is where it all starts. It's also where the most critical and costly decisions are made, so it helps to consider all your options with care and experience.
Planning permit applications
are typically needed for residential developments, especially for renovations on small lots, multi-dwellings or where there's a heritage overlay.
Full architect service
is a comprehensive design process that includes a construction overview. It starts from project initiation and includes design, permits, contract documentation, contract administration, construction inspections both during and after completion.
Architect site visit, advocacy
can be provided at your site, for interactive information and ideas, or to help understand a proposed development nearby.
for a second opinion, a project or design review, or advice about realising a site's development potential.
as your architect, work with you, take on the bulk of the work, provide help and advice throughout the process, and make it simple and easy for you.
Over 25 years
experience in homes and renovations, providing uncompromised advice, independent of builders and suppliers.
To realise a design
a lot to happens in between the idea and moving in to a finished building. There is the great design, but also resolution of issues such as feasibility, site conditions, costs, authorities, permits, construction and the final touches. All need deft resolution.
require a lot of attention to detail, balancing the old with the new, to avoid inconvenient and costly surprises. Aligning a new design with the existing often leads to practical advantages, though occasionally the best approach is to start anew.
planning policy aims to preserve the history of a place. New work should not compete or be confused with the heritage fabric. Typical issues include demolition, positioning, setback, bulk, form, appearance, character, height, car parking and landscaping.
Sustainability, energy efficiency, passive design
aim to create buildings that reduce the environmental footprint through reduction of greenhouse gasses, improved use and disposal of resources. Energy efficiency is increased by using the sun to heat the house in winter, and in summer using natural ventilation and shading for cooling.
design starts from understanding key issues of the planning scheme such as neighbourhood character, height limits, street setbacks, car parking, private open space, garden areas and overlooking, then applying these in a design that maximises the opportunities and minimises the constraints.
Design we like
is in both the grand vision and the details. Space and style, modern and dynamic. Outdoor connections, natural things, daylight. Functionality so things work efficiently. A touch of whimsy, a visual challenge, something different, an exception to the rule. Timber that's environmental and easy to use. Bricks for their exceptional durability and heritage value. Black for its recessive, moody and contrasting character.
Need an architect to visit your home or project site?
We provide on-site advice for design and project related issues - for ideas, concepts, project feasibility, town planning, building regulations, time frames, a second opinion and other matters to enable you to understand what is involved so you to get your project up and running. We can meet at your home or project site.
We provide professional advice
Let us know in advance, as best as possible, what you wish to know about or achieve, and any particular issues, so we are better prepared to provide appropriate advice at our meeting.
We will be led by you as to what you want.
In our preparation we will also look at, depending on what you tell us, your site on Google earth, review council planning requirements and where necessary try to clarify any matters of which you advise us.
The project address and where you wish to meet if different to the project address.
Preferred meeting date and time. Daylight hours are preferable as it is easier to see the property and surrounds.
Your name and contact details.
At the meeting:
Our site visits are normally 1 hour duration, which we feel is usually adequate to provide you with a way forward.
While we will consider the condition of your building in providing advice, we do not provide a building condition inspection service. Advice provided during the meeting is primarily verbal, with some simple hand drawn sketches or notes if required to help explain our advice.
Adding or renovating in Fitzroy, Carlton and other inner areas with a heritage overlay. Consider the policy issues:
Yarra Council plan states “.. to keep a sense of history and place, as reflected by streetscapes, shops and houses, as well as how to pay tribute to the lived history and heritage, connecting with the stories and experiences of those who came before us and shaped the character of Yarra”.
Buildings have been graded for their heritage contribution, either as individually significant, contributory, or non-contributory.
The important heritage elements are principally those that are visible from the street, but also include elements that contribute to the status of the heritage place. Policy encourages retention of contributory elements, but removal of existing elements considered non-contributory.
Design for heritage
Respect the pattern, rhythm, orientation to the street, spatial characteristics, fenestration, roof form, materials and heritage character of the surrounding historic streetscape.
Be articulated and massed to correspond with the prevailing building form of the heritage place or contributory elements to the heritage place.
Be visually recessive and not dominate the heritage place.
Be distinguishable from the original historic fabric.
Not remove, cover, damage or change original historic fabric.
Not obscure views of principle façades.
Consider the architectural integrity and context of the heritage place or contributory element.
Design of upper storey additions
Preserve the existing roof line, chimney(s) and contributory architectural features that are essential components of the architectural character of the heritage place or contributory elements to the heritage place.
Respect the scale and form of the heritage place or contributory elements in the heritage place by stepping down in height and setting back from the lower built forms.
Design & building process - Architect's 7 principal stages
What you want - your project brief, how we will work together and engagement of your architect.
Gather information about your site, context, boundaries, easements, land slope, existing buildings, neighbour's buildings, vegetation, views, services, access and similar.
2. Concept design
Initial creation of an architectural concept of space and form. Consider alternative options, assess regulatory controls and costs.
3. Design development
Refine the design into a preferred solution. Examine function, the smaller elements, determine materials, finishes and environmental systems.
If required, apply for town planning approval. Applications normally require a considerable amount of documentation, and depending on the issues involved, a council decision often takes some time and may require negotiation and compromise.
Prepare comprehensive drawings and specifications to define the details and technicalities of construction, quality, materials, finishes and workmanship, for building approval and the construction contract.
5. Contractor selection
Source suitable builders for tendering, assess tender submissions, select preferred builder, prepare and sign contracts.
6. Contract administration
Oversee implementation of the building contract through to the end of the post construction period, by regular inspections, builder liaison and progress payment assessment.
Practical completion is when the construction is essentially complete and you are able to move in.
7. Post construction
One year after practical completion, inspect the project and finalise the builder's contract.
"Find a spot on the globe that you can claim as your own and build what will be a home"
- Source anonymous
A major renovation and 2 storey extension to a Victorian era terrace house in North Carlton. It was demolished to the extent that only a few walls and the building front were retained. Due to heritage requirements the extended upper storey and roof-top balcony were set back from the front parapet so as not to be readily visible from the street. Internal stairs were arranged in a triangular format to provide a more spacious and dynamic feeling.
It had become worn and there was a need for a lot more space. This heritage home in Moonee Ponds underwent a major renovation that included second storey additions. We retained the original character of the front rooms, while going modern for all the other interiors. We upgraded, reorganised and added bathrooms, new kitchen fit-out, new butler's pantry, laundry fit-out, new dressing and utility areas, and living areas. Town planning requirements reduced the scale and height of the second storey but we still managed to fit in a new home cinema which was acoustically treated to reduce excessive noise. The building envelope was highly insulated and the windows were double glazed wherever possible.
A home upgrade and extension for a large house in Surrey Hills. Some years earlier we upgraded the bedrooms. This time we added a new study and renovated the kitchen and adjoining family areas. Sustainability features include double glazing, thermal mass, summer sun shading and a clerestory for augmented ventilation and light. A number of years earlier we extended the rear bedrooms, renovated the laundry, created a new rear entry area and covered terrace.
"I am enjoying the new building works, which work really well. Very pleased about the positioning of the study, on the angle, overlooking the garden with low framed windows - no cabin fever when I'm doing desk work and the kitchen is great with children at the ages I have, great for communication with adolescents when they are hungry. I'm not going to get tired of this."
A major renovation and extension to a double fronted Victorian era terrace house in Moonee Ponds. We kept the heritage front portion and used it for 2 bedrooms and amenities, then built a new north facing open living area at the rear with wide folding doors. The new and the old are separated with courtyards for light and sunshine.
Over a century of piece-meal additions, this large house had reached the stage where it needed a total overhaul. The original front section was retained and restored, and a new 2nd storey was added at the rear. Family living areas face on to a north orientated courtyard. There were significant planning restrictions on height, scale, form and materials due to the high visibility of this heritage corner site.
This Victorian terrace house in North Carlton was in poor condition including a dirt floor in the kitchen. We demolished the rear, only retaining the the original heritage front two rooms. In the end we created a 3 bedroom home, with a new kitchen, living and amenity areas. As it was a long narrow building, a large skylight/atrium over the central bathroom that flooded daylight into the adjoining inner rooms. Living areas faced north with full width folding doors merging indoors with outdoors.
This is a single storey building on 3 levels that align with the slope of the land. Room spaces have flexibility and openness, and living areas open to the outdoors. The design utilises sustainability features including north orientation, thermal mass, solar hot water and rain harvesting. It has a high level bushfire resistance.
This is a major renovation and extension of Victorian era house in North Fitzroy, about to begin construction. To achieve this modern 3 bedroom family home required considerable effort in the early design stages due to difficult planning issues that included heritage, overlooking and overshadowing, sustainability, as well as a desire for lots of light, ventilation and winter sunshine.
We wanted a modern functional design, but sympathetic to the heritage character of the area. As the site was associated with the adjoining heritage home, the town houses were designed to reflect the heritage character of late 18th century outbuildings, using red brick and corrugated steel. Living areas which are orientated to a large, north facing balcony.