26 June 2018
26 June 2018
BKA Architecture, Sydney: Serious, Design-oriented, Problem Solvers.
The Culture of Practice
BKA Architecture is currently preparing its succession plan. Its founders are nearing their retirement and in the next five years they will begin the transition, making moves to bring in people to take over while training up succeeding directors.
BKA is more than 25 years old and has studios in Newcastle and Byron Bay as well as Sydney. Its current six directors have been at the practice for the last 15 years and mostly started there as students. There isn’t a high turnover of staff. With an average age of 35 years, the practice of 22 architects includes 12 different nationalities and is more than 50 per cent female.
The practice has no plans to grow during this upcoming period of change. But it is diversifying in order to provide a more stable work environment. “We are aiming to maintain staff through a diversity of projects,” says Founding Director John Baker. “They get a broad range of experience. Our jobs tend to be of a smaller size so staff get to work on all stages of a project.”
At its warehouse-like office in Sydney’s fringe, there is a laid back and liberal atmosphere and approach to the practice’s work. The directors sit within the open-plan office and everyone operates at what Baker describes as “very close quarters.”
“People don’t necessarily have to start at 9am and finish at 5.30pm,” adds Baker. “We are pretty liberal on that. The main thing is to get the job done and that doesn’t have to be done in a rigid time.” He adds that they rarely work overtime and every Friday afternoon the whole office stops work 30 minutes early for drinks and a presentation which could range from anything from a project in the office to someone’s holiday photographs.
Author: Josefina Luna, Marketing Assistant, Bespoke Careers