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 bring enduring surprise and delight. It must improve our connections to each other, to ourselves, and to future generations.

Our residential projects are borne from an empathic, deeply personal expression of our clients’ vision for living; our educational and public architecture progresses our shared social and built legacy.

By acknowledging the traditional owners of the lands, our practice embraces an open design culture – to encourage ourselves and our clients to learn about country and to make reconciliation actions.

From this philosophical framework we create architecture that is impeccably detailed, grounded in economic mindfulness, perceptive, and proudly Bijl – alive with light, character; sometimes mercurial, always striving.

Our Process

Bijl Architecture is a full-service architectural practice. We offer concept designs and feasibility studies through to planning applications, construction documentation, interior design, and contract administration.

Our projects are realised through a transparent process built on trust and open conversation. From the very first meeting we listen: we discuss your brief, expectations, scope of works, budget, and other important factors to you. We’ll then research your site and its context and present several design options that marry your brief with our observations and reflections. We also examine town planning obligations, map out an estimate of project and construction costs, and provide further information around time and likely process for your project.

Bijl Architecture’s inclusive approach fosters long-standing relationships with clients, builders, consultants and peers, forming the basis of enjoyable and successful projects.

Our projects are found throughout Sydney and circle our beloved home suburb of Willoughby, but our work also takes us to regional NSW, Victoria and Tasmania. Enquiries from further afield are always welcome.

How we work: Concept Design

How we work: Design Development

How we work: Planning Applications

Our Team

Melonie Bayl-Smith LFRAIA MAICD

Director and Principal Architect

Melonie Bayl Smith 122

Melonie Bayl-Smith LFRAIA MAICD

Director and Principal Architect

Nominated Architect NSW ARB 6846 ARBV 19214 BoATAS 1080

Associate Professor, UNSW FADA - School of Built Environment

Academic Member, NSW Architects Registration Board

NSW APE Convenor, AACA

Architecture needs more architects like Melonie Bayl-Smith.

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 practice now extends to public, education and community architecture - a natural extension for her enquiring mind and drive for empathic and effective architecture.

Melonie exerts an untiring commitment to championing the potential of people and architecture, through her projects, practice, and professional activities. While of significant benefit to the wider architectural profession, Melonie's achievements as architect, agitator, educator and mentor have been instrumental to BIJL Architecture's emergence as an influential architectural practice.

Highly regarded by her peers, Melonie has received national recognition from the Australian Institute of Architects - she was recently elevated to Life Fellow for notable contributions to the architectural profession (2020) and receiving the Paula Whitman Leadership in Gender Equity Prize in the 2018 Australian Achievement in Architecture Awards. For her research project 'BuildAbility' she won the Byera Hadley Travelling Scholarship (2009) and the NAWIC IWD scholarship (2010).

Melonie's commitment to architectural education is well known - in 2020 she was appointed Associate Professor (Architecture) at UNSW FADA School of Built Environment, having previously taught for over a decade at the UTS School of Architecture, including as an Adjunct Professor (2012-19). She is the NSW APE Convenor and the current Academic Member of the NSW Architects Registration Board.

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.

Vanessa Tang Lee high res

Vanessa Tang-Lee


Vanessa Tang-Lee

Interior Designer, MDIA.

B.Des. B.Art. Dip Man

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.

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.

Abbey O Regan high res

Abbey O'Regan

Architectural Assistant

Abbey O'Regan
Architectural Assistant


Abbey joined Bijl Architecture in mid-2020 and has made her mark as a capable architectural assistant, moving across writing, communications and project support work with ease. Alongside these activities, Abbey manages BIJL's technical and samples library and is involved with the material and selections inputs for all projects from concept through to construction.

In 2021, Abbey will be commencing her M.Arch. at The University of Sydney.


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

Affiliations Bijl NAWIC jpg

Carbon Neutral Company: Pathzero

Pathzero carbon neutral company

Success Through Sustainability 2021 Runner Up, Professional Services Category: Better Business Partnership Awards

Affiliations Bijl BBP jpg

Intriguer/Donor/Marion's List Member: Parlour

Affiliations Bijl Parlour

Corporate Sponsor: Sydney Youth Orchestras

Affiliations Bijl Syo

Nominated Champion Charity: Wayside Chapel

Certification Logo Small

Site Information



Profile photography.

Kirsten Delaney

Archive note.

Projects prior 2011 were completed as Liquid Architecture.