eoghan lewis architects
The aim of the practice has never been to court the commercial sector preferring instead to seek the opportunities of design and craftsmanship that exist in bespoke architecture. The experience of designing ambitious buildings with limited resources has given the practice a constructional intelligence borne equally of enthusiasm and pragmatism.
Our work ranges in scale and scope encompassing architecture, interiors and furniture design. We have experience across many project types including private houses, public buildings, apartment buildings and the design of small studios. We are fortunate to have worked successfully with some amazing clients including Stockland, Blacktown City Council, Sydney Opera House and Inner West Council. However, the majority of work to date has fallen into two categories: contemporary additions to buildings and the design of private houses.
ELA is actively involved in furthering design excellence through conference presentations, lectures, design competitions and our public research project - the Sydney Architecture Walks. Our work is widely published and has received numerous awards. We are one of a select group of firms that is pre-qualified under the NSW Government Architect’s Strategy & Design Excellence Prequalification Scheme for ‘Architecture’ and ‘Emerging Design Practices’.
We have a simple and rigorous design methodology whereby simple solutions are sought for messy problems. Issues concerning planning, siting, landscape integration, passive design principles, social interaction and material selection are key to every project and for us are at the heart of all great architecture. Once these aspects have been adequately addressed and we feel like the building has strong bones, only then do we allow ourselves room to explore the poetic possibilities and detailed resolution that make projects sing.
Our greatest strength as your architect lies in strategic thinking, in understanding your needs, how you live and work and how we can make your life better through great design. We approach this task from a holistically sustainable perspective that attempts to reconcile ecological and social design impacts within the current economic climate.
Our approach is personal, inclusive and collaborative. Over time, each project becomes a portrait that is particular to our clients, to place and to purpose.
One of our biggest challenges as architects is how to develop smart and sustainable buildings that use a minimum of non-renewable energy, produce a minimum of pollution, have a small physical footprint, make best use of what is free (sun, wind, water), understand material qualities, relationships and weathering, do just enough and not more while increasing the comfort, health, and joy of the people who live, work and play in them. This means thinking strategically and making responsible decisions at every step in the design process as well as in every aspect of our practice.
We evaluate financial and environmental sustainability in each task. We prioritise ethics above aesthetics and associate performance with beauty. We prioritise passive design principles over active ones and believe that each building should perform well with little need for active heating and cooling systems. We specify robust materials that often require no further applied finishes. When we do specify applied finishes, we ensure that they are low / no VOC, low embodied energy, and easily maintained.
We believe that good design is local design and that all great architecture understands where it is and responds to its site intelligently and beautifully. The relationship between building, context and occupant is key.
As your architect we tailor our services to meet the specific requirements of your project. This will typically include feasibility and project option studies, architectural design, consultant co-ordination, detailed design, tendering to builders and administration of the building contract during the construction phase. Some clients like us to manage the entire process while others prefer to be more involved. It all begins with a conversation and working out what works best for you and your budget.
The majority of our work sits in the $400K to $3M construction-cost range but occasionally we do projects larger and also smaller than this.
Working to a budget is of the utmost importance to most of our clients. During sketch design we work with square metre rates based on recent project experience to estimate the cost of construction. During the design resolution and construction phases we work closely with a quantity surveyor (a construction pricing professional) or preferred builder to keep your project on track, keeping you informed of any decisions that could lead to cost increases.
We operate right across Sydney, the NSW south and north coasts. However, the majority of our work is in and around Sydney and in Sydney’s eastern suburbs and the inner-west.
Over the years of we have successfully navigated Local and State planning controls to secure planning approvals for our clients, whether via Complying Development Certificates (CDC) or the Development Application (DA) process. Sometimes we use both avenues to get the best outcome for our clients.
We work across all LGA's including City of Sydney, Inner West Council (formerly Marrickville, Ashfield and Leichhardt), Randwick Council, Waverley Council, Woollahra Council, Northern Beaches Council (former Manly, Pittwater and Warringah), Eurobodalla Shire Council and North Sydney Council.
We are located in "Marlborough House" in Surry Hills. This is a relaxed environment where project management happens in parallel with designing, thinking and exploration through model-making, prototyping and loads of iterative drawings testing ideas. The process is messy but precise at the same time; analogue as well as digital.
We abide by Renzo Piano’s motto; ‘if you work well, the work turns out well, every time’
how do we get started?
Call us for a chat. If we feel your project is one we can do well then we’re always happy to meet on site or in our studios to discuss your Brief, talk you through the process, share our design approach and some of our work with you.
Before we meet we ask you to respond to this questionnaire. Your response helps tease out some of the qualitative and quantitative aspects of your Brief, so we better understand what you want to achieve with your project.
Eoghan Lewis is a registered architect (registration no 8993) and founding director of Eoghan Lewis Architects. After graduating from the University of South Australia, he lived in Germany for several years and worked for a variety of prominent international firms including Zvi Hecker Architekt (Berlin) and Auer and Weber (Stuttgart) before moving to Sydney and working with Engelen Moore, Collins +Turner, Hill Thalis and BVN.
Eoghan founded Supple Design in 2000 which evolved into ELA in 2012. Eoghan is the founder of the Sydney Architecture Walks which has run in parallel to practice since 2000.