May 2017

36 APAC / May 2017 , 1702AP52 Architecturally Speaking Renowned husband and wife teamat McBride Charles Ryan have enjoyed great success over the years. Robert McBride tells us more about what makes the firmaward-winning. McBride Charles Ryan is a multiple award-winning architectural firm. With 21 Australian Institute of Architects Awards, and various international awards across all architectural categories, the firm has demonstrated an ongoing versatility and passion in design that responds uniquely to its clients’ briefs. McBride Charles Ryan’s commitment to providing its clients with innovative solutions, technical excellence and professionalism has generated a steady growth in the reputation of the company since 1988. Husband and wife team, Robert McBride and Debbie Ryan, run the company and Robert tells us more about the firm’s recent successes. “MCR has successfully worked on projects with budgets of up to $1 billion, combining complex architectural form with the finest construction technique and the most demanding programs,” he explains. “We have experience in many areas, having undertaken and realised work in all sectors, and this has been recognised by a variety of awards. In 2005, we were awarded the highest Victorian award, the Victorian Architecture Medal. In 2009 we received the World Architecture Festival award for the ‘Best House’ Category.” McBride Charles Ryan prides itself on its hands-on approach to its projects, believing that its buildings are bespoke manifestations of clients’ vision and it is due to this approach that its designs are truly singular. Robert explains the processes undertaken when the firm embarks upon a new project. “At MCR, we see every project as having enormous potential. We listen to the unique requirements of our clients and analyse the functional requirements of the user and of the site. We search for as much information as we can about the particular needs. We do NOT follow preconceived notions of what the place should be; instead we start from first principles with eyes open and look for what is best for that particular project.” When it comes to differentiating itself from the competition, Robert explains that the firm’s ability to manipulate form and execute a vision is a key attribute. “Our vast experience in the design of commercial, institutional and domestic projects across all sectors and scales gives us a unique insight into ensuring exceptional design and delivery of client needs,” he enthuses. “Similarly, through our singular design ability, acute sense of composition and extensive product knowledge, MCR has developed a wide and well-deserved reputation for delivering high quality architectural outcomes.” McBride Charles Ryan employs the most advanced CAD (Computer-Aided Technology), and BIM (Building Information Modelling) software to enable its work to be at the forefront of architectural design and construction. “Through digital techniques, we increase productivity during the design and construction phase while allowing us to push projects above and beyond the industry standard, creating both functional and inspiring buildings in the process,” comments Robert, talking about how he ensures the company is always one step ahead of the curve. “We like to enrich our urban environment and provide something for the community – not only just for clients, but for the users, visitors and passers-by. We are always looking for advances in technology and product to enhance design and client outcomes.” The office at McBride Charles Ryan is democratic. While there is a hierarchy with teams and team leaders; everyone has a say on the design of the projects, and it is this internal culture which helps ensure client satisfaction each and every time. “We have reviews and critiquing sessions, where criticism is welcomed and encouraged so that all ideas and aspects of a project are considered. We’re always trying to find the best solution for any given problem; that’s how we deal with things, and being generous with each other in terms of learning skills is encouraged. “The experimental and bold approach that we adopt as an architectural practice has attracted some of the best talent in the industry as a result. Our approach to hiring staff has always rested on the attributes of the candidate. Having good communication skills and aesthetic sense are preferable, but primarily we look for the candidate who shows a true passion for the discipline, one who is willing to experiment and go beyond the norm like us.” As a firm, MCR’s reputation continues to grow as it takes on bigger challenges and larger scale projects, and Robert foresees further growth for the company. “We have many projects on the go currently and the future will see many of these projects being built, including residential projects, schools and university projects, and an 18-storey multi-residential development in Docklands near the CBD. Long- term our plan is to contribute further to the urban environment through our involvement in many large-scale public projects. “The architectural industry is always in a constant state of flux. Continuous development in materials and construction technologies means that we are