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Mark Gazy appointed HDR’s new civic principal


HDR’s appointment of acclaimed transdisciplinary designer Mark Gazy as civic principal demonstrates the company’s goal to develop innovative city-shaping infrastructure. 

Gazy has tallied 25 years of experience in mixed-use, residential, commercial, education and urban design. His deep knowledge of the design industry will equip the HDR team to develop human-centred and wellness-focused spaces that enliven communities. 

He says deviating from conventional typologies will place design companies such as HDR in good stead to resolve complex and unavoidable societal and economic obstacles. 

“Whether designing neighbourhoods as an antidote to loneliness or rebuilding net zero communities on higher ground to safeguard from flooding – we have the potential to solve cultural challenges,” he says. 

Gazy will add to HDR’s reputation as an global exemplar in mixed-use, civic, urban and transit architecture. His interdisciplinary background will enable the company to confidently delve into community shaping projects such as build-to-rent and accessible social housing. 

He will also collaborate with government clients to develop treatment-focused correctional and justice facilities that prioritise necessary pillars of health, education and community. 

The civic sector’s embrace of new paradigms reveals a possible solution to the supply and demand pressures, and the housing crisis. 

“Integrating our social infrastructure and precincts with key worker accommodation and amenities could reinvigorate the market and create integrated environments that enable social, economic and cultural systems of influence to thrive in their own right,” says Gazy. 

Gazy is also a staunch supporter of HDR’s global regenerative design framework. This tool helps designers to aim beyond rudimentary high-performance design goals, and instead reach net-positive targets for areas such as carbon, water, biodiversity and health categories. 

He will subsequently join forces with HDR’s data-design driven team, and develop detailed virtual replicas of structures that are capable of measuring the ecological, social and financial durability of an urban environment. 

HDR was awarded second in the World Architecture Survey of Top 100 Global Architecture Practices and has been a key developer of civic projects in Australia for nearly 50 years. 

The company’s regional managing principal Cate Cowlishaw says Mark Gazy’s appointment follows an epoch of exciting company growth. 

“Gazy’s appointment will see us diversify our markets and services so we can elevate the communities we serve and co-design resilient and regenerative precincts that support our future,” says Cowlishaw.

The practice has also recently promoted education, science and community principal Graeme Spencer, design principal Simon Fleet, leader of the Melbourne studio Karen Curtis and associate managing principal Rob Wright. 

Photography by HDR.

Check out how Cate Cowlishaw is eagerly empowering young professionals to thrive. 


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