the platform for aspiring architects


high school students, university students, graduates & beyond

In a quickly changing world that needs architecture to be as flexible, creative, compassionate and responsible as it can be, we believe in the importance of the next generation of young architects.

Is that you?

Through Portico, I'm committed to providing transparent information and inspiration to help you - the aspiring architects of today - figure out what architecture is all about, and define your own path in architecture. Portico is here to support you as you navigate from high school, through university, and onwards.

Portico is here to help you be the best you can be.


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;
  • 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 architectural graduate, teaching fellow, tutor and writer, Sophie Hamer.

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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. 








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. 

I'd love to hear from you!

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

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