The South Australian Government’s Office for Design and Architecture is adding new staff to assist with the design review of new projects. Eight new positions in the restructured office will make the government design team one of the largest Australia-wide with a total strength of 18 members.

The recruitment process was put in motion following an internal reorganisation that led to practitioner Nick Tridente being appointed as associate government architect and John Byleveld, formerly of Hames Sharley, coming on board as manager of strategic design. Kirsteen Mackay, who was appointed government architect in July last year, is leading the recruitment exercise.

According to Mackay, Tim Horton was appointed the state’s first Integrated Design Commissioner by former Premier Mike Rann in 2010. However, this independent role was brought under the wing of the State Government in 2011, a move that saw the commissioner’s role being axed, and the government architect leading the growing office.

The latest office restructuring will create two distinct sections: While one will be responsible for design review of projects worth $10 million or more, Port Adelaide projects worth $3 million or more and any developments higher than four storeys in the inner metropolitan area, the second section will focus on the strategic review of government projects.

An assessment of the office’s design review process was recently conducted by renowned global design adviser Paul Finch from the Commission for Architecture and the Build Environment in London.

South Australia is additionally getting ready to host the National Architecture Conference in Adelaide in April for the first time in 20 years.