Celebrating Melbourne Studio’s 5th Birthday

1 / 10

Last month, our Melbourne studio celebrated our fifth birthday with friends, clients and colleagues.

After dipping our toes into Melbourne with the Triptych building behind the National Gallery of Victoria (NGV), the Lifestyle Working building on Collins Street, and some student housing projects for Deakin University, in late 2014 we set up a permanent studio to support our project at Victoria University (VU) in Footscray which was about to commence construction.

On a cool Saturday morning in August, Nash and I, like a modern-day Burke and Wills, packed our cars and drove down from Sydney, determined to open the Melbourne studio doors on Monday 1st September 2014.  With seasonal appropriateness, nettletontribe was re-born.

We set up a small office in one of our own projects, the Lifestyle Working building in Collins St. Our first corporate fit out was spartan. We bought some trestle tables and fold up chairs, switched on our laptops, hung up a shingle, and hoped the 3G tether to the Sydney mothership would work.  We had drawings to issue and much to do after all.  We were in unfamiliar territory, excited about our prospects. We thought of ourselves as the rebellious pioneers.

With a shell of an office, we were determined to be self-sufficient and successful.

We invited some locals into our tribe and never looked back.

We brought with us many traditions of the larger tribe, which we consider our own, and been supplementing them ever since.  Staff lunches have been a long tradition of the Sydney office. In Melbourne we pride ourselves on the way we prepare our stews, roasts and the odd vegan curry. Seconds are always taken. Birthday cake is always a must and the Christmas party is always on a boat. We eat together as a family. We work together as a family. We have real friendships and most importantly we look out for each other. We’ve got each other’s backs.

Since our humble beginnings, we have moved to a much larger studio in the same building and built a 22 strong team of talented and dedicated professionals.  We have completed numerous buildings post VU Footscray, including several student accommodation projects for Deakin University, an office lobby refit for Cromwell Property Trust, and a recently completed student accommodation project at Lincoln House for UniLodge and Cedar Pacific.

We are excited about the future.  We have a 50-storey tower under construction for UniLodge and Cedar Pacific, and two other towers at 37 and 47 storeys respectively about to commence construction.  We are working on a number of projects with University of Tasmania (UTas), and a 55 storey mixed use tower in Collins St near Southern Cross Station.

We are passionate about making a meaningful contribution to the quality of our city and its built environment; and we hope this shows in the quality of our built work and the relationships we forge.

Moving to any new city can be daunting and is always challenging. We sincerely thank our friends, clients and colleagues for their ongoing support and for always making us feel at home.

We hope to celebrate our continued success in the years to come with you.

-Ken Ng, Director, nettletontribe