VISION Issue 16 - Page 19

19 Your work is renowned for its climatic and environmental fit. Is that your signature? KC: It’s our starting point. The term ‘granny-flat’ suggests a rather dowdy, dreary space. This is much more isn’t it? LC: It’s a fairly universal design. It could be clothed differently. You might shape it differently, but really, the idea can have a much wider application in this climate and environment. What motivated your client to occupy this part of the allotment in this way? KC: It was an exposed backyard overlooked by neighbours and as soon as the pavilion was built, it just became the centre of gravity for the whole house. There is a distinctly crafted, honed quality – not exactly something the neighborhood, or Gold Coast, has really discovered. KC: There are well-known gems around, but the Gold Coast has been more of a brash tourist town and the housing stock takes more of the mansion approach. There is a growing appreciation for design and gradually we’ll see a lot of the old housing stock regenerated. It’s at a turning point now. Have tight budgets made you better architects, or simply forced you to better disguise where cuts have been made? KC: You have to understand where to direct the budget. You might perform to a very low cost, but it’s important how to assemble those parts to realize the whole. There are testing issues of privacy and daylight. You’ve obviously considered those issues thoroughly. Have you been successful? LC: Privacy is difficult when you have this density. One reason the pavilion is there is because to the south a neighbor had views into the backyard. The pavilion increased their privacy and our client’s. Given your work is so collaborative, how do you assign roles? Do you design half each and meet up in the middle, or does one handle interiors and the other the exterior? LC: We work over each others’ drawings and quite often forget who initiated the first one, so it’s all quite seamless. KC: Having run a small practice for so long, we work as general practitioners and our skills are interchangeable. There’s not much we disagree on, really. What was the main attraction of Viridian glass? KC: An architect needs to understand their materials whatever those happen to be. In this instance we were lucky to have such an informed and helpful window manufacturer. Wayne Burt from Window Makers visited the site a number of times. We discussed glazing details and he provided window and door section samples. That was a very positive experience and so we look forward to working with him on other projects because of his enthusiasm and knowledge. LC:  He was also very knowledgeable about Viridian glass. Wayne was really on the case. The other thing to say is that his people were craftsmen and were interested to find solutions for this small project.