Former Tzannes Directors Mladen Prnjatovic, Ben Green and Chi Melhem have teamed up to form EM BE CE – a Sydney-based practice exploring new ways of living together.

Deriving its name from a phonetic rendering of the co-founders first name initials Mladen, Ben and Chi, the studio combines their collective experience in residential design, planning and urbanism, that includes everything from bespoke private homes, to city-scaled projects and precincts.

The trio have honed their skills and rapport together for over a decade. A statement released by the practice outlines the excitement of the trio to step out and form their own studio. 

“We’re very lucky to have been part of the great team at Tzannes, and now we’re excited to take this next step as architects, collaborators and place-makers.”

Co-founder Ben Green says the wider world must always be considered when devising a project.

“It’s never about the project in isolation. It’s about how it fits into the bigger networks and broader picture of the city or landscape,” he says.

The core philosophy of ‘good design is for everyone’ will inform the research and thinking of every EM BE CE project, irrespective of scale. 

“Good design is for everyone. It pushes beyond the initial question and turns constraints into opportunities to unlock creative solutions that can often be unexpected,” says Chi Melhem.

Each director brings a particular strength to the practice, from intuitive, strategic thinking and technical expertise that unlocks opportunity, to a cut-through communication style informed by deep knowledge and global perspective. Around the table their contest of ideas pushes projects into new terrain, and often unexpected solutions.

“Architecture is part science, part art. It has to be technically rigorous, but also uplifting. Great design dissolves barriers between the purely functional and the artistic,” says Mladen Prnjatovic.

“We love designing private residences and major city-changing projects equally. They’re different scales and challenges, but equally important for people’s wellbeing. And everything you design and build has an impact on its place, so it’s critical to get the balance right.”

All three founders teach at the University of New South Wales where they mentor, collaborate and engage students in the discourse of the profession, and ultimately shape the outlook of Australia’s budding design industry.

EM BE CE opens its doors in a lofty warehouse space in Chippendale, with a team of seven and over a dozen projects on the drawing board. Click here for more information.