Phil Harris

Portrait of Phil Harris



Phil is a founding Director of troppo, and after 20 years in the Territory has established a network of practices in southern Australia. Harnessing these resources, alongside diverse work in National Parks, Phil has led troppo’s involvement in information and cultural centres, public realm and village centre projects nationally. He has also led troppo’s work in (really) robust Defence infrastructure projects, including the highly-awarded $100m Lavarack Barracks redevelopment in Townsville (with Thiess and BVN); troppo’s engagement with NTG in creation of Weddell’s first villages detailed concept design; and diverse medium density residential developments in different states, including for government and affordable housing sectors.  Recent highly awarded public and commercial projects in which Phil has directed design include: Henley Square (with TCL), AIA(SA) 2020 Commercial Award winning Sparkke at the Whitmore brewery hotel, and Darwin’s Civic & State Square masterplan (with TCL).

 Since 1989 he has worked in Kakadu National Park for Parks Australia, as well as the Djabulukgu Association’s diverse interests, and, since 2000, in Far Northern SA’s APY Lands in schools and art centre programs, and recently a healthy foods café program. Phil leads troppo’s work in National Parks around Australia, including recent projects for the Australian Walking Company in Kangaroo Island and at Uluru Kata-Tjuta National Park, and currently for Parks Australia on Christmas Island.

 Under Phil and troppo co-founder Adrian Welke’s leadership, the practice has richly engaged with Aboriginal Australia for over 30 years in the Top End, Western and Central Deserts, Kimberley and south-western WA, Cape York, APY Lands and far-western SA, and in outback and coastal NSW. In this odyssey, Troppo have travelled in excess of 600,000kms (=15x around the planet) on outback/ country roads. Phil has also led Troppo’s work in National Parks in the Northern Territory, South Australia and NSW; and (pre-Covid) has been engaged in community-based work in Vanuatu.

 …But Phil’s abiding engagement is the realm of residential architecture – in which troppo have received in excess of 40 AIA awards around Australia.  To bring small-but-decent-and-site-fitting architecture to the suburbs and the bush, Phil has overseen troppo’s development of trop_pods, which are now rolling out across the country in a backyard near you.

 Phil has lectured widely in Australia and also Europe, PNG, Indonesia, the Pacific, Africa and Central America; and has chaired in the PNGIA architecture awards. In 2010 at a Ceremony in Paris, Phil and troppo co-founder Adrian Welke, on behalf of the practice received the Global Sustainable Architecture Award, the only Australian practice to be so awarded. In 2014 Phil and Adrian were awarded the AIA Gold Medal, the Institute’s highest personal honour.

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