Smart Design Studio - Sydney Architects


The Frederick

The Frederick is a dynamic bronze and glass tower of curved interlocking forms designed in conjunction with Mirvac Design. At 23-storeys, The Frederick creates a powerful gesture at the entrance to the new Green Square city centre. Three corner apartments on each floor offer panoramic views of the city and skyline. The façade is articulated by horizontal and vertical shading elements, maintaining solar control and privacy whilst optimising views. At the upper levels the curves of the parapet tip up towards the sky, accentuating the striking geometric design. For more click here

The Architecture Symposium -Beyond the Building

Curated by Our Creative Director William Smart and Government Architect Abbie Galvin

Architecture Symposium: Beyond the Building brings together a selection of contemporary Australian architects whose public projects have an impact that is beyond the built form itself.
In these buildings, form and use, aesthetics and technology, concept and program, ethics and immediacy, private need and public good often meet head-on.

Over four unique sessions, discussion will highlight works that have synthesized these often-conflicting factors, extending the brief to unlock remarkable results that have a ripple effect on the building’s context and its community.

Streaming live: 11, 18 and 25 November / 2 December
On demand: until 21 January

Tickets are on sale now! Earn up to 8 CPD points! Find out more and buy tickets –click here

The Gathering Place

Our concept for The Gathering Place, a new multipurpose public building in Parramatta, is one plus one equals one. The contemporary interpretation of the adjacent Leigh Memorial Church references the structural brick buttresses, Gothic arched openings and important historic alignments. The design accommodates event, education & sacred spaces, a cafe, an edible native rooftop garden and a new public laneway. A sandstone plinth at ground level and dramatically scalloped brick walls embeds The Gathering Place in its context while fine steel-framed glazed double hung windows and doors recall the stained glass of the lancet-shaped windows of the Church. For more click here


Fig Tree Pocket is made up of four buildings ranged around a grand fig tree in a leafy corner of the award-winning Newmarket precinct in Randwick. The new structures join the restored and repurposed horse stables and listed two-storey Victorian manor, the former home of the Ingles family. While varied in scale, the classic yet contemporary architecture is linked by bold angled precast concrete blades that manage sun and privacy for 165 apartments. For more click here

Award Season

We have had a dream run so far in this year’s awards. We are particularly proud of winning the Design Studio category in the Inde.awards, with over 687 entries from 14 countries in the Indo-Pacific. This is thanks to the people past and present who have made Smart Design Studio what it is today. The studio is much more than the buildings we produce, it is about the team and collaboration. We would like to thank our  architects and designers and our wonderful clients and consultants who have made this wonderful accolade possible.

Sara Hilden

Our response to a design competition for a new gallery in the Finish industrial city Tampere was to create a beautiful, contemporary and elegant brick structure that balances the practical requirements of a 21st century art museum with a poetic, civic and iconic response. The project called for the relocation of the museum from the city’s periphery into the historic city centre. The form and materials embed our proposal for the Sara Hilden Art Museum to its locale, a former industrial setting, while the sculpted Great Hall, is an invitation for all to come and be illuminated by art or alternatively, just hang out. For more click here.

Science Gallery Melbourne – Open House Melbourne

Join architect Nicole Leuning of Smart Design Studio for an online session about the recently completed Science Gallery Melbourne. This event is part of the Open House Melbourne that’s happening virtually this weekend. Nicole talks about the inception, philosophy, building design principles and construction of Science Gallery Melbourne’s galleries and events space. Click here to watch⁠

Randwick City Architecture Talks

SDS Creative Director William Smart joins Matthew Allen (Bates Smart) & Alex Longley (Arcadia Landscape Architecture) as they discuss the design process of award winning Sydney development Newmarket. Hosted by Randwick City Council and facilitated by Andrew Nimmo (Lahz Nimmo Architects), this installment of the popular Randwick City Architecture Talks series is on Wednesday 11th of August at 6:30pm via Zoom.

Click here to register for this free event.


Nickson 61

Nickson 61 is a contemporary, bespoke contribution to Surry Hills. It offers clever reuse of existing building stock to provide boutique commercial and residential spaces that typify the vibrant mixed-use character of the suburb and a bold formal addition to the architecture of the area. The existing terrace was retained while the corner infill reworks traditional brickwork construction to create a dynamic, curved flanking element that reinforces the corner. For more click here

Bathurst 60 A graphic addition to the Sydney skyline

Centrally located on the north-eastern corner of Bathurst and Sussex Streets, Bathurst 60 is a distinctive mixed-use hotel and residential development, set within the metropolitan heart of Sydney’s CBD. This competition-winning scheme balances the amenity of the accommodation offering with the constraints of the site, and consolidates a complex building program into a remarkably simple and clear proposition. This striking 27-storey building comprises 5 levels of basement carparking, a 5-star hotel with function rooms and food and beverage facilities within the 8-level podium, and 95 premium residential apartments in the tower above.


Creative Director William Smart talked to Dana Tomic Hughes for the launch of the Yellowtrace video interview series, Sofa Sessions, in partnership with Australian furniture brand King. The pair covered a lot of ground from his creative drivers and ideology, the challenges, the lessons, and how he defines and actively pursues greatness in his work. To hear more of this engaging conversation between two design enthusiasts.


We are proud to finally be able share our studio with the world. As seen in AFR, Belle and most recently in Architecture Australia, our new home was a labour of love for Creative Director William Smart and a testing ground for the SDS team and all who contributed to the end result. Pushing the boundaries structurally and creatively, this energy positive building is also an incredibly comfortable and functional space. For more read here

Design your life with Frost

Smart Design Studio’s Creative Director William Smart caught up with Vince Frost as part of his great podcast series @designyourlife_withfrost⁠. Available to download now, the pair talk about Smart’s early design influences, and how a knock on his door from Judith Neilson opened the creative opportunity of a lifetime.⁠

Museums Then And Now

Museums Then & Now brings together two architects – William Smart (Founder, Smart Design Studio) and Graeme Dix (Principal, Johnson Pilton Walker) – to discuss a variety of design perspectives shaping the contemporary evolution of this complex building type. The very notion of a museum is already concerned with physicality: the object which contains other objects. In more recent times, however, the notion of a museum has arguably been equally concerned with experience: questions of testimony, entertainment and provocation which underpin audience satisfaction. The conversation will be moderated by author, curator, cultural producer and SCCI Global Emissary, Dolla Merrillees as part of this weekend’s University of Newcastle X SCCI Architecture Hub events. Tickets are limited, click here to book.


Located in the heart of Bondi, Pipi is a beautifully sculpted new building for Sydney’s most famous beachside suburb. Comprising of 29 apartments atop ground floor retail, there is something both arresting and classical in the swooping gestures of the grand vertical bays that line Hall Street. This is a building that sits comfortably at the junction of urban and beach living and behind the façade is clever planning that unlocks the potential of this site. Read more here

Built with Brickworks Smart Design Studio


Our response to a design competition for a new public pavilion at Barangaroo was to create a beautiful, delicate, crafted structure that balances the practical requirements of the brief with an emotive response: to the history and past cultures of this site. The concept of the sustainable lightweight timber structure is rooted in the history of canoes, fisherwomen and the innovations of the First Nations Peoples. The intersecting forms of the two informally moored canoes hover above a firepit, creating a versatile space for gathering, conversation, events and play. For more click here

Indigo Slam and the ROC feature in MMXX: Two Decades of Architecture in Australia

Author Cameron Bruhn’s new project, MMXX tells the story of architecture in Australia in the first two decades of the 21st century. Shaped by unprecedented prosperity, urbanisation, uncertainty and internationalisation, the past two decades have produced some of the most significant and diverse architecture in this country. This richly illustrated volume reflects on and evaluates this period, taking the reader on a journey through varying scales and locations – from ambitious city-making projects to finely crafted homes and elegant sheds nestled in the scenic countryside.

Indigo Slam and the ROC feature alongside 58 acclaimed projects by the work of more than 100 practices, completed between 2000 and 2019.

For more information or to purchase, please click here.


Smart Design Studio will be closed from Friday December 18th 2020 and will re-open on Monday January 4th 2021.

After what has been an unusual and challenging year for the world, we would like to thank all of our amazing clients, consultants, contractors and passionate staff members. We wish you all a safe, happy and restful holiday break.

Book launch panel discussion

Our Creative Director, William Smart will be discussing his chapter ‘The Open and Integrated Museum’ from Georgia Lindsay’s new book Contemporary Museum Architecture and Design this Thursday December 3 at 6pm.

William has based his chapter on an art gallery specific research project he began in 2017. This self-initiated project, led by William, included interviews with over 20 directors, curators, and museum specialists from Australia and around the world, and gallery site visits across five continents. As a result, he was able to chart the many different developments in the world of galleries and museum design. The chapter forms part of our ongoing work and interest in the cultural and arts sectors at SDS.

To register for the free webinar, The panel discussion will also be recorded.

Awards News

We are delighted to share our awards successes. In the 2020 Development Excellence Awards, 60 Bathurst was the winner of the Best Mixed Use Development and Newmarket won the Medium Density Development category. In the recent Randwick Council Architecture and Urban Design Awards, Newmarket was awarded Winner of the Best Conservation Project, Winner of the People’s Choice Award and Joint Winner of the Best Urban Project with Lahz Nimmo Architects. We done to all involved – Shokai Ausbao, Cbus Property, Bates Smart and Arcardia Landscape Architecture.

Hall 20

Hall 20 is a boutique apartment building located metres from Bondi Beach. Ten generous apartments are housed within a fully stone clad extension above the Bondi Post Office. Steel framed custom guillotine windows punctuate the elegant new structure. The interiors are strong, geometric and spacious, in beautifully detailed, quietly luxurious materials that befit the exterior. Read more here

DA approved for an iconic gateway building in Surry Hills

A sculptural new building will adjoin a restored three-storey terrace on the corner of South Dowling and Fitzroy Streets. The hyperbola shaped structure will be fashioned out of twisted glass panels between straight copper louvres in contrast to the existing traditional typology. Striking yet appropriately scaled, this will inadvertently form a gateway to Surry Hills, the heart of creative Sydney. Read more here

Newmarket Randwick shortlisted in Randwick City Architecture and Urban Design Awards

We are excited to announce Newmarket Randwick has been selected as a finalist project in the Randwick Council Architecture and Urban Design Awards. It is a collaboration between Cbus Property, Smart Design Studio, Bates Smart, Arcadia Landscape Architecture and OCP Architects. Newmarket Randwick was shortlisted for Best Urban Project, Best Conservation Project and Best Apartment.⁠ Voting is open until October 20th for People’s Choice, you can cast your vote here


We are thrilled to share the exciting news that Arbutus has been shortlisted in the Alterations and Additions category of the 2020 NSW Architecture Awards.

2020 INDE Awards for the Best of the Decade/ The Living Space

We are thrilled that Indigo Slam has been shortlisted in the 2020 INDE Awards for the Best of the Decade/ The Living Space. What an honour for this stunning residence to be recognised among some exceptional work from the Asia Pacific region. We would love your support, click here to vote for one of our favourite projects to date.⁠

Sydney Women’s Fund

Creative Director William Smart has joined the Advisory Council of the Sydney Women’s Fund. This fund supports programs for women in greater Sydney, with a focus on improved access to education; improved personal safety; preventive health-care; and participation in sport.


This new book on the theory and practice of museum design includes a chapter written by SDS Creative Director William Smart on the evolving world of museum design. The chapter, The Open and Connected Museum, is based on a series of interviews with Australian and international leaders of this domain.


16 Stokes Ave is ready to be leased. A beautiful 422m2 studio/ showroom space. Contact SDS for more information


⁠CONCRETE: ART DESIGN ARCHITECTURE. This major exhibition is now showing Australian Design Centre until 18 March. It explores innovative ways concrete is being used by artists, designers and architects in Australia in the 21st century. We are thrilled Indigo Slam was included by talented curators Margaret Hancock Davis and Brian Parkes. ⁣⁠

Happy Holidays

Smart Design Studio will be closed from Friday December 20th 2019 and will re-open on Monday January 6th 2020 in our new studio at 14 Stokes Ave, Alexandria⁠.

We would like to thank all of our amazing clients, consultants, contractors and passionate staff members who have made this such a wonderful year. We wish you all a safe, happy and restful holiday break

Lawson Place

Smart Design Studio has reinvigorated Sydney’s CBD with the respectful restoration of two buildings. While the dilapidated built form featured a variety of architectural styles, materials, and signage, Smart Design Studio’s new external work enhances the innate character to create two distinct façades. Each retains a unique identity but is cohesive as a whole. Brickwork is left raw, steel windows were updated with a newer version and a double-height iteration adds drama to the streetscape. Internally a larger floorplate delivers more useable interior spaces for the hotel and offices above the numerous food and beverage offerings now at ground level. For more read here


The interiors of 77 apartments at ‘Alexander’ Barangaroo were designed by Smart Design Studio to embody the concept of wharf-side luxury. SDS was also engaged to personalize one penthouse in particular. The clients wanted to elevate their apartment with an injection of more glamorous finishes and furnishings. The concept started in the living area with curved custom joinery featuring a specially commissioned artwork by Camille Hannah. The expressive brushstrokes and metallic pigment take the design from purely functional to beautiful. Furnishings strike the balance between the light finishes and the complex colours of the artwork. For more read here

AIA talk AIA talk

Join Creative Director William Smart at the Australian Institute of Architects – WA Chapter. He will share the processes, goals and outcomes for projects including Indigo Slam, his new studio, Stokes 14 and the Rail Operations Centre for Sydney Trains. Innovation and prototyping is the common thread for this recent work. For more information head to

Think Brick 2019 Think Brick 2019

We are thrilled to have two projects recognized at the 2019 Think Brick Awards. Designed in collaboration with Jacobs, the ROC was the winner of the Horbury Hunt Commercial Award, while Arlington Grove was highly commended in the Residential category. Thank you to our clients and collaborators for making this possible.

Horizon in Belle magazine

We were thrilled to see the recently renovated Horizon penthouse in the latest issue of Belle. The latest in a string of successful collaborations with wonderful clients, it features a refreshed plan as well as a new kitchen, bathroom and highly detailed custom joinery.


The Harold Park precinct was awarded the NSW Australian Institute of Architect’s Lloyd Rees Award for Urban Design and City of Sydney Lord Mayor’s Prize. This vibrant park and urban setting, designed by Mirvac Design, Government Architect’s Office (GANSW), City of Sydney and Hassell, includes of a number of striking buildings including Maxwell, by Smart Design Studio. Read more of The Maxwell here


We are excited to share our awards successes! Arlington Grove has been shortlisted in the Multi Residential category of the 2019 NSW Architecture Awards. Designed in association with Jacobs, The ROC is a contender in The Building category of the Inde Awards, and the Commercial category of this year’s NSW Architecture Awards.

2019 Houses Awards

Designed in collaboration with Fieldwork Associates, our Oak 363 project has been Shortlisted in the Garden or Landscape category of the 2019 Houses Awards! ⁣To see more of the project click here


The Jam Factory exhibition CONCRETE: ART DESIGN ARCHITECTURE is now open. This major exhibition in Adelaide explores innovative ways concrete is being used by artists, designers and architects in Australia in the 21st century. We are thrilled Indigo Slam was included by talented curators Margaret Hancock Davis and Brian Parkes. ⁣

Future Workplace talk

Creative Director William Smart will be talking about our exciting new studio as part of the Future Workplace talk happening in Sydney on February 26. For more information and tickets, click here

Regent in the latest issue of Houses

Thank you Houses magazine for featuring the Regent project in the 126th issue. To read more about this project click here


Council has approved this exciting addition to one of Bondi’s most sought after streets, Notts Avenue, overlooking the iconic Sydney beach.

Site News

Santa came early this year, delivering these impressive pre cast concrete panels to the Newmarket site in Randwick. Read more here

Happy Holidays

Smart Design Studio will be closed from Monday December 24th 2018 and will re-open on Wednesday January 2nd 2019.

We would like to thank all of our amazing clients, consultants, contractors and passionate staff members who have made this such a wonderful year. We wish you all a safe, happy and restful holiday break, and look forward to an exciting year ahead.

Bourke 632

After fifteen years in Bourke Street we are selling in preparation for our move to Alexandria next year. Read more here


We are excited to see the Regent Residence in the November issue of Belle. Read more here


Paddington 64 is taking shape.


The scaffolding has come down as The Roc is nearing to completion. To read more about this project click here

Oak 363

Smart Design Studio has transformed a four bedroom country home inside and out. The holistic process involved rationalising and adding to two existing sandstone cottages, updating the surrounding landscape and selecting furniture to suit the new materials that were introduced. Read more here

On Bourke

A vacant site in Surry Hills presented a rare opportunity to create something exceptional, a ‘Living Sculpture’. With a curved masonry façade facing Bourke Street, the striking new building injects a considered contemporary edge into the surrounding conservation area. Read more here

Figtree Pocket Newmarket

The genesis of Fig Tree Pocket, four buildings ranged around a grand fig tree in a leafy corner of the Newmarket precinct in Randwick, was its bold angled precast concrete blades. Designed to manage privacy and sun, these rhythmical vertical elements rise and fold to form elevated roofs over the clerestory windows serving the top floor apartments. Fig Tree Pocket is now selling. Read more here

Visit the Newmarket Display Suite at 154 Barker Street Randwick.

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