In the studio | celebrating with cake

We have spoken several times on the blog about our love of cake in the FMSA studio. The team doesn’t need to have their arms twisted to get together to celebrate birthdays, especially as we always have a cake on each team members birthday.

And today we were lucky enough to have not one but two birthday cakes. Happy hump day indeed! And happy birthday to Associate Director Hao Lee of course.

In the studio | Work experience at FMSA

A few times a year we host work experience students in the FMSA studio to give them an insight into what the day to day” is like for an architect. Rather than task them with photocopying and filing we set them a series of design tasks that allows them to see what being an architect involves, learn some new programs and of course try out spatial design.

Last week we hosted our latest work experience student Nicole and we were so impressed with her design that we just had to share it. We set Nicole the task of designing a building that would activate the pocket park outside the FMSA studio. Currently the park is a lacklustre island of grass and a few trees surrounded on all sides by roads and apartments. In other words, the opportunities are endless.

Throughout the FMSA staff shared their skills and what they do to give Nicole an idea about what she could expect from a career in architecture, and to give her some guidance to develop her design.

Nicole embraced the task from day 1 and developed a detailed concept for a communal hub named The Hive included a 3d model, a physical model and materials boards. We love the concept and wish that something like this really existed to activate the space. Fingers crossed that City of Melbourne does something with this space in the future.

Thanks to the FMSA team members for sharing their knowledge with Nicole, especially Jess, David & Emily!

Awards: Eastern Hub recognised at the MBAV Regional Awards South West

Congratulations to Rendine Constructions on winning the Excellence in construction of Commercial Buildings over $6 million and Regional Commercial Builder of the Year at the 2017 Regional Building Awards – South West for our project the Eastern Hub.

We are proud to have been involved in this special community project and to work collaboratively with a fantastic builder to realise our vision for the Eastern Hub. 

Congratulations to the Rendine team on receiving the recognition for your excellent work.

Press: Notes from Community Plumbing Challenge South Africa

Last year Kirstin Griese had the privilege to participating in the 2016 Community Plumbing Challenge as the Team Australia Design Lead. Taking place in Diepsloot – Johannesburg, South Africa, the goal of the Community Plumbing Challenge program was to demonstrate the vital role of the plumbing industry in protecting public health.

In this months Australian Plumbing Magazine Kirstin shares her experience from the Challenge providing an insight into what it is like to work with limited tools in a place where the struggle for sanitation is a part of every day life.

A life changing experience, Kirstin best sums up the impact in saying ”What we did was plant a seed. On a global level, that seed may have been small but grew and flourished into other better things.”

To read the full interview visit the website here.

Press: New Centre second home for the disabled

Recently FMSA Director Riordan Gough sat down with journalist Stephen Crafti to discuss the Eastern Hub project. The result was published this week in The Age in the form of the article titled ‘New Centre second home for the disabled.’

The article highlights how our solution delivered a centre that promotes inclusion, supports the needs of the wider community and the client Karingal,. and creates an environment for everyone. The success of the Eastern Hub continues to grow as the community embraces the new facility and makes it their own.

Read the full article online :



Cake for a good cause

Today the office got together to embrace our love of baked goods for a great cause, hosting our annual event for Australia’s Biggest Morning Tea.

This years event raised $450 for the Cancer Council which is an amazing effort.  Thanks to Emily for organising this years event and to Emily, Marielle and Dana for their delish baked treats!

Eastern Hub main facade and entry

Awards: Eastern Hub shortlised for 2017 Victorian Architecture Award

We are thrilled to share that the Eastern Hub has been shortlisted for the Regional Prize at the 2017 Victorian Architecture Awards.

We feel honoured that this unique project has been shortlisted for the awards. A true whole community facility, the Eastern Hub creates an opportunity for people to meet in an inclusive environment that is both socially and environmentally sustainable.

Good luck to everyone nominated in this years awards. If you would like to view this years entries there is an exhibition of entries running at the No Vacancy Galley QV from 23rd May to the 4th June.


Opinion: Solving the affordable housing crisis through collaboration

Recently FMSA Architecture Directors Greg Anson and Riordan Gough shared their perspective on the housing affordability issue:

Completed in 2013, the Ashwood Chadstone Gateway project is a great example of the positive outcomes that partnerships between government agencies and non-profit housing associations can deliver. The project provided benefits not only to the precinct through an increase in supply of affordable housing within Melbourne’s eastern growth corridor, but also improved and renewed the urban fabric, increased diversity and delivered triple bottom line returns on investment.

Designed by FMSA Architecture, the Ashwood Chadstone Gateway project provided a supply of affordable and socially mixed housing with private units within the same development as a result of a leveraged partnership between the State Government and not-for-profit housing association Port Philip Housing Association (PPHA).

The project was leveraged via the alternative procurement model to enable the delivery of a greater number of new social housing units for a lower end cost to the taxpayer than would have been possible for a traditional “government as developer” housing project. Land and funding from the Government initially facilitated the project, with PPHA and the developer led team going on to sell off 25% of the units to the private market and inject those profits back into additional social housing units.

What is different about this project is that the development far exceeded the typical ratio of 10-20% mix in social and private housing that is recommended for new private developments. In this case, the Ashwood Chadstone Gateway delivered 75% social housing and 25% private housing, resulting in a successful business model.

In her recent piece for The Age, Dr Kate Shaw from the School of Geography at the University of Melbourne commented on Melbourne’s increasing housing affordability issue.

We share Dr Shaw’s point of view that we can provide solutions that address the needs of the community by assessing the State, council and government land assets, especially near major transit corridors within the inner ring, and using the identified supply of public land now to create a supply of affordable housing in the vein of the Ashwood Chadstone Gateway model through partnerships between private investors and non-profit housing associations.

We believe in co-creating supportive environments for people through social innovation. We are looking forward to the opportunity to create the next affordable innovative housing project that positively contributes to the community and the environment.

Masterchef Australia serves up tasty treats at the Richmond Rowing Club

Eagle eye Masterchef fans might have spotted one of our projects the Richmond Rowing Club on screen last night. The lucky contestants had a masterclass with judges Gary, George and Matt on the banks of the Yarra from the deck of the Richmond Rowing Club.

Designed by FMSA, the new extension of the Richmond Rowing Club creates an elegant bookend to the iconic recreational rowing shed precinct.

FMSA oriented the expansion to take in the iconic view across the Yarra River and Melbourne City skyline. The flexible space and outdoor deck caters for training, education, and now televised cooking classes!

Check out the episode and the stunning views at Richmond Rowing Club for yourself over at Ten Play

Press: Ashwood Chadstone Gateway featured online

Ashwood Chadstone Gateway Project is a project that reflects our commitment to deliver socially conscious solutions.  The development includes a mixture of affordable rental properties for singles, couples, families and older people on low to moderate incomes, as well as privately owned dwellings. In total the development provides 210 social housing apartments and townhouses, plus a further 72 privately owned dwellings.

Our approach to deliver a conscious community resulted in ongoing value and connection for the residents and helped to reduce the stigma often associated with affordable housing.

Recently the project has been featured on a number of online industry sites, check them out at:

Architecture & Design