30864304-dc9f9f9a-a429-4cc0-b1c9-b22e843e8857-1-SDS+1202+Indigo+Slam+02+Exterior.jpg

NICOLE LEUNING

Smart Design Studio

SAY IT LOUD - Naarm Melbourne Exhibitor​
MELBOURNE/AUSTRALIA Designer

Who or what inspires you professionally?

It’s an inspiration working with the incredible architects and designers at SDS. I’m constantly amazed by their ideas and skills. William Smart is a stand-out talent and working with him over the last 12 years has been a privilege and an education.

NICOLE LEUNING

Bio:

Nicole is Smart Design Studio’s practice manager/ team-leader for large scale projects. Her expertise lies principally in cultural, public and residential projects. She oversaw the Science Gallery Melbourne, which occupies two levels in the new Melbourne Connect precinct. Nicole was project architect for Indigo Slam in Sydney’ Chippendale, an award-winning residence for an art-collector and for Sydney Saesoon Presbyterian Church, a large facility for a congregation of over 3000 people.

How did you first learn about architecture and when did you decide that built environment profession was an area of interest for you?

As a child, architecture seemed a remote occupation. Two remarkable high school teachers encouraged me to enter a sustainable house competition which I then won, leading to architectural work experience. I was hooked; I’d found my profession.

What do you do?

I’m Practice Manager/ Associate at Smart Design Studio leading the cultural and large-scale project team. My key projects in over 20 years of practice include Indigo Slam, Sydney, the unique Scale Lane Bridge in the UK and Science Gallery Melbourne.

What excites you in the work you do?

I’m fascinated with the particular needs of public and cultural projects and passionate about sustainable design. Our practice aims to harness the power of creative thinking and great design in rising to the huge challenge of the climate emergency.

Who or what inspires you professionally?

It’s an inspiration working with the incredible architects and designers at SDS. I’m constantly amazed by their ideas and skills. William Smart is a stand-out talent and working with him over the last 12 years has been a privilege and an education.

 

What is your proudest professional accomplishment or achievement?

Indigo Slam was a once-in-career project and meant a great deal to both me and the practice. The owner, Judith Nielson asked for a ‘piece of art to be lived in’ and working to bring this extraordinary project to fruition was a tremendous experience.

Featured Project Name: 

Indigo Slam

Featured Project Location: 

Chippendale

Featured Project Completion Date: 

2016

Role in Featured Project: 

Lead Architect

Featured Project Description:

This inspiring residence for an art collector provides a lively backdrop to Central Park in Sydney. Behind a façade of sculpted concrete, serene living spaces and monumental halls create a dynamic spatial interplay of spare interiors in which the main decorative element is light. Designed to last 100 years and achieve an exemplary level of sustainability, this project was a rare opportunity to reinvigorate part of the inner city as a place of architectural and cultural interest.

Photography Credit:

David Roche and Sharrin Rees