Nick and Jane, clients of the Hide House in Venus Bay
“We’re looking for a result that is practical, aesthetically pleasing and distinctive. As we had carefully selected a site with unusual features, we sought a design that would draw them out. We’ve been delighted by Antony’s capacity to do exactly that, while keeping us closely involved in the process. We were thrilled with the final design. We also hope that our architect would shield us from the project management process while respecting our budget and keeping us in the loop. Antony managed town planning and then the selection of the contractor very well, ensuring both quality and realistic pricing. We are now half-way through the build and are very pleased to see that the process is working smoothly due, to a large extent, by his skill in communicating with both the builder and ourselves.”
“At the practical level, we sought an architect who was experienced in building for the conditions on the coast, who was linked to local contractors, knew the local planning and building scene, and understood the local community and the rhythm of coastal life. We wanted a small firm where the principal was hands-on in both design development and the management of the project. We were also pleased to find in Antony someone whose professional work had been shaped by working in a large, disciplined firm in Australia and also in the tough New York apartment market, with its notoriously demanding clients. We were attracted by his success in bringing an international design perspective to the Australian context, demonstrated by the recognition he has won from his profession.”
“We recognise that designing and building a home is an intensely personal project requiring an architect to add the skill of mind-reading to his or her repertoire. Antony has demonstrated that he has this skill and, with his excellent team, has been a delight to work with. He understands our own golden rule of ‘no surprises’ and has been graciously accepting of our particular idiosyncrasies. Construction of our house is now entering its final phase and, thanks to Antony’s work, we’re looking forward to a very pleasing result.”
Paul Hoffman, President of the Venus Bay Surf Life Saving Club
“Antony has really been the ‘rock’ for our club going through this build process. We are a club of volunteers and we have really drawn on Antony’s knowledge to not only lead us through but also introduce us to other stakeholders who have been able to assist us. Antony has also been extremely generous in opening his network and leveraging his relationships to assist the club to move the project forward in the most cost effective way possible.”
“I recently attended a council meeting with Antony about the planning for the proposed redevelopment. Organising the meeting was quite an ordeal and we were advised that we would be meeting three council representatives to discuss the project. On arrival, we were informed that there were further stakeholders who wanted to be included in the meeting and we would be meeting with a further eight representatives of council. Antony was extremely well prepared for the meeting. He was composed and, even when there were some outrageous comments, he managed them with a level of professionalism that you don’t often see today.”
“As a club we have absolute confidence in Antony, he brings a calm, level head to the project and has been able to turn the building and development jargon into simple English, which goes a long way to instil confidence across any stakeholder group.”
“Our lifesaving club building has been in existence for over 30 years… the first person the Board thought of to drive the process was Antony. We knew his reputation for excellence and had seen the work he had done at Smiths Beach. He understands the local issues and has an outstanding ability to convert the building and development jargon into simple English. The redevelopment could be an intimidating process, but stepping it through with Antony has simplified it down to a point where we always know what the next steps are.”
“With Antony, what you see is what you get – he is a man who truly sticks to his word. If he says he will do something, he always does it… always to a high standard and he stands behind what he does. As part of the process he has undertaken for the Venus Bay Surf Lifesaving Club, he had to consult with different groups in the club to develop our solution. Most of those groups have differing needs and all of them reported an extremely positive experience and were happy with the outcomes. Antony’s ability to manage stakeholders and foster positive relationships I believe is second to none.”
Rebecca and Jason, clients of West Bend House and Venus Bay Bach
“Antony designs spaces that are beautiful to live in and also manages every stage so well that the whole design and build process is a pleasure to be part of. We’re still amazed at how well the spaces in our house work. Every room and all the in-between spaces link perfectly, and somehow have outlooks and sky and tree views that hardly seem possible in the middle of the city. I have absolute confidence in his judgement and skill at arriving at wonderful outcomes. He even manages to do this while remembering the budget we need to work to.
Antony is a truly excellent communicator. He is endlessly patient when we need a design choice explained 10 different ways, and multiple options explored before we understand the direction he thinks we should take. He’s open to change, but his first suggestion is usually right. And we’ve gotten better at listening when he is really convinced about a particular approach.
Antony got things back on track countless times and consistently all the way through both projects. It is a complete privilege to be able to build a house but it is also a massive thing to take on. I would have found terrifying if I had any doubt about the skill of the people we were working with. The combination of design skill, attention to detail, foresight, project management, relationship building and calmness that it requires is seldom needed all at once and by the same person in other professions. Antony is excellent on all of these dimensions, and so are the others working for him.
Antony is an architect who designs spaces for people and life. His ‘aesthetic’ is grounded in use. The materials, lines and dimensions always look great but you feel his true sense of design when you live and move through the spaces. There is a warmth to his work and a real sense of architecture supporting experience.”
Miles, client of the Skenes Creek House
“Antony went into bat for us in a really difficult situation. It wasn’t all smooth sailing but he handled things incredibly well.”
“The house was two and a half hours away so we couldn’t get there very often. The stakeholders were two generations of the family and we were on edge given numerous frustrations with the project, in terms of things like flame zoning, engineering and technical difficulties. Antony was an excellent intermediary, coming in with some very necessary micro managing.”
“Antony went above and beyond. He achieves results with superb, entirely realistic management of expectations – and sticks to the budget.”
Damian Iles, Director of Urban Planning at Hansens
“Ant is a highly experienced architect and great bloke who’s really easy to access and communicate with.”
“Antony is a true collaborator, allowing us to work and talk through challenges, evolve potential options and ultimately find the right solution.”
“Antony is tremendously versatile in style, form and context. One minute we are talking about the nuance and complexity of a remote coastal location and the next, it’s the challenges presented by inner Melbourne.”
“The level at which Antony delivers is really impressive. He had to navigate a narrow inner urban block, with tricky interfaces and heritage issues. His ability to stitch a building together has a timeless quality to it, as if it was always meant to exist in that way and in that place. I find his work always respects the place and nature, and I love that he gives his buildings a place to breathe and ensures they are deeply appreciated inside and out.”
“A master delegator with highly strategic navigation in project management.”
“Antony helped create my favourite residential projects, which has become a signature build for MRTN Architects. Antony honoured the rich mid-century period of Australian architecture with honest materials, heaps of access to natural light and a positive engagement with the garden – which is such a key part of modern family living… ”
Martin, client of Shadow Cottage Daylesford
Antony is an innately thoughtful, accommodating, highly gifted problem solver who is excellent at what he does. Even though Anthony was a recommendation through a friend and we’d never met, we immediately clicked on the same wavelength and the project was smooth, painless, really enjoyable experience.
Stephen Mowlam, Principle of Mowlam Structural Engineers
“Ant and his crew are collaborative. They bring in quality consultants and builders who work through feasibility early so we all have a clear understanding of what’s achievable, or not within the budget and site constraints. The MRTN collaboration puts everyone on the same page right at the start, with realistic expectations and delivering a result with far less stress.”
“Ant’s collaborative approach achieves the right result for our clients in the best possible way. And to be honest, it’s a lot more enjoyable working with people with a good attitude… in fact there are only a few architects and designers I work with, Antony and co are at the top of that list.”
“MRTN projects run seamlessly. They do the work early in a collaborative way, they are simply good at their job and surround themselves with good people you can trust… Ant has not had to save the day because he’s so prepared and on top of things there is never a day that needs saving!”
Lars and Monique, clients of the Mt Eliza House
Antony and his team at MTRN are the most outstanding collective of architects I’ve come across. They are so even keel, absorbing and deftly dismissing our crazy ideas, while harnessing the good ideas with an awesome talent for bringing them to life.
Antony in particular is unfazed by the wildest obstructions or mishaps, always calmly navigating any issues. I asked him once, “Don’t you get upset about anything?”
My wife loves the Heidi Museum and asked Antony for a “Heidi 2” to live in. He worked through our ideas with us, not afraid to turn some ideas on their head to re-imagine and re-present to us in unexpectedly better ways.
I really don’t want to be corny, but what Antony built us really does fit us like a glove.
Scott, owner of Technique Constructions
Antony has loads of integrity, which can be rare in the construction industry. His approach to his clients’ needs and wants is exactly the kind of service we value at Technique Construction. Antony understands the bigger picture of budgets, and firmly believes in collaboration with all parties involved in the projects. There is often a separation between the builder and architect on projects, but we have clicked with MTRN and work seamlessly together, as we seem to share the same values.
Building trades are drawn to work on Antony’s projects by his passion for design, not to mention his open and honest communication… many people in the trades steer clear of hard discussions, but Antony ensures there is consistent dialogue and complete respect shown to everyone involved.
At Technique Construction, we were particularly impressed with how open minded Antony and his team were to our suggestions when working together towards a solution – there is no architect vs. builder ego, just a desire to get things right, whoever has the good idea.
Most importantly of all, Antony has his clients’ interests first and foremost, which is exactly how we like to do things. We seem to be in each other’s minds when we work together, and that makes every project with MTRN a genuinely enjoyable experience.
George, client of the Abbotsford House
With all the horror stories you hear around building and renovating, we approached our project with some trepidation. But with Ant, Cam and the rest of the team at MRTN Architects it was a seamless process from concept design right through to completion.
What can you say when you have a stunning home you’re proud to call your own? A superbly considered design by Ant and the team, bringing an old girl back to life and linking the new additions to the industrial backdrop.
When I look back at the original concepts and the finished project, it has been a true collaboration between architect, owner and builder.
An innovative vision brought to life in a stunning design we’re proud to call our home.
My original family home is now ready to welcome a fourth generation and a few more after that.
Sonia Sarangi, Creative Director of the 2020 Architeam Conference
I would now like to welcome our first Keynote speaker for today – Antony Martin. Many of you may know Antony – he is an Architeam member, he has won a slew of awards in the past few years and is arguably the friendliest presence in any Archi-event. What sets Antony apart whenever I meet him or see his projects is their quiet intelligence. Refreshingly free of archispeak, the themes he and his practice have engaged with consistently over the past decade resonate deeply because they are about more than material, surface or form. At their core, they are about people, process, collaboration and ideas explored over time and over multiple projects.