25 best architecture firms in Australia
Derek Swalwell

25 best architecture firms in Australia

6 Jul 2023  •  News  •  By Surabhi Patil

Australian architecture is characterized by an alluring blend of cultural influences and unique natural landscapes that stretch across the continent. From the timelessness of traditional aboriginal dwellings to the striking contemporary structures that dot urban centres like Sydney and Melbourne, Australian architecture reflects the nation's dynamic spirit and ever-evolving nature. Colonial architecture, influenced by British and European styles, left an indelible mark on Australia's built environment. From the grand Victorian-era buildings in Melbourne to the charming Georgian townhouses in Sydney's historic neighbourhoods, these architectural remnants stand as a testament to the country's colonial past. The late 19th and early 20th centuries witnessed a boon of a distinctly Australian style, marked by red bricks, ornate details, and wide verandas, where elements from Victorian, Edwardian, and Arts and Crafts styles came together.

Today, the Australian architectural landscape is a vibrant tapestry of cutting-edge designs and innovation that coexist with the underlying multicultural fabric. Beyond the urban cores, regional and remote areas have seen a rise in off-grid and sustainable architecture. Australian architects derive ongoing inspiration from the surrounding landscapes, harnessing natural design elements and creating structures that seamlessly integrate with the environment. Following is a list of 25 architecture firms in Australia that stand out for their ingenuity, resourcefulness, and technical proficiency.



photo_credit Woods Bagot and Will Pryce
Woods Bagot and Will Pryce

1. Woods Bagot

Woods Bagot is a globally recognized architecture studio, boasting 17 studios situated across 6 regions. Rather than adhering to a singular signature style, they adopt a collaborative, multi-authorship approach, engaging with clients, communities, and fellow creatives. Their expertise spans Architecture, Interiors, and master planning, leveraging data to anticipate and accommodate evolving human behaviour. At the core of their philosophy is People Architecture, an ethos that celebrates diversity and empathy, ensuring design principles align with the values of end users. With a presence both locally and globally, their Global Studio thrives on embracing diverse perspectives to foster innovation and tackle complex challenges, supported by a dedicated team of professionals worldwide.



photo_credit Douglas Mark Black
Douglas Mark Black

2. Hassell

For over 80 years, Hassell has maintained a prominent presence in the design realm, undertaking projects of various scales and types, spanning renowned public edifices to expansive urban developments. Established in 1938, the firm's Australian roots have evolved into a global, interdisciplinary design practice, bolstered by a team of highly talented professionals. Along its journey, Hassell takes immense pride in the extraordinary spaces it has collaboratively crafted with clients and partners, forming the bedrock of its ethos. With expertise spanning architecture, landscape architecture, interior design, and urban design, the firm offers a diverse range of skills and perspectives that unlock the full potential of each undertaking. By seamlessly integrating imaginative design with strategic planning, research, technology, and experiential design, Hassell strives to cultivate inclusive and sustainable communities, playing a pivotal role in constructing a resilient world for future generations.



photo_credit Andrew Loiterton
Andrew Loiterton

3. Tony Owen Partners

Founded in 2004, Tony Owen Partners has established itself as a dynamic architectural practice, merging the experience of NDM with the visionary design skills of Tony Owen. Specializing in commercial projects, the mid-sized firm excels in progressive and innovative design concepts while maintaining a strong reputation for project documentation, management, and delivery. With a comprehensive range of services encompassing architecture, interiors, and urban planning, Tony Owen Partners is supported by a dedicated team of 20 professionals proficient in 2D CAD technology and cutting-edge 3D modeling. Their design philosophy revolves around creating spaces that are both captivating and commercially viable, driven by contemporary ideas and guided by sustainable principles. Actively engaging with authorities and prioritizing consultation, the firm strives to realize architecture that challenges conventions and achieves successful outcomes for their clients. 



photo_credit John Gollings
John Gollings

4. McBride Charles Ryan

Since its establishment in 1988, MCR has been dedicated to delivering exceptional design solutions to its clients. With a strong reputation for innovative and technically excellent services, the company combines complex architectural forms, impeccable construction techniques, and demanding program requirements. Managing projects exceeding $1B in budget, MCR has a proven track record of success. Its diverse experience spans across various sectors, and the firm has been recognized with numerous awards, including the prestigious Victorian Architecture Medal and the World Architecture Festival award. McBride Charles Ryan takes a hands-on approach to each project, working closely with clients to create bespoke buildings that reflect their unique vision. With their expertise and commitment, MCR confidently provides the answers their clients seek.



photo_credit Douglas Mark Black
Douglas Mark Black

5. Lyons

Lyons is a creative architectural practice that prioritizes design in all aspects of its work. With a team of experienced and specialized professionals, the firm incorporates big and small ideas into its projects, whether they are visual, technological, complex, or practical. Lyons actively engages clients in the creative process to deliver designs that shape, serve, and enhance communities throughout Australia. Going beyond mere inspiration, the firm combines deep professional expertise with a commitment to exploring innovative solutions. From collaborative design strategies to realizing clients' overarching aspirations, Lyons excels in designing across diverse industries, including public spaces and specialized healthcare facilities like operating theatres.



photo_credit Dianna Snape
Dianna Snape

6. FMD Architects

FMD Architects, led by founder Fiona Dunin, is a design-intensive architectural firm specializing in projects of various scales and types. With a rich background in interior design and architecture spanning over three decades, Fiona combines these disciplines to create spaces that are both visually captivating and meaningful. Grounded in the history and context of each site, FMD Architects' designs strive to capture the narratives of the land and its occupants. The firm places a strong emphasis on sustainability and site sensitivity, prioritizing the well-being and connection to place for their clients. FMD Architects' approach strikes a balance between pragmatism and poetic creativity, resulting in bespoke designs that are tailored to local conditions. With a focus on boutique commercial, hospitality, and residential projects, FMD Architects provides a high level of client service and meticulous attention to detail. Through extensive research into materials and product development, the firm consistently delivers innovative and distinctive architecture. 



photo_credit John Gollings, Peter Clarke
John Gollings, Peter Clarke

7. Jackson Clements Burrows Architects

Founded in 1998, Jackson Clements Burrows is a highly regarded architectural, interior design, and urban design firm celebrated for its pioneering design solutions. The team at JCB shares a common dedication to creativity and excellence, engaging in a cooperative and iterative design process that involves close collaboration with clients, stakeholders, and the community. Grounded in a profound understanding of the site and its historical context, JCB's approach blends pragmatism and precision with a strong emphasis on infusing their designs with delight. By employing innovative materials, thoughtful exploration of colour and texture, and adept manipulation of volume, form, and light, the firm crafts immersive experiences that captivate and inspire. 



photo_credit Derek Swalwell
Derek Swalwell

8. Austin Maynard Architects

Austin Maynard Architects, recently recognized as Architecture Studio of the Year by Dezeen, specializes in resilient, highly sustainable, and visually striking architecture that addresses the challenges of the climate crisis. With a prestigious Canberra Medallion under their belt, awarded to notable projects like the National Gallery of Australia and Parliament House, Austin Maynard Architects boast offices in Melbourne and Hobart, enabling them to tackle complex projects across Australia. Their design philosophy revolves around happiness, fun, ethics, sustainability, and the reward for effort. Known for their boundless creative energy, their designs are imaginative, playful, and cutting-edge. They emphasize deliberative design, addressing liveability, culture, community connection, mental health, and sustainability. Austin Maynard Architects pride themselves on their sustainable practices, concept-rich ideas, and a multidisciplinary approach that transcends building types. 



photo_credit Edward Birch
Edward Birch

9. Luigi Rosselli Architects

Luigi Rosselli Architects, located in Sydney, Australia, embraces a humanist approach to architecture and design, prioritizing good design and creating buildings that foster connections and appeal to the human experience. They are renowned for their expertise in residential architecture, adaptive reuse, and heritage designs, but their portfolio spans a diverse range of projects, including offices, factories, libraries, wineries, childcare facilities, and chapels. The practice is committed to sustainability and carbon neutrality, utilizing sustainable building practices such as rammed earth construction, air-conditioning-free spaces, and energy efficiency. Their inclusive approach and focus on human and environmental principles attract a wide range of clients, from accomplished individuals to artists, resulting in innovative design solutions tailored to specific locations and needs. 



photo_credit Jason Lennard
Jason Lennard

10. Iredale pedersen hook architects

Iredale Pedersen Hook architects, with studios in Perth and Melbourne, Australia, is a highly acclaimed design practice known for its innovative and comprehensive approach to a diverse range of projects. Led by Founding Partners Adrian, Finn, and Martyn, each with extensive experience, the studio is committed to design excellence and believes in architecture's power to positively impact people's lives and contribute to communities. Since its establishment in 1999, Iredale Pedersen Hook has created a significant body of work across Australia, with a special focus on collaborating with Indigenous communities in Western Australia. The studio prioritizes affordable and sustainable design, considering environmental, social, and economic factors. Their commitment to design excellence is evident through numerous awards, international recognition, and participation in prestigious events such as The Venice Biennale of Architecture.



photo_credit John Gollings
John Gollings

11. Francis-Jones Morehen Thorp

fjcstudio is a versatile design studio renowned for its dedication to design excellence, sustainability, and community enrichment. Comprising a multi-disciplinary team skilled in architecture, interior design, urban design, landscape architecture, and placemaking, the studio has successfully delivered numerous acclaimed and globally recognized projects. Their impressive list of design awards includes prestigious honors such as the WAF World Building of the Year Award, AIA Jørn Utzon Award, RIBA International Award, and more. Central to their approach is a deep appreciation for the uniqueness of each location and culture, fostered through collaboration with local communities and First Nations partners. By embracing openness, inclusivity, and innovation, fjcstudio continues to achieve widespread recognition and create meaningful connections with the communities they serve. With offices in Sydney, Melbourne, and the UK, the studio brings together a diverse team of experienced design professionals and technical experts, dedicated to driving innovation and value in all their projects.



photo_credit Murray Fredericks
Murray Fredericks

12. CplusC Architects & Builders

Established in 2005, CplusC is a team of creative individuals and skilled craftspeople dedicated to delivering high-quality, site-specific architectural projects. The firm's approach is grounded in a deep understanding of clients, their needs, and the local climate, enabling the creation of unique design solutions. CplusC firmly believes in the transformative power of good design, striving to create spaces that benefit both present and future generations. With expertise that spans the entire project lifecycle, from initial design concepts to approvals and construction, their diverse team ensures exceptional outcomes for clients. Sustainability is a fundamental aspect of their practice, with sustainable design principles integrated into every project, resulting in enduring architecture that harmonizes with the environment.



photo_credit Prue Ruscoe
Prue Ruscoe

13. MCK Architects

MCK, an acclaimed architectural firm located in Sydney, Australia, is celebrated for its extraordinary and prize-winning bespoke designs. The firm maintains an unwavering dedication to delivering impeccable artistry and meticulous focus on every detail, ensuring that each project is meticulously customized to suit the specific context and unique client requirements. With over twenty years of experience, MCK has developed profound expertise in creating prestigious structures, earning esteemed acclaim from renowned organizations such as the Australian Institute of Architects, the Institute of Interior Designers, and the Australian Design Council. The firm's diverse portfolio encompasses a wide array of commercial and residential ventures, with a particular specialization in creating one-of-a-kind detached houses and implementing adaptive reuse strategies. MCK's reputation for excellence and ingenuity has firmly established its position as a leading force in the architectural industry.



photo_credit Romello Pereira
Romello Pereira

14. Smart Design Studio

Established in 1997, Smart Design Studio is a highly regarded multi-disciplinary design studio celebrated for its exceptional work in architecture and interior design. The studio's extensive portfolio showcases its expertise in various domains, including urban planning, public projects, commercial spaces, cultural venues, residential developments, and private residences. Smart Design Studio is known for its ability to produce elegantly simple designs that transcend different scales and contexts. The studio operates through five specialized teams that work collaboratively, fostering the exchange of ideas and expertise throughout the entire design process. Sustainability, public engagement, and meticulous attention to detail are deeply embedded in their work philosophy. With a firm focus on excellence, innovation, and collaboration, Smart Design Studio has successfully delivered iconic projects, building a diverse and remarkable portfolio. With over two decades of experience and a dedicated team of 40 professionals, they are well-equipped to undertake a wide range of projects and continue to push the boundaries of design.



photo_credit Sherise Fleming
Sherise Fleming

15. Modscape

Founded in 2006, Modscape has cultivated strong partnerships with industry leaders across diverse sectors, including construction, government, residential, healthcare, education, infrastructure, retail, hospitality, sports, and the community. As trailblazers in the field of modular construction, they are committed to sharing knowledge and collaborating to deliver exceptional projects throughout Australia. Modscape's belief in the transformative potential of modular construction drives their pursuit of better design, construction, and environments. As a prominent player in the Australian modular industry, they have successfully completed over 500 projects across multiple sectors. Operating from their expansive 6.5-acre modular design and construction hub in Brooklyn, Victoria, their dedicated team of 50+ professionals encompasses manufacturing, display suites, and design offices. Modscape prioritizes efficiency, sustainability, and superior quality by harnessing modern construction methods in every project they undertake.



photo_credit Scott Burrows
Scott Burrows

16. Koichi Takada Architects

Koichi Takada Architects is a visionary architectural firm driven by the belief that a deeper connection with nature can enhance our urban existence. Their designs seamlessly merge with the environment, drawing inspiration from the planet and its inhabitants. From environmentally friendly high-rises to humble residences that inspire positive change, their creations embody a sense of purity and embrace organic forms. With a global outlook and a local sensibility, Koichi Takada Architects craft evocative spaces that honour the surrounding context and capture the essence of humanity. Their team is united by a shared commitment to continual growth and making a positive impact. Inclusivity, passion, and an inquisitive spirit define their design culture, fostering thriving communities and global connections.  Koichi Takada Architects prioritize building relationships and providing localized support, blending the expertise of an international firm with a deep understanding of local dynamics. Their ultimate goal is to create a harmonious partnership between nature and civilization, enriching both ecosystems for a better future.



photo_credit Peter Clarke
Peter Clarke

17. Bates Smart Architects

Bates Smart is a renowned design practice that seamlessly integrates architecture, interior design, and urban design to shape cities and create exceptional spaces. With a remarkable legacy of 170 years, they possess extensive expertise ranging from historic landmarks to cutting-edge contemporary structures, making significant contributions to the Australian development landscape. With a dedicated team of over 300 professionals across Melbourne and Sydney, Bates Smart employs a rigorous and collaborative approach to transform ideas into reality. They deeply value understanding the social, cultural, and economic forces that shape communities and utilize this knowledge to design spaces that enhance people's lives. Guided by a strong design philosophy, they meticulously shepherd projects from conception to delivery, continually questioning assumptions and fostering creativity to achieve optimal outcomes that consistently exceed expectations.



photo_credit Anson Smart
Anson Smart

18. Alexander & CO.

Alexander &CO. is a dynamic design agency that excels in conceptual thinking and comprehensive execution across a wide range of disciplines, including architecture, interiors, styling, visualization, project management, and branding. Their approach is rooted in collaboration, tailoring each client's journey and outcome to be unique and highly personalized. Rather than adhering to a predetermined style, they prioritize understanding the "why" behind each project, resulting in designs that are meaningful and purposeful. With a culture of efficiency and innovation, Alexander &CO. strives to be a market-leading agency that creates exceptional spatial experiences, fosters community engagement, and contributes to philanthropic initiatives. They have a history of deliveringaffordable, acclaimed endeavors, coupled with a firm dedication to effective communication, client involvement, and professional growth. 



photo_credit Tatjana Plitt
Tatjana Plitt

19. Bent Architecture

BENT Architecture is an innovative design practice located in Brunswick, Melbourne. Led by Directors Paul and Merran Porjazoski, the firm has gained recognition for its diverse portfolio of award-winning projects. Specializing in residential design, environmentally sustainable design, social housing, refurbishments, and green roof design, BENT Architecture is dedicated to creating environmentally and socially sustainable built environments. Through a process-driven approach, the firm establishes meaningful connections between context, program, and people to craft responsive and engaging spaces. Their work spans various disciplines, including architecture, interior design, urban design, and landscape design, with a focus on balancing refuge and prospect in every project.



photo_credit Veeral

20. Kavellaris Urban Design

Kavellaris Urban Design, an esteemed architectural practice, approaches architecture as a profound intellectual and philosophical pursuit, translating ideas into a distinctive architectural language. With a strong commitment to conscientious environmental design, KUD delivers intelligent and unique architecture that fulfills clients' needs and aligns with their budgets. Their exceptional work has been featured in renowned architectural publications and has garnered national and international recognition through prestigious awards. Led by managing director Billy Kavellaris, KUD's team of talented architects has successfully completed a diverse range of projects, including single residences, high-density housing, public and commercial buildings, and large-scale developments. 



photo_credit Katherine Lu
Katherine Lu

21. Breathe Architecture

Breathe, founded in 2001 by Design Director Jeremy McLeod and Tamara Veltre, is a highly acclaimed design firm known for its exceptional design solutions. With a steadfast commitment to sustainable design, they have continuously pushed the boundaries of aesthetics and environmental responsibility throughout their two-decade existence. Their groundbreaking work includes the establishment of Nightingale Housing, a collaborative initiative with leading architectural firms in Melbourne. Nightingale Housing exemplifies their ability to think innovatively and deliver on their practice's core mission by providing socially, financially, and environmentally sustainable apartments. Breathe's expertise in sustainable design and their dedication to creating positive social impact have solidified their reputation as a forward-thinking and influential design firm.



photo_credit Scott Burrows
Scott Burrows

22. Shaun Lockyer Architects (SLa)

Shaun Lockyer Architects (SLa) is a highly regarded architectural firm specializing in the creation of exceptional and timeless residential homes that elevate everyday life. With a strong emphasis on bespoke design, SLa brings decades of experience and a genuine passion for working closely with clients to every aspect of their practice. Their primary focus is on transforming their clients' dreams into architectural masterpieces, approaching this privilege with unwavering dedication to collaboration, attention to detail, and the well-being of their clients. Founded in 2009, SLa reflects Shaun Lockyer's commitment to crafting refined family homes in partnership with clients who share their values of quality, meticulousness, and cooperation. Guided by Shaun's leadership, the diverse team at SLa embraces open-mindedness and thrives on collaborative partnerships that are essential for achieving successful outcomes. 



photo_credit Victor Vieaux
Victor Vieaux

23. B.E. Architecture

B.E Architecture, led by directors Broderick Ely, Jonathon Boucher, and Andrew Piva, is a dynamic and talented team with diverse backgrounds and expertise. They place a strong emphasis on close collaboration with clients, builders, and contractors, ensuring that each building reflects the unique identity of its occupants and seamlessly fulfills its intended function. B.E Architecture's designs strike a delicate balance between subtlety and strength, harmonizing with their surroundings while incorporating timeless materials for enduring quality.  Drawing upon more than two decades of expertise, the company has established an admirable repertoire of undertakings that encompass not only Australia but also diverse international destinations. Their methodology places utmost importance on comprehending the context and prioritizing user experience, yielding enduring architecture that endures the trials of time. B.E Architecture's work has received numerous awards and extensive coverage in publications, a testament to their commitment to sophisticated and timeless design. 



photo_credit Adam Gibson
Adam Gibson

24. Cumulus Studio

Cumulus was founded on the principle that collective vision enriches the architectural experience, yielding diverse and creatively captivating outcomes. Their collaborative approach aims to create intelligent and enduring architecture that fosters a sense of connection to the surrounding environment. With offices in Hobart, Launceston, Melbourne, Adelaide, and Sydney, the firm operates as a unified entity, fostering cohesion and collaboration across multiple locations. From the initial concept to iterative refinement, Cumulus leverages its collective resources to generate, evaluate, and experiment with new ideas, drawing inspiration from the environment. Through active engagement with clients, stakeholders, and communities, they gain a deep understanding of project objectives, resulting in affordable, sustainable, and livable spaces. Cumulus aims to create environments that harmonize with and contribute to their surroundings, leaving positive and enduring legacies through their collaborative exploration.



photo_credit Tom Roe
Tom Roe

25. DKO Architecture

Founded in 2000 by Koos de Keijzer and Zvonko Orsanic, DKO is a dynamic design practice driven by a vision of creating captivating spaces that resonate with the senses and the soul. With Koos de Keijzer as Principal, the firm has evolved into a design powerhouse in the Asia-Pacific region, employing over 200 professionals across offices in Australia, New Zealand, and South East Asia. DKO's approach combines logical thinking, cultural awareness, and a collaborative team spirit to produce unique and effective designs. As a leader in residential design, the firm continues to expand its portfolio with diverse projects ranging from bespoke residences to luxury hotels, hospitality and workplace interiors, urban design, and large-scale master planning. DKO embraces the ever-changing landscape of the world and leverages architecture as a means to adapt and shape the future. With a deep focus on human understanding, the firm strives to deliver architecture of the highest excellence, maximizing the potential of every project.


The selection curated by the Archello editorial team is based on a combination of the amount of featured projects and the views they generated.