Based in Fitzroy, Melbourne, Rijavec Architecture (Ra) is an inventive design practice focused on progressive architecture for the emerging lifestyles and the new urban cultures that are rapidly transforming our cities.

Since its formation in 1980, Ra has acquired extensive expertise in most areas of architectural endeavour. The practice has regularly been acknowledged by books, design journals and numerous AIA and construction industry awards for excellence. Our residential expertise includes the four categories of: recycling existing buildings, new bespoke houses, medium density and high rise housing.


Realising the traditional development model requires in excess of 70% of apartment sales to fund construction, it occurred that this in fact constituted a form of defacto crowd funding, however without the benefits to the consumer that crowdfunding usually avails. Our aim in conceiving CITINICHE, was to overcome the limitations of the traditional development model by involving residents in the design of their homes and by enabling them to take advantage of the social capital their niches embody.

Appreciating the connectivity of the internet and smart phones and how they have transformed the way we shop, socialise, learn, do business and the many other ways we interact with the world today, the opportunity for CITINICHE to take advantage of these technologies became an immediate priority. On the basis of the success of crowd funding platforms that have proliferated internationally over recent years, we expect that CITINICHE will radically change the way our homes, our public spaces and our cities are shaped. This will occur by the facilitation of direct public participation in formulating housing and apartment designs, in funding construction and in shaping the communities that will occupy these new projects.

CITINICHE will promote new ways of living by encouraging people to shape their homes around their personal preferences rather than compromising with the mass market indexes that average tastes and requirements in sanitized housing designed to appeal to everyone, yet which serve no one in particular. By assembling niches as groups of common interests, CITINICHE will connect people with shared values building more cohesive communities and better environments.


Our professional experience spans one of the most innovative phases of Australian Architectural and Urban design history from the eighties to the “Fin-de-siècle” when Australian architectural design was recognized to have come of age. Our contribution to this phenomenon in Melbourne is acknowledged by the numerous AIA awards we received and the number of articles on our work published over this period.

Since this period, our projects have further esponded to changing urban values, the continued gentrification of inner urban areas, the emergence of a “cafe culture” and the development of several new residential types. We have been at the forefront of these developments, inventing new design strategies to serve emerging lifestyles and preferences. We are therefore extensively experienced and well qualified to interpret and solve the briefs of the prospective niches CITINICHE will foster.

Primary in our motivation to develop and participate in CITINICHE is the potential the this web site offers to create housing inspired by people and designed by exemplary architects. This will trigger architectural innovation and the development of new residential typologies that will lead to the improvement of our quality of life.

The core values of community and sustainability that CITINICHE promotes will lead to a diversity of better housing types that improve our cities and the qualities of life they offer.