We are really pleased to announce Nicolas Gutierrez as a Partner and Director at Field Office Architecture.

Nic has been with the practice since 2019, however, his partnership with Chris stretches back 23 years since the two studied Architecture at Melbourne University.

With an impressive career spanning over 16 years, Nic has successfully led award-winning projects across the residential sector, delivering challenging, beautiful, and sustainable outcomes. His passion for creating spaces that inspire and enhance the human experience aligns perfectly with our practice’s core values. By way of introduction, we thought we’d share a quick Q+A with Nic.


Q – Tell us what you love about Architecture, and what got you hooked.

NG – I was hooked from the very beginning! With over 16 years of experience in the field and having worked in 3 small practices, my focus has always been on residential architecture.

After completing uni, I intentionally sought opportunities in small practices to gain exposure to the entire architectural process. I believed that understanding the big picture would prepare me for larger practices and projects, but I guess that never happened! I found my passion in the personal and intimate nature of small practices.

Architecture has always been about enhancing the human experience, and what more significant place is there than one’s home? From the most basic aspect of providing refuge, shelter, and comfort, to complementing and elevating how and with whom we share our lives.

I love the unique challenge that each client brings, getting to really know what makes them tick, and feeding off that to create something amazing that is all about them.

Q – You bring a fresh perspective to our team as a new partner. What’s your strongest skill set? How do you plan to blend your skills and ideas with our existing members to take our practice to the next level?

NG – On a human level, I’d say a strong sense of empathy and honesty are my key strengths. On a practical level, I’m methodical and deliberate, able to identify the essential aspects of a problem and organise an efficient way forward with the resources at hand.

It’s similar to how I see architecture as a catalyst to living our best lives, through my strengths. Through my strengths, I’m here as a catalyst to help bring out the best in our team and practice.

Q – What are some of the biggest challenges architects face in the residential sector these days? And more importantly, how do you tackle these hurdles? 

NG – The impact we have on our environment and what our world will look like for future generations. As an Architect, our profession inherently involves building, which consumes huge amounts of natural resources and energy and has a significant impact.

The best thing for the environment would be simply not to build, but as humans, we need to build to survive and progress. A key role as Architects is to help strike that balance and shape new construction to allow us to grow and develop as a society, but do so sustainably in the true sense of the word.

Q – What innovations in architecture inspire you? How do you think these advancements will shape our practice in the future?

NG – Innovations in sustainable and energy-efficient design through improved material technology, and the evolving integration of nature and architecture as beautifully resolved systems, is what I find truly inspiring.

As a practice, we incorporate eco-responsible materials and passive design strategies, to not only reduce the environmental impact but also enhance the living experience.

We must pursue this goal into the future and continue to integrate sustainable principles into every aspect of our practice and projects until it is not the exception but the norm.

FOA Journal 06 – August 2020

It’s been a few months since we sent you one of our journals, and I’m glad to say it’s because we’ve been super busy.

We’ve had two projects recently wrap up on site. Our Caulfield North House project has finally reached completion. This two-story, timber clad extension transforms a charming but desperately run-down 1930s dwelling into a beautiful, rich and spacious family home.

Secondly, Elsternwick House of which we collaborated with Winter Architecture has also reached completion, with our very excited client and their beautiful family, very happy to be settling in prior to the recent stage 4 lockdowns. This brand new, 4 bedroom home looks and feels amazing, and we look forward to sharing it with you soon. A reminder that we did a little interview on-site earlier this year which you can watch here.

Of course, the recent spike in COVID-19 cases in Victoria, along with the associated restrictions has continued to cast its spell across the year. We offer our best wishes to everyone in this difficult time, particularly those in Melbourne, and hope that you and your families remain healthy and safe. We have a huge amount of empathy for those whose industries and businesses are suffering as a result. Of course, we are all in this together and if there are things that we can do to help out, please feel free to get in touch.

As for FOA, it is mostly business as usual. We are all working from home again, which we’ve all been doing for the best part of 5 months. I feel like we’ve got it down to a pretty seamless transition now, and our work output has been genuinely free-flowing and productive.

However, there are plenty of times that we do miss the day to day interactions. Call me old fashioned, but I love being with my team in the studio, the face to face conversations, and the accidental moments of design inspiration. I also love seeing our city full of life and bustling with activity – we hope these times return soon.

In other news, Sanctuary Magazine recently published our Phoenix House Project from Roses Gap, Grampians. It’s such a great story, check it out right here.

On top of this, earlier this year, I was interviewed by Anthony Richardson and The Design Emotive to discuss the practice, our design process, and other bits and pieces. It’s a quick watch, feel free to check it out by clicking here, or the video below.

That’s about it for this month.

Stay safe and healthy, and we will look forward to seeing you all at the other end of this.

Chris + Team FOA