Heffron Park Tennis Centre Officially Opened
media release 12.08.19

Heffron Park Tennis Centre Officially Opened

The new $6M Heffron Park Tennis Centre was officially opened on Saturday 10 August 2019 by the Mayor Kathy Neilson. AJ+C was represented at the opening by Fab Salmi, John Whittingham, John Gunnell and Michael Heenan (with immediate past Mayor, Lindsay Shurey). Congratulation to everyone involved.

For more information on this project please contact John Whittingham john.whittingham@architectsajc.com

Q+A with our new associate, Xion Lin.
media release 5.08.19

Q+A with our new associate, Xion Lin.

When did you realise you wanted to be an architect?
I was always good at maths and drawing. And I like using my imagination to create something out of nothing – it’s the amalgamation of art and science.

What do you think makes a good designer?
Some people think it’s all about the front end, but for me it’s about the conception of an idea through to the realisation of it, from beginning till end, considering every detail of the process and being able to deliver on the vision.

Do you have any industry affiliations?
I tutor Design Studio for first and second year students at UNSW.

What does that involve exactly?
Students are given a mini project to be completed in a 12-week period and I guide and push them both creatively and technically.

What do you enjoy most about teaching?
I had a great tutor (Michael Clarke) when I was first studying who challenged and supported me. He broadened my mind to consider things like light, form and geometry. It inspired me to want to pay it forward to the next generation. If I wasn’t an architect, I’d be a teacher.

Who else has been influential on your career to-date?
John Gunnell (AJ+C Senior Associate). He has a wealth of experience and I’ve gained a lot working with him. He knows exactly what’s needed at any point in a project. It’s great having a ‘brains trust’ to call upon at AJ+C.

What have been your most significant achievements to-date?
Four Points by Sheraton (Cox) has been a defining project and I feel proud of my involvement in it. I was with it from beginning to end over three years. It’s an incredibly complex building that traverses a highway. The biggest lesson was learning to work with the contractor to balance the cost and design outcome–you wouldn’t learn that only working on the front end.

Which projects have you most enjoyed working on at AJ+C?
Oran Park Commercial 1 & Residential 1 – We have a good client (Greenfields Development Company). They’re interested in a good design outcome and I’ve enjoyed working with them on the commercial facade options to come to a solution we’re all happy with. Oran Park Residential is also my first multi-res project where I was the project architect from concept design to tender and I’ve enjoyed the challenge that comes with applying the Apartment Design Guide (ADG).

Where in your work do you feel you’ve had the greatest impact?
I don’t like stress, so I’m organised, I like to forecast what’s coming and make sure the team’s prepared ahead of time to deal with the deadlines.

I like to create a positive environment where people feel comfortable jumping into projects. I try to nurture and grow rather than impose on those around me–-helping the younger architects to grow helps me to grow.

What attracted you to working at AJC?
I heard the culture was good, easy going but still professional. I’ve found the people here are open, accepting and respectful. Plus, the firm has a reputation for good design.

What is it about AJC that makes you most proud of working here?
The practice has a long history of good design – I take pride in that.

What are you best known for?
People come to me for my REVIT knowledge – it’s something I’m happy to share.

What change would you like to see in the profession?
Architecture is unlike any other profession. We’re often tasked to bring together conflicting ideas. We bring a holistic attitude and balance the creative with the practical, but more than this, like a painter we bring emotion to the work and imbue meaning to the things we build. Even though architects are not essential, we should get more recognition as we play an important part in society bringing beauty to the built environment.

What are your interests outside work?
I love soccer and follow Chelsea Football Club.

Q+A with our new associate, Nadia Zhao.
media release 4.08.19

Q+A with our new associate, Nadia Zhao.

When did you realise you wanted to be an architect?
When did you realise you wanted to be an architect? I remember as a child going to the Whitlam Library (Harry Seidler) in Cabramatta. It was like nothing else in the area. There was a real sense of arrival and the quality of the internal space was open and light, it felt special and I always enjoyed being there. Later, when I was in high school, my parents were considering knocking down the family home and starting again. I wanted to help them in this process, and this is where my interest in architecture first began.

While you have experience across a number of sectors including commercial, community and education, you have a real depth of experience in residential design. How did you come to specialise down this sector path?
I worked for several years at a practice who specialise in residential design, particularly at the high-end. I learnt how to document the detail to achieve a very high-end product. But I enjoy working at the more affordable end of the market too and always try to optimise a space. People will spend their lives in the buildings we design, we need to ensure every home will be a comfortable place for the residents to live.

What do you think makes a good designer?
Someone who can understand the client’s objectives and can then give them something more than they were expecting. I think a good example of this has been the project we have been working on at Marine Parade, Maroubra. The body corporate was dealing with a dilapidated building, but to knock it down and rebuild the same thing would not have been financially viable. We were able to increase the number of apartments on the site to improve the projects viability while also creating more amenity to ensure that even with the increased density, residents will have a better place to live.

What have been your career highs?
Every project that has been built! Seeing my hard work realised as a finished building is always a high. And I love working through the construction phase. No matter how much documentation you produce there’s always unexpected issues to address on-site. And I enjoy working with the contractor – being a passionate DIYer has given me a real appreciation for how challenging building can be – it’s great working together to solve on-site problems that can’t be anticipated, while making sure the design still achieves the overall vision.

Any lows?
When great design concepts never eventuate.

Which projects have you most enjoyed working on?
Kiama House – It had all the ingredients to deliver a great project – a beautiful site, a great brief, generous budget, good contractor and consultant team. We knew we couldn’t leave it till site to incorporate the services in the design detailing. We have some really nice people at AJ+C who are great to work – we thought through the issues early and researched how to accomplish what we were trying to achieve. The end result was a high level of resolution in the design and a beautiful building for our client to live in and being able to experience their joy.

Macquarie Park Village – The way the documentation was set up – we really took it to the next level using our tools to the max.

What is it about AJC that makes you most proud of working here?
I like that we try to produce high quality work every time and everyone is supportive in achieving that. We help each other out. And every day there’s an opportunity to improve. The practice also regularly puts on inspiring talks and we have an amazing Office Manager who loves to cater these events for us.

What do you enjoy most in your role?
Working through the problems in the plan. I like to keep at it if something’s not right, to get the plan resolved and make things as efficient as possible.

What else should we know about you?
I love being hands on with building and helping my family with projects – it makes me happy to see instant results.

Social Media

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Polaris’s unique character is a product of innovation. Polaris Apartments sits on Berry Street, enjoying a much sought-after North Sydney address. Its unique crystalline form was driven by necessity – specifically the need to provide each apartment with maximum sunlight.Filling metropolitan buildings with natural light is increasingly difficult as city density increases.


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ABC’s 7:30 Report “Inside the retirement homes of the future”

Did you see the story on ABC’s 7:30 Report “Inside the retirement homes of the future”. We are very please to have worked with Stockland to deliver the Cardinal Freeman Village. View segment

Shortlisted in the World Architecture Festival 2018

Nominees for the World Architecture Festival have been released and we are absolutely thrilled to be shortlisted in three categories.

Urbanest DS1 was shortlisted in the category of Large Scale Housing (Completed Buildings) and also shortlisted in the special category for Innovative Use of Colour, which is the theme of WAF 2018. Kiama House also received a shortlisting in the Villa (Completed Buildings) category. They were shortlisted from thousands of entries judged in London earlier this month by leading architects from across the globe, including our CEO + Principal, Michael Heenan. All shortlisted projects now get the opportunity to be presented at the festival in Amsterdam later this year.

Michael Heenan and Judith Poole
news 1.03.18
WINNER in the World Architecture News Awards

AJ+C was announced as the WINNER in the World Architecture News Awards for the Sport in Architecture category in London last night !!