A journey from graduate to team leader 

As long-serving member of the construction design team, architectural designer Kayla Myles says her career at Ryman has enabled her take on all sorts of challenges.

Kayla joined Ryman nearly eight years ago, straight after she had completed her polytech training and not long after her 21st birthday. She loves that she has taken on a steep learning curve, rising to become team leader of a great squad.

Kayla’s learning curve within Ryman is far steeper over a shorter period due to the complexities and scale of the grand Ryman villages.  Most architectural practices would not be able to offer this experience and opportunity. Kayla is now a leader of a team of six architectural designers.

Ongoing opportunities include travelling overseas to help check on new design work. When she started, Ryman was a smaller company with a smaller footprint. “It’s been quite good for me – as the company has expanded, I’ve grown in experience as well.” 

As part of her responsibilities she gets to travel quite a bit. Some of the villages she is now looking after -- Coburg, Geelong and Ocean Grove -- are in and around Melbourne, Australia.

She says often council-based regulations that surround the construction of Australian villages are quite different from those in New Zealand. For example, flooring systems are different as are design guidelines on door widths and internal accessibility within the villages.

There are differences also between the councils in New Zealand. The New Zealand regulations have a high focus on weather tightness. Ryman uses a facade engineer not only on its Auckland developments but also on those in other New Zealand locations. The company is also adopting the New Zealand high standards and innovations such as the façade engineer for its Australian villages.

Kayla gained a Bachelor of Architectural Technology at CPIT, now ARA Institute of Canterbury. She says she and other members of the Ryman construction design team have a real nuts and bolts approach to their work.

The architects working at Ryman look at the concept design and the wider layout of a new village and how it will fit on a site. The construction design team take over the concept design after resource consent application has been lodged, which differs from  standard architectural practices. 

By managing and co-ordinating the construction documentation of projects with external consultants, we ensure building standards and documentation both in New Zealand and Australia are met. “We complete typical architectural documentation drawing sets and more. This is to ensure our Ryman construction teams have the best documentation possible to achieve high level of construction.”

Kayla and her peers deal continually with the councils or local authorities during the building consent or planning permit application. 

Once construction commences Kayla and her team works alongside the Ryman quantity surveying team and construction crew through to a project’s practical completion. 

She and other members of the team enjoy having close relationships with the project managers of new village builds. That enables them to check on how the drawings, 2D and 3D designs work in reality, and if the drawings for future projects should be altered so they reflect what will happen on the ground. 

Outside of work Kayla enjoys netball. She and her husband, who is a chef, enjoy trying different foodie and dining experiences in Christchurch.    

After eight years she is now one of the longest serving on the entire design team. With lots of work thrown her way she agrees with other staff that opportunity and responsibility are a welcome part of the Ryman culture.

“It’s been quite good for me – the company’s gotten bigger, as I’ve grown in experience as well.”


Development, architecture and design

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