Established over sixty years ago, McConnel Smith & Johnson is a Sydney based multidisciplinary architecture practice. MSJ’s continued design reputation illustrates a diversity of both scale and typology of built form. Implementing ideas from large to small, MSJ’s balanced approach to function and architecturally considered space is especially evidenced by our team’s expertise across the health sector. Designing buildings on complex campuses for hospitals, community centres, research centres and places of tertiary education, our sense of architectural place-making integrates the social, cultural and environmental landscape. This stems from a considered understanding of the balance required to meet client needs with budgets, buildability and programmes. MSJ employ more than 30 design professionals including architects, interior designers, health planners, urban planners and graphic designers.

Design Approach

The MSJ team aspires to build a system of positive relationships between the client stakeholders, users, consultants and the community. We enjoy engaging with the diverse range of people and personalities. We believe the early stages of briefing and design are critical. The right decisions up front, will be important to the good health, comfort and the engagement of the building occupants and ultimately the success of the project.

The Team

Ian Moon


Ian’s diverse experience over the last 25 years has included upgrades to existing complex health campuses and the design of new major teaching and referral hospitals. More recently Ian has focused on the master planning and feasibility phases for large health projects in Australia.

Mark Willett


Mark Willett is a highly innovative architect and urban designer with an extensive background of experience as MSJ’s Design Director on major institutional projects, including health. He has thirty-five years experience working in the conceptual and planning stages of a project and in this role provides innovative design leadership.

John Zadro


John Zadro is responsible for CAD documentation and coordination on MSJ’s health projects. His experience includes major teaching hospitals and specialised health facilities in New South Wales, Queensland and New Zealand. He has had a key role as project team member on MSJ’s health and other institutional projects.

Kathy Lakis

Senior Associate

Kathy is an architect and interior designer with extensive experience in MSJ’s major health and other institutional projects. She has gained valuable knowledge and skills through a wide range of projects in various roles. Kathy takes principal responsibility for the interior design and its coordination and integration into the architectural concept.

Ian Empson

Senior Associate

Ian is a registered architect with extensive and diverse experience in various architectural projects. In addition, he is involved in technology solutions related to documentation, briefing and information management.

Michelle Mo


Michelle is a registered architect with experience across a range of health and community buildings. She has worked on the whole spectrum of design – from user briefing to documentation. She has been with MSJ for 8 years and was appointed Associate of the practice in 2013.

Amanda Oates


Amanda leads the documentation and management of some of MSJ’s major projects including Cairns Base Hospital and has specialist expertise in retrofitting of Health Facilities. Amanda is a registered Architect and project leader with over 10 years’ experience in a wide range of project types including housing, healthcare, retail design and education.

Mohammed Abbas

Senior Architect

Mohammed is a graduate from the University of Auckland, New Zealand and has more than 20 years experience in Australia. He work across many project types including hospitals, schools, office towers and residential buildings, with an emphasis on services coordination and integration.