Zaher Architects

We have been creating award winning residential homes in Byron Bay for over 10 years. Our local knowledge and connected relationships with council, consultants, and builders alike ensures a smooth process of approval and construction. We are proud to work with some of the finest builders and trades the area has to offer, guaranteeing premium client outcomes.

A registered architect and member of the Australian Institute of Architects, Sam has worked on numerous public, urban and residential projects, including the award-winning Olympic Village in Homebush Bay and the Walsh Bay Precinct, Sydney.
Graduating from UTS Sydney with a Bachelor of Arts in Architecture (Hons), Sam has 20 years of experience in the architectural industry.  In 2004 Sam and his family have relocated to the North Coast of New South Wales and established his own architecture practice in the inspiring hinterland of Byron Bay.

Emily Thompson is a qualified Interior Designer and enthusiastic allrounder who’s been working in a variety of Design, Property Development, Construction and Real Estate industries for over 17 years in Australia, NZ and London. Prior to living in Byron Bay Emily spent time as an ‘Estimator’ for domestic construction, where she was responsible for presenting design concepts, budgets and obtaining multiple quotes from the industry trades and suppliers – being a stickler for detail, she enjoyed the challenge of meeting sales and budgeting targets.

Being self-motivated and a strong communicator, she prides herself on the ability to genuinely “listen to the client” and then start developing themes and concepts that dovetail with the client’s expectations whilst ensuring that the “Zaher Architects Brand” encompasses the visions and uniqueness that Sam is known for. All the while incorporating a variety of styles and options that match the client’s personality.

Emily’s down to earth, approachable, confident and friendly style provides her with the ability to solve design issues in a methodical and practical way whilst explaining the functionality and design themes that allow the building blocks to deliver the end product.
Extensive travel has allowed Emily to admire various exotic design styles from around the world with combinations of rich vibrant colors, often blended with natural stones and materials offset through various shapes of fixtures and furnishings; More often than not this produces a unique outcome matching the concept which runs parallel with the Zaher Architectural Brand.

A career supported by teaching Interior Design on the Gold Coast, designing National Retail Brands for Cotton On & Specsavers. Other categories include: Residential, Commercial, Retail, Offices, Cafes, and Golf Club Houses, Retirement Villages, Dementia Wards, Empty Nesters, Estate Housing.

Living in various parts of Melbourne and coming from a property development /construction family she achieved her “designer’s dream” at the age of 22: She was able to purchase, design and construct a funky warehouse apartment in Fitzroy before she sold it 10 years later and moved to Byron Bay. A further five years on, given that Emily loves Australian beaches, there came a new challenge: To buy a block of land, design and build, a stylish Spanish Villa for herself. Which she has recently completed near the beach in Suffolk Park / Byron Bay. Emily is a pescetarian, spends her leisure time cooking, walking, surfing, in personal training classes, and as often as possible camping in the natural areas surrounding Byron Bay Shire.

Emily is excited and extremely grateful to be a contributor to the high-end Architectural and Interior Design studio with Sam Zaher – who she looks up to as an inspirational mentor.


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