“Most people struggle to know what they want to do when they grow up… but I never wanted to be anything else other than an architect. My father was an architect, and from a very young age, I was given an appreciation of good design and beautiful aesthetics. Until I was older, I didn’t realise how much of an influence that had on my life.”
Marielise van der Merwe never had any doubts that she would follow in her father’s footsteps to become an architect. She lives, eats and breathes design. Architecture isn’t a job for Marielise… it is pure passion.
“I love getting to know my clients and their families. As an architect, I want to surpass their expectations. I want to help them realise their dream… and make it better than they ever imagined it could be. It is actually a great privilege to design a home for someone that you know they will love.
I was drawn to Playoust Churcher because it is an established firm with an excellent reputation and solid values. They’ve produced quality buildings for years – they don’t just jump on new design bandwagons which won’t have any longevity.”
Playoust Churcher is committed to good design… and that is a value that Marielise shares. But she knows that good design itself is not enough… as an architect, she needs to first and foremost listen to her clients.
“There are some architects who are almost like guards. They have a particular style and it’s their way or the highway. But I’m not going to live in my client’s home. I will never compromise on good design… and I will also always listen to what my client wants. The end product I design will be the best it can be architecturally and it will deliver them what they were looking for in a home.”
Marielise was born and raised in South Africa. Throughout her career, she has worked back and forth between both South Africa and Australia, inspired by the similar lifestyle in the two countries she has called home.
“The people, climate and lifestyle are quite similar across South Africa and Australia. People might be surprised to hear that there is a lot of crossover with how we design houses in both countries. I love the fusion of pattern and colour and the indigenous influences which can be seen in South African and Australian homes.”
Marielise lives on the North Shore with her family. She spends her weekends watching her teenage sons play basketball or going for walks along our spectacular Sydney coastline.
Meet the rest of our team.