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10 Australian Architect Firms That Have Revolutionized the Industry

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Australian architecture firms epitomize simplicity and sustainability, but not at the cost of poor design.  

Dexigner and Architecture & Design have assembled a mix of the top Australian architecture firms that each display an incomparable architectural mastery. In close relationship with the landscape, here are Australian architecture companies that are putting the country on the world map. Take a look:

1. PTW Architects

One Central Park, Sydney, Source:

First on this list of Australian architecture firms, the Sydney-based urban designer PTW Architects houses over 200 people with an illustrious track record of enduring projects. PTW Architects practices widely in various sectors including infrastructure, residential, the arts, and sport. Working through inter-disciplinary projects, the firm has distinguished itself by planning over a diversity of building types. Approaching architecture with social consciousness, PTW architects have enhanced the public realm and Sydney’s architectural canvas. 

Major Works: 

  • Science House, Sydney
  • AMP Centre, Sydney
  • National Gallery of Australia Extension, Canberra
  • Beijing National Aquatics Centre, Beijing, China
  • Walsh Bay, Sydney

2. Glenn Murcutt

Arthur and Yvonne Boyd Education Centre, West Cambewarra, Source:

Glenn Murcutt has one clear agenda: simple designs made in homage to the land. The only Australian architect to win the Pritzker Prize—Murcutt holds a global reputation for ecologically-sound designs and material choices. His approach underscores the fact that localizing a structure and building it to sustain in its natural environment minimizes adverse effects on the environment.

This approach, and Murcutt’s recognition in the industry, undoubtedly earn him a place among the top 10 Australian architecture firms.

Major Works: 

  • Magney House, New South Wales
  • Arthur and Yvonne Boyd Art Centre, Riversdale, West Cambewarra
  • Australian Islamic Centre, Hobsons Bay, Melbourne, Victoria
  • Simpson Lee House, New South Wales
  • Fredericks, Jamberoo, New South Wales

3. Woods Bagot

Qatar Science and Technology Park, Doha, Qatar, Source:

A global design firm with a staff of over 1000 people employed in studios across Australia, Asia, the Middle East, Europe, and North America. Woods Bagot has an airtight record of specialising in its primary sectors of aviation and transport, education, science and health, sport, commercial landscapes, and lifestyle. Shaping venues by embracing styles both current and classical, architects at Woods Bagot take inspiration from the times they’re living in. 

Major Works: 

  • Adelaide Convention Centre, Adelaide
  • Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre, Melbourne
  • Student Learning Centre, Cornell University School of Hotel Administration, New York, USA
  • Greenland Centre, Sydney
  • National War Memorial, Adelaide

4. Cox Architecture

Capital Square, Perth, Source: Nick Lenaghan at

Cox Architecture, recognized as one of the best Australian architecture firms, was founded in 1962 by Philip Cox and Ian McKay. Becoming Australia’s largest practice in 2000, it had expanded into residential, retail, mixed-use developments, and leisure facilities. 

The firm prioritized master planning for all projects—be it a research campus or an urban waterfront—to help make structures that last the test of the times both in Australia and internationally. Cox Architecture has designed several iconic buildings in Australia and South East Asia, one of the most remarkable ones being the one used for the Sydney Olympics.

Major Works:

  • Bruce Stadium, Canberra
  • Sydney Football Stadium
  • Australian National Maritime Museum
  • National Wine Centre of Australia
  • Melbourne Cricket Ground

5. Hayball

Dandenong High School, Source:

Inspired by a structure unique character and potential, Hayball has grown to be one of the most famous Australian architecture firms. Hayball specialises in interior design, urban planning, and architecture wherein it’s worked for over 30 years on projects across China, South-East Asia, and Australia. From designing schools and universities to urban designs for suburbs, it has only just dented the surface through breakthrough designs that aim to sustain communities. In 2014, the practice won the Excellence in Timber Design at the Australian Timber Design Awards.

Major Works:

  • Mentone Grammar School, Victoria
  • Chester and Ella, Brisbane
  • Bayside Residence, Melbourne
  • Empire Apartments, Melbourne
  • Carey Baptist Grammar School, Centre for Learning and Innovation, Melbourne

6. DWP | Suters

St James Chapel and Dover Hall, New South Wales, Source:

DWP brings a team of specialists from every sphere to deliver on design that blends creative design technology with sustainability.

Challenging norms, DWP architects have a design process shaped out of through site evaluations and research to craft a unique design message. Its specialist teams carry an entrepreneurial spirit and are located in Asia, the Middle East, Australia, US, and Europe. The practice won the Innovation Award for Bentleigh Secondary College’s Mediation and Indigenous Cultural Centre, cementing its high rank among Australian architecture firms.

Major Works:

  • The Heritage Hotel, UAE
  • Crystal Design Centre Phase II, Thailand
  • Department of Finance Offices, UAE
  • Chanel Warehouse, UAE
  • Macquarie University, Sydney

7. Peter Stutchbury – Peter Stutchbury Architects

Joynton Avenue Creative Centre, New South Wales, Source:

Keeping innovation and climatically responsive approach at the centre, Peter Stutchbury’s architecture connects people with the ethos of the place the structure will be built on.

The architect’s body of work entails industrial and residential projects—particularly homes as he’s notably known to design homes where people feel deeply connected—that have stood out for their natural landscape-turned-sustainable-design. The 64-year-old architect won the Australian Institute of Architects’ Gold Medal in 2015. His four-decade-long career stores architectural gems that deeply reflect their natural environment in a way only the most skilled Australian architecture firms pull off well.

Major Works:

  • Contour House, Sydney
  • Invisible House, New South Wales
  • Light House, Dover Heights, New South Wales
  • Wall House, Tokyo
  • Treetop House, New South Wales

8. Kerstin Thompson – Kerstin Thompson Architects

Private Melbourne Women’s Club, Source:

Kerstin Thompson architects are a group of contemporary architects specialising in civic, urban design, and infrastructure projects. Thompson has worked on a multitude of projects in these sectors while particularly establishing a stellar reputation in the residential sector. She won the 2014 Robin Boyd Award for Residential Architecture for the House at Hanging Rock located in the protected area of the Hanging Rock Reserve in the Australian Bush. 

Major Works:

  • Fitzroy Sheetmetal Factory
  • Marysville and Carrum Downs Police Stations
  • Monash University Museum of Art
  • Napier Street Housing
  • Ian Potter Sculpture Forecourt

9. John Wardle – John Wardle Architects

RMIT Biosciences Building, Victoria, Source:

John Wardle initiated his practice in 1986. Having a string of high-rise apartment, gigantic commercial towers, museums, and university buildings to his credit, John Wardle has dipped his toes in every major sector successfully. With the design belief to combine the history-context-culture-topography of a place, he has brought to life designs that immediately resonate with people. Firmly basing design in master planning has been the key to creating urban designs, architecture, and interior design. The practice won the National AIA Awards for Educational Architecture and Interior Architecture in 2018, highly coveted awards among the top Australian architecture firms.

Major Works:

  • Caulfield Library, Monash University, Victoria
  • Fairhaven Beach House, Victoria
  • RMIT Biosciences Building, Bundoora Campus
  • Melbourne School of Design
  • Westfield Sydney Tower 

10. Conrad Gargett

Griffith University  Aquatic Centre and Gym, Source:

Even though Conrad Gargett ranks 10th on this list of Australian architecture companies, they are no less innovative than their contemporaries.

The Brisbane-based practice puts its focus on conservation, heritage, health, and adaptive reuse projects. Being a multidisciplinary design practice renowned globally, Conrad Gargett has designed extensively for commercial, residential, government offices, and civic uses. The practice has designed several winning structures bagging both the Sir Zelman Cowen Award for Public Architecture and the Robin Boyd Award for Residential Architecture. 

Major Works:

  • St John’s Cathedral, Brisbane
  • National Australia Bank, Brisbane
  • Royal Agricultural Showground Exhibition Halls
  • State Library of Victoria
  • Queensland Brewery


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