Award-winning spaces to feel good about
Shiro Architects exists to design spaces to feel good about.
We took this as our catchline based on feedback we were given independently by two large property developers. On its completion, they came separately to visit our first substantial project, the KDV Golf and Tennis Academy on Queensland’s Gold Coast. As they were leaving the site, each said the project felt good. We thought it was a message others might like to hear.
The judges of the Queensland Institute of Architects who commended the Academy by shortlisting it in the initial local Gold Coast/Northern Rivers stage of its state design award clearly felt the same. And, as (and as you will see to the right in the sidebar) in June 2017, we subsequently won the state’s 2017 award for commercial architecture.
And we are now working for our KDV client on its follow-up project, its student accommodation block.
Although we never set out specifically to design houses, around the time of the Queensland award, we were also invited to submit three of our as yet unbuilt residences for possible inclusion in Australia’s most popular TV show on residential architecture, Grand Designs Australia. We are cautious but optimistic that somehow in some way such accolades suggest we might be doing something right.
And even before that, we were awarded acclaim for “design excellence” when invited to contest a limited-entrant, three-party, invitation-only competition on a landmark residential site in Parramatta, NSW, hosted by Parramatta City Council.
Despite its early achievement, Shiro Architects is still a young Sydney architecture and design practice, but with pedigree beyond its years.
Our studio is led by Hiromi Lauren, née Shiraishi, a former associate of just under 20 years at world-renowned architects, Harry Seidler and Associates, where she was considered one of Harry’s favourites.
She won Harry’s esteem not least when working on North Apartments in Sydney’s Goulburn Street she managed to design an extra unit into each of 11 of its 16 floors to secure the client an unexpected windfall of around $5 million on its investment.
“Unrelated specifically to North Apartments, I always think architects should work to make money for the client.”
It is a product of Hiromi’s Japanese architectural background that she is extremely skilled and disciplined in the design of tight, demanding spaces.
Delivering such a bonus to an unexpecting developer gave both Harry and the client something else to feel good about.
Although we don’t always aim explicitly to deliver designs in the Japanese style, observers often comment they can see the influence of Japanese minimalism in Hiromi’s work.
In her Seidler years, she also worked closely with both Seidler and Harry Triguboff on the design of the George Street Meriton Tower. On its Meriton Apartments web site, the company clearly felt good enough to give her contribution the plaudit in the sidebar to this page.
Besides making better use of their space, we aim always to deliver our clients beautiful, practical, commercially focused buildings.
And our work is now diversifying, through our design of the current KDV student accommodation building, taking us into both hospitality and education, and through to being invited to submit three examples of our residential design for consideration in the nation’s most popular TV show on home architecture.
As our business and our workload grows, nothing changes. We exist to design spaces to feel good about.