Deinstitutionalising institutional buildings is a personal mission for Riordan, who sees architecture’s highest function to be its role as equaliser. As a director of the practice since 2016, he co-leads a growing team, eager to maximise opportunities to create places of community belonging.
But Riordan knows such havens look different to different communities. To achieve an intimate understanding of client need, he oversees immersive consultations, leading key urban design, social housing, mixed-use, education and commercial developments. Clients have included Victorian Government departments and agencies, such as the Department of Health and Human Services, Victorian School Building Authority (VSBA), the Department of Environment, Land, Water & Planning (DELWP) and Victoria Police. Community organisations have included mental health service providers headspace and Mind Australia, along with various housing associations.
Since joining the practice in 2005, Riordan has proven his triple bottom line approach to architecture, pursuing economy and sustainability as much as designing for social benefit. He regards the multi-award-winning genU Eastern Hub as a career milestone, for its panoptic, less prescriptive environments that were quickly embraced by community.