Collaborators & Friends \

Our Process \

  • Alexandra Buchanan Architecture is an emerging design practice specialising in residential architecture. Between them the team members have more than 20 years’ experience and develop creative bespoke, holistic ideas for every project.

    ABA’s process is driven by a collaborative approach; one that enables a responsive, dynamic and rewarding process.

     View our Portfolio

  • ABA is a design team with diverse experiences and skills from a range of cultural backgrounds that inform and enrich our processes. We have experience in architecture, interiors, photography and pro bono work with NGOs and architectural aid organisations in Australia and overseas.

    ABA’s studio environment encourages each team member to bring their unique skills to the table to inform and ultimately enrich a final solution.
 We begin each with workshops that explore and test the client’s brief and the peculiarities of each site and its wider context. Our findings and concepts are then distilled into what is the essence of ABA’s vision for the project.
 This approach ensures that every project is bespoke, highly considered and intricately tailored to its context and its users.

  • Our core Architectural Services include:


    Sketch Design

    • Obtain the client’s design brief and key requirements
    • Provide recommendations for the appointment of other specialist consultants as required
    • Attend the site and assess site conditions and constraints
    • Establish existing conditions regarding authority regulations and requirements
    • Review & discuss the project budget
    • Prepare sketches, diagrams, models and other information to adequately explain initial concept ideas
    • Prepare design briefs for other consultants
    • Undertake preliminary selection of materials and finishes


    Design Approval

    • Prepare and submit appropriate drawings and reports for planning application (as appropriate to the project)
    • Liaise with local council and any supporting Consultants as required


    Design Documentation

    • Prepare design briefs for additional consultants as required
    • Prepare construction drawings as required for Building Permit approval (including 3D visuals, plans, sections, elevations and details at an appropriate scale)
    • Coordinate the design work by consultants with the architectural drawings
    • Prepare a specification and schedules describing materials, finishes and workmanship to compliment our architectural drawings to be tendered



    Competitive Tender Scenario:

    • Prepare Tender documents
    • Invite tenderers and issue documents for pricing
    • Analyse tenders for compliance with tender documents
    • Arrange and attend meeting with preferred tenderer to determine contract package

    Negotiated Offer:

    • Assist client in determining the preferred negotiation process
    • Issue relevant documents to the prospective contractor to describe the scope of the works
    • Arrange and coordinate negotiations and enquiries with the prospective contractor
    • Together with the cost consultant, if any, assess all submissions from the prospective contractor required to establish the contract price and final project scope
    • Prepare report and provide recommendations for client’s consideration


    Contract Administration

    • Prepare Contract Documents for Building Contract between you and the selected Builder
    • Undertake regular site inspections
    • Provide instructions to clarify the contract documents, as required
    • Coordinate consultants
    • Review shop drawings for conformity with the architectural intent
    • Administer variations and obtain your approvals to make any changes to the contract documents
    • Arrange and attend site meetings as required by the project
    • Provide you with regular reports on your project
    • Assess progress claims, issue progress certificates, assess other such claims
    • Prepare defects lists towards the completion of your project for action by the builder
    • Issue notice of practical completion
    • Following defects liability period, assess final account, inspect works and prepare final defects list
    • Issue the final certificate of all defects and outstanding work
  • Alexandra Buchanan Architecture is an A+ member of The Australian Institute of Architects (AIA), the peak body for the architectural profession in Australia.

    The AIA represents 12,000 members working to improve our built environment by promoting quality, responsible, sustainable design.

    Working with an Architect


  • Port Melbourne Heritage House:

    “Alexandra Buchanan Architecture truly made our housing dreams become a reality!

    The innovative design for our home provides a feeling of space and balance in our small inner city block, delivers some striking features that provides the house with an architectural edge and provides the softness that we demanded for our family home.

    Alexandra engaged with us in a friendly yet professional manner, providing an excellent experience guiding us through each stage and the building tender. The ongoing support throughout the build was first class.

    We personally loved the initial stages of the design process where we actively engaged with Alexandra Buchanan to discuss different taste, design and layout options. The resulting drawings and images were brilliant with some images providing 3D perspectives. Alex developed a strong relationship with our chosen builder, Rock City Building Group, and collectively produced an outcome that we just love living in every day.

    Worthy of noting, when the council challenged our final design on a heritage overlay basis, Alex’s thoroughness in minuting meetings and seeking written confirmations on the directions provided from the council in a pre-planning meetings directly saved us time for approvals and a costly redesign.

    Casey Grant and Daniel Murphy highly recommend Alexandra Buchanan Architecture.”

  • Cabarita Beach Shelter:

    “Alexandra is an extremely talented and creative architect that has a true understanding of identifying a customer’s needs & wants whilst delivering the customer amazing results.

    We used ABA to design a Solar shelter and usb hub for a local council project driven by an NGO in Tweed Heads. We thought we knew what we wanted but Alexandra exceeded our expectations with the results.”

    Scott Black Diamond Energy

  • Nerang House:

    A couple of years ago we had the opportunity to purchase a large 1970’s house on acreage in the Gold Coast Hinterland. The property had been vacant for some time and was quite neglected. Knowing how amazing it could be, but without the vision to turn the “somewhat unappealing” yellow brick behemoth of a facade into something a little more tasteful, we decided to engage Alex from ABA to consult on how we could take this ugly duckling and make it our own!
    From the initial meeting with Alex, we felt very confident in what we were going to be able to achieve and had a great experience working with ABA. From the brief to the concept, final design and execution, the process was seamless. Alex is a great listener, receptive to feedback, very honest and always careful to maintain the integrity of the design and the overall vision for the project.
    We couldn’t be happier with the process and the result and we will definitely be working with them again on future projects.

  • Warrandyte House:

    Amazingly talented architect and I couldn’t recommend Alex more highly. My wife and I built our dream home along the Yarra River, North Warrandyte (30kms east of Melbourne).
    A challenging project from the very beginning – planning restrictions, environmental overlays, wildfire overlays and more. Each challenge Alex managed to overcome with critical and creative design thinking (and loads of hard work). Turning the seemingly impossible into positive outcomes which would in-turn benefit the design as a whole. The result – we now have a beautiful home and life in the Victorian bushland with our two young children. It’s everything we could have dreamed of.

    Thanks Alex

  • Hawthorn House:

    Alexandra Buchanan did an amazing job on our house and we couldn’t be happier with the result. She transformed what felt like a cramped little cottage into what now feels like a comfortable family home that will suit our family of 5 for years. Her use of skylights to bring in natural light, together with high ceilings makes our family room feel really spacious and is a lovely place for us all to spend time as a family. Her selection of finishes for bench tops and cabinets has been commented on by nearly every visitor who has come to look at the renovation, so we have been very pleased with what she has done. We love our new home!