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Just married: MSJ Architects and Conrad Gargett become one

MSJ Architects and Conrad Gargett, two preeminent Australian architecture practices, have joined forces ⎯ and gone LinkedIn official.

Spring is officially upon us and we all know what that means: new beginnings. For the pioneering Sydney-based MSJ Architects, it’s realised in the form of a merger, with Conrad Gargett.

Established in 1890, following Henry Atkinson’s successful bid to design Brisbane Head Fire Station, Conrad Gargett celebrates its 130th anniversary this year. The practice has made quite a name for itself, over the years, and today its reputation for client-focused design precedes it – showcased namely through iconic commercial and institutional projects dotted about Queensland’s south-east. A series of strategic mergers since 2012 has seen the practice multiply, in headcount, expertise and geographic footprint. This latest acquisition of MSJ Architects puts Conrad’s national presence up to 176 employees across New South Wales, Victoria and Queensland.

Lamington Markets. Photo credit: Conrad Gargett

Lamington Markets. Image credit: Conrad Gargett

MSJ Architects’ lineage, on the other hand, is rich with experience in delivering complex civic, health and educational projects. In the 65 years that MSJ has been established, the practice has delivered a legacy of projects which successfully integrate social, cultural and environmental landscapes that have shaped the direction of Australian architecture. From their first city buildings of the 1950s and the seminal Johnson House to the award-winning Olivia Newton-John Cancer and Wellness Centre, Melbourne and Cairns Hospital, Queensland, the practice has developed a rich language of form that is both responsive and responsible.

“Guided by the same values of design and social responsibility of architecture, we see a strong connection between our practices,” says Lawrence Toaldo, managing director for Conrad Gargett. “The team at MSJ, has a reputation for successfully delivering major hospital and healthcare, educational and research and residential and recreational developments, all with place-making at the core. This aligns perfectly with Conrad Gargett and will present many national and global opportunities for the practice in the future.”

Toowoomba Hospital Redevelopment. Image credit: Conrad Gargett

Toowoomba Hospital Redevelopment. Image credit: Conrad Gargett

“Merging with Conrad Gargett gives the team at MSJ the opportunity to leverage our design strength in health, research and education to a wider base of clients both nationally and internationally,” says Ian Moon, speaking as director for MSJ. “We also see this as being a complementary merger given the synergies of our two practices in terms of longevity, capability and design-thinking”.

With their complementary powers combined, the marriage of MSJ Architects and Conrad Gargett will surely culminate in something greater than the sum of its parts – and we look forward to seeing its first fruits.

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