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Who we are

The Office of the Government Architect is led by the NSW Government Architect Peter Poulet.


Peter is supported by Deputy Government Architect Ben Hewett, and Associate Government Architect Olivia Hyde.


What we do

The Office of the Government Architect provides leadership for NSW Government in:

  • Architecture
  • Urban design
  • Landscape architecture
  • Design thinking


In providing this role, we support NSW Government in delivering quality, managing risk and fostering innovation to maximise public value of investment in the built environment.

The role of the Office is critical in helping to deliver world-class design and planning outcomes in NSW as it continues to grow. Located within the Planning Cluster, the strategic advisory role of the Office provides opportunity to work across government, the private sector and the community to improve social, environmental and economic outcomes for the state and its communities.


Find out more on our new website.


Our responsibilities

  • Champion design excellence for government
  • Provide independent, professional and impartial strategic advice across design, planning and development, and on the design and delivery of public projects to:
    • Cabinet, Ministers and senior government executives
    • Government departments and agencies
    • Local government
    • Industry
    • Community
  • Establish policy and practice frameworks for achieving design quality and effectiveness
  • Promote and advocate for the value and benefits of design excellence by:
    • Ensuring government has the ability to make informed design decisions
  • Developing, supporting and leading design-led processes and building capability by:
    • Strategic commissioning, including ongoing management of the Office of the Government Architect’s Pre-qualification Scheme for Strategy and Design Excellence
    • Providing advice on performance, procurement and commissioning
    • Publishing design guides, standards and manuals
    • Leading design review for key and/or strategic public urban renewal, precincts and buildings
  • Undertake research and provide thought leadership on design and the built environment
  • Foster collaborative approaches across government and with industry and academia
  • Support and nurture design culture and the sharing of local and global best practice.


Draft Architecture and Design Policy

The then-Minister for Planning Rob Stokes announced the draft Architecture and Design Policy for NSW at the fourth GA200+ event. The draft policy outlined design quality and processes to achieve effective design outcomes.

Discussions on the draft policy are being led by the Office of the Government Architect and international design and policy experts Laura Lee, Professor of Architecture at Carnegie Mellon University in Adelaide, and Peder Baltzer Nielson, City Architect in the Aalborg municipality of Denmark.

Read more about the policy here.


Pre-qualification Scheme for Strategy and Design Excellence

The Government Architect’s Pre-qualification Scheme for Strategy and Design Excellence provides government agencies access to design industry professionals, who provide consultancy services. Pre-qualified providers have been assessed independently by a panel of peers and the Government Architect.


GA200+ events

GA200+ was a series of events running throughout 2016 which celebrated 200 years of public architecture in NSW.

The series was launched in May with a symposium at the State Library of NSW, which coincided with the Library’s exhibition Imagine a City: 200 Years of Public Architecture in NSW. Keynote speakers were former Chief Architect Barcelona (2011-2015) Vicente Guallart and New York City Chief Urban Designer and Director of Urban Design Jeffrey Schumaker.

Other past GA200+ events included the:

  • Designing Great Cities panel discussion with Planning Minister Rob Stokes, UK Urbanist Greg Clark, Greater Sydney Commission Central District Commissioner Maria Atkinson and Government Architect Peter Poulet.
  • What is it about living in Sydney forum with keynote speakers Elizabeth Mossop and Jane Gleeson-White followed by expert panel discussions facilitated by Committee for Sydney CEO Dr Tim Williams.
  • Launch of the draft Policy for Architecture and Urban Design in NSW in September, followed by panel discussion with Planning Minister Rob Stokes, Danish Consulate Sydney Trade Commissioner and Consul General Michael T Hansen, Carnegie Mellon University Architecture Professor Laura Lee (FAIA, Hon FRAIA), Aalborg (Denmark) City Architect Peder Waltzer Neilsen and Government Architect Peter Poulet.


Strategic themes brought to light in past GA200+ events have informed the draft Policy for Architecture and Urban Design in NSW.


More information about the program is available at GA200+.


Contact us

Please email the Office of the Government Architect at


Or view the recently created website for the Government Architect of NSW here.

Page last updated: 15/09/2017