Ex-scaffolder Scales Heights to Architectural Recognition

The West Australian

1 September 2002

Barry Baltinas has gone from being a scaffolder to an architect with more than $50 million worth of construction to his name in less than a decade.

Mr Baltinas has won the Property Council of Australia’s 2002 Future Directions Young Achiever award.

The 34-year-old architect has been involved in the construction of more than 220 apartments and projects worth more than $50 million in the four years since opening his architectural firm Vision Architects. 

But it was the sweat and danger of work as a scaffolder rather than the glamour of big budget projects that steered him toward architecture.

“I was three years into my five-year architectural degree and I left uni to earn some money as a scaffolder,” Mr Baltinas said yesterday.

“I remember being up at a height without a harness and seeing a couple of architects come on to the site holding plans.  And I decided that that was where I wanted to be.”

Mr Baltinas went back to study and emerged with a degree two years later.  On graduation he began taking private work and developing suburban blocks with a friend who was a builder.

He continued with small projects from 1993 until 1998 when he moved to an office in the city.

Since then he has undertaken large scale jobs like the Pulse Apartments on Murray Street, for which he is also the project manager, and Le Bureau offices and loft apartments in Subiaco.

But the young architect’s crowning glory is 12 months from completion, the Miami Apartments in Bellevue Terrace, West Perth.

“The five apartments are on one of the most outstanding sites in Perth and at 340sqm internally, with four car bays, balconies, wine cellars and a gym they are going for between $4.2 million and $6.5 million each,” Mr Baltinas said.

Only one of the five apartments remains unsold.

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