Lauren Fairley

MODE Celebrates 10 Year Anniversary in the NT

Lauren Fairley
MODE Celebrates 10 Year Anniversary in the NT

Award winning design firm MODE, celebrates its 10-year anniversary this month of providing services in architecture, landscape architecture, interior design and graphic design in the Northern Territory.

MODE entered the Northern Territory (NT) market in 2008 with the acquisition of local design firm The Architects Studio, a small firm of four staff under the leadership of Peter Fletcher. This move marked the establishment of MODE’s 4th studio. The firm now has 10 studios across Australia, New Zealand and Vietnam.

“We are so proud to celebrate this milestone on behalf of our employees and clients,” said Rhonan O’Brien, Managing Principal of MODE. “Over the past decade and 22 industry awards later, we have expanded the breadth and scope of our services in the region, providing tremendous value for our clients and designing projects in all regions across the Northern Territory.

Director and Darwin Studio Manager, Jenny Culgan, and Associate, Sarah Hubbard, were integral to the MODE merger in 2008 and are both celebrating their 10th year anniversaries with the company. Under both Jenny and Sarah’s leadership, the Darwin studio has designed a wide array of projects in the areas of community and Indigenous infrastructure, sport and recreation, education and health projects. The Darwin studio further celebrates women in leadership roles with a Director, Assistant Studio Manager and Associate heading the team.

High-profile projects in the NT designed by MODE in recent years include: Bullocky Point Education Precinct, which won the prestigious Tracy Memorial Award; the co-location of Darwin High School and Northern Territory students of Distance Education (NTSDE) amalgamating to a single location to allow the two schools with differing pedagogies to provide a new shared public interface for parents and visitors of both education facilities; and the recently completed Marrara Tennis Centre, bringing national and international sporting competitions to the Territory with 16 courts and a club house including café, bar and function rooms. The centre is a world class facility which will enhance the presence of tennis in the NT and internationally.

As well as high-profile projects over the past decade, MODE developed a long-standing community commitment policy to deliver quality projects for Indigenous communities in health, housing and community developments in remote regions.

“MODE was engaged by the Anindilyakwa Land Council (ALC) to provide community consultation, design and documentation for the Groote Eylandt Cultural Centres located at Angurugu and Umbakumba that would reflect the needs of the community”, said Ms Culgan. “With a primary focus on respecting the Anindilyakwa people’s dedication to preserving and maintaining culture, we sought to provide facilities that will be embraced by the community for a variety of educational and creative uses. The Darwin studio worked with multiple stakeholders including the Traditional Owners, the Anindilyakwa Land Council Board, various community user groups, and Prime Minister and Cabinet representatives to design a space that reflects the uniqueness of the culture and region, bringing together the communities from youths to elders”.

In 2017, MODE established a Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) Committee that would be responsible for developing and implementing MODE’s first RAP. The committee consists of a RAP Board chaired by Darwin, with other studio representatives spread across Australia and New Zealand studios. The framework will provide a business model that will commit MODE to carry out activities and actions that result in the total inclusion of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and cultural awareness for the company’s diverse offices. It provides a practical plan of action, built on relationships, respect and opportunities to create social change and economic opportunities for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

The RAP Committee will launch MODE’s first RAP this month, alongside NAIDOC week and the Darwin’s studio 10-year celebration event which will be held at their recently completed interior project, the Landmark Tavern.