Current Issue #488

Darren Bilsborough Takes the Reins at Hames Sharley

Darren Bilsborough Takes the Reins at Hames Sharley

Sustainability design expert Darren Bilsborough joins Hames Sharley as the multidisciplinary firm’s Adelaide studio leader and director, and with his engineering background believes that marrying what architects and engineers do best will deliver a value proposition that is unique.

“I believe that that there is this enormous opportunity to take what architects are very good at and marry that with what I think I’ve been able to learn and pick up and, I think, be quite good at in my engineering career,” Bilsborough says.

“If I can get those two things working together, and then be able to articulate that to the market place, these are the sorts of things we will do because we understand what you’re [the client’s] after. We’re focused on what you’re [the client’s] after and we’ve got the systems and processes to deliver it. That will be a significant differentiator for the business and we can separate ourselves from the pack.”

hames-sharley-new-director-adelaide-review-darren-bilsboroughDarren Bilsborough

Bilsborough, who came into the role in May of this year, is a former Adjunct Professor of Sustainability at Western Australia’s Curtin University, director of urban innovation at Woods Bagot and a director of the Green Building Council of Australia.

He is considered one of the founding fathers of Australia’s green building movement, having been involved with the design and construction of Adelaide’s City Central, South Australia’s first five-star green building.

“I was right at the centre of that as the green building consultant so to speak, together with the developer and the architects on that project, which wasn’t Hames Sharley but another firm. What I was at the centre of doing was to assist them in translating an economic value proposition for the tenants in the marketplace. That transformed the Adelaide CBD.

That was the first green building proposed in Adelaide back in the early noughties, and, two years after that I think, every single CBD building proposed in Adelaide was green and that was because we got that value proposition right.”


Cox Architecture working in collaboration with Walter Brooke and Hames Sharley

Hames Sharley’s – whose local high profile projects include the Adelaide Oval redevelopment and Ergo Apartments – new studio leader also bring experience in the commercial office space, he is the author of the book, Don’t Worry About the Rent, Using New Office Space to Boost Business Performance.

“It’s all about business but it’s about translating what’s happening in a building or the built form to business performance. That’s particularly for a tenant but it then translates to the building owners and developers. When you think about the title, Don’t Worry About the Rent, what I’m basically saying is that if a tenant goes into a building that supports their business, the cost of the rent is incidental. It shouldn’t matter at all. Business performance will improve.”

“The productivity of the staff will improve. The cost of the rent will be incidental (if you think of about what that means for the building owners or developers, which fits nicely for them). If they’re able to convince a tenant that they have designed and built a building that will be really great for their business, that allows them to increase those rental rates and get better return in relation to the development.”

hames-sharley-new-director-adelaide-reviewWhyalla Hospital (project by Hames Sharley)

Hames Sharley, which was founded 40 years ago by William Hames and David Sharley in Adelaide, is an architecture, urban design, interior design and planning firm. “We’ve got a pretty broad and diverse portfolio of work, both in South Australia and across the country,” Bilsborough says.

“Part of what I’m hoping to do is influence each of those in some way to create better outcomes for our clients and for the organisation.” Header image: Ergo Apartments (project by Hames Sharley)


Get the latest from The Adelaide Review in your inbox

Get the latest from The Adelaide Review in your inbox