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    BKA’s latest appointments root for gender equality in Australian architecture

    BKA Architecture has added four new directors to their leadership teams in the firm’s Sydney, Newcastle and Byron Bay studios. By promoting four of their associates to the position of director, BKA has recognised the contributions of key long-serving team members. Three of the four new directors are women, also reflecting BKA’s commitment to gender equality.

    Najla Khoury and Mark Khoury in the Sydney office, Allison Burrows in Newcastle and Silvina Medel in Byron Bay have all been with BKA Architecture for periods ranging from 12 years to 16 years.

    BKA Architecture Director and co-founder John Baker explains that the promotions recognise their hard work over the years with each architect bringing an abundance of experience, talent and commitment to the position.

    The four new directors, in addition to the founding directors John Baker and John Kavanagh, bring increased capability to the business.

    NajlaKhoury.jpgNajla Khoury

    A 16-year veteran at the leading architecture firm coordinating and managing projects, Najla is known to be a leader and a problem solver with her skills ranging from the final detailing and contract administration of heritage reuse boutique apartments to the master planning of large Greenfield sites.

    Najla has experience in hospitality, education and heritage reuse projects, including the Mill Hill Road conversion of an existing church to residential apartments with adjoining terraces. Some of her more recent projects include a boutique warehouse conversion to residential townhouses in Beaconsfield, an upgrade to an existing heritage pub with adjoining new residential apartments in Waterloo, and apartment blocks in Lane Cove.

    Qualifications: Bachelor of Architecture (Hons) – University of Technology Sydney (2005).

    MarkKhoury.jpgMark Khoury

    Another long-serving member of the BKA team, having joined the firm in 2001, Mark has completed a range of public, educational and residential projects in Sydney and in the Middle East. A natural leader, Mark encourages team collaboration and is skilled in providing alternative design solutions in response to project briefs or specific site conditions.

    In Sydney, he has managed a number of community buildings for Burwood and Randwick City Council while his more recent projects include the design for Clovelly Child Care Centre and sporting facilities at Heffron Park, Maroubra and Yarra Oval, Phillip Bay.

    Mark has considerable experience designing for the education sector with projects including a number of University of Western Sydney buildings, ranging from student accommodation to laboratories, refurbishment of the previous music department and the Allen Library at the university’s Kingswood campus, and creating learning and teaching units, a new food court connecting to a new external plaza, a 350-seat lecture theatre, a psychology clinic and MARCS baby testing labs.

    As the lead consultant for BKA’s large-scale residential projects, Mark is currently responsible for a 140-apartment development in Epping and an eight-storey hotel located in Green Square.

    Qualifications: Bachelor of Architecture (First Class Hons) – University of Technology, Sydney (2005), Bachelor of Arts in Architecture – University of Technology, Sydney (2003). Registered Architect NSW 9441

    AllisonBurrows.jpgAllison Burrows

    Joining BKA in 2004 as an outstanding student from the University of Newcastle, Allison Burrows is a recipient of the NSW Board of Architects prize for best performance and the Sydney C Morton prize for highest aggregate marks in technology. As a member of the BKA Dubai office, Allison was responsible for numerous large-scale projects including Al Badia Oasis for Dubai Festival City, which featured 800 residential units and associated ground level commercial and leisure areas.

    Currently the team leader of BKA’s Newcastle office, Allison is supported by a talented group of creative staff. Her highly developed design skills were most recently used in a series of high profile inner city urban sites for commercial hotel and residential uses, working with clients benefitting from Sydney City's DCP amendments.

    Allison was also involved as team leader in the design and documentation of the University of Western Sydney (UWS) College Building, a teaching facility offering a highly supportive learning environment to students who have not attained the required marks for their course. Located at the Kingswood Campus, the 1,400m² building received a 5 Star Green Star rating from the Green Building Council of Australia (GBCA), awarded for excellence in environmentally sustainable design and construction.

    Qualifications: Bachelor of Science (First Class Hons) – University of Newcastle, Bachelor of Architecture (First Class Hons) – University of Newcastle (2004)

    SivinaMedel.jpgSilvina Medel

    Another 16-year veteran of the BKA design team, Silvina has substantial project experience ranging from multi-unit residential developments to one-off boutique housing projects.

    Based in BKA’s North Coast studio in Bangalow, Silvina has worked across multiple major projects, including the conversion of an original 1900s, four-bedroom Queenslander farmhouse with 100 acres of cattle grazing and an orchard in the Byron hinterland into a modern home complete with pool house, guest accommodation and conversion of a dairy bale into tourist accommodation; this project is due for completion in 2017.

    Silvina has also worked on the headquarters for ‘The Press’ in Christchurch, New Zealand, a mixed-use development of four existing buildings as part of central Christchurch’s revitalisation program. This project includes new offices for The Press newspaper, a heritage theatre on the ground floor and seven purpose-built floors above for commercial offices.

    Silvina’s current projects include a multi-residential apartment building with a 72-place childcare centre in Sydney’s Inner West and educational facilities for the University of Technology, Sydney.

    Qualifications: Bachelor of Arts (Architecture) at University of Technology Sydney (2005); Diploma of Architectural Technology at Sydney Institute TAFE, Ultimo (2001); Diploma of Interior Design at KvB College of Visual Communications, North Sydney (1998).

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