Five Minutes with...ROTHELOWMAN Principal Stuart Marsland


As a Principal at

ROTHELOWMAN, Stuart Marsland is passionate about high quality dense urban design.

His interest was born out of his architectural training at the Metropolitan University of Manchester in the UK which was "heavily geared towards urban regeneration".

"The combination of reusing, rebuilding and projecting forward while working within the world’s oldest industrialised landscape was a true inspiration," he says.

Prior to joining the practice in 2006, Stuart worked in London on large commercial and residential projects where clients included the London Underground.

Recent projects for ROTHELOWMAN include the transformation of the former TipTop Bakery factory in Brunswick East into a residential complex, consulting with the Stonnington Council on the

Chapel reVision 2013-2031 and contributing to the re-visioning of Fishermans Bend.

What sparked your interest in architecture, urban planning and design?

I started working for architects at a very young age. When I was 14 it became clear that I could draw reasonably well, so I started dropping into local architectural practices after school to earn pocket money. By the time I was 18 my interest in buildings and the built environment was cemented and I began to pursue my career in the field.

What is the most challenging aspect of your job?

Finding enough time in the day!

What is the highlight of your job?

At ROTHELOWMAN, we have a very collaborative approach to design, with all members of teams contributing to the finished buildings. A genuine highlight of my day is seeing how the team has taken the spark of an idea then magnified and improved it beyond my expectations.

One of Stuart Marsland's most recent projects was transforming the former Tip Top factory in Brunswick East into a cutting edge apartment complex. Photo by Scott Burrows.[/caption]

Who are your three favourite architects?

Campo Baeza, Mies van der Rohe and David Chipperfield.

Apart from your own company, what do you think are the best practices in the world at the moment?

I love how Bjarke Ingels Group is challenging the whole profession currently, taking relatively straightforward briefs and transforming them into beautiful sculptural forms.

For many years FieldenCleggBradley Studios has been consistently producing high quality contemporary architecture with a warmth and attention to detail quite often missed.

Where do you think the architectural industry will be five years from now?

As with all industries, it is interesting to see how innovation flows from small quirky concepts into the mass-produced mainstream. Developers and occupants are constantly demanding more, with new ideas at the forefront as the market becomes more sophisticated and educated. I know we have talked about internationalism for 100 years now, but with increased travel and immediate access to other worldwide concepts I think there will be increasing pressure to innovate and improve the spaces we live within.

What is the most pressing policy issue facing your industry?

Locally this would probably be the apartment design regulations under consideration. It is always hard to regulate design as this often stifles innovation and does not cater for every situation or site. An idealised and heavy-handed regulation may prevent redevelopment and progress, while not always addressing the original issue.

In London and Manchester I experienced working under idealised and outdated planning controls, which was incredibly frustrating. It is very easy to unintentionally create planning blight.

From what or whom have you learned the most from?

Throughout my career I have been blessed through involvement in many good project teams, both in terms of leadership and contribution from the architectural team. I wouldn’t want to single out an individual, as I believe all these projects have been successful collaborations.

What is a website or blog that you visit often?

The blog I have most consistently followed daily for many years is BLDBLOG. I love the fascination with the historic and quirky aspects of this world posed by the authors that are clearly based on architectural conjecture and inquiry.

What are two books that have you either influenced you professionally or personally?
Bunker Archeology by Paul Virilio and The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand.

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