WHICH PROJECT MADE YOU HAPPIEST?
There is no one project, there can never be one project, I’m a bit of an excitable boy and strive to find a little something that is unique to every project. If I walk on site and then off site without an emotional response or connection, I have not tried hard enough.
We practice on a diverse range of projects and have the desire to give each project a dedicated level of enthusiasm, big, small, small budget, large budget, city and remote, they all deserve the same level of dedication.
Adrian has extensive experience in projects including single residential, multi residential, environmental, urban design and institutional. Adrian has worked in Berlin, Germany as a ‘project architect’ with Professor Manfred Schiedhelm creating new housing prototypes for up to 10,000 residents, in 1999 he founded iph architects with Finn Pedersen and Martyn Hook.
Adrian has completed post graduate studies as an invited guest student at the Staatliche Hochschule fur Bildende Kunste (Stadelschule) Frankfurt, Germany under Professor Peter Cook and the late Professor Enric Miralles and completed a Masters of Architecture by project at Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT) University under the invitation and supervision of Professor Leon van Schaik.
He has guest lectured in Berlin, Frankfurt, Helsinki, Tokyo, Patras, Kuala Lumpur, Brunei, Melbourne and Perth, is a guest critic, lecturer and studio co-ordinator at the University of Western Australia and Curtin University.
In 2004 he won the Midland Brick Fellowship Award and researched the use of brick in Sweden, Holland, Copenhagen and Finland. In 2007 iph won a high commendation in the Think Brick National Housing competition, this followed with an invitation to be on the jury in 2008 and to fulfil the role of Think Brick architectural advisor from 2009-2010. Brick is firmly embedded in the ongoing exploration of the practice to find solutions that engage, challenge and delight.
WHICH ARCHITECT OR PERSON DO YOU ADMIRE AS AN INSPIRATION?
Now I feel like this is a job interview for iph architects, we usually surprise interviewees with a collection of unexpected questions that probe the humane and everyday aspects…
This is difficult as there are so many people I admire, in terms of architecture I have followed a path that explored the outsiders or fringe dwellers of the architectural scene, architects exploring a world difficult to categorise and therefor often marginalised by critics.
At university I studied the work of the German architect Hans Scharoun and then visited the buildings while living in Berlin. Any visit to Berlin will involve a concert at his Philharmonic Hall. Scharoun pursued an open ended approach based around specific relationship and functions of spaces, results were unexpected, discovered and invented.
I studied under the late Catalan Enric Miralles during 1995-1996 at the Staedelschule in Frankfurt, his work is a powerful and dynamic expression and interpretation of the cultural and contextual values of a place. Highly unique and challenging, Miralles unfortunately passed away at an early age but left us many projects to admire.
Others include Alvar Aalto, Sigurd Lewerentz, Jorn Uzton, Peter Salter, Peter Wilson/Bolles Wilson, Volker Giencke, additional outcasts that come in and out of media attention.
Locally I continue to admire and enjoy working with Finn and Martyn (Pedersen and Hook), we have always enjoyed a mutual respect and practice methodology that enables us to produce unexpected outcomes to what might appear to be mundane questions.
WHAT IS THE QUALITY YOU MOST ADMIRE IN A CLIENT?
Intimacy and mutual respect. Projects need to develop with honesty and openness, it is a process of letting go and then trusting the architect. At times it is the architect letting go and trusting the client/s.
Finding this balance is critical to a successful project.
WHAT DO YOU CONSIDER THE MOST UNDERRATED THING THAT ARCHITECTS DO?
The practice of patience, all architects face a mountain of obstacles, navigating our way through these to achieve the best design outcome requires patience, creativity and at times stealth.
NAME ONE ARCHITECTURAL DESTINATION THAT NON ARCHITECTS SHOULD SEE?
Another hobby, like many architects is visiting remote and obscure places of the world to discover architecture. One of the most satisfying experiences is a visit to Sigurd Lewerentz’s Eastern Malmo Cemetery. The project unfolds in a linear manner that captures the life work of one architect from the classicist period of 1915 finishing (or commencing depending upon which direction you approach the cemetery) with a flower kiosk from 1969, a project that is brutal in its directness and desire to be honest and humble. It is also a place where visiting ones deceased family and friends is mixed with joggers and strollers enjoying the beauty of the cemetery ground. Exercise and mourning combine in a continual celebration of existence.
TELL US ONE (SECRET) THING ABOUT HOW YOU DESIGN?
My sketchbook continues to be a secret place to indulge, although the secrecy of this is debatable, we enjoy revealing the early sketches to clients exposing them to our process and often naive and bizarre connections and thoughts. The sketchbook is often a place of architectural exorcism, a place to remove preconceived ideas and to allow new and fresh ones to appear.
What inspires you, what gives you inspiration to do better?
Seeing clients and the public interpreting our buildings, actively enjoying them, being challenged by them and even challenging them. Finding solutions that question how people live (or want to live) and enabling them to fulfil this desire. I was once asked by a colleague ‘when will you stop treating architecture as a hobby’….to this I gave a simple reply- the day I give it up. The more dreams we can fulfil the more we are collectively inspired to fulfil.
WHAT DO YOU CONSIDER YOUR GREATEST ACHIEVEMENT?
To still approach architecture with youthful enthusiasm (after commencing studies in 1987), to still enjoy seeing the work of others and seeing this work being enjoyed by others, to hopefully maintain a balance in all aspects of life (family, friends, work, pleasure) and in a manner that enables creative thinking to always emerge, to create space for the creativity of others to emerge and to create moments that inspire others.
WE HAVE AN IMAGE OF YOUR PROJECT, ‘APPLECROSS HOUSE’, WHAT IS IT ABOUT THIS PROJECT THAT MAKES IT SPECIAL AND WHAT ARE SOME OF ITS HIDDEN QUALITIES?
This project is intense at many scales and continues to reveal these large and small moments as one moves through the house.
The light deflected into the house from the reflective bricks is a moment saved for the internal experience only. Another critical space is the stair leading to the lower garden level, face Elements brick creates a moment of textual intensity preparing one for the connection back to the garden.
I feel these small intense experiences are the most surprising and supplement the large experiences of the house in connection to the river.
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