Architects and Fire Consultants in North Shore, Auckland.

THE DESIGNFIRE is a specialist architecture and fire consultancy based in Auckland, New Zealand

history

Founded in 2010 as CASA Consulting Group, the practice was renamed THE DESIGNFIRE in 2020 as a part of our 10-year anniversary to reflect its unique expertise.

We are Auckland architects with offices on the North Shore located at 34a Constellation Drive, Rosedale, Auckland, New Zealand. Our unique approach to design and firm understanding of fire engineering principles and the New Zealand Building Code as well as our strong council relationships allows us to complete projects on budget, time and to spec.

THE DESIGNFIRE is now a fast-growing building consultancy equipped with some of the highly skilled architects and consultants New Zealand has to offer.

Our two directors, Louie Kang and Ryan Shin, are NZ registered architects, each with over 20 years of experience in their fields.

Our Approach

At THE DESIGNFIRE, our ethos centers on a streamlined, efficient design process prioritising innovation and safety. Our philosophy meets and surpasses client expectations. 

Our thorough understanding of fire engineering, compliance with the New Zealand Building Code, and relationships with local councils enable us to consistently deliver projects on time, within budget, and of the highest specification. 

We are creative visionaries and technical experts who turn complex challenges into tailored, aesthetically appealing, and functional solutions.

Architects North Shore

Based on the North Shore, we’re known for crafting practical and eye-catching designs. We understand what makes the North Shore, and the wider Auckland region, tick. We incorporate the environment and the community spirit into our architectural designs. This drives us to design buildings that fit into the local environment while achieving overall project goals.

Turning dreams into solid, standout realities is our strength. We mix design trends with good and reliable principles to ensure every project is successful. We offer solutions that are innovative and custom-designed to your needs.

Fire Engineers North Shore

Our fire engineering expertise is defined by our ability to design buildings that are aesthetically pleasing and resilient in the face of fire risks. We have a comprehensive understanding of fire safety measures to ensure structures are safe, compliant, and functional. 

We are responsive to client needs, agile in meeting Building Consent requirements, and committed to collaboration. Speak to us today to find out more about how our fire engineering team can assist you to make your next project a success. From active to passive fire engineering solutions, we can help!

Read more about “THE DESIGNFIRE” name

When we look at the design of buildings and the preventative measures we put in place to remove and reduce the risk of fire, fire engineers and consultants use the concept of ‘Design Fire’.

The definition of this concept, in the context of fire compliance within the New Zealand building industry, includes: ‘Quantitative description of assumed fire characteristics within the design scenario’ 

This concept encapsulates what we do and reflects our unique ability to combine and interweave specialist fire compliance into the practical application of Architecture and Construction.

Our Leadership

Our Team

History

Contact Us

A Team of Industry Experts:

Architects, Fire Engineers, Building Compliance Specialists, Consultants

We manage all types of projects including:

  • Residential and Commercial Development
  • Home Construction, extension and alteration
  • Interior Design
  • Recladding
  • Fire Engineering Report
  • Passive Fire Design
  • Emergency Lighting Design

our leadership

Louie Kang

Managing Director |​ BArch ANZIA Gcert Fire Eng Licensed BOINZ MFPANZ Fire consultant Architect
[email protected]

Tell us a bit about yourself. 

I have been working in the New Zealand construction industry since 2002.  During this time, I worked as a managing director, lead project architect, a contract manager, a building/fire compliance officer, and a fire consultant. I began reviewing and writing fire reports in 2005, so have been a specialist in this area for over 15 years.

What brought you into this profession?

As a teenager, I learned a great deal about science and math, but at the same time I was always interested in the beauty of shapes and forms. Architecture and the fire compliance field has the right balance of these in fulfilling my professional interest.

What are you inspired by? 

I am inspired by many things passing around me. I like to catch small details at those quick moments, store them in my mind and capture them in notes. These things then inspire me with aspects I can implement into buildings, writings and relationships around me.

What do you like about the office and the team?

I like the fact that our team has a down-to-earth quality in what we do and say. Everyone in our office is friendly and genuine.

What are you most proud of, other than work? 

Our three kids.

Ryan Shin

Technical Director | BArch ANZIA Registered Architect, Passive Fire Designer
[email protected]

Tell us a bit about yourself.

I am a technical-led architect and passive fire designer with over 15 years of experience in the New Zealand construction industry. Working alongside Louie, I also work within THE DESIGNFIRE team as a technical leader and mentor. In this leadership role, I have formed strong relationships with many public and private sector clients, having worked on multiple master planning and architectural projects for their facilities. More recently, I take particular interest in the subject of passive fire design where I now spend a good part of my working hours. I incorporate specific passive fire design systems for various kinds of commercial and development projects, thereby supporting other consultants and our clients. I am also a father of two children, a coffee lover, and a novice golfer.

What brought you into this profession?

I love art and also gadgets. Architecture is a perfect match for me to enjoy both fields – of course, on a bigger scale.

What are you inspired by?

I am inspired by great buildings, nature, and friends.

What do you like about the office and the team?

This is a busy little office with cheerful team members.

What are you most proud of, other than work?

The thing I am most proud of is that I am saved by Jesus Christ.

our team

THE DESIGNFIRE team consists of a collaboration of building experts – Trusted Architects, Building Compliance Specialists, Fire Engineers and Consultants.

THE DESIGNFIRE technical staffs are tertiary qualified and fully experienced in the New Zealand building industry. Call us for an initial chat about your next project.

    Sean Xu

    Senior Lead Designer | BSc
    [email protected]

    Tell us a bit about yourself. 

    I have 7 years of broad-ranging experience in the architectural field.  I have worked on a multitude of luxury residential developments, house recladding, land subdivisions, multi-unit terraced housing, and apartment buildings.

    I am a very conscientious worker, always delivering high-quality work for clients.

    During my free time, I enjoy playing basketball with friends and spending time with my family.

    My Philosophy is that design should always be in the service of a better life.

    What are you inspired by?

    I am inspired by things I face and work through in my daily life.

    What do you like about the office and the team?

    like the collaborative environment in the office. Everyone is willing to help and share their knowledge.

    What are you most proud of, other than work?

    I am proud of the fact that I have a loving family and my girls are energetic and cute.

    Ahmad Ali Akhunzada

    Intermediate Architectural Designer | BArch
    [email protected]

    Tell us a bit about yourself.

    I moved to New Zealand in 2016 with 3 years of overseas experience in design. My time in New Zealand has seen me work on different scale projects, including high-end residential developments, terrace houses, new subdivisions, addition/alteration to the existing structure. I have also been key team player in the development of different day-care centres.

    In my time out of the office, I enjoy playing cricket and other outdoor sports.

    What brought you into this profession?

    My interest in drawing buildings and landscapes introduces me to this field. I believe every client is unique in a way. I like working closely with the clients, listening to their requirements and providing a better design solution that fulfils their dreams without exceeding the budget.

    What are you inspired by?

    I am inspired by the little detail’s in nature and how it’s the designers work to help sustain the environment and enhance natures details.

    What do you like about the office and the team?

    I like the team and working environment as it motivates me to become a better leader and designer.

    What are you most proud of other than work?

    My Mother.

    Nithin Sasi

    Graduate Fire Engineer
    [email protected]

    Tell us a bit about yourself.

    I moved to New Zealand six years ago and completed my Master of Engineering in Mechanical Engineering. I’ve accumulated diverse experience across roles such as HVAC commissioning and HVAC engineering. I have over five years of HVAC commissioning and almost two years of design experience. Transitioning to fire engineering allows me to directly impact community safety by ensuring compliance and developing innovative fire safety solutions for buildings. 

    What brought you into this profession?

    By shifting to fire engineering, I am expanding my skill set and knowledge base and enhancing my adaptability and versatility. I was also inspired by colleagues, mentors, and industry professionals already working in fire engineering. Their experiences and insights motivated me to explore this career path further.

    What are you inspired by?

    I like to pursue passionate activities, such as playing cricket, spending time in nature, travelling a bit, and exploring new places, cultures, and experiences.  I also enjoy exploring films, music, and art forms that resonate with me.

    What do you like about the office and the team?

    The coworkers’ helping mentality, guidance, support, and giving enough time to settle can make the transition smoother and less intimidating. 

    What are you most proud of, other than work?

    Family, friends, and moments when I’ve positively impacted someone else’s life through acts of kindness, compassion, or generosity.

    Daniel Park

    Project Administrator | BSc University of Auckland
    [email protected]

    Tell us a bit about yourself.

    I joined The Designfire in 2017. As a project administrator, I’m usually involved in the planning and contract stage of each project. I also provide support resolving technical issues in the office.

    What brought you into this profession?

    I’ve always wanted to be a part of a team as a technician, and now I enjoy helping my colleagues with the smooth running of the practice.

    What are you inspired by?

    I am inspired by the people around me. Every single person is different and I like to learn many different things from them.

    What do you like about the office and the team?

    It’s a great team, I feel very comfortable working with my teammates.

    What are you most proud of, other than work?

    My family.

    Emilio Ocampo

    Architectural Designer / Fire Technician | BAS MArch (Prof), University of Auckland
    [email protected]

    Tell us a bit about yourself.

    I moved to New Zealand 13 years ago, spending most of my childhood and school years here in Auckland. I have always liked creating drawings/visual works that communicate and make an impact, whether abstract or technical. I also love photography, sports, and music. With a particular interest in the guitar, having practised and performed for 10 years & counting.

    What brought you into this profession?

    My late uncle practised architecture and growing up I was close with him – so naturally that had an effect on me being drawn into architecture. But the feeling of visiting an amazing place and/or building, and the desire to be part of creating that feeling, is what draws me in the most.

    What are you inspired by?

    The people before me. Mentors that provide lesson & knowledge and exemplary works I have visited while travelling overseas.

    What do you like about the office and the team?

    As my first professional role in architecture after having finished my Masters, I enjoy the learning process & environment in partaking within the firm’s projects.

    What are you most proud of, other than work?

    Myself, friends, and family.

    Claire Luo

    Intermediate Architectural designer | BArch
    [email protected]

    Tell us a bit about yourself.

    I am very interested in the world history of architecture and how building styles, designs and construction practices change with time. Architecture is part of the culture, so I enjoy observing architecture in different areas.

    I first studied architecture as a major in China and then project management at Massey University. I have now been in New Zealand for the past five years.

     

    What are you inspired by?

    A building is not just a shelter; it is important to understand the form and environment of the building alongside the needs of the client. I am inspired by how architecture changes living spaces for people, and how it impacts their lifestyle.

     

    What do you like about the office and the team?

    Everyone in the team is very helpful; I am able to expand my knowledge and complete my work efficiently.

     

    What are you most proud of, other than work?

    My family and friends.

    Camillia Kim

    Practice Manager | BSc BCom MTax
    [email protected]

    Tell us a bit about yourself.

    I am a busy working mum who loves to spend time with my family when I’m not working.  I love camping and doing outdoor activities with friends and family.

    What brought you into this profession?

    My background in the commercial business field, as an accountant and tax consultant, naturally led me to help Louie and the team to run this vibrant professional business.

    What are you inspired by?

    I am inspired by doing the right things in systematic ways.  I am inspired to support the team in the company to feel valued, professional and proud of themselves at work.

    What do you like about the office and the team?

    I love the trust, openness and transparency of the team culture so we can talk and solve issues together.

    What are you most proud of, other than work?

    I am proud of my faith in Jesus, who is my saviour.  I am also proud of my life being guided by him.

    Angela Choi

    Office Administrator | BCom BA University of Auckland
    [email protected]

    Tell us a bit about yourself.

    I built my career in the market research field as an analyst. I worked in international marketing research companies for about 10 years. It was very competitive and now, I moved myself into an administrative role and try to balance my personal life and career. I am a very organised person and like everything to be in order.

    What are you inspired by?

    I am inspired by history including art history. I like reading historical novels and learning different histories.

    I enjoy watching historic documentary programs too.

    What do you like about the office and the team?

    I like to work with everyone here, everyone is very friendly and supports each other. I feel very lucky to be a part of the great team.

    What are you most proud of, other than work?

    I am proud of my girls.

    our clients

    “I have worked with THE DESIGNFIRE since 2014 with projects ranging from residential developments and high-end holiday homes. THE DESIGNFIRE has indeed become not only my company’s “Chief Designer” but also my “Personal Design Adviser”. THE DESIGNFIRE was engaged for all of our high-end residential developments and all of my holiday homes in Auckland. They were able to help me as a single point of responsibility with initial concept designs, material and colour selections right through to implementation and build, all within a set budget and timescale. I gained two fundamental benefits from employing THE DESIGNFIRE.

    One is the design itself. They were able to take a few basic and rather uncertain ideas of mine and show how they could be realised to best effect. They put forward the most incredible ideas for floor plans, spatial quality, interior design, and special architectural features. They were particularly amazing at coming up with solutions, and improvising, for the areas I hadn’t considered. Sourcing everything would have taken me weeks, or never at all. I have to say that they have a wonderful & trendy taste of design ideas. They always give you choices and add some interesting things in that you just wouldn’t have thought of, but that works beautifully. Another one is commercial benefits, our clients were all extremely happy with the design solution in our development, and they believe our product is different from those by other developers. I believe THE DESIGNFIRE’s design had some good influence here. Speaking of my own holiday houses, while I’ve only got to enjoy a few days in a year, most of the other times were rented out short term, and the return has been amazing, the stylish houses that THE DESIGNFIRE created generated huge interest and made my houses really popular in the area.”

    —Frank Li, Luxury Infinity Investment Group Limited

    “We employed THE DESIGNFIRE as the lead consultant to get the Building Consent on our two stories 40 units Motel development in Oamaru. THE DESIGNFIRE was led by Louie Kang.

    In their capacity as the lead consultants, THE DESIGNFIRE was required to coordinate with several specialist consultants including Geotechnical Engineers, Structural Engineers, Civil Works designers and planners to compile all necessary documentation to submit the Building Consent application to Waitaki District Council, for the proposed development.

    In Oamaru, in the recent past, there has been no such project of this magnitude had been proposed to the council. Hence it was quite new to the staff at the consenting authorities to deal in several specialist areas. This, in return, became an extremely challenging task for THE DESIGNFIRE to make timely technical decisions & professional judgements when dealing with the Consenting Authorities.

    THE DESIGNFIRE has shown the highest degree of professionalism, particularly Louie Kang in dealing with various parties to get the Building Consent within budget and time. We are very satisfied with THE DESIGNFIRE’s performance.”

    —Hari De Alwis, Goodland Development Limited

    “I am Harland Murray from Statesman Projects. We are the main contractor for Wang Trading.

    Working alongside CCG was easy; it couldn’t have been better. They handled the council work, provided faster responses to minor variation and the team on site found the plans easy to read. We did have challenges, with the change of specifications for a couple of products. After through the job we had to hold up, waiting for the consents for the minor changes. CCG handled all of this work, and we found it easy.

    CCG handled the architectural and the passive fire, which made it easy for us. We had a few challenges on-site with passive fire, and due to the fact that we’re dealing with one team, that was resolved quickly and efficiently.

    We definitely would recommend CCG. We look forward to working with them again in the future. They are easy to work with, and we really enjoyed working with them.”

    —Harland Murray, Statesman Projects 

    “THE DESIGNFIRE was recommended to us via work, and we loved their way of just listening to what we wanted, not forcing anything on us and were always at the end of the phone when we needed to talk to them.

    You were listening and helping us get the best house we could have. When I compare it to other similar homes on our street, that had the same concept plan, I’m so so so happy we used THE DESIGNFIRE and changed it all around. We even swapped the whole house around by having the master bedroom in the front upstairs so we could maximise the view of the boats and golf club. Thanks, THE DESIGNFIRE we love our house.”

    —Jacqui, proud house owner

    “THE DESIGNFIRE has worked closely with KN Building on numerous projects. They have always delivered on what has been agreed to and are a cost-effective architectural solution. They offer the complete package from simple designs to design and build with all engineering aspects taken care of through their network of partners they have formed over the years. THE DESIGNFIRE is KN Building’s first choice when architectural elements are required for any project.”

    —J Boom, KN Building

    “My name is Farzbod Taefi. I am the director of Skills Update Training Institute.

    About five years ago, in conjunction with NMIT, we purchased a site on 42 Upper Queen Street. This building needed a lot of renovation and make-over, so we handed the design amongst a number of architectural firms, and the most attractive design came from THE DESIGNFIRE.

    We found them very flexible and receptive to our comments and ideas. I think it was the winning card for us as the client. Getting the permits through the council is not an easy task. They had good contacts in the council, they were well known to the council, and that really speeded up the process. I think if we’ve chosen another group of architects, this project may have taken twice as long. We have recommended THE DESIGNFIRE to many people and referred them to Louie. You know the sample of his work is here, and people can see what they can get.”

    —Farzbod Taefi, Director, Skills Update Training Institute