There are many ways to build a house. There is no cookie-cutter approach but by far, the best outcomes are produced when there is transparent communication and a strong relationship between the builder, architect and owner. The buildings that really sing have had a cohesive team all the way through. A team of trusted advisers and professionals, all working together to produce something beautiful.

In this episode, Kribashini chats with Sarah and Richard Bryant from Bryant Alsop, a Melbourne based architecture firm who take a highly personalised approach to delivering carefully considered designs to their clients. They share about their approach to the design process and how placing the client’s needs at the core of every project is absolutely vital.

One of our very own BuildHer’s, Susie, was fortunate to have Bryant Alsop design her forever home. When we popped in to see the site the other day, we were blown away by the level of detailing and the amazing spaces they’ve created. Sarah and Richard go into more detail about the design concept for Susie’s home and the key areas of the brief that shaped the way they approached the design. Thinking about a building as a living, breathing 3-dimensional shape, Sarah and Richard talk about how they don’t get fixated on floor plans, but rather think in terms of volume which influences their decisions regarding levels, ceiling heights and room sizes.

Sarah and Richard take a really personal approach to design and talk about the importance of listening to their clients and prioritising the personalised social aspects of a brief, as well as the functional. It gives an insight into the level of thought and consideration that goes into each detail of their designs, resulting in spaces that flow in harmony with the people who call them home.

We can’t agree more with the way Sarah and Richard tackle the design process. The lifestyle, values and desires of the client are always in the forefront of their minds, shaping each decision, no matter how minute the detail. They work to understand their clients and listen really well to come up with a design that they will love for years to come.

At the end of the day, building is a fluid process. Things will go wrong but having the right team around you means that those problems don’t have to result in disaster.

If you have a topic or question you’d like us to cover, contact us here.



  • [3:12]: Juggling work, life and homeschooling during lockdown
  • [4:06]: Richard and Sarah’s background and experience
  • [5:40]: The individual nature of Bryant Alsop’s project and how they are unique to the landscape and client.  It’s about finding the right solution for the site.
  • [6:57]: Good design is a tailored exercise of gathering all the information, and distilling it down to only the most important
  • [8:30]: The importance of looking at design holistically to suit the needs of the client
  • [9:48]: The role of an architect is as much about design as it is about project management and the execution of a project
  • [10:30]: Building trust by being upfront and honest with clients about budget, even if it means losing business
  • [13:30]: The concept design that Richard and Sarah came up for Suzie from BuildHer
  • [15:45]: The key components of the brief that played into the design
  • [18:00]: The public and private interface and how this was an important factor in the design
  • [19:30]: Thinking 3 dimensionally instead of getting fixated on floor plans
  • [21:30]: Being practical about the client’s needs and finding out what is personal to them
  • [23:30]: A good architect will listen to their client and step them through the process of practicality
  • [24:00]: Richard and Sarah talk specifically about the main bedroom and ensuite and how the design came about
  • [24:15]: Advice for burgeoning designers – 1. The Instagram problem: how too many images aren’t necessarily helpful
  • [26:15]: Advice for burgeoning designers – 2. Decision making: limit the number of people you consult. Stick to trusted sources
  • [28:00]: The best outcomes come from when there is a strong relationship between builder, architect and owner and transparent communication
  • [30:00]: The importance of being honest with architects. It can take time to understand what is or isn’t feeling right but they can’t read your mind
  • [31:30]: Advice for burgeoning designers – 3. Trust. The importance of knowing when to stand back and trust the experts to do their job.
  • [33:00]: Advice for listeners: establish the right team you can trust, understanding the different procurement models for having the project delivered,
  • [35:00]: The 5 key steps that architects offer and how it takes a team to deliver a building
  • [36:00]: There’s no cookie-cutter approach to a build


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