Australia's cultural fabric, urban streets and natural landscapes provide limitless inspiration; international architectural tendencies offer cues for novel building design in local contexts.

A hallmark of our studio is the thoughtful curation of materials, and surprising use of light and space. We are passionate about architecture and the life changing experiences it creates.


Architecture is felt. The patina of a surface. Warm light on skin. The smell of natural timber or cool concrete. The joy of coming home.

At Lara, we explore the experiences our clients want to create; we use design and materiality to make that experience a reality –every day, in their personal place.

Fundamental to our practice is the premise that thoughtful architecture should be accessible for every person, and every building. Every space offers unique challenges and opportunities. 

The collaborative process we enjoy with our clients places everyday and special experiences within a space, creating possibilities to enhance and surprise. Form should manifest passion and integrity. Functional needs can be met in graceful form. The journey should be every bit as rewarding as the destination.

The Lara Experience Architecture philosophy and process guide exploration, ideation and negotiation within the constraints of each project. 

Let us show you how it works.


The journey of a project starts with a conversation, where the idea of creating new spaces is transmitted from the client to the architect. What follows is a structured process that can be daunting sometimes. We at Lara want to make sure that our clients are not alone in this process, by guiding them through each stage and building the trust they need to see their dreams come true.

The Experience Architecture philosophy is the journey. Please refer below to an outline of the different stages, scope of works and our approach.

Concept Design

  • Understand the site’s potential and constraints
  • Explore desired experiences
  • Design response: site and concept talk to each other in sketches, imagery and interactions
  • Experience concepts: different possibilities are presented: bold to subtle in form, light, materials

Schematic Design

  • The site response is established
  • Design immersion and collaboration 
  • Precedents set the mood, create/gauge emotion
  • Design intent is endorsed; scope is agreed
  • Technical proposal drafted for council submission

Design Development

  • Design and form are established
  • Client and architects work closely to realise the project as a wider team of consultants join the team
  • Consultant scope and responsibilities are clear and managed
  • Materials are specified and feature finishes are established

Construction Documentation

  • Client is advised and supported as a builder is selected and permits secured
  • The project will be build as per the design intent
  • Documentation is completed to ensure the work of builders, specialist craftspeople and specific materials suppliers are costed and aligned

Construction Administration

  • Client engagement is consistent and planned
  • A can-do attitude is taken when addressing unforeseen problems
  • The architects monitor and guide project completion to the highest quality and design standards

Carlos Lara

I am deeply passionate about creating places in which clients fully realise their desired experiences –and some welcome surprises.

Lara Architects is led by Carlos Lara, a highly credentialled designer with Australian and international experience.

Originally from Ecuador, Carlos undertook his architectural degree at the PUCV in Valparaiso, Chile. He completed a Masters of Advanced Studies at UPC In Barcelona, Spain, and worked for several local firms before emigrating to Australia with his wife and family.

Since arriving in 2008, he has worked at some of Australia’s most celebrated and innovative firms including DentonCorkerMarshall and Bates Smart.

Across many diverse residential, commercial and public projects, he has gathered a depth of experience in roles throughout the design and management process. Large scale projects also provided an invaluable knowledge of traditional and cutting-edge materials for introduction to Lara Architects clients.

A keen observer of architecture, urban design and culture –in Australia and across the globe –Carlos’ concepts draw from a rich source of inspiration and life experiences.

When not sketching at his desk or collaborating with clients, Carlos is a tutor at the University of Melbourne in Applied Architectural Technologies.