Good morning Simon!

Thanks sooo very much for your patience and understanding. You have been the best putting up with our indecisiveness, and helping us navigate through the planning, design and everything in between. We couldn’t have done it without you!

Kind regards,
Rhonda Thorp

We have lived in our beautiful home for just over nine years.

We love the fact that it is cool in summer and warm in winter, without the need for any air-conditioning and just a gas (jet master) fire in the winter.

We have windows to the north to catch the sun in the winter. These are shaded by eaves which stops the sun getting in in summer.

Though we have lots of windows to bring the outside in, Peter Downes made sure they were designed and placed so there is no need for curtains.

Our view is to the west so we have large windows to capture the view. Peter made sure that we had a large covering, a deck with a large roof, to shelter us from the westerly sun. He suggested that the deck be big (6M x 5M). We use it all the time as it is big enough for a dining table and lounges.

Louver windows allow summer breezes. Double glazing keeps us warm in winter and blocks out noise.

All-in-all it is a very comfortable home, one we love living in and one which makes us very happy.

Janet and David

Michael and I are absolutely delighted with the amazing transformation to our house.

Christine Baxter

I appreciate that Leanne and I ask lots of questions, but it’s an important investment in our familie’s future so we want to make sure we “get it right”.

You have been very good responding promptly and helping us along the way. We feel you flex when you know it’s OK to do so, and push back when you see we might make a mistake. You accept our good ideas and hold firm when our silly ideas threaten the architectural integrity of the design.

I appreciate your professionalism and feel we have the right amount of creative tension in our relationship to get the best out of the project, so let me again thank you – you are very good at this!

Graham Ezzy

We had been familiar with Peter’s impressive projects for a number of years, so when the time came to design our waterfront home in Church Point, the decision was easy. We wanted Peter to convert our dream into reality.

Right from our initial meeting Peter completely understood the concept we had in mind and was able to create a superb design which utilised the steep site, optimised the wonderful water views and outlook, and satisfied all our living requirements.

Faced with neighbour objections and strict council guidelines, Peter handled these hurdles in a professional manner which led to a positive outcome all round.

Peter thank you for making this project a smooth and relatively stress free experience. Your innovative ideas coupled with your enthusiasm, friendly and proficient manner is the perfect mix for a designer well deserving of your many awards.

The end result is a beautiful, unique, sophisticated but relaxed home which makes us feel we are living in a resort all year round.

Paul and Michelle

“Peter had recently completed an impressive award winning design for one of our friends so we engaged him to design our renovation and manage the process through council. We are very pleased with the design and the result. The house just works, it traps the sun: east, north & west – the increased views to the north are magic.

Many people comment favourably which of course make us proud owners. Outstanding result, what a brain!”

Trevor Russell

“The whole design experience with Peter was extremely easy. Our initial meeting with him was brief and we outlined our requirements and the ‘feel’ we wanted to achieve in our home. We knew it would be a challenge because of our desire for sunlight in every part of the house, lots of living spaces and specific use rooms plus the onerous requirements of the Council and Basix and the size of the block. Within a very short time, Peter had preliminary plans for us to review. His design incorporated all our requirements and more! Peter’s design is not only unique but our house has a WOW factor – we love it and so do all our family and friends. Peter was great to deal with because not only is he a great designer but he listens to what you are wanting and puts it all together with a minimum of fuss.”

David and Margaret O’Connor

“We have found Peter by word of mouth looking for someone to design our planned alterations. Peter designed a truly imaginative and functional extension to our old house that we were only too happy to proceed with, until we started getting quotes. Quick cost/benefit calculations took us back to Peter and the drawing board, this time for a brand new house.

Peter well understood our brief and expectations and managed to incorporate them into design, that is successful in both aesthetics and practicality. We have a unique and sophisticated house that makes us feel like on holidays every day. Throughout the design and construction Peter has been attentive and professional in the old fashioned manner that is so difficult to come by today.”

Peter Orczykowski

“Peter’s brief from us was to design a modest 3 bedroom Balinese/Beach House, that integrated well with the block, took maximum advantage of the Northern sun and Pittwater views to the west , provided us with indoor /outdoor living, used light frame construction techniques and was cool in summer and warm in winter.

We not only achieved all this but a lot more in terms of clever design principles, overcoming neighbor objections, and fast tracking the DA/CC through Council in record time. Peter’s positive, friendly and understanding manner also helped minimize stress.

We just love the end result and so do all our friends that visit our new home.”

David Owen

“I am writing to thank you for all your help in the design and construction of our house. Susan and I had never thought that the house could have been built from such non-traditional materials but still look so fantastic, and be practical and inexpensive to build at the same time. We are especially glad that you coaxed us to be more adventurous with the use of colours.

Thank you for always being available on the numerous occasions that we had a question during the building process. We were grateful that you took time to visit the site even though it was not part of the brief.

Susan and I found it very easy to work with you and are now pleased to count you and Cheryl as friends.”

Captain David Burston

“Just a short note to thank you for all your help and professionalism in the design of the additions to our house. It is such a pleasure to work with someone who specialises in this field.”

Debbie Noble

“Michael and I wish to send our belated thanks for your expertise and help in the design of our home. Your efficiency and creativity served us well.

Our new house has received many compliments for which we feel very proud.. Thanks again Peter”

Coco Scheuring

Having a small block with a tricky diagonal slope, we were trying to keep our expectations low, especially after initial discussions with some builders and architects.

Peter Downes however, by being both creative and clever, has managed to fit together all the interlocking pieces in the puzzle to come up with a design that maximised the use of the land, giving us all the rooms we could reasonably hope for, while still satisfying neighbours and passing easily through council – a brilliant performance.

Kevin & Vivienne Tucker

Just a short message to thank you for the write up you did in the Manly Daily for us. There has been a lot of interest in the house, but as yet it has not sold, but we’re in no hurry so it doesn’t matter. But we are hoping to ask you to draw up another house for us in the not so distant future, this time just a single home. Thanks again and everyone who comes through our home compliments the design.

Anders Lawaetz (2005)

I think you have done a fantastic design for 30 Watkins Rd, Avalon.

Larry Anderson (New York)

Thanks Peter. It has been marvelous to deal with someone who has delivered the goods, and on time.

John Black

After having lived in our new home for a few months now, there is not a single aspect of the design that we would alter. Thanks Peter.

Christine and Roger Shepard

Thanks Peter. We absolutely love the design, and the whole design and building experience has been such a pleasure that I would love to do it again.

Caroline Townsend

I was lucky enough to have a block of land that overlooked the ocean and then lucky enough to find Peter to design a really special house. Peter took the brief and then let the block dictate the outline, while also maximising the views, light, breezes, separate living areas, the outdoor feel and the indoor warmth. The design incorporates many “little” special features that really make it work. The planning and neighbours were difficult, and Peter was a very wise head in working through the issues and we got the very best outcome in a really calm pleasant way. If you want a unique house that incorporates all of those good ideas you have, then Peter will put it together for you with a minimum of fuss and you will love it. Many thanks Peter.

Jim Fanning

Hi Peter

Well the saga has reached the end of the line with our final approval from the certifier.

I can’t thank you enough for all of your assistance/support etc. during this marathon – without it we couldn’t have achieved this final result!

Many thanks again!


Bob Gilman

Peter is a pleasure to work with. He has designed a new upside down home and we can’t wait to start building it.

He pays attention to detail, and he never has to be chased up as he is always thinking once on your job. He is professional and knowledgable, and

you can tell that he loves what he does.

Nic Brycki

Hi Peter

It’s been a pleasure working with you.

Always up to date and very professional ! I will recommend you to everyone who’s looking for an architect.

Thank you again and can’t wait to invite you for that glass of champagne with you.

Cheers Peter, keep in touch!

Michael Kalin and Chrissy

Peter – we have thoroughly enjoyed working with you. You have guided us to a design that we are thrilled with and meets our needs, and we look forward to seeing the finished product. We hope ours is the first of many homes in Collaroy.

Bob and Liz Beesley

“Rebecca looked at the drawings this morning and we have discussed them. The consensus is that you are a legend and the design is really fantastic. We love it and are very eager to see a more detailed drawing. I assume this is the next step. Thank you so much Peter – you have made us very happy.

All the best”

Scott Preston

“When we purchased a 1926 heritage listed house with a view to renovating, modernising and extending it, we knew the path could be rocky. After two architects submitted very disappointing and predicable options, we struck gold with Peter, our third and, thankfully, final attempt. It was a pleasure dealing with Peter as he listened carefully to our requirements, kept the heritage police happy, walked us through council’s very demanding processes and came up with a fantastic solution for our house. Having lived in it for two years now, I appreciate the result every day. Visitors never fail to comment on our beautiful and unusual home. At least next time, I will have a much shorter design selection process and will just call Peter.”

Elizabeth Allen

“Kim and I have found Peter to be an extremely enthusiastic, creative and innovative professional to deal with. He has acted consistently with his promises, listened carefully to our needs but then overlayed the design of our house in a way which maximises its utility and views and also optimises the uniqueness of our site in a very stylish way. We also found the way in which he dealt with council and neighbour matters to be firm, flexible and fair, resulting in a relatively rapid approval. Overall we are delighted with our result and would have no hesitation in recommending him, particularly where elements of ‘spice’ and excitement are needed.”

Alex Stevens

“Peter is definitely a “hands on” designer with the energy and enthusiasm to get things done quickly. He thinks outside the square design wise and you will enjoy his dry sense of humour whilst working with him. Certainly not your conventional architect but one who understands the language of councils to get plans approved with the minimum of delay.”

“Peter Downes brings to his work a refreshing enthusiasm and creativity that translates into the design and construction of truly innovative homes. I was impressed by Peter’s capacity to deliver a cutting edge design for my new house that at the same time complemented the more traditional houses in the street. Peter also continuously encouraged me to be an active part of the process of design and construction of my house to ensure that the final outcome would be an ultra-modern living experience.

Peter, well done and keep up the good work as you are making a valuable contribution to the creation of modern, sustainable and wonderfully comfortable Sydney houses.”

Richard Gibbs

“I was extremely impressed with your ability to design a home that took into account all aspects of living such as solar access, cool summer breezes, privacy, streetscape and the use of thermal design features that will no doubt save us energy costs over the long term.

It’s a shame that Council doesn’t have an opportunity to work with designers of your quality more often.”

Councillor Julie Hegarty (Pittwater Council)

“As a developer I am regularly approached by Architects and Designers but none have impressed me as much as Peter Downes, who is one of the most creative people I have ever met.

Peter continously surprises me with his lateral thinking and futuristic design ideas. His first project for me was on a very difficult site, half of which was covered by a creek. This only enhanced Peter’s flexible approach and creativity resulting in an excellent, environmentally sensitive design.

He impressed greatly during this project and I have since contracted him to design a second project at Leichhardt, also on a challenging site.”

Peter Hegarty

“Karl and I would like to give you a big, big thank you for all the help you have given us with the design and building of our new duplex. We could not have done it without the help of you and Cheryl,and we have been very happy since we moved in. The new place is much cooler in summer and warmer in winter than our old house.”

Helen Nelson

“Peter came up with some fabulous ideas that hadn’t even occured to us. It was great to have someone with fresh, new eyes who could see the potential in spite of the limitations imposed by our existing house. We are extremely happy with his final design.”

Debra O’Brien

Both Gitte and I have been very happy with your service. I must admit that I wanted to talk to a few Architects before that I settled on one to work with. But your personality and your initial concept plan got us both very excited and were happy to get it all started with you.

I had an idea of what I thought would work well, but after talking to you for a couple of hours where you told us of all the different aspects that need to be taken into account when designing a Duplex, I realized that we were talking to a true professional who knew what he was talking about.

You came up with a unique design that was exactly what we wanted rather than one of those boring side-by-side buildings.

The floor plan has been very well thought through and we can’t wait to get the building finished and move in.

Thanks again Peter for a job very well done, we will have no hesitation in recommending your services to our friends.

Gitte and Anders Lawaetz (2002)

We were very impressed with your designs, ability to work with local authorities, and also the references from those that you have done work for.

It has been a pleasure making your acquaintance. We will have no hesitation in recommending you to others.

David Atherfold

Thank you for your very prompt design response to our project. We now look foward to Council’s usual speedy granting of approval!

Roly Whittell-Webb

Now that the house is taking shape, I am absolutely thrilled. It looks just fantastic.

Anne Shortus

We are completely delighted with the amazing design that you have come up with for our new house. And the whole process has been a pleasure.

Scott and Nickey Kranenburg

Hi Peter,

Thought I would pass on some of the feedback I am getting on our project. Every tradesman that comes to the site comments on how fantastic the house is going to be.

Recently I had Westpacs valuer on site and he said its one of the best designs he has seen. One of my golf friends was a major developer, has done heaps of homes and major projects like Northpoint Tower at North Sydney and he said “could not have done any better with that block, it will be a special house”. Plus we, the owners, have sold our treasured Manly house as we can’t wait to live in the house you have designed for us.

From all of the expert comments I think you may be in line for more awards ….

Thanks and best wishes

Max and Pam Goldsmith

Hi Peter

Two years ago I purchased an amazing, architecturally stunning octagonal house, which makes great use of the strange shaped land, and next to a cliff face on Allambie Road (19). I have been trying to find out who designed it ever since, and I think that you might have been the brilliant Architect who designed it.

Rosemary Harris

Simon. Thanks very much for all your good work. Hope you will call by sometime when it’s not pouring down for a beer and inspection of the works.

Ed Harris