Felipe Miranda Joins the COX Directorate
Felipe Miranda is COX’s newest Director, with his exciting appointment announced at this year’s AGM.
In 2015, while at a previous firm, Felipe found himself collaborating with COX on a social housing project in Macquarie Park. Throughout the project, Felipe worked with designers from our Sydney studio, and was impressed with what COX brought to the table.
“Being in those workshops with COX, I often think of it as the world’s longest job interview. Workshop after workshop we built a connection, until one day I decided to take a risk and approach COX for a job”
And that’s what he did. Starting at the practice as an architect in 2017, Felipe knew that COX’s ethos suited the designer he wanted to be.
“COX had this ethos of making sure that the public were at the heart of every design decision. They designed buildings almost from the public domain in, rather from the building out. And as someone who specialises in mixed-use and residential projects, this was something I really wanted to do.”
Despite joining with a wide range of experience, Felipe says that starting as an architect, and not within the leadership team, was key to his success.
“Another thing that drew me to work here was they said, we don’t really want to give you a title just yet, and I didn’t want one at that point either. It made me work to earn the respect of everyone in the studio, from students to technical advisors and Directors, and gain a better understanding of how the design teams operate at every level.”
Once on the ground running, Felipe realised his move was the right one. The project at Macquarie Park that he had worked on with his previous firm, he was now part of leading at COX.
“I was working on the same project but now through the COX lens. I was able to really think about the user and the ground plane, getting to work collaboratively with landscape architects and the interiors team. That project transitioned me from one practice to another and solidified my passion for affordable housing and social housing. Believe it or not – I’m still working on that project today!”
(Midtown, Macquarie Park)
To Felipe, his passion for affordable housing and social housing comes from his strong belief that housing is a human right.
“Many people see housing as an asset, but I don’t agree, it’s not an asset it’s our right. At COX we deliver diversity of housing, and within the last year with affordability a massive topic of national significance, we need leaders in this space more than ever before. Particularly leaders who understand the nuance between asset and right.”
Another area of housing important to Felipe is the introduction of the build-to-rent model in Australia. Getting involved in this typology in its infancy has allowed Felipe the opportunity to watch it evolve into a revolutionary design opportunity.
“The build-to-rent model is evolving as we speak. Operators are being told now that to get their projects approved you need 15% affordable housing options. I remember when Philip Rowe, a Director in our Melbourne Studio, had the first BTR project with Home in Melbourne. I reached out wanting to know how we could make this work for our Sydney clients. Now, it’s taking over. Once seen as something developed for a premium consumer base, we’re seeing a shift. I’m working on three projects currently where we’ve convinced our clients to provide up to 20% affordable housing. There is movement in the space, and it’s exciting to see.”
(Image Precinct 75)
Design isn’t the only thing that drives Felipe. He recognises that to be a great Director isn’t just being a great architect.
“I love growing a team and giving designers the opportunity to learn and develop their own passions. With housing, which I also teach at university, I get great satisfaction seeing the next generation of leaders who are going to be instrumental in resolving the problems we currently face.”
“For me now, it’s time to listen. A lot of our people are facing the struggles that housing affordability have created, and their opinions and experiences are key to developing the way we design for society. It’s a privilege to empower them.”