Australian Architects making Global waves

Australian Architects making Global waves
VCG Photo

Australian architects are heralded as proudly ambitious in preserving Australia's heritage, honouring national history and providing our cities with activated, engaging and community buildings and spaces that are socially and environmentally beneficial. With the rise of 'starchitects' and landmark designs, Australian architects are more approachable than ever, entering global design competitions, catching the eyes of global developers and governments to influence roles in cities abroad.

This is a short celebrated list of notable Australian architects and their realised or planned projects abroad


Australian Architects making Global waves
Image of Woods Bagot’s Funan in Singapore.

Representing a new era of mixed use and retail, Woods Bagot’s Funan in Singapore is an exemplary piece of architecture that is true to form in that it blends worlds and acts as a civic hub.
The design acknowledges the rise of online shopping and maximises its engagement for tech savvy shoppers offering more of a destination than a retail precinct. 
Spaces connect vertically and laterally to provide an integrated environment that blurs traditional zones to offer an ecosystem of lifestyle activities under one roof.

Funan is a connected development which responds to a socially and environmentally conscious world with communal spaces, urban rooftop farms and gardens and vertical wall plants.
The flexible ventilation of the ground floor allows 24 hour accessibility to pedestrians and cyclists, further improving upon the vibrant streetscape and its engagement to people. The building’s design caters to a new generation of consumers who yearn for interactive, connected and collaborative environments that reflect their authentic passions and tastes.



Australian Architects making Global waves
Rendering of Fender Katsalidis’ Merdeka PNB118, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Australian architecture firm Fender Katsalidis has designed the upcoming Merdeka PNB118 skyscraper in Kuala Lumpur, standing at 644 metres tall with 118 floors of office, hotel, topped by an observation deck and restaurant.
The crystalline tower will be the centrepiece of Kuala Lumpur’s Merdeka site, where Malaysian independence was declared in 1957.
The tower’s design is an expression of its structural pathways, resulting in geometric patterns in the facade which are reminiscent of traditional Malaysian arts and crafts.

Cementing itself as one of the World’s top 10 tallest buildings when completed, the design of the tower is influenced through Fender’s Eureka Tower and how its design form represents a piece of Victorian history. The Malaysian capital wanted a landmark tower that represents in form its cultural history and significance in this same way. The project will preserve two heritage buildings on the site including the Merdeka Stadium and Negara National Stadium.

The podium interior has a soaring, dramatic atrium fit with stone surfaces which will include the lower lobby access at one end and office and retail lobby access at another.
The retail component will offer over 300 stores of upmarket to high end clothing.
The project in collaboration with local architect, RSP Architects and landscape architects Sasaki Associates has an expected completion in 2020.



Australian Architects making Global waves
CapitaMall 1818, Wuhan, China. Image by Buchan Group.

The Buchan Group delivers a revitalised shopping interior, exterior facade and graphics for the CapitaMall in Wuhan’s downtown. Located along the prosperous Zhongshan, the high end mall features 8 levels of retail, entertainment and dining and is one of seven CapitaLand developments in the city.

It was important that through this revitalisation of the downtown mall, that all 10 million of Wuhan’s residents feel represented with a design reflecting the vast cultural catchment with a rich past, whilst still responding to the innovative retail future and its trends.

The podium creates a vibrant streetscape amongst the integrated office and residential mixed use precinct and ensures that the buildings perform a civic function, providing a meeting place and community engagement for locals.
The responsibility to respect Wuhan’s deep cultural history was felt by the Buchan Group as well as the need to embrace a modern urban community with aspirations to adapt to recent retail trends.



Australian Architects making Global waves
National Maritime Museum of China in Tianjin. Rendering by

The Binhai New Area is an important economic zone as Tianjin expands as an important international port, with over 2000 high tech companies developed in the area and urban residential spaces built upon reclaimed land.
The National Maritime Museum of China by Cox Architecture whose design won the international competition for China’s first maritime museum, sits in the Binhai New Area of Tianjin. The Museum covers 150,000 square metres of space and includes three levels, a large exhibition hall and an observation tower which also acts as the Museum’s energy plant.

One of the main details of importance for the new museum was its connection and relation to the water as much of Chinese cities developed out of the canals or by the water’s edge.
Not much is known of the country’s Maritime past, so for Cox Architecture, designing a space of such importance had to reflect a strong identity.

As the Chinese Government collected elements to fill the Museum, the designs of the structure had to evolve and adapt to their findings. Cox Architecture needed to provide a space to raise public awareness and develop into an educational base for scientific research and environmental protection.

Opened in 2019, the National Maritime Museum of China will be free for visitors and include six divided sections with an enriched array of themes arranging from Culture and History, Marine Ecology and Environment, Science Education and interactive programs as well as shopping, restaurants, cafes, cinema and gardens surrounding and connecting to the waterfront.


World Future Project of the Year, World Architecture Festival Singapore 2013
Future Projects Competition entries Category Winner, World Architecture Festival Singapore 2013


Australian Architects making Global waves
Kaohsiung Exhibition Centre, Kaohsiung Taiwan. Image by

Another project from Cox Architecture won through an international design competition is Kaohsiung’s first public harbour development, the Kaohsiung Exhibition Centre.
Linking the city to the waterfront via pedestrian access was key to the design of the centre.
Designed as a hybrid facility, the building comprises of exhibition and convention spaces which are flexible to host a large variety of events and simultaneous meetings.

The enclosed roof utilises an alternating shell structural system to which substantially reduces steel tonnage and successfully resists the strong harbour winds and seismic forces.
Skylights allow the building to respond to its natural environment with the ability to fill the spaces with light and ventilation which improves the overall sustainability. 
It was important to Cox Architecture to design a structure that responds to its surroundings and is an expression of the Taiwanese people and was a conscious and thoughtful process. 

Excellence Award, Chinese Institute of Engineers 2014.






Nicholas Failla

Nicholas Failla

Nicholas is a content writer and graphic designer who is passionate about cities, architecture, urban planning and sustainable communities.

Australia Development city Architecture global projects

Community Discussion

Be the first one to comment on this article
What would you like to say about this project?