We design award-winning, advanced commercial spaces to “feel good” about

We create high-functioning showcase commercial and residential projects, taking the forward-looking, innovative character of modern Japanese architecture as inspiration, and building with great attention to detail, budget and time.

In this spirit, Shiro Architects’ native Japanese design principal Hiromi Lauren’s first substantial completed independent project, the KDV Golf and Tennis Academy on Queensland’s Gold Coast, scored Shiro Architects “a hole in one” when, in June 2017, it won the 2017 Queensland state award for commercial architecture.

In its January-February 2018 edition, Architecture Australia gave it generous coverage, and you can download a copy of that feature article here.

The Academy was first published here in the international online journal of architecture ArchDaily, and there is a link here to Hiromi’s first media interview, published since in the Australian Design Review.

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

On the Academy’s completion, we were given feedback independently by groups representing each of two prestigious visiting Queensland property developers that the project “felt good.”

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


We can deliver windfalls for commercial developers

We can sometimes deliver striking financial gains to clients, and in this we can prove our claims.

Shiro founder Hiromi Lauren formerly worked for 20 years at Harry Seidler and Associates, where she was an associate, and one of Harry’s favourites.

She earnt Harry’s esteem, making him feel extremely good, by securing her developer client an unexpected windfall of more than $5 million when she designed an unexpected extra unit into each of 11 of its 16 floors of the North Apartments building in Sydney’s Goulburn Street.

Baked into Hiromi’s practices as a product of her Japanese architectural background is an extreme skill, discipline and ability to think afresh the opportunity of tight spaces.



How capturing what your users know and want can better inform your decisions about the property you provide

Because digitisation is transforming the entire landscape in which we exist, its tools are also changing what we must learn if we are to apply them to creating optimal new places in which to live and work.

And because they increase knowledge and certainty, these technologies can also be applied to greatly reduce any investor’s risk.

Our purpose is to use them to help those we work with understand their customers and those customers’ needs better.

We want our own clients to enjoy better marketing relationships with their users as a consequence of their superior understandings and products repeatedly better geared to those groups’ actual requirements.

We believe the need for customer satisfaction will never change.

The ocean of property value uncaptured and under-realised in Australia exists in buildings not deriving optimal returns for their owners, developers and investors. It exists because the needs of those who use them are insufficiently known or understood, because it has until now been difficult or uneconomic to accomplish this. And it persists across all classes of built commercial and residential stock.

Indeed, in one notable instance, when Shiro director Graham Lauren undertook research on workplace strategy, he was amazed to be told by the senior research manager of one of the biggest and best-resourced of Australia’s commercial property owners that it had literally no idea of how its CBD business tenants used their spaces.

But this information suggested that if a big ASX-listed commercial office provider, located in the heart of Sydney’s commercial centre, could suffer such an unlikely gap in its knowledge, then there were likely many others less expert or well resourced whose own properties’ uses were equally unknown, and whose yield was likely therefore less than optimal.

And, because, as architects, we also talk with a lot of residential providers and developers, our conversations suggest their knowledge of their own customers’ experience and satisfaction may be no better.

Yet, the maturing internet and its social technologies presents an unprecedented opportunity for those property providers to fix the problem by getting ever more effectively into the minds of users to test for need, possibility and latent opportunity.

We call our mechanism for making this under-used resource of user knowledge work better for providers “knowledge architecture.”

Preceding design, “knowledge architecture” examines feasibility and is a high-grade briefing tool, good for testing and getting into the detail of users’ actual needs.

Understanding customers is simply better marketing, as when a product better fits requirement and the supplier intends to ensure it stays so, customers will become loyal, pay a premium, stay longer and tell others about it.

Knowledge architecture opens up new choices, and if you own, develop, invest in or manage real estate, we’d be extremely surprised if at all points you didn’t want to extract its maximum possible value at the lowest cost.

You don’t have to have any plans to build. You just have to be curious about what you need to know to get a better return on what you own, or may decide to invest in next.

Find more here about it, at Knowledge Architecture.


We value working with clients with passion for design

We exist to partner clients passionate about discovering and bringing to reality the designs they wish to see in the world. In our concept development, we are zealous and refuse to be constrained by precedent and what may be thought possible, and what isn’t.


Young in years, rich in design pedigree

Founded in 2014, Shiro Architects is still a young Sydney architecture and design practice. However, although we never set out specifically to design houses, around the time of our Queensland state 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.

Before that, when Shiro was just 18 months old, 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.

Such accolades make us cautious but optimistic that somehow in some way we may be doing something right.


Recognition, pre-Shiro

In her Seidler years, Hiromi worked closely with both Harry Seidler and Meriton owner Harry Triguboff on the design of the George Street, Sydney, Meriton Tower. On its Meriton Apartments web site, the company clearly felt good enough to give her contribution the plaudit you can find in the sidebar to this page.


New directions

Besides making better use of their space, we aim always to deliver our clients beautiful, practical and, where appropriate, commercially focused buildings.

Our work is now diversifying from its initial base, with our design of the current KDV student accommodation building, the second phase of its sporting academy, taking us into designing spaces for both hospitality and education.

As our business and our workload grows, nothing changes.

Whatever their use, we exist to design increasingly productive commercial, residential, hospitality and workspaces to feel good about.