ĀKAU is a design and architecture studio that creates positive change in communities by weaving together youth and real life projects and products.


Ana Heremaia
Ruby Watson
Felicity Brenchley

Ana and Ruby met in 2007 while working at Studio E Architects in London. They shared the same love of adventure and their friendship has taken them from one side of the globe to the other. Ruby met Felicity while they were studying at the University of Auckland.

Ana, an interior architect; Ruby, an architectural designer; and Felicity, a registered architect, have joined forces to create ĀKAU (formerly known as ARCO).




The team is aiming to:

  • See more rangatahi (youth) move into education and employment by increasing their skill levels, work ethic and self-confidence
  • Stimulate the local economy of Kaikohe by creating employment opportunities and reinvesting back into the community
  • Reduce carbon emissions and landfill by creating high quality products that utilise local materials.

Find out more

Visit the ĀKAU website or Facebook page.

You can also read a profile and watch a video about ĀKAU on New Zealand Herald.