Arc-ing up for architecture

Interesting machinations in Victoria with the Australian Institute of Architects seeking to have the use of registered architects mandated for Victorian buildings over three stories, after some architects have been dropped from building projects once permits were granted.

While the Housing Industry Association opposes the move, there appears to be support from the City of Melbourne and some other inner city councils, particularly in relation to high rise building permits. Strangely enough they want to see a property built the way the architect intended and the way it was approved!

It seems that a recent trend of dumping architects to save money once a planning permit is granted, is resulting in poor outcomes with attractive features dropped from new high rise developments.

The Age has reported that the City of Melbourne has taken this issue to Victoria’s newly sworn in Planning Minister, Richard Wynne, asking him to ensure architects Elenberg Fraser are kept on for an 89-storey project on Spencer Street.

These rules are already in place in NSW thanks to the State Environmental Planning Policy (SEPP) 65 good design principles.

Wave Building in Broadbeach, showing the style and quality of an architecturally designed apartment building 
Image credit: DLA
Who wants new buildings that don’t contribute to the public realm or are built with poor materials? We sit pretty firmly behind the AIA on this one!


  1. I do not agree with this.

    The article says that Architect's designs are being changed post planning stage, this is not possible without the consent of the designer.
    Engineers and other specialists provide structural performance and safety to designs. We have different conditions in Victoria with education and registration requirements and those that can provide a building permit must be registered by either the VBA or AIA and hold professional indemnity insurance. High rise multi storey buildings which are being criticised, and recently reported for catching fire(lLacrosse building Docklands) are designed by Architects. Architects currently design a majority of multi-residential buildings which are being criticized and they are using buildings they are designing as part of a lobby to try to gain an exclusive closed shop.

    1. Thank you for your comment. Plantastic is all about provoking a response and getting people talking so we’re happy to hear alternate views. In particular DLA thinks it would be good to have a consistent approach to the involvement of architects across the States – so given NSW has the good design principles in SEPP 65, perhaps Victoria should follow this approach? There’s bound to be a range of views on such a contentious issue.

  2. Kate-Thank you also for your comment. To keep on topic to the article. The article is saying that plans are adjusted after planning-which you as a planning company would know; cannot-or should not be done without an amendment from the applicant, there is also the copyright issue. Those Architects are protected by copyright. Should I trust the opinion of a planning company on this contentious issue that does not understand this?

  3. Or should I trust your connected Architectural office of David Lock Associates?


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