At Scale Architecture we combine thoughtful design and pragmatism to produce original, sustainable and exceptional spaces.
Matt Chan started Scale in 2004 when he returned from his Byera Hadley scholarship studies in Europe. ‘Two years at a Dutch hotbed of architecture and urbanism (the Berlage Institute) taught me that practice and research should be intrinsically linked, permanently, at all times.’
Our aim for Scale is to harness design research for the real world, to innovate, progress and move architecture forward. By 2011 this approach, and an ambassadorial pursuit of excellence through teaching and collaboration, earned Matt Chan the Emerging Architect Prize.
‘We put ideas first,’ says Chan, ‘and let those ideas come to the fore of the project’. Fresh thinking helps Scale unpack complex design challenges to make the most of limited urban space to produce highly livable outcomes, with sustainability a central pillar.
Scale’s widely-published, award-winning residential work reflects our mission to use simple, timeless materials to create bold statements and enduring designs. Courtyards, open, light-filled volumes, and blurring the lines between interior and exterior space are recurring themes.
Regardless of size, our projects speak with a big voice and focused exuberance, like our award-winning covered outdoor learning area for students, now a case study for “Better Placed”, a new government design excellence policy.
Scale is committed to well-planned, vital and livable urban space that recognises the finiteness of our resources. That’s why we’re very excited to be among the first Sydney firms licensed to deliver Nightingale Housing’s progressive and ecologically-driven housing model, which puts people and design before profit.
How We Work
An agile and responsive practice, Scale provides clients with extensive one-on-one contact with high-level design professionals. The individual care and attention we provide is supplemented on an as-need basis by our broad-based, well-established network of collaborators and consultants. This allows us to quickly ramp up capacity when required, while staying efficient and mobile.
At Scale, we believe each project represents a unique opportunity, innovate and achieve design excellence. Working from the ground up, our open design process allows for close collaboration with clients, as well as with contractors, to create the most intelligent and up to the minute design solutions.
Scale Architecture is a design led studio, specialising in end-to-end service projects, tailored to meet the unique requirements of each and every customer.
Our current portfolio of work includes educational projects, new one-of-kind houses and alterations and additions, responding to context budget and brief.
Using BIM (Building Information Modelling) technology across our projects allows us to work collaboratively with both clients and consultants. In addition to our work in Australia, we have been involved with projects in the United Arab Emirates, Indonesia, the Netherlands and Canada.
Scale Architecture’s thinking is fundamentally underpinned by the principles of environmental responsibility. We make an effort to integrate best practice green design into all our projects, aiming for a more sustainable outcome, while creating healthy, liveable spaces with highly- tailored, site-specific design.
We promote the use of renewable energy sources and also look more broadly at the carbon footprint of projects, encompassing the entire life cycle of materials and design.
In our goal to create projects that reduce greenhouse gas emissions and other pollution, where possible, we use low-carbon and locally sourced materials, improved passive solar design, natural heating and cooling, FSC rated timbers, low energy lighting, water re-use + water efficient appliances.
Matt Chan, Founding Principal
Nominated Architect NSW 6421
Matt Chan is a multiple award winning architect with 20 years of project experience in Australia, the Netherlands and the Middle East.
Matt has been recognised for excellence in practice, research, education, and professional leadership. He has received awards for residential and public projects, such as the Australia Street Infants School COLA. In 2011 Matt was presented the NSW Emerging Architect Prize by the Australian Institute of Architects.
Matt’s project experience includes design, management and coordination across all scales of projects, from bespoke houses and small scale public projects to large-scale master planning. He has extensive experience with multi-disciplined design teams, working collaboratively to deliver design excellence.
Matt’s contribution to the public discourse includes exhibitions, talks and academia. His work has been exhibited both locally and internationally including the 2008 Venice International Architecture Biennale.
Matt Chan is an Honorary Adjunct Senior Lecturer at the University of Sydney.
Georgia Forbes-Smith, Architect
Georgia joined Scale in 2015. She holds a Bachelor of Design in Architecture 2013 and a Master of Architecture 2016 from the University of Sydney. Prior to joining Scale, Georgia was an Architectural Assistant for Tanner Kibble Denton Architects where she worked on a series of residential projects and the mixed-use development of Goonoo Goonoo Station in Tamworth.
In 2017, Georgia was awarded the Architects Medallion by the NSW Architects Registration board for her graduating project ‘Architecture of Measure : A Museum of Space and Time’, recognising her as the top graduate from the four schools of architecture in NSW. She was also awarded the Innovation in Architectural Design Prize for her final project and was recognised on the Dean’s List of Academic Excellence at the University of Sydney.
Justin Cawley, Architect
Justin is currently on study leave, as a recipient of the Frank Knox Memorial Scholarship, he is attending the Gradate School of Design at Harvard.
Justin studied architecture at the University of Sydney, where he graduated with first class honours in 2010 and a Masters of Architecture in 2013. He previously worked for Bates Smart Sydney where he was involved in the realisation of a number of large residential and student housing projects, including the award winning Gantry apartments, Iglu Regent Street and the UNSW Kensington Colleges. He has also taught urban and architectural design at the University of Sydney.
In 2014, Justin’s graduating project ‘An Ark for Endangered Atmospheres’ was awarded a High Commendation in the prestigious Royal Institute of British Architects President’s Medals, recognising it as one of the best student architectural projects worldwide. He was also awarded the Australian Institute of Architects (NSW Chapter) History and Theory Prize in 2014 following several academic accolades, including the University of Sydney Academic Merit Prize and the University of Sydney Honours Scholarship.