To Make Poetically

Technē: ‘To make, poetically

The studio was established in 2001 with the founders opening their own bar and restaurant which set them on a course designing many of Melbourne’s much loved and admired hospitality venues. After more than 20 years of practice, Technē is awarded and recognised for producing a range of projects across architecture and interior design.

Our key project typologies are:

  • Hospitality
  • Commercial
  • Workplace
  • Hotel & Leisure
  • Multi-Residential
  • Single-Residential

Our Values

Aligned Purpose: We listen for what matters, foster collaborative relationships, seek genuine teamwork and embrace a studio attitude.

Crafted Delivery: We simplify the complex, clarify priorities & expectations, percolate elegant solutions, share our learnings across all projects and be super communicators.

Bespoke Design: We fuse aesthetic & functional beauty, encourage diverse opinions & debate while always elevating human experience through design.

 

Our People

 

Technē’s directors, architects Nick Travers, Justin Northrop and Steve McKeag, all have their own strengths, and while each is responsible for certain aspects in running the practice, there are opportunities for each to share responsibilities and tasks. And rather than a hierarchical approach, with directors purely leading, at Technē, staff are encouraged to be integral to the design process and achieve the best possible outcomes. However, there are strengths that each director has developed over the practice’s 20-year history and these are borne out on a day-to-day basis.

 

“Our studio’s culture thrives on collaborative exploration. Where ideas are challenged and shaped collectively, pushing Technē to achieve the highest levels of design for our partners, and clients.”

– Nick Travers, Director

 

Sebnem MacDonald

Associate

Gabriella Gulacsi

Associate Director

Gabriella Gulacsi

Associate Director

Inspired by a family friend from Switzerland whom worked in interior design with a unique and exceptional handwriting skill was the catalyst for Gabriella’s chosen career path.

Gabriella completed her honours degree at the University of South Australia in 1998. Prior to completing her studies Gabriella secured a role and worked within the Adelaide office of Architecture firm – Woods Bagot. Having completed a five year stint in Adelaide, Gabriella moved to Melbourne in 2002 to further her skills, knowledge and seek new challenges. During this time she excelled in representing Architectus, Woods Bagot, and Geyer, delivering and collaborating on small-scale and major projects for industry leaders and blue-chip clients in the commercial sector, domestic and international.

In 2015, and with a good foundation, strong business acumen, and wealth of experience Gabriella moved to Technē. It was at this time, Techne were seeking to expand its commercial sector and looking to employ a leader for Interior Design. As project leader and throughout a project lifecycle, Gabriella is constantly evaluating and re-assessing risk to ensure the project is delivered on time, within budget and scope. Gabriella brings her passion for design and creativity, along with her pragmatic and holistic approach to business. Instilling collaboration amongst peers as a key driver to successful engagement with clients, this mutually benefits and enriches the desired outcome.

Gabriella leads by example with honesty, fairness and trust. She believes in her team and sees every project as an opportunity to deliver exceptional client service.

Bianca Baldi

Associate

Claire McGuire

Senior Project Architect

Dania Faruq

Graduate of Architecture

Ian Connelly

ARB UK

Nick Travers

Director

Nick Travers

Director

Travers is at the interface between the client and the practice, a role that fits with his ability to easily communicate and identify any ‘glitches’ in the building process. Getting projects completed on time and on budget is seen as fundamental to the success of any project, irrespective of scale.

While the delivery of a project is pivotal, Travers is acutely aware of the ‘emotional’ reaction a project also delivers: the ability to experience a space that goes well beyond ‘bricks and mortar’.

One of the things that needs to be addressed is complete transparency, both with colleagues, and Technē’s clients. And while some avoid the ‘difficult conversation’, whether that be related to timing or budget, issues need to be dealt with well before anything goes off track. And those discussions need to be appropriately timed through the life of a project to avoid any mistakes. So, while architecture often deals with celebrating the end product, focusing on the aesthetics or the poetry in a design, Travers also sees the importance of functionality, fulfilling a client’s brief and going well beyond expectations established in an initial brief. The thought of one’s hair standing up on the back of one’s neck in seeing the completed project makes all the effort and attention given throughout the process ultimately worthwhile.

Jenny Cham

Senior Project Architect

Millie

Wellbeing Officer

Dana Hutchins

Associate Director

Kate Burchell

Senior Interior Designer

Justin Northrop

Director

Justin Northrop

Director

Justin Northrop knew from his early childhood, growing up in Canberra, that he was going to be an architect. While his father was an engineer rather than an architect, he enjoyed watching seeing his father’s practice expand throughout his high school years. This, coupled with the family home built by his father and the construction sites he visited, also cemented Northrop’s career trajectory. Northrop’s grandfather, a hobby craftsman, also sewed the seeds for making and working with his hands.

Graduating in Architecture in 1996, Northrop was fortunate to work in the office of Denton Corker Marshall (DCM) as part of a team working on projects such as the extension to Melbourne Museum and the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre known as ‘Jeff’s Shed’. Witnessing the artistry of DCM directors’ work, was highly valuable. From the large and highly innovative, to working with a small, yet as talented lighting designer Stephen Hennesy Art & Design, there was the benefit of working on small-scale projects by hand.

Making models led Northrop to work for Peddle Thorp Architects for six years, until 2002, when he established his own practice. And unlike being in a large commercial practice where he was a ‘cog’ in a large machine, there was now the ability to see ideas and concepts carried through, with initial projects focused on hospitality.

As Technē’s design director, Northrop brings an analytical approach to the practice’s designs. It’s certainly not a ‘flash of inspiration’ that’s delivered to clients, but a rational and methodical approach that generates both a poetic and highly functional outcome. And rather than taking a hierarchical approach, Northrop attributes Technē’s success to his team and its ability to address the brief, while still maintaining that element of surprise and delight from the schematics through to the delivered project. And in the same way as it takes considerable energy and time to produce the perfect dish, creating the right design requires considerable skill and importantly, patience, to allow the practice to continue to grow and mature.

Karen Choo

Practice Manager

Nicola Placella

Architect

Steve McKeag

Director

Steve McKeag

Director

As with Justin Northrop, the experience of seeing one’s parents build their family home resonated with Steve McKeag who was a teenager at the time. Designed by architect David Reid in the Geelong suburb of Newtown, his family’s three-storey house on a steep site is still engrained in McKeag’s psyche.

So, it was no surprise to the family when their son enrolled to study architecture at Deakin University, graduating in 1999. And while his final year thesis went missing (a hand-drawn document prior to the introduction of computers), his passion and drive was recognised by architect Paul Delaney, who was known for his bespoke houses in Melbourne’s leafy suburbs, such as Hawthorn and Kew. McKeag’s interest in environmentally sustainable design (ESD) principles, well before these became more mainstream, was also recognised by his early employers, including architect Brendan Jones, now at Cloud Architecture, and larger practices such as Rothe Lowman. And in 2007, McKeag joined what was then Atelier Technē, initially working on hospitality and residential projects (bespoke houses and multi-residential).

Although McKeag has numerous talents, his role at Technē is described as ‘prospecting’, looking out for opportunities that will enable the practice to grow in a controlled and appropriate direction. Many of the projects start with simple conversations through business relationships that have evolved since he joined the practice. He also sees the bigger picture, looking at what lies ahead to consider whether these projects are aligned with Technē’s direction.

Working closely with Justin Northrop, McKeag enjoys the planning arm of projects, whether these be hospitality, commercial or residential in nature. Extruding a client’s brief, conceiving floor plans and providing the input to delight a client, well beyond expectations, continues to drive and inspire, not only McKeag, but all his colleagues. And when he’s not in work mode, he enjoys exploring the terrain of his home turf at Jan Juc, mountain biking and engaging with the outdoors with his children.

Jess Narsai

Interior Designer

Bella Willis

Interior Designer

Carol-Lee McClure

Bookeeper

Nicole Symes

Studio Support Coordinator

Kelly Wong

Senior Interior Designer

Jen Grealy

Graduate of Architecture

Eva Robinson

Studio Coordinator

Sam Sempill

Associate Director

Sam Sempill

Associate Director

Architect Sam Sempill’s career is as diverse as Technē’s portfolio. Graduating in Architecture from the University of Melbourne in 2004, Sempill was running a restaurant at the same time, an extraordinary achievement given she was in her early 20s. She puts this mammoth effort down to the fact she was young and didn’t require that much sleep. While the restaurant forms part of her past, her passion for cooking, as well as writing continues with a soon-to-be released cooking book.

Receiving a Premier’s Award for art at school and along with her continued attraction to textiles (Sempill can easily spend an entire weekend hand-weaving one textile), she was drawn to architecture given it combined a good dose of creativity, along with a profession. And as with the dishes served up, Sempill worked for a number of practices, both large and small, after graduating: including Craig Perry + Peter Dan Architects, Nott Architects to Gray Puksand and Billard Leece. And while she enjoyed these experiences, she was looking to work in a practice that reflected her diverse interests, from art and food to simply the pleasure that comes from making things.

Being social by nature, the opportunity to co-manage a studio sits well with Sempill, who is focused on creating an outcome and being part of a fluid and transparent design process. Her years of providing service in the restaurant come to the fore, making sure her team has everything it needs and supporting younger colleagues in mentoring their career paths. The ability to ‘read’ people is pivotal to her success, along with her rational and logical approach, whether its clients, colleagues or consultants, ensuring that design concepts through to construction are delivered smoothly. Sempill’s experience at the helm of a restaurant has been enormously beneficial with Technē’s hospitality projects, with her knowledge of the organisational requirements demanded in a busy commercial kitchen.

Anna Howkins

Interior Designer

Jared Drever

Graduate of Architecture

Emma Phythian

Senior Interior Designer

David Spaccatore

Senior Interior Designer

Matthew Chai

Architect

Matthew Corby

Architectural Designer and Documenter

Careers

Join our team

Professionalism and inclusivity serve as the foundation for our day to day conduct; steering our practice and extending to both our internal and external relationships.

To find out what positions we are currently seeking, click here to head over over to our Instagram page and check out the link in our bio.

If you are interested to join our creative team, send your CV and portfolio (PDF 10MB max) to the attention of Eva Robinson, Studio Coordinator at employment@techne.com.au

Bianca Baldi

Associate

We have a lot of fun together at Technē working on exciting projects, celebrating our wins and socialising as a team. There is always a new Technē designed bar, restaurant, pub or café to road test."

Our Clients

With over 20 years of experience we've developed enduring relationships with each of our unique clients.

All Saints Estate

Wine Makers

A.P.Eagers Automotive

Automotive

Australian Venue Co.

Hospitality

Billson's

Retailer

Brunetti

Hospitality

Charter Hall

Developer

CLG

Hospitality

CorePlus

Wellness

Coventry Pub Co Pty Ltd

Hospitality

Crown

Entertainment

Delia Group

Hospitality

Fonda

Hospitality

Fortis

Developer

Future Estate

Developer

Glenvill

Developer

GPT Group

Retail Developer

The Graham Hotel

Hospitality

Grill'd

Hospitality

Grollo Group

Developer

Kokoda Property

Developer

KTQ Developments

Developer

Lee Ho Fook

Hospitality

Lendlease

Developer

Little Group

Developer

L'Oreal

Retail

Lucy Liu

Hospitality

Marriner Group

Developer

Martino Projects

Developer

Melbourne Airport

Airport

Meydan Group

Developer

Mirvac

Developer

Melbourne Museum

Institution

Melbourne Racing Club

Club

Pace Development Group

Developer

Porsche

Automotive

Porta Projects

Developer

Preston Motors

Automotive

Pub Fund Investments

Hospitality

QIC

Retail Developer

RACV

Club

Red Rock Leisure

Hospitality

Resimax

Developer

Riverlee

Developer

Salta Properties

Developer

Sand Hill Road

Hospitality

Setia

Developer

Stean Nicholls Projects

Developer

The Star Entertainment Group

Entertainment

Tonka

Hospitality

Tribe Hotels

Hotels

Veneziano

Hospitality

Vicinity Centres

Retail Developer

Victoria Racing Club

Club

94 Feet

Developer

Awards

We design with a genuine passion for our craft, prioritising meaningful and impactful spaces over the pursuit of awards; nevertheless, when we receive recognition for our projects, we embrace it with open arms!

Filter Awards

All Saints Estate

Hospitality - Shortlisted

2023

Monumental Ice Creamery

Hospitality - Shortlisted

2023

Prahran House

Residential - Shortlisted

2020

Technē Studio

Workplace Design - Shortlisted

2019

Brunetti Flinders Lane

Hospitality - Shortlisted

2018

Eastwell House

Residential - Shortlisted

2018

Ivanhoe House

Residential - Shortlisted

2017

Garden State Hotel

Hospitality - Shortlisted

2017

Mammoth Cafe

Hospitality - Shortlisted

2016

MQ Marketing Suite

Retail Design - Shortlisted

2016

Barry Café

Hospitality - Shortlisted

2014

Prahran Hotel

Hospitality - Highly Commended

2013

Tonka

Hospitality - Shortlisted

2013

Tippy Tay

Best Restaurant Design - Shortlisted

2022

Copy Cat

Best Restaurant Design - Shortlisted

2022

Hotel Esplanade

Best Bar Design - Shortlisted

2020

Mya Tiger

Best Restaurant Design - Shortlisted

2020

Lobbs Cafe

Best Café Design - Shortlisted

2019

Veneziano Café

Best Café Design - Shortlisted

2019

Biggie Smalls

Best Bar Design - Shortlisted

2018

Brunetti Flinders Lane

Best Café Design - Commendation

2018

Long Chim

Best Restaurant Design - Shortlisted

2017

Lee Ho Fook

Best Restaurant Design - Shortlisted

2016

Jimmy Grants

Best Restaurant Design - Shortlisted

2016

Mammoth Cafe

Best Café Design - Shortlisted

2016

Garden State Hotel

Best Bar Design - Shortlisted

2016

Prahran Hotel

Best Restaurant Design - Winner

2013

Tonka Restaurant

Best Bar Design - High Commendation

2013

Fonda Windsor

Best Restaurant Design

2013

Tippy Tay

Hospitality Design - Shortlisted

2022

Prahran House

Residential Design - Shortlisted

2020

Veneziano Café

Hospitality Design - Shortlisted

2019

Techne Studio

Workplace Design - Shortlisted

2019

Brunetti Flinders Lane

Hospitality Design - Shortlisted

2018

Victoria Harbour

Installation Design - Shortlisted

2017

Lee Ho Fook

Hospitality Design - Commendation

2016

Hotel Esplanade

Australia & Pacific Bar - Winner

2019

Hotel Esplanade

Heritage Building - Shortlisted

2019

Village Belle Hotel

Australia & Pacific Bar - Shortlisted

2019

Garden State Hotel

Australia & Pacific Bar - Shortlisted

2017

Prahran Hotel

Commercial Architecture - Winner

2014

Bridge Hotel

Interior Architecture - Commendation

2012

Lobbs Cafe

Hospitality - Shortlisted

2019

Garden State Hotel

Architectural Design - Shortlisted

2017

Victoria Harbour

Marketing & Branded Experience - Winner

2017

Regent Street Warehouse

Best Apartment - Shortlisted

2014