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Best of Canberra

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Canberra’s Best Architects

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Although we may never know the names or faces of the architects of the world’s ancient structures, their work and contribution to the world leaves a lasting impression that few could match. While most architects will not reach the heights of the influential American architect Frank Lloyd Wright or British-Iranian Zara Hadid, every architect can shape where we live, how we will live in the future and how we interact with the environment around us.

Blending imagination and pragmatism, the best architects translate their clients’ ideas to paper and eventually to brick. This requires the imagination and vision to create innovative designs with an extensive understanding of the technical requirements of construction. The most talented architects are able to create structures that are aesthetically appealing, cost-effective and intelligently designed to be user- and environmentally friendly.

Communication is important in all lines of work, but as the pivotal cog in the design-construction process, architects need to collaborate closely with clients, engineers, designers and builders. With any piece of work, there are a great number of issues and variables that will affect its success. An attention to detail and the ability to quickly and decisively problem-solve are key to keeping a project on track. Part of this process involves being realistic in terms of design, cost and timescale with the clients; the worst architects over-promise and under-deliver.

The Code of Hammurabi, one of the world’s oldest recorded law books, recognised the importance of architecture and building by mandating the death of a builder (builders and architects were one and the same back then) if their structure failed and killed the occupant. Fortunately, gone are the days where architects and builders’ actual lives were at risk if their projects failed but, these days, it’s the architect’s reputation that lives and dies with their structures.

Architects in Canberra are, of course, no different. Here are the five of the best in the business today.

The top 5 Canberra architects according to you

RiotACT’s editorial team has combed through 19 years of on-site comments to compile a list of the most recommended businesses according to you.

To be listed in our Best of Canberra series, each business needs to have consistently received positive feedback on RiotACT and maintain a minimum average of 4/5 stars on both Google and Facebook reviews.

Maria Filardo Architect

Maria Filardo Architect

Maria Filardo Architecture is a Canberra based architect and interior design service offering bespoke projects for residential, hospitality, retail and small scale commercial spaces. Having worked in both fields for over 10 years, Maria has a sound understanding of creating spaces that are both socially sustainable and stylish. This involves using some basic principles such as orientation, layout, zoning, insulation and materials. Reducing the use of non renewable resources is also super important to Maria as she believes we borrow the earth from the next generation. She also acknowledges, by her creating a tropical inspired design in a climate such as Canberra she is being irresponsible to the earth. So using as much natural light as possible and materials that are not reliant on high cost heating and cooling, is always on the top of Maria’s list. As well as considering of the most efficient and sustainable materials and how best they suit the design and the way you live. Taking a holistic approach to architecture to create a space you love and she’s proud of is not a bad day’s work.

Maria’s clients love that she’s both an architect and an interior designer, offering a unique complete service. With an eye detail and a natural attraction to design you’ll find some impressive projects in her portfolio. Including some of the most well known eateries, venues and shopfronts in the ACT. Delivery all aspects of project management from concept sketches to council approval is just the icing on the three tiered structurally designed cake!

11 Bougainville Street
Manuka ACT 2603

Cox Architecture

A large-scale firm that operates on an international scale with offices in almost every major Australian city as well as Kuala Lumpur, Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Muscat. They provide architecture, planning, urban and interior design services and have worked on numerous high-profile projects in the ACT including the Samoan High Commission and the AIS Aquatic Testing and Training Centre, as well as mixed use developments like Element on the Kingston Foreshore. Kai Lorrimar said they’re a “Cracking architecture firm” in a Google review.

Joanna Nelson Architect

Specialising in residential design, Joanna started her own architecture practice in 1987 before working as a Senior Architect with the National Capital Authority in Canberra from 2005 to 2009. Now back in private practice, she takes on a range of interstate projects in New South Wales and Victoria, has won numerous industry awards and has been featured in a range of publications.

TT Architecture

Established by Tony Trobe in 1990, they work both on new houses and alterations and extensions to existing homes, as well as various leisure and recreation buildings, new offices and fit-outs and community housing projects. With an emphasis on sustainable design and energy efficiency, they use a thorough, tried-and-tested architectural process that ensures everything is considered before you commence construction.

Clarke Keller

This architecture and consulting partnership between Principal and Design Lead Cassandra Keller and Principal Justine Cox have worked on a range of public, education, community, workplace, residential, aged care and commercial projects throughout Canberra. It’s well worth browsing through their impressive portfolio of previous projects. Previous client Kim Elliot said they were a “Great team to work with” in her review on Google.

Who did you pick?

Thanks to our commenters who have provided insightful feedback on the best and worst Canberra architects.

If you believe we have got it wrong, please let us know.

Please comment below detailing your experience with Canberra based architects? Who would you recommend? Who would you use again? Who would you steer clear of?

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