Lama Tone has long-term aspirations to contribute to an architectural identity that celebrates people, regionalism, landscape, seascape, culture and colour. He believes that a great ‘sense of place’ and a regionalist design approach would enrich and enhance architectural thinking of time, space and architecture here in New Zealand and throughout the Pacific.
Lama was born in Otahuhu, South Auckland in 1971 to Samoan migrant parents. In 1997, he studied carpentry at UNITEC and worked as a carpenter whilst playing rugby both locally and abroad. Lama is both a licensed (Licensed Building Practitioner – LBP) builder and designer. He pursued his architectural studies at the University of Auckland School of Architecture after sustaining a career ending neck injury in 2001 while playing for Samoa. His inspiration to seek a career in architecture comes from his extensive travels around the world playing rugby.
In 2007, Lama graduated with a Bachelor of Architectural Studies (BAS) and a Bachelor of Architecture (B’Arch – Hons). The following year Lama completed his postgraduate studies and graduated with a Master of Architecture (M’Arch – Hons). His thesis explored how indigenous and non-indigenous contemporary architects have appropriated and adapted Pacific concepts and aesthetics in the design of commercial, institutional and residential buildings. Apart from designing as a profession, Lama is also a Professional Teaching Fellow at the University of Auckland, which he is currently teaching design and guest lecturing part time at the School of Architecture.
In 2008, Lama formed NEW PACIFIC ARCHITECTURE LTD, a company offering both designing, consultation and construction services. In 2010, and as a consultant he authoured the updated version of the Housing New Zealand Corporation (HNZC) Pacific Design Guidelines for Pacific Housing nationwide. NEW PACIFIC ARCHITECTURE LTD has been involved in the conceptual designs for community and residential projects both solely and in collaboration with other architects.
A pragmatic beautician within his own right, Lama has high standards and expectations with an eye for detail.