Archive / March 2017
Thursday 23 March 2017
Ken Maher presents at Parliament House on housing affordability

HASSELL Fellow and Australian Institute of Architects President Ken Maher presented at Parliament House in Canberra, Australia, as part of an Australian Institute of Architects event on 22 March.

In his speech Ken spoke about the need for immediate, collective and well-planned action to address the current housing affordability crisis in Australia. He outlined methods such as setting clear and collective targets for affordable housing between all levels of government, increasing flexible and multi-generational housing options and, importantly, providing affordable housing where it is needed most – in urban centres where access to employment, education, services and facilities is highest.

“Housing affordability goes beyond the price of a house and expenditure on electricity, gas and water. If we really are serious about tackling this growing problem, we need to also take into account access to employment, education, services and facilities. We need communities where there is less reliance on cars, better public transport connections, where density in the urban environment is well designed, where infrastructure investment supports strategic planning and where communities are connected and brought together in a way that enhances liveability, sustainability and productivity.” Ken said.

“I am reminded that architects are optimists. We want to make a difference – we want to change the world.  We want it to be a better place as a result of our efforts.” he said.

Read Ken’s full speech. 

Thursday 23 March 2017
HASSELL presents at CoreNet 2017

HASSELL is presenting at the CoreNet Global Summit in Shanghai this week, exploring how good design can help reconnect a city.

Principals Andrew Low and Richard Mullane, together with Ben Johnson from Freestate, will be presenting on the topic of ‘NOT QUITE PUBLIC NOT QUITE PRIVATE – improving commercial and social value through activated private spaces’. As a panel, they’ll be exploring how good design and experiential architecture can reconnect people with each other and the city around them through a series of case studies.

They will look at how buildings can be shaped to enhance casual interaction and creative collaboration with the ultimate outcome of creating greater economic, cultural and social value for developers, tenants and the wider city.

HASSELL Principal and Board Director Steve Coster will also be joining a panel discussion on the transformation of pharmaceutical and life science labs and workplaces.

As this industry goes through significant transformation, there are some unique real estate and workplace requirements that need to be addressed through design and the creation of alternative workplace strategies.

Steve will share some of our current workplace projects for major pharmaceutical companies, among the most innovative in the world.

Read more about CoreNet.

Brookfield Place - photo by Douglas Mark Black

Wednesday 22 March 2017
HASSELL presents at Cities 4.0 summit

HASSELL Principals will be presenting two sessions at the annual Cities 4.0 Summit in Melbourne this week. 

FreeState Creative Director Adam Scott will present the keynote address for Cities 4.0 where he will compare the purpose built city of Songdo in South Korea with the historic Kings Cross Central precinct in London to explore how cities do not create communities, rather people form communities and in turn cities.

The presentation will discuss how careful design of the urban landscape can enhance civic engagement and how identifying some of the less often thought of strategies cities can use to enhance the experience of their citizens.

Mark Haycox and Mark Bray will also run a facilitated workshop as part of the ‘Fast Sprint’ sessions, where they will explore with participants how taking a user centred design approach can help unlock the potential of cities.

Read more about Cities 4.0.

Monday 13 March 2017
Introducing Domino Risch

Recently appointed HASSELL Principal Domino Risch believes that well thought out workplace design and strategy have the ability to positively change a company’s culture.

“The impact design has on a workplace, whatever that may be, is a key focus of mine.  I have a passion for projects that are fundamentally aligned with strategic business objectives and that involve complex cultural change agendas,” says Domino.

Domino, who will be based in our Sydney studio, joins HASSELL after 18 years with BVN where she worked across workplace, education and health projects, amongst others.

During her time with BVN, Domino worked in many locations around Australia on large-scale projects; including the Minter Ellison and Herbert Smith Freehills legal workplaces in Sydney, the Santos Headquarters in Adelaide (in collaboration with HASSELL) and National@Docklands in Melbourne.

With a background in interior design, Domino has developed her expertise in the creation of integrated workplaces and commercial architecture, as well as in workplace strategy. Most recently Domino has worked with BVN on base building developments such as Quay Quarter Sydney (for AMP Capital Investors), Australia, a new integrated workplace for NSW Health, Australia, Buildcorp Sydney, Australia, and Macquarie Bank at the heritage listed 50 Martin Place in Sydney, Australia. Domino has also led strategic workplace briefs and post occupancy studies for Minter Ellison Sydney, Australia, Gunung Sewu, Indonesia, NAB, Australia, and Space and Co Melbourne, Australia.

Domino has a passion for collaborative and engaged partnerships with clients and brings a particular focus on developing stakeholder relationships, formulating design strategies aligned with strategic business objectives, leading teams, creating effective workplaces and learning from ongoing post occupancy relationships. She believes in providing clients with the highest quality outcomes that are holistic and sustainable in every sense of the word.

“There is so much more to a project than simply designing a building or a space, it’s about people and relationships with those people. It’s also about ensuring longevity of a project through ongoing assessment of its success,” says Domino. 

Domino Risch News
Friday 3 March 2017
Introducing Xavier De Kestelier

Recently appointed HASSELL Principal and Head of Design Technology and Innovation, Xavier De Kestelier, has worked on some of the most complex projects across the world including technology company head offices, world renowned museum and research complexes, airports, and media company headquarters.

HASSELL CEO Gerard Corcoran said that the appointment is part of the HASSELL strategy to continually expand our skills and capabilities.

“As a practising architect and technologist, Xavier joins HASSELL at a time of major global change which calls for leadership in design technology, innovation and research,” Gerard said.

“Change is exciting. It pushes us to innovate and explore new possibilities. Not only does it help us continually build our internal skill set at HASSELL but also delivers greater value for our client” Xavier said.

Prior to joining HASSELL, Xavier was co-Head of an internationally renowned research and development unit, specialising in complex geometrical problems, environmental analysis, simulation and digital fabrication. While with the group, Xavier also led several funded research projects in the field of large scale 3D printing and worked on conceptual space projects and astronaut habitation.

Xavier is also a Director of Smartgeometry, a non-profit educational organisation for computational design and digital fabrication. Their annual workshop and conference has taken place in Cambridge, Toronto, Munich, New York, San Francisco, Barcelona, Hong Kong, and Copenhagen, and has grown to become an independent worldwide network for computational and digital design specialists.

Xavier brings with him internationally acknowledged experience in parametric design, digital fabrication, computational design, rapid prototyping, augmented/virtual reality and the use of robotics in design. He has held academic positions at the Syracuse University (London), University of Ghent (Belgium) and The Bartlett (London). He is also a member of the RIBA’s Research and Innovation Group.

“HASSELL is working on some innovative and highly technical projects around the world and I’m excited to work with the team to push the boundary of possibilities in architecture and design,” he said.

Xavier will be based in our HASSELL London studio but working globally. 

Xavier de Kestelier
Wednesday 1 March 2017
Introducing Karen Tham

“Urban planning and the public realm are not only important in helping make a city unique, they also help make it liveable and enjoyable for residents and visitors. Urban centres offer so much potential for designers and architects, we just need to unlock it,” says recently appointed HASSELL Principal Karen Tham.

Karen, who will be based in our Singapore studio, joins HASSELL after ten years with AECOM Singapore, where she was most recently Regional Director for Master Planning.

With more than 25 years’ experience in architecture and planning working in the USA, Hong Kong and Singapore, Karen’s portfolio includes a wide range of projects across architecture, urban planning, and public realm. 

Karen began her career in the USA working on award-winning projects, including San Francisco’s Embarcadero Centre Cinema and the Irvington Community Centre in Fremont, before moving to Hong Kong to work at HOK International and EDAW Hong Kong. In 2007, she established the first South East Asia office for EDAW/AECOM in Singapore, as the firm’s Director of Operations.

Most recently Karen has worked on master planning and design projects in South East Asia, the Middle East, Hong Kong, and Singapore, including the Jurong Innovation District master plan and the award-winning Singapore Sports Hub, the Tanjong Puteri Waterfront Development in Malaysia, the Bali Turtle Island Resort Master Plan, the West Kowloon Terminus in Hong Kong, and Dilmunia Health Island in Bahrain.

Karen is a member of the American Planning Association and American Institute of Architects and former Vice President of the Singapore Institute of Planners. She is also a Certified Green Mark Manager (Singapore) and USGBC LEED Accredited Professional. 

“I am an advocate for sustainable design solutions, having been involved in projects that achieved Singapore Green Mark accreditation and USGBC LEED accreditation, and I’m looking forward to working with the international HASSELL team to attain these outcomes in current and future projects,” says Karen.



_Bahrain Dilmunia Health Island – AECOM and Ithmaar Development Company 

_Bahrain Dilmunia Health Island – AECOM and Ithmaar Development Company 

_Singapore Sports Hub – AECOM 

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