Five minutes with Julian Venning

Meet our Director Design & Delivery, Julian Venning, based in Sydney.

After a number of years working with the multi-award-winning Tzannes Associates, Julian worked his way up at Mirvac to become a Design Director in this highly regarded multidisciplinary company.

Since joining WMK in 2016 to lead our residential architecture team in Sydney, he led our entry for the City Of Sydney Ashmore residential design competition.

We decided to take five minutes to get to know him a little better, and to understand what makes him tick as an architect... 


What inspired you to become an architect?

Growing up in six countries and numerous homes meant exposure to a range of living environments and houses. I became interested in those lifestyle differences and the houses and gardens of different countries and climatic environments. 

How would you describe yourself as an architect?

Very connected to the environment and the context. I think nature has a significant role in our lives and therefore should have an equal role in our built environment.

If I wasn't an architect, I'd probably be a...

An author, although I believe it is more difficult than the other creative pursuits. Maybe the idea of being one’s own client is appealing.

Tell me about your biggest career highlight to date.

I have had a series of highlights. In many ways I think your latest project is always the biggest career highlight, which makes your work always interesting and I hope progressive.

What is your biggest design influence?

Many influences with nature and people being at the centre.

What is it about residential architecture that fascinates you?

How the home influences people’s lives and enjoyment and how we can always strive to make our built environment special.

What do you like to do in your spare time?

Camping and being in remote places with my family such as the Flinders Ranges in South Australia.


Posted by Marianne Fessl


Dance For Life — double win!

WMK has taken out the top spot at Dance For Life in more ways than one.

Thanks to our generous donors, WMK landed top of the leaderboard with an impressive $23,382 raised for ReachOut.

ReachOut is a not-for-profit organisation providing practical support to help young people tackling mental health issues, in particular those who may be struggling with bullying, depression and contemplating suicide.

WMK also took out the top spot for best dance as one of ten architecture and design firms that battled it out for the title on Friday night at Dance For Life. Our 10 WMK dancers, dressed in black and white as Sia, were announced the winning team in front of a very excited crowd.

“It was an incredibly fun night and a great team effort. It was wonderful to raise so much money to support a fantastic and deserving charity. Thank you so much to our friends, suppliers and clients who contributed so much,” said WMK organiser and dancer, Melanie Wright.  

Watch the video now >

Posted by Marianne Fessl


Designers play ping pong for a purpose

Sweat, competition, rivalry, triumph for some, embarrassment and tears for most — all in the name of sportsmanship and good deeds.

Thirty-two of WMK’s most valiant staff members went arm-to-arm in a confronting game of classic ping pong to raise funds for It was an ultimate battle of the greats — many players breaking out of their professional cocoons and exposing the nature of a truly combative Olympian.

Day 1 had staff biting their lip in curiosity of what to expect — surely it would just be a standard game of ping pong — right? Wrong.

Each seven-minute match ignited a spark in each competitor that on-lookers would easily not forget. Even our generally conservative staff were surprising us with their most savage Venus Williams grunts.

Pre-matches bought us eight of our most competent contenders, Steve and Mark on 36 points, Belle and Connie on 25 points, Todd and Altaf on 34 points and Kristelle and Allison stealing wins from Troy and Christina on 26 points.

On the day of the grand finals, emotions were peaking in anticipation for who would be awarded the Ping Pong Champions of WMK. Whispers around the office circulating about whom would be returning home to their partner with a great achievement accomplished.

TopDog Todd and Agile Altaf exhibited robust techniques—serves being made with the sound of a cracking whip — they certainly were not making it easy for their opponents. This, however, was no match for the Macho Mark and Stealthy Steve who treated their bats as an extension of their arms —manoeuvring artful hits to victory.

With their sweatbands soaked in the sweet perspiration of winning, Macho Mark and Stealthy Steve were awarded with glorifying battle cries of their peers and of course an official certificate to honour such a masterly performance.

Posted by Christina Cooley


Sargood welcomes its first guests

In what may be a world-first, a new accessible resort designed specifically for people living with spinal injuries has opened its doors on Collaroy Beach.

With 17 new guest rooms, community living spaces, learning zones, gym, and an absolute beachfront location, the centre will revolutionise care facilities for people with spinal injuries.

Despite only just opening to the public, Sargood On Collaroy has even seen bookings from as far away as Norway.

Designed to be more like a quintessential beachside getaway than a care facility, Sargood on Collaroy is part of a changing paradigm in the health and wellness industry. 

Read more about lifestyle care LinkedIn Pulse >

Posted by Marianne Fessl


Lifestyle care: a changing industry paradigm

Architecture can indeed make hearts soar. But I believe our latest healthcare project, Sargood On Collaroy, has the power to help heal the body and mind. The facility is a world-first, providing unique resort-style health and wellness care for its guests – people who have sustained spinal injuries.

Sargood merges with its environment and looks and feels like a quintessential beachside getaway - and it's all part of a changing industry paradigm.

Read more on LinkedIn Pulse >

Posted by Greg Barnett