“Architecture should inspire and delight. Great spaces, forms and materials can enhance a person’s awareness of their environment and provide a meaningful connection between the building and its occupants.” This is something that Carolyn McLean, architect, and her team aim for with every design project.

Since setting up her own architectural company in Brisbane in 2013, Carolyn has expanded her reach to North Queensland, South Australia and Fiji. In September this year, Carolyn attended the groundbreaking ceremony for her latest project in Fiji, a four storey mixed use development including retail, restaurants, offices and 16 apartments on the top floor. This exciting project will be the first EDGE registered and certified building in Fiji. EDGE is short for Excellence in Design for Greater Efficiencies and has been created by the World Bank and IFC to encourage and support developing nations to achieve energy saving and sustainable buildings.

Carolyn has convinced her client of the positive part they can play in being a role model for other developers and as a long time owner of the building, the savings that they will make with operational efficiencies that will be a selling point to tenants. The building has been designed as a benchmark example of tropical commercial development, with an open air central atrium to allow breezes to flow through the building and to reduce the need for air conditioning in the public spaces. Large overhangs over the entry area and western façade also contribute to reducing the heat load on the building and wide terraces encourage the apartment occupants to reduce their reliance on air conditioning by providing good cross ventilation.

Carolyn is originally from Adelaide but left straight after completing her Architecture Degree to work in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia as that city readied itself for the 1998 Commonwealth Games. After four years there working on offices and a resort project, she relocated to Sydney in 1997 where she expanded into retail and interior design project. In 2005 Carolyn moved to Dubai and spent the following six years working on exciting residential and hotel projects across the middle east and also in India. She was appointed a principal of the global design firm and enjoyed working with large clients on prestigious projects such as Four Seasons Dubai, Kempinski Bahrain, Marriot Hotel in Oman and also some affordable housing for the local Emiratis. Carolyn relocated to Brisbane in 2011 as a partner of the global design firm Woods Bagot and created her own company in 2013. She is currently working with local Brisbane and international clients on retail, residential and commercial projects.

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