My favourite project thus far is a rural home under construction at the moment. The introduction with the client began with, “before you answer (to accept the job), I loved the thunderbirds when I was a kid and I have two helicopters, so I want a thunderbird themed house with an almost hidden door underneath so the helicopters can come out”. From that moment, that gentleman became a very good client. There was a lot of obstacles with respect to engineering, topography and geotechnical issues on the site, but these challenges added to the interest to the project.
Our firm specializes in planning applications for units, apartments and townhouses. The million dollar question for my clients is how much the project is going to cost so they can work out the viability of the project. Without a full set of architecturals, engineering, energy, soil, etc, a builder can really only provide an estimate based on square metre rates. By this time, they have committed to the project, and the hidden surprises that come with it. The wide range of builders’ quotes can compound the problem.
I don’t think anything beats natural stone and timbers.
A western red cedar cabin, which was quickly built up around, so looked out of character.
I wanted to be part of the discussion for the voices of building designers to be heard within the building industry. When it comes to building regulation and planning in particular, I believe discussion and opinion that drives change is too insular and political. It often starts with well-intended conversation and ideas, but leading to negative flow on affect and poor outcomes due to oversight. I think with some balanced opinion and discussion, we can swing the pendulum back toward giving designers the credit they deserve for improving our built form environment.
I am not sure I can narrow down to one building in particular, although there are a good number which stand out in my mind. What makes a building stand out for me is not necessarily its architectural detail per say, is the context, views and environment in which it sits and how it makes me feel while occupying it. I also like to be practical, so if something looks good, but doesn’t work for the use its intended, it’s not good design in my view. There are a number of industrial inspired wineries through the Yarra Valley and Mornington Peninsula that stand out for me that combine a lot of my interests.
In light of the above comments, there can be really no surprise that Frank Lloyd Wrights’, ‘Falling Water’ takes the mantle as a building that sits within its environment, combining stone and timber! Designed in 1935, it could have been built today. Could we argue how we always go back to nature, or how little we have come in design?
Try to get onto sites and learn how buildings are put together, what issues happen on site and how problems are solved. Taking on an attitude that everything you draw matters, and every project needs to be better than your last will drive you in the right direction. Every mark you put on a piece of paper is a message and has an intended meaning. Understand why a note or detail is put on a drawing, and think about what you are trying to convey to a trade/person, and this will make you a better designer and communicator.
An architect! I went through a latter deviation to a helicopter pilot, then industrial designer, but came back to my original goal!
I love motorsport, AFL (Hawthorn), and getting outdoors.
‘The subtle art of not giving a f@ck’ – well we need to find our inner peace when dealing with planning don’t we?
Busy, balanced, equitable, taxed