We are a Melbourne-based, multi-disciplinary design studio with a simple focus; how can quality design provide a template for people to live better lives.

We believe in design that resists trends and arbitrary shape making, alternatively pursuing simple, restrained and timeless principles with an emphasis on user experience and ease of living.

Whether it’s residential or hospitality projects, we work closely with our clients to create work that is seamlessly connected with nature, well crafted and built to endure.

We offer full Architectural services from the start of your project to finish. We work on:

  • Bespoke new homes; city, country & coastal
  • Renovations, alterations and additions
  • Small to mid-scale public and commercial projects
  • Interior design
  • Town planning applications, including heritage sensitive & complex inner-city sites
  • Bushfire compliant design in rural & coastal areas

We’d love to hear about your next project.

As overseers of an industry that uses a significant amount of resources, we believe we have an obligation to use those resources responsibly. We do this by working to create architecture that touches the earth as lightly as possible.

To us, this means design that is robust and built to stand the test of time, whilst using what we can of our natural environment to help create quality spaces that are light-filled, passively ventilated and thermally comfortable.

We are always researching and testing new technologies and resources that help develop sustainable principles further.

Chris Barnes

Chris is an award-winning architect with over 15 years of experience. Prior to founding FOA, Chris was a Senior Associate at internationally recognised practice, BVN Architecture, and led a number of high profile public projects. He has passion for design that seeks to simplify, with an emphasis on the users’ experience and ease of living.

Nicolas Gutierrez
Senior Project Architect

Nic’s passion lies with residential architecture through having designed, documented and administered construction contracts for homes of all sizes and budgets for over 15 years. As a human centric designer, Nic strongly believes in a holistic ‘interior informs exterior’ approach to design.

Ashlea Hughes
Project Leader

Ashlea has been in the game for over 10 years, and has built a reputation as a quality designer with an eye for detail. She believes the best architecture is not just beautiful – it is refined, considered and responsible. People thrive in well designed spaces and Ashlea is committed to playing her part in those transformations.

Bonnie Robin
Landscape Architect

With experience across a broad range of projects from hidden laneway gardens to large scale urban parks, Bonnie brings 15 years experience in Landscape Architecture and Urban Design with a passion for harmonious relationship between nature and built form.



2020 Finalist – Clifton Hill Terraces
Multi Residential Excellence in Timber Applications – Timber Design Awards

2020 Finalist – Chris Barnes
Merit Rising Star Award – Timber Design Awards

2020 Finalist – Phoenix House Grampians
Residential Architecture New Build – Sustainability Awards

2020 Finalist – Brunswick East House
Residential Additions + Alterations – Sustainability Awards

2019 Commendation – Clifton Hill Terraces
Residential Architecture New Build – ArchiTeam Awards

2019 Finalist – Clifton Hill Terraces
Residential Architecture New Build – ArchiTeam Awards

2019 Finalist – Clifton Hill Terraces
Multi Residential New Build – Sustainability Awards

2019 Winner – Clifton Hill Terraces
Sustainability Awards Yarra City Council

2018 Finalist – Mount Macedon House
Residential Architecture New Build – Houses Magazine Awards