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Peggy Chesterman

Presented with the opportunity to run her first major project, Peggy Chesterman jumped at the chance. Having honed her skills as a valuable second-in-charge, Peggy exhibited the right attitude and confidence to realise her ambition and is now the project architect for The Finery, a development of 227 apartments over several medium-rise buildings on Lachlan Street, Waterloo. This mixed-use residential project is due to commence construction shortly, and will provide a diverse range of accommodation including one-, two- and three-bed apartments, studios and terraces, as well as ground level retail.

‘The confidence of the leaders in my ability motivates me to succeed. I’m very fortunate to be taking this step within an exceptionally supportive studio environment’, says Peggy, who joined the practice upon completion of her architecture degree at the University of Sydney in 2009. One of the defining reasons Peggy joined Mirvac Design was to pursue the opportunity for a holistic involvement in projects from inception to completion, with the ultimate goal of developing an intrinsic understanding of how buildings go together.

‘The brilliant thing about architecture as a profession is that the opportunities for growth are infinite. While at times this can be daunting, particularly when working outside of your comfort zone, the reward is an intense learning curve informing my understanding of the construction process and the tools available to me as a designer.’

Peggy points out that one of the best things about working at Mirvac Design is the collaborative environment across Mirvac; where regular interaction with the development and construction teams occurs throughout the life of a project. This connectivity allows good design to be realised quickly, drawing upon the wealth of expertise internally and the proximity of the broader team.

With ambitions for the project as well as her career, Peggy is proud of the design response her project makes within the evolving Waterloo precinct.

‘In this already dense area active with residential development, injecting our own personality was important. Being respectful and mindful of the industrial past and creating a diversity of apartments and spaces for people has been key.’

The use of materials such as brick, concrete and metal – with sensitive massing – has drawn upon and strengthened the fabric of the precinct. Two key aesthetics have been utilised: a strong and monolithic structure forms a protective layer, surrounding the tranquil courtyard, whilst more refined, delicate elements create a sense of intimacy. Carefully-integrated brise soleil features create privacy for the residents.

  • Street and courtyard view renderings of The Finery, Waterloo. Peggy Chesterman photo: Nelson Cortez. Courtesy Mirvac Design
  • Street and courtyard view renderings of The Finery, Waterloo. Peggy Chesterman photo: Nelson Cortez. Courtesy Mirvac Design

‘The internal courtyard is designed to be a place of reflection and meeting, a place of tranquility in the city. Activating the street provides a variety of places for people to meet and gather, creating a sense of place.’

When asked about who inspires her, Peggy responded that it is the people within Mirvac Design, particularly creative individuals who challenge the ordinary while inspiring a culture of collaboration and teamwork. In turn, it is her desire as a new leader to ensure her team shares a passion for design, continues to feel challenged and most importantly enjoys their work as much as she does. A fine ambition.

Carolyn Mitchell, Operations Manager, Mirvac Design