17 June 2018
17 June 2018
NH Architecture, Melbourne: Open, Collaborative, Problem-solving.
The Culture of Practice
NH Architecture is located in the creative district of Finders Lane, atop an eight-storey building situated amongst the urban landscape. The natural light and open-plan design creates a sense of openness within the NH office: “We redesigned the studio to reflect our non -hierarchical and contemporary principles by opening up the space to make it more integrated and interconnected,” says Director Hamish Lyon. “Although we operate over two floors we have multiple stairs and openings so really it feels like we are all in one space.”
The flexible working environment enables people to move around based upon their specific project areas. The large canteen space exemplifies the versatility of the office. The communal area accommodates all manner of office events: morning teas and evening drinks, lectures and public talks. It acts as a flexible gathering space for the studio.
The diversity of the NH cohort reflects a contemporary studio. In the office there exists an equal gender balance and more than 34 nationalities are represented. “We are an incredibly diverse studio, which keeps us constantly engaged with different cultures and ways of thinking,” comments Principal Astrid Jenkin.
Simultaneously, there is a strong emphasis on teaching. The practice teaches a number of design studios at the University of Melbourne and RMIT. It also has a number of in-house research groups investigating design ideas, from sustainability to materials and new technologies.
The working arrangements within the office are flexible, with many working part-time to enable further study or time at home with family. This has built a productive studio ethos that acknowledges the balance between an active work life and active home life.
The integrated, collaborative vision of the studio successfully creates an open dialogue. Students and directors alike share responsibility in the practice. “We have a unique structure. We work hard to make it very flat,” adds Lyon. “From our principals to our students, everyone feels like they are valued. We work with the belief the senior team will learn as much from the students as vice versa.”
Author: Kat Allenby, Global Head of Communications, Bespoke Careers