Rick Gartner, Maggie Steele and Anthony Palmas were the first three team members employed by i2C. As we celebrate everything they have contributed to i2C, we get their take on the past 20 years.
Associate Director at i2C Architects in Perth, Rick Gartner has been a company mainstay. Having worked with founders Anthony and Brian prior to the duo establishing i2C Architects, he witnessed its expansion from a team of six to over 90 people across four states.
Despite these changes, Rick says the company has not strayed from the fundamentals that make it so great. “While we implemented more structure as the company grew, there is still that sense of family and comradery. Brian and Anthony know every person who works for i2C, and have genuine concern and care for each individual, both personally and professionally. This hasn’t changed in over 20 years.”
“We are already great at what we do, but to see the business be as good as it can be is what I hope to see — expanding on the versatility and diversity of what we are already doing and how we go about it,” said Rick.
Associate and Registered Architect Maggie Steele started in i2C Architects’ Sydney office in 2000 and has seen the team grow while retaining its close, connected dynamic. She says, “This company is like a marriage. We work together to solve problems at the HR, client and project level, and are committed to adding value every day. The culture was close-knit to start with, and has evolved so it’s not about making people fit in, but rather looking for people who can challenge us.”
For Maggie, having fun is an important part of the i2C culture, and is what keeps people coming back. “I love what I do. It’s not just the founders getting calls for new opportunities, we are also empowered to step up and become an integral part of the company. It gives me a sense of passion and pride.”
Associate Director Anthony Palmas started in i2C Architects’ Sydney office in 2001, and has seen the industry embrace change through increased flexibility and an open-minded approach, which has boosted growth organically.
Going forward Anthony is focused on expansion into different markets while strengthening existing key sectors. “We want to continue to see clients who value working with us. This is hopefully a catalyst for growth and mainstay clients.”
Team collaboration is essential to delivering the design and service the firm is known for. Anthony says, “Everyone is involved in brainstorming and everything is a collaboration. At firms with just one architect, no one else gets a say, but here people need to be team players — it’s about instilling confidence in people. We have to be happy with how we service our clients and respect the process.”