About Us

We are partners in design. We work with you to define the functional and commercial parameters of your project and explore your project aspirations. Together we establish a shared vision which becomes the blueprint for a rigorous design and delivery process. Success is defined as an end result that our practice, our client and all stakeholders are proud of.

We have an extensive list of local, national and international clients. Many of them work with us on a repeat basis — testimony to the consistently high standards we bring to every stage of our service.

Our project sectors include:

  • multi–residential
  • hospitality
  • mixed use
  • cultural and public
  • commercial office
  • workplace and fit-out
  • health and aged care
  • adaptive re-use
  • sport and entertainment
  • defence, mining and industrial
  • education
  • urban design and master planning
  • retail

We work to create enduring architecture for people, place and planet.

Architecture for people

People are at the core of everything we do. The way people live, work, shop, learn, relax and stay healthy is constantly evolving. We use research and benchmarking to develop a vision for the experience of end-users so that our projects deliver real benefits to the individuals and communities who interact with them.

Architecture for place

Place-making means creating built environments with authenticity and a meaningful presence in the community. This is a focus of our design philosophy. We develop an understanding of the physical, cultural and historical factors inherent to a site, in order to make informed design decisions and create places with a strong identity and a sense of belonging.

Architecture for planet

Environmental, social and economic sustainability are fundamental to good design. We take a holistic approach to sustainability right from project inception, applying whole-systems thinking which integrates planning, architecture, interior design and engineering to develop unified strategies that consider long-term outcomes and value. Through shared research and knowledge, we work to meet the needs of the present without compromising the future.

Our methodology

Great architecture takes many people to make it happen. We believe in starting where we want to finish, with a brief that clearly defines the vision for the end result. Every person on the team is responsible for ensuring that the project vision is realised at practical completion. Clear and open communication, and benchmarking against the brief at every stage of the process, is key to success.

Our methodology has been developed over many years and projects. All our work is underpinned by a rigorous process that includes risk assessment, peer reviews and comprehensive quality assurance. Our systems are continuously evolving, and a culture of knowledge sharing and mentoring ensures that every project benefits from the cumulative experience of the entire practice.

We are industry leaders in Building Information Modelling (BIM) and have an in-house BIM manager responsible for keeping us at the forefront of technology. Based on REVIT, our custom BIM system is an integrated workflow that generates accurate 3D models and facilitates efficient consultant coordination and cost management.

Our value-add is our commitment to maintaining best-practice across every aspect of our service.

Our History

With a line of continuous practice dating back to 1884, Cameron Chisholm Nicol has played a prominent role in the evolution of Perth’s urban fabric. Our name is behind many notable buildings across the CBD and wider metro area that have stood the test of time — testimony to the enduring value of quality design.

A period of particular significance commenced in the late 1950s, when Gil Nicol and Ross Chisholm formed a prolific and highly creative partnership that would span more than two decades. High profile projects included:

  • the Reid Library (with Gordon Stephenson and Roger Johnson, RIBA Gold Medal 1965),
  • the National Carillon in Canberra (1970),
  • Allendale Square (RAIA Bronze Medal 1977) and
  • the Education Department Building (Sir Zelman Cowen Award 1983)

Gil and Ross’s achievements were recognised in 1984 when they were jointly awarded the RAIA Gold Medal. In 2015 The Reid Library and Allendale Square were both nominated for the AIA’s Enduring Architecture Award.

A detailed record of the practice’s first 100 years, including an exploration of Gil and Ross’s work and their contribution to the profession, appears in the Architecture Australia Cameron Chisholm Nicol Commemorative Issue dated September 1984. This document is a valuable reference for anyone interested in the history of architecture in Perth. Links are included below.

In the present, we work to uphold the practice’s design legacy with a focus on creating sustainable models for the future. Landmark projects such as Heirloom in Fremantle and 565 Hay Street in the CBD reflect our interest in adaptive re-use as a sustainable design strategy. Supporting Perth’s move towards higher-density living, we are collaborating with prominent developers to help realise the vision for planner communities across the metropolitan area such as Cockburn Central, Port Coogee and Perry Lakes. Project such as the Perth Arena (AIA Sir Zelman Cowen Award 2013) reflect Cameron Chisholm Nicol’s continuing commitment to delivering innovative built form which pushes the boundaries of architecture.

Articles from the Architecture Australia Cameron Chisholm Nicol Commemorative Issue September 1994