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Construction of a rewarding career

FUTURE Directions Young Achiever Award 2002 winner Barry Baltinas believes a working appreciation of the property industry gained from on high gave him a head start in his chosen profession.

During a break from his architecture studies at Curtin University, the now 34-year-old Mr Baltinas worked as a scaffolder on construction sites.

Now working in an office above Queen Street in the city, Mr Baltinas still has a bird’s eye view of the projects he’s working on, but these days it’s through computer generated fly-through simulations.

These simulations provide a powerful marketing tool for dev-elopers.

Rather than just relying on floor plans and artist’s impressions, dev-elopers use simulations to walk prospective clients in through the front door.

This work is undertaken by the team at 3D Firm.com, one of Mr Baltinas’ three companies.

“We’re getting quite a lot of people talking to us about using it,” Mr Baltinas said.

“You just can’t even compare it with the old traditional information you used to give to clients.

“I’m currently doing a job in Mandurah where I am developing a website and an interactive CD-ROM.”

There are a number of people working in this area in Perth, however Mr Baltinas believes the architectural experience of his team gives it an edge in the market.

Mr Baltinas is also managing director of Vision Architects, a role that has involved the design and documentation of more than 220 apartments in Perth.

Mr Baltinas said his passion for architecture came from the freedom it offered him to create dreams.

However, there also were hard financial considerations in any project, he said, with the skill being the ability to balance the vision with the project’s demands.

“I want to create something that people look at and say ‘that’s great’,” Mr Baltinas said.

This philosophy extends to the people that Vision Architects works with.

Mr Baltinas maintains that all the individuals making up the team on a project should benefit from the development.

“If you can keep going with that philosophy it will make your life a lot simpler,” he said.

“It’s a real challenge to keep it like that. But it’s generally best for everyone in the long term.”

Dawntree Australia is Mr Baltinas’s boutique property development business.

Mr Baltinas said he was very happy to remain a boutique operator in the market.

“For me it’s very important to find the right site,” he said.

“I look for inspiration at the same time. Then I put my developer’s hat on and talk to a property analyst and look at the real evidence.

“With one particular development I redesigned it four times so that it would fit the shifting parameters of the research information.

“I realise I’m not creating a monument, and I’ve got to find

a balance between economics and good architecture.”

Mr Baltinas has worked on a number of residential developments in Perth including Miami Apartments in West Perth and Le Bureau Apartments in Subiaco.

He believes the inner-city apartment market is on the cusp of maturity and a new vitality.

“I think there’s a lot of potential in Perth and it’s a very interesting time,” Mr Baltinas said.

“Sooner, rather than later, it will reach a critical mass and all of a sudden life in the city will change.”

Mr Baltinas said the Future Directions Young Achiever Award was recognition of his dedication and hard work in the property sector.

It also threw the spotlight back onto the good work that architects all over Perth were doing, he said.

“The award also gives me credibility and I feel it’s very prestigious,” Mr Baltinas said.

“It’s also recognition of the hard work I put in and my love for my profession.”

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