Wednesday, February 4, 2009


Fascinating reactions to my post from yesterday, with friends telling me that they are a little surprised at my shifts in architecture tastes/ideology. I really just wanted to completely reassure you all that there is still a place in my heart for architectural indulgences! Ive woken up this morning with the realisation that there is still a part of me that appreciates beautiful spaces. How can I not, with 6 years of aesthetic training? It would be a bit like giving up chocolate. VERY Difficult.

This house is again a Peter Stutchbury awarding winning thing. Its designed to house the clients rather magnificent and x-large art collection; that is the individual pieces are large, and I suppose there are rather a lot of them too. I had the good fortune to go to a 40th birthday party at the house last year, and it really was a beautiful eerie, percehed high on the cliffs above Sydney's outer harbour. I do however still feel conflicted by the thought that its is only the very wealthy ( and those that are fortunately enough to know them!) that have access to this stuff.
I think also, my reaction against this high end "boutique architecture" is as I'm just in the final (death) throes of completing a 'high end' project in North Adelaide, which is getting pretty tense with time and budget over doesn't make my job very pleasant! And im looking at it, 3 years after designing it and realising my priorities have shifted enormously: I couldn't design something so over-sized, and energetically wasteful again.
Its an epiphany, and a timely one for me. There is a place I think in my architectural future for high-end residential work, but ill be so much more mindful of issues of material longevity, embedded energy, and just more persistent in pruning back spaces to be no bigger than they really need to be. (Less materials used up front, and less energy spent in lighting/heating and cooling spaces that are superflous to ordinary requirements). This is the biggest issue with clients as they often want homes to wrap around the once-a-year entertain 20 guests scenario!


  1. ..renewable materials? nice post jen, lovely building, very sydney. the best thing about blogging is it gets you thinking about yourself in a committed way, get to define yourself, explore yourself; its like a meditation. only rather public. i like the accountability of the public space too, very motivating.

  2. Hi Kel: yes, renewable materials might be a bit far-fetched.Hmmm....alot of glass which has a high energy cost in production. Concrete is not too good either, and steel is abysmal on this score! But the house has no air conditioning that Im aware of and its well oriented re passive solar stuff. Not too many lights need to be on during the day.
    The pool is filtered/treated harvested rainwater, which is a nice touch. The interior is unpainted (just raw concrete). In fcat the bathrooms, shower recesses, even the sinks, kitchen bench is just concrete.

    You are right about the blog being a daily meditation! Ohhhmmmmmmmm.....