We provide professional architectural services to our clients.
Our practice is based in Fitzroy North and we work on projects throughout Melbourne and Victoria. Our portfolio includes residential, educational and commercial projects.
The heart of our work lies in creating expressive, effective and sustainable buildings.
We focus on energy efficiency, environmental impact and thermal comfort. We invest time and careful thought into determining the fabric of the building and have extensive experience in passive solar design principles, including Passive House.
The result? Buildings that are more comfortable, use fewer resources and that are designed to last.
But we also create buildings that celebrate everyday experiences. We explore the composition of the structure and craft our details, forms and spaces around how things are made. Through the intelligent use of daylight design, we bring natural light, nature and views into the work we do. Our spaces are congenial, simply organised and robust. In our view, this offers clients the greatest flexibility to make the spaces their own and to adapt them to suit their lifestyle and changing needs. It also, not coincidentally, results in spaces that are a joy to use and live in.
Underpinning all our work is the idea that architecture lives in the soul of the spaces that we create—it resides in the memory and feeling of places we want to create for you.
“Architecture creates spaces where we enjoy the place in which we find ourselves. A key feature of good architecture is that time slows down and events feel more real, objects feel clear and distinct. There is a richness to architecture no matter which era that the work was created. I prefer architecture to be based on craft and design to the junk architecture that pervades much of our cities. I believe in designing buildings to endure. I believe in building simple spaces that enable a multitude of uses over time – but one that retains some essential characteristics that connect people to place.” – Antony DiMase
Our team is our practice – it is that simple. It is the efforts and commitment of the team that we can facilitate building projects, attend to clients’ needs and co-ordinate the work of consultants and regulatory authorities. Our role is to ensure the design work of the practice is held to the highest possible standard. Our core team consists of 3 individuals from very different backgrounds and experiences who bring to the office a commitment to do good work. It is the interaction of our team that, when combined, produce a total effect that is greater than the sum of the individual contributions. DiMase Architects is an intelligent, respectful, curious and caring environment to create architecture for people. We welcome people to our practice and we constantly look to improve the quality of space at our office in Fitzroy North so that our workplace can foster a creative and productive spirit for ourselves, our clients and our community.
Our team consists of Antony DiMase whose role is to coordinate, communicate and manage projects from inception to completion. Antony’s strength is to anticipate issues in advance of them becoming a problem and he spends a lot of time and effort planning and overseeing projects and ensuring the right framework is in place. Working alongside Antony is with Niea Nadya who has been at the practice for over ten years. Niea’s role is to model the design work of the office and contribute to the high standard of design documentation at every stage to the design process. More recently, our practice has been joined by Mahshid Karami who has a fine eye for construction detailing, proportion and functional aesthetics that ensures our projects work at the human scale of experience.
In addition to our office team we choose to only work with consultants, contractors and suppliers who share similar values and expectations to ours. The basis of our collaboration with external providers is that they must be capable of delivering outcomes for the benefit of our clients and our practice in an honest and transparent fashion.
Part of our role as architects is to provide community support and raise our voice to support community and environmental initiatives. We limit our role to specific areas and focus our energy on doing good work in specific groups. At this stage DiMase Architects is engaged in 3 main areas. Firstly, we devote the walls and shopfront areas of the practice to displaying works of art and craft for the benefit of the community. This programme does not cost anything for artists and craftspeople has been in place for 5 years and continues to thrive as a key community feature at DiMase Architects in Fitzroy North precinct. Secondly Antony is the secretary for the Citizens for Melbourne group which successfully ran a campaign “Our City Our Square” to prevent the demolition of the Yarra Building at Federation Square for a new Apple megastore. Our work continues in other important areas of public space advocacy and community engagement. And finally – but not least – Antony contributed to the establishment of Australian Architects Declare movement to ensure we as professionals play our role in responding to the climate emergency.
Simply put, we aim to build relationships with key people to deliver the objectives of the design brief.
From the outset, we value listening to and comprehending our clients’ needs. We enjoy the exchange of ideas and viewpoints, and very much understand that great results rely on a mutual understanding of the project. We’ll discuss how we can achieve your aspirations while incorporating design considerations of the site and considering any likely regulatory implications.
Every building process is subject to compliance requirements, from town planning applications, to sustainability certification and building permits. The best way to negotiate all these is to have a sound knowledge of the regulations and to consult as early and as broadly as practical. The relevant regulatory bodies appreciate the professionalism and rigour we bring to navigating the approvals process, to ensure our clients’ interests are not compromised.
Our experience across a broad range of projects means we can often anticipate issues. We lead the design and build process, keeping our clients in close touch with progress while working directly with external parties to keep projects moving forward.
Throughout the design and building process ongoing and proactive communication is crucial. We see the process as being a dynamic one – and we stay ahead of the curve by actively coordinating the flow of information between us, the clients and other key stakeholders.
Our process creates beautiful projects and satisfied clients, like these – click here to visit our PROJECT page.
“ Our practice is designed to be accessible to people within our community – both far and wide. We do this through our projects, our social media content and our exhibitions.“ – Antony DiMase
Our core services are aligned with the AIA Client Architect Agreement for Professional Services, which defines a well-proven client-architect relationship. This provides our clients with an independent reference framework for their project and ensures that we deliver architectural services based on industry standards and pricing.
Our architectural services include:
1. Concept Design
2. Detail Design
3. Town Planning Applications
4. Contract Documentation
5. Contract Negotiations
6. Contract Administration Services
These six milestone stages take a project from an idea to a design concept through to a completed project.
Before starting the design process, we will engage in a pre-design service to look at high-level considerations for any project. We will consider budget, planning issues and the overall concept to ensure each commission can be realised.
Beyond our architectural team at DiMase Architects we use the services of specialist consultants (such as building surveyors and structural engineers) for each project. Our preferred consultants have long been part of our extended team and they provide independent advice based on the needs of each project.
Our relationships with each client’s builders are impartial, professional and diligent. The building contract is a separate one, between the client and the builder, and our role is to inspire and set a high standard for how the contract will run. We have excellent processes in place to effectively manage the building process, always with a view to ensuring the best outcomes for the client.
Our fees for the first four stages are calculated as a percentage of the construction cost. The construction cost is estimated by a professional Cost Planner at the end of stages one and two. Our fee for stages five and six is based on the time needed to complete the project. Before we begin we put in place a clear client-architect agreement to ensure that our clients agree and understand the basis of our engagement.
Professional. Transparent. Clear. In our view, that’s the only way to achieve results.
“For us, the best projects are a collaboration between people. This means listening, engaging and developing ideas from conversations and meaningful discussions.“ – Antony DiMase
We are thrilled when the architecture media take time to appreciate about our work. It is not the reason we do what we do – but it is rewarding to earn the recognition of our peers and colleagues. Here is a sample of some of our favourite recent quotes that best sum up our approach to design.
“The campaign asks architects to act as citizens as well as consultants. It reminds us that sustainability goes beyond design, changes to lifestyle and technological advances.” – Judges Comments, Our City Our Square Campaign – 2018
“What is apparent when visiting this project is the feel of light and air. There is a beautiful qualitative sense to the spaces…” – Inside Magazine Issue 95, by Clare Kennedy – 2017
“Donna and Michael are very pleased with the finished house, which also functions as an office for both of them when they are not overseas for their work. “It’s a very easy house to live in – the spaces work well,” says Donna. “I was concerned that it would still be a very small house, but it actually feels quite spacious because of all the light and the high ceilings.” It works well thermally too; the couple says that the downstairs stays cool through the hot days of summer, aided by good cross ventilation and night purging of warm air.” – Sanctuary Magazine Issue 44, by Anna Cumming – 2017
“John and Kate sought to retain the industrial character of the warehouse, which has had several past factory-based lives while making it a comfortable and energy-efficient ‘machine for living in’. For Architect Antony DiMase, one of the real achievements of the project is that though it followed the Passive House approach, “it’s not engineer-driven, which many Passive Houses can be – it’s architecturally pleasing.” – Sanctuary Magazine Issue 34 by Verity Campbell – 2014
“I have known Antony for over 30 years when we studied architecture at Melbourne University in the 1980s. Our paths have gone in different directions however we maintained our friendship as our interests in architecture overlap. There are four aspects of Antony’s career that stand out to me. Firstly, Antony has instilled in his Fitzroy North architectural practice the foundation of professional services and contributed to making a better environment through his projects. Secondly, his urban activism and advocacy against Apple at Federation Square and supporting Architects Declare demonstrate a capacity and resilience to grapple with big urban issues that affect us all. Thirdly, Antony’s initiative to run a gallery as part of his practice extends a collaboration between architecture and the art world. Its success has grown over the past 5 years and is an innovation we rarely see in architectural practices. Finally, Antony’s interest in (day)lighting, technology and sustainability is substantiated by his Master’s research and continues through his podcast with Jackson Stigwood. Each of these aspects illustrates Antony’s capacity to extend architecture into a broader public sphere and to communicate complex issues in articulate, clear and effective ways. Antony’s good-natured personality means that he is a good listener, and his broad expertise and experience provide him with the tools to solve difficult architectural problems with ease and enthusiasm.” – Professor Mirjana Lozanovska