Hansen Yuncken completes Iglu at Summer Hill

With international students again on the march towards higher education in Australia, student accommodation has become an essential part of the process of welcoming this incoming community.

Iglu Student Accommodation is a developer of purpose-built facilities intended for student-living. The company develops and manages residential properties for rental purposes close to university campuses, colleges, public transport, shopping, eating and entertainment facilities along with support services across Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney. Iglu is a consortium owned by GIC (Government Investment Corporation of Singapore) and Macquarie Capital.

Recently Hansen Yuncken (construction) has been involved in the re-development of a site in Summer Hill in Sydney, for the latest addition to the Iglu line-up across Australia.

Here are some images of the funky environment that has been created for our new wave of tertiary students.

“Sod-Turning” & smoking ceremony at Prestons in NSW

You may well ask….what is a “sod-turning”. I did. Well it is when a construction company starts work on a new project and the occasion is marked by a mound of dirt being turned ceremoniously with a shiny new shovel. This marks the beginning of the construction work on the site.

Aunty Gail

It is common to also include a smoking ceremony as a mark of respect to the traditional owners of the land with an Acknowledgement of Country. The smoking ceremony, according to the traditional owners, is a way of cleansing the area by smouldering native plants to create smoke which wards off any “bad” spirits and at the same time purifying the area both physically and spiritually. This is performed by an elder of the indigenous community. Today it was Aunty Gail. She was joined by Brandon and Jetsyn who were also part of the Gandangara Local Aboriginal Land Council.

Hansen Yuncken (construction), One Five One (developer) and Chemcorp (client) celebrated the start of their new warehouse project at Prestons in NSW in mid-July. Their brand new warehouse will be completed by February 2023 and Chemcorp will have a state-of-the-art facility. The project involves construction of two new warehouses, with over 22,000m², designed to achieve a 5 Star Green Star rating.

Hansen Yuncken – ceremoniously turns the first shovel of dirt (with help from some young students) at the site of their new construction at Trinity Grammar

The team at Hansen Yuncken is about to start work on a new project at Trinity Grammar in Summer Hill, Sydney. To mark the occasion it is customary to stage a ceremony where the first “sod” is turned on the site of the construction.

Happily on this occasion the grown-ups had some welcome help from a few younger “construction workers” in long-fitting hi-vis and spacious hard-hats. Perhaps the new cadets of the future.

For more information on the extent of the renewal project, click on this link:

Marketing images – construction

A number of my clients are in the construction business and occasionally I am asked to go on-site and produce images that can be used for marketing purposes. One such occasion arose recently at one of Hansen and Yuncken’s building sites at Meadowbank TAFE. I was commissioned to capture a series of images of their staff, on site and at work, that could be used for marketing purposes such as tenders.

Unless there is a concise brief, in which the client requests specific shots, my general approach is to go on-site and to work in an impromptu but professional way. It is not always necessary to direct the subjects when setting up the shot. I prefer to wait for the right moment and then step in to take the photograph. Besides, it’s not as if my subjects are paid fashion models. They are usually the employees of the company, photographed by me as they go about their normal day-to-day duties.

I enjoy this type of photography, since it allows me to step into the universe of construction and to see how a large-scale operation works from a human point of view.

Corporate profiles for The Prime Group

I recently photographed studio portraits as corporate profiles for the team at Prime Constructions. For the occasion, a studio set-up was temporarily installed at the company’s Artarmon offices, as pictured. Sometimes as a photographer, the key is to be mobile.

Prime chose a standard grey background with a slight gradient for the portraits. The subject was seated, to create a corporate mood that was relaxed and open.  The images are all shot in a landscape orientation, rather than portrait.  This choice was made based on the proposed layout of these profiles on the Prime Constructions website. The main lighting is high key with not too much contrast on the face, and I added a hair-light to separate the sitter from the background. 

Pictured above from left to right: Paul Christopher (MD Construction), John Drake (MD Pre-Construction) and Phil De Gail (Executive Chairman)

In 1983, Ron Masters & Phil de Gail established Prime Constructions, now regarded as one of the leading building contractors in New South Wales. Paul Christopher joined Prime in 1988 as a cadet and John Drake commenced as a general foreman in 1989. Having prospered and developed within the increasingly expanding company, John and Paul became directors and shareholders in 2000. In 2010, they became joint managing directors.

Prime’s services include new construction, refurbishment and fit-out for projects up to $80m, offering innovative construction solutions and undertaking industrial, commercial, retail and institutional projects. Over the past several years, I have photographed many building sites overseen by Prime, documenting each stage from the earliest preliminary phases to completion. With a proven record of successful project delivery for over 35 years, Prime is one of my long-standing architectural clients. 

St Narsai Assyrian Christian College, Horsley Park by Prime Constructions

ISHS – Reaches even higher!

Inner Sydney High School completed by Hansen Yuncken in Surry Hills

Three years ago, when I first photographed the site of the Inner Sydney High School on the corner of Cleveland and Chalmers Streets in Surry Hills, it was a series of traditional brick classrooms built in the late 1800’s. Now thanks to the design by FJMT Studio and the high tech building efforts of Hansen Yuncken, it is a magnificent contemporary campus amid heritage architecture, and an example of a new direction in public education.

Under construction in 2020
Inner courtyard in 2021

Apart from the classrooms, the school features an enviable array of facilities including media rooms, fully-equipped kitchens, science labs, woodworking rooms, a sky-high basketball court, library, lecture halls, assembly areas and loads of cool spaces to hang out and be educated.

Corner of Cleveland & Chalmers Streets in 2018
The new school rises behind the heritage buildings
ISHS mid-construction, 2020
Completion view, 2021
The old meets the new at the dynamic campus of ISHS

Mushroom Records renews Woolloomooloo premises

The Mushroom Group has recently updated its Sydney headquarters, a hub for the best musical talent this country has to offer. As Australia’s largest independent music and entertainment group, its history is unrivalled. Although the recent death of legendary founder Michael Gudinski was untimely, he had the opportunity to see the renovations almost complete.

I was commissioned by Prime Projects to plot the initial phase of the refurbishment with the intention to complete a more detailed portfolio of the building when the fit-out is fully operational and the art collection has been installed.

The Mushroom Group continues to be at the forefront of Australian music, producing iconic collaborations which in the past have included “Living in the 70’s” by Skyhooks, “True Colours” by Split Enz, such signings as Hunters & Collectors and Machinations and under Mushroom Records label, the who’s who of Australian rock and pop – The Angels, Jimmy Barnes, Nelly Furtado, Renee Geyer, Kate Ceberano, Kylie Minogue, Yothu Yindi…and the list goes on.

At Multiplex, a new generation takes it sky high

Multiplex decided to update their banner imagery using photographs taken at their soon-to-be completed construction site at the skyscraper on the corner of Bridge and Phillip Streets in Sydney.

I took photographs of various employees from different fields of construction, be it engineering or project management. Throughout the building, from the street level to the 40th floor, I photographed the Multiplex crew in their lofty work environment.

Smoking ceremony for the new construction at Meadowbank TAFE

Meadowbank TAFE is expanding. Hansen Yuncken are responsible for the construction of the new facilities and at the start of the building project a smoking ceremony was performed in accordance with Aboriginal customs, respecting the traditional owners of the land, the Walumedigal people of the Eora Nation.

Part of the welcome to country ceremony
Some of the ashes are thrown on the building site and remain there. The rest are kept for future ceremonies at subsequent sites.

Hansen Yuncken executives participated in the ceremony together with representatives of TAFE, the architects, local politicians and others. I managed to capture of few shots of various employees at the site office.

The building site of the future addition to Meadowbank TAFE

Inner Sydney High School – Completed

A new concept in education has been completed in the suburb of Surry Hills, The Inner Sydney High School, not far from Central Station.

I have been tracing and documenting the progress of the new 11-story building over the past two years. I recently photographed the completed school building complex by Hansen Yuncken Pty Ltd. It incorporates the refurbished heritage-listed buildings which were part of the former Cleveland Street High School, with the towering expanses of the new structures. Throughout the final shoot, I kept asking myself why I wasn’t able to go to a school like this when I was young.

The old and the new…..

The features are amazing. The kids even have their own cappuccino machine, in what I presume is the “Home Science” area of this innovative school. A cappuccino machine!

See….cappuccino machine, left.

There are air-lifted basketball courts, high-rise dining and lounge areas, state-of-the-art facilities in all the learning spaces and “to-die-for” views in every direction, especially overlooking Prince Alfred Park and the skyscrapers on the city skyline. 

Basketball court with city views, overlooking Prince Alfred Park

Have a look at the video the Education Department has made…click here:

LHAP – Liverpool Health & Academic Precinct

The Liverpool Health and Academic Precinct is a $740 million redevelopment of Liverpool Hospital and a new education and research hub. The redevelopment will provide Liverpool Hospital with expanded clinical services, public spaces and car parking, integrated with research and teaching.

I shot part of an initial phase of construction for Multiplex (the contractor on this phase), which features a temporary teaching centre for medical students and staff. Multiplex is also delivering a number of other projects, including a new kitchen facility, reconfiguration of several buildings and a car park.

Xenia Constructions builds a new Storage King in Minchinbury

Nowadays people need places to store things, especially if you are living in a small inner-city apartment. I have seen more and more storage facilities popping up in the city, sometimes in the most extraordinary places.

Xenia Constructions has built one such place … a new Storage King facility in Minchinbury, constructed as a state-of-the art warehouse in smart blue and white.

Interior of the warehouse showing the individual cubicles

New addition on Euston Road by Prime Projects

Near the Alexandria entrance to the newly opened M8 tunnel a dynamic new industrial landscape of warehouses and offices is emerging. Prime Projects (NSW) Pty Limited have just completed the repurposing and repositioning of an existing industrial asset for Goodman in Alexandria.

The development and construction project by Leffler Simes Architects with consulting engineers Triaxial and Sparks + Partners, includes the new facade and fit-out to 3 showrooms, new service infrastructure and service upgrades to the warehouse portion, as well as internal walls.

134 Euston Road, Alexandria by Prime Projects Pty Ltd

Five projects for Prime Constructions

What to do with an abandoned building, collecting dust, graffiti and shattered glass. Prime Constructions turned a run-down eye-sore in Pymble into a modern, highly functional office building with all the mod-cons.

I was given the unusual opportunity to photograph the project as a “before and after” record of how urban spaces can be reclaimed and repurposed.

The decision has been to respect as much of the original, high quality graffiti as possible especially in the lower ground floors and car park. In this way the past is featured as part of the present.


Tigerpak office and warehouse, Marsden Park (for The Prime Group)


SCT Warehouse, Minchinbury (for The Prime Group)


Charter Hall warehouse and offices, Prestons (for The Prime Group)


Hunter Express, Casula (for The Prime Group)


Multiplex builds a new home for the NSW Department of Health

Prior to the offices of the NSW Department of Health being occupied in their new premise at St Leonards I photographed the interiors and exteriors of the multi-storey, purpose built facility, designed by BVN Architects and constructed by Multiplex, consolidating 10 NSW Health agencies into one location.

Improving collaboration between NSW Health agencies, the relocating health entities include the Ministry of Health, Agency for Clinical Innovation, Bureau of Health Information, the Clinical Excellence Commission, the Health Education and Training Institute, Cancer Institute NSW, NSW Health Pathology, Health Infrastructure, eHealth NSW and HealthShare NSW.

Click on the thumbnails below for full gallery.


Architectural portfolio for Lloyd Group construction company.

On commission, I photographed the Sydney office of Lloyd Group construction company in Pyrmont, showing both the interior fit-out and the building exterior. The focus was on the clean lines of the board room, meeting rooms and working stations spread out over the 2 floors.

I continued my commission for Lloyd Group by photographing 4 new educational facilities in NSW – Hurstville Public School, Speers Point Public School, Wangi Wangi West Primary School and West Penshurst Primary School. This demonstrates the current commitment to providing dynamic learning environments and communal outdoor spaces.

Hurstville Public School

Speers Point Public School

Wangi Wangi Primary School

West Penshurst Primary School