Morten Gjerde CV

Professional practice


Assoc. Arts (Architecture), B.Arch (Hons), PGCert (Urban Planning), M.Research (Urban Design) Dist.

Professional affiliations

  • Fellow member, New Zealand Institute of Architects
  • New Zealand Registered Architect
  • California (USA) Registered Architect
  • NCARB Certification

Academic leadership

  • Member, Faculty Academic Committee (2009–present)
  • Director, Landscape Architecture Programme at Victoria University of Wellington (2011–2012)
  • Victoria University of Wellington Representative to NZIA GAP Analysis Task Group (2009)
  • Architecture School Research Committee (2006–2008)
  • Architecture School Management Team (2001–2006)
  • Victoria University of Wellington Representative to NZIA Education Task Group (2001–2005)

Professional leadership

  • Member, CIB Working Group w101: Spatial Planning and Infrastructure Devlopment
  • Member, FIB Task Group 8.9: Concrete Aesthetics
  • Member, New Zealand Conrete Society
  • NZIA Wellington Branch Events Coordinator (2000–2012)
  • Jury Member, 2009 Awards Programme
  • Jury Member, Design Competition for Frank Kitts Park (2007)
  • Member, Technical Advisory Group to Review Design Competition Entries for Sites 8, 9 & 10, Appointed by Wellington Waterfront Ltd. (2007)
  • Chair, Housing and Urban Design Working Party, the New Zealand Housing Stretgy, Appointed by the Minister for Housing (2003–2005)
  • NZIA Wellington Branch Chairman

Professional engagement

I maintain an interest in professional practice through Morten Gjerde Architect Ltd, which has NZIA Practice status. The work of the practice is mainly in the field of urban design and all projects have a close connection with my academic and research agendas. Current and recent projects that inform my research and teaching include:

Structure plan for the Hongoeka Community, Porirua

Working in collaboration with Sweetman Planning Services a planning and urban design framework are being developed for the Hongoeka community to help guide further settlement of their land north of Plimmerton on Wellington’s west coast. The project involves extensive consultation with the community and liaison with Porirua City Council to inform the structure plan and development control guidance, which are key project outcomes.

Design review advice to local government

On-going consultation with Hutt City Council, Wellington City Council and other local authorities around review of development proposals that are being considered for consent under the Resource Management Act.

The role involves working with applicants prior to an application being made in an effort to enhance the anticipated urban design outcomes. Once an application has been lodged a formal written assessment of the proposal is required to be made in relation to relevant design guidance, policies and objectives of the District Plan. Often further negotiation with applicants is required to help ensure that at least the minimum public expectation level, as articulated through the District Plan, will be met with the project.

Expert witnessing

I have been called on to provide expert advice to the Environment Court and to Hearings Committees convened under the Resource Management Act on a number of occasions. This work involves preparation of expert witness statements and appearance in front of the Court or Panel. Cases I have been appeared as a witness in include:

Concrete housing for rural areas

Housing New Zealand Corporation commissioned the practice in 2006 to investigate the potential for concrete to be used in the construction of new low cost housing in rural areas of the North Island. The project was one of several that comprised the Corporation’s Low Cost Housing Initiative. The designs address key issues around building on papakainga, or Māori land held in common ownership and the outcomes include a suite of 10 designs that follow two key modular prefabrication strategies.

Project details

Whare Taunga features site or factory precast concrete spine walls that define the central open living area and the flanking wings contain bedrooms and bathing facilities. The living space extends from the front to the rear of the house, enabling the residents to live in or out of the sun, depending on their personal preferences or the time of year. All of the plans include covered outdoor living spaces easily accessible from the inside.

Whare Hikitia acknowledges the precedent of Habitat ‘67 in Montreal, Canada, an innovative housing development based on three-dimensional cast concrete boxes. In this proposal, the basic 3.700 metre wide x 7.400 metre long x 2.400 metre high module can be fitted out as living space or as a sleeping module with two bedrooms and a bathroom. The sloping monopitch roof over each module can also accommodate a sleeping loft at the high end, ideal for children or storage-use. The design approach allows for covered outdoor spaces between modules to be used as living space.

Heart of the city project—redevelopment of Palmerston North’s square

In association with CCM Architects Ltd. & Ralph Johns

Project details

The project involved the redevelopment of the Central Business District of Palmerston North with the majority of work to be carried out in The Square, the major public space in the city. The project was motivated to improve public safety and to help the city compete for business on a regional scale. Consultation with a range of key stakeholders helped inform the design process and ensured widespread public buy-in for the project. Construction was carried out over several phases and the project has successfully revitalised The Square and surrounding business areas of the city.

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