Minifie van Schaik Architects
MvS Architects

recent news items:

Iconic Museum for Shepparton


New museum has enormous potential to change the face of Shepparton

read the article here
download the business case and provide feedback here

The feasibility study compiled by Simon McArthur Associates, MvS Architects and Maudie Palmer AO, shows that a new Shepparton Art Museum has the potential to reshape the economy of Shepparton and establish it as a regional hub for the arts, and in particular Indigenous art.

Alongside permanent glazed space for the entire existing ceramics collection would be a new home for the Indigenous Gallery Kaiela, as well as spaces for visiting artists to work and exhibit. Beside this would be the only children’s art space in regional Australia.

Large parts of the Shepparton Art Museum’s collection have not been shown in public, and the new museum would give the greater part of the collection a permanent home on display, along with a substantial new bequest. Function spaces and a community piazza alongside the gallery would cement this development as a cornerstone of Shepparton’s community culture.

Image by MvS Architects in the Shepparton News

How can art and architecture transform your town?


more info on the Regional Arts Victoria website
Premier's media release

Regional Arts Victoria launches “Small Town Transformations” on behalf of the Victorian Government with Jan van Schaik as a member of the independent artistic advisory and selection panel.

Small Town Transformations supports transformative artistic projects that are connected to community and place, for and by small Victorian towns with fewer than 1,500 people. Proposals will be able to request up to $350,000 for their project, which must be presented in collaboration between at least two partners, with the lead applicant being a legally constituted organisation. Up to five projects will be funded.

Applications open in January 2013

Homo Faber, Museum of Victoria
4th September 2008

Minifie Nixon invited to exhibit models at Homo Faber exhibition, Museum of Victoria.
Homo Faber Website
Museum of Victoria

Mark Burry has invited Minifie Nixon to exhibit work as part of the Homo Faber exhibition at the Museum of Victoria.

The exhibition focusing on modeling, identity and the post-digital will study the link between physical and digital models in design.

The exhibition opens on Thursday 14th August and is open until 16th September 2008.

news_hevea_tower.jpg Hevea Tower


We've been slaving away on Hevea Tower, with iPartnership, and our efforts are really starting to pay off - she looks really good! The project is now live on our website, follow the link to see more.

read about the project on our website

The 17 storey tower complex, comprising of a day care nursery, police station, gym, cafeteria and office space, will serve as the Lembaga Getah Malaysia office headquarters. The building will perform as a one stop centre for the user, a multifunctional hub that will allow working parents to drop their kids at the nursery, pick up breakfast and head to the office – all within one route.

The building is due to commence construction in early 2015.

hgnews.jpg Halls Gap Masterplan


Halls Gap procures a new grand scheme!

Read about the project on the shire website

We are very pleased to announce, that MvS Architects with SGS and Maudie Palmer AO has been selected by the Northern Grampians Shire to develop a Masterplan for Future Commercial Investment and Public Land Development in Halls Gap. The work will provide for integrated land use development solutions involving infrastructure improvements and investment opportunities within the designated precinct areas.


Green Magazine's Issue 57 profiles Shacky


Our glam gettaway, Shacky, has been featured in the latest “small” issue of Green Magazine.

Inside their September Green Magazine singles out Shacky as a prototypical design containing everything a person could need in a configuration far removed from the traditional quarter-acre block.

The author, Jenny Lyon, talks about the off-grid weekender and the story of its inception, the challenges of including solar panels, a composting toilet, a shower, a bedroom, a kitchen, storage and a pot-belly stove within a 15m2 footprint and pre-building and transportation process.

For more information about the issue visit the Green Magazine website
For more information and bookings, head to Shacky's website
Read about Shacky on our website

Image courtesy: Green Magazine


“Grand designs: Towards a new SAM” - Art Monthly Australasia March 2017 issue


The five shortlisted architectural design proposals for the new Shepparton Art Museum (SAM) competition have featured in the pages of the March 2017 issue of Art Monthly Australasia.

The article by D.J. Huppatz, covers the five final concept designs, writing that the MvS Architects' proposal was the most colourful, both in its presentation panels and facade.

Read the full article on The Committee for Greater Shepparton website
Get more information about the March issue on the Art Monthly Australiasia website

Image Courtesy: Art Monthly Australasia.


Gastrology blog about their experience of Shacky


Australian food, travel and lifestyle blog Gastrology, whose writers travel around Australia and the world seeking out the greatest in food and wine have written a blog about Shacky and their own experience of staying there.

In the article they write about their unique experience at Shacky in which they interacted with nature in a comfortable setting. Describing our tiny house as “absolutely gorgeous, with large windows, a little deck and a shower with unobstructed views into the surrounding olive grove”.

Read the full article on the Gastrology website
For more information and bookings, head to Shacky's website
Read about Shacky on our website

Photograph courtesy: Gastrology

Experience ASAC 2015 with Jan van Schaik


Jan van Schaik to run a workshop and MC the 2015 Australasian Student Architecture Congress

find out about the congress here

As part of this years Congress, “People”, Jan van Schaik will MC the Friday morning session, as well as leading an afternoon design workshop. The workshop will give student delegates from around the globe a chance to engage with Melbourne architects and their context.

This years Congress is focusing on how people shape architecture and how architecture can “investigate questions of spatial relations, architectural anthropology, humanitarian architecture, advocacy and intervention.” This year also marks the first year Melbourne has hosted the Congress since 1964.

ESWDC wins Premier's Design Award
20th September 2012

read about the project on our website
State Government press release

Last night the Victorian Planning Minister Matthew Guy announced the Edithvale Seaford Wetlands Discovery Centre as the winner of the prestigious Premier's Design Award.

A local, national and international jury of designers assessed entrants from all categories of design and ultimately rewarding our exemplary design and use of sustainable design principles.

“Commissioned by Melbourne Water and designed by Minifie van Schaik Architects, the Centre is one of the avenues through which Melbourne Water addresses its role and responsibility for the ecological management of Melbourne's waterways.

The interior contains an interpretive gallery that offers views of the wetlands through panoramic windows. The windows have been carefully designed to minimise vision into the building, and sloped to ensure that external reflections are always of the ground, never of the sky, to avoid confusing the birds and causing injury.

The Centre addresses sustainability through a range of different systems rendering it almost carbon neutral. Water harvested on site is used throughout making it independent of the sewerage system. Electricity is locally generated through solar panels and, using a highly insulated thermal mass, the Centre is passively heated and cooled.

The design and construction of the Centre were managed to ensure that the bird habitat and wetlands were protected. A key element of which involved doing the bulk of the construction during autumn and winter to avoid disturbing birds that migrate to the area during the warmer months.

The sustainable aspects of the Centre are both apparent and unified with the aesthetic intention of the building.”

- Jury citation.


“A bold example of adaptive re-use”


Architecture & Design reviews RMIT's New Academic Street.

Author Kirsty Seir unpacks RMIT’s gargantuan student experience project, five years in the making, in a Q&A format piece.

Read the full article on the Architecture & Design website
Details of the project on our website

Photograph courtesy: Justin Westwood

ESWDC wins Master Builders Award
6th August 2012

Built win a Master Builders Association award for the Edithvale Seaford Wetlands Discovery Centre .

read about the project on our website
Build Holdings Pty. Ltd

Built Holding picked up a Master Builders Association Award at Friday night's ceremony at the Crown Palladium Ballroom for the construction of the Edithvale Seaford Wetlands Discovery Centre designed by MvS Architects. The projects features a raft of sustainable design features such as solar panels, composting toilets and double glazing.

One of the building's most striking features are the Glass Reinforced Concrete panels which were fabricated with using digital fabrication processes. The building is built in the flood plane of the wetlands which it overlooks which present significant construction challenges, not the least of which was the requirement to create minimal disturbance to the flora and fauna of the wetlands.

ESWDC now has a significant pair of awards: In July ESWDC was awarded an Australian Institue of Architects Award for new public buildings.

Dying in Spite of the Miraculous
8th October 2010

read the Gertrude Street press release

Working in collaboration with Emily Cormack, Alexie Glass-Kantor, Simon Maidement and Brett Sheehy we have transformed Gertrude Contemporary’s two gallery spaces into dematerialising labyrinths, mirroring the way the works blur the distinction between self and subject. Part of the Melbourne Festival and housed in Melbourne's iconic arts incubator the show features works by seven major international video artsits


Dr Jan van Schaik presents “Reflections on Current Projects” - AND Speaker Series 2017


As part of the 2017 AND Speaker Series, Dr Jan van Schaik will be discussing his current projects and design ethos both here and internationally.

The AND. Speaker Series is a program run at the University of Melbourne by students interested in Architecture and Design. They invite professionals to engage in weekly lectures. Each week they discuss a theme, followed by a Q&A session.

When: Monday, April 10 from 6:00pm – 7:00pm

Where: Malaysia Theatre B117, Basement, MSD Building 133, Melbourne University, Parkville

Visit the Eventbrite site to book a place
For more details and events check out the AND. Speaker Series Facebook page

Image Credit: AND Speaker Series Poster.

Cultivator - Regional Creative Conference 2012
7th August 2012

Jan van Schaik will be a keynote speaker at “Cultivator” - Regional Creative Conference, October 2012.

Cultivator website

“Cultivator, presented by Sunraysia Institute in Mildura, is a design conference that brings together creatives, students, business and community leaders to inspire creative thinking to solve problems, grow potential, open minds and build regional capacity through creativity.”

Jan will be speaking about the creative motivations behind the the work of Minifie van Schaik Architects, especially that in Mildura.

Other speakers include: Graham Rendoth, Ros Moriarty, Russell Kerr and Frost Design.

This years theme is “Social Inclusion Through Creative Thinking” and will be conducted on Friday, October 12, 2012.

Council gives SAM the go ahead


Greater Shepparton City Council, State Government, Federal Government agree to contribute $10m each

read more about the decision here

The Council of the Greater City of Shepparton have decided to take on board the feasibility study completed by MvS Architects and associates regarding the new Shepparton Art Museum (SAM), and have put forward $30 million with assistance from the state and federal governments.

The SAM Foundation will source the remaining $4.5 million required for project completion, as well as an extra $8 million for operational and maintenance costs.

76% of public respondents showed support for the business case for a new SAM, with 5% being indifferent and only 19% actively against it.

The new Art Museum is tipped to boost Shepparton's economy, increase tourism and publicity, and provide over 180 jobs in just the first 2 years.

Collaborating in curatorial Space


On March 12th Jan van Schaik will deliver a public lecture about We used to talk about love and the collaborative process of exhibition design.

read about the lecture on the UTS website
read about the project on our website

Co-presented by the Art Gallery of NSW and University of Technology Sydney, the lecture will form part of the Interior and Spatial Design public lecture serries held at UTS. Jan will discuss the We used to talk about love project as well as previous collaborations in contemporary art spaces, including the 2012 Adelaide Biennial.

Carlton Brewery Competition
26th July 2007

Minifie Nixon are amongst the winners of the recent Carlton Brewery competition.

See our proposal
The Age (article)
The Age(image gallery)

From a list of ten architects invited to compete for five sites Minfie Nixon have been chosen unanimously by an expert design panel with representatives from RMIT University, the Department of Sustainability and Environment and Grocon to design a 10 level 1,000m2 floor plate building with retail at lower levels and commercial and/or residential above.
The significant CUB site at the north end of Melbourne's major civic axis has long stood vacant. Located on the corner of Swanston street and Queensbury street, the north eastern portion of Grocon's exciting Carlton Brewery development, this building will provide the important swanston street address to the northern end of the site, face two internal public spaces and hold congress with the existing Maltsore and the Queensbury Hotel, its immediate neighbours.
Grocon have submitted a planning scheme amendment to the Department of Sustainability and Environment which is expected to be incorporated by december when design work will commence on the commission.

Cafe Bourgeois
15th October 2010

Cafe Bourgeois now open for business.

project on our website
project on 'ssw' blog
project on 'process' blog

Construction of Minifie van Schaik's design for a cafe in new Docklands Myer building is now complete and Cafe Bourgeois is now open for business. Catch a Collins Street tram over the bridge and have a coffee.

Building Star Voyager
30th October 2011

read about the talk on AMCIs website
see the project on our website

The artist Peter Hennessey, ACMI exhibitions manager Chris Harris and Paul Minifie will discuss the curating desinging and construction of “Star Voyager - Exploring Space on Screen” as part of ACMIs public talks program.



Bruegelage published on RMIT University Library Research Repository


Jan van Schaik's PhD 'Bruegelage - Interrogations into nine concurrent creative practices' has just been published on the RMIT University Library's research repository.

Jan's research examines an experimental architectural practice and uncovers nine sub-practices within: design through explicit re-working of the propositions of other architects; design through less explicit re-working; design through implicit reference to everyday objects; design through intuition and explicit strategy; design through chunking and interrupting chunking; design through a deliberate pursuit of discomfort; design through abrogation of the author; advocacy as a design process; and a practice titled ‘fake-it until you make-it'.

The knowledge uncovered takes the form of: the idea that a selected community of peers can have influence over a creative practice by virtue of the knowledge of the existence of the peers; finding that the complexity of the intertwined nature of motivations, contexts, communities, collaborators, clients and random sources is an integral part of creative practice; the method of being able to become aware of this complexity without dismantling it; and the observation that any legitimate claim to authorship is placed amidst a conglomeration of legitimate claims by others.

Click here to read Bruegelage

2012 Premiers Design Award Interview


Edithvale Seaford Wetlands Discovery Centre featured on Business Victoria's home page

watch the video here
read about the project on our website

The video features Kim Cato, Chair of the Judging panel for the Premiere's Design Award describing ESWDC as “being very different in its approach, being sustainable, being innovative, being well designed and being environmentally conscious”. The video also features Mary Catus- Wood from our client, Melbourne Water, describing the building as a “very unique space in a very unique location”

The Edithvale Wetlands Seaford Discovery Centre won the Premiers Design Award in September 2012.


Broadsheet Melbourne features an article on Shacky!


“Explore Regional Victoria in Tiny, Off-the-Grid Houses. Eat well, sleep well and switch off your phone. Shacky is a less-connected way to holiday” - Broadsheet Melbourne

We're excited that the tiny houses designed by MvS Architects have been featured on Broadsheet Melbourne's website. The online article in the travel section gives good insight into the aims, aspirations and experience of staying in one of our architecturally designed shacks.

Read the full article on the Broadsheet website
For more information and bookings, head to Shacky's website
Read about Shacky on our website

Photograph by: PurpleMonkey

Breaking the mould


MvS collaboration with iPartnership reviewed in AIA International

read the AIA's article here

Working with iPartnership, a firm based in Kuala Lumpur, MvS Architects have been bringing life and flair to the built environment. This unique partnership is well into their 5th joint project, and have recently picked up an award at the PAM awards in KL.

The process involves an integrated style of practice with MvS directors heading to Malaysia regularly in order to provide experience and feedback to the local designers. Both firms benefit from the sharing of design ideologies and methods, giving rise to new design strategies which result in continued growth and evolution by both practices.

Photo by H. Lin Ho

Bold, Creative, Bright!


Share your vision for a future SAM.

click here to share your vision

The prospects for a new Shepparton Art Museum has been the 'talk of the town,' with Simon McArthur & Associates and MvS, encouraging the community to help shape a new art museum by describing what would encourage them to visit, whilst also voicing their opinion on the placement, contents and services to supplement the building. By engaging the people early on in the process, it's possible to establish a brief which is representative of the greater community, thus satisfying the needs of the community as a whole.

The feasibility project is due to be completed at the end of the year.
The Article 'Bold visions for future sought,' Bishop, J. Appeared in the Weekend News, 27/09/14



Boiler Room Lecture: Felicity D. Scott 'Outlaw Territories'


Launched by our very own Dr Jan van Schaik.

On Wednesday the 29th of June Jan van Schaik will launch a special lecture by visiting international curator and writer, Felicity D. Scott. She will discuss her book, Outlaw Territories: Environments of Insecurity/Architectures of Counter-insurgency (Zone Books, 2016), which outlines the historical and contemporary legacy of the American counter-culture from the 1960s and '70s, and its effects on environmental governance and the management of populations globally.

The Boiler room lecture is presented by Monash University Museum of Art and The Saturday Paper, in association with Monash Art Design and Architecture.

Tickers are free but bookings are required!

When: Wednesday June 29th, 6.00pm-7.30pm

Where: Village Roadshow Theatrette, State Library of Victoria, Conference Centre, 179 La Trobe Street, Melbourne


For more details see the the MUMA Website

14th October 2010

Minifie van Schaik Architects exhibited in “Biodivercity - 47 important ideas and technologies for the urban environment ” at the Australian Embassy Gallery, Washington.

See our project

This exhibition brings together leading researchers and innovators including: architects, engineers, scientists, designers, artists and urbanists, to explore and challenge how our cities adapt and evolve into the future.

Highlighting a wide array of important and sometimes playful initiatives across a range of disciplines and practices, the exhibition seeks to examine 'diversity' in myriad forms - economic, social, cultural and environmental. Diversity is a defining feature of the most successful urban centers, and is the critical characteristic that makes these centers powerhouses.

BiodviersCity Website

Beijing Architecture Biennale
9th August 2008

Minifie Nixon invited to exhibit at 2008 Beijing Architecture Biennale. The Beijing Architecture Biennale 2008
Neil Leach

Minifie Nixon has been invited to take part in the Architectural Biennale Beijing 2008.

Our work will be exhbited as part of the ”(Im)material Processes: New Digital Techniques for Architecture exhbit”, curated by Neil Leach and Kokkugia.

Held in the 798 Space in Beijing, the Biennale opens in late October 2008.


“Australian Stories” in Architecture Australia


The piece published in the Jul / Aug 2017 issue, invited seven architects including Jan van Schaik to share their personal stories of working on projects in Asia and the Middle East. From the idyllic mountains of Ji County, China, to an island in Abu Dhabi, the locations are varied but the sense of adventure is the same.

Jan tells a colorful story of his journey to Ji County. Within this idyllic mountain and valley setting, the vision for the transformation of the valley with of a sensitive ecotourism develop to service a 10,000-room boutique hotel with surrounding work class amenities.

Read about the project on our website

Image of article in AA Magazine

Australian Institute Award for Residential Alterations and Additions
29th June 2012

MvS Architects win an Australian Institute of Architects Victorian Chapter award

read about the project on our website

Wattle Avenue House, for Stefano de Pieri, Donata Carrazza and family, has been awarded an Australian Institute of Architects award for Residential Architecture Alterations and Additions. We would like to thank all those who worked on this project. We are honoured to have received this award, but quite sorry about all the imbibing on awards night.

Jury citation:
“A 'grotto' draws one into this house, setting up a sequence of tightly designed and richly decorated spaces with references to local landscapes and history. These are pivot points in the experience of visiting and living in the house, setting up a progression that works beautifully, as one space transitions into the next.

A modest, double-fronted cream brick-veneer house, typical of the 1960's, was the starting point of the project. The additional desired functions such as a guest room and entertainment spaces, have been accommodated within the single structure through an incredibly efficient rearrangement of the traditional three bedroom layout.

A courtyard brings in natural light, also making a protected centre that suits the local climate and is an alternative outdoor area to the productive backyard design. The carefully designed new insertions of timber, brick, and joinery lift this renovation to a high standard and despite its transformation, the house loses none of its original presence. In fact, the jury believes the humble origins of this project have been heightened and re-celebrated, yet with little fanfare or sign from the street.”

Australian Institute Award for Public Architecture
29th June 2012

MvS Architects win an Australian Institute of Architects Victorian Chapter award

read about the project on our website

We are moved and honoured to have received an Australian Institute of Architects award for Public Architecture for the Edithvale Seaford Wetlands Discovery Centre. Thank-you to the many people who helped bring this project to fruition.

Jury citation:
“Situated at the edge of the Edithvale wetlands, the Discovery Centre appears to the approaching visitor like a strange creature perched above the swamp grass. The external grey concrete is cast with a deep pattern of water ripples, appearing like ornate camouflage. Windows are raked to avoid reflections that may cause confusion to the birdlife. A blast of orange below and to the side window is intended to mimic some of the local plumage. Ventilation cowls populate the rooftop and draw natural ventilation through floor vents internally.

Inside, the single predominant space is designed for educating school groups about the swamp's history and its importance to the local water cycle. The space opens out towards the elevated view of the wetlands and its internationally significant flora and fauna. Each window is focused on a particular external condition, from the main panorama to a specific nesting site. The eccentric window forms add to the sense of discovery, promising visitors the potential to find another unexpected vantage point at any moment. The proliferation of ideas makes for a strong experience, both on approach and also within this expanded and enlarged hide.”

MvS redesigns Opera House


'Apps virtual reality puts grand designs on the spot'

read online

'Some of the best buildings never built will be on show at this years Venice Architecture Biennale, via a smartphone app.' As part of the Australian Pavillion at the 14th Venice Architecture Bienalle,the user of the Augmented Australia smartphone app will be able to experience several unrealised works, including the 1958 Nervi cathedral designed for perth, Harry Seidler's 1952 olympic stadium design for Melbourne as well as our contemporary retake on the Sydney Opera House.

The Article appeared in The Australian Financial review, April 3rd.

2010 Venice Architecture Biennale
30th July 2009

Team successfully short-listed for the role of Creative Director for the Australian exhibition at the 2010 Venice Biennale

View our submission on the SouthSouthWest blog

Congratulations to Cameron Bruhn, Jan van Schaik, Jen Wood, Tanya Court, Cassandra Chilton, Callum Morton, Emma Williamson, Andy Sargent and Bryon Cunningham who as a team have been successfully short-listed for the role of Creative Director for the Australian exhibition at the 2010 Venice Architecture Biennale.

Their submission 'Post Sprawl' alongside four other submissions, was chosen from 28 applicants. The team will now enter stage two of the application process. Look out for more news on the Biennale on our website



Heide Public Programs: Jan van Schaik and Natasha Johns-Messenger


On Sunday the 7th of August at 2:00pm, Architect Jan van Schaik and artist Natasha Johns-Messenger will discuss the complex relationship between human beings and the spaces they inhabit.

Entry to the presentation is FREE with admission to Heide.

For Further Information on both the upcoming presentations and Heide please click this link

Image credited to Heide Museum of Modern Art


WRITING & CONCEPTS Public Discussion


As part of the 2017 Melbourne Art Book Fair, this discussion explores the overarching ideas arising from the 2016 WRITING & CONCEPTS Lecture Series produced by Jan van Schaik, in which artists reflect on the role that writing plays in the development of the concepts in their work.

The discussion is a precursor to a book being published by Art & Australia later this year.

Speakers will include Vikki McInnes, Managing Editor of Art & Australia and acclaimed artists Hannah Bertram and Tom Nicholson.

When: Saturday, March 18th at 4:30pm-5:15pm
Where: Melbourne Art Book Fair Discussion Space, NGV International

Read about the event on the NGV website
Read about the WRITING & CONCEPTS Lecture Series

Image Credit: The Scheme was a Blueprint for Future Development Programs designed in collaboration between Simon Browne and Agatha Gothe-Snape 2015. Photo by Simon Browne.

'WRITING & CONCEPTS' in The Saturday Paper


We're tickled pink that Hannah Bertram's WRITING & CONCEPTS Lecture, produced by Jan van Schaik, has been picked up by the Saturdays Paper's 'Gadfly' column - thanks Richard Auckland!

This week we will be hearing from Robert Nelson, an Associate Director of Student Learning Experience at Monash University - a well published author in the field of art, architecture and education.

Lectures are held Thursdays at 5:00pm at the RMIT Design hub

Click here for further details on the lecture series
Click here to follow the series on Facebook

Writing & Concepts - Public Lecture Series


Jan van Schaik has produced the public lecture series WRITING & CONCEPTS to explore the potential of writing as both a process and an outcome. It aims to promote writing as a tool of reflection and inquiry and open up the complex relationship between the process of writing and the development of social, political and philosophical questions within contemporary cultural practice.

The lectures will alternate between practitioners for whom the written form is their primary professional output and practitioners whose work manifests as exhibitions or events within the domain of contemporary art.

The lectures will alternate between practitioners for whom the written form is their primary professional output and practitioners whose work manifests as exhibitions or events within the domain of contemporary art.

Lectures will be held on Thursday nights between 5:00 and 6:30 in two seasons March 3rd > May 19th and July 21st > October 6th.

Speakers for WRITING & CONCEPTS Series 1 are, in order of appearance: Leon van Schaik, Hannah Bertram, Robert Nelson, Nikos Pantazopoulos, Kelly Fliedner, Jessie Bullivant, Esther Anatolitis, Susan Jacobs, Phip Murray, Lisa Radford, and Maura Edmond.

Click here for further details on the lecture series


Win a Shacky!


Shacky is running a competition to win one of their portable dwellings, designed by MvS Architects.

The winning applicant will enter into a profit sharing arrangement with Shacky for revenue earned from letting it out.

Shackys provide an immersive and innovative residential experience, allowing people to holiday away from the distractions of the city and experience the relative privacy of the country.

Read about Shacky on our website
Read about Shacky on
Read about Shacky on the Shacky website

Who ya gonna call?


MvS' proposed Swanston st entrance, New Academic Street, featured in The Age, 08/08/14 Benjamin Preiss, 'RMIT to bring grey ghosts back to life' p.10

read the article here

read about the project on our website

The 'very drear' RMIT buildings that are the Swanston and Franklin streets campus are set to be rejuvenated as part of RMIT's New Academic Street. The project will permeate the 1960's fortress creating a 'strong sense of an open porous campus,' accessible to not only students, but the public too. Our works to the Swanston street facade is inset in the image in the article above.

Wetlands Discovery Centre opens
18th November 2011

see details of the centre on our website
read about the Centre on Melbourne Water's website

This week the Edithvale-Seaford Wetlands Discovery Centre was officially unveiled, giving key stakeholders their first opportunity to see inside the $4.9 million building. The education centre offers school and community groups a unique vantage point to study and appreciate the flora and fauna of the area, which each year is home to migrating birds from as far away as Siberia

Built atop urban wetlands in Melbourne's south east, Minifie van Schaik designed the building – owned and operated by Melbourne Water – to merge with the landscape, causing minimal impact on the ecology of the site and complying with the requirements of its RAMSAR listing. As MvS director Jan van Schaik said, the building is “designed to be another inhabitant of the wetlands.”

The Centre was officially opened by the Victorian Member for Carrum, Donna Bauer MP and Chris Chesterfield, Melbourne Water's General Manager for Waterways. The MvS team were in attendance, sporting orange nails to match the bright underside of the building.

The Centre will begin operation in early 2012, hosting programs for school and community groups.

View photographs from the opening

MvS' Edithvale Seaford Wetlands Discovery Centre goes to air


Join Jan van Schaik and Luke Middleton as they take you on a guided tour of the award winning Edithvale Seaford Wetlands Discovery Centre for Channel 31's 'Sacred Spaces.'

read more about the project online
watch the episode online

The program will air Wednesday the 11th of December at 7pm on Channel 31 (Digital Channel 44)

“An intimate experience”


We used to talk about love reviewed by the ABC

read the article online
read more about the project on our website

In an article for ABC online Lawrence Champness reviewed We used to talk about love, an exhibition at the Art Gallery of NSW.

Champness highlighted the redesign of the gallery space which was “built for a more intimate experience and emotional journey with this exhibition in mind…The intimacy of the space is certainly well matched by the art.”

MvS Architects collaborated with curator Natasha Bullock to architecturally reconfigure the Franco and Amina Belgiorno-Nettis and Family Contemporary Galleries within the Art Gallery of New South Wales to take the viewer on an emotional journey of mystery, discovery, pressure and release. The exhibition is now closed.

Wetlands centre open days


Wetlands Centre opens to the public 1pm - 5pm Sundays

read about the project on our website
visit the Melbourne Water educational page for more information on opening times

Since the official opening in November 2012 the Edithvale Seaford Wetlands Discovery Centre has mainly been utilised by school groups as part of educational programs. In April 2013 the centre will open to the general public on Sundays.

On the second and fourth Sunday of the month the centre will be opened by the Friends of the Edithvale-Seaford Wetlands (FESWI). Melbourne Water will open the centre every other Sunday.

Opening hours for the public are from 1pm - 5 pm Sundays.

We used to talk about love


For the first time since 1988, the Belgiorno-Nettis galleries at the Art Gallery of NSW will be architecturally reconsidered to take the viewer on a spatial and emotional journey through love’s language, from beginning to end.

read the exhibition summary here
read the full press release here

In response to a series of curatorial sub-themes we have re-designed the gallery spaces to take the viewer on an emotional journey of mystery, discovery, pressure and release…

Curated by Natasha Bullock, the exhibition includes photography, photomedia, video, collage, sculpture and installation with works by Polly Borland (USA/Aus), Eliza Hutchison (Vic), Paul Knight (UK/Aus), Angelica Mesiti (France/Aus), David Noonan (UK/Aus), David Rosetzky (Vic), Darren Sylvester (Vic), Tim Silver (NSW), Glenn Sloggett (Vic), Grant Stevens (QLD) and Justene Williams (NSW).

EXHIBITION DATES 31st of January 2013 until the 21st of April 2013

Free admission

Wattle Avenue House Spread in “Lunchbox Architect”


“Wattle Avenue House: A daggy cream brick house gets a modern makeover”

read more on our website

The Wattle Avenue House, for Stefano de Pieri and Donata Carrazza was featured on the residential architecture blog “Lunchbox Architect,” check it out here

Wattle Avenue House Reviewed in Houses Magazine


read about the Wattle Avenue House on our website

“A Menu! I don't want a menu: I want food” begins Robert Nelson – freelance art critic – in his review of the Wattle Avenue House in the latest Houses Magazine.

The anecdote of Luciano Pavarotti proclaiming his desire for the real deal rather than mundane ceremony is well suited to describing the de Pieri families request for a house rather than a status symbol.

Nelson comments on how the project fuses the “quintessentially suburban Australian” house with the “remarkable contemporary” addition and in doing so encapsulates the family's vibrancy and connection to Mildura.

Wattle Avenue House on air 28th November


Join Jan van Schaik and Stefano de Pieri as they take you on a guided tour of Wattle Avenue House for Channel 31's Sacred Spaces.

watch the episode online

Sacred Spaces examines architecture, urban design and planning by talking to the architects in the projects they've designed. In this episode Jan van Schaik discusses the house MvS Architects designed for celebrity chef, and Mildura advocate, Stefano de Pieri and his family. As they guide you through the house they discuss the motivations behind the architectural qualities of this award winning prototypical regional dwelling.

The program will air Wednesday the 28th of November at 8pm on Channel 31 (Digital Channel 44)

“Embracing Inside and Out”


Wattle Avenue House has been featured in Stuart Harrison's exciting new book 'New Suburban' (Thames & Hudson)

read about the Wattle Avenue House on our website

“Mildura, like many regional centres in Australia, has a blanket of suburbia outside its core. A classic post-war suburban house in cream brick sits on this street corner and it has been reworked considerably to accommodate a local extended family. In doing so it has kept its fundamental character. Too often when houses like this are renewed the material quality of the brickwork is lost – rendered out of existence. The strategy here has been to add a clearly new extension to the existing house, to connect at a deeper level more akin to gene splicing.

“This insightful project works in the tradition of innovations in plan, but here the suburban house evolves into a new hybrid, one with the outside space - a courtyard - as its focus.”



Watch Jan present his PhD online.


Jan van Schaik's presentation of his PhD 'Bruegelage - Interrogations into nine concurrent creative practices' can now be viewed online.

His research uncovers nine sub-practices across the breadth of his creative practice: design through explicit re-working of the propositions of other architects; design through less explicit re-working; design through implicit reference to everyday objects; design through intuition and explicit strategy; design through chunking and interrupting chunking; design through a deliberate pursuit of discomfort; design through abrogation of the author; advocacy as a design process; and a practice titled ‘fake-it until you make-it', examined through a dissertation, exhibition and oral presentation.

To watch the presentation click the link


Wandering Between the Lines
4th April 2012

see the exhibition on our website
read the story in The Age
Art Gallery of South Australia

Dylan Rainforth reviews the Adelaide Art Biennial and our design of its exhibitions spaces in the arts section of The Age.

The exhibition, curated by Alexie Glass-Kantor and Natasha Bullock at the Gallery of South Australia, is open until April 29th.

WAMA is seeking pledges of support


The Wildlife Art Museum of Australia is seeking pledges of support and donations to qualify for Government Funding.

A requirement of government funding is that there be a significant private funding contribution coming from the community. So far, WAMA has raised more than $3 million, but a further $4 million in donations, pledges and in-kind contributions is needed. Please give generously – your financial support will help turn this iconic project, with all its benefits for the region, into a reality. Regional Victorian newspapers are running a promotional insert.

View the promotional insert here Read about the project on our website here

Video: The Ultimate Victorian High Country Adventure


Cliff picnicing at Mt Buffalo, feasting in Bright and snoozing in a tiny house in Creightons Creek – the ultimate High Country adventure.

Broadsheet and Jeep have teamed up to produce a short video on the ultimate Victorian High Country weekend adventure, which features sleeping at Shacky located in Creightons Creek, the tiny house/cabin designed by MvS Architects. “Unwind when spending the night in an off-the-grid cabin nestled in the middle of an olive grove. The Shacky is a tiny home hidden away among the trees where you’ll swap watching TV for watching the roaring fire” - Broadsheet.

View the video on Broadsheet's Facebook page
View the video and read the article on the Broadsheet website
For more information and bookings, head to Shacky's website
Read about Shacky on our website

Image credit: Broadsheet

Alice Smith School showcased in A&C Magazine, Korea


The October 'Facade' issue of Architecture & Culture Magazine Korea has published our design for the Alice Smith School JB - focussing on the detail and design of the building's façades in line with the them of the issue.

Our recent work in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia continues to find itself being highlighted within the global architecture community - and here documented in plan, elevation, 3D model and images for a Korean audience. The Project is featured across 12 beautifully detailed pages and appears along side work from Korea, Denmark, Sweden and Vietnam.

Victorian Architecture Awards 2012

7th August 2012

We have just been sent the photographs from the awards presentation dinner.

After being presented with their awards the recipients try to work out what to do with them!

Venice Architecture Biennale 2008
14th August 2008

Minifie Nixon invited to represent Australia at Venice Architecture Biennale.

The Venice Architecture Biennale

Lucy Turnbull and creative directors Neil DUrbach, Vince Frost, Wendy Lewin, Kirsten Thompson and Gary Warner have invited Minifie Nixon to join a group of young and innovative Australian architects to reprepesent Australia in the 11th Venice Architecture Biennale in September 2008.

The 'ABUNDANT' exhibit will be officially launched on Thursday September 11 at the Australian Pavillion, Giardini di Castello, 30122 Venezia Italy.


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