Co Lab


Colab is a small practice of two Directors.

"The most sophisticated building can be found in the simplest of forms"

Tobin Smith

Tobin is a creative designer with a wealth of experience in the building industry. He was a founding director of award-winning Form Architecture in 2005 and Tobin Smith design in 2010.

"There are many buildings, but not much architecture."

Blair Paterson

Blair is a registered architect and graduate from the University of Auckland. He spent ten formative years in the Christchurch offices of Warren and Mahoney, followed by MAP, before co-founding CoLab.


Our Design Philosophy.


Timeless Design.

Classic design is achieved through simplicity and strength of concept. In other words, a single idea executed beautifully with a dedication to the details.
A keen eye for proportion helps too.


Honest Materials.

We like a minimal palette of natural, honest materials. Honest materials are like honest people: exactly what they appear to be, never otherwise. We favour timber, concrete, cork, steel and natural textiles.


History & Context.

From the traditional New Zealand cottage, to the groundbreaking 1960s Christchurch modernist style, the best architecture is conscious of local climate (hunker down in Winter / open up in Summer) and the environment (scale and relationship to other buildings and the natural environment).


By Appointment

CoLab Architecture Ltd
190 St Asaph Street

P.O. Box 36532
Merivale Christchurch 8146
New Zealand.

Studio 03 379 3309

NZIA Registered Practice.