‘We are passionate about the relationship between people and their environment and consistently push the boundaries of urban design.’
Growth has defined DKO’s story since the start. Our practice has certainly grown, but the growth of our global network in the Asia-Pacific region, and the scale and complexity of our projects is where we have seen the most fundamental transformations.
Provided it is sustainably managed, growth is good, and comes with its own challenges. Meeting these challenges requires thinking in ways that are inspired, dynamic and collaborative. The first challenge in any project, is getting to that “idea”.
‘We have always been a practice that is not precious about whose idea it is. Our collective focus is on delivering the right outcomes for the client. That’s why we like to track the logic,’ says Koos de Keijzer.
Jesse Linardi agrees, ‘The work is logic driven, informed by program, site conditions, and knowing the things that matter. Being able to talk through options with an integrated team, logically and pragmatically, means we can work efficiently and decisively.’
With the power of logic is only unlocked with the full available facts, DKO is also committed to maintaining and building the knowledge-base of the practice. ‘We are constantly engaging in research,’ says David Randerson. ‘For example, we have conducted extensive research into how residential densities impact site planning and built form. We can quickly generate informed design responses to feasibility studies based on that knowledge. If we get the macro right, the micro becomes a lot easier.’
DKO can also bring immediate value to clients in its deft ability to navigate the complex planning process that often thwarts the materialisation of many inspired ideas. The close collaboration of director’s, de Keijzer, Linardi and Randerson and their combined experience lies at the heart of DKO capacity to transform planning constraints and complex design challenges into architectural opportunities.
‘Jesse and I are quite different,’ says de Keijzer. ‘I’m very plan-focused, probably a Dutch thing. Whereas Jesse is much more form-focused, coming from RMIT. David, on the other hand is somewhere in between. We are very comfortable working together because we can see how each quality adds value. Plan-driven architecture can be pretty dull. Likewise, form alone is not enough. To get the most out of a project you have to get the tension right between the two: between the efficient use of space and resources, and design that inspires and enriches our experience of the world’.
Beyond the practical decisions that have to be made on daily basis, DKO has not lost sight of architecture being about people and about experience. The end user must be front and center. ‘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 both the environment and the inhabitant in mind, whether it’s a home, office or restaurant. How people live, work and play inform our architecture and is an integral part of what we do as designers.’
Together, DKO designs architecture that serves people, respects place and delivers successful outcomes for the client.