The last Clarke of the Clarke Hopkins Clarke’s founding partnership; Les Clarke has retired after 56 years with the practice.
With award winning architecture, Clarke Hopkins Clarke (CHC) was established in 1960 by Les Clarke alongside David Hopkins and Jack Clarke. Les’s significant contribution to the Melbourne and greater Victorian area sees Les leaving behind a diverse legacy as he moves into his retirement. In their public statement regarding the retirement, CHC said of Les Clarke “Les has imparted his passionate and pragmatic approach to architecture, mentored countless graduates toward successful careers and created a culture of trust and camaraderie that is palpable within the practice today.”
Continually immersed in the practice over the 56 years of his career, Les has delivered an extensive range of projects across Melbourne, building him a reputation as one of Melbourne’s master planners. This reputation has seen him take on work with many of the new and revival projects in town centres across Victoria.
Starting out with a primary focus on both residential and education projects, Les designed many critically acclaimed homes. One home in particular, won the title of the Housing Institute of Australia’s house of the year in 1978. During his time he also founded Eltham College which was the first independent secular school in Australia, seeing CHC as the only architecture firm to work with the college.
Part of the newest addition to Eltham College, designed by CHC
As CHC expanded and took on associates and new partners, Les’s focus moved from education and residential projects into retail and mixed-use projects. Leading the team at CHC Les had a hand in designing many of the retail projects around Victoria including projects such as Maitland Road shopping centre, Springvale mixed use town centre and the Lucas town centre.
Maitland Road shopping centre
Maitland Road shopping centre is a mixed town centre development in Newcastle NSW. Incorporating 24 speciality shops and two major supermarket retailers, it was designed as a neighbourhood hub comprised of both commercial and residential facilities.
Springvale mixed use town centre
Constructed as three separate buildings, Springvale’s mixed use town centre development offers 41 retail tenancies designed to give each business its’ own identity and create a revived environment within the town square.
Lucas town centre
Involving the development of a master plan, the Lucas town centre mixed use project integrates retail with residential. The project sees a culmination of architecture, urban design and landscape architecture.
TWO FOR ONE
Clarke Hopkins Clarke has recently announced two new partners to take Les Clarkes place.
Leaving a legacy that can only be filled by two people, architects Jordan Curran and Simon LeNepveu have been announced as the replacements for Les Clarke due to his retirement. Both Jordan and Simon have spent time as associates, demonstrating their leadership abilities and passion for their work.
Jordan’s primary architectural focus is on design with a strong emphasis on projects with urban design components in both community and mixed use sectors. Jordan has over six years’ experience in developing masterplans and has designed projects both nationally and internationally.
Simon’s experience and expertise is focused in the education sector and he is regarded for his capabilities in both design and delivery of these projects. With an end goal of seeing projects built that will nurture and engage with the end user, Simon believes that this is where the success of a project lies.
In their statement on the subject, CHC stated of both men that “They have both been instrumental in carrying founding Partner Les Clarke’s legacy forward.”