Background and Approach

Melling Architects was formed in 2012 by father and son architects Gerald and David Melling. A short time later at the end of 2012, Gerald passed away. Gerald was a multiple award winning architect, a writer and a poet, and as one half of Melling:Morse Architects, an important contributor to the architectural landscape in New Zealand. The progression in Gerald’s work is very evident. He firmly believed in his ideas, developing them further in each project. Gerald was devoted to architecture and his enjoyment of and passion for his work was irresistible to David who was destined to follow in his father’s footsteps.

David set up in practice in New Zealand in 2005 having returned from 12 years in San Francisco and London working for two larger architectural firms. David has a wide range of experience in mixed use, community, commercial and residential projects during his 26 years of work.

Melling Architects is a design focused practice benefiting from hands-on experience with building that informs material choices, details and methods.


As David says:

“we believe this sets us apart and enables our clients to achieve the best possible outcome for their projects.

Our approach to design is one of simplicity. The simpler we can make things the better they will be.

We are focused on efficiency and eliminating waste – which to us means good planning and clever design.

We prefer materials to speak for themselves and favour substance over surface.

We want our designs to have a story behind them or a ‘narrative’. Every project is unique and requires a unique response.

We see each project as an opportunity to solve a ‘puzzle’, whether it is reorganizing a house or creating a multi-storey building.

Continued increases in construction costs has made architecture less attainable for many people. We try to be innovative wherever possible to find better solutions for less cost. There is an opportunity for architecture in any project, regardless of scope”.


Drop us a line and we will be interested in discussing your ideas.

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Our Team

We have a talented, energetic, well-traveled team of five:

David Melling – Architect, Director, NZIA RIBA

After graduating from Victoria University in 1993 with a Bachelor of Architecture (Hons), David worked for architecture practices in San Francisco and in London. David became a UK registered architect in 2002 having gained a Part 3 Diploma from The Bartlett School of Architecture in London. In 2005 David returned to Wellington with his wife Angela and setup Architecture Central, becoming Melling Architects in 2012. David is a member of both the Royal Institute of British Architects and the New Zealand Institute of Architects.

Mat Lee – Architect NZIA

Mat finished his Bachelor of Architecture with Honours at Victoria University of Wellington in 2006. Since then he has worked in the architectural offices of Architecture Workshop, Atelier Workshop, and Melling:Morse Architects as well as tutoring design and communications at the Victoria University School of Architecture and Design. In 2009/2010 Mat went back to university to undertake further study and graduated with a Masters in Architecture in 2011 after submitting his thesis investigating how food trade infrastructure affects urban form.

Jessica Ringrose – Architect NZIA

After working in architectural practice in the UK and gaining a Masters in Architecture from the University of Kent (2014), Jess moved to Wellington in 2015 to tutor at the Victoria University School of Architecture and Design before becoming a Building Consents Officer at Wellington City Council. She joined the Melling Architects team in early 2016 as an Architectural Graduate and became a NZRAB registered Architect in 2018.

Kasun Perera – Architectural Designer, AIA(SL)

Kasun is a Sri Lankan architect, currently finishing up a PhD in Architectural Science at Victoria university of Wellington. Kasun has experience over five years in the construction industry, coupled with his academic background means he is a valuable team member. 

Sandra Wasef – Architectural Graduate

After graduating from the German University of Cairo in 2015, Sandra spent a year working in Egypt before moving to New Zealand in 2017. After a period with Atelier Workshop, she joined Melling Architects as an Architectural Graduate in mid-2018.

Gerald Melling

Founding Architect

Gerald Melling needs no introduction to those who have an interest in New Zealand architecture. Since arriving in NZ from the UK in 1971 Gerald became an authority on architecture in this country and developed an approach and attitude to his work that resulted in an ability to realize projects that were conceptually challenging, cost effective, met the needs of their clients and were uniquely NZ in character. Gerald sadly passed away at the end of 2012 but his philosophy and spirit endure in the work of Melling Architects.