AJC announces two new principals

AJC announces two new owners, John Whittingham, and Brian Mariotti who join Michael Heenan as principals in one of Sydney’s most respected architecture and urban design practices.

Michael Heenan (CEO, Principal, design) said the appointments mark a leadership restructure and renewal for a practice with a proud 68-year history. ‘The invitation for Brian and John to be principals reflects their skills and outstanding contribution to AJC over many years: Brian as leader of our Multi-residential and Student Accommodation projects, and John as leader of Sport and Community’.

Brian Mariotti led the AJC team on Darling Square 1 and 2 for Urbanest – two 20-storey towers in the Sydney CBD and is currently leading a student accommodation project in Redfern with two 18-storey towers, a new laneway and public art space connecting to the Redfern-Waterloo art trail.

In the growth corridor of Western Sydney, Brian is designing the Parramatta South Gateway Precinct and a new precinct in Liverpool where 350 residential apartments mixed with retail and commercial services. It’s being designed to the AJ+C’s Urban Backyard principles for family-friendly high-density living, and inverts the typical tower model.

‘Our research of the demographics for Liverpool found a high proportion of families living in apartments, but no real ‘family-focused’ developments on the horizon. We’re addressing this by locating typical high-street amenities and retail services within the building podium, and instead of putting the penthouses up top with the best views, we’re putting the larger, 3-bedroom apartments on the podium so they directly access the roof gardens – like a neighbourhood park on their doorstep. Working at this scale is pivotal because we’re creating new communities and precincts where people will live, work and come together to socialise.’

John Whittingham is using sport as an agent of social change, focused on a statewide reduction in youth depression, incarceration and suicide, by revolutionising sport, education and community facilities.

His work has been highly awarded, from his influence on Olympic projects to NSW Sport and Recreation venues and other major sporting bodies. John is currently working alongside the Police Citizens Youth Clubs (PCYC), radically reconceptualising their facilities state-wide to enable not only greater community engagement, but a more fruitful relationship between youth schools and the justice system.

John led the Broken Hill YMCA Integrated Health & Wellness Centre – which turned a failing facility and into a community wellness centre with first class sports facilities, dedicated youth and allied health spaces. YMCA Broken Hill is currently competing at the 2020 NSW Architecture Awards.

‘This is a transformational project for a regional Australian city. It’s not about heroic architecture, but a replanning of the site, and some sensitive interventions that turned a failing centre into a thriving community hub offering vital health services and dedicated youth spaces.’