Mitsuori Architects is a design led practice focused on the creation of enduring and innovative architecture that is uniquely reflective of its place, environment and the people that inhabit it.
Founded in 2008 by Matthew Murfett & Melissa Lim, our practice directors bring together large-scale project experience and technical expertise with the personalised service and attention to detail of a small boutique design practice. Both have worked with world renowned architectural practices on major cultural, commercial, residential and interior design projects in Australia, UK, Europe and the USA. Their departure from iconic city scale projects was inspired by a desire to explore the craft of architecture on a personal scale, and create buildings that are respectful of the past, reflective of the present and robust for the future.
At its core we believe the design process is a journey of discovery, translation and creation. Ours is a collaborative journey shared openly with our clients, design team, specialist fabricators and builders. We focus on producing well designed and executed architectural outcomes delivered by an experienced and cohesive team.
We believe environmentally and socially sustainable design are fundamental to the design of buildings and urban spaces. From the outset, these values influence site response, building orientation/configuration, selection of products, materials and technologies, and ultimately the technical resolution of structure and envelope.
At Mitsuori, we celebrate how architecture can change our experience of a place and influence how we shape our environment.
What does Mitsuori mean?
Mitsuori literally means ‘threefold’. To us the number three represents a minimalist approach; a reminder that often the most appropriate design solution is about less not more.
It takes just three lines to form the first planar figure. In the first three numbers, all others are synthesized. Three simultaneously represents the starting point and the end point - that which is complete.
Mitsuori Architects is led by Matthew Murfett & Melissa Lim. Our directors each have over 20 years experience working across a range of award winning large and small scale projects in Australia, the United Kingdom, Europe and the USA. Their breadth of experience includes residential and interior architecture, community, education, commercial and hospitality projects through to major public infrastructure and urban master planning projects.
Through our work as a practice, and our long-standing partnerships with other design/building professionals, we continue to explore the craft of architecture. We love working with challenging sites, unusual briefs and technically demanding builds.
What We Do
Mitsuori Architects specialises in architectural design and delivery services in the residential, community and education sectors. Our work ranges from small residential alterations through to larger scale education and master planning projects. We love working with challenging sites, unusual briefs and technically demanding builds.
Successful design and delivery of all our projects is based on the cultivation of long-standing collaborative partnerships with our clients, consultants, and specialist fabricators and contractors.
We offer a full range of architectural services ranging from project feasibility and concept design through to detailed design, documentation and construction contract administration. We understand that each project brings its own challenges and we work collaboratively with our client, consultant team and builders to manage time, cost and quality through each stage of the design and procurement process to achieve the best possible built outcome.
Our architectural services are typically delivered in line with the Australian Institute of Architects standard scope of services but can be tailored specifically for individual projects.
Planning Permit Applications and Authority Approvals
Our practice has a proven track record for successfully managing planning permit applications and authority approval processes on behalf of our clients. Extensive project experience has allowed us to develop a considered strategic approach to obtaining approvals that begins at the start of the design process and continues through authority negotiations to enable us to achieve the best possible design outcome for our clients.
Our services include preparation of permit application documents, liaison with authorities and providing ongoing guidance on permit related matters.
Our project feasibility services aim to provide our clients with a comprehensive understanding of key project opportunities, constraints and risks prior to the commencement of the architectural design process. These services include project feasibility analysis, site/building master planning, and preliminary investigation of relevant authority requirements.
We understand each project must achieve specific time, cost and quality requirements and we work alongside other specialist consultants and advisors to provide preliminary design advice and solutions for residential, community and education projects.
Town Architect & Owners Corporation Services
Our work for residential communities and owner’s corporations focuses on improving the urban environment within estates and providing a framework for their growth and development into the future. We provide design approval services, design consultancy, and community consultation support to residential estates in metropolitan Melbourne and regional Victoria.
Our Town Architect and architectural advisory services include creation, implementation and administration of design guidelines for residential communities. With over 10 years’ experience working in a town architect capacity, our practice has developed effective systems to review, communicate and record design approvals, applications and approvals. Our office uses computerised document tracking to ensure design approvals are comprehensively assessed, managed and recorded for timeliness and consistency throughout the approvals process.
"After finding a perfect block for our family beach house at Portsea we then had to decide on how we wanted the house to present. After finding ‘the look’ that we loved we were led to Mitsuori - Matt, Melissa and their team - to put it all together. The brief was for a ‘Wow factor’ house with simple lines, lots of glass, concrete and timber, plus a coastal feel and suitable for a multi-generational family. We believe we have achieved all this and more.
Through the design and then documentation process Matt listened, answered all our queries and then followed through with a minimum of fuss - even recommending our builder, Paul, with whom we worked happily through the whole project.
The build came in exactly on budget with only a couple of cost extras which were anticipated and costed early in the process.
We have achieved a fabulous, stylish family beach house and would be more than happy to use and recommend Matt, Melissa and the Mitsuori team to do it all again."
Anne Fenner and Andrew Simms
Having worked with Mitsuori professionally, we knew that Melissa and Matt were collaborative and design outcome focused.
Throughout our project, Mitsuori were professional, responsive and insightful – coming up with clever options to create more space, bring in daylight or to enhance comfort and liveability.
We are thrilled with the our renovated home - working with Mitsuori on our project opened up possibilities that we did not think achievable in a Victorian terrace - space, storage and daylight.
Director - Sustainability
“My wife and I discovered Mitsuori Architects when they undertook alterations and additions to our son’s house in Armadale. That was a very successful relationship so Matt and his team were the natural choice when it came to our plans for the house next door where a similar, complimentary but distinctive solution was required to transform a small weatherboard timber cottage into a modern and functional family house. We are delighted with the result. We have enjoyed working with Mitsuori and have greatly appreciated Matt’s considered responsiveness to our input whilst remaining true to his craft”
"From time to time you come across organizations with expertise, dedication and professionalism that surpasses all expectation. Mitsuori Architect's skill, attention to detail and, as importantly, persistence and stamina to get through a very difficult planning for our unique build has been greatly appreciated and admired. Along with genuine kindness and compassion through a tumultuous planning process, at all times Mitsuori Architects displayed to us and to other parties involved the highest level of professionalism and poise even when it was not reciprocated.
Melissa and Matt, your impeccable documentation of events and progress notes with clear and concise communication was at all times accurate and greatly assisted our understanding. We sincerely thank you for your efforts above and beyond the expected normal practice. We are filled with gratitude and thank you for your input towards the planning of our dream home by the bay."
“After interviewing four different firms, we found Mitsouri to be by far the most flexible in their approach. Their initial sketch concepts really captured our needs and what we wanted to achieve with our design - screening us for privacy yet making a warm family home at the same time. They have been invaluable when it has come to dealing with our local council and have also worked incredibly well alongside our builder and interior designer. We are currently finalising our plans but are confident that the final stages of our project are in very safe hands."
Dr. Samantha Smith
“I would best describe Mitsuori Architects as a boutique architectural firm. Their focus is to deliver unparalleled excellence to each and every design, whether it is small or large. They bring an openness and warmth which encourages you to push beyond what you historically thought was a achievable. The firm stems from a broad project background lead by the principles Matthew and Melissa. This is evident in their approach to detail, design and delivery. I have engaged Mitsuori’s services on more than one occasion, and will continue to do so in the future."
"We had an excellent experience with Mitsuori. We first started thinking about renovating our terrace in Fitzroy because of poor light and messy internal arrangements in the kitchen and living area at the back of the house. Matthew helped us to see possibilities we had not imagined. The work is now completed and we are delighted with the result. The space is not only well lit and functional but also beautiful.”
Mark Gibson & Andrea Witcomb
"My experiences with Mitsuori Architects have been overwhelmingly positive. The principals identified that they were dealing with novices and were careful to provide information pitched at the right level. They never tired of questions and were on hand whenever we needed to speak with them.
The process of planning a large redevelopment is never easy but Mitsuori walked us through the steps in a careful and considered manner. I have spoken to many people who have undertaken a redevelopment such as we were planning. On the whole they felt that they hadn’t been listened to or had their concerns addressed sufficiently. This made me realise how lucky we were! The full project that Mitsuori designed and project managed for us turned out better than expected. I felt that both ours and the architects visions melded completely to provide a much needed, practical and professionally presented space.
I do not hesitate to recommend the Mitsuori team for architectural services and project management ventures of any scale."
Former General Manager of Animal Aid
"We have utilised the services of Mitsuori Architects as Town Architect on the Architectural Review Committee of The Forest Resort, whose role is to control and enhance the quality of the built environment for the Forest Resort community. This is achieved by adherence to the Forest Resort Design Guidelines, and Mitsuori’s role is to ensure that all newly proposed homes meet the Design Guidelines, and to assist both Builders and Home Owners in complying with these Guidelines. Mitsuori also assisted in the drafting of these Guidelines, and their input proved to be invaluable. Their role has been instrumental in ensuring that we successfully maintain the quality of the built environment at the Forest Resort. We have been extremely satisfied with the work of Matthew Murfett and his team at Mitsuori Architects and would have no hesitation whatsoever in recommending their excellent services."
FTI Consulting (on behalf of The Forest Resort)
"My wife and I took our time hunting down the right architect for our rebuild in Fitzroy. During that extensive investigation process Mitsuori was independently recommended to us by a large projects architectural firm. We reached out to Matthew and never looked back. We couldn't be happier.
The ease and transparency of our dealings with Matthew perfectly captured our design vision. For what on paper is a small inner-city footprint, entering our new house you have the feeling of a spacious modern living space that captures our brief of utilising historic recycled timbers, steel, concrete and glass, delivering abundant natural light. The design cleverly utilises every internal space to deliver the perfect forever home. Their engagement has been easy, enjoyable and highly reliable. In essence, we wouldn't use anyone else."
David & Meagan Smith
“Our project was a residential renovation, extending a heritage Victorian weatherboard to maximise light and space. Mitsuori Architects were able to seamlessly blend our design vision, aesthetic and functional checklist into an immensely bright and liveable space, which was constructed swiftly without complication and within our budget requirements.
It was pleasure working directly with Matthew, who works completely transparently with his clients, is receptive and open to incorporating their ideas, shows a genuine willingness to listen and puts your mind at ease with his easy going approach.
He proved to be particularly nimble when expediting our documentation, so we could secure the builder of our choice. I will happily continue to recommend Matt and his team in the future."
Sally & Ben Pfisterer
"Our project was a residential renovation of a heritage home in Albert Park. Mitsuori Architects adopted a collaborative, open-minded approach, which enabled us to explore a range of different options. Mitsuori Architects combine a flair for innovative design solutions with attention to detail in project planning and execution. Matthew's strong interpersonal skills smoothed the planning process with Heritage Victoria and facilitated excellent outcomes on site.
A highly professional, experienced team delivered a rewarding and enjoyable project. We have no hesitation in recommending Mitsuori Architects."
”Working with Mitsuori was a really positive experience. We had relatively firm ideas about what we wanted but we were happy to park them to one side and be led and encouraged by Matt and Melissa. We are absolutely delighted with the outcome which exceeded our expectations.”
“Mitsuori Architects successfully transformed my house into a modern, unique and relaxing sanctuary. The redesign delivered all the desired elements and overcame the existing design limitations to create a new look with a striking result”
Eden Park Stadium (NZ)
"Quantum United Management has had the pleasure of working closely with Mitsouri Architects for over three years within the large scale residential developments we manage around Victoria. Matthew and his team have played a pivotal role in the setup, structure and operation of Design Committees operations at our premium estates. They have a professional and engaging approach to working closely with our appointed Architectural Review Committee’s andhundreds of residential owners.
Their extensive knowledge and passion for sustainable design within our communities has also provided an excellent added value to our communities. I look forward to continuing to work closely with Mitsuori Architects for many years to come and strongly recommend their services to others."
Quantum United Management
"The Rhino Property Group has used Mitsuori architects for several niche developments and have always found their work to be of a superior standard while still being creative and innovative. Being a smaller firm we are able to work on a more personal basis and this reflects in the closer attention to the client as people rather than just another project.
In my capacity as a Chairman of a not for profit group I have also worked with Mitsuori on a large project that required them to be very understanding of the needs of a diverse group of people while being both innovative and environmentally aware. Our company will continue to use Mitsuori in the future and I am most happy to recommend their services without reservation."
Rhino Property Group
“Matt and Melissa helped us renovate our 1947 weatherboard home before having our first baby. Their design for our tiny bathroom was so efficient and enjoyable that we don’t even notice how small it is any more - even with a toddler. They listened to our requirements and gave us exactly what we asked for, but with countless thoughtful details that we could not have come up with ourselves. The result is a house that feels much bigger even though we didn’t extend it at all. We are grateful every day for the design expertise that Mitsuori brought to our project.”
Michael Cann & Briony Hesson
"Animal Aid a not for profit animal shelter was forced to move operations from its base at Kilsyth to Coldstream in 2000 after a long battle thru the courts that ultimately ended with a court order to remove all dogs from the Kilsyth site. By 2006 Animal Aid had outgrown the Coldstream facility and the Board was faced with the decision to renovate, rebuild or move, experts advised redevelopment so in 2007 the Board of Trustees engaged Mitsuori Architect’s to develop a master plan for the redevelopment of the entire site at Coldstream from design right thru to obtaining all necessary permits .
The brief was to design a state of the art facility which included a Veterinary Hospital, Education Centre, Administration building, Commercial boarding Kennels and Cattery and Welfare kennels and Cattery. This was a huge task with so many issues to consider, the facility built in the 1980’s on reclaimed swamp land was prone to flooding, existing antiquated buildings and animal housing could not be renovated, major problems with drainage and noise and AA had to keep operating on the site.
The end result was an ingenious plan that allowed staged redevelopment over ten + years as funds and shelter operations allowed. Mitsuori designed a world class facility that will be a destination for all things relating to animals and will elevate the status of shelter animals beyond the current practice of building institution like facilities that don’t cater for the physical and psychological welfare of animals and are depressing places to visit. During the whole process Mitsuori really listened, consulted widely and patiently guided when necessary. Their people/communication skills, creativity, integrity and professionalism is second to none and they are a joy to work with, I cannot recommend Melissa and Matthew highly enough. Council unanimously voted to grant the planning permit in 2011."
Victorian Animal Aid Trust
Former Board Member
Australian Institute of Architects Awards 2014
Commendation - Urban Design Category - Williamstown Library
Trends International Design Awards 2015
High Commendation – Australian Architect Designed Kitchen of the Year – Light House
Trends International Design Awards 2016
High Commendation – Australian Architect Designed New Home – The Sleepout
Build Architecture Awards (UK) 2017
Winner - Best Design-Led Architecture Practice Melbourne
Trends International Design Awards 2018
Winner - Australian Architect Designed Kitchen of the Year – Black House
Build Architecture Awards (UK) 2018
Winner - Best Architecture Practice Victoria & Best Guest House Project Australia – The Sleepout