Suzanne Hunt Architect




Nedlands / @suzannehuntarchitect

Suzie is founder and principal of the award-winning, boutique architectural and interior design practice Suzanne Hunt Architect Pty Ltd.
Established in 2004 the practice specialises in contemporary residential, interiors, hospitality and tourism architecture along with the provision of heritage and strategic design and advice.
Her practice prides itself on its commitment to its clients, ensuring that brilliant design is also financially viable, environmentally sustainable and aesthetically innovative.
The practices design ethos is holistic.
“We want our projects to exude harmony, warmth and a sense of calm serenity while providing environmental and fiscal sustainability. All our projects consider context and often blur the lines between the inside and outside allowing nature to gently ebb and flow in to become part of the interiors.”
Suzanne Hunt Architect really values its clients and their relationship. It is important that her clients enjoy the journey, that they feel heard and nurtured. It should be fun not stressful. Her belief is that great Architecture enriches our lives physically, psychologically spiritually and emotionally and leaves a legacy for generations to come.
It’s important we get it right, together.

How and when did your studio begin?

As the daughter of an architect, I have grown up in the topsy-turvey world of architecture and with over 30 years architectural experience practising in WA and London in large and small practices, in government and as a Director of a small practice specialising in hospitality. Suzanne Hunt Architect was formed in 2004 from an urge to work in a practice that was committed to great architecture that nurtured and cared for its clients. My experiences and observations of how different practices work inspired me to try a different way of working.

Taking on a limited number of projects at any one time, I can ensure that I can maintain a commitment to my clients that I will always be available to chat and will be involved in their project from start to finish.

Who is involved?

I employ a small team of architects and interior designers (our average is about 5 people) however I am very hands-on along with my associate Catherine Lee- a French architect.
Cat has worked with me for 14 years and our synergy is pivotal to our success. We work in an open plan office so it is very much like a small community.
I’ve also got a lot of strong relationships with engineers and builders who I’ve worked with on many projects.

Designing and building is a team effort.

Where do you find inspiration for studio?  Are there any local ones?

This sounds cheesy but I find inspiration in my client’s unique narrative, their personality, their stories. I nearly did psychology at university so I think I value that connection and celebrating people’s lives.
 I also find inspiration in nature and our climate. I want our projects to be responsive to our client’s personalities but also to context, our natural landscaping, our climate expressing a seamless transition between the interior and exterior. I believe there is a natural symbiosis. I also want our studio to design projects that tranquil, human in scale and environmentally and fiscally responsible considering our planets long-term future as well as
our clients.

Perth is seen as an emerging city, particularly for creative industries - do you feel like there are more opportunities in WA right now?

Perth is a very different city to what it was when I was at University in the 1980’s. Many of us left soon after graduation looking for work and some excitement, however, there was always a creative industry maybe not as engaged and overt. I believe there are more opportunities for creative people and industries to connect with the internet and social media. Saying that I really appreciate how the job market is tight, graduates are struggling to get work and as practitioners, we need to be nimble and flexible.

What do you think makes working in Western Australia unique?

Our isolation works in our favour, as does our connection with Asia. Our climate is harsh but unique and I feel that we take the lead when it comes to environmentally responsive design solutions.
I was recently involved with Geoff Warn hosting the WA episode of Australia By Design on Channel 10. Together we interviewed ten architects about their local projects on location. I was amazed at the diversity and transformational nature of the projects. While I may be just a little biased I think the WA episode was the best!

What kind of projects is the studio known for? What should we expect to see from the
studio in the future?

We are known as a boutique architectural and interior design practice specialising in contemporary residential architecture. We currently have several residential projects either on the board or on-site in Perth, regional WA. We are currently working with a client in NSW as well.
However, we also specialise in the provision of heritage design services and hospitality projects. We are working on the heritage-listed Cue Post Office refurbishment to a Tourist Information Centre and Community Resource Centre, the refurbishment of the beautiful State Timber Museum in Manjimup and the refurbishment of the Leeuwin Estate Winery. I love the variety of work we are doing and believe this is how the practice will continue…for now!
I would like to grow the practice and expand our reach.

(As a sitting Board member of the Rottnest Island Authority and President of the Australian Institute of Architects as well as Mum of four children life is busy, I can’t see this changing!)

All images courtesy of Suzanne Hunt Architect