We will work with you to innovate to improve your return on investment, however you make money from your property

We create high-functioning showcase commercial and residential projects, taking the forward-looking, innovative character of modern, minimal Japanese architecture as inspiration.

Our buildings both make clients money and win awards. For many that may be sufficient. 

However, we can now go one better, in pursuit of your improved return on investment, however you make money from your property.

Combined with the award-winning quality of our design, we can reduce your investment risk by ensuring that what you build more accurately anticipates and meets local users’ and customers’ expectations over both short and long terms.

And utilising inputs of critical diverse sources of building user and expert intelligence upstream in a more forensic, advanced and intelligent briefing process, we can make your products both of reliably higher quality and easier and quicker to sell or lease.

In the broader, high-yield, high marketing expenditure world of fast-moving consumer goods, no supplier will develop and launch a product without undertaking extensive qualitative user research concerning the sentiments of customers.

Now, through our recognition and experience in making sense of the “connected intellect,” we can provide a similar path to track and understand such demand from property customers.

The connected intellect is our path to our collective imagination, and when its thoughts can effectively be joined up, our collective imagination is our path to our built future.

This is a future in whose intelligent, connected building – #connectedintellect – we aim to play a part.

 

Our developer and investor comfort differentiator: We brief beyond the building to factor in the property user’s long-term customer experience (CX) and satisfaction

 

High-level view: Briefing beyond the building

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Although we may still be in the earliest years of the internet, every mind in every business and in every real-estate user community is now better connected than ever before. This provides our best ever tool for more exactly investigating, understanding and testing in detail the needs and preferences of any given group of property users beyond the customary cycle.

And, beyond our ability to deliver a design that meets what is needed of it with high functionality and beauty, we can use this emerging capability to reduce risk and improve the comfort of those who will invest in a building.

We can feed vastly better information to those making such investments in modern-age spaces, straight from the minds of those who will commission and use them.

And by working with them, their customers, users, advisors, and with whichever other expert inputs they wish to invite, we can make sense and bring to its specification an unprecedented level of detail and accuracy that serves their interests over the long term. 

Through the appearance of this native, universal, connected, digital capacity, at minimum, two things become clear.

First, when users’ needs of a building can become better understood and explained, it becomes possible to brief and repeatedly test its design – at next to no cost – to meet their requirements and tastes with unparalleled precision.

Because it is objective and data-driven, by putting this resource to work, a developer, owner, investor and/or builder can also become progressively smarter and more competitive by refining its process and knowledge – essentially, by learning how to ask better, more exacting questions – with each successive project.

Second, out of this capability, someone will set a new standard for the ways in which they learn to organise this available intellectual force toward more effective marketing through their ability to translate this into both better designed buildings and a superior CX.

As we have a clear and articulated strategy for putting this to work, and because we can work with dimensions other architects cannot yet see, we aim to create and configure buildings that perform better in every dimension that matters most to those who will pay for, invest in, live, use and work in them.

And we can also show you the process to put this to work, as I’ve written and published about it professionally, here, in its application to building design in FM (Facility Management) magazine and here, in designing the commercial workplace in InDesign. 

I have also documented the way it is delivered in practice, and in greater detail here.

 

The Shiro design differentiator

Prior to founding Shiro, our design principal Hiromi Lauren enjoyed a highly successful 20-year career working for Harry Seidler and Associates, where she was an associate, and one of Harry’s favourites.

Then, her first building completed subsequently in her own right, the KDV Golf and Tennis Academy on Queensland’s Gold Coast, scored her and Shiro “a hole in one” when, in June 2017, it won the 2017 Queensland state award for commercial architecture.

KDV Golf and Tennis Academy, earlier image of front elevation looking slightly east at sunrise, taken on a builder's phone camera.

 

In its January-February 2018 edition, Architecture Australia magazine gave it generous coverage, and there is a link to that feature article here.

After winning the Queensland award, Hiromi’s first media interview was also published here in the Australian Design Review.

But, when working for Harry Seidler, Hiromi had already proven her ability to create unexpected financial benefits for developers.

 

Our commercial differentiator: Delivering design-driven windfalls for commercial multi-residential developers

At Seider’s, Hiromi earnt Harry’s esteem not least by doing just precisely this, securing her developer client an unforeseen bonus of more than $5 million when she designed an unexpected extra unit into each of 11 of 16 floors of the North Apartments building in Sydney’s Goulburn Street.

Being extremely skilled and disciplined with tight spaces is baked into her practices as a product of her Japanese architectural background and the pressures of having repeatedly had to prove her space-economising abilities to Japan’s banker-investors when working there during its economic-growth “bubble” years.

 
North Apartments, Goulburn Street, Sydney
 
North Apartments, Goulburn Street, Sydney

Likewise, on a current apartment-development project in southern Sydney comprising a requirement for 60 units, her design has yielded an extra four, bringing its total to 64 units.

 

Shiro exists to create attention-grabbing spaces to feel good about

On the KDV Golf and Tennis Academy’s completion, we were given feedback independently by groups representing each of two prestigious visiting Queensland property developers that the design characteristics that bathe its interior so generously in natural light made the project “feel good.”

Its striking appearance aside, this was also a notably inexpensive building, built on time and to budget.

We have since worked for our client, KDV Sport, on its follow-up project, its student accommodation block, a facility designed to house top-flight international sporting students in an environment that simply must follow this same “feel good” rule.

 

Presenting and producing new and better ways of living and working

With its form and functionality, the KDV Sport accommodation facility’s design demonstrates a model environment for any development needing to incorporate amenities shared by groups with common requirements alongside private, individual living spaces.

And because our design of high-ticket sports living quarters has given us experience in hospitality, sport and leisure, we wish to extend this expertise in collaborations that advance the development of such shared facilities in new ways of living.

Such design extends most naturally to welcoming residential spaces that facilitate retirement, aged and village living, build to rent and coliving, but also coworking and modern, creative workspaces. In any of these, their users must feel at their most comfortable and productive best. We believe there may even be a place in the world for “boarding houses for rich people.”

Working with those who wish to capture better the knowledge of users by using state of the art briefing practices will enable us further to design and deliver yet more optimal new places in which to live and work.

 

Growing single-dwelling residential expertise

In residential, although we never set out specifically to design houses, at around the time as Hiromi won the Queensland architecture award, we were also invited to submit three of our house designs for inclusion in the television show Grand Designs Australia

This dramatic luxury home we currently have under construction on the Parramatta River waterfront, NSW, aside (which is being built for the family of a successful multi-residential developer), the other two were in Kellyville, NSW, and Gordon, NSW.

In the Parramatta River waterfront house video, we’ve taken a bit of licence with the background, but the illustration is otherwise faithful to what is being built.

 

Under construction: Parramatta River waterfront residence
Under construction: Kellyville house