Ockham Residential began in 2009, the vision of co-founders Mark Todd and Benjamin Preston who had the good fortune to stumble upon a fine young architect named Tania Wong. More than a decade and 12 completed developments on, these three original Ockhamites remain at the core of the company. They have been joined by a full-time team of more than 40, along with a sizeable 'family' of contractors and other regulars, many of whom have been with us from the beginning. Here's a little more about our esteemed leaders.
Mark grew up in Mt Wellington, a fifth-generation Aucklander, the son of a tomato farmer, a proud alumnus of Penrose High School (now One Tree Hill College). He studied Mathematics at the University of Auckland where he met Benjamin Preston – and after graduating, bummed around for a bit, thinking and labouring. He started a painting business with brother Carl which morphed into a building business with their father, Lance. In 2009, this evolved into Ockham Residential, the Auckland ‘urban regenerators’ with an ebullient vision for the city’s future. Specifically: "To make beautiful buildings that people love to live in, homes that honour this dynamic Pacific city, stand the test of time, inspire others – and bring an awesome Auckland lifestyle to as many people and communities as we can."
An avowed Auckland enthusiast, a deeply practical idealist and proponent of 'density done well', Mark believes developers have a responsibility to the communities they help shape. He has contributed to The Spinoff and had the privilege of an hour-long audience with Dame Kim Hill.
Benjamin is one of the co-founders of Ockham and great mates with Mark since uni days. He's packed a lot into his life so far – he grew up in Mt Wellington, read Mathematics and Economic History at Auckland University... buggered off overseas for two decades to live and work in Sydney, Johannesburg, London and Houston. Had a couple of kids. By the end of 2017 it was time to come home.
Though his experience in banking and finance has been invaluable to Ockham Residential, Benjamin's lifelong passion is music and his energy is now mostly expended on the Ockham Collective. He started playing music when his brother gave him an acoustic bass guitar for his 40th birthday and told him it was time. He is very probably the world's greatest John Prine fan.