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Bespoke Careers

24 July 2018

24 July 2018

Tzannes, Sydney: Integrity, Diversity, Collaboration.

The Culture of Practice

When asked why an architect would want to work for Tzannes, Practice Director Chi Melhem replies, “because our goal is always to make exceptional work, on large and small scales. We understand that requires inspired, fit and focused architects. So, we value our clients, we value ourselves, and we treat each brief as a unique and very special opportunity to make something exceptional.” 

“In other words, we believe it is entirely possible to become a great architect, and yet have balance in your life,” she adds. 

For the office of 50 staff, this has three implications that manifest themselves in the way the practice is run. First, each project is handled by a dedicated team and is always led by a director, secondly, all staff are paid overtime, and thirdly, maintaining a work-life balance is key. 

“We encourage our staff to work efficiently, as far as possible, within the hours they are at work. Obviously, that is not always achievable, but we prefer people to go home with a clear head. This balance allows our staff to stay refreshed and invigorated, which in turn allows them to stay stimulated and engaged with our work, and with architecture generally,” adds Melhem. 

Staff working in the practice’s three-storey warehouse in the Chippendale area of Sydney, don’t work in set teams. Instead, everyone has the chance to work on a range of projects – from single houses to large commercial projects and masterplans. “The benefit of this approach for staff is that they are not working in a silo, but across a range of project types. The diversity means they are continually challenged, and engaged,” adds Melhem. 

She continues: “The diversity of our project scales and sectors is a result of our approach to architecture. Our work is about specific responses to every client and every project, not about preconceived ideas, style or approach.” 

Alongside that comes an emphasis on the health of the office. From fitness groups at lunchtime and after work, climbing classes to smoothies and afternoon tea, the office’s focus is on the well-being of its staff as well as its design and project work.


Photo Credits: (header) Opera Residence. Visualisation by FKD Studio. -  (footer right to left) Garden Residence © Michael Nicholson / Cranbrook Junior School © John Gollings.


Author: Josefina Luna, Marketing Assistant, Bespoke Careers

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