2023 saw the delivery of several world-class projects, including award-nominated workspaces, cutting-edge healthcare facilities for government clients, and state-of-the-art education campuses including the TAFE NSW Meadowbank education precinct. To celebrate and reminisce on the year, we sat down with a few of our talented architects and designers across our four national studios to discuss the 2023 highlights, milestones and challenges, and some predictions on what’s to come in 2024.
We achieved many professional milestones throughout the year, with staff celebrating their contributions to our industry-leading projects, including Architectural Technician Morgan Carse from Melbourne and Associate David Emerson from Sydney.
“My greatest accomplishment this year has been the ability to work on projects across varying sectors, which has challenged me to grow in my role and given me diversity in the tasks I complete every day,” said Morgan.
“The recent completion of the new Member’s Clubhouse at The Lakes Golf Club has been a highlight this year. I was lucky enough to be invited by the Club to the Australian Open and saw how positively the new space was received by members – it has been incredibly rewarding,” said David.
2023 also presented opportunities for personal development, with Melbourne Partner Verdon Styles acknowledging his contribution to the wider architecture and design industry as a particularly meaningful accomplishment.
“I was honoured to be appointed as an inaugural mentor in the Property Council of Australia’s National Mentoring Program. I have gained extensive knowledge and enjoyment from meeting like-minded individuals in the program and am lucky to have formed a new friendship with my mentee.”
This year brought some challenges too, with the industry facing a shift in economic conditions, leading to our teams navigating and supporting clients to address new conditions and supporting requests for further information from their decision-makers.
Jun Lee, Senior Associate from our Sydney studio commented that “increasing construction costs have posed a significant challenge for project scope and client confidence across the entire property industry. We have moved towards proposing a staged delivery model for our clients which has proved to be successful in maximising flexibility to ensure that we can continue to deliver leading architectural results”.
We expect to see strong activity in the 2024 property sector, with Interior Designer from Brisbane, Melanie Johnson highlighting changing societal demands as a key factor.
“The hospitality and retail sectors are increasingly in demand in Brisbane as the population and infrastructure continue to grow. As the 2032 Olympics draws closer, it’s exciting to see how the city will evolve as it moves towards a more dynamic future,” said Melanie.
Jun echoed Melanie’s outlook and said, “Sectors such as education and health will likely see an increase in funding and growth in 2024. Given the government’s recent focus on the delivery of housing supply, it’s only natural that new hospitals and schools will be established to meet the new demands.”
Environmentally friendly spaces are set to continue being a driving force in the architecture and design industry as sustainability targets increase their influence on design in 2024.
“We are expecting to see biophilic design maintain its popularity with greater integration of environmentally conscious materials, particularly in the commercial sector. The industry is increasing its focus on moving towards net zero emissions and placing more emphasis on embodied carbon reduction,” said Melanie.
“2024 will be a challenging year for commercial refurbishment. Research reports on the Melbourne CBD have identified that we should be repurposing 80 existing buildings annually to achieve 2040 sustainability targets. 2023 saw only seven retrofits that met these needs, so I anticipate a greater increase in this sector moving forward,” added Verdon.
To conclude, Jeames Hanley from our digital team said that “during 2023, we continued to grow our digital presence, breaking down geographical barriers and allowing our clients to tap into our national pool of talent and expertise. Accessing specialists from different regions enhances the diversity of our ideas and approaches which is enabled by our highly digital office, resulting in better outcomes for our clients into 2024.”
Gray Puksand wishes you a safe and happy holiday season and we look forward to continuing to work with you in 2024. Our studios will be closed from COB Friday 22 December 2023 and will reopen on Monday 15 January 2024.