Our Story

H2o architects is a pioneering interdisciplinary design practice in Melbourne, Australia.

H2o architects provides a full range of services with a strong focus on responsive architecture, unique interior design and intelligent urban planning.
Established in 1999 by Tim Hurburgh and Mark O’Dwyer, H2o architects has received international acclaim for its modernist sensibility teamed with a highly responsive architectural approach. The culmination of these two has resulted in highly memorable and individual land marks which are sympathetic to existing environments.
In our twenty years of operation we have pursued an architecture of expressive modernism across projects of varied typologies and scales. We believe in the intrinsic value of place, landscapes, artifacts and existing structures and pay particular attention to the accretion of the attributes when formulating our design approach. A situational response to unique characteristics of program, site and context has resulted in highly individual buildings with unusual and evocative forms, dynamic materiality and colourful materials and textures. Intense client collaboration ensures holistic, expansive outcomes fostering stake holder commitment. Through a commitment to sustainable design which is practical and affordable, we strive to reduce the impact of our architecture on the environment.

H2o Sustainability

H2o has an international reputation for work in sustainable design, attested to by clients, awards, public lectures, chairmanship of ESD award programs and our recent contribution to a benchmark Commonwealth Sustainability performance for Commonwealth Buildings.
We have a specific approach to reducing building running costs and maintenance costs for our clients. We concentrate on the incorporation of practical and affordable integrated sustainable design features, that maximize use of natural light and fresh air linked to mechanical and electrical systems.
Materials are rigorously selected for environmental soundness and length of durability. Post occupancy evaluation of projects by H2o architects confirm that sustainable designs are producing healthier and happier work environments with higher productivity and lower absenteeism. The occupants of our buildings are not ‘shoehorned’, rather internal design and functional requirements dramatically influence the external envelope.


H2o architects are pioneers in sustainability and are often awarded and publicised for their sustainable works. Tim Hurburgh and Mark O’Dwyer undertake numerous study tours of sustainable buildings internationally, and transfer this knowledge by regular seminars on sustainable design to industry and education forums.
Tim and Mark were selected from their peers by South African Professional Associations to present case studies on sustainable design in April 2009. H2o architects have continued a reputation for innovations in sustainability by having the Swinburne University Advanced Technology Centre as one of the first buildings to be assessed for five star Green Star under the recently released Green Star Institutional Buildings tool.

H2o heritage

We welcome any client initiatives to redevelop existing buildings as it is core H2o philosophy that such buildings be retained and reused wherever possible. The scale of any new extensions and their materiality to be carefully chosen to accommodate contemporary briefs whilst ensuring a proper harmony between new and old.
We have extensive experience both in the adaptation of existing heritage structures to contemporary uses and the integration of new buildings with heritage structures.