Whanganui company Black Pine Architects has expanded after eight years as a one-man operation.
Registered architect Duncan Sinclair has been joined this year by two global travellers.
Akshaya Baskar from Chennai, India and Emma de Bruin from Cape Town, South Africa have both moved to Whanganui to add their talents to Black Pine.
The year 2020 has created a fairly unusual introduction to local living, with their second two months in Whanganui spent in alert level 4 lockdown; working remotely, yet locally, on Black Pine projects.
"It's been great to have Akshaya and Emma join us here, adding their knowledge and experience to our pool of abilities. We're lucky to have them in our community. Tara (the office German Shepherd) has also enjoyed their company," Sinclair said.
Black Pine Architects works with clients from all over New Zealand. Current projects are located as far south as Otago and east to Hawke's Bay.
"There's been strong interest in living in a more gentle way with our planet and the recent impact of Covid-19 has only increased people's awareness," Sinclair said.
Baskar studied architecture in India and most recently has completed a post-graduate diploma in Otago. Moving to Whanganui in January, she is enjoying the community feel of a smaller centre.
De Bruin completed her studies in Cape Town, South Africa and came directly to Whanganui.
"I've grown to love the town. It's different, it's peaceful, it's artsy."
De Bruin said they handled the Covid-19 lockdown really well, considering the circumstances.
Baskar said: "We are glad to be here in New Zealand, especially seeing what is happening in our home countries."
Black Pine applies a regenerative approach to its work, whether the projects are residential or commercial in nature. Working together with clients the architects explore the community involved, the backstory of the site and clients' desires, to maximise the opportunities available.
De Bruin said the approach Black Pine took was the main reason she joined the firm.
"I discovered how important it is to design sustainably, that's the only way forward in my opinion."
Sinclair said people were starting to think more about sustainable living and the impact they have on the environment around them and the impact the environment has on them.
"We're interested in working with people who are investing in their community and the environment they operate in.
"That fits with how we think, taking care of people. Everything is driven out of that."