We’re happy to announce the appointment of five new associates at NH. Joining the associate group are Mina Alavi, Laura Courtney, Sean Ehlert, Grant Mclagan and Jeanie Yau.
We sat down with each of them to ask them about their experiences at NH, what’s important to them in a project and what they’ve been working on in the studio.
Mina started at NH as a graduate, fresh from her architectural studies at Tehran University in Iran. She’s made herself essential to our project teams, working on the Melbourne Airport T2 Expansion and Melbourne Park Stage 3 Redevelopment.
Recently, she’s joined the Pathway to 144 Mental Health Beds Project team, working on realizing the facility at Royal Melbourne. “RMH has presented some really fascinating design problems to solve,” she says. “The acute mental health facility is located within the existing hospital buildings. And there are extra complications because we’re working within a live hospital environment, it’s been fun to work on.”
Mina has worked with three project teams at NH and says the people and culture created within each team has been really supportive.
Laura joined NH in 2016 and has spent the past two years working on Tarakan Street Social and Affordable Housing Project: “It has been a real aspiration of mine to be able to work on a project which designs safe and comfortable homes for those who need them,” she says.
She enjoys working at NH because of the contribution our projects make to the wider community. “From social and affordable housing, to student precincts to work in the public health sector; we are working on projects to improve our city.”
Sean studied in the UK, gaining a qualification in Building Studies and he’s carried this focus on architectural technology through his career in Australia. “I’m interested in the nuts and bolts of a project, the technical aspects,” he says.
His project experience encompasses residential, mixed use and retail, education and healthcare. Recently, Sean’s been working on the Pathway to 144 Mental Health Beds Projects. “Initially, I was working on all three sites, at Sunshine, Royal Melbourne and Northern Hospitals, and then more recently, focused on Northern. It’s the first modular healthcare building in the country, so it’s been a very interesting project to work on.”
When asked about his experience at NH he cites the culture at the studio as his favourite part: “the people here are great.”
Grant has enjoyed the diversity of the project typologies at the studio since joining NH 18 months ago. “They range in scale from smaller to bigger projects and then also the typologies can be anything from accommodation for Kids Under Cover, to Football Clubs to masterplans,” he says.
Grant has worked on some of the larger projects in the studio, such as the Queen Victoria Market Renewal and, more recently, on the Collingwood Football Club Visitor Centre. He’s enjoyed the change of scale to a more detailed, interior fit out. “The existing building has an interesting, layered history” he says. The Collingwood Football club is based in Peter McIntyre’s iconic 1956 Olympic Swimming Pool, which was subsequently extended. “One of the interesting things about this project is working within the existing geometries of the two buildings.”
Jeanie enjoys the openness of the culture at NH. “Architecture is about collaboration and experimentation” she says. “We have the freedom and the space to explore ideas here. There’s capacity for research and creativity.”
Jeanie was instrumental in the successful completion of Woodlea Town Centre, which was documented and constructed during one of Melbourne’s lockdown periods. “It was almost complete delivered over digital platforms” she says. “But the teamwork between architects, engineers, the client, and builders converted constraints into opportunities in very creative ways. All the details were refined, and every single corner of the project worked through to achieve the best outcome.”
We congratulate the whole group and look forward to supporting them in their careers at the studio.