In a city where cranes decorate the skyline in mechanical hordes and apartment developments sprout into existence like mushrooms after a rain shower, there is a tendency for buildings to look the same. A dreary uniformity can beset a city. Instead of titillating aesthetics our eyes drag over endlessly repeated formulaic designs; architectural boredom can set in.

Not so with Rothelowman Architects. In terms of creative bravery and aesthetic exploration they are front runners. In Brisbane, some of their work already cuts dashing figures. The Glass Factory Apartments and the upcoming INK Apartments are examples in West End.

And so, it is fitting that a tail of artistic good fortune should take place at their studio. As a company they celebrate an open collaboration and share amongst themselves an intuitive appreciation for all forms of art. Employees are actively encouraged to pursue personal artistic expression outside of their studio work. Artwork produced by employees are on display in the company’s Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane offices.

Rothelowman urges a wholesome approach to creativity; it speaks of a comprehensive appreciation for the creative process. Jeff Brown is one of the principals at the company and articulates their method with pride.

“We nurture creativity. We have a design review process that’s extremely broad and (it) is all about collaboration, teamwork and open-mindedness. We always say the best idea can come from anyone.”

Lucia Amies is one such Rothelowman employee. She began working with the company soon after graduating from the University of Queensland with a Bachelor in Architectural Design. Whilst working in the documentation team for Brisbane’s Spice Apartments, her painting was noticed by the one of the developers of the project. Abacus Property Group were so taken with her artwork they purchased it and commissioned a larger three-panel installation for the lobby of their Spice Apartments.

The painting pays tribute to Spice Apartments’ prominent riverside location. Geometric shapes in bold colours are arranged in an overlapping design that produces the flowing effect of water and yet clearly pays tribute to the development’s sharp design.

Lucia says, the chance to combine her studio work with her own art was a thrilling experience.

“It was a really enjoyable process to collaborate with the client and create an artwork which formed an extension of the architectural concept and the building environment,” she says.

“The beauty of it was that the form and space of the building can be reimagined in the artwork and united with that. It makes for a total work of art, where architecture, art and design are unified.”

John Bush is Development Manager at Abacus Property Group; he noticed Amies’ artwork in the Rothelowman offices.

“I responded to the colours in Lucia’s first painting and also there was an exploration of the river and landscape. I felt a connection to the work and thought that if we could commission something larger for the second, northern lobby, that would be perfect,” he says.

The practice of open collaboration and deliberate encouragement of the creative process has clearly served Rothelowman Architects and their employee(s) well.