MWa Latest News

Complying Development: NSW Department of Planning & Environment

MWa appears in the new Complying Development brochures and marketing material by the NSW Department of Planning & Environment for COMPLYING DEVELOPMENT and EXEMPT DEVELOPMENT.


The NSW Department of Planning and Environment is soon to launch a Simplified Housing Code for NSW, as part of an initiative to provide a simpler, faster and more transparent planning system.  The existing NSW General Housing Code was introduced in 2008.

Complying Development

Complying Development



The Department recently took photos of Michelle’s house, as an example of a residential alteration & addition which was approved using the NSW General Housing Code.   The images of Michelle’s home and family were also used by the Department at their stand at the Royal Easter Show.




At MWa, we have completed 13 projects via the Complying Development Codes in a variety of council areas including Mosman, Manly, Warringah, Wollongong, and Ku ring gai.

We are currently have six projects on the drawing board and two under construction – approved via the Complying Development approval process – which bypass the typical local Council DA approval process, saving significant time and costs.

These projects have included a new two storey home, complete with garage and pool, upper floor additions, ground floor extensions, external covered outdoor spaces, new pools and minor works in heritage conservation areas.  Some categories of bush fire & flood prone land may also be suitable for approval via Complying Development.

At our initial on-site consultations, we discuss what’s possible under these codes and how they may be relevant to your site and home.  Michelle Walker architects can help simplify your renovation process, assisting you to save time and money.

Call us to take the first step in finding our more.

MWa Contact

For further information from the NSW Department of Planning & Environment click on the links below and contact

NSW Planning Complying Development

NSW Planning Exempt Development


Outdoor kitchens – MWa in Home Beautiful

Michelle Walker Architects featured in an article about outdoor kitchens in Home Beautiful magazine. outdoor kitchens outdoor kitchens outdoor kitchens outdoor kitchensoutdoor kitchensoutdoor kitchens

Excerpt from article:

THE BARBECUE IS at the centre of any summer party, where the sizzle of snags forms an ambient background to repartee and good fun. But if you’re missing punchlines every time you have to duck inside for the olive oil, it might be worth expanding your basic barbecue into an outdoor kitchen. And it’s not as extravagant as you might think. More and more, we’re living, lounging and entertaining outside, so it makes sense to make those outdoor spaces as functional as possible.

“Having your barbecue in close proximity to the house means you may need fewer outdoor kitchen appliances” ~ Michelle Walker, MWa

Choosing appliances and fixtures requires you to get real about how you live. “A pizza oven is a great idea, but they are expensive and take up a lot of space,” says Josh. For most, the essentials include a barbecue, fridge, storage and bench space, while
a sink is another nice-to-have. If space isn’t an issue, there are many inclusions to play with. “A fireplace, wok burner, extractor fans, heating, speakers and rotisserie,” lists architect Michelle Walker of MWa. “We haven’t done a project with an outdoor TV, but clients joke about how good this would be!” Don’t just rely on a brisk breeze to clear away smoke and steam: if your kitchen is undercover – even if it has open sides – you’ll need to look into a rangehood. Crucially, all appliances must be designed for exterior use, even if they will be undercover.

Home Beautiful Magazine



MWa on Sky News – Best of Houzz 2017

Best of Houzz 2017 Winner

For a look at Michelle Walker’s winning deck in this year’s Best of Houzz design awards skip ahead on the video to minute 9.


This is MWa’s 5th win in a row.

Coastal Architecture Outdoor Living

Outdoor living - coastal style

Michelle Walker Architects feature on a promotional video and article on Coastal architecture and outdoor living on

Excepts from the article:

” For homes situated between beach and bush, maximising the indoor-outdoor flow is essential. We meet one renovator who has aced modern outdoor living.

When architect and mother of three boys Michelle Walker was looking to renovate her Manly Vale home, she wanted to create “a modern coastal home”, with living spaces that flowed easily between indoors and outdoors.

“We’re a family of surfers – my three boys and my husband all surf. For us it’s about all our living spaces opening up to the outdoors,” Walker says.

The Walkers are the third owners of this Manly Vale home located on Sydney’s northern beaches. Wear and tear over the years meant it was time to renovate, but there were a few key considerations when it came to the makeover as the home straddles both a coastal and bush setting.

The three key considerations for the new design included:

The composition of colours and materials had to fit in with the bush setting
Materials had to be non-flammable to comply with the bushfire rating
The house needed to have a good indoor-outdoor flow for the outdoorsy family.
Walker says she chose Scyon Linea weatherboards for the outdoor deck and extension as they met all the build criteria.

Traditional weatherboards are made from timber, but Linea weatherboards are made from a mix of sand, cement and wood pulp, making them bushfire resistant, as well as resistant todamage from termites and moisture.”

Click on the link below to find out more:

Best of Houzz 2017

Michelle Walker wins Best of Houzz 2017 award for residential architectural deisgn

MWa are thrilled to have again won “Best Of Design” on Houzz®, the leading platform for home renovation and design, making this MWa’s 4th year in a row to win the award recognising excellence in residential architectural design.

MWa were chosen by the more than 40 million monthly unique users that comprise the Houzz community from among more than one million active home building, renovation and design industry professionals.

You can follow our work on Houzz and support MWa here. 


Palm Springs Residential Architecture: mid-century modern residential architecture, inspiration and photos from Michelle’s recent trip

Palm Springs Mid-Century Modern Architecture

Palm Springs - mid century modern residential architecture at its best

Check out Michelle’s photos of her recent trip to Palm Springs to visit the home of mid-century modern residential architecture


Michelle’s recent architecture trip to Palm Springs let her experience mid century modern residential architecture – first hand.

So many beautiful examples of homes which pioneered indoor/outdoor living and homes inspired by and connected with their landscape.  Homes toured included The Albert Frey House, Town and Country Inn and The House of Tomorrow and Steel House NO 2 by Wexler and Harrison.  External viewings included The Kauffman House and the Burgess House.  A drive around the residential sub division known as The Twin Palms estate was a treasure trove of single storey, mid century homes including The Alexanders.

These homes are Palm Spring’s desert legacy.

If you’re in California, take the chance to visit these incredible homes yourself with Palm Springs Modern Tours 

Top 10 images from Palm Springs Mid Century Modern residential architecture tour – Michelle, Dec 2016

Peninsula Living (Dec 2016): Mosman Renovation

Hot off the press in this month’s Peninsula Living, a review of a Mosman exterior and interior renovation by MWa.

2016 in review

MWa had our most successful year yet, with eight Development Applications approved, three Construction Certificates (CC) approved, five Complying Development Certificates (CDCs) approved, and three competitive tenders run.  Four projects completed construction and four more have commenced.

These projects took MWa around the Northern Beaches and North Shore, working within Manly, Warringah, Ku-ring-gai, Mosman and Willoughby Councils.

Five of these projects were in a heritage context, providing invaluable experience in our growing area of specialisation on the northern beaches.

Firsts for MWa in 2016 included a new house on a flood lot in Narrabeen, fit out work on micro brewery in Brookvale and a waterfront renovation in New Plymouth, New Zealand.  

MWA featured in Houzz

Laundry-Bathroom Combo: How to Form the Perfect Team

A laundry bathroom combination by Michelle Walker Architects from a recently completed project in Manly featured on HOUZZ website. To view the full project click here Manly Upper Floor Addition

To view the full article click here Houzz Article


laundry bathroom


MWa featured in Home Beautiful