Costa Syme Architects
Costa Syme Architects is an enterprising emerging practice fusing creativity with technical practicality to deliver innovative architecture across Australia and abroad. Founded by Directors Andrew Costa and Suzy Syme, and with practices based in Brisbane and Hobart, Costa Syme unites expertise across education, public, tourism, commercial and residential architecture with prowess in art and parametric design. Conscious of shaping architecture capable of enriching local communities and environments, the studio is driven with a passion for sustainable, accessible, and socio-culturally responsive outcomes.
We believe that outstanding architecture exists when creativity harmonises with practicality; constructing buildings and spaces that are as memorable, engaging, and stimulating as they are logical, functional, and economical. Hand in hand with this, we believe that architecture is a *thing of beautiful potential* that should use its influence to enrich and better the lives and environments that it touches.
These collective principles manifest in what we have come to describe as ‘architecture for the many and the few’: architecture for the crowds and the individual; the wider environment and the site; the city and the local community. Architecture that addresses the bigger picture, functionality, and patterns of use whilst keeping an eye on the minute details, the site impact, and the intimate spaces that shape human interaction. We consider sustainable practice central to this pursuit.
We take pride in cultivating strong, lasting relationships with our clients; working closely with all involved to drive outcomes that hold the client’s best interests at heart. Whilst drawing from prior knowledge and expertise we enjoy approaching every brief and site afresh; giving every project careful, individual design consideration, leading to unique, quality outcomes responding to every place, client, and scope.
We believe that remarkable architecture is founded through dynamic collaboration between many: architects, clients, consultants, builders, communities, and councils working together to generate design outcomes that enrich the local environment and lives of all involved.
Internally, close collaboration across all projects and stages is key to the success of Costa Syme’s process; it was a deep understanding of the exponential benefits brought by bringing together unique architectural skills, knowledge, and experience combined with proven work compatibility and strong desire to collaborate that led to the creation of the practice. Once a firm understanding of project brief, scope, budget, and place are established we dive into a rigorous all hands on deck design process utilising hand drawings, diagramming and 3D maquettes to develop and communicate initial concepts.
3D CAD and BIM technology is used throughout all projects to facilitate enhanced communication, design, coordination, and documentation outcomes. We also specialise in utilising an iterative design process using algorithmic and parametric modelling to achieve elevated design and build outcomes. From optimising built form response to sun, wind, views, and privacy; to generation of wholly unique, beautiful designs; to optimisation of material use and site assembly for maximised economic efficiency. In pursuit of ensuring high-calibre design and build outcomes, we use a Quality Assured process throughout all project stages.
ANDREW COSTA RAIA
MANAGING DIRECTOR | ARCHITECT
Co-founder and Managing Director of Costa Syme Architects, Andrew has over a decade’s worth of experience across education, commercial, public, and residential projects. This is reflected in Andrew’s diverse folio of work encompassing a range of projects across Australia and abroad, including the awarded Timber Tower and University of the Sunshine Coast - Moreton Bay Campus Stage 2. Prior to founding Costa Syme, Andrew established his career working for local practices, including internationally renowned design practice KIRK.
Andrew combines a strong technical background with a sharp eye for details and a honed design sensibility to deliver beautiful architecture that is carefully curated across all scales. From overarching concepts down to minute construction details, packaged neatly to completion with comprehensive knowledge of Australian building codes and standards. Sustainability is held close to Andrew’s life and work, architecturally refined through expertise in mass timber and innovative passive design.
Across practice and competition work, Andrew has been associated with a number of architectural awards and commendations – most recently finalist for the Rising Star Award in the Timber Design Awards, and the Beatrice Hutton Award for Commercial Architecture for KIRK’s Timber Tower. Passionate about the architectural industry and young professionals’ future, Andrew is a regular juror for the Australian Institute of Architecture Awards, a tutor at the University of Queensland, and a member of the Australian Institute of Architecture Queensland Education Committee. Andrew actively and passively aids aspiring graduates through the registration process as a certified RAIA mentor, a regular panellist and curator for PALS, and via his self-made registration preparation website which has since been integrated into the PALS course.
SUZY SYME RAIA
CREATIVE DIRECTOR | ARCHITECT
Co-founder and Creative Director of Costa Syme Architects, Suzy has almost a decade’s worth of experience across commercial, public, tourism, residential and education projects. Prior to founding Costa Syme, Suzy built her career working with local practices, including Neylan Architecture and Open Architecture Studio, leading projects across a diverse range of scales and typologies including Barns Lane Farm, the exciting Agri-Tourism venture proposed for Coolum Beach.
With a background in fine art and notable skill utilising parametric design software, Suzy combines the hands-on approach of traditional design practice with the immeasurable potential of new technology. Operating at the nexus of artistic creativity and out-of-the-box problem solving, Suzy conceives and delivers wholly unique design solutions intuitively responsive to the client, environment, use and place. Suzy prioritises working closely with clients, consultants and contractors to develop a keen understanding of needs, constraints and opportunities; fostering creative project outcomes underpinned by strong technical and practical foundations.
Compelled by the role and potential of women in practice, and a passion for fostering aspiring young professionals, students and graduates’ futures, Suzy is an Australian Institute of Architects Mentor, and a tutor at the University of Queensland. Driven to hone her design skills and to understand the role architecture plays in diverse cultures across the globe, Suzy has entered several International Design Competitions, notably receiving second place for the One Heart Children’s Eco-Village in Kenya, and Honourable mention for the Earthquake-Responsive Community Centre in Nepal.