07 September 2017

 More than a Door

We enjoyed our Friday Think Tank in style on Friday, indulging in some nibbles while lounging in some rather comfortable chairs. You could call it Gold Class Think Tank.

The theme was doors. Each person submitted 3 doors, each with their own story to tell. Some old, some new and some that just hold a special place in your heart.

It all seems pretty basic, but the session really did get you thinking about doors and how they are so much more than just a way to enter and exit. A door can blend seamlessly or it can stand out in a crowd. It can be a piece of art, a tourist attraction and they can be incredibly versatile.

Stroll the quaint streets of Notting Hill in London and the simple yet brightly coloured doors with cascading florals summon you inside for tea. Please note, we don’t condone trespassing.

Oman in the Middle East is known for its unique and personal doors. A treasure trove of visual delights along with the smell of Middle Eastern cuisine is sure to inspire the senses.

Handle or no handle. Tall and skinny, or round and wide. Just like us, they come in all shapes and sizes each with a story to tell.

We look forward to the next Think Tank, an opportunity to think a little differently and build ideas.

“The Door handle is the handshake to the building” Juhani Pallasma.


Untitled design

Think Tank doors sml



Exploring New Learning Environments

Associate Director Dani Martin has worked for EIW Architects immersed in the education architecture industry for close to seventeen years.

Since 2006, Dani has also been actively involved with Learning Environments Australasia (LEA) where she is the current WA Chapter Chair. LEA is a diverse community of over 700 professionals working together to plan and build better learning environments.

Dani recently attended the Learning Environments Australasia's 17th Regional Conference (Learning Scapes eXperience Asia) in Singapore which ran from 12-14 July. We wanted to share her highlights from the event, recently published on the LEA website:

  DAY 1

  DAY 2

  DAY 3

Enabling Village - web

[Enabling Village by Singapore-based Architectural Practice WOHA]

Lifelong Learning Institute - web

[Lifelong Learning Institute - Continuing Education and Training Campus]



Coexistence in a Sphere of Dreams

AIA Conferences always have the ability to get your mind back into that sphere of dreams and in the same respect frighten you, questioning your own ability. Am I doing enough? You listen to the speakers, you see their buildings and you watch their impact on the world. 

The passion runs thick, the speaker empowers you, they jump around on stage, they elaborate on the quirks, the thoughts, the details, the very guiding principles that have lead them to achieve a building that makes them proud. Buildings that provide the end user with an experience, or an enhanced way of life, buildings that have the ability to move into the future, or transport you back to nature. 

PRAXIS Architecture Conference 5

PRAXIS - Process, Propositions and Production, a tough connector. With many speakers from around the world and projects with varying extremes. Cities with different issues, different cultures. From the humble Anupama Kundoo- whose work focuses on ground up architecture - creating opportunities for those less fortune - teaching on the reuse, rethinking of product to produce a better outcome - to Winy Maas whose stance is creating interesting experiences for the user. 

So many thoughts to think! From inspirational words by Murcutt, who has stuck by his principles, created many pieces of art, connecting his clients with nature. Offering words of wisdom on collaboration, on success, on quality and quantity. To Rahul Mehrotra, who opened our eyes to the city of Mumbai, and the serious issues surrounding sanitation, 1 toilet for every 1400 people.... Big issues. Yet all presenters equally passionate, enthusiastic and engaging.

PRAXIS Architecture Conference 1

You exit each day, with your mind running a million miles an hour. So many issues. So many parallel thoughts, which do you place in the scheme of things- how do we create our buildings to do the very things we're observing. You're left overwhelmed and underwhelmed, empowered and deflated all at the same time. All of these conditions coexist. All of these presenters from different backgrounds, bold, brave, humble, humanitarian, sole practitioners, collaborators... You try to look for the common ground to link them- you place on your architecture goggles (as goofy as they are) and enter the city street around you with your mind filled with possibility and confusion.

It wasn't until I'd just had my heart broken watching a documentary of Frank Lloyd Wright, where his brilliant talent was overpowered by the arrogance of his character; and I’d purchased a coffee from a super hipster- over confident barista, from a delightfully styled café. That it hit me. All of the puzzle pieces started to fall into place. I looked at the streets of Sydney and saw- a beautifully historic city, weaved together with possibility and future. Sydney, does this so well. The past and the present. Culture and diversity. The clashing of these differences have found a unison that tell the tales of history, but create a world of possibility. You start to see, the tension of the two. There isn't any one answer. There isn't any one way. It's about weaving, entwining and twisting, strengthening and embracing. Together the XXL and the XXS strengthen and highlight each other. Our differences need not divide us, yet tell us the story of both separate parts and as one, together.

PRAXIS Architecture Conference 6

PRAXIS Architecture Conference 2

Chloe Summers

May 2017 


Theatre Fit for a King! 

Lights, cue performers, music...applause! The Kingsway Christian College auditorium is well under way. The facility will provide capacity for 900 students, teachers and parents enabling secondary and primary assemblies, College worship services, theatrical, dance and musical performances. The stage area is professionally designed to cater for each of these performance modes.

Foyer spaces will provide a venue for the display of art and College community events such as sit down dinners, seminar presentations and sundowners.

The Performing Arts curriculum will be delivered with new facilities for dance, drama and music while the staff will be accommodated in a new staff workroom with potential for increasing staff numbers. Teaching areas will be available as support spaces for larger performance numbers as temporary holding areas and change rooms, while storage is provided in close proximity to each space.

The building provides a palette of materials and colours, complementing the existing College. The scale of the building is such that the scale needs to be handled sensitively to avoid over bearing the surrounding single storey buildings. The treatment of the scale ensures the maximum impact is double storey, whilst the building in reality is three levels. Compromises have been made for economic reasons without effecting the purpose or use of the building.

IMG 8960 medium

IMG 8970 medium

The team at EIW have been working closely with Rob Scott from Trans Media Alliance (TMA), a local business that provides professional consultancy in sound, lighting, multi-media, TV and acoustics.

We spent a few minutes talking to Rob about the project:

Firstly, can you tell us a bit about yourself?

I'm a 'concept' guy who enjoys creating new ideas and pushing boundaries. My history in introducing breakthroughs in technology has included smaller, more powerful speakers into nightclubs in the 80's to digital production editing studios in the 90's, non-linear video editors and beyond.

You have been working closely with EIW Architects. What exciting products/features are in motion for Kingsway Christian College?

The Kingsway project has a number of new strides in technology. It is the first theatre in Australia to be designed*(2015) with 100% LED Stage Lighting. There is not one tungsten light or dimmer rack in sight! The future is here now! Also the incorporation of 32sq metres of LED Video Panels instead of projectors is also very new for a theatre. This particular video wall can be set up in many different configurations and at only 450kg can be literally flown on a lighting bar and appear or disappear by motorised hoist in the fly tower. I have also been really impressed with the EIW Architects in the way they have embraced these new theatre concepts and designs. They have been amazing to work with.

Rob with LED Video Panels web

[Rob standing in front of the LED Video Panels on display at Kosmic Sound]

In regards to audio visual technology, what do you believe will be the next big thing!?

I think the next big thing will be a total shift to LED Stage Lighting and more and more use of LED Video Panels (as we have introduced on this project). 3D Holograms could be interesting!

Once again, almost every new lighting fixture replaced in existing theatres or other venues is being replaced with LED technology. I think projectors and screens will gradually be replaced with LED video panels. Sound has already gone through the digital change in consoles. Audio video and lighting cable has also leapt into Cat 6 digital cable over the last few years making many large multicore looms and such-like redundant.

Have you noticed a shift in new theatres and upgrades? (Are people investing more into consultants and new technology?)

I would certainly like to think people will invest more in Consultants!.....as long as they choose the right consultant! I believe the relationship between EIW and TMA has produced a great synergy.....and we are currently working on some secret projects utilising the latest technology which are going to blow your mind! 

Kingsway Foyer websize 

[Interior timber details by Glosswood]                                                                                                                            

IMG 9218 web

[Great progress on the exterior]

We look forward to sharing more updates with you.


Building Rhythm: Reflections from New Orleans 

A cacophony of sound permeates the walls and open windows of numerous clubs, bars and restaurants throughout the French Quarter in New Orleans;  a sensory experience of sights, sounds and smells. The eclectic mix of sounds from rock to jazz, blues to country western, all meld to build the excitement. People from around the globe flock to Bourbon, Frenchman, Chartres, St Peters and other streets that by night are all about entertainment, but by day, an area full of specialty shops and wonderful rhythmic streetscapes that resonate with French style and scale, with a touch of creole expression.

New Orleans

Head into the northern inner city areas, and that same rhythm finds its own expression amongst the ‘shotgun’ houses still being renovated and refurbished by different agencies long after the devastation that resulted from Hurricane Katrina in 2005 – some natural, a lot man-made.  Individually, they mark the personal nature of being ‘home’. Together, they exude that rhythm that blankets the city – individual expression, community rhythm.

New Orleans

In running a workshop at the A4LE Southern Region conference, I focused on having participants develop their own ideas and prototypes in response to observing, listening and absorbing the images, sights and sounds from the village of Matipwili in Tanzania. The concept drew on the skill of empathetic listening. Out of defining problems and coming up with numerous ideas, people worked in teams to move from a divergent thinking process to converging on an idea to prototype and test. Working together, each group provided different but effective solutions, in both the built and organisational form.

New Orleans

It reminded me of the jazz I enjoyed listening to at night in the streets. Ryan Gosling’s character states in ‘La La Land’,   ‘Jazz was born in a little frap house in New Orleans, because people were crammed in there, they spoke 5 different languages, they couldn’t talk to each other, the only way they could communicate was with jazz ….you can’t (just) hear it, you have to see it, you have to see what’s at stake…the sax player has just hijacked the song, he is on his own trip, every one of these guys is composing, rearranging…its conflict, and its compromise, and it’s new every time, brand new every night.’ So too when we respect differing views and listen to people with an empathetic ear, we can make beautiful music. We can build rhythm that inspires.

5 v2

Richard Sennett in his 2012 book “Together – The Rituals, Pleasures and Politics of Cooperation”, reflects that “…empathetic listening can assist the community worker, priest or teacher mediate in communities where people do not share the same race or ethnicity.” It was something we experienced in Tanzania, and where the origins of playing jazz in New Orleans came from. Without listening to each other playing, jazz would be a cacophony of noise. So it is in the expressive touches put on to the ‘shotgun’ houses of New Orleans that come together with dynamic streetscapes that give community expression. So it is with design, whether it be in the studio or with our clients, listening to each other we should be  “…opening up instead an indeterminate mutual space, the space in which strangers dwell with one another…”

Architecture is a passionate expression of all involved in a project. There will always be the Louis Armstrongs, Thelonius Monks and Wynton Marselis’ of our profession, but we have a great community of architects who every day strive to express a joy and passion for design working together, of building a rhythm that brings together unique outcomes.   


More than ever, my belief that architecture is truly a creative expression within the context of empathetic listening and rigorous but cooperative discourse, remains true to our philosophy of Building Ideas.

Philip Idle

April 2017


The Learning Village: Building Connections, Empowering Change

Philip Idle is honoured to have been selected to present at the 2017 A4LE Southern Region Annual Conference next month in New Orleans. The Association for Learning Environments is a global non-profit association whose sole mission is improving the places where children learn. Philip will have the opportunity to share the inspiring story of how a group of architects and teachers worked towards a 'Learning Village' concept in the African village of Matipwili in a remote region of Tanzania.

The session will take delegates through a workshop derived from the Matipwili experience. Bringing educators and designers together, they will explore developing quick ideas with limited resources, and communicating them using visual and physical techniques with limited dialogue.

Philip will share how they overcame language (Swahili) and cultural (Muslim) differences, as well as devising quick design solutions for the building challenges they faced. Philip will also share how the group continues to engage with the Matipwili community following the principles of - Building Capacity - Empowering Access - Sustaining Relationships - Learning for Living - Preserving Culture - Designing with the Vernacular. For more information regarding the conference please click here.

When we build relationships and are empowered by a powerful empathetic process, creative ideas can be prototyped in a spirit of trust and with great passion.


EIW Architects would like to wish all our friends, colleagues and staff a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year

As 2016 comes to a close, we are thankful for the many people who have contributed to 'building ideas' with us over the year. All of us at EIW are proud of the ongoing relationships we continue to share with clients, consultants, builders, suppliers and colleagues. Together, we have completed some outstanding projects, contributed strongly to our professional associations and remained resilient through a challenging year. The culture and creativity of EIW remains strong.

Read more here.



Mt Lawley Primary School wins City of Stirling Heritage Award

Mt Lawley Primary School was awarded the 2016 City of Stirling 'Barrie Baker Recognition' Heritage Award. 

Congratulations to the team at EIW Architects and all who were involved in such a rewarding and fulfilling project.


For futher project information, click on the following link:

Mt Lawley Primary School



Newman College Auditorium wins AIB Excellence in Building Award 

EIW Architects are delighted to hear that the Newman College Auditorium was recently awarded the AIB Excellence in Building Award.

Congratulations to PS Structures and all who worked on this project - a fantastic result!



Newman College's new multipurpose auditorium is complete

The Marist Auditorium has been designed for Newman College to expand their performing arts program and provide space for school assemblies, performances, art exhibitions and examinations. The brief was to connect the existing music facility with the new auditorium to make every space an area where learning, rehearsal or performance could take place.

With flexibility as a high priority, the Auditorium and stage had to be adaptable and rely upon swinging doors, pivot doors, mechanically operated orchestra pit, drop down screens and retractable seating. The Stage has the ability to accommodate all three disciplines – Dance, Drama and Music – with the large panels at the proscenium and the angled walls panels allow the space to perform in the varying acoustic situations. The Orchestra Pit has several levels which allow for multiple use – a thrust stage, conventional orchestra pit, or raised to seating level for greater audience capacity. With the ability to host art exhibitions and examinations in this same space, retractable seating has been installed as well as increased task lighting differing from the house lighting and specialist theatre lighting.

The learning areas include the music/ drama rooms – connected by an operable wall, a dance studio and 3 Instrument Practice Rooms. The Music and drama rooms have been designed to accommodate:

  • two individual class groups
  • a larger group for rehearsals and
  • an additional space for art exhibitions


  12A0718  12A0738

 12A0814  12A0882-HDR 



Staff Changes

Associate Director Peter Lippman has resigned from EIW Architects, effective 16/02/2016. EIW wish Peter all the best in his future endeavours.


Servite College- Alexis Centre Refurbishment

As part of a larger masterplan for the campus, the Servite College Alexis Centre has commenced a staged upgrade. Starting with the resource centre and classrooms on the ground floor the interior has gone from a grey utilitarian space, to one full of colour and texture. Circulation spaces have increased and many incidental learning spaces have been incorporated to create an interactive environment that supports modern teaching styles.

The colour scheme, yet to be fully realised, is centred around the Servite deep green which will feature as the predominant colour. From this colour an analogous palette has evolved which expresses a gradient from yellow/lime green all the way through the colour wheel to magenta.

Below: tiered seating, entry to refurbished Resources Centre and collaborative learning spaces


Servite website panel- Rev 1


To view a more extensive video of the schools current and future refurbishment plans- please follow the link to the school's own vimeo page here



Harrisdale Primary School opens in time for Term 1

Harrisdale Primary School is situated in the newly created Perth suburb of Heron Park. It is 20km south of the Perth CBD and 10km from the City of Armadale.

From a greenfield site to a complete new school in 12 months, EIW Architects are responsible for the creation of this new 'state-of-the-art educational facility'. The school officially opened on Tuesday February 2nd accommodating 518 students from Kindergarten to Year 6.

The new single storey school includes facilities such as a football oval and cricket pitch, hard courts, 4 teaching blocks, extensive staff facilities, outdoor play areas and ample parking for staff and parents.

To view further details of the school - please follow the link to the school's website here.

Or see the article published by Examiner Newspapers on Thursday 4th February (written by Hamish Hastie) here.

 0411-HPS-Aerial E- resize for website 2

Above: 3D aerial render of completed school

Below: Site works nearing completion and finishing touches being added to landscaping

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Philip Idle Named Association for Learning Environments' Director of the Year


WASHINGTON, DC (October 26, 2015) Philip Idle, a director of Edgar Idle Wade (EIW) Architects and Australasia Director on the Association for Learning Environments’ Board of Directors, was honored as the organization’s Director of the Year at the LearningSCAPES 2015 Conference in San Diego. The Board of Directors unveiled the organization’s new name and brand at the recent conference.

Selected by his peers as the 2015 outstanding board member, Philip Idle played a key role in the organization’s rebranding efforts. “Philip Idle was recognized for his work in leading a huge team of people who have engaged in analysis and discussion about our organization and what people respond to,” said Chair Dan Mader. “We’ve looked at how we related to our members and what’s important to them. These conversations framed our rebranding effort.”

With expertise in the design and planning of educational facilities, Philip Idle’s work encompasses both the private and government sectors in Western Australia and has been recognized internationally. Philip’s experience on educational projects the consultation phases of the projects and the facilitation of the master planning processes.

The Association for Learning Environments (A4LE) is the only professional organization whose principal purpose is improving the places where children learn. A4LE embraces a collaborative network of professionals with one single goal – building healthy, safe, resilient and sustainable 21st Century learning places that inspire transformation in education, enhance student and teacher performance and support culture and community vitality. To learn more, visit www.a4le.org .

Barbara C. Worth
Director of Strategic & Private Development





The ABC has interviewed Peter C. Lippman on the topic of vertical schools. The interview can be seen on Australia Wide on ABC 24 at 7:30pm Saturday 3rd October. See more information below.

The interview will air at the following times:

  • Australia Wide on ABC 24 - 7:30pm Satruday 3rd October
  • ABC News Radio - 8:00am Saturday 3rd October
  • ABC World News - 9:30am Sunday 4th October


Switch on to hear Peter's thoughts on the topic.

You can read the article by Laura Gartry here.  

Alternatively, follow the link to the full episode of Australia Wide here (The piece on verticle schools starts 8:02 minutes in). 




Peter Lippman's paper accepted for publication at LICE-2015

A paper Peter Lippman co-authored with Elizabeth Matthews has been accepted for publication at the London International Conference on Education (LICE-2015). In the words of the LICE-2015 Steering Committee, below:

"Your submitted paper titled 'Allowing for the Spaces In Between: The Role of the Physical Environment in Early Childhood Education' has been refereed by 2 reviewers and accepted for the London International Conference on Education (LICE-2015) to be held at Heathrow Windsor Marriot Hotel, London, UK. The acceptance of your paper for publication in LICE-2015 proceedings reflects the high status of your work by your fellow professionals in the field."

Best Regards

Professor Charles Shoniregun

LICE-2015 Sterring Committe Chair


More details about the conference are available here.


Matipwili Expedition 2015    

Philip Idle and Chloe Summers, along with a small team of volunteers, head back to Matipwili this week to continue the construction of a Trade Training Centre.

The Trade Training Centre will give the community new hope for the future by providing skills such as carpentry, mechanics and mat-making. It will catch and store water which will help save the lives of at least seven women annually who are taken by crocodiles from the banks of the river whilst doing simple domestic chores. It will also provide food for primary school children who often end up travelling long distances to school with no food in their stomachs to start their day.

It is through the generous support of many people in the community that this project has been able to commence construction and we are extremely thankful for their continued support. You can view the list of our generous sponsors here.

A website for the Matipwili expedition has been setup so that updates and photos of the trip can be posted regularly (internet permitting!). You can view the website here and read more about the Matipwili project as it happens.



CEFPI Conference 2015  

Philip Idle, Dani Martin and Chloe Summers recently attended the CEFPI Australasia Region Conference in Canberra. Over three days they heard from speakers on learning spaces and emerging trends in education architecture, and visited numerous schools, colleges and university facilities. Dani has provided a brief rundown of the activities of the conference for CEFPI Australasia. You can read more here:

Day One

Day Two

Day Three


Mt Lawley Primary School re-opens its doors  

Mt Lawley Primary School re-opened on Monday two and a half years after a deliberately lit fire burned 80% of the historic building. Premier Colin Barnett and Education Minister Peter Collier officially re-opened the school in time for the new school year. Students and parents alike were very excited to return to their new environment which features new technology in a two storey, twelve classroom block.  EIW Architects are proud to have been involved in this project.  In the design of the new building we maintained the school's original facade which is over 100 years old whilst creating spacious, fun and modern learning environments. The new changes include a dental therapy centre, hard courts, a lift shaft for accessibility, as well as more learning space that accommodates over 500 students.

To view Today Perth News' video link- click here