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Interviews

An Australian Architectural Dream- with Jeremy Bull

An ambitious and trusting client makes a project.

design story x eporta

Read time: 7 minutes

We interviewed Jeremy Bull, Founder and Principal of Alexander &CO. As an architecturally trained practitioner with over sixteen years experience, Jeremy’s team have developed some astonishing and award-winning projects over the years, establishing themselves as one of the leading design agencies in not only their home Sydney, but in Australia too. This is his design story so far.

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Tell us a little about yourself and Alexander &CO.

I am an architecturally trained practitioner with an insatiable passion for design, social responsibility and leadership. I have four sons, an incredible partner (who works with me) and a team of inspiring humans who run the business.

What makes Alexander &CO. unique?

Alexander &CO. has been conceived as a design agency with a charter to provide the highest quality of conceptual and strategic thinking coupled with a robust breadth of execution infrastructure. Core to this philosophy is the ability to move with versatility through architecture, interiors, styling, visualisation, project management and branding within an ethos of an incomparable client journey. This is central to our success.

The Park House Food Merchants designed by Alexander &CO. in Sydney’s Northern Beaches.
The Park House Food Merchants designed by Alexander &CO. in Sydney’s Northern Beaches.
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The Park House Food Merchants designed by Alexander &Co. in Sydney’s Northern Beaches.

What made you want to become an architect?

I have always had a passion for drawing, as a child, I was never without a pencil. Somewhere along the journey, I think I made the commitment to myself to explore the way it could become my livelihood. Although the journey was roundabout, I inevitably returned to the thing that inspired me when I was young.

What’s the best part of your job?

I love the people, the ability to express an art as a commercial, social and architectural endeavour.

What’s the hardest part of your job?

Creating an environment that supports its people, its community and clients in a way, which feels meaningful, is by far the hardest undertaking. People are the process and also the outcome, they change continuously and are magical and dynamic.

Whilst every design is bespoke to that particular client, does Alexander &CO. have a significant design trait that identifies you no matter what?

Our interest in the handmade is evident across many of our projects.

Alexander &CO. undertake a huge variety of projects from residential to hospitality schemes, do you have a preference? And are there any significant differences between the different segments?

Broadly, we like diversity, but moreover, we like challenging briefs, which feel complete. As a turnkey consultant, our favourite projects allow us to express architecture, interiors and furnishing, so it’s less about segment and more about the client’s intention. An ambitious and trusting client makes a project.

The beautiful Bondi Junction House in Sydney’s Eastern suburbs, by Alexander &CO.
The beautiful Bondi Junction House in Sydney’s Eastern suburbs, by Alexander &CO.
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The stunning Bondi Junction House

What inspires your projects?

Collaboration is the key to our success. No client journey or brief is the same and our ambition is to ensure that both the outcome and experience is specific. We conceive each project passionately and believe in what we do. We do not utilise an office ‘style’, but lead our clients through a robust, transparent and rigorous process.

Your projects don’t just scale design segments but international borders too. How do you find dealing with international projects? Have you got any tips for doing so?

When working on Sean Connolly at Dubai Opera, the excitement of travelling across the globe and working within the Opera was all a bit intoxicating. I loved bringing out my partner Tess, who is also our Marketing Director, to shoot it with Brooke Holm. It was pretty wonderful to share the space with her in the initial days following its opening.

What are your proudest design moments to date?

I really loved Sean Connolly at Dubai Opera. It was a creative challenge with a scale and opportunity that felt rare to us.

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Sean Connolly at Dubai Opera is a 350 person restaurant and bar designed by Alexander &CO.
Sean Connolly at Dubai Opera is a 350 person restaurant and bar designed by Alexander &CO.
The exquisite Sean Connolly at Dubai Opera

Quick fire round

What would be your one piece of advice for a designer or architect-developer just starting out?

Allow your life to be as unlimited as your imagination. And don’t forget to change the world.

Where is your happy place?

At home, with my sons and partner Tess.

If you weren’t a designer, what would you be doing?

I can’t really conceive that one, so maybe lost!? I love the ideology of creating valuable things as a by-product of human vision. Making things feels important to me; changing culture feels like an important pursuit.

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