Ben Watts is what’s up at ata

Ben came to ata from another national award-winning studio specialising in bespoke residential architecture. Someone asked me how old the new guy we just hired was and I said ahh about our age (mid, ok late 30s). Turns out he’s a decade younger than that. I’m either delusionally young in my head or Ben’s not your typical millennial. Either way, we’re stoked to have him. He has a tonne of architectural knowledge in his relatively young head. His first project is The Shed my dad’s passion project so I guess there’s a bit of pressure.

 

Why Architecture?

“That’s a difficult question to answer without sounding cliché, I was always interested in building, and how things were put together along with the design aspect. So there was definitely a point where I thought building was the career for me, but I wasn’t too interested in building things that other people had designed. I went down the road of architecture and decided to leave the Estwing for the odd weekend project.”

 

Why ata?

I like the idea of working for a young, driven, and growing company as it gives you the opportunity to grow also. The four day work weeks aren’t going too bad either.”

 

What / Who Inspire you?

I read a book about Tony Christiansen when I was younger; he lost his legs when he was about 9 years old to a train shunting. Since then he has gone on to become a Surf Lifesaver, second-degree black belt, represented New Zealand in athletics, became a pilot, and runs motivational events from the top of his 1.5m high scaffolding. Attitude and hard work inspire me.”

 

Your background?

I grew up on a farm in Te Kauwhata before making my way to the Bay of Plenty where I attended Tauranga Boys’ College and then finished my schooling years back over in the Waikato at St Peters. I then moved my life down to Christchurch and studied Architecture for 3 years. After that, I decided to have a change of scenery for a year or so and went to NSW Australia to drive tractors for 8 months, which helped fund a van trip around Europe with a bunch of mates. Then I was ready to start my career in Architecture, and I love it.”

 

What do you do for fun/downtime?

I haven’t had much downtime over the past year or so as I have been working on a renovation of my own, which at times has fallen into the ‘fun’ category but has definitely had its challenges along the way. Other than that I try to get a surf in every now and then, along with a mountain bike. More recently I have been getting right into a bit of hunting. I give most things a go but can’t say I have mastered any of the above yet.”

 

Where do you want to be in 5-10 years?

“I’d like to have a couple more of my own renovation projects under my belt, as well as becoming closer to mastering the activities above.”

More Articles.

Archipro Feature Project

Walk through the Stewart House in this incredible video by Archipro.co.nz and Kaynemaile Ltd.

Innovation Driven

In the world of architecture, Adam Taylor is a relatively new player. However, his designs are garnering awards and, with it, a loyal following of clients and proponents. Justin Foote from Urbis catches up with the Mount Maunganui-based architectural designer..
Read more