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.

Philosophy

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.

We acknowledge the First Nations people who are the traditional owners of the unceded lands upon which we work, who have cared for Country over many generations. In our practice, we embrace an open design culture that prompts us, our clients and our colleagues to learn about Country and to take reconciliation actions.

Sustainable practices are evident not only in our long-time holistic design approach but in our own operations - we are a certified Carbon Neutral business. We pursue constant improvements in our work and built output with the future good firmly in mind.

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.

Capability Statement - Education Projects

Capability Statement - Public and Community Projects

Our Process

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

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 factors important to you. We’ll then research your site and its context, and prepare 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 the likely process for your project.

Bijl Architecture’s inclusive approach fosters long-standing relationships with clients, builders, consultants and peers, and this approach has informed the many enjoyable and successful projects we have completed to date.

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

How we work: Construction Documentation

How we work: Interior Design

How we work: Construction

Our Team

Melonie Bayl-Smith LFRAIA MAICD

Director and Principal Architect

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Melonie Bayl-Smith LFRAIA MAICD

Director and Principal Architect

Nominated Architect ARB NSW 6846 ARBV 19214 BoATAS 1080

Associate Professor, UNSW ADA - School of Built Environment

NSW APE Convenor

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 and design excellence. Melonie’s practice extends cross residential, public, education and community architecture, leveraging her drive for empathic and effective architecture.

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

Highly regarded by her peers, Melonie is a Life Fellow of the Australian Institute of Architects and received the Paula Whitman Leadership in Gender Equity Prize in the 2018 Australian Achievement in Architecture Awards. She also served consecutive terms on the NSW Architects Registration Board as both an elected and academic member (2017-23).

Melonie's commitment to architectural education is well known - in 2020 she was appointed Associate Professor (Architecture) at UNSW ADA School of Built Environment, having previously taught for over a decade at the UTS School of Architecture, including as an Adjunct Professor (2012-19). Her research project 'BuildAbility - the Future of Construction Education' was funded by a Byera Hadley Travelling Scholarship (2009) and the NAWIC IWD scholarship (2010). She is the current NSW APE Convenor and undertakes a range of assessment and accreditation activities for the AACA.

In a past life, Melonie was a professional musician - these days substituted by attending live music, listening, reading and talking about music, and buying, selling and collecting records.

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

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Vanessa Tang-Lee MDIA

Associate, Senior Project Leader

Vanessa Tang-Lee MDIA
Associate, Senior Project Leader

Interior Designer

B.Des. B.Art. Dip Man

For Vanessa, great design is the natural outworking of a fulsome and enjoyable process realised through a close working relationship with the client. By taking this partnering approach, Vanessa's approach is to emphasise the importance of good design, regardless of project scale, type or budget. In turn, her focus is always on realising the client's brief, underpinned by a desire to achieve human comfort, longevity, and a strong aesthetic sensibility.

Having made significant contributions during her previous eight-year stint with BIJL Architecture, in 2018 Vanessa moved into senior roles with CalderFlower and then CK Design International. At these practices, Vanessa diversified her experience across larger scale projects in the commercial, aged care, public and institutional sectors.

Since her return to BIJL Architecture in 2021, Vanessa's robust industry knowledge and broadened experience has brought continued benefit to all of our clients and their projects - especially to their furniture collections!

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Bradley Payne RAIA

Architect

Bradley Payne RAIA
Architect

ARB NSW 12401

M.Arch.

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 Architecture program 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.

A man of many talents, Brad regularly kicks goals for ACU FC and practices the fine art of bonsai.

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Kurt Egan

Graduate

Kurt Egan
Graduate

M.Arch.

A self-dubbed ‘extra-extrovert’, Kurt is nonetheless a reflective and thoughtful designer interested in how design influences the way we live, and vice versa. As a result, Kurt likes to ask questions because he believes that challenging assumptions and norms helps to find ‘the way in’ to a project, thereby making the architectural process compelling, empathic and meaningful for the client and user.

Kurt commenced with BIJL in mid-2021, having previously worked for regional practice CKDS on both large-scale apartment buildings and bespoke single dwellings. These experiences were showcased in Kurt's highly regarded graduation project, a contemporary housing and adaptive reuse development for Ultimo.

On the weekends, you can find Kurt either at netball training, on the netball court, or barracking for his favourite netball team, the NSW Swifts.

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Jared Petrovski

Graduate

Jared Petrovski
Graduate

M.Arch.

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Rebecca George

Graduate

Rebecca George
Graduate

M.Arch.

Vanessa lowres

Vanessa Orr

Studio Manager

Vanessa Orr
Studio Manager

Dip. Interior Design and Decoration

Cert IV Design (Styling and Creative Direction)

With a background in production and business management in the fashion industry and mostly recently administering and growing a charity foundation, Vanessa brings a broad range of interests and skills to the role of Studio Manager. Her responsibilities span the business, quality management and administrative needs of the practice, providing support to the entire team.

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Piers Bayl-Smith

IT Manager

Piers Bayl-Smith
IT Manager

Ph.D. (Org. Psych.)

After two years as the practice's Studio and Quality and Compliance Manager, Piers now services the IT needs of BIJL Architecture, providing support to the entire team.

Accreditation

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

Membership

Bijl Architecture is a registered architectural practice in NSW, Victoria (no. 51837) and Tasmania (no. F15).

Certified Carbon Neutral Company: Pathzero

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Member and IWD Scholarship Alumna: NAWIC

Affiliations Bijl NAWIC jpg

Accredited Member Better Business Partnership

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Intriguer and Marion's List Member: Parlour

Affiliations Bijl Parlour

Nominated Champion Charity: Wayside Chapel

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Site Information

Website.

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Profile photography.

Kirsten Delaney

Archive note.

Projects prior 2011 were completed as Liquid Architecture.