In its 16th year, Business of Design Week has cemented itself as Asia’s premier annual event on design, innovation and brands.
The event attracts the world’s most outstanding design masters and influential business figures to Hong Kong. An invaluable platform for business and creative leaders to exchange ideas, network, and explore new business opportunities, this year’s event is shaping up to be extra special.
This year the partner city is Melbourne. On the back of consistently taking out the top spot as the world’s most liveable city every year from 2011 to 2017, this year sees Melbourne named the best property investment city in the Asia Pacific region for 2018.
Creative Victoria, the Australian state government body spearheading the relationship with Business of Design Week, has selected Melbourne’s most successful design-based businesses to best represent the city’s creative heart, at the event from December 6-8.
One such success story is Plus Architecture – an APAC design brand with a world class studio of 90 architects in Melbourne and over 200 staff in six more offices across Australia and New Zealand. The firm, which will be presenting at the event as one of just three architecture firms from Melbourne, gained accolades in 2018 for securing landmark projects across Asia, Australia and New Zealand.
Melbourne Director, Sarah Townson, the head of Interior Design at Plus, is personally attending Business of Design Week to represent the brand, and to meet with key property industry representatives looking to roll out more award-winning designs. Townson, who delivered high profile projects across the Asia region when previously based in Singapore and New York, is looking forward to getting back to her old stomping ground.
There’s nothing like doing work in Asia and I have my favourite local haunts in Hong Kong, which is such a brilliant city to work in. The readiness for a challenge and entrepreneurial spirit felt here is complementary to how we run our business.”
Established in Melbourne 21 years ago, Plus Architecture has more recently expanded its partnership, concentrating on creating a high calibre directorship. Townson and fellow Director Luke Henderson, both ex-Gensler, have been making waves in the Australian market, collaborating on a number of projects on the eastern seaboard that have gained cult popularity. With key strategic appointments across the region, the level of talent sitting at the Plus Architecture board level is setting a world-class standard for architecture and design consultancy.
“We’re coming to Business of Design Week this year because we believe in Melbourne, we believe in Asia and we are proud of our on-going success and work in the region,” said Townson.
Currently Plus Architecture is the preferred architect and design team for notable Asian clientele in Australia. The firm is well placed to support new clients launching into the lucrative Melbourne and Sydney markets or those who are already in the area but looking for fresh design talent to make their project more successful. The work of Plus Architecture will be on display at the HK Convention Centre this week in the Melbourne Pavilion, where it will launch a new app to showcase a series of key projects using Augmented Reality. This new interface makes it possible to stand in one of the Plus Architecture towers and tour a floor within.
Melbourne – Unrivalled in Property Investment
The proverb says, ‘all your eggs should never be in just the one basket’, but if you had to choose an APAC property basket then according to PwC and the Urban Land Institute, authors of a recent report surveying property professionals – choose Melbourne.
The report, which surveyed developers, investors, brokers and other service providers, unanimously chose the Victorian city. While Sydney ranked first for investment prospects in last year’s edition of the study, sound fundamentals, combined with deep and liquid markets seen as offering a safe haven in a potential financial storm, have garnered Melbourne the top spot in 2019.
Among the top cities in the report, Plus Architecture has offices in Melbourne, Sydney and Auckland, as well as Christchurch, Brisbane, Perth and the Gold Coast.
Diversity in Design DNA
Like any great sports team, Plus Architecture has strength in its breadth and depth. From aviation and education expertise from their Directors in Perth (Woods Bagot alumni) to Rainer Strunz, one of the four Melbourne Directors who was also lead architect on the Eureka Tower.
“It took Plus a long time to find the right people and broaden our design vision to make the most of the latent design talent we have here at Plus Architecture,” explains Strunz.
“We wanted leaders with a vision for the future. Now we have found the right directors, associates, architects and designers, it’s as if we have dropped a V8 in the business and are picking up unstoppable momentum!”
“The projects themselves speak for this. We have been winning competitions for unique highly sought after heritage accommodation; we have been assisting in our first airport; we have been master-planning the Port of Auckland – including building the biggest LED screen in the southern hemisphere and separately putting up the biggest tower in Auckland right now (The Pacifica) as well as completing our first health care centre. Our hospitality sector has tripled in size; with international hotel design expertise and support from a host of major operators and boutique investors launching new brands in the region.”
Plus is seeking to create the melting-pot where this is facilitated. No more rigidly defined structures, more sharing of information and more change on-the-fly”
Ahead of the Curve…
Never willing to rest on its laurels, Plus is pushing hard to be at the cutting edge of technology within its industry. Led by Director Patric Przeradzki, the firm is attracting and hiring some great technology talent, getting the team in place to push the boundaries of how technology is used to aid design.
“We can’t sit still. If you’re not adopting and adapting the technology to suit the trajectory of your design capability, then you’re setting yourself up to be out of date,” stated Przeradzki.
The new architects coming through are all about open-source adaptive collaboration. They will hack, code and learn as they go through a design problem. Plus is seeking to create the melting-pot where this is facilitated. No more rigidly defined structures, more sharing of information and more change on-the-fly.
Yet to be confirmed, Plus is rumoured to be considering an office in Asia. Sarah Townson was approached for comment, “We are humbled by the success as a group to date and have so much work opening up in Western Australia, Brisbane and New Zealand that we are thrilled with what we have. That said, I would say that expansion seems natural and Asia is of key significance in our growth strategy. The alignment is perfect and we have existing projects on the ground that could be serviced with increasing efficiency were something like that to happen. Watch this space.”
Sarah Townson and the Plus team will attend in person at:
Design Inspire (6-8 December 2018)
Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre (HKCEC)
Level 3, Hall 3D, Melbourne Pavilion
Adam Lea – Marketing and Communications Manager @ Plus Architecture
This sponsored feature is contributed by Plus Architecture. To find out more about the firm and its capabilities, visit www.plusarchitecture.com.au