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Meet the team

We are a small team but we are dedicated.

John McMillan

Founder and Principal Designer

Alex Heijdenrijk

Designer and Architectural Technician

Alex is a 2020 graduate of the Diploma of Architectural Technology offered by the Wellington Institute of Technology. He began working with balancedesign in the beginning of 2021 and has become a valuable member of the team. Having had a background rich in a variety of employments and skill development, Alex took to digital design and draughting very quickly. A stint in 3D asset development for a game development organization, several years of building work and achieving a Certificate in Renewable Technologies from Southern Institute of Technology, all helped to form a solid foundation for a career as an Architectural Designer. Alex’s specialties include modelling existing buildings in accurate detail, including sites and landscaping, and constantly developing a drawing style and quality to meet the best in the industry. His personal interests tend towards Tiny Homes and Green/Biophilic Design; he’s exceptionally excited to start working on ecologically-minded projects and with greener technologies. Alex moved to the Coromandel Peninsula in early 2022, but continues to be part of the team remotely from his new home in Whitianga. With John’s help, he’s working towards his Building Practitioner’s License and is excited for where his career might bring him.

Hamish McLeod

Designer and Architectural Technician

With a professional background as a qualified builder, Hamish brings a hands-on perspective to the world of design. He received his carpentry qualification in 2017 and has worked in the industry for close to 10 years, at which point he decided to pursue a career in design. After completing the Diploma in Architectural Technology program at Open Polytechnic in 2023, Hamish began working at balanmcedesign in August of the same year. With a passion for both construction and design, Hamish offers a holistic approach to architectural projects, being able to blend his practical knowledge from years on the building site to any project he collaborates on. Outside of work Hamish enjoys spending time with his young family and exploring the relationship between architecture and construction through his own side projects. He is currently building a slide-on camper in his free time and looks forward to future renovation projects 

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John is the founding director and principal designer of balancedesign ltd. His journey began in 1990 starting a building apprenticeship. 1994 he qualified as a carpenter and achieved a trade certificate in carpentry. From there he went on to pursue an Advanced Diploma in Drafting (Architecture) while continuing to work as a carpenter. During his final years of study, John worked as a technician for Massey University of Engineering and Construction. After graduating John joined an Architectural Design practice where he worked for seven years.

John then decided to branch out on his own and in 2007 created balancedesign ltd. A large variety of projects have since been completed which includes residential alterations and new residential buildings. Since being in the industry John has gained a Design 2 Licence Classification under the Licensed Building Practitioners scheme and in 2016 John joined ADNZ as a professional member, where he attends events and keeps up to date with new products and design ideas.

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