Cart 0

the SPACE for aspiring architects

Portico offers:

  • Information about architecture career pathways, including
  • Information and articles to expand your architectural knowledge in Portico Journal;
  • Tools to support you in developing your unique architecture skillset and career;
  • Courses to support your unique pathway (coming soon!)

Portico believes in aspiring architects who:

  • care deeply about the places we inhabit; 
  • are engaged with changing technological, social, climatic and material processes;
  • value openness, communication and collaboration in their work and relationships; and
  • want to use their skills and talents with energy, passion, and freedom.

Portico was established by New Zealand-based Architect, Teaching Fellow, and writer, Sophie Hamer.

portico (n.) 

c. 1600

Portico derives from the Italian 'portico', which can be traced back to the Latin 'porticus' meaning colonnade, arcade, covered walk, porch, and 'porta' meaning gate. 


A portico is a porch or colonnade which leads towards the entry to a space. It forms part of the ritual of entry, with roof supported by columns or walls. This portico was a key spatial device in Ancient Greece. An extended portico becomes a stoa, an informal and public place of meeting and teaching, of which the Painted Porch in Athens is a significant surviving example. The portico has been adopted and adapted by many cultures worldwide. 


Sophie Hamer

Founder, Editor





FOUNDER, editor

I made the last-minute call to study a Bachelor of Architectural Studies (BAS) at Victoria University of Wellington  3 weeks before semester started in January 2007. I had previously been flitting between study options - from science, to law and political science - but my creative aspirations won out in the end. I'm glad they did!

Although I had been lucky enough to spend at day with an architecture studio group while I was still at high school, and had a lot of exposure to architectural drawings and residential renovation projects growing up, I wasn't really sure what I was getting in to. 

I found first year hard work. I had to open up my thinking, find new ways of moving forward, look at things differently. But by the end of first year, I found my stride and began to figure my own design skills, style, and values.

I also realised the value that my other personal interests could bring to the how and why of design. While I was at university, I took some courses outside the traditional architecture field, including French Language, which enabled me to spend time studying in Paris, and a limited-entry poetry course at the International Institute of Modern Letters.

Through the five years of study, I became completely enamoured with architecture - from the technical, to the highly conceptual and theoretical work, right down to the detail. I graduated with my Master of Architecture (Professional) awarded with Distinction in 2012.

Since graduation, I've worked in three architectural practices in New Zealand, and taught a range of courses from design to sustainability and research methodologies, at Victoria University of Wellington and the University of Auckland. 

I am also involved with the New Zealand Institute of Architects, being part of the Auckland Branch in the role of Graduate Advocate, and was a founding member of the Emerge group and events series. I completed my professional registration with the NZRAB in 2017. In 2019, I moved to Europe to expand my learning in new ways.

My personal research is focused on the relationships between age, literature, and self in the production and performances of space and architectural practice. 

I'd love to hear from you!

Anytime, any questions or queries about architecture or anything you have seen on Portico.

Send me an email at: