28 June 2018
28 June 2018
Grimshaw, Sydney: Creative, Personally-invested, Future-minded.
The Culture of Practice
The formation of Grimshaw’s Sydney studio occurred in the shadow of the GFC in 2010 and following the success of Melbourne’s Southern Cross Station. A unique twin city Australian practice was optimistically pursued to capture opportunities arising from Sydney’s continued economic growth and the residency of major clients.
Andrew Cortese joined the practice as a partner in 2009, formally opening the studio in mid-2010 within an inspiring double-height converted wool store in Walsh Bay. With just eight staff, and without a founding project, the studio aimed to achieve a 50:50 gender balance from the beginning, and focused on parametricism, organisational culture, research, urbanecologies and the future of architectural practice.
“We began to construct the ingredients of what the future practice could be from the very beginning,” says Cortese. “We were able to reflect upon setting up a new studio within an evolving global practice. It was a very interesting place to be.” Young architects joined the emerging studio from Sydney and the UK, including transfers from the London studio. Success came quickly, with international commissions and major local competition wins, including laboratories, commercial towers and the state’s first vertical high school. By 2014 the studio was competing for some of the most important projects in the city, amid unprecedented investment in major infrastructure. Seven years on, the office is continuously adding to its 100 plus cohort of staff.
The studio thrives on a culture of exchange, visible in its globally networked project teams and the broad range of international consultants, who together are contributing to the unprecedented transformation that Sydney is currently experiencing. The studio recently relocated to 333 George Street, their competition winning office building at the intersection of Sydney’s historic Martin Place – there the notions of exchange and collaboration are evidenced in an engaging, open design aiming to foster creativity, excellence, ingenuity and inclusive participation.
Photo Credits: (header) The studio breakout space captured from the iconic 350 George Street. This 5-metre wide cantilever functions as a place for team meetings, quiet contemplation and events © Ashleigh Hughes - (footer right to left) The pin-up boards are a vital part of the work flow for architects, to interrogate and explore responses to challenging design briefs © Alex MacIntyre/ Managing Partner Andrew Cortese presents the Arthur Phillip High School, a new future focused vertical school for the city of Parramatta, to the Sydney studio © Ashleigh Hughes
Author: Josefina Luna, Marketing Assistant, Bespoke Careers