15 Minutes with Roger Beeston of RBA Architecture


Throughout his 30 year career, Roger Beeston of RBA ARCHITECTURE has actively engaged in both the contemporary building and heritage management fields. In doing so he has acquired expertise in traditional and contemporary building design technologies, developing authentic and sustainable remedial conservation interventions.

Roger is a Registered Architect and an Associate of the Australian Institute of Architects where he has served as Jury Chair Member for the AIA Awards, as well as being a past recipient of the AIA John George Knight Award for Heritage Architecture on multiple occasions…

We sat down with Roger… this is what he had to say:

1. The question we always ask…first job in the industry?

Roger: In Sydney with McConnell Smith and Johnson as an urban designer working on the master plan for the first iteration of Darling Harbour as a Victorian it was quite a challenge to work on an iconic project in NSW

2. Advice for someone starting out?

Roger: Architecture is both an art form and a business discipline – you need to hone your skills in both areas, don’t be afraid to develop your commercial/business skills, it’s a great benefit to your clients too.

3. Key traits you look for when hiring staff?

Roger: Enthusiasm, wit, honesty, integrity, tenacity, staying-power, ability to see the bigger picture and your role contributing to it.

4. Favourite food?

Roger: Oysters and my grilled salmon steaks fresh from South Melbourne market – my family demand them at least once a week with spinach!

5. Least preferred style of Architecture

Roger: Disney Heritage (other than within Disneyland).

6. Your idea of fun is:

Roger: Skiing or surfing, SUPPing with my family

7. Industry gripes…got any?

Roger: No. In the course of my career the opportunities and respect for architects in Australian culture have improved significantly and the integrity which is evident in good Australian architecture is inspiring.

8. In one word – how would people describe you?

Roger: Intense.

9. Your hang out of choice?

Roger: On my block of land in the middle of the Little Desert just out of Dimboola. There are no buildings there.

10. Top buildings world-wide?

Roger: The Writers Building in Kolkata and the ancient city of Vijayanagara in Southern India. Also the nests built of the Mallee Fowl in the Little Desert.

11. What do you the think the market will do in the next 12 months?

Roger: We’ll see a lot of activity in Victoria in coming 12 months with new rail projects reshaping our neighborhoods and impacting Melbourne CBD habitability –  this will provide lots of opportunities for pop-up installations/project and new business models which is great news for architects who are keen to develop their practice scope.

12. Finish this sentence… “If I had my time again I would…”

Roger: wouldn’t change a thing, architecture is a passion and a profession, so few people get to live and work this way.

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