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27 August 2018

Our Urban Design Unit is Growing

We are very pleased to introduce Ariel Utz Wirnsberger as our new urban designer at ratio:. Ariel brings with him over 6 years of experience in strategic urban design, master planning, community design and landscape architecture projects in Chile and USA.

“I’m very excited to be part of ratio: The challenges that Melbourne is facing regarding population growth are complex, and urban designers are key to achieving goals like sustainability, sense of place, sense of community, and public safety. The urban design projects we are delivering at ratio: are shaping the sustainable communities of the future”.

Since joining us in April, Ariel has helped deliver some exciting projects. One of the biggest projects has been the Yarra Valley Country Club (YVCC) development in Bulleen. Fusing Biophilic Urbanism into the masterplan was key to the delivery of an outstanding human-focused outcome and Ariel’s skills ensured that the development of documents and diagrams clearly illustrated these concepts and objectives. 

“My professional goal is the creation of better city environments through a strong relation between the built and natural systems, bringing a cultural meaning to the urban landscape”.

With qualifications in Architecture from Chile, and Masters of Urban Design from UC Berkeley USA, Ariel's experience in the public and private sector development thrived. His close experience with natural disasters has also fostered his interests in finding sustainable solutions to our daily environmental and urban challenges. “I had the opportunity to discover the Urban Design and Landscape architecture fields after the 8.8 earthquake that affected Chile in 2010. After this unfortunate event, the government developed several new strategic urban design projects in the affected cities to improve their image and liveability, and I had the opportunity to take part in those projects. This is where my interest in urban design really started”.

Ariel’s involvement in the preliminary Precinct Structure Plan work our office is currently involved in, has been invaluable. Our objective to set a benchmark for master planned communities, and a new standard of quality community focused and sustainable suburbs, has been at the forefront of Ariel’s input. “The masterplan offers a safe and distinctive environment, that is people focused. The new suburb will provide neighbourhoods surrounded by green spaces, facilitating cycling and pedestrian links throughout, to encourage a lifestyle of well-being. The focus on work-from-home, small business, jobs, and community activation through sports and learning, fosters a strong network of founding principles for a neighbourhood that is integrated and active”.

Before joining ratio: Ariel worked as an Urban Designer at the State Government in Concepcion, his home city in Chile. He often brings to the table insights into how the other side of the world is dealing the with urban design of cities and suburbs. We are very excited to learn more from Ariel, and integrate his valuable skills and insights in our future projects.

welcome ariel utz