Beautiful award-winning architectural design is our thing for sure and so is creating a building blueprint for smaller designs and substantial developments. With over 20 years in operation and a focus on streamlining the design, the AZero team have proven that beautiful design can also be straightforward. Our experience removes the guesswork, simplifies the complexity and delivers with clarity.

Our size is an asset: boutique and nimble with an experienced and dedicated team able to tackle larger-scale projects. We have all of the components of an effective business. We’re well assembled. Like the buildings we design, you might say.

Jason Douglas


Jason’s practical approach to architecture is the perfect match for his eye for design. In his career Jason has been both the designer and the builder which is fundamental to AZero’s ability to streamline the design process. Jason established the practice in 2002 and is proud of the experienced and dedicated service he has assembled and sustained.

Q&A with Jason

What do you love about architecture?
I find problem solving really satisfying. To overcome a constraint with the design, or look at an existing building that doesn’t flow and make it work, is one of the things that draws me to architecture.

What else are you passionate about?
Old cars. Yes, I seem to have a bit of a thing for old cars. Also, wakeboarding and wakesurfing on Lake Okareka where I live, mountain biking in the Redwoods and spending time with family including the pet French Bulldogs Polly and Winston.

Craig Hart

Architectural Designer, Diploma in Architectural Technology

Having a French Bulldog wasn’t a prerequisite for getting a job at AZero but Sadie enjoys her days in the office as much as owner Craig. Craig grew up in Rotorua and has been able to get his chosen career well underway from his hometown. The size of the AZero practice means he has plenty of independence with the support of the rest of the team for alternative ideas. He mostly designs for residential builds and is extending into commercial projects.

Q&A with Craig

What do you love about architecture?
There’s lots that I love! The creative process is really rewarding – seeing an idea through to completion adds to the knowledge bank and motivates me to work hard on the next project. I enjoy learning new things, whether it’s new technology our industry is talking about or a requirement of a client that I need to research.

What else are you passionate about?
All the great things about Rotorua. The forest, the lakes and easy access to the coast. I enjoy a bit of DIY on my own home, it’s great to be connected to the building process on a personal level.

Stu Lyall

Architectural Designer, Diploma in Architectural Technology

It’s not every day you come across a Storm Chaser and that’s just one of Stu’s high octane hobbies. It makes sense though. To chase these storms in the States you have to be smart, brave, selfless, analytical, process orientated – all attributes that also makes for a good Architectural Designer.

Q&A with Stu

What do you love about architecture?
I came to architecture later in life because while I tried and enjoyed other things, I kept coming back to how much I got out of Tech Drawing at high school. To be able to satisfy something for myself and play a part in someone else’s dream makes for a pretty good day job.

What else are you passionate about?
If I’m not chasing storms and fighting fires (Stu’s a volunteer fire fighter and is a deployment fire fighter in NZ’s international response team), then I’m teaming up with my kids and you name it, we’re doing it - competing in off-road events, mountain biking in the Redwoods, fishing and enjoying ski holidays.

Ashley Pearson

Project Coordinator, Diploma in Business

We are delighted to have Ashley on the AZero team. She has a passion for coordinating and organizing so is the one to keep everything moving, especially as the practice grows and the list of active projects gets longer by the day.

Q & A with Ashley

What do you love about project management?
Problem solving and working as a team to pull the different aspects together is really satisfying for me. I am the glue that supports each of the team members and the team as a whole to ensure everything falls into place and runs smoothly. For the last six years I have been a project coordinator in the engineering industry so I can see lots of ways I can contribute while I learn about the architecture industry.

What else are you passionate about?
Adventure. I am an adventure bunny and participate in many activities including mountain biking, wakeboarding, snowboarding and hiking. I am spoilt for choice living in Rotorua and also get to explore New Zealand in the custom-made campervan I built with my partner.

Matt Gaunt

Architectural Technician

Matt has worked as an architectural technician for nine years and has worked on a range of residential (new builds and alterations), transportable buildings, commercial buildings and industrial buildings. Matt has a great knowledge of the industry, and we are very excited to have had him on our team

Q & A with Matt

What do you love about architecture?
I enjoy problem solving and collaborating with everyone who has a part in the project. I enjoy seeing projects during construction all the way through to when the project is finished.

What else are you passionate about?
My passions for construction follow me outside of work where I enjoy the art of Lego construction, which I can really embrace now that there are less restraints on budget and size then there were as a child. I also enjoy going to the forest, lakes and beach with my wife Corey and dog Finnley.



French Bulldog

Winston’s one of those “I love long walks on the beach at sunset” kinda guys, especially if there’s a ball to chase. Romantic gestures are fine for Winston but he is more chivalrous when it comes to his sister. He knows other dogs are up to no good so he will grab Polly by the collar if they so much as wag a tail in her direction.

Q & A with Winston

What do you love about architecture?
Buildings to me are more than just a structure. They are the vector that brings humans and their pets together and gives meaning to their day. Every detail can influence the symbiotic relationship between man and dog. For example, in our house, the inclusion of an island bench means I can be with my humans, on my own stool, while they have breakfast and that’s a beautiful thing.

What else are you passionate about?
I am a big relaxer. They tell me that I snore but I am not so sure. My perfect day would be stretched out in front of the fire on Polly’s bean bag.



French Bulldog

There are three French bulldogs at AZero, and while Polly wasn’t the first one, she’s been the boss’ 2ic from the moment she started. It can cause a few problems. Equal opportunities comes up in every one of her performance reviews, like letting Winston share the bean bag, but Polly will have none of it. Sooner or later HR will get involved.

Q & A with Polly

What do you love about architecture?
Architecture? Oh I thought a bio was all about me? Right well, textures are important in architecture. How things feel, or how they look like they feel, that’s a big deal right? Architecture should always appeal to the senses. Even smell. But that’s a bad subject around here. Let’s not talk about smell.

What else are you passionate about?
Just quietly, I would quite like the company of another dog but Winston keeps getting in the way of that. Every time I show an interest, or another dog shows an interest in me, he grabs my collar and pulls me back. So I am still working on that.

Phone 07 JASONSNO1


French Bulldog

Sadie is small in size but has a large personality. When Sadie isn’t (literally) snoring all day while Dad, Craig, is hard at work, she “works” in the office as the Chief Customer Satisfaction Officer and takes pats and head scratches as payment. Don’t let the big brown eyes fool you, zoomies are well and truly on the agenda. Pseudo big sister to Polly and Winston – even if Winnie gets a bit protective of the relationship between Sadie and Polly at times…

Q & A with Sadie

What do you love about architecture?
As a French Bulldog, I may not be the best candidate to talk about architecture, but let's be honest, who doesn't love a good barkitectural masterpiece? From sleek and modern dog houses to grandiose human dwellings, my Dad truly has a nose for design. Let's not forget about all the exciting smells and textures that come with exploring a new space! Whether it's sniffing out the perfect spot for a nap or guarding new perimeters, architecture always keeps me on my paws. So if you ever need a furry consultant on your next big building project, just give my Dad, Craig, a woof!

What else are you passionate about?
Oh boy, where do I start? As a French Bulldog with an eye for design, I'm passionate about all things stylish and chic. Whether it's sniffing out the latest trends in canine fashion or pawing through home décor magazines, I'm always on the lookout for inspiration. When it comes to accessorizing, I've got a nose for finding the perfect collar or leash. But that's not all – I'm also a connoisseur of fine cuisine, with a particular penchant for gourmet dog treats. After a long day of lounging around in a stylish abode, there's nothing better than sinking my teeth into a decadent doggy delight.



If you’re an experienced architectural designer or architect with a passion for balancing beautiful design with a practical approach then Jason would love to hear from you. The team work hard during office hours leaving time to make the most of the incredible ‘on- your-doorstep’ lifestyle Rotorua provides with its many lakes and beautiful forests for walking and mountain biking.

We believe our size is an asset to anyone’s career in architecture. AZero is boutique and nimble with an experienced and dedicated team to bounce ideas off and extend to larger-scale projects.


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