Making something special
Mardini Constructions is a family-owned, award-winning Master Builder based in the Sydney metropolitan area. Over the years, they have earned a reputation for designing and constructing the most innovative, challenging and ambitious home projects in the region. Fearless in taking on what other construction companies would consider “daunting,” Mardini thrives on new building challenges.
“We’re all about the unique jobs that other companies steer clear of,” says Elvis Mardini, Managing Director and founder of the company. “We’re a bit crazy in that way. But we have the talent, the hands-on skill, and we thrive on finding solutions to difficult problems.”
Elvis has worked in the building industry for more than 20 years. In the early years of his career, he learned hands-on experience with a couple of medium sized residential builders , until embarking on his own venture – which ultimately became Mardini Constructions.
“When I first started the company, my experience was with smaller jobs,” Elvis recalls. “But I always wanted to get into the high end with special and unique projects, which is what I’ve been dealing with for quite a few years.”
As an example of the kind of challenge he likes to take on, Elvis cites their Bellevue Hill job, which they completed in 2012. That project involved slicing into an imposing 17-metre cliff face, and repurposing a “crumbling home into a castle-like lair.”
“That project involved a solid rock mountain, on top of which was an old house built in 1914,” Elvis explains.
As part of that project, Mardini Constructions successfully delivered a number of highly ambitious architectural features. For example, they removed the original terracotta roof tiles one by one, built an attic, and put the roof tiles back on. They also installed a glass lift into the excavated area, a new cabana, a special landing complete with its own lift stop, and an 18 metre pool covering the width of the landing.
“That job had been put on the backburner by the clients and architects for many years,” Elvis says. “They just couldn’t find a builder willing to take it on. But I jumped at the chance.”
An earlier example of the Mardini Construction’s capability is the Freshwater House, which the company delivered in 2010. That project was also challenging to construct, and was finished to Elvis’ mandatory incredibly high standard.
“At first glance, that project looks like a more-or-less normal two-storey house,” Elvis says. “But that was all exposed, on-site formed concrete. In a situation like that, there’s no margin of error.”
A third example – among a list of dozens – is Harry’s Park, a 2012 public domain project. The park was conceived to be a publicly used facility in memory of the late Harry Seidler, in honour of his contribution to architecture in Australia. Like Freshwater, that project involved “Class 1, white concrete – all exposed, and in this case, curved, in the Harry Seidler tradition.”
“Again, there was zero room for error,” Elvis says. “There was no second chance at getting it right. It’s like a live performance, and it involved very close relationships with the engineers and Harry Seidler architects.”
Over the years, Mardini Constructions’ bravery and skill has not gone unrecognised. Between the Freshwater House, Bellevue Hill, and Harry’s Park alone, the company has won a long list of industry accolades.
In 2010, the Freshwater House won the company two awards from the Master Builders Association of New South Wales – Best Contract Home $2 million to $3 million, and Master Builder of the Year. The project was also a national finalist for Project Home over $2 million.
Two years later, Bellevue Hill also attracted plenty of recognition. At the 2012 Master Builders Awards for New South Wales, the project won the category for House Additions / Alterations / Renovations over $5 million. Later that year, the project took home the national award in the category for Alternations / Additions over $500,000.
Also in 2012, Harry’s Park won an MBA NSW Award, for Public Buildings up to $5 million. The project then went on to be a finalist at the national awards, in the National Public Buildings under $5 million category. On top of that, it also won a Commendation Award at the 2013 Public Domain Award, hosted by Cement Concrete & Aggregates Australia (CCAA).
“That’s a great honour,” Elvis says. “Harry’s Park in particular, because Harry Seidler was one of my heroes. I loved his work, and I loved how he did things. He didn’t just conform, he pushed the boundaries. I’ve tried to do the same thing. Completing an award-winning project in his name is a huge honour.”
Another huge honour was the 2010 Master Builder of the Year Award – of which Elvis is the youngest winner ever, by a large margin.
“We get tremendous satisfaction from that recognition,” Elvis says. “It’s a reward for our blood, sweat and tears approach.”
Elvis credits that awards success to the company’s dedication – which starts at the top, with him. Despite being the Managing Director, he still spends most of his time on site, often even on the tools. He’s developed more than 20 years of first-hand building experience, and he likes to put that to use as early and often as possible on every project.
At the same time, that dedication is also shared by the other members of Mardini Constructions’ team, as part of their teamwork culture and bond. Many of the company’s subcontractors, for example, have been working with Elvis for many years, and have been essential to the successful delivery of the company’s demanding projects.
“Doing challenging jobs requires like-minded people,” Elvis says. “It requires people with the same ambition, and the same passion. Working with them, inspiring them, and doing whatever it takes – that’s how we create something special.”