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A
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An update from Sydney
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An update from Sydney

刊登 16.08.2019
James Chase and Mehrnoush Rad

Two of our Sydney Makers recount the studio’s successes over the past year, which include a major project milestone and an exciting move to George Street.

Despite an uncertain global economic climate in 2018, we’re delighted to report an especially productive year in Australia, where our Sydney studio has gone from strength to strength, growing both in scale and breadth. Our clients and collaborators in Australia have embraced Make’s approach to design and are finding value in the solutions we propose.

The ambiguity around Brexit has prompted UK businesses across the board to look overseas to reinforce their portfolios and, in some cases, expand their presence. By contrast, Australia’s construction market remains vibrant, with the sky full of cranes and contractors around the country reporting heavy workloads. Australia’s hotel, hospitality and retail markets in particular are increasing in volume. Within Make, this growth has provided us with a number of exciting opportunities, including the chance to collaborate with a major hotelier on the roll-out of its new brand across three destinations.

Since 2013, the Make studio has expanded its early focus on the Sydney market. We’re now working on projects, and with clients, located across the country, including in Brisbane, Perth, Melbourne and Adelaide. Make’s employee ownership business model is still a relatively new ambition in Australia – one we’re striving to advocate across the local design and construction industry. Our common-purpose approach enriches the Make studio as well as our designs, and gives us a unique offer in the Australian marketplace.

As of Q1 2019, Make has six projects currently on site or poised to break ground in Australia. At Chadstone Shopping Centre in Melbourne, we’re celebrating the site’s potential with a structurally expressive glulam and PTFE arcade linking the existing retail destination to a new extension. In Sydney, the contractors have moved into 36 Carrington Street, a 10-storey retail and commercial development that embraces the mature natural oasis of Wynyard Park. Together with our Wynyard Place development, it aims to realise a new commercial identity in the heart of the city’s CBD.

Speaking of Wynyard, it’s been exciting to see our scheme continue to take shape. In August 2018, we hit a major milestone in this A$1 billion mixed use development, opening the first section of a new public concourse link to Wynyard Station. Meanwhile, in the Sandstone Precinct, work has started on the adaptive reuse of the Department of Education Building to sensitively convert this heritage structure into a luxury hotel. We look forward to the completion of both, as well as the next generation of Make projects set to break ground in 2019.

A crucial part of Make’s continued success in Australia has been embedding ourselves in the local environment and giving back to the community and our peers. We’ve been part of the judging panel for the Australian Institute of Architects’ annual awards for commercial and interior architecture, and we’re working closely with University of New South Wales and University of Sydney to encourage the development of their architecture schools, taking part in crits, award presentations and lecturing. We’re also digging into community fundraising events, with Makers running, swimming, cycling and surfing in support of organisations like the not-for-profit cancer treatment centre Chris O’Brien Lifehouse.

Our team in Sydney has grown to 24 in the last year, and we recently moved into a new studio on George Street. This beautiful new space features sit/stand workspaces and greenery throughout – a calm, light environment enjoyed by all. It’s a fantastic base for us to build on our reputation here as a friendly, supportive studio, collaborating on some of the most exciting projects in the world.

Five years on, and Make is at home in Australia. It’s been a busy, exciting time, and we’re really enjoying the journey. We look forward to the next five years in Australia and the opportunities they bring.

Article extracted from Make Annual 15.