Bijl Architecture is an ambitious Sydney practice seeking to challenge the status quo. We believe that our homes, schools and places of gathering are an expression of our communities’ collective values and hopes, for now and for the future.

Through our work, we make these aspirations resolutely life-affirming and real.


Our Philosophy

At Bijl Architecture, our practice is guided by the belief that architecture must improve our comfort and connections: to each other, to ourselves, and to future generations. This focuses our renowned energy and determination in the daily pursuit of these aims, both with and for our clients.

Being unapologetic opportunists, we seek to create designs that bring enduring surprise and delight. We are always seeing potential.

Our residential projects are borne from an empathic, deeply personal expression of our clients’ vision; our educational and public works invest in the potential of architecture to serve people through advancing pedagogy, industry and ideas.

Through teaching, research and advocacy, we raise our voices tirelessly to progress the profession in the interests of our shared legacy - for students, practitioners, and the public alike.

By acknowledging the traditional owners of the lands where we work, our practice embraces an open design culture - to encourage us and our clients to learn about country and to make reconciliation actions.

Most of all, our architecture is impeccably detailed, grounded in economic mindfulness, perceptive, and proudly Bijl – alive with light, character; sometimes mercurial, always striving.

Our Team

Melonie Bayl-Smith LFRAIA MAICD

Director and Principal Architect

Melonie Bayl Smith 122

Melonie Bayl-Smith LFRAIA MAICD

Director and Principal Architect

Associate Professor, UNSW Faculty of Built Environment

Elected Member, NSW Architects Registration Board

NSW Convenor, AACA

Nominated Architect NSW ARB 6846 ARBV 19214 BoATAS 1080

Architecture needs more architects like Melonie Bayl-Smith.

Melonie’s commitment to championing the potential of people and architecture, both within her projects, practice, and the profession, is indefatigable.

Founding BIJL Architecture in 2012, Melonie has built a practice dedicated to pursuing meaningful and inclusive client relationships, research, and design excellence. From her formative career based in residential design, Melonie’s contributions now extend to public, education and community architecture - a natural extension for her enquiring mind and drive for empathic and effective architecture.

Through mentoring, lecturing and working to improve educational standards, Melonie’s commitment to the future of the profession is clear. As a recipient of both Byera Hadley and NAWIC IWD scholarships, Melonie’s research project 'BuildAbility' revealed the urgent imperative to progress architectural curricula in response to changing pedagogical and professional needs.

In 2020 Melonie has been appointed to the role of Associate Professor at UNSW Faculty of Built Environment (Architecture), having taught in the UTS School of Architecture for twelve years where she was Adjunct Professor (2012-20). She is currently an elected member of the NSW Architects Registration Board, and is the AACA State Convenor for the registration of architects in NSW.

Melonie has been recognised at a national level by the Australian Institute of Architects - in 2020 she was elevated to Life Fellow for notable contributions to the architectural profession, after being made a Fellow in 2018. She was also awarded the Paula Whitman Leadership in Gender Equity Prize as part of the 2018 Australian Achievement in Architecture Awards. Most recently, Melonie has served as the immediate past Co-Chair of the Institute's National Committee for Gender Equity (2018-20).

Melonie’s achievements as architect, agitator, educator, champion and mentor have been instrumental to advancing the profession and BIJL’s emergence as an influential architectural practice.

Read more about Melonie in Parlour's interview, In Conversation with....

Andrew Lee 4414 Low Res

Andrew Lee

Senior Associate, Nominated Architect

Andrew Lee
Senior Associate, Nominated Architect

B.A. (Hons), B. Arch

Renowned for his natural rapport with clients, builders and consultants, Andrew’s early professional schooling was with UK practice Purcell, where he worked on the ambitious Sammy Ofer Wing of the National Maritime Museum.

When Andrew joined BIJL in 2012, he put this large-team project experience and an astute awareness for the importance of detail to fully realised and expressive buildings to work on our projects. Conversant with working across a range of typologies and scales, Andrew is equally at home resolving the finer aspects of an interior detail as he is onsite championing client needs and design integrity. An advocate for robust education architecture, Andrew’s approach is always people first.

Chelsea Dawson 4552 Low Res

Chelsea Dawson


Chelsea Dawson

B. Arch (Hons)

Through 25 years working locally and internationally, Chelsea has experience comprehensively aced. From palatial London residences to defence buildings, health sector, shopping centre and heritage retail conversions, Chelsea’s project experience has furnished her with impeccable design and project management skills. She is also a stickler for project schedule and budget deliverables.

Chelsea’s comprehensive contractual, accessibility and building code knowledge is applied cross-practice. She relishes the opportunity to work on heritage buildings under revision to meet contemporary needs - projects that exercise the ‘jigsaw puzzle’ demands of the vocation, pitting project pragmatics and stringent regulations against client brief and creativity.

Rachael Otoole 4516 Low Res

Rachael O'Toole


Rachael O'Toole

NSW ARB 11012

B.Des.Arch. M. Arch

Rachael is naturally curious and methodical, knowing that great design comes through great process. A nimble thinker, her capacity to bring concepts to life through the small details and big ideas alike has drawn out new potential design avenues for BIJL.

Prior to joining BIJL, she undertook an instrumental six-month intensive design studio in Denmark, and worked at large practices HASSELL and Fitzpatrick + Partners, honing her instincts for successful projects of any size. She provides intelligent, creative insights across all phases of the architectural process to keep our processes and design outputs sharp.

Bill Hinchcliff Low Res

Bill Hinchcliff

Graduate of Architecture

Bill Hinchcliff
Graduate of Architecture


A recent graduate of the University of South Australia, Bill brings experience beyond his years. Having worked in practice for the entire duration of his full-time studies, Bill has developed a strong interest in construction processes, and how designs come to life through detailing and the on-site relationship with builders and trades alike.

These interests have immediately translated into Bill's work at BIJL, where he is working across stages for a range of residential projects. Alongside his affinity for thoughtful design is an enthusiasm for photography and graphic design, fitting neatly with BIJL's ethos of promoting clear and meaningful communication in all our endeavours.

Brad Payne Low Res

Bradley Payne

Graduate of Architecture

Bradley Payne
Graduate of Architecture


Bradley is a natural maker - from buildings to models and furniture, he enjoys exploring how the act of making helps to refine design ideas and their final expression. With this eye for detail and construction, Bradley brings a keen interest in residential design and the granular approach so necessary to producing successful single dwelling projects.

Previous work experience for Bradley includes a two year stint at Daryl Jackson Alastair Swayn (DJAS) in Canberra, as well as tutoring in the School of Architecture at UNSW. Adept in both the analogue and digital worlds, Bradley's contributions neatly dovetail with BIJL's design and typology interests and our fondness for being future-facing.


Bijl Architecture holds the following certifications:

  • ISO 9001:2015
  • ISO 14001:2015
  • ISO 45001:2018

Bijl Architecture is prequalified under the NSW GA Strategy and Design Excellence Panel — Architecture


Bijl Architecture is a registered architectural practice in NSW and Victoria (no. 51837)

Member & IWD Scholarship winner: NAWIC

Nawic Logobw

Intriguer/Donor/Marion's List Member: Parlour

Affiliations Bijl Parlour

Corporate Sponsor: Sydney Youth Orchestras

Affiliations Bijl Syo

Nominated Champion Charity: Wayside Chapel

Affiliations Bijl Wayside
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Site Information



Profile photography.

Kirsten Delaney

Archive note.

Projects prior 2011 were completed as Liquid Architecture.