Based in Adelaide, Brown Falconer is a unique multidisciplinary architectural firm with a focus on creating rewarding outcomes. No matter what sector they are designing for, they provide a professional, innovative and collaborative service. With every project they tale on, they aim to reward the community it belongs to, the environment it affects, and – most importantly – the client it was designed for.
“We have a very solid and enviable reputation for providing quality service to our clients, and very good design results,” says Kevin Preece, a Director at the company.
“We focus on bringing a contemporary yet timeless feel to our work, and that’s been recognised by the industry and the broader community.”
The origins of Brown Falconer can be traced back to 1945, when the company was founded by the eponymous Gordon Brown. In 1975, the company merged with an English business called the Falconer Partnership, which is where the other half of the title comes from.
In the year since, Brown Falconer has evolved to include more than 30 talented team members, and three experienced Directors – Mario Dreosti, David Dawson, and Preece. All three have bring many years of experience to their roles, while still maintaining a “fresh and dynamic perspective.”
Working as a team
Traditionally, the majority of Brown Falconer’s work has taken place in the health, aged care and education sectors. In recent years, however, they have strived to diversify – they have built up their commercial and retail portfolios, for instance, as well as embarked on some hospitality and infrastructure projects.
Preece credits the company’s success in each of those sectors to their focus on forging strong relationships with everyone they work. He says that begins with their clients, and involves meeting their each and every need.
“We know what is important to our clients,” he explains. “And we’re able to address that in our briefing process, in our design work, and in the design outcomes we produce.”
Brown Falconer also works closely with the other consultants on their projects, such as the structural, civil and building services engineers. “It’s very important to have a strongly coordinated approach,” Preece says. “We like to take the lead on that and make sure we get the best results on every project.”
“We’ve always seen it as very important to work as a team,” he adds. “We take a similar approach when dealing with our suppliers, who are vital. It’s very important to us that we have good relationships with them – particularly because they are invaluable when it comes to keeping up to date with products that are just being introduced onto the market.”
To maintain those relationships – and to stay on the cutting edge of technology – Brown Falconer hosts regular “sessions,” where suppliers stop by to introduce the latest products to their staff. Those events are held once a month, are immensely beneficial to all parties involved. They give Brown Falconer an opportunity to learn and stay up-to-date, and give their suppliers the opportunity to advertise their products to the whole staff as a group.
Brown Falconer works hard at every step of a project to create a satisfying result for every stakeholder. That diligence has not gone unrecognised by the industry. At the 2012 UDIA Awards, one of the company’s projects – Harold Williams Home, a state-of-the-art low care facility – took home the award for “Seniors Living.”
“We’ve got great respect for the UDIA as an organisation, so being honoured by those awards makes us very happy,” Preece says. “The project was up against some really high quality competition too, so winning gave us a great sense of satisfaction.”
The Seniors Living Award is given to a residence that creates “a sense of place,” while still paying particular attention to the needs of the residents. A winning project must present a high standard of design, and a high regard for water and energy efficiency. With Harold Williams Home, Brown Falconer accomplished ticked all those boxes and more.
The award-winning facility is set in well-landscaped gardens, and was designed to create “individual privacy combined with community comfort,” Preece says. The design uses split residential wings, each with its own outlook. The service functions are hidden and accessed away from the living areas. Also included is a dental suite – which is relatively unique for an aged care facility.
The client for the project was Southern Cross Care, an aged care provider located in Broken Hill, New South Wales. Brown Falconer has enjoyed a typically positive and longstanding relationship with Southern Cross over the years – roughly five years prior to winning the award, they created another successful nursing home for them, called St. Anne’s. So when it came time for Southern Cross to expand, Brown Falconer was their natural choice of architect.
According to Preece, Brown Falconer and Southern Cross built a positive and collaborative partnership during the design phase. He says that’s the kind of relationship they aim to forge with every client, and that it was a big part of why they were able to create such a successful outcome.
Moving forward, Brown Falconer aims to continue designing projects of award-winning calibre – in the aged care sector and elsewhere.
“We’ve got a very strong commitment to the work that we do in our traditional areas of health, aged care and education,” Preece says. “With good design outcomes, we really have the opportunity to make a difference to the quality of life of the residents in the aged care homes, the patients in the hospitals, and the students that attend schools.”
“We can also make a difference to the staff of those buildings, and even to the wider communities that come to visit,” he adds. “We’re all really passionate about that. But the same passion follows through into our other work – like our retail work, and our infrastructure work.”
In the near future, Preece sees Brown Falconer progressing to designing town centres and streetscapes. “The opportunity to provide good design outcomes for those environments is there in those sectors as well,” he says. “And we want to seize that opportunity.”
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