BENT Architecture is an innovative design practice based in the inner-Melbourne suburb of Brunswick. The practice is led by Directors Paul and Merran Porjazoski.
Since its establishment in 2003, BENT Architecture has completed a diverse range of projects which have been locally and internationally awarded, published and exhibited. The practice has won two open design competitions (‘Growing Up’ Green Roof and ‘Living Places’ public housing, both constructed) and has established itself as leaders in all aspects of residential design, environmentally sustainable low-cost housing, commercial and institutional refurbishments and green roof design.
The creation of environmentally and socially sustainable built environments is of critical importance to this practice. BENT Architecture is passionate about the integration of architecture and landscape and the way people can use and shape their built environment.
The diverse work of the practice, which covers education, commercial and housing projects across various disciplines (architecture, interior design, urban and landscape design) is process-driven, establishing rich dialogues between context, programme and people to create responsive built environments attuned to their site. Our projects explore the balance between architecture as a place for refuge and a platform for prospect and, whether it be a medium density housing project, a small renovation or a roof garden on a landmark city site, always aim to create excitement, surprise and engagement.
THE THREE PILLARS OF BENT ARCHITECTURE
Without people, architecture is useless; without the environment, people don't exist... and what's the point of existing without a bit of surprise and delight? Welcome to the three pillars of Bent Architecture.
Without people, architecture is useless.
Our focus here at BENT is creating happy and healthy places for people. Architecture is more than shelter: it has the potential to enrich your life and make you feel good. We want our buildings to be enjoyed; to feel comfortable, no matter what the weather is doing outside; to connect you to nature and the outdoors; to be a joy to inhabit. Our people-first approach means creating homes where families can gather, relax and laugh, offices and factories where workers feel supported and productive, kindergartens, universities and education spaces that inspire creative thinking and promote effective learning, public spaces where people feel comfortable to linger and green roofs that people can explore and enjoy. The work we do at BENT Architecture is about creating the unique, inspiring and enriching spaces for people to live, work and play.
Without the environment, people don't exist.
We're passionate about creating sustainable architecture, too. After all, our environment sustains us and we should do our part to sustain it in return. Environmental sustainability is embedded in all of our designs. From standalone homes, to social housing, offices, to green roofs - sustainable solutions are a key ingredient. We design using passive solar design principles to keep buildings cooler in summer and warmer in winter and to minimise the need for heating and cooling - a major source of energy use in the built environment. We search for less energy intensive materials, select efficient building practices to reduce waste, and find ways to integrate landscape into our projects to bring people closer to nature. We believe if you get the basic principles of sustainable design right, it's possible to create beautiful buildings that are more comfortable to occupy and don't cost the earth - environmentally or financially.
...And what's the point of existing without a bit of surprise and delight?
Having fun is essential! Architecture shouldn't be stuffy and boring, it should be creative and fun. We want our designs to make people smile or laugh, to offer a new perspective, to be unexpected. Whether we're designing a medium-density housing project, a small renovation or a roof garden on a landmark city site, we aim to create an element of excitement, surprise and delight in everything we do.
ORIGINS OF BENT
People often ask us about the origins of the name of our practice. George 'Buzzer' Bent was Merran's grandfather. He was a champion bike rider, selected for the Australian Olympic team, and still holds Brunswick cycling records.
He was into scrap booking, collecting memorabilia of the Carlton Blues and filling his North Fitzroy home (which he proudly referred to as his ‘hall of frames') with photos of his beloved family. He owned a local bike shop and built bikes for Merran and the rest of his large family at every stage of growth. He was an intensely private and honourable man.
His proudest moments were when he saw his family name in print and, as the youngest of two daughters of his only son, Merran felt compelled to keep the 'Bent' name alive; hence BENT Architecture was born.
Since then, the Bent name has become a vehicle for shaping our approach to architecture – an approach that questions the norm and pushes against the grain in search of the unexpected, the unique. Above all, it represents an unwavering, site specific and collaborative process – after all, the embodiment of truly great architecture not only lies in its physical expression, but is a celebration of the creative process and the lives that are shaped thereafter.