Tony Allen
Managing Director

“There aren’t many jobs in the world that leave a mark like an architect leaves. Our work is out there for everyone to see every day for 50 years or more. That’s pretty amazing.”

“What really interests me is working for a practice whose projects stimulate debate and make people sit up and think, as opposed to ordinary, boring buildings that most people don’t even notice. Our buildings add value and at times they’re controversial and challenging. That’s an important distinction.

I started my career in Sydney and I was managing projects by the time I’d been out of university for five years. I’m good at making things happen and getting things done. I moved to Melbourne to manage the State Library Victoria redevelopment and went on to lead the Federation Square architectural team for Lab+Bates Smart. When that was complete, I was invited to join ARM.

I get real job satisfaction out of managing the process of delivering a building. I enjoy making sure it’s set up correctly so that we can do great design without being hampered by money or other issues.

ARM is a fabulous cultural environment full of clever creative people—interesting people who enjoy working with each other and bounce off each other really well. I have great respect for the people I work with and I enjoy drawing out their skills and talents and encouraging them to do what they’re good at and do it even better. I’m privileged to work with such talented design architects and they need my management skills, so there’s a great synergy.

I think it’s fantastic to be able to walk through a city and see several seriously major projects that you’ve had a genuine involvement in. It’s like leaving your legacy in huge bold print on the front page and it’s fabulous. When my kids were young it was a real buzz for them too. They loved to say, ‘My dad did that’”.