Our History

1930s

Before the Second World War, the “soon to be” partners designed numerous important works across Queensland.

Charles Fulton won a design competition to secure Nudgee Junior College and also worked with George Donoghue on a swathe of regional Queensland hospitals.

James Collin and Aubrey Job undertook many Brisbane houses and schools.

1940s

The architectural firm now known as Fulton Trotter Architects was born in 1946, out of two pre-war practices, Donoghue & Fulton, and Job & Collin.

Charles Fulton left Donoghue, with whom he had undertaken nearly 10 years of work before the war, and joined Aubrey Job and Jim Collin who had been in practice since 1927, when Aubrey Job first graduated. The new firm, Job Collin & Fulton, started practice in the Albert St Uniting Church hall.

The 1940s saw the firm courageously explore Modernism in the new post-war austerity environment. Significant hospitals contributed to Australian architectural development. Design influences from modernists such as Dudock in Europe were a strong component of the work.

1950s

Charles Fulton established a new architecture school at the Central Technical College, later to become QIT and then QUT, furthering Queensland’s architectural culture.

Both Jim Collin and Charles Fulton were presidents of the RAIA throughout these years.

The early protégés of these three architects, John (‘Jack’) Gilmour, Stephen Trotter and Bob Froud worked with the firm in the formative stages of the practice as it built its reputation for high quality design and the teaching of architectural practice.

After Job and Froud left the practice in 1956, Fulton and Collin continued on, adding Gilmour, Trotter and long time associate Graham Boys to its partnership in the early sixties.

1960s

After the untimely illness of Jim Collin, Stephen Trotter’s emergence saw a new climatic based architecture pursued by the firm in forms very proudly rejecting the more European based influences of the time.

Emphasis on shade, cross ventilation, and simplicity was the main direction in the work, along with the exploration of inventive curved building forms on numerous significant projects.

Charles’ son Ian, and Frank Moss joined the practice in 1966 and the firm became a fixture in the Queensland architectural fraternity.

1970s

The 1970s saw the practice heavily involved in health work under Jack Gilmour’s leadership, as well as innovative aged care and retirement living work under Ian Fulton and Frank Moss.

Sensitive, housing styled aged care environments were a forerunner of more recent aged care work.

Licensed clubs and local government centres dominated Stephen Trotter’s work. He championed the importance of climatic design, inline with his earlier scholarship. His seventies work was influenced by the then popular Brutalist movement, within Modernism.

1980s

With the opening of a Tweed Heads and Rockhampton office, the firm spread its work a little further and grew from its 15 to 20 person group into the 30s.

Charles Fulton retired in 1980 after serving his pivotal role in the emergence of our practice.

Mark Trotter joined the partnership in 1988, running the Tweed Heads office. Licensed clubs and housing work flourished. These housing works were influenced by Glenn Murcutt’s emergence at a national level.

The now older partners continued servicing the health field in western Queensland, and the not-for-profit aged care sector.

1990s

This decade saw a re-emergence of the practice’s design culture, after struggling through the trials of the 1992 recession in Australia.

As the office rebuilt from the lows of 1992, Mark Trotter’s work along with the new young directors, Paul Trotter, Robert Wesener and Andrew Armstrong, who joined the partnership in 1995, saw success in the housing, club, cultural, health and education sectors.

Work stretched from Brisbane to Mount Isa as a monthly visiting program was established across western Queensland.

A formal strategic plan was adopted for the first time in 1995 and the practice grew strongly in the education, health, aged care, and cultural sectors.

Under Mark’s direction, the office started what was to become a significant body of work in Sydney.

At the end of the decade, in 1998, the practice established a Sydney office in collaboration with Roger and Jane Carthey, before they left the firm in 2002.

Under Mark Trotter and Greg Isaac’s leadership, a body of largely educational work had been built out of the Sydney office.

Mark had a strong presence at the RAIA throughout the nineties, including convening the national conference. Stephen Trotter, Jack Gilmour and Ian Fulton retired toward the end of this decade.

2000s

Through the 2000s the practice grew to around 50 staff, producing a large portfolio of education work in both Sydney, Tweed and South East Queensland. 

At the same time western Queensland’s high quality design work continued in the cultural and health sectors.

In 2004, Frank Moss retired as a Partner, remaining with the Practice as a Senior Architect and valued mentor to the architectural staff.

The practice expanded in Sydney inviting Greg Isaac, who had been with the practice for more than 20 years, to become a Director in 2005.

A number of aged care and health projects were designed to critical acclaim across Queensland as new models of care evolved.

Paul Trotter took over the RAIA representation, making a significant contribution to the profession.

2010s

This decade saw the practice grow to 70 staff, including the growth of Sydney to 18 staff. The Brisbane office continued with the design of high quality education, aged care, health and cultural projects. Education work dominated the Sydney presence with some aged care and cultural works emerging.

In 2013, due to changes in technology and the slowing economy in Tweed, the directors made a very challenging decision and closed the Tweed Heads office (otherwise known as Northern Rivers) and amalgamated the staff and projects with the Brisbane Office.

In the same year John Ward (an Associate in our Sydney office) was made an Associate Director and later appointed to Director in 2014. 

Andrew Armstrong, after 20 years of valued contribution, left the practice in 2015. Andrew continues to work as an Architect in a Tweed Heads practice.

A business restructure in 2017 created opportunities for new leadership. Five key staff (Associate Directors at the time) were appointed to Directors – Justine Ebzery; Katerina Dracopoulos; Nathan Hildebrandt; Paul Sekeva; and Ryan Loveday.

Later that year Frank Moss retired after 60 years with the practice which surpassed Jack Gilmour’s previous tenure. 

In 2019, Nathan Hildebrant departed as Director to pursue other ventures. Over 17 years Nathan made many significant and valuable contributions including guiding the practice on our digital journey. At the same time, Robert Wesener retired from Directorship after 24 years in partnership. Robert continues as part of the Brisbane team as an Associate Director.