The Naked Architect Series


Are you looking to renovate or build a new home and have considered using an architect but don’t know where to start?

Supported by the Architects Registration Board of Victoria (ARBV), Open House Melbourne and ArchiTeam are presenting a series of six workshops that will arm you with everything you need to know about commissioning and working with an architect.

These workshops will offer practical guidance, advice and ideas about engaging an architect on a home renovation or new build project.

Using the Open House model of direct experience of good design, The Naked Architect: a guide to commissioning and working with a residential architect is being hosted in six examples of architect designed homes across Melbourne. Not only will you be armed with practical advice and ideas, you will be able to meet clients and their architects to hear an honest account of the process.

Each workshop will focus on a specific topic including:

_Exploring the relationship between an architect and client
_How an architect can help you manage your budget and explain all the fees associated with a project
_The stages of design explained
_Planning, construction and project management explained
_Evaluating the multiple contractors and consultants that are involved in a project including an exploration of risk management and mitigation
_Identifying the risks of schedule blow out and how the architect manages time throughout the life of a project

Featured themes, architect and projects include:


Project: Ballantyne Street

Architect: Fooman Architects

Session topic: The ideal client

Date: Saturday September 16th 2017

Time: 10am – 12pm


Jo Foong and Jamie Sormann formed the practice in 2008. The Foomann team work on projects in residential, hospitality, interior, retail and office design with a wide range of budgets. This broad experience has introduced the practice to a committed team of excellent building professionals and craftspeople. With a family of 5 and 2 sets of interstate grandparents, the residence of Ballantyne Street outgrew their existing three bedroom one bathroom home. Along with the requirement to extend came a desire to do so in a responsible way. This resonated strongly with Fooman with every decision weighing up cost, longevity and environmental impact. The clients wanted the house to feel inviting and connected to their garden. These principals underpin a robust, lean yet generous and refined home that embraces the outdoors.



Project: Dark Horse

Architect: Architecture Architecture 

Session topic: Managing a budget

Date: Saturday September 30th 2017

Time: 10am – 12pm


Architecture Architecture is an award winning Melbourne-based practice, recognised for its commitment to contemporary architecture. As leaders in next-generation design, the practice strives to foster an awareness of the built environment and its social effects. In a row of workers’ cottages, there is one Dark Horse –a handsome creature. The stepped parapet, centred window, sidelined door and entrance awning are carried with the familiar, unassuming composure of its neighbours. Yet here the materials, stark in their composition, have a distinctly 21st century character, hinting at the contemporary home within.



Project: Victoria Road House

Architect: Fred Architecture 

Session topic: Schedule and timing

Date: Saturday October 14th 2017

Time: 10am – 12pm


Fiona Winzar is Principal of FRED Architecture a design and sustainability focused practice based in Melbourne. Fiona’s architectural work is recognised by the architectural community here and abroad with multiple awards and publications. The crescent shaped addition to this home in Victoria Road is an unexpected rear extension to a charming but formal Victorian villa in one of Melbourne’s most conservative suburbs. Instead of the box on the back, this extension is the remnant of a circular cut-out made into the rear north facing back yard. The project is layered with an eclectic mix of references and personal meanings for the client making the home highly personalized although the references are familiar enough to have universal appeal.



Project: The Avenue Apartments

Architect: McMahon Nerlich 

Session topic: Stages of the design process

Date: Saturday October 28th 2017

Time: 10am – 12pm


Man architects is a boutique practice based in South Melbourne, established full time in 2013 and formalising over 15 years of collaboration between directors Rob Nerlich and Kate McMahon with a wealth of experience in housing, education and urban design both in Melbourne and London. Avenue Apartment is a contemporary insertion above existing shop-fronts in Middle Park with oblique views to South Melbourne beach. Contemporary building techniques have been explored to enable speedy contraction of the concrete plinth, and screening, louvres and sliding partitions combine to create wonderful living spaces, roof decks and vistas towards the bay. This project proposed a contemporary architectural and urban response to the shopping strip, bringing the addition forward to match the surrounding context to the street.



Project: Open House

Architect: MODO

Session topic: Consultants and practicalities

Date: Saturday November 4th 2017 

Time: 10am – 12pm 


MODO (Michael Ong Design Office) is an award winning architecture studio based in Melbourne, Australia. Their design process is driven by a strong focus on quality and the benefits of good design. A process which is grounded by thoughtful design ideas, rigour and distinctive direction. Open house located in the sought after neighbourhood of Hawthorn East, this alteration and addition to a beautiful existing brick bungalow home is designed to enrich the family’s connection with their garden. Open House is a renovation with very sensitive changes, minor ‘extension’ to the existing house with more of a focus on modifying the rear of the house to change the relationship between the old house and the garden.



Project: Elgin Street Residence

Architect: Sonelo 

Session topic: The Construction process explained

Date: Saturday November 11th 2017

Time: 10am – 12pm


Sonelo Design Studio is a bespoke architecture and interior practice founded by Wilson Tang and Elodie Lim. Their design approach is an aggregation of strong conceptual framework and subtle-yet-refined tectonic, an outcome informed by and responding specifically to the project brief and site conditions. Manipulating the sense of spaciousness is the epitome of the alteration addition to this inner city Victorian-era terracehouse on Elgin Street. Deft combination of the new elements, the courtyard, the dark mirror clad interior, and the tectonics, impresses a perceived spaciousness effortlessly unifying the new and the old.


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