Ross Tang Architects

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Creativity is the core of business at Rosstang Architects. Established in 2002 by Rosemary Ross and Waihan Tang, the company has completed more than 50 residential projects to date. Operating from their office in Hawthorn, these University of Melbourne graduates have applied their combined experiences from previous industry opportunities in Melbourne, Sydney, Germany, and Hong Kong to provide outstanding, individual, home designs. Over the years, they have expanded their services to reach clients beside the bay, in the country and along the coast, as well as in the inner east. “We’ve been growing from doing smaller extensions when we first started out to doing some quite large, high-end houses now,” says Ross. “We provide full architectural services, including everything from feasibility studies, design concepts, right through to handing over the completed house at the end of the day – when the builder’s all finished and done, and everyone’s having a barbecue in the garden.”

 

Ross Tang Architects upholds the intention to create “well-designed, long-term solutions” through each successful project; this includes the commitment to sustainable architecture and design. When working with an existing home, keeping as much of the existing structure as possible is top priority, along with creating a steady flow between new and old space to eliminate the need for frequent updates. “We’re not interested in light weight lean-tos that somebody might come along in 20 years, pull down, and start again. We’re interested in creating a complete house where the new work is permanent, and a part of the fabric of the house – not an add-on. That follows through to selection of materials from a sustainable point of view; bricks are incredibly sustainable, because once you put them there, they’re likely to stay there, they don’t require any maintenance, and they provide good thermal and acoustic properties. So, we tend towards those types of materials, where possible.”

 

Ross believes that strong business relationships are incredibly important to success within the industry. While she and Tang have managed to thrive as a dynamic duo, assistance is always welcomed on a contractual basis. Ross is also the Chair of Architeam, an organisation that aids in the representation and promotion of over 500 small to medium architectural businesses throughout Australia. “Most of what we do is really about communicating with other people,” she says. “To get a really successful project, you need to have a great relationship with the client and a great relationship with the builder so that all three parties are working together to get the best solution for the project. If you can achieve that, then that’s where you get a really good outcome. So, I’m all for working with other people – consultants, landscape architects, interior designers, graphic designers; whoever might be involved. The more experts that we can get involved in the project, the better the outcome we will get.”

 

In the current market, changes to the negative gearing process, along with the increase in housing prices in relation to their value, are two main factors that will affect the architecture industry; however, with further growth and increased efficiency for the company in her sights, Ross has a plan to combat this potential threat towards success. “Additions and alterations to existing built stock is very cost-effective for many people, given that house prices are so high,” she says. “So, for us, there are external factors that would impact how busy we are – but because we’re a micro-business, it’s up to us to do a great job, and as long as we can do high quality work, I think we’ll continue to keep getting jobs.”

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