Beauty derived from colour, light and function with economical resolution.

Based in North Melbourne, Michael McManus Architects undertakes projects across Victoria.

Our work pursues spatial efficiency, as well as cost efficiency.  Within these parameters, we create beauty from how we organise space and utilise simple materials. Building performance and passive design are core interests of ours. 

We draw on the natural environment where possible to deliver outlook, natural light and connection to maximise our appreciation of space.

Architecture, interior design and landscape are holistically considered with each project. Sustainable design is rigorously pursued and each project improves upon learning from those past.

In 2020, we're pledged to make our business carbon neutral. Our carbon audit is currently underway. 

We are members of: Australian Institute of Architects (A+), Architeam, Architect’s Declare Climate & Biodiversity Emergency and Architect's Assist (Disaster Recovery Assistance)



Our role in design and construction is comprehensive. We also tailor our services to meet your unique needs.

  • Feasibility Studies

    Relevant before purchasing land, or when wanting to test if a project is feasible. We review planning restrictions, how a development might fit site and obtain a cost estimate.

  • Concept Design

    After establishing your brief, we analyse, measure and record site features and prepare design options for review. After feedback, a selected option is worked up to demonstrate its main features, with a cost estimate obtained.

  • Design Development

    Refining the design to select materials, dimensions, fittings, building systems, windows as well as cabinetry and lighting design.

  • Construction Documents

    Detailed drawings and specifications are prepared, enabling building permit review, accurate builder costing and comprehensive details to facilitate construction. These documents will form part of the building contract.

  • Tendering

    Suitable builders are selected to provide a tender. A clear tender format is established and an analysis of results provided for your selection.

  • Construction Services

    We proactively organise meeting, resolve unforeseens and address queries to maintain the design quality. As contract administrators, we prepare a fair building contract and act as an independent assessor of claims for payment, delay and variations.

  • Planning Applications

  • Building Permit Applications

Frequent Questions

Architecture services aren't always widely understood. Get in touch if you have questions.
  • Do you provide interior design services as well?

    Yep, we design our projects inside and out with you.

  • How long does the design process take?

    Our experience is that anywhere between 9-12 months (depending on planning application delays) is a realistic timeframe before construction can begin. This allows a reasonable time for feedback and discussion, while keeping up momentum.

  • What are your approximate fees?

    As each project varies, we meet each client personally for a complementary meeting to understand their needs in detail and their site conditions, before providing a fee proposal.

    We aim to make fees simple and transparent. Once the project size is established, we provide simple fixed fees for each stage. Our fee proposal and agreement summarises the scope of works clearly.

    To be as helpful as possible, we also list the likely consultant fees, to give you a full picture of professional fees to allow for.

  • What benefit does an Architect provide during construction?

    As designers and specifiers of all elements a builder is contracted to perform, we are well-placed to see what is getting built meets design expectations. We often highlight issues before they become apparent and more difficult to resolve.

    Our role during construction as the Contract Administrator also provides confidence. Aside from running site meetings between parties and ensuring good communication, we assess claims for payment, delay and variations to ensure they are fair. We also identify building defects and instruct on rectification. We take the tension out of the build process too. We nurture a team relationship between builder and owner so the process is an enjoyable one.

  • I don't need to extend, but want to improve my existing house. Can you help?

    Yes, we work on all projects where we can make a valuable change for the occupants.

  • What elements are excluded from your work and the build that we need to allow for?

    The only elements typically excluded from our role and the building contract are: furnishings, window curtains and blinds and loose landscaping.

    Lighting, cabinetry, decks and pergolas are normally included in our works.

Case Study

The journey from beginning to completion that many of our projects take is illustrated by a case study our Kew Villa project.

Read more