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Finished rear of family home, right on beachfront


Since 2004, Essence Design creates unique, custom designed, healthier, comfortable homes and commercial interiors.

Serving all of New Zealand

We’re based on the Kapiti Coast and routinely take on projects throughout the Wellington Region. We have clients all over New Zealand, and even Australia, seeking our specialist services. 

Aiming for Excellence

Essence Design is an award-winning Architectural Design studio. We are passionate and driven, but not at any cost. We will never turn down a project because it will never be an award winner. Instead we get great satisfaction of working closely with our clients, to make their dreams a reality.

The Team

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Robyn De La Haye

Licensed Architectural Designer

Robyn specialises in alterations, additions, new houses and commercial interiors. She loves breathing life into old buildings and has real passion for creating a mix of traditional and contemporary designs.

With a degree in Bachelor of Design, Robyn has a creative approach for commercial buildings or residential home interior layouts to minimise costly extensions. Creating well thought out spaces designed for modern living, Robyn thinks laterally as part of her design methods for resaleability and the ever-growing family. She loves creating flexible spaces and minimising hallways with a passion to produce concepts, that challenge and surpass a client’s expectations. Robyn works towards a master plan with customers so projects can be designed over a number of stages accommodating each client’s budget.

One of Robyn's specialities is working with classic character homes and finding the right balance between traditional and contemporary design, ensuring the architectural fabric and integrity of the original character remains, but also embracing flexible modern living.

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Rimma Podporina

Rimma has completed a bachelor degree in Urban Architecture in 2007 in Kazakhstan, and for the last five years she has been working in NZ on residential and commercial projects with full involvement from sketch up to staging and final acceptance. Rimma has a passion for residential construction and interior design and is highly skilled in 3D visualisation with a great command of all existing rendering tools.

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Jun Ensor

Originally from Beijing, Jun has lived in NZ for more than 20 years and recently graduated from Victoria University with a Masters in Architecture. She has a passion for architectural design - listening to the needs of clients while collaborating close on projects. Jun believes attention to detail are the key elements you can add to a building which are indicators of quality, functionality, and form.

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Jai Jeram

Jai, our Office Manager, comes with a vast background knowledge in the NZ health industry spanning 15 years. Her experience in business management and marketing enabled her to transition seamlessly from natural health into pharmacy, helping to establish the growth of herbal medicine and supplements into mainstream pharmacy. This achievement winning her NZ Pharmacy Assistant of the year 2000.

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Rick Hook

Rick is a Licensed Architectural Designer and the newest member of our team who comes with a wealth of knowledge on how buildings go together and ensuring they stay up. His optimistic personality and low-key humour serve him well on sites with council inspectors, builders and clients across any level of organisation including government and corporate clients.

Rick has been in NZ for over 26 years and was a licensed/registered Architect in America. He currently teaches at Victoria University developing and delivering structural design courses in the School of Architecture and the Building Science program, so has the natural ability to translate complicated technical topics to non-technical audiences. Rick has a wide passion for architecture especially early history of NZ buildings and enjoys researching the topic in his spare time.