Peter Schreuder, Managing Director
Architectural design must be intentional, considered, functional and uplifting.
25 years ago, after learning about the work of Emilio Ambasz in the book ‘The Poetics of the Pragmatic’ I understood what I wanted to do – design that balances creativity with functionality, and I could see that in architecture. I could see how architecture could improve our lives. How our decision to design with both intent and creativity would create a better outcome that could uplift a person’s spirit. Every project is an opportunity to work towards an outcome that will enhance our world and our interaction with it.
Every project is an opportunity to improve on the one before. As architects, I believe we must have courage to express our ideas and a belief that innovation is essential to progress humankind.
My passion is for the design stages of a project where I make use of my creativity, inventiveness and experience to help facilitate a considered design outcome. Stakeholders have diﬀerent goals and one of the joys of architectural projects is in collaborating with these diverse groups to design a solution that successfully balances the needs of all.
There may be many people that never get to be involved in a building or design project in their lifetime. Who never get the opportunity to be part of a team that creates in order to make our existence in this world more uplifting. They don’t get to watch and be part of design teams working up creative and clever solutions to a problem; builders making ideas real; client’s excitement, passion and frustration – sometimes all at the same time. They don’t get given someone’s idea and be trusted to design what it is that will support that idea and make it flourish.
As Managing Director of DS I am in the most fortunate position to live my dream, so clearly seen 25 years ago.
Juris Drezins, Director
I enjoy creating relationships with clients and stakeholders, working closely with them to understand and realize their vision. When focusing on open communication, sharing ideas and working collaboratively, ideas have the freedom to grow and the design can flourish. I seek to fully engage with the client to understand and challenge their expectations, always looking for opportunities to improve and enhance the outcome.
I am a registered Architect with over 25 years of experience. During this time, I have gained experience in a broad range of building typologies but have worked most extensively on technical buildings with very specialized briefs. I gain great satisfaction from combining my analytical skills with my design skills to distill a complex brief into a considered design solution and then realizing that design solution in the built form.
By taking a hands-on role, I oversee the design throughout all project stages, ensuring continuity of design intent and the translation of the project requirements to the built form.
David Miller, Associate Director
My passion for Architecture and design resides in design translation. As projects progress from one phase to another, my focus is to compliment the design process by maintaining the design intent in real terms – such as negotiating compliance issues, build-ability, materiality, technical and engineering considerations. I’m highly motivated in these pragmatic issues, as I believe my role as an Architect is to communicate the best realistic outcomes to the client.
I am a registered Architect and draw on 17
For my keen focus on construction documentation, construction stage services and Building Contract administration I earned the Architect’s Registration Board of Victoria Professional Practice Award.
Mark Gilling, Associate Director
With over 35 years as a registered architect involved in a wide range of project types I have gained extensive knowledge and management skills to deliver projects that successfully have meet and exceeded clients expectations from simple to technically challenging and complex projects.
Good architecture involves an integrated coordinated approach through all phases of the project. Correct input from the required disciplines early ensures a successful outcome. Great architecture stands the test of time and my desire is to produce outcomes that are well thought through in detail, materials, are technically sound and functional. All projects are different and unique each requiring their own solutions each requires an innovative approach which makes architecture such an exciting and rewarding profession.
The rapport and trust I have established with the client is a strength
Janelle Sale, Interior Designer
As lead Interior Designer for DS I hold a Bachelor of Design and have worked for the company for over 10 years. What I love about my role is the collaborative and holistic design approach we take to create the best possible outcome for our clients.
My attention and focus begins with the interior concept ensuring a strong idea that strikes a balance of function, aesthetic and longevity. Materials, colours, finishes and loose furniture selections are chosen to compliment and add strength to the concept. The process I engage for decision making is driven by adopting some fundamental values. Durability, flexibility, low impact, environmental efficiency and fit for purpose are key considerations, alongside the unique site challenges and constraints I am excited to embrace on each and every project.
Key projects I have been involved in include, Green Skills Centre of Excellence, designed to achieve a 5 star GBCA rating and shortlisted for Idea awards ‘sustainable project’ category. I am also proud to have been part of the team on the innovative Exercise and Sports Science Building at Deakin University, a dynamic building design with a small footprint where client presentations were executed with virtual reality goggles.
Interactive and engaging presentations enable our clients an incredible immersive experience helping to understand the design intent, proposed interior finishes and scale of the spaces.
Mervyn Rothwell, Senior Architect
Observing the progress of a building physically materialising is endlessly fascinating – almost as fascinating as the examination of existing buildings and sites to determine their original construction, evolution and future potential.
My interest in architecture as a continuing societal and historical record was reinforced during my time at the UCD School of Architecture in Dublin. Along with research into typology, precedent and appropriate construction types for student projects a detailed examination of proposed sites, their context and evolution over time was always expected. Stitching student projects into Dublin, a constantly evolving city with over 1000 years of built heritage, instilled an appreciation for that existing built heritage and developed a desire to add to and improve it. It also forced the realisation that architecture is a continuum – the work of today becomes the background context for tomorrow.
As a new graduate I joined the office of Professor Cathal O’Neill the former Head of the UCD School of Architecture who had worked with Mies van der Rohe. The strong Modernist design ethos and rigorous approach to design and detailing of the office appealed to my analytical nature, rationalism and attention to detail. Our work on proposed alterations to an internationally significant C19th neo-gothic cathedral was a lesson in respectful adaption and reuse combined with an appreciation of the sensitivity required when dealing with structures embedded in the consciousness and affection of a community and the wider public. Working with Cathal has left me with a fundamental belief in the importance of integrity and honesty in the design and use of materials & structure, and the importance of clarity and legibility in design.
I use my analytical skills, design rigour, attention to detail and thoroughness in the space planning, resolution of detail design and documentation of our projects – ranging from large complex industrial and laboratory buildings to specialised teaching and administrative spaces. Every project, even the most mundane, has an excitement for someone.
The built environment embodies a substantial investment of materials, human labour and human intellectual capital. It is there to serve us all and has an enormous impact on our physical, emotional and mental wellbeing. As such, I believe we as architects have a responsibility, while respecting the existing built environment, to search for opportunities to add and improve it for the future.
Carlee Smith, Architect
I’ve always been interested in how our built environment can facilitate actions, behaviours and emotions. Buildings are vessels of activity, shelter, motivation, relaxation, community, reflection and comfort. I’m enthusiastic about helping our clients achieve the most out of their projects.
I have been a part of the DS team for over 6 years and highly value the well rounded experience I have gained. I now sit within the team managing projects and bringing design into reality. I enjoy developing the way we communicate with our clients. If there is clear communication of a design than we can begin to refine and improve outcomes.
At DS I advocate an environmentally positive attitude and am interested in examining sustainability in Architecture. I believe that this should be integrated into our internal processes as well as the way we approach design. Buildings should be designed to acknowledge the raw materials and history of a place and offer the occupants, and it’s community, as much as possible. We should always be aiming to give back more than we take.
Recently I have been involved in the new style of teaching at prominent universities in Melbourne. We are bringing students back into the Universities by providing informal opportunities to study and socialise; and classrooms which encourage collaboration and project based learning. Creating environments which successfully foster these moments is more than a checklist of features and objects. It is about an uplifting space which stimulates activity and persuades interaction
Amelia Warhurst, Graduate Architect
My experience with DS began as a student, working part time whilst completing my Masters of Architecture degree. Prior to studying architecture, I completed an arts degree that allowed me the flexibility to pursue my interests in literature, history and philosophy whilst also branching out into other disciplines such as music and design.
I developed an affection for architecture not only as a creative departure from my arts subjects but as an extension of those ideas, explored through the built environment. I value architectural design as a tangible means of discussing and commenting on society, its activities and behaviours. I thoroughly enjoy the challenge of finding the best spatial intervention for a situation, group or brief and then discerning effective and dynamic means through which to communicate this.
I have been involved in a variety of projects at DS, contributing to documentation and graphical presentation where needed. The open and collaborative work environment at ds has made it an ideal place to learn and grow where the practise’s commitment to informed and innovative design resonates strongly with my own design ethos
Andrew Varendorff, Graduate Design Architect
My passion for architecture originated from the realisation that design is not merely an aesthetic exercise but is a form of cultural production where culture and our environments have a causal relationship. It is compelling to be involved in the process of giving shape to our world and guiding the outcome of what a particular reality will be. Environments and processes that inspire innovation and encourage a collaborative bricolage of original new possibilities fascinates me.
At an urban level I am motivated to continue to refine how we can respond to hyper localised conditions of a site, environmentally, socially and economically. We have an ability to positively influence and uplift the spirit of occupants of spaces and also realise that architecture is not a one size fits all solution. As we are living in an increasingly globalised world, our profession needs to not forget its important ability to create highly memorable places and experiences that can assimilate into the mental geographic map that we hold in our minds.
At a site specific scale I am excited to utilise digital tools that allow us to now better analyse and simulate natural environmental conditions so that we can respond in a more considered way. During the industrial revolution we entered an unprecedented period known as the Anthropocene and had a dominant influence on our natural environment. To compound this issue the design of many modern buildings of the international style often didn’t consider it necessary to respond to their local environmental conditions. Previously to this, local vernacular architecture employed design strategies to passively heat, cool and light spaces so there is a pressing need to develop and reimplement passive strategies back into contemporary projects.
I am eager to investigate how we can better understand social organisational structures through agent-based modelling/simulation to empirically understand user groups and social productivity. Flexible furniture along with natural and artificial lighting levels can increase comfort levels and have an impact on our circadian rhythm. New ways of handling material data have allowed us to refine a building’s mereology though discrete modelling, façade panelisation, CAD/CAM and clash detection to mitigate construction issues, reducing the cost and complexity of more sophisticated fabrication solutions.
On a professional level I have a great enthusiasm to work productively and collaboratively in a way that both motivates my team and externally by exceeding client’s expectations, collaborating with consultants and contractors refining existing processes and inspiring new opportunities.
Louise Shine, Accounts & Administration
I have over 20 years of credit, finance and administration experience, gained from working in a small law firm and a global corporate oil company. I hold a diploma of Business Management.
I joined the team 3 years ago, managing the accounts, administration and compliance aspects of the business, further extending this to working with the team to build a sustainable office.
I have an enquiring mind and appreciation for the concepts our Team deliver to our clients. I am in awe of our Architect’s ideas and approach and I enjoy seeing a project evolve and come to life.
My focus is on client and business compliance and the administration needs of our business and for our team. I am excited to be part of a dedicated team with collectively 100+ years of architectural experience, whom are passionate about their work and delivering innovative spaces to our clients.