Client Conversation: Ewert Leaf

By Melissa Kuhnd
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HTA Advisory has a broad spectrum of clients across many industries. Often, it's only the business advisor who gets to hear about the exciting things our clients are doing. Our Client Conversation offers an opportunity for us to present our clients to our readership in a way that shares their passion for what they do.

This month we introduce you to Ewert Leaf.


Ewert Leaf creates carefully considered contemporary architecture, interiors and urban design that is specific to the unique requirements and aspirations of each project, no matter what size. They provide a creativity which is balanced against practical buildability, constantly working in collaboration with their clients to achieve successful design outcomes.

Hi Will, thank you for taking the time to have a chat with me this afternoon. As your business advisors, we have an understanding of your numbers and what you do. For those of our clients that don’t know your business, can you tell us how you and Toby came about starting Ewert Leaf?

Will Leaf

Toby and I go back university days where we played sport together while both studying architecture. I then headed to China and New Delhi to work on large urban design and infrastructure projects, and Toby remained in Melbourne working within the hospitality sector. It was upon my return to Melbourne six years ago that we decided to go into business together, and since then we have grown to a team of 18 people.

What areas of architecture and design do you specifically work within?

Toby Ewert

The majority of our work is multi residential. We currently have around 40 apartment developments at various stages of completion, and 10 hospitality projects that have been built.

We also have five of our own developments in the works. Working on the design whilst liaising closely with suppliers has helped us to understand the KPIs and associated costs with these projects, and enabled us to undertake our own successful developments.

In terms of starting this business, what have you had to overcome to get where you are today?

Like anyone else starting a new business, it takes a while to build a reputation. So we focused on building a brand which reflects our commitment to quality and our desire to be open and approachable to clients.

I was 26 when we started and we were in competition with older and more experienced firms, but a key differentiator was our hunger, drive and young ideas. Both Toby and I are also actively involved in all of our projects, and oversee everything that comes in and out of our office.

So in competing with those who have more experience in your industry, what set you apart from them?

For me, I feel that working overseas gave me a broader understanding of design and materials, and I have shared many of these concepts with clients to ensure their projects are timeless, considered and well researched.

While working abroad opened my eyes to different design concepts, the most important thing that sets us apart is the relationship we form with our clients. We listen and understand their brief and collaborate closely with them throughout the journey. Clients enjoy working with us.

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You mentioned earlier that you’ve had your own developments, are you currently working on anything that will assist with your future growth plans and aspirations?

We are a part of a team that is designing a luxury apartment development within Malvern. The living spaces complement the natural surrounds with layouts designed to bring the outdoors inside, and the material palette of copper, reclaimed timber and off form concrete is warm and earthy to reflect the adjacent parkland.

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That looks and sounds amazing, I’d encourage anyone interested to head over to the High & Spring website for more details and to register their interest.

Since coming on with HTA as a client, how have we assisted you with getting your business to where it is today?

We have found that Tim and his team have taken an interest in our business and gained an understanding of how we work and what we do. He is readily available and is a good sound board for ideas, where we talk through to see the impact certain decisions may have on our business.

Thank you so much for taking the time to speak with me this afternoon, if anyone would like additional information on Ewert Leaf I would highly recommend you head over to the website to see more of their beautiful projects!

Topics: Client Conversations

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