Rothelowman has announced the promotion of 15 staff nationally, including new Melbourne principal, Chris Exner.

Nigel Hobart, Rothelowman’s managing principal says the ongoing efforts of the firm’s staff in adapting to the operational challenges presented by COVID-19, all while sustaining a high level of motivation to help clients navigate the shifting demands and requirements of the market.

“As our clients face growing pressures incurred by the pandemic, it’s been incredibly rewarding to watch staff across all three studios become even more determined to identify solutions to ensure the feasibility of their projects in this challenging climate, while adding inherent value,” he says.

“Chris Exner is a prime embodiment of this mindset, which is why the senior leadership team decided unanimously that it was the appropriate time for him to be appointed as a principal with a national focus, working with our design teams to seamlessly deliver our projects,” says Hobart.

Exner has been with the national architecture firm for 15 years, joining as a registered architect and project leader in April 2005. During his tenure, Exner has carved out a niche leading teams to deliver large and complex projects from inception to delivery, particularly in the multi-residential and commercial space.

“It’s a privilege to create a built environment that generates delight for people, and I relish the moment of genesis and finding a project, considering and delivering what the potential may be,” says Exner.

“There’s no point in being concerned with aesthetics at the commencement of the project, it’s critical to instead to find a way of working through that potential of the proposal with the team, solving the right problems in the right order and create the best solution for the project.

Exner holds a Bachelor of Environmental Design from the University of Tasmania, along with a Bachelor of Architecture, graduating with Honours in 1997 before “moving to the mainland” to take up a graduate position at the award-winning McGlashan Everist.

Exner joined Rothelowman in April of 2005 and credits the firm’s culture of encouraging staff to identify opportunities to seize their own destiny and carve out their own role for his fifteen-year tenure.

 “The positive mindset in the studio environment is vitally important, especially of late whilst working remotely. Through the commitment to inclusion and debate, I’m proud of the quality of work the team has been able to sustain during this time,” he says.

The full list of promotions at Rothelowman is as follows:


  • Chris Exner, Principal
  • Rebecca Frossinos (Arch), senior project leader
  • Frances Hall (Arch), senior associate      


  • Sam Massey (Arch), associate


  • Melanie Adler (Interior Design), associate 
  • Olivia Bancroft (Arch), project leader
  • Alexander Burridge (Arch), project leader
  • Greg Foll (Arch), senior architect
  • Jim Hampson (Arch), associate 
  • Catherine Lye (Arch), senior architect
  • Justin Sargeant (Arch), senior project leader
  • Megan Schulte (Arch), project leader
  • Paola Stocco (Interior Design), senior project leader
  • Josh Tait (Design), associate        
  • Chau Truong, senior interior designer

Image: Chris Exner / Supplied.