“Dr Retro House Calls” Awarded by BUILD Architecture magazine.
Alistair McLean
Category: Dr Retro House Calls

A big thank you to the subscribers to our “Secret Design Studio Dispatch” newsletter.  Due to our newsletter, our interaction with renovators on the Houzz “Design Dilemma” forums, and our client feedback (also on Houzz) our “Dr Retro House Call” in-home consultation service has been very successful in the 2018 BUILD Architecture awards.

I am very pleased to announce that “Dr Retro House Calls” was honoured to receive the Build Architecture Award for 2018 for “Best Custom Home Renovation and Extensions Specialists 2018 Australia”.

Secret Design Studio's "Dr Retro House Calls" receives "Best Custom Home Renovation and Extensions Specialists 2018 Australia" award from BUILD Architecture magazine

“Dr Retro House Calls” receives “Best Custom Home Renovation and Extensions Specialists 2018 Australia” award from BUILD Architecture magazine

I am not sure who or when “Dr Retro House Calls” was nominated, but I am very flattered to receive this award, especially with the high calibre of the other winners.

As a big thank you for the nomination, and to celebrate this achievement “Dr Retro House Calls” is offering a 10% discount to new and existing subscribers to “Secret Design Studio’s Dispatch” who book in a Dr Retro House Call during the remainder of 2018.

For subscribers who live in regional areas that are outside the Sydney or Melbourne metropolitan zones I am also happy to extend this 10% discount to our Skype conference call consultations.

To take advantage of this 10% discount you must be a subscriber to “Secret Design Studio’s Dispatch”, and let me know you are a subscriber when enquiring.  You must also use the same email address for your enquiry that receives the newsletter.

If you are not a subscriber yet, but would like to receive the newsletter, and qualify for the 10% Dr Retro discount then you can subscribe for free here:


A big thank you and shout-out to the lovely clients who left reviews about the Dr Retro House Call service on Houzz that helped BUILD Architecture reach their decision.

AC from Kew:

“We hired Alistair to provide advice about our recent purchase.  He was extremely knowledgeable about all aspects of our house. He conducted background research about our property and provided pictures of other houses bythe same architect.  Some parts of our house have been renovated from the original and Alistair also showed us pictures of rooms (such as kitchens) that likely resemble the originail kitchen in our property.  He provided pleanty of ideas and inspiration for our upcoming renovation.”

Secret Design Studio, Dr Retro House Call, Mid-century modern architecture Melbourne

Original 1961 photo by architect of client’s house that received a “Dr Retro House Call”

DF of Nunawading:

“Alistair was great to work with, he provided diferent insights into how we could use our space and where and what to focus on. His information has ensured that we spend money where it is needed and kept future costs down.”


Secret Design Studio, Dr Retro House Calls, Mid century modern architecture

Modest post-war home in Nunawading that received a Dr Retro House Call

DT of Oakleigh South:

“We asked Alistair from Secret Design Studio to bring our 1970’s house into the 21st century; to create a large modern living area without destroying the character of the house. Alistair prepared three options each admirably fulfilling the brief we gave him.  His options were imaginative, and his services timely, efficient and affordable.”

Secret Design Studio, Dr Retro House Calls, mid century modern architecture Melbourne

A 1970’s Lucas Morris home in Oakleigh south that received a Dr Retro House Call

CT of Turramurra

“Our “Dr Retro House Call” with Alistair was invaluable. We were able to learn more about the possibilities and options to extend our Pettit and Sevitt home and we are so excited at the possibilities of going forward.  We encourage anyone to contact Alistair for a consultation prior to any renovations of their mid-century home.”

Secret Design Studio, Dr Retro House Calls Mid-century Modern architecture Sydney

Turramurra Pettit and Sevitt split level home that received a “Dr Retro House Call”

BA from Adelaide

“Living in Adelaide was no hurdle – Melbourne Dr Retro House Skype calls work!!!  Immediately on our first call I knew Alistair expressed a genuine “care factor” to the brief I gave him via email. His professional expertise along with his love and thirst of retro homes making the skyping an easy, friendly process, to the point that I have extended the job from initial brief.  Don’t let being interstate stop you from receiving first class recommendations – as we all deserve a home sweet home.”

Secret Design Studio, Dr Retro House Calls, Mid-century modern architecture Adelaide

Adelaide house with some renovation assistance and advice via our Skype consultation service for interstate and regional clients

ED of Malvern East:

“Alistair is amazing.  We had him out for a house call. He immediately had great design advice regarding our front fence.

We then engaged Alistair to design an extension to our cream brick 1960’s home. Our brief was 5 pages long! Alistair presented three concepts. One concept was modest (lowest cost) and met all of our requests in the brief, plus some really good ideas from Alistair.

I’m an engineer and work with lots of architects. I find most to be very impractical and rigid regarding thir designs. Alistair is just so practical.  All of his concepts were really well thought out.

Highly recommend him.”

Secret Design Studio, Dr Retro House Call, mid-century modern architecture, Melbourne

Post-war, triple-fronted, cream brick veneer home in Malvern East that received a Dr Retro House Call

CB of Waterfall

“Down to earth and friendly. Alistair offered great advice and provided plent of information about the whole building process we are about to start.”

Secret Design Studio, Dr Retro House call, Mid-century modern architecture, Sydney

Mid-Century modern isnpired 1950’s home in Waterfall that recieved a “Dr Retro House Call

If you would like to enquire about a Dr Retro House Call to your home then fill out an enquiry from:




Here is the official press release from Build Magazine:

BUILD Magazine Announces The 2018 Architecture Awards Winners.

United Kingdom, 2018– BUILD Magazine has announced winners of the 2018 Architecture Awards Winners.

Now celebrating its fourth year, the prestigious Architecture Awards return in 2018 to recognise and acknowledge the outstanding works conducted by imaginative designers, engineers and visionaries, whose inspiring and memorable designs and structures enhance our horizons.

Focusing on a myriad of disciplines, our awards will strive to recognise and pay tribute to all who fall under the scope of Architecture. As energy efficiency and sustainability have become increasingly vital to modern designs, we will also pay homage to those who continue to design the healthiest and cleanest structures, with an added impetus on creating environmentally safe and friendly buildings.

From the largest corporations and the small studios and practices – to the hard-working sole traders, the Architecture Awards will highlight only those who have proven themselves in this world-scaping sector – only excellence is of importance.

Discussing the awards, Kaven Cooper, Awards Coordinator stated: “It has been my pleasure to share the exceptional achievements and hard work of all my winners. Congratulations, I will be looking forward to seeing your future projects come to fruition.”

To find out more about these prestigious awards, and the dedicated professionals selected for them, please visit http://www.build-review.com/ where you can view our winners supplement and full winners list.