Jesse Ant Architects was founded in 2013 by Antry Lau and Jessica Wang, as a husband and wife practice; they met at the University of Melbourne, and graduated together in 2009. They pursued careers in different firms, acquiring valuable skills from a diverse range and scale of architectural projects.
Jessica and Antry then started their own practice, Jesse Ant Architects. Almost 10 years later, the practice has evolved into what it is today because of their passionate multi-disciplinary approach delivering exceptional architectural design. This has not gone unnoticed by the Asia Pacific Property Awards:
The Tara, Kew (Best Architecture Single Residence Australia, 2021-2022)
Author Townhome, Box Hill South (Best Architecture Multiple Residence Australia, 2021-2022)
Rutland Road, Box Hill (Best Office Architecture Australia, 2021-2022)
Each project begins from scratch and has its own character and needs. Each of the projects produce a unique outcome and aesthetic, which is clearly driven by their passion to explore and carefully ponder clients’ architectural conundrums.
Both Jessica and Antry believe that collaboration and teamwork cannot be overstated enough. They have confidence in their vast experience and knowledge and value critical input from their studio team: brainstorming concepts, driving realisation of projects and analysing projected outcomes. Teamwork is also built and showcased through out of work activities including the 2022 Dragon Boat Regatta in which the studio team won the second-place award for the corporate racing division.
When it comes to their clients, they know what meets the bar and how to resolve practical needs. Clients recognise the value of architectural language and stay satisfied for a very long time. During the planning stage, clients can typically face a tedious process: awaiting approvals, integrating feedback from consultants, dealing with the unexpected; Jesse Ant have built-up a large reservoir of knowledge and experience to navigate such situations efficiently. Even mundane tasks such as communication and coordination can also prove to be challenging; herein lies what Jesse Ant Architects believe to be a major strength, their ability to effortlessly coordinate the wants and needs of a myriad of consultants.
The next five years will see Jesse Ant wanting to further grow their diverse portfolio to encompass commercial, educational, mix-use development, and boutique residential projects. How will they strive to accomplish this? There is a growing demand from clients for bespoke designs to express their sense of individuality – customisation and specificity become central design elements. And always the push for an architecturally distinguished outcome.
” …Passion, focus and sensibility are key attributes of a masterful design.”
A deep passion for outstanding architecture drives Jesse Ant Architects. In addition, the individual strengths of its two principal actors sustain excellence at a very high level: Antry is bold and decisive, whilst Jessica is detail-orientated and micro-manages the practice’s operation. Each one’s fortes perfectly augment the other, allowing for sophisticated architectural aspects to be managed forward over multiple architectural disciplines.
Their most recent recognition was by the World Architecture Festival, where their design of a Childcare Centre in Glen Waverley has been shortlisted for the future projects category. Jessica and Antry will be presenting this project to a live jury in Lisbon in December this year. This will not be the last you hear of them.
Jesse Ant 建筑设计事务所于 2013 年由 Antry Lau 和 Jessica Wang 伉俪在墨尔本共同创立。他们相遇于墨尔本大学，并于 2009 年共同取得建筑系硕士学位，此后相继在不同的事务所参与不同类型与规模的建筑设计。在积累了数年有价值的经验后，共同创立了 Jesse Ant 建筑设计事务所，致力于为生活，工作，学习和休闲，创造富有艺术感的空间。十余年如一日，基于他们对多个领域设计的热情，事务所发展至今日的规模。
Henny Pty Ltd was founded in 2018 by Ben Turner. His professional career has spanned numerous countries including United Kingdom, British Virgin Islands, China, Guam and Australia, and with some of the largest global project management and construction firms, across a wide variety of projects. In Melbourne, Ben achieved considerable success as Project Manager on many recognisable high-rise projects – in particular, the multi award-winning ‘Latrobe Tower’, a 40+ level CBD tower.
Eric Loi, Director of Henny, partnered with Ben in 2019, and has been co-instrumental in driving Henny’s organic growth, firmly establishing Henny’s brand equity through strong industry contacts, professional and authentic service, and the capability to simply build better.
Eric joined Henny following a successful career as a Structural Engineer for one of Australia’s largest engineering firms, where he managed a large portfolio of high-profile projects.
In 2010, he joined Nonda Katsalidis (Fender Katsalidis) and created Unitised Building Consulting. It was here that Ben and Eric made their first acquaintance, and their intuitive professional relationship has flourished ever since.
The Henny team has built a solid foundation of exceptional experience with a highly recognised roster of commercial and domestic builders; as a result they collectively possess a deep knowledge and understanding of the local construction market.
With a focus on 100% reliability and delivering top quality projects, Henny maintains a clear hands-on approach. The team limits the number of projects they undertake at any one time, and this ensures that the Directors can continue to manage them all with professional care and consideration. The Directors’ close involvement allows their in-depth construction and engineering experience to become deeply ingrained in every project Henny takes on, this in turn ensures the delivery of top-quality building projects, generating optimal returns for their esteemed clients.
Henny invests heavily in its people, including in-house trade capabilities and onsite fabrication, all of which create a peace of mind for clients to entrust them with their projects, and form a strong foundation for vibrant long-term relationships.
Henny’s project portfolio ranges from low rise to high rise residential apartment buildings and commercial spaces, completed in suburbs such as Armadale, Hampton, Brighton, Collingwood, Carlton and Cremorne, and the list of quality-delivered projects continues to grow!
We at CHTNetwork Australia believe in fostering a constructive, respectful and healthy networking platform that serves as an epicentre for “all good things in life to meet”. Having established an impressive profile as a networking platform in Malaysia for 14 years, CHTNetwork Australia is now dedicated to serving as the bridge that connects Australians, Malaysians and ASEAN entrepreneurs to share a symbiotic connection that is built firmly upon strong bonds of multiculturalism, trust and entrepreneurship. One of the tools which CHTNetwork uses to ‘connect’ is EZ Magazine.
No one can attest to the merits of global entrepreneurship more than Dylan Brady, the Conductor at Decibel Architecture, an architecture firm that passionately fuses art with practical, technical knowledge in the field, as their enthusiastically capable team continues to contribute stanzas to the everlasting poem of human cultural organisation and vivacious expression when society designs cities.
Mr Brady’s prestigious career of nearly 3 decades has birthed paragons of intricately detailed building projects across Asia like the Suzhou Science and Cultural Arts Centre* facade in China and Vietnam’s upcoming Ho Chi Minh City Eco Green Hyatt Tower, to name a few. Apart from creating Australian marvels of architecture like Melbourne’s Federation Square façade, dB(A))) is currently working on a series of significant cultural projects across South-east Asian and China to further fulfill Mr Brady’s dream of how his work can enable the citizens of the cities whose buildings dB(A))) designs to, “continue participating in the economic and cultural conversation of their respective countries and the planet”.
EZ Magazine Australia is honoured to be acquainted with Mr Brady and was delighted to interview him:
Who is Dylan Brady?
I was born in Melbourne and have been infused with a deep love of this city and its people. It is a global city with ambition and drive, and the place that I always return to as home.
I describe myself as a Husband, Father and Architect. It’s a reminder – to me mainly – to ensure that what is urgent does not distract from what is important. My purpose has always been bold. Architecture as a profession and passion represents a fusion of art, sculpture, engineering and the fundamental human expression of the City. I have been driven by design excellence all my life – opportunities, creativity and energy can be harnessed to push the boundaries of what might be.
Decibel Architecture (“dBA”) is now more than 5 years old and has enjoyed success over these years. What do you think are the 3 most important characteristics of a successful business?
To me the pillars of successful business are People, Purpose and Product. People are the most fundamental part of a successful business – myself and the team, our clients and their teams, and most importantly our common market. Purpose is the heart of our practice – this enables us to distil and enable our clients’ purpose and embody that in the Product we create. These creations must be exceptional and deliver high performance outcomes, ultimately attracting people to the business, as partners and clients in new work.
To what extent has exposure to architecture from across the globe influenced dB(A)))’s design philosophy?
Architecture is Human – it’s Global. I have never seen it any other way. Through our work and experiences over the last 20 years through Australia and South East Asia, I see the challenge and opportunity and common purpose of Architecture as Global. Lessons from one project and place, help enhance and innovate in another – and often the innovation is happening outside developed centres, not just within them. We are interested in culture – in difference and adaption, and in how materials, crafts and processes are enabled by new technologies to deliver solutions in a rapidly changing world.
What is your greatest challenge as founder of studio505 and subsequently dB(A))) and where do you see the company in the next decade?
Igniting and instilling enthusiasm and passion in the vision of the practice and its projects is the foundation of great work. Being open to the challenge of change is paramount – and we do this by ensuring our adaptability and resilience is responding to external and internal drivers. We thrive in our relationships which ensures we continue to offer ethical, ecological and exceptional outcomes to our clients and staff. We focus on how we as a business can act to maximise our impact on changing the world for the better. The world in 2030 is guaranteed to be very different from today- change is the only constant. We plan that in that future, dB(A))) has contributed to the shape of that future, and that our core values, our principles and our purpose remains actively engaged in contributing to the next decade ahead.
Why should clients choose dB(A))) compared to other architecture firms? How does dB(A))) maintain the edge over its competitors?
dB(A))) promises fresh eyes. We propose sophisticated responses that meet economic objectives, but that go beyond simply utilitarian expectation. We are powered by deep strategic thinking – exploring, researching and challenging the brief to ensure the best possible vision and value add. We are ethical, ecological and exceptional and are driven by the idea that expectations can be exceeded, and that aspirations can be realised and delivered in creative, inspirational and innovative ways. As such we are unafraid of large and small challenges and enthusiastically thrive on their solution. When you work with dB(A))), you work directly with us, and share in our vivid thinking.
Architects and clients are like artists and businessmen, how do you balance their demands and at the same time not losing your creativity?
Architecture is not simply decoration, it is not only sculpture, it must deliver beyond an aesthetic impression. At dB(A))) we think of our buildings as instruments – take the violin as an example – it must be finely crafted, balanced, functional and beautiful, but its purpose is not itself. Its purpose is also not that someone can play music on it – that is its function – its purpose is for that music to raise the spirits and souls of the audience. The projects we build have functional needs but must still raise the soul – the design embedded in an object has value in delivering those outcomes – functional, formal, and transformative. We think of the design process in the same way – our clients are not merely businessmen and women, but partners in a shared purpose. Equals who guide each other towards exceptional outcomes. Finding this balance can be challenging – all the best experiences are. But it is also hugely rewarding.
Many of your projects are impressive in terms of its scale. How do you achieve the finer details of a project without compromising its overall vision?
From chandeliers to cities – our rigour and continuous attention to detail, consistency of application of design thinking, and ongoing communication of the outcomes we are all seeking to achieve. That last 3% of project is like the last 3% in the Olympics – it transforms good to great, and great to remarkable. By defining what is fundamental to a project, we create a touchstone that guides every hand that works with us, that aligns our efforts and makes everyone a contributor to a coherent whole.
Which is the project that you are most proud of?
You mean who is my favourite child? I am proud of just about every one of our projects – built and unbuilt. Each is radically different, but I have the deepest connection to those projects founded in Purpose. That have required bold innovation to deliver. A shortlist rather than a singular favourite would include our home the Pixel Building, that continues to inspire environmental efforts globally and in our own current work; the Ng Teng Fong Hospital wards that continue to heal people in a remarkably innovative environment of salutogenic design; the One Victoria project that is founded in science, innovation and technical exceptionalism and will create the perpetual fund for the Royal Society of Victoria to eternally advocate for and grow science competency in all Victorians; and the Wujin Lotus that continues to deliver joy to young and old and make a Place in people’s hearts; I am proud of all these and more, but in the end, the project I am currently most proud of is Decibel Architecture itself – the idea that we can build a culture to design a practice that can deliver and contribute such outcomes is remarkable, and I have a lot of pride in my team.
What are some of the new and exciting projects dB(A))) is currently working on?
We have just completed the new interior fit-out for John Holland – a 7500m2 workplace that we are very excited to see come to life. We have some permits in hand for new wineries and functions centres and are working on some very interesting masterplans in Japan and Tasmania. We have the new ‘Worlds Greenest Building’ underway in Shanghai, as well as the super slender One Victoria project for the Royal Society of Victoria. At the same time, we are delivering a 275m Hyatt Hotel tower in Ho Chi Minh City, three exciting pavilions in the Dubai Expo 2020 and some multi-residential and boutique hotel projects in Melbourne.
What do you think is the fine balance dB(A))) achieves when it comes to integrating its architecture, urban planning and interior architecture divisions?
We see no rigid demarcation in design. Design is free from scale and division. We approach a project holistically – be it a chandelier or a city – from yield, through to innovation, we continuously look to understand what the purpose of the project is. We seek to refine and enhance that throughout the ‘disciplines’ in our network. We love to work with specialists in their fields, and to weave them into the story of the projects – a landscape approach to urban design, and interior perspective on facades- this way of seeing with fresh eyes brings intriguing propositions previously unexplored to the fore.
Are the new generation architects as passionate and as hardworking as senior architects like you?
Absolutely. Possibly (and thankfully) even more so! Our team is a diverse and capable tapestry of generations and cultures- all experienced and enthusiastic professionals. We thrive both on our differences and in our common passion for the exceptional.
Any advice for those wanting to pursue a career in architecture?
You have to love it – it has to call you. It will be clear to you already if that is true, so then try to discover what your own personal purpose is- and follow that with architecture as your instrument.
Considering how CHTNetwork Australia seamlessly comple-ments its “networks” to project the “net worth” of their patrons;
I believe that dB(A)))’s partnership with one of the most influential networking platforms in the region will be ridden with success, mutual respect and newfound friendship. In a way, we’re both storytellers. Whilst my friends at CHTNetwork Australia help illustrate businesses and the profoundly professional, colourful people who bring them to life; we at dB(A))) take pride in delivering exceptional outcomes by envisaging a world that has yet to exist whilst crafting that tale to our clients in an idealistic but practical manner. We as architects are charged with the rewarding and challenging task of convincing the world to believe in things that don’t yet exist, and the tools we employ in our craft helps us tell these stories more clearly, emotionally and effectively. I am most excited to see our mutually beneficial friendship with CHTNetwork Australia spread dB(A)))’s vision to challenge the status quo and create the opportunity for us to explore, create and deliver on designs for projects that not only beautify, but also improves our world.