General GWA blog, news, updates

Darwin Business Centre

Focus Laser Room Joinery

Walter Street residence site visit

Focus Eye Centre laser room gets a face lift.

WHEN: Thursday, 13th November, 6pm – light refreshments provided

WHERE: Woollahra Council, Committee Room


Speaker: Professor Alec Tzannes AM | Tzannes Associates




Alec Tzannes is one of Australia’s most respected architects, with a portfolio of work ranging from large scale urban planning and design to multi residential apartment buildings and individual homes. He has worked in the Eastern Suburbs area for over thirty years, designing some of the area’s best known buildings: among others, Cranbrook Junior School, the Bistro Moncur and adjacent buildings, the Symond, Rahn Broadbent, Shein and Henwood Residences, Federation Place and Federation Pavilion in Centennial Park, about which Alec says:

“I wanted to make an intriguing or slightly mysterious object. I wanted the viewer to engage with the concept of history and time, and I tried to make it relevant to that moment in history.”

Regardless of the scale and budget, the hallmarks of a Tzannes-designed project are its quality, refinement, integrity and exceptional detailing. In a disposable, knock-down world, these are buildings that do not grandstand: they are made to last, and to contribute to their place and time.

In the first of our Masters of Architecture series, Alec Tzannes will give a personal view of some of his favourite Woollahra projects, and discuss the creative challenges involved in bringing them to life.

WHEN: Thursday, 9th October, 6pm – light refreshments provided

WHERE: Woollahra Council, Committee Room





A discussion about CO-AP’s design process through the presentation of completed and current works.

woollahra architectsWill Fung studied architecture at the University of New South Wales. Upon graduation Will travelled to the Netherlands, where he joined Wiel Arets Architects in 1999 and worked on a diverse range of projects including houses, apartment towers, stadiums, urban masterplans and warehouse facilities. Returning to Sydney, Will was project architect at Engelen Moore, working on a number of retail, commercial and residential projects. Will has been a regular guest critic at the University of New South Wales School of Architecture and a part-time sessional design tutor at the University of Sydney School of Architecture. Will co-founded CO-AP with Charles Markell in 2005.

CO-AP_Tina EngelenTina Engelen travelled overseas regularly during her formative years with her parents, who imported architectural design products for their family business DeDeCe. Tina studied interior design at Sydney College of the Arts before becoming features editor at Interior Design & Architecture, a new magazine published by Herbert Ypma. She did design internships with Arclinea and Burley Katon Halliday, formed Daffodil with Danny Venlet and Marc Newson, and undertook private and collaborative projects. Tina co-founded the architectural practice Engelen Moore in 1995, where she realised projects including Price O’Reilly House and worked with property development companies Walker, Australand, Multiplex and Chase Property Group. Engelen Moore had many projects published internationally and won numerous national and international awards, including their apartment building Altair which won both “Best Building in the Australasian Region” and “Best Housing Scheme in the World” at the World Architecture Awards 2002, Berlin. Tina joined CO-AP in 2007.


Speaker #2: Collins and Turner | Huw Turner

TOPIC: Context vs Singularity

Huw’s talk will focus on a collection of recent Sydney projects that have sought to create unique and individual contemporary architectural outcomes through a diverse, and often challenging range of circumstances and contexts.

Huw Turner is a director at Collins and Turner Architects, a multidisciplinary design studio based in Surry Hills. The practices work focusses on the design and construction of innovative environments for living, work, and recreation at a range of scales. Projects illustrated will include new and up-cycled houses, a restaurant building under construction at Barangaroo, and a multi-residential project that seeks to establish new relationships between high density living and landscape in Sydney’s inner city.

In 2013, Collins and Turner were winners of the John Sulman Medal for outstanding public architecture for the Waterloo Youth Centre, completed for City of Sydney.

pennycollinsPenny Collins graduated architecture from the University of Sydney and began work with the Government Architect’s Branch of the NSW Department of Public Works, on Health Care projects in Wollongong, Port Kembla and Sydney. In 1990 she moved to London, working with Nicholas Grimshaw and Partners. Privately, she had prize winning entries in the RIBA Monument and Counterpoint and the Sydney Olympic Velodrome competitions. In 1992 Penny joined the Richard Rogers Partnership to take part in the Zoofenster office and hotel tower project in Berlin. Between 1993 and 2000, Penny worked with Foster and Partners In London, Frankfurt and Dusseldorf. She returned to Sydney to establish collinsandturner in January 2002



turnerHuw Turner studied Architecture at South Bank University in London, graduating in 1990. Between 1988 and 1990 he worked for Eva Jiricna Architects on retail projects. Between 1990-91 he worked for the Richard Rogers Partnership on commercial office projects for Stanhope Properties. Between 1991 and 2000 Huw worked for Foster and Partners where he became an associate of the practice in 1996. Huw emigrated to Australia in April 2000 and worked for Hassell architects on a number of projects in Victoria and NSW. Huw was team leader for the Liverpool – Parramatta Transitway a network of 35 bus stations in Western Sydney, which won a commendation for civic design at the 2004 NSW state architecture awards, and was also shortlisted for the 2004 Premiers award. In April 2002 Huw left Hassell to establish collinsandturner, and with Penny Collins is responsible jointly for the design of all of the practices projects. Huw has lectured internationally on the subject of low energy facade design on behalf of Foster and Partners and has taught at London’s South Bank University, UTS, UNSW, and Sydney University.



Mika Utzon Popov overseeing the hanging of his commissioned artwork at Cooper Street, Double Bay.

architects healthcare design

There is more than meets the eye in this intriguing development for a Sydney eye clinic.

For what might be expected to be a straight­ forward functional facility, this eye centre in Sydney has an intriguing mix of narratives – and they all come together in a beautifully resolved piece of design which optimises the operational efficiency and minimises the anxieties of the patients…

In Design – Perfect Vision


Nice view of Paddington roof scape. Recent site photos from Walter Street Paddington Terrace.

Architecture Myths


Every industry has its share of false perceptions and the architecture business is certainly no exception. Georgina Wilson dispels some commonly held myths about working with an architect.

Myth 1: Architects do not understand cost

One of the most common misconceptions is that architects do not understand cost.There’s a belief that we spend our days drawing pretty pictures of impossible, unbuildable, outrageously expensive designs.

In reality, good design and sound investment decisions go hand-in-hand. A good architect will save you money in the long run, and will make sure that your property value is maximised. Building of any kind represents a huge investment, often the biggest investment that we will make in our lifetime – a good architect can show you how to make this investment a success.

Consideration of budgets and knowledge of building costs and potential risks is a big part of our job as an architect. From our first meeting with a Client, and throughout the design and building process, we are acutely aware of, and intimately involved with the need to align the project requirements with the project budget.

To begin with, we listen carefully to the needs of our Client – we help them to articulate the budget that they need to work within, the outcomes that they are trying to achieve and the type of space that they would like to create. Once this information has been discussed, we review the ‘wish list’ in relation to the ‘desired spend’ to ensure that the figures are realistic and achievable. They almost always are not! It is crucial to begin the assessment of requirements in relation to cost as early as possible in the process, and to take the cost seriously from day one.

We work closely with a Quantity Surveyor or builder early on (usually before DA), to double check our own assessment of where the cost is lying in relation to the requirements of the project.

If you want to control the cost of your project you need to understand the cost of what you are asking for. A good architect will help you to clarify where the costs actually lie in your building project. Often well-meaning Clients may attempt to save cost in a misguided way that compromises the overall outcome significantly, and in some cases ends up costing more.

Many of the decisions that you will make with your architect have a huge impact on the profitability of your investment. For example,

–          developing open plan work areas and efficient floor plans to increase density or make work flow patterns more effective;

–          Selecting high quality, appropriate finishes that wear well and last for a long time;

–          Conceiving clever floor plans that permit future growth and development;

–          Creating desirable outcomes that future buyers will pay a premium for;

–          Securing generous building envelopes in tricky Council areas;

–          Preventing costly mistakes during Construction;

–          Preventing costly delays during Construction.

When a Client and their architect work well together, great design outcomes can be collaboratively achieved. Knowing where to save and where to spend can help a Client’s costs average out so that they can achieve their priorities without blowing the budget.

For me, one of life’s greatest pleasures is working with people to make a great building, space or environment a reality. It is the transformation of an idea into reality that makes a client happy. Part of this is being able to work within a real budget.