Chris Cole | Chris Cole Architect Sydney & Fiji


australian institute of architects

Building and renovating are often surprisingly stressful endeavours. Fast decisions regarding detailing, sustainability and future proofing, all with aesthetic and cost implications, need to be made on a regular basis. Experienced and empathetic, the team at Chris Cole Architect will help you through the process.

Chris Cole Architect is an award winning architectural practice focused on residential, resort and light commercial projects across Australia-Pacific. With offices in Sydney, Australia and Nadi, Fiji, principal architect Chris Cole, brings a modernist sensibility with a progressive and sustainable handcrafted quality to your project.

Chris Cole started his own architectural practice in 2000 focused on unique residential and medium density projects in Sydney’s eastern suburbs. Chris then spent a number of years based in Fiji where he worked on the seven star  LaucalaIsland Resort (Red Bull), as the Project Architect on the Pacific Village at the 2010 World Expo in Shanghai, China and doing voluntary work for displaced Fijians in local villages.

Chris has over 20 years’ experience, is fully conversant with the Building Code of Australia and NZ, the National Building Code of Fiji and Fiji Code of Environmental Practice and has successfully delivered numerous residential, resort and light commercial projects across the region.  Along the way Chris has picked up a number of awards:

  • 2018 Architecture MasterPrize, Honorable Mention Pak Shak in Small Architecture category.
  • 2017, Commendation for Residential Architecture, International Chapter, NSW Institute of Architects for his pre-fabricated Vuda House.
  • 2010, Gold Medal, Zone B, for Most Creative Display – as the design architect on the Pacific Village for the World Expo in Shanghai.
  • 2007, First Prize, Royal British Institute of Architects (USA Chapter) – for Vakabauta Village, in collaboration with Toby Kyle and Kaminieli Vuadreu, an environmentally sustainable medium-density, urban development scheme, inspired by the traditional Fijian village.

Whilst running a full time architectural practice, Chris also holds a part-time Design Studio tutoring position in the Faculty of the Built Environment at the University of NSW.

Prior to taking up architecture, Chris spent much of the 1980s working as freelance cameraman and camera assistant to some of Australia’s leading cinematographers, where he gained an appreciation of the craft of cinema lighting and the collaborative film-making process. This was a period of great vitality, passion and innovation in the film industry, qualities that Chris highly values and seeks to bring to his architectural practice today.

B.Arch (Hons) & B.Fine Arts. University NSW, Fiji Arch. Reg 228, Aust. Institute of Arch. 18404, NSW Arch Reg. 6714

Chris Cole Architect Sydney & Fiji


With offices in Sydney and Fiji, Chris Cole Architect is an agile and cost-effective practice focused on residential, resort and light commercial architecture of various scales, types and budgets across the Australia / Pacific region. We maintain a small team of dedicated and talented core staff who work collaboratively with a selected range of specialist professionals to respond quickly to the unique demands of each project.

FRANCESCA HYNES is our Sydney office manager and project coordinator. Francesca brings to the team abundant managerial and co-ordination experience – account management in advertising, major public events manager for 2000 Sydney Olympics and 2003 Rugby World Cup and administrator of the Lord Mayor’s office during the most significant infrastructure upgrade in central Sydney.

Based in Sydney, Francesca will ensure the best support team is assembled for your project and that your project is delivered in a timely and efficient manner.

With a passion and a discerning eye for quality and a keen interest in the visual arts, Francesca is also able to help source suppliers of those hard to find interior finishes, furniture or soft furnishings from around the world or around the corner.

B. Com. UNSW & BA Hons. (Art History) University of Sydney.


MARCELINO HICKS is our talented senior architectural technician who has worked in several leading architectural practices in his career. Marcelino is an experienced, astute and diligent team leader who supervises a tight group of technicians to ensure a high standard of detailed documentation.

Dip. Arch. Technology, Suva, Fiji


ISAAC UNDERWOOD is a senior technician who has worked with us for over 5 years and brings to the studio 10+ years CAD drafting experience, a passion for 3D imaging and a keen eye for detail.

Isaac continues to work as a St Vincent de Paul volunteer, making ‘safe housing’ in the disadvantaged Fijian villages, before the onset of the cyclone season.

Dip. Arch. Technology, Suva, Fiji

The Sydney Morning Herald Cole Classic


Chris Cole is involved in a number of community focused projects including:

The Sydney Morning Herald Cole Classic (1983 – 2012): Chris was a Founding Director of one of Australia’s largest not-for-profit community ocean swimming events, held annually at Manly Beach, Sydney. The Cole Classic is a renowned fixture on the Sydney Ocean Swimming calendar, raising funds for Manly Life Saving Club and various community charities. View the 2018 Cole Classic promotional video.

In 1982 Chris’s father Graham Cole wrote:

“The event is not a race but a challenge to all persons to stretch themselves in body and mind to swim a reasonable distance through surf. It will, I hope, be an incentive to persons to involve themselves in the self-discipline required to get fit, obtain confidence in their ability through swimming, to achieve pride in having performed something that is perhaps slightly above average and finally to receive (in the form of an appropriately prepared certificate or medal) some recognition of their accomplishment”.

Koroipita Village, Fiji Islands (2013 to present): This urban settlement was created for disadvantaged families in the Fiji Islands. It was conceived and realised by the dedication and hard work of a single man, Peter Drysdale, who says:

“I thought if we were to break the cycle of squatter settlements where people were being consistently exploited while genuinely seeking a better life, then we would have to build our own subdivision”.

Chris has an ongoing architectural advisory role for the community and recently designed the ‘Experimental Cottage Industry’ workspaces, bus shelter and a new pre-school classroom.

Architectural Plans by Chris Cole Architect


Building and renovating are often surprisingly stressful endeavours. Fast decisions regarding detailing, sustainability and future proofing all with aesthetic and cost implications need to be made on a regular basis. Experienced and empathetic, the team at Chris Cole Architect will help you through the process.

Take some time to explore the links below as they’re full of information and insights on a range of architectural and building related issues.

Your Home – Australian Government guide to responsible design and development.

One Planet Living – an alternate way forward.

Wood Solutions – the website for wood.

Walk Score  – find out how pedestrian-friendly your address is.