AJC’s birthday celebration

AJC Architects celebrates a milestone, marking 70 years in practice among clients and friends, old and new. (Pictured above are: Tina Tang, Monica Barone, Kimberly Jackson.)

On Thursday, 29 February, AJC Architects hosted a special event at the H C Coombs Centre for Financial Studies in Kirribilli, to mark 70 years in practice. Glenn Murcutt AO, Australia’s only Pritzker Prize-winner was among those joining the celebrations, along with the AJC team, valued clients and friends of the practice.

Director & CEO Michael Heenan paid tribute to the founders of AJC – John Allen, Russell Jack, and Keith Cottier – for their brave decision to form an architectural practice. Initially founded by John Allen in 1952 and later joined by Russell Jack and Keith Cottier, the company has thrived under their vision and leadership. 

“What we’re celebrating tonight is a proud history and a bright future,” said Michael Heenan, setting the tone for the cocktail soiree held against the backdrop of a night-lit Sydney Harbour. “With 60 architectural awards and counting by the time of founder John Allen’s retirement in 1993, including the coveted Sir John Sulman Award for Public Architecture, the Professor Leslie Wilkinson Award for Residential Architecture, the Francis Greenway Award for heritage, and the Lloyd Rees Award for Urban Design.” 

Supporting Michael Heenan’s opening, directors John Whittingham (Sports & Community), Brian Mariotti (Multi-Residential & Mixed use), Dua Green (Education), and Duncan Corrigall (Urban Design) all stepped up to speak of great partnerships and client collaborations. Relationships were a recurring theme in the speeches and the evening in general, with one of the co-founding partners, Keith Cottier, reflecting on the night during his closing toast and extending best wishes to AJC. 

This theme was underscored by the stunning venue, the Dining Room of the H C Coombs Centre for Financial Studies. This was a marquee project for AJC in 1985 when it completed the Reserve Bank’s new off-site staff training spaces, complete with accommodation in the site’s retained Federation house. Over 30 years later, the Reserve Bank came back to AJC for a major upgrade, completed in 2021, expanding the centre’s capacity as a business events venue and shining a light on the legacy of its namesake, H C Coombs – a patron of First Nations Australians – through material and artwork curation. 

Stephen Varady, Michelle Farman.
Duncan Corrigall, Lee Collard, Lisa Sorrentino, Crosbie Lorimer.
Nikki Bonus, Richard Green, Vera Batalha.
Glenn Murcutt AO, Jim Koopman, Derek Nix.
Peter Ireland, Sarah Slattery, Michael Jones.
Zack Cardo, Brian Mariotti, Geoff Bonus.
Peter Ireland, Keith Cottier, Glenn Murcutt AO, Lynette Apostolou.
Kelly Green, Rob Doak.