Lyons Architecture Office

Lyons Architecture Office by NMBW Architecture Studio won the National Award for Interior Architecture at the AIA's 2010 National Architecture Awards.

How does an architect create an environment for their architect client that expresses and fosters the culture of the practice, their stewardship as an employer, the need to nurture the creative process and sustainability? NMBW worked with their client to understand their workplace needs and the result is a relaxed environment that the practice can inhabit.

What is unique about this project is that it begins with an understanding of the potential of the existing building, a former department store with generous floor-to-floor height and large windows in the masonry facade. Ceilings were removed and all services exposed in an unfussy way. Nothing is wasted in this low-budget fitout. Simple plywood-clad meeting rooms, meeting tables with trestle legs and concrete floors all come together to create a raw aesthetic that allows architects equitable access to daylight and spaces to interact, create and comfortably spread out their project workings.

Several special pieces of furniture and commissioned artworks act as an elegant counterpoint to this rawness. Dark walls set off an otherwise standard low-cost services aesthetic, while bike racks and bikes in the foyer frame arrival from the lift. A true open-plan design studio, this fitout is a reflection of a strong social agenda by the practice directors. It is a simple, generous, sustainable solution that takes interior architecture to a new edge.

– Jury citation

Products and materials

Walls and ceilings
C–D grade structural plywood linings. Woven Image Ecopanel pinboard surfaces. Aluminium cladding.
Windows and doors
KDHW stud framing. Lidi custom external blinds. Henderson sliding door tracks and fitting. Sikkens Cetol HLS Ebony stain. Reclaimed Lockwood door furniture.
Ontera recycled carpet tiles.
Superlux Equipose clamp-on desk lamps. Zumtobel Miral strip lighting. ECC Parallel spot lighting.
Custom-designed tables, joinery and bicyle racks by NMBW. Laminex kitchen benchtops. Loose furniture, mobile light fittings and artwork by Carey Lyon and Corbett Lyon.


NMBW Architecture Studio
Melbourne, Vic, Australia
Project Team
Nigel Bertram, Marika Neustupny, Lucinda McLean, Ralf Rehak,
Builder Masbuild (Australia) Pty ltd
Building surveyor PLP Building Surveyors & Consultants
Commissioned artwork Louise Forthun
Electrical contractor MPE Services
Services engineer Murchie Consulting
Structural engineer Perrett Simpson
Site Details
Location Melbourne,  Vic,  Australia
Site type Urban
Category Interiors
Type Workplace
Project Details
Status Built
Client Lyons


Awarded Project

Published online: 1 Jul 2011
Words: National Architecture Awards Jury 2010
Images: Peter Bennetts


Architecture Australia, November 2010

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