13.10.2019

InterVIEW – Alastair McDonald

Alastair is the founding director of EDG.Space, a team of award-winning, innovative and talented designers located on the Murray River on the border of Victoria and NSW. Specialising in boutique residential, commercial and industrial design, with projects throughout inner city Melbourne and Sydney,
Alastair McDonald
Alastair McDonald

Alastair’s dedication to design excellence has been central to his 20-year career in the industry.

Alastair is a Past President and a Fellow of Design Matters and has been a Member since 2001.

What is/are your favorite project/s that you have worked on,and why?

Currently my favorite project is North Altona Health Hub, which involved converting an existing industrial building into a two level, 3,500m2 Health Hub with 13 different tenancies. It was largest commercial project I have completed with numerous secondary consultants and constructed over a three phase process. We

teamed up with Design Matters members and good friends at Dig Design to deliver the project. However, we are currently designing an apartment building on a historical site in a central Victorian town which could easily become number one….

Watch this space!

To date, my biggest business/design challenge has been?

Managing and aligning client expectations around town planning.

Constant battle!

My favorite finish is?

The combination of timber and steel is a perennial favorite and features heavily in a large portion of my design work.

The architectural style of the home I grew up in?

I grew up in a farm house on 7,000 acres on the Wakool River in southern NSW. The original part of the house was built in circa 1880’s. During floods in early 1900’s, the house was moved to higher ground by bullock and cart and has been added to over the years. The house still has the original Victorian style 35 degree

pitched roof, 11 foot ceilings with an 8 foot verandah right around. The house was clad with hand sawn redgum timber cladding and floor boards that were milled from the property.

Although the house has been modernised over the generations, the external hand sawn timber cladding is still in great condition on the rear wall.

I joined Design Matters because?

I joined Design Matters to connect with other designers and for the information Design Matters provided. Being a regional member, there was limited access to information or other designers in the early 2000’s. Being a member allowed me to tap into some of the industry leaders who gave me guidance on all design and business matters.

 

My favorite Australian building is?

I really love Australian woolsheds. No specific one, just all of them…. There is an incredible amount of Australian history and character evident in a woolshed.

My favorite international building is?

My favorite international building that I have visited is Cathedral of Notre Dame in Paris. However, I am looking forward to visiting New York to visit the Iconic New York Architecture, particularly public buildings built in the early 1900’s.

My words of wisdom for a student building designer are...

Keep learning as much as you can, the great thing about our industry is that you never learn enough, there is always something new. The day you stop learning something, you should retire from the industry.

When I was a child I wanted to be?

I always thought I would continue operating the family farm. Although the farms are still in the family, I do not see myself there now.

Outside of work, I am passionate about ...

I spend every spare moment either water skiing or planning to go water skiing. I also have a family, wife and two boys, who I invite skiing – occasionally.

At the moment I am reading ...

Since the inception of Netflix, I haven’t read many novels.

However, I am enjoying flicking through a book titled “Australian Art Deco Hotels” prepared by photographer Geoffrey Goddard. I am planning to have a schooner in each of the hotels in the book! I am currently watching “Vikings” on Netflix.