04 July 2018
04 July 2018
SJB, Melbourne: Contextual, Critical, Collaborative.
The Culture of Practice
Located in Australia’s first reinforced concrete building designed by the engineer and architect Sir John Monash, the SJB studio has a warehouse-like feel with high ceilings, natural light and open space. The practice relocated to the building just over a year ago and according to Director Tristan Wong, the move has given it “a whole new energy and outlook.”
“The physical environment really reflects some of our studio’s ethos and aesthetic approach,” he adds. Its location in a cultural hub of the city is surrounded by other creatives, studios and galleries which provides them with inspiration and they often host temporary exhibitions in their own space.
The practice currently employs approximately 100 staff who can be working on a number of projects from residential and commercial to urban planning. “At any one time there may be 30 or so projects in the studio all at different stages. There is always a wide range of projects,” comments Wong. “There is a culture around understanding the kind of design we do and projects that we take on.”
The studio, which has a relatively flat hierarchy, has a flexible culture of working and a lot of emphasis is placed on trusting staff. “We don’t want people to be looking at the clock. We want them to have a flexible lifestyle,” adds Wong. “We want them to be really productive and engaged in their work for the hours that they are here. It is less about the hours they put in and more about productivity.”
He concludes: “At the moment we are trying to enjoy the work we do and get good projects out there. We want to have the ability to affect the built environment as much as we can and make a meaningful contribution to the city and the streetscape.”
Author: Kat Allenby, Global Head of Communications, Bespoke Careers