Common Ground Southern

Days / Hours: Monday — Friday 8.30am - 5.00pm

First floor, Boys’ High, Worcester Boulevard

Common Ground (CGS) believe that their role is to improve the human and ecological environments that we inhabit. They believe in community and that we all should share a wonderful and empowering environment whilst preserving the quality of our air, soil and water. They also understand that a great project increases social, cultural and ecological capital and in itself is economically successful. To that end Common Ground has core staff and associations that can take large and medium scaled projects from an idea to completion. At the centre of CGS is a belief in cultural heritage, creativity, art and humanity.

In essence they are focused on providing quality urban design, architectural design, planning, regeneration, landscapes and infrastructure solutions that improve or create environments that will be loved and are enduring.

Development is change, plain and simple. It's not good or bad in and of itself, but how it's approached and carried out will determine its effects. Common Ground believe that development can be a powerful force for good if it takes social and environmental concerns into account. They are firm in their belief that what is good for the public and the environment is also good for business.

Their skills and expertise have been key to the success of a wide range of projects, from small community projects to large-scale infrastructure projects in New Zealand and around the world. In some cases, they may not be directly involved in the delivery of these projects, but their fingerprints can be seen in many of the successful development projects in this country. They strive to ensure that any project undertaken addresses sustainability, whether that is ecological, social, cultural or economic sustainability.

Common Ground has always been a driving force for creating positive urban environments in New Zealand. Innovators, pioneers, philosophers and romantics and creative thinkers are needed to weave the existing urban fabric with the new, creating flourishing communities with integrated, happy, healthy, and low-impact lifestyles. This is what they strive for and have had success in.


“When a City Falls” and “When a City Rises” are Gerard Smyth’s acclaimed documentaries that offer grass roots understanding of the damage and subsequent recovery efforts that occurred after the 2010-2011 earthquakes. Featuring heavily is Common Grounds Principal, James Lunday, where he shares his view of a city through a design lens.


Feature image: Rangitahi Peninsula, this was a project Common Ground Southern were involved in since its conception, a sustainable new urban neighbourhood located in Raglan, NZ.

Gallery image: Hardware Lane The catalyst of Common Ground, James Lunday’s (principal), work of the Melbourne lanes in 1982 which redefined the centre of Melbourne.

Location map

First floor, Boys’ High,
Worcester Boulevard


Market Square Hereford St Carpark Boys' High Entrance Engineering Laneway The Observatory Hotel Courtyard South Quad North Quad Registry Student Union The Gym Engineering Cloisters Studio Common Room Library Biology, Observatory and Physics Chemistry School of Art West Lecture Classics Rutherford's Den Clock Tower Boy's High Workshop Great Hall