A big milestone for Boffa Miskell
The Boffa Miskell team’s marked a major milestone – 45 years in business.
Now with nearly 200 consultants across eight disciplines and five offices, the company has grown well beyond founder Frank Boffa’s estimation.
“It’s not what I envisaged 45 years ago,” Boffa says. “I thought we might grow, but I guess in those days I thought ‘maybe half a dozen people; ten people perhaps if we’re lucky’.”
Today you’ll find planners, ecologists, urban planners, biosecurity and design specialists working alongside the landscape architects in a collaborative environment.
Nik Kneale, design leader in the Christchurch office says, “The idea of being able to get a wide variety of views, simply by walking across the room and talking to someone from another discipline, is something I see as being of real value in helping me with my own design understanding.”
The company leadership realised that a truly holistic design approach would have to consider the cultural landscape as well as the physical. Te Pio Kawe was hired as the first full-time cultural advisor in 2003; and the Te Hihiri discipline now has seven members, with consultants in each office.
One of the company’s first projects was ‘Recreation in the Waimakariri Basin’ (1972), a report for the Tussock, Grasslands and Mountain Lands Institute. Other notable projects include Christchurch Arts Centre (1980), Frank Kitts Park (Wellington, 1986), Wharakaukau Country Estate (Wairarapa, 1996) and the Otira Viaduct (Arthur’s Pass, 1997).
Boffa Miskell has been involved with several landmark infrastructure projects – including the M2PP Expressway (2009), Victoria Park Tunnel (2010) and The Waterview Connection (2010) – as part of multi-agency alliances.
Partner Rachel de Lambert says, “To see large-scale projects come to fruition is a remarkable thing, and although we didn’t do them alone, we had a big role. Things don't happen quickly: it’s actually about evolution and small wins. Then suddenly you get to a point to go: ‘Wow! When did all this happen?’.”
In 2012, Boffa Miskell was appointed to appointed to lead the consortium that created the Christchurch Blueprint: a document to guide the central city through its post-Quake rebuild.
Bringing all of Boffa Miskell’s disciplines together on the continuing rebuild efforts has been “ …a real lesson about how strong our team is, and what’s important and what’s not,” says Nik Kneale.
Michael Hawes, Technical Leader for Design, says a collaborative approach will continue to define Boffa Miskell’s future.
“We’ve got experts in different disciplines; there’s always someone to add knowledge and ideas and value. I think that’s the strength - that we don’t have one way of doing things. Each project gets a unique mix of people to suit the project and that means it gets a unique outcome.
“The future as is all about getting better at what we do and constantly improving. And that will come through innovative ideas for better collaboration both internally and externally. We’re certainly more powerful as a group than we are as individuals.”