Bark Design Architects corporate director Lindy Atkin has just been selected as the Sunshine Coast Outstanding Business Woman of the Year Award, while the team has gained recognition in the Australian Institute of Architecture Awards.
Ms Atkin said her recognition by the Sunshine Coast Business Women’s Network was an honour because of the many talented women who live and work on the Sunshine Coast and a validation of the important role architecture has in shaping the region.
“Our region needs public buildings and infrastructure to be developed in consultation with local communities and business people, by professionals that have an insight into the specific concerns of the Sunshine Coast.
Led by Ms Atkin and business partner and husband, Stephen Guthrie, Bark has received an Australian Institute of Architects State Commendation for Public Buildings for their work on the Noosa Visitors Centre. This is just the latest in a growing list of design awards for the Sunshine Coast team.
“The whole team is very excited about the recognition. We work collaboratively on all our projects and are dedicated to being part of sustainably developing the region while also maintaining its diversity,” Ms Atkin said.
In the thirteen years since Ms Atkin and Mr Guthrie launched Bark Design Architects, they have worked on a mix of residential and public buildings. They bring decades of international experience to each project, along with their enthusiasm and dedication to creating beautiful, timeless spaces that fulfill their clients’ needs.
“We don’t have one particular style, instead we design from the inside out so our spaces are tailored to the specific lifestyle requirements of each of our clients,” Mr Guthrie said.
“It is really important to us how the space feels rather than how it looks,” Ms Atkin said.
From Bark Design Architects first project – the Caloundra Art Gallery, completed in 2000, it has designed many diverse residential projects from Byron Bay to Magnetic Island. Recent projects include the Noosa Transit Centre – on which construction has just started; the Noosa River House – an example of sustainable reuse of Noosa’s 40-year-old building stock; the Community Arts Centre at Mission Beach; as well as houses at Noosa hinterland and Marcus Beach. These last two are examples of very different projects which both focused on creating spaces that suited the site, climate and landscape.
Bark’s own studio at Noosa is testament to their sustainable, timeless style.
“Sustainability is achieved by addressing the interrelated environmental, cultural and social aspects of buildings. Making these aspects balance for the particular project ensures an appropriate and affordable outcome,” Ms Atkin explains.
Built ten years ago, the studio is a contemporary structure that focuses on the views from the site, breezes and sun, while also creating a social space that is obviously conducive to the creativity of their work.
“We draw on the environment, creating individual buildings to suit each situation, with the architecture defining the thresholds between inside and out,” Mr Guthrie said.
Ms Atkin was recognised by the Sunshine Coast Business Women’s Network for her role in growing Bark Design Architects and also for her career portfolio which also included work on the Sydney Olympic Stadium, Olympic Visitors Centre, the Queen Elizabeth Hall in London’s Southbank, and the Channel Tunnel International Terminal at Waterloo.
“There are so many innovative and creative business women on the Coast, which gives me great confidence for our region’s future, just as we feel privileged to be participating in shaping the built environment of the Sunshine Coast,” Ms Atkin said.
“The Sunshine Coast is a unique environment and we have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity now to ensure that we maintain its character and diversity while also fulfilling the needs of the people who live and work here.
“It is vital is that we plan carefully to prevent the sprawling sameness that has come with development in some other regions.
“What works in Melbourne doesn’t necessarily work here and we need to create architectural spaces that enrich our environment and people’s lives.”
Mr Guthrie said there was a growing awareness about the need for a smaller ecological footprint, which provided a huge opportunity to think in a more sophisticated and environmentally conscious way about the kinds of houses and public buildings needed.
“Sustainability is not a new idea, while it has become a buzz word in the past few years, it is and has always been at the core of all good design.
“Good design substantially reduces the ongoing maintenance and repair costs for a building so while initial costs may be slightly higher, the overall life cost of the building to the environment and the community is much less,” he said.
To find out more about Bark Design Architects and to see a portfolio of their work visit www.barkdesign.com.au.