Studio

Profile

Design that speaks for itself

BKA Architecture is an established practice with a track record of excellence across a breadth of design sectors. From educational projects to commercial, community, and multi-residential developments and beyond, we’re committed to delivering thoughtful architectural and interior design solutions that meet client and occupant needs while championing sustainability.

Our studio culture is defined by three key characteristics: curiosity, humility, and a strong focus on delivering architectural solutions that work. We take a bespoke approach to every project, working closely with clients and stakeholders to tease out and address the complexities of each brief. Eschewing a signature style or approach in favour of site specificity and meaningful collaboration with project stakeholders, we consistently deliver highly tailored architecture that exceeds expectations and, above all, puts users first.

Approach

Leading by example

BKA is a passionate advocate for diversity and gender equity within the profession and views both as essential to creating inclusive environments that respond to user needs. Our commitment to achieving this is reflected in our culturally diverse leadership team, in which gender representation is equal.

Similarly, the practice takes a number of proactive measures to incorporate sustainability into all our endeavours, including the appointment of an in-house Green Star-accredited professional, implementation of best practice environmentally sensitive design (ESD), and engagement of collaborators and product suppliers with demonstrable environmental ethics.

People

Founding Director

John Baker

  • B Arch (Hons)
  • Chartered Architect

John established BKA with John Kavanagh on the foundation of a 40-year career spanning the commercial, residential, master planning, government, and educational sectors. Over the years he has distinguished himself through the breadth of his expertise and ability to integrate modern pedagogies into educational facilities of all types and scales.

An active member of the architectural community, John has served as Councilor to the NSW Chapter of the AIA and is a past examiner of candidates for Board of Architects registration. He is passionate about advancing the profession and is a vocal supporter of gender equity and sustainable design practices.

Founding Director

John Kavanagh

  • B Arch (Hons)
  • Chartered Architect

Prior to establishing BKA with John Baker, John gained extensive experience in the highly competitive architectural landscapes of London and Sydney. His ability to clearly visualise the unique possibilities of every site is partnered with a comprehensive technical skill set that enables him to translate these possibilities faithfully into reality.

Alongside championing sustainable design and architectural innovation, John takes a keen interest in nurturing the next generation of industry talent. In addition to tutoring regularly at the University of Technology Sydney, he provides support and advice to early career architects as part of the Australian Institute of Architects’ mentorship scheme.

Director

Najla Khoury

  • BA (Arch) (Hons)
  • BA (Arch)
  • Registered Architect NSW

Since the practice’s earliest days, Najla has played a pivotal role in coordinating and managing BKA projects across various scales and sectors, both in Australia and abroad. She is immersed in all aspects of design and delivery and is highly skilled at project execution, driving projects from the early planning and consultation stages to completion.

In recent years, Najla has sharpened her focus on educational and commercial design, completing a number of refurbishments and new buildings for Western Sydney University, Macquarie University, and UTS, her own alma mater.

Director

Mark Khoury

  • B Arch (Hons I)
  • BA (Arch)
  • Registered Architect NSW 9441

Since joining BKA in 2001, Mark has completed numerous educational, residential, and commercial projects across Sydney and the Middle East. His highly refined design, project coordination, and construction capabilities distinguish him within the practice, and he has led design teams for a diverse selection of tertiary education projects ranging from student accommodation to laboratories.

Mark’s strong leadership skills are underpinned by his collaborative approach to design and bolstered by his ability to provide alternative design solutions that respond sensitively and creatively to brief requirements and site conditions.

Director

Silvina Medel

  • BA (Arch)
  • Dip Architectural Technology
  • Dip Interior Design Visual Comm

Silvina has been a core part of the BKA team for nearly two decades, during which time she has been a key driving force behind the practice’s growth and evolution. Based in our Byron Bay studio, she takes a flexible and highly efficient approach to designing across a breadth of sectors including education, hospitality, and single- and multiple-dwelling residential.

A clear communicator and consummate professional, Silvina collaborates closely with clients, consultants, and community members alike to achieve the best possible outcome in every project and overcome the challenges entailed in managing the various needs of multiple stakeholders.

Director

Allison Burrows

  • BSc (Hons I)
  • B Arch (Hons I)

Allison joined BKA in 2004 as an outstanding student from the University of Newcastle and has since developed expertise across a variety of architectural typologies. As the Director of our Newcastle office, she is actively involved in all project stages from concept design through to detailed design, documentation, and construction.

For several years, Allison was a member of BKA’s Dubai office, where she undertook large-scale educational, commercial, and multi-residential projects. Since returning to Australia she has further developed her skills in each of these sectors and proven integral to the practice’s expansion.

Associate Director

Bruna Souto

  • M Arch
  • B Arch & Urban Design

Working across a breadth of sectors, Bruna draws from her experience in practice across Australia, Europe, and Brazil to make a rich and distinctive contribution to BKA’s practice and culture. Her artistic flair is complemented by strong technical abilities that allow her to lead the conceptual and detailed design of projects ranging from local master planning and educational institutions to large-scale residential and commercial developments.

As a result of her diverse, international experience, Bruna is equipped with a comprehensive design skill set that includes DA documentation, layout furnishing specification, and presentation drawings and materials.

Associate Director

Jesus Garcia

  • B Architecture (Hon)

Having worked throughout Australia, Venezuela, India, and Spain, Jesus brings over 14 years’ architectural and urban design experience to the BKA team. He has a nuanced understanding of the full architectural delivery process from feasibility through to detailing and contract administration, alongside a proven ability to manage client relationships, multi-disciplinary consultant teams, statutory approvals processes, and contractors on site.

An adaptable all-rounder and team leader, Jesus works across a diverse range of sectors including educational, mixed-use, and multi-residential, in addition to undertaking affordable housing and heritage-sensitive developments throughout Sydney.

Careers

We’re always on the lookout for new talent

There are currently no vacancies at BKA. However, we are always looking for talent and welcome expressions of interest from designers with particular experience within the Educational, Commercial, Community, and Residential sectors. Please contact careers@bka.com.au with a current CV and portfolio to be added to our talent pool; we’ll be in touch should a suitable opportunity arise.