Noel Robinson graduated in 1970 from QIT, he then began his private practice in 1972 in Brisbane after working in London in 1971. He then commenced in a partnership with Daniel Callaghan forming Callaghan Robinson Architects, where they initially combined their talents to participate in a design competition for the Queensland Cultural Centre. In 1973 Noel started Noel Robinson Architects and then later established Noel Robinson Built Environments in 1977 to reflect the broader objectives of the profession at large and his practice grew into an experienced and co-ordinated design team. Noel also opens offices in addition to Brisbane on the Sunshine Coast, Sydney and Canberra. After 10 years building his own reputation in the industry Noel had gained 14 design awards and as well as being active as a planning/design advocate having also founded the Spring Hill Progress Association and the Mooloolaba Spit Beautification and Protection Association, as well Noel was elected as the President of the Brisbane Development Association in 1986 and also as the Vice President of the Design Institute of Australia, Queensland Chapter.
Moving forward in his career, Noel merged his practice with Bligh Jessup Bretnal forming Bligh Jessup Robinson in late 1987 which then became Bligh Robinson in 1989 where the practice grew to 120 people. The merged company won the highly respected RAIA Sir John Sulman Award for Outstanding Architecture for the Lake Crackenback Resort project which was designed previously by Noel Robinson Architects in its Sydney office before the merger. Bligh Robinson also won the RAIA Award for Meritorious Architecture for the Golden Casket Building and then in 1990 received an RAIA commendation for the Non-Residential Building for the Queensland Police Headquarters project in Roma Street Brisbane.
In 1990 the practice returned to its original branding of Noel Robinson Architects. During this time Noel had designed numerous resort Master Plans including the Cairns Trinity Point Casino Masterplan as well he won the BHP Architect of the Decade Award for the Bundaberg Airport. Noel was also part of the major Ephraim Island Hotel & Resort Development Project at the Gold Coast with Killingsworth Stricker Architects out of Long Beach, California. By 1998 Noel had an impressive record of over 40 Architectural and Industry awards.
Various World Pavilion Expo Projects in Spain and Korea were also delivered during this time.
During these years Noel commenced an office in Seville Spain to deliver eight World Expo Pavilion projects at Expo 92 which was followed up by the Australian Pavilion in 1993 in Taejon Korea.
During the decade Noel Robinson Architects designed amongst other notable buildings, the Qantas Founders Museum in Longreach which went onto become highly awarded and a leader in sustainability.
To kick the millennium off, Noel established a national alliance of Architects with SJPH from Sydney and Eggleston MacDonald from Melbourne to form Design Inc a new national architectural practice which grew successfully with outstanding award winning projects such as the ICT Building at the University of the Sunshine Coast to which he received a Regional Commendation as well as the $60 million Cotton Beach Resort project in Casuarina Beach New South Wales. In 2008 Noel grew the business internationally by establishing EARC, the Green Architecture Co. in Muscat, Oman where the Sohar University Master Plan was conceived plus the delivery of a number of University buildings including the Sohar Universities awarded central library Building. The Mall of Oman was also designed and built under the EARC Muscat brand. Noel also established an EARC office together with BHNS in Dubai, UAE, where he designed a number of amazing projects and master plans. These projects were designed and administered from his Brisbane office as was all his projects in eight overseas countries.
This decade saw Noel Robinson Architects open new offices in Melbourne and Perth and the NRA team keeps growing even further and designing larger scale and more complex projects in Australia. A 90-storey tower (tallest residential building in Brisbane), Brisbane Skytower as well as numerous award-winning hotels, office buildings, museums and high-end residential projects around Australia and overseas emerge. In 2015 the office continues to expand, choosing Sydney again as the Ideal location to proliferate. In parallel, the NRA Collaborative was born and re-branded to align with the company’s current new vision and values. Major NRACOLAB projects include the conception of the revolutionary entertainment precinct, Brisbane Live and the QANTAS Founders Museum Airpark project in Longreach. In 2013, Noel won the Australian Export Heros award from the Export Council of Australia and in 2015 he received the UDIA (Qld) Award for Excellence Finalist for High Density Residential Development with the Pinnacle project. In line with his success, in 2016, the firm moves into a new design riverfront studio at 111 Eagle Street Brisbane pushing more boundaries and becoming ever more successful with 20 Design and Industry awards being received in 2020 alone which including “House of the Year” for Domic and “Project of the Year” for Brisbane Skytower.
Amongst other tower projects being submitted for Development Applications projects, the firm is fast tracking design and documentation of a 30-storey office building in downtown Brisbane as it is being built.
2020 has been a year of professional successes for the studio, QANTAS Founders Museum Airpark and Luminescent project in Longreach reaches completion and wins a major National Steel Industry Award for projects in excess of $10m, adding yet another exceptional design to the Queensland Landscape, while Domic and Skytower are also receiving multiple National, State and Regional awards. With an eminent record now of more than 76 awards and an outstanding contribution to Australian Architecture over the last 48 years, Noel Robinson’s studio is repositioning itself to deliver amazing and inventive architecture design to the world – by releasing to the market the “Noel Robinson Signature Architects” brand.