O’Neill Architecture hopes the recent appointment of two new Partners will boost its reputation as a practice that places people and relationships at the centre of its approach. 

The boutique practice has overseen the design and construction of a number of successful and acclaimed projects, notably The Eminence, located in Brisbane’s Fortitude Valley. Spanning across a range of industries, O’Neill endeavours to build relationships with its clients and cementing itself as a trusted partner who offers clients’ a full project management and development strategy service.

While the building is the atypical assignment, Senior Partner Justin O’Neill (pictured bottom, left) says the practice’s approach focuses on people.

“There are many architects that can create good buildings, but there are not so many architects interested in the operational efficiency of the building, its place in the market and how people will use the building, as well as how it will be efficient over its lifecycle,” he says.

“This is the pain of good design, and it is what we provide at O’Neill Architecture - all of those things, without dumbing down the final building - we keep a bit of magic in all of our projects.”

the eminence fortitude valley

Joined by Meaghan Morice (pictured bottom, centre) and Andrew Kimmins (pictured bottom, right) who have been promoted internally to the role of Partner, O’Neill will now be assisted in the direction the practice takes. Morice says both her and Kimmins will endeavour to take a humanistic approach to the practice’s future direction.

“We are always going to be a commercially minded firm and we take our responsibility to our clients very seriously, to us it isn’t just about how we want something to look, it is about making our clients successful,” she says.

“This means we don’t just design buildings; we design and produce spaces for our clients’ own clients, spaces for their staff, spaces that increase their bottom line, spaces that build their brands and spaces that evolve and grow as they evolve and grow.”

Putting clients and focusing on the end user are key drivers for Kimmins, who says O’Neill Architecture will continue to focus on providing unique and viable solutions.

“We believe focusing on the end user experience creates the highest value. In our eyes, solid strategic thinking is more important than following trends and partnering is primary to success and we should all be proud of what we do,” he says.

“When people talk about or think about O’Neill Architecture, we really want them to understand that we put people first.”

“We will go on a journey with our clients where we don’t just focus on the final building, but how that building provides a solution to our clients’ needs and problems.”

O’Neill says the firm aims to strip a project back to its core values and purpose: solving the issue of a client.

“We have this intangible thing that we do that involves a very strategic approach where we take the time to understand our clients’ problems and we create pathways through those problems,” he says.

“We work proactively to develop new approaches and new models; we take the time to work out why the standard solution to a problem isn’t working and we take the time to work out how we can synthesise the contradictions of a project to create something new.”

the eminence fortitude valley

With the belief that a building is never just a building, the O’Neill Architecture team focuses on getting the strategy right at the start of a project.

“Our job is to provide our clients with calm, reduce their emotion, their effort and their time and be inside their problem, just as they are inside the problem,” O’Neill says.

“That’s why people seek us out, we think of design not just as being a solution, but as being a broader approach to problem solving and a way to create solutions, which is why we spend so much time on strategy and ordering the way events will occur to ensure we move through a project in the most efficient way possible.”

For more information on O’Neill Architecture’s people-centric approach and their portfolio of projects, visit oneillarchitecture.com.au.

Image: Meaghan Morice (centre) and Andrew Kimmins (right) with Senior Partner Justin O’Neill (left).