Multi-award winning architectural practice

Thorne Group Architecture was formed in 2015 to give clients the option of having an architecturally designed and built house within the same service.   It is headed up by multi-award winning Architectural Designer – Jon McAlpine. 


Jon creates what can be called ‘conscious architecture’ – bespoke designs which have a life beyond a material manifestation.  And these designs have won him both regional and national awards every year he’s been in business.

Working alongside Thorne Group’s design-and-build team provides a valuable insight into creating affordable designs that work   “ A designer needs to be completely in touch with practical construction methodology and also construction costs.  You can have a great looking design, but it needs to be buildable to a budget” explains Jon. 

One of Thorne Group Architecture’s key attributes is its commitment to the client, a relationship Jon believes is essential to a successful project.  And, being a boutique architectural practice, Jon and his team work with many clients and builders all over New Zealand.  


For those that want to downsize

Increasingly, we have clients who come to us with a desire to downsize. In many instances, their children have left home and there is no longer a need for a large family home, and maintenance of a large home can be inconvenient for those who want to spend more time travelling.


Jon McAlpine from Thorne Group Architecture has a particular passion for designing ‘small but smart’ homes. The design can include different zones so that the owners have their own space, whether it be to read in the sun, entertain and accommodate guests, or just watch television.

“We need to make allowances for all of this while maintaining a smaller footprint, and still ensuring the clients achieve their ultimate objective of having a low maintenance home,” says Jon.

Jon (Thorne Group Architecture) has lots of ways of creating multi-functional rooms within small designs,

The functionality of homes can be increased by adding window seats, study nooks and creating covered outdoor spaces. Reassuringly, a small footprint doesn’t mean a client has to compromise on elements which may be important to them, like including a walk-in pantry; Jon’s small but smart designs can accommodate those non-negotiable features.

Having a covered outdoor area isn’t just about providing shade on a summery day. With planning and clever design – taking into account privacy, views, prevailing winds and sun angles – a covered outdoor area can be functional even on the coldest winter’s day. In fact, if the site permits, Jon will often include multiple outdoor areas.

Having a smaller home doesn’t preclude the home from having ‘wow’ factor. It is not only critical to get to detailed design correct, it is also the execution. With more than a decade of experience in building smaller homes, we are confident we can add value to your home throughout the build process.


Larger homes with exceptional architectural detail

Homes with exceptional architectural detail, large or small, involve a different way of working. They require additional planning with the architectural designer, and often also include involvement from experts with particular specialist skills. The smallest details will be thoroughly planned to mitigate problems arising on-site during the project. This can include materials that may have long lead times or have to be sourced abroad to achieve the exact standard or effect requested by the homeowner.