Growing up in Sydney, Alec Tzannes developed a passionate interest in how to design things that work at the scale of the urban environment in the mediums of architecture, urban design and product design. His academic interest is formed by his curiosity about the way buildings and cities evolve, the way people use and relate to them, and how design processes can be more effectively utilised to improve urban planning outcomes. This passion continues to inform and drive his work today.
• Chartered Architect NSW Australia 1980
• Master of Science in Architecture and Urban Design at Columbia University in the City of New York, 1978
• Graduate study at the Institute for Architecture and Urban Studies in the City of New York, 1977 - 1978
• Parsons School of Design, New York, (Architectural Rendering) 1977 - 1978
• Scholarships for post-graduate study in the USA: Sydney University Travelling Scholarship and Graduate Grant; Fulbright Award; NSW Department of Public Works Award
• Bachelor of Architecture, Sydney University 1976 University Medal, First Class Honours, John Sulman Prize for Architectural Design
• Selected Australian student representative to I.C.S.I.D. Moscow, USSR 1975
• Bachelor Science (Architecture) Sydney University 1974
• LA Aboud Prize 1974
Alec Tzannes graduated in architecture and urban design from Sydney University, and then Columbia University (Master of Science in Architecture & Urban Design), starting his career after graduation in the New South Wales Government Architects Office (Special Projects) and as an Associate of architect Glenn Murcutt.
TZANNES, the architecture and design practice Alec Tzannes founded in 1983, has created a substantial, multiple award-winning portfolio of work over more than three decades, ranging from small objects to urban precincts, including public buildings, multiple and single private residences, commercial buildings, interiors, hospitality and hotels, schools, parks, roads and major urban renewal projects.
Throughout his career, Tzannes has also engaged in an active public life, serving on multiple boards and committees, including design review panels for Sydney Olympic Park, Centennial Park and Moore Park Trust, the Heritage Council of NSW and the Transport Infrastructure Development Corporation. He is currently a member of the UNSW Foundation Board and Chairs the AIA Foundation.
The NSW Public Library holds archives of many of his original drawings and sketchbooks.
Alec Tzannes’ portfolio of architecture includes many seminal projects including the following.
• Federation Pavilion and Federation Drive in Centennial Park (monuments to Australia’s Federation)
• The Master Plan of Central Park, Sydney
• The Brewery Yard, Central Park, Sydney
• Urban Furniture for the City of Sydney
• Cranbrook Junior School campus including all buildings, Rose Bay
• Anzac Parade Lights, Canberra
• Cathy Freeman Park, Homebush
• Opera Residences, Sydney
• Barangaroo commercial buildings C5 and C2 (International House), Sydney
• Nursey Residences, Paddington and NSW Central Coast
• Kronenberg Residence, Killcare
• Symond Residence, Point Piper
• Shein Residence, Vaucluse
• Lin Residence, Point Piper
Alec Tzannes designed the Federation Pavilion in Centennial Park, New South Wales, which was erected around the Commonwealth Stone as a permanent monument to Australia's Federation, in the Bicentennial Year of European Settlement in 1988. The Federation Monument which consists of the Commonwealth Stone (1901) and the Federation Pavilion (1988) is significant as the site of the official ceremony to mark the Federation of Australia and the inauguration of the Commonwealth of Australia on 1 January 1901.
TZANNES has been honoured with more than 90 local, state, national and international architecture awards, including the Robin Boyd (1997, 1988, 1989), Wilkinson (1988, 1989, 1997, 2010), Blackett (1998) and the Lachlan Macquarie award (2015) from the Australian Institute of Architects.
TZANNES won the prestigious international RED DOT and two Good Design awards in product design for a suite of street furniture for the City of Sydney (2016). The Brewery Yard, Central Park Sydney received the National AIA award, the Lachlan Macquarie (2015), an international architecture award by the Chicago Athenaeum: Museum of Architecture and Design and The European Centre for Architecture Art Design and Urban Studies (2016), and the UNESCO International Conservation Award for New Design in Heritage Contexts (2016).
In 2007, Alec Tzannes received the President’s Medal from both the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada and The American Institute of Architects and became an Honorary Member of these Institutes as well as an Honorary Fellow of the New Zealand Institute of Architects. He also became a Life Fellow of the Australian Institute of Architects in 2008, and a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Building in 2012.
In 2014, Tzannes was named a member of the Order of Australia (AM) for his significant service to architecture, as a practitioner and educator, and through professional organisations.
Alec Tzannes has taught design studio at a number of universities in Australia and other countries. He has lectured on Urban Design, Interior Design, Architecture and Furniture Design and continues to be involved as a guest lecturer at UNSW from a practice perspective. He also maintains an active involvement in cutting edge research related to design excellence, urban planning regulations and density, residential design and design science themes.