compromise
Most importantly, though, Smart Alliances can create designs that come to fruition without compromise.
“Right from the start, everyone is on the same page so there are no problems with interpretation, or scheduled changes made along the way. There is just inventive problem-solving as a team.”
Much of the architectural face of Blenheim you can see today has been handled by the Smart Alliances team in one way or another. Among Derek’s favourites are:
- Streetscaping of Blenheim’s CBD - A four-stage inner city streetscape project, ending with the amphitheatre on the Taylor River.
- The Millennium Gallery - Millenium Fund project, transforming a retired council building into a two-roomed gallery space with wow-factor exterior.
- A House in Okaramio - Set on a spur with 270° views, this was a challenging site with limited access. The project required some sympathetic engineering and delicate detailing.
Read more about Derek’s projects on our Architectural page.
Tel: 03 579 6211
Fax: 03 579 6233
Tel/Fax: 03 319 3172