TERROIR is an international office practicing architecture, urban planning and creative research. TERROIR is dedicated to the realization of projects that insist on the invention of new possibilities out of each unique condition.
TERROIR was established in 1999 by Founding Directors Gerard Reinmuth, Scott Balmforth and Richard Blythe. These former University colleagues were teenagers during the Tasmanian wilderness and dam disputes of the early 1980s and as a result came to share a common interest in how communities work with complex spatial and economic problems. To this day, the landscape of Tasmania is the axis around which spins a complex set of political, economic and community issues.
Our innate curiosity about the world is bought to all aspects of a project, such that clients come to realize they are involved in the redesign of a little world of which their building is a key instrument or part. The openness and curiosity of this process has meant that many clients have returned to TERROIR on multiple occasions, as they have experienced first hand the value created by this culture.
TERROIR's built projects are therefore loved by their clients and users, for each client is intimately involved in the questioning and discovery process that characterises the way we design. By asking questions, risk is reduced and the space is created for the design of unexpectedly good solutions.
Our focus on asking questions about a client’s project and its context (cultural, financial and spatial) has resulted in a specific and identifiable contribution to Australian architecture that comes from a culture of creativity through research. TERROIR are considered a key practice Australian architecture, with selection in Australia’s contribution to the 2004, 2008 and 2010 Venice Biennale of Architecture and Gerard Reinmuth's selection as co-curator for the Australian Pavilion at the 2012 event, and involvement in numerous exhibitions and publications both in Australia and internationally. In 2007, a book on the practice was published, TERROIR: Cosmopolitan Ground.
The commitment all TERROIR Directors share in asking questions inevitably leads to their involvement in university education and research. In 2007 of Director Richard Blythe was appointed as Professor in Architecture and Dean of the School of Architecture and Design at RMIT University, Victoria, in 2009 Scott Balmforth was appointed Adjunct Professor at the University of Tasmania and in 2011 Gerard Reinmuth was appointed Professor of Practice at the University of Technology, Sydney.
TERROIR currently consists 25 talented architects and support staff who work as a single team but co-located between Sydney, Hobart, Melbourne and Copenhagen.