Work with us

What types of projects do you take on?

As an archi­tec­ture and Inte­ri­or design office, with direc­tors expe­ri­enced in urban design, acad­e­mia, fur­ni­ture design, archi­tec­ture and inte­ri­ors, we have expe­ri­ence at all scales from small­er items to mas­ter­plan­ning for devel­op­ments and tourism facil­i­ties. This, com­bined with the fact that we love work­ing on a vari­ety projects at any one time, means there is a good chance we can find a way to work togeth­er on your project, whether it be big or small, aca­d­e­m­ic or built!

What is the first step in working with Splinter Society?

Please feel free to call or email Chris Stan­ley, Direc­tor of Splin­ter Soci­ety Archi­tec­ture. Fol­low­ing an ini­tial con­ver­sa­tion, we usu­al­ly like to set up a free of charge meet­ing at the loca­tion of the project. The pur­pose of this first meet­ing is to talk through your brief, under­take a basic site assess­ment, and review your bud­get against your aspi­ra­tions. We are also firm believ­ers in the impor­tance of the rela­tion­ship through­out the process and the first meet­ing is a good oppor­tu­ni­ty to get to know each oth­er a bit.

Fol­low­ing the first meet­ing we will fol­low up with a fee pro­pos­al, a copy of our stan­dard Aus­tralian Insti­tute of Archi­tects Client / Archi­tect Agree­ment, and our capa­bil­i­ty statement.

What is your architectural process?

There are tra­di­tion­al­ly 4 main stages for Full Archi­tec­tur­al Services:

  • Sketch/​Concept Design: Analysing the site, brief and bud­get and cre­at­ing the con­cept design. For our office this is a very in depth process and incor­po­rates many rounds of client feed­back. We believe that get­ting a sol­id under­stand­ing of the brief and clients needs, sets the base for a high­ly suc­cess­ful process and project.
  • Design Devel­op­ment and Plan­ning Sub­mis­sion: Devel­op­ing the design and pro­duc­ing more detailed draw­ings suf­fi­cient for appli­ca­tion for coun­cil plan­ning approvals
  • Doc­u­men­ta­tion and Build­ing Per­mit Appli­ca­tion and Ten­der: Coor­di­nat­ing with con­sul­tants, cre­at­ing the draw­ings and spec­i­fi­ca­tions to run a ten­der process, obtain a build­ing per­mit and put a con­tract in place between the builder and client.
  • Con­tract Admin­is­tra­tion: Admin­is­ter­ing the cho­sen con­tract, between the builder and the client, dur­ing con­struc­tion and beyond into the defects lia­bil­i­ty peri­od. The role of the archi­tect dur­ing this stage is to assess the build against time, qual­i­ty and cost, and to act as an impar­tial par­ty liais­ing between builder and client for a pos­i­tive outcome.

There are numer­ous addi­tion­al ser­vices we can pro­vide based on any project/​clients indi­vid­ual needs. Exam­ples may include Project Man­age­ment, Aca­d­e­m­ic Research, Brand­ing Con­cepts, 3D Visu­al­i­sa­tion, Mas­ter plan­ning, Fur­ni­ture Design.

What is your design philosophy?

Our stu­dio thrives on diver­si­ty where­by every design solu­tion is unique­ly dif­fer­ent and rel­e­vant to the client and or con­text for which it is cre­at­ed. There are three prin­ci­ples that under­pin each of our projects:

  • A design con­cept should be born from a thor­ough brief­ing and research process
  • A design solu­tion should respect but also inspire those who will inhab­it or come into con­tact with it
  • A design solu­tion should be dri­ven by an under­stand­ing and delib­er­ate con­sid­er­a­tion of the triple bot­tom line: envi­ron­men­tal, social, finan­cial aspects.

What is your office structure?

Our office is led by Direc­tor’s Chris Stan­ley and Asha Nicholas. Each project is assigned to a direc­tor, who is the pri­ma­ry con­tact and respon­si­ble for deliv­er­ing the project. Most projects are co-designed by the two directors.

A reg­is­tered archi­tect is also assigned to each project. Their role is to assist in the project deliv­ery, and coor­di­nate the oth­er team mem­bers to pro­duce the back­ground work. Our team of reg­is­tered archi­tects is sup­port­ed by Archi­tec­tur­al Grad­u­ates, tech­ni­cians and con­trac­tors as required to deliv­er any giv­en project.

As an office we usu­al­ly under­take all aspects of Archi­tec­tur­al design and Inte­ri­or design, which often includes Light­ing, fur­ni­ture, and hard land­scap­ing . We also love to col­lab­o­rate cre­ative­ly and have worked with peo­ple all over the world on var­i­ous aspects of our projects.

How do you control costs?

Cost con­trol is a crit­i­cal com­po­nent of our process to ensure we are deliv­er­ing fea­si­ble solu­tions. We approach cost con­trol from mul­ti­ple per­spec­tives through­out the project.

Upon project com­mence­ment, we assist our clients to set up bud­get­ing fig­ures for the var­i­ous com­po­nents of the project, includ­ing con­sul­tants, land­scape, graph­ic design, build­ing works, fur­ni­ture, art­work etc.

These bud­get­ing fig­ures are then bro­ken down into small­er com­po­nents that are tracked through the stages of the project and used as a base­line to make deci­sions against for both our­selves and our client.

With projects with a con­struc­tion bud­get over $1M we typ­i­cal­ly rec­om­mend the engage­ment of a Quan­ti­ty Sur­vey­or, to pro­vide 1 – 2 cost esti­mates as the project devel­ops. In con­junc­tion, and on small­er projects, we under­take sev­er­al in-house cost esti­mates and cross check our costs with sup­pli­ers, trades and by util­is­ing our pool of reg­u­lar builders for advice.

What is your approach to sustainability?

Envi­ron­men­tal and Social sus­tain­abil­i­ty has been a fun­da­men­tal con­sid­er­a­tion in all Splin­ter Soci­ety’s work since the office was found­ed. Direc­tor Chris Stan­ley under­took an elec­tive post grad­u­ate mas­ters at the Uni­ver­si­ty of Mel­bourne in sus­tain­able ener­gy sys­tems in 2003 whilst work­ing for a renowned award win­ning pas­sive build­ing archi­tect in Melbourne.

Our work in under­pinned by a sol­id under­stand­ing of pas­sive build­ing design. This is the start­ing point for all our projects as the basic prin­ci­ples of sit­ing, ori­en­ta­tion, ven­ti­la­tion, insu­la­tion and shad­ing must be suc­cess­ful for a build­ing to achieve a base lev­el of envi­ron­men­tal­ly sus­tain­able suc­cess. Our design works take this start­ing point as a foun­da­tion for design, and then we build upon this based on the require­ments of each indi­vid­ual brief and client aspiration.

Whilst the fun­da­men­tal pas­sive prin­ci­ples nev­er change, our knowl­edge in mate­ri­als, sys­tems, and tech­nolo­gies gained through 20 years of research and prac­tise is con­stant­ly being updat­ed as we seek to dis­cov­er emerg­ing ideas and solutions.

Do you have regular builders you work with?

We have a large pool of res­i­den­tial and com­mer­cial builders whom we have worked with suc­cess­ful­ly over many years. We typ­i­cal­ly rec­om­mend a selec­tion of builders and some­times nom­i­nat­ed sub­con­trac­tors to ten­der on a project based on a best fit for the skill set, per­son­al­i­ty or bud­get for the project. We typ­i­cal­ly pre­fer to com­pet­i­tive­ly ten­der to 3 – 4 con­trac­tors for a project. We are always hap­py to intro­duce new rec­om­mend­ed con­trac­tors into our pre­ferred group, fol­low­ing a process of due dili­gence to under­stand their com­pe­ten­cies and fit for the spe­cif­ic project.