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Allen Jack+Cottier

Surely, one of the most rewarding responsibilities of any architectural practice is the opportunity to meaningfully engage with, inspire and nurture Australia’s next generation of emerging architectural talent. We believe this to be the case, with AJ+C consistently committed to supporting and developing promising young designers of the future (both in-house through employment and more broadly by example across the profession).

As an employer, we’re able to offer the benefit of mentorship, of experience and stability, provided in a creative inclusive environment, with ongoing support that enables young graduates and architects’ maximum opportunities for career progression (such as help with registration, in-house training, and other essentials).

As employees, this new rising generation presents us with exciting, innovative ways of thinking, an awareness of rapidly evolving and changing technologies and trends, and a nimbleness and agility of problem-solving that so often defines those in the earlier stages of their careers.

One such talent is Caroline Kite, who’s been with AJ+C since 2013. Since then, she’s led the design team for a $10 million church redevelopment project on Sydney’s North Shore, successfully steering the project through design development and DA approval. Her role also extends to the construction stages, with Caroline currently working as project architect on a high profile residence in Birchgrove involving significant heritage restoration, and a new contemporary and highly bespoke addition. Externally, she extends her professional skills to pro bono work abroad, through local organisation The Anganwadi Project (affiliated with Architects Without Frontiers Australia).

Bates Smart

Bates Smart have recently completed the first high-rise commercial tower in North Sydney for 24 years. At 31 storeys, 177 Pacific Highway reaches to the maximum height limit in North Sydney of 195m.

The client’s brief was for a 45,000sqm A-grade office building with 1500sqm minimum floor plates in a rectilinear configuration. The small and highly irregular site, however, coupled with restrictions preventing overshadowing of surrounding public spaces, limited the potential height of a building under council’s existing controls to 16 storeys, making the land undevelopable for the market. Through detailed solar analysis, innovative design thinking and engineering, the project team unlocked the site’s development potential for a major commercial office and created a new public amenity, while maintaining legislated
solar access.

The resulting built form provides a major public space in the form of a naturally ventilated, all-weather garden plaza, which is a major extension of the Berry Street Special Area. Specific environmental benefits include natural ventilation to the podium, orientation-specific sun shading to minimise heat gain, low-temperature VAV
or chilled beams, rainwater recycling, solar water heating and low-embodied energy
in materials.

177 Pacific Highway is Bates Smart’s first building in North Sydney since the pioneering MLC Building on Miller Street in 1958.

BKA Architecture

The new fit-out for UTS’s heritage-listed Building 15 will house Australia’s first postgraduate degree of its kind, the Master of Animation and Visualisation, delivered by the world-leading creative animation studio, Animal Logic. Designed by BKA Architecture, the objective was to provide a professionally-equipped studio based environment that maximised flexibility of use.

Supported by heritage columns, an open plan studio sits central to each floor and stitches together a series of formal office and supporting spaces located around the perimeter. A dark material palette is used throughout to minimise impact to screens and to create spatial intimacy. This along with multipurpose walls and stackable future combine to create a series of flexible spaces that encourage collaboration and builds upon the existing heritage character of the building.

Jaan Apartments, located in the recently rezoned area of Asquith, is a 34-unit residential development that sets a new benchmark in ecologically sustainable, medium density housing. Designed by BKA Architecture for Paramount Property Group, the residential development seeks to minimise greenhouse emissions and celebrate the use of recyclable materials. The use of green walls, herb gardens, recycled hardwood screens, brick and off form concrete combine to create a visually dynamic series of horizontal floating planes from the street. Truly a built form that leaves a positive and ecological legacy to a treasured site.

  • Caroline Kite, Senior Architect at AJ+C
  • Bates Smart's new high-rise commercial tower, 177 Pacific Highway in North Sydney
  • Jaan Apartments in Asquith by BKA Architecture
  • Cox staff members in Venice for the 2016 Architecture Biennale
  • Crone and Kengo Kuma & Associates jointly won an international design competition for a five-star Wanda Vista Hotel in Circular Quay
  • Team Up Group from Mirvac Design. Photo: Nelson Cortez


In August, Cox Architecture selected one representative from each of the national studios to attend the 2016 Venice Biennale for a week. A national initiative from COX’s Futures Committee, this new biennial opportunity is part of a larger dedication to investing in the future of the practice. For COX to compete for design excellence at an international level, supporting attendance at each Biennale represents an opportunity to consistently and collaboratively review one of architecture’s preeminent international forums and maintain a voice within the international design community.

Over the course of the visit, a detailed co-curated daily blog of photos, sketches and observations was maintained online for colleagues to read, comment and follow. Posts to personal Instagram accounts using the collective hashtag #projectvenice16 further enabled staff at home to follow the Biennale experience live.

On their return, each participant formally presented their findings to their studios, engaging and inspiring their colleagues both locally and nationally. The selected staff members for 2016 were Mitchell Page of Sydney, Robert Callanan of Brisbane, Katie Donaldson of Melbourne, Alex Gorecki of Canberra, Gianni Francisco of Adelaide and Christopher Foy of Perth.


For over five decades, Sydney practice Crone has been responsible for some of Sydney’s most vanguard buildings. Centerpoint Tower is a prime example where design and construction technology were taken to a new level of complexity. Other projects, such as World Square and Ernst & Young Tower, were borne out of the company’s savvy entrepreneurism, design skill and relentlessness.

Today, the practice continues to shape the skyline of Australia’s major cities, and gradually expand its portfolio of great built work under the design leadership of Niall Durney and Sandra Furtado. The studio nurtures a collaborative ethos, a place where young designers are encouraged to voice their ideas. Whilst the projects vary in scale, there is a common approach to the way architectural form emerges: buildings are designed through careful analysis, reflection and ongoing dialogue.

Some of the most interesting projects the practice is working on have emerged from genuine design collaborations inside and outside the studio.

Current design collaboration with globally-renowned practice Kengo Kuma & Associates for the five-star Wanda Vista Hotel at Circular Quay has introduced a new level of architectural debate and energy to the team. It is important that people are encouraged and motivated through the process of making architecture and feel like they are learning something new every day.

Sandra Furtado, Principal, Crone Architects

Mirvac Design

To position the practice for the future and further strengthen design capability, Mirvac Design is pleased to announce several exciting promotions and appointments: Diana Sarcasmo has been appointed general manager of Mirvac Design, bringing over 16 years of experience working within Mirvac. Promoted to design director, David Hirst heads up new business, and in a newly created position, Carolyn Mitchell has joined as operations manager.

Acknowledging their skills, experience and contribution, Snezana Mitrovski, Timothy McKern and Roman Dabrowski have been appointed as senior associates, and Sam Khamasieh, Bohan Jones, Sam Crocitti and Craig Burwood have been appointed associates.

Also joining the team is David Head, who brings innovative place and public realm design skills following 14 years working across the UK, Europe and the Middle East as senior urban designer. Through recognition of this talent within the practice, these promotions reinforce the ability of Mirvac Design to design and deliver quality and enduring architecture.

DesTalks is a series of monthly discussions run by the Mirvac Design Up Group to create a design culture of unity, collaboration and innovation. The Up Group are a team of motivated up-and-coming professionals, who have instigated these inspirational and thought-provoking talks act as a platform to share ideas and knowledge within Mirvac Design and engage with the broader design community. Recent speakers include: Richard Francis Jones (fjmt), Iain Maxwell (supermanoeuvre and UTS), Gabriele Ulacco (AR-MA), Ray Thompson (CSR Velocity) and Mitchell Page (artist and computational designer).