With a practice that is growing fast and looking to Asia for further opportunities, DKO has invested time and energy in building strong collaborative, team-based working methods. ‘One important quality in how we work is that we are not precious about whose idea it is, as long as the outcome is right. That’s why we like to track the logic,’ says de Keijzer. Linardi agrees – ‘The work is logic driven. The programmatic and site conditions we are given directly inform our design response. In knowing the things that matter and being able to talk about them in a logical way, we can work quickly. We are able to review, analyse and be decisive.’
This capacity to identify building issues quickly helps DKO to navigate the complex planning processes that often beset large developments. One mixed-use development in Richmond called Precinct is a good example. Accommodating some 450 mixed-size apartments and sandwiched between parkland and a busy retail precinct, it's a project that could well have taken up to two years to gain planning approval. ‘When we got involved, we quickly developed good relations with the council and made some key recommendations that resulted in planning approval within eight months,’ says de Keijzer.
Undoubtedly, it is the close working relationship between de Keijzer , Linardi and Randerson that lies at the heart of DKO’s capacity to transform complex design challenges into architectural opportunities. ‘Jesse and I are quite different,’ says de Keijzer. ‘I’m very plan-focused, which is probably a Dutch thing. Whereas Jesse is much more form-focused, coming from RMIT. David on the other hand is somewhere in between the best of both of us. We are very comfortable working together, because we can see how each quality adds value. If architecture is all about the plan, it’s pretty dull. Likewise, form alone is not enough. It's a question of trying to get the tension right between the two.’
Allshare an interest in research. ‘We are constantly engaging in research,’ saysRanderson. ‘In particular, residential density typologies – comparing, for example, medium-density strategies for 20, 40 or 60 residences per hectare. It means that in feasibility studies we can very quickly generate design responses based on that knowledge. We know that if we get the macro right, the micro becomes a lot easier.’
The final ingredient in DKO’s methodology lies in the end user. While iconic architecture can often lose sight of the people who bring a project to life, DKO puts the end user front and centre. ‘We pride ourselves on creating spaces that are exciting to experience,’ says Linardi. ‘We are passionate about the relationship between people and their environment and consistently push the boundaries of urban design.’ De Keijzer agrees – ‘All our buildings are considered with the inhabitant as well as the environment in mind. We analyse how people live, work and play, and this informs our architecture. This is an integral part of what we do as designers.’
‘One important quality in how we work is that we are not precious about whose idea it is, as long as the outcome is right. That’s why we like to track the logic,’
‘The work is logic driven. The programmatic and site conditions we are given directly inform our design response. In knowing the things that matter and being able to talk about them in a logical way, we can work quickly. We are able to review, analyse and be decisive.’
- Koos de Keijzer, Principal