Collective creative strengths drive new direction at Buchan

Buchan has announced the appointments of three of its principals to key sector leaders under a raft of changes at the global design studio.  

Valerie Mack will take the helm of Interiors for the firm, while Harvey Male will assume Living and Phil Schoutrop will lead the Precinct sector (Retail/Mixed-Use).

Buchan CEO Stephen Auld said the firm would continue to operate from nine capital city locations in Australia, New Zealand and China, but would move to a common platform to champion its cross-sector expertise and global knowledge relevant to its clients.

“The nature of our work has evolved and the expectations of the marketplace is ever-changing,” he said.

“This means our clients will now have access to Buchan’s collective creative strength and broad research base, regardless of their geographic location.

“It enables our clients to leverage the unparalleled experience and strategic guidance of Buchan’s talent pool of 250 architects and designers from around the world, as well as our global alliance with Nikken Sekkei.”

Auld said the “blended” nature of Buchan’s cohesive sectors could already be seen at work in the firm’s current major projects, including the recently approved 20-year $1billion masterplanned vision for Cockburn Quarter in Western Australia. Other significant developments include Melbourne’s prominent Walk Arcade redevelopment (Retail and Hotel) and the heritage adaptation of the South Eveleigh Locomotive Workshop – a hybrid mixed-use destination for hospitality, retail, events, commercial and education, due for completion by the end of the year.

“The change of direction also provides diverse career opportunities for our people and will drive future growth at Buchan,” Auld said.

Valerie Mack – Interiors sector lead

Valerie has enjoyed a stellar career in interior design both nationally and internationally. Her portfolio encompasses the design of many significant projects throughout Asia Pacific in the hospitality, commercial, residential and retail sectors, including the Walk Arcade development.

Based in Melbourne, Valerie will spearhead Buchan’s design team focused on the creation of workplace, hospitality, co-work and hotel destinations. 

Valerie has led large design teams, and worked with complex client organisations. She is passionate about driving success for her clients with an in-depth knowledge of environmental, social and financial goals.

She said her team’s remit was the design of places centred on human experience where people thrive; places that promote mental, social and physical wellbeing through amenity.

“Design of interior spaces should help to convey a unique personality that connects to both existing and prospective users, enhancing the brand experience and supporting both physical and emotional needs,” she said.

Harvey Male – Living sector lead

Harvey will lead the Living arm of Buchan’s residential, hospitality, and build-to-rent (BTR) portfolio, recognising the enormous value and opportunity that BTR presents in Australia.

A practicing architect of more than 30 years, Harvey brings extensive knowledge of residential, community focused living and BTR success in the UK and US to the role.

His most recent work spans hotel, residential, commercial, cultural and mixed-use architectural projects in Australia, India, Japan, Korea and China.

The announcement comes with procurement of Buchan’s first Australian BTR project in Brisbane.

Harvey said Buchan was committed to executing blended use lifestyle projects of lasting operational and community value in commercial precincts. This is bolstered by a 30-year working relationship with CallisonRTKL, giving Buchan clients access to the best of global insight, local market knowledge, and proven BTR experience.

He said the combined intelligence of the two firms offered new efficiencies to developers and investors looking to reposition their portfolios to meet evolving market demands and post-COVID realities.

“BTR has grown exponentially in the UK through the pandemic,” Harvey said. “Even with restrictions, the model has allowed people access to amenity and service in their immediate neighbourhoods because the design is driven by human experience. We are confident and excited by the opportunity a BTR asset class holds for Australia.”

Phil Schoutrop – Precinct sector lead

Phil brings more than 25 years of international experience in commercial architecture to Buchan’s Precinct (retail and mixed-use) stronghold. 

Based in Brisbane, he has led projects in Australia, New Zealand, Asia, China, India and Africa for a broad client base, including Lend Lease, Vicinity and AMP, CapitaLand, Hongkong Land and Apple.

Buchan has a demonstrated history in creating exceptional design and commercial outcomes for its retail and mixed-use clients — big and small. 

Long-standing relationships with clients on projects like Chadstone and Robina Town Centre has seen owners realise the commercial benefit of global knowledge and design prowess.

“Successful developments create a strong sense of belonging and it is this feeling that generates loyalty and a sense of community.” Phil said.  “We need to rethink what it means to engage the needs and lifestyles of individuals. Personalised experiences are at the heart of blended projects in the future


Images (top to bottom): Stephen Auld, Harvey MaleValerie Mack, Phil Schoutrop

Photography credit:

Stephen Auld – Martin Mischkulnig

Harvey Male and Valerie Mack – James Lauritz

Phil Schoutrop – Emma Nevison

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