unit Y began providing a fuller range of architectural services in 2018. We are enabling students and recent graduates opportunities to further their learning through the design, development, documentation and realisation of projects in a learning focused environment.



Organisation: YWCA Auckland is a charitable organisation with a heritage of providing community programmes in Auckland for more than 133 years. The YWCA owns a hostel in Vincent Street in central Auckland with approximately 130 beds.  On the ground floor was a space that was difficult to lease and had been sitting empty.

Project: We presented a range of possible uses and the YWCA settled on a shared office space. The project was realized by female building trade apprentices through BCITO.

Brief: unit Y worked closely with YWCA upfront to produce a more detailed project scope that a business case was formed around.


YWCA, Maia office. Staging and photography: Danyon Robertson


Chris Ford worked on the YWCA project as a recent graduate with Mike Davis and Matt Liggins.

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Lady of Fatima lantern

Organisation: Our Lady of Fatima Catholic Church is located in Meadowbank, Auckland where it serves an active, growing parish.

Project: Spurred by a proposal to add expensive, maintenance-heavy air-conditioning, Father Sam Pulanco asked unit Y to investigate other options. Calculations showed the lantern would provide adequate ventilation if we were able to open it. We managed to implement a cost-effective, automated louvre system inside existing aluminium joinery. The measure of project success is that no one notices them and no one faints or complains about the heat of the building in summer any longer.

Brief: Frank O Jones designed the original building in the late 1970’s. His lantern offered a perfect opportunity to naturally ventilate the church but it was not seized.


Our Lady of Fatima lantern


Chris Ford worked on the lantern project as a recent graduate with Mike Davis.

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