Readers will know how excited we were planning our first interstate event in Sydney. Now that it has happened, we’re even more excited! Our Pecha Kucha night, “Architects: Behind the Scenes”, was warmly received by our members and friends in Sydney last month and we felt so welcome, we’ll be plotting another one before the year is out.
Meeting & Greeting
On the night, early arrivals enthusiastically greeted old architectural mates or met new ones – one of the things we love best at ArchiTeam – enjoyed a drink and a magnificently long table of delicious treats care of our lovely hosts, Fisher & Paykel.
Fellow director, Zoe Geyer, and I arrived slightly not so early (ah hem) but in plenty of time to join the meeting and greeting. It was a lively crowd of old ArchiTeam friends including an original founding member (now ex-Melbourne), a pioneering Sydney member, new members and their friends, as well as others who had probably never heard of ArchiTeam before.
Our Speakers for the Night
Sustained by the long table, we enjoyed an excellent Pecha Kucha session with a mix of speakers. Some current members, some non-members, some you may have heard from before and others you should definitely find out more about.
Kicking things off, as is traditional on projects night, was our host for the evening. Daniel Varcoe of Fisher and Paykel presented their perspective on “small” by discussing case study projects using their series of appliances designed for compact spaces.
Andrew Benn (Benn and Penna Architects ) was up next and showed us around a couple of, frankly, miraculous terrace extensions that triumphed over their “spatially” challenged sites.
Annabel Chapman (Annabel Chapman Architect ) was 3rd to the microphone and walked us through her own home to demonstrate how focusing on a single “small” element – an extraordinarily finely crafted steel plate stair – could carry the design of a whole house.
Grace Mortlock (Other Architects ) then took us down a different tack by discussing their exhibition work including an innovative concept to re-habilitate one of the worst examples of our contemporary built environment, the McMansion, by making them smaller yet better.
Madeleine Blanchfield (Madeleine Blanchfield Architects) was next and took us on a tour through Clovelly House II. It’s a project inspired by art and carefully crafted in the finest detail from furniture grade concrete work to custom made furniture, lightfittings and handmade door hardware.
Melonie Bayl-Smith (BIJLArchitecture ) rounded things off with their Esku House. The project demonstrated how tight budgets are no defence against a shrewd architect who can mine a dysfunctional, orientation-ally challenged house to reveal a light-filled private sanctuary.
The Wrap Up
It was fun, it was educational – Andrew Benn may have noticed a bit of surreptitious note taking as he revealed his magic door / bench detail – and, as always, inspiring. The work we see on Projects Nights demonstrates repeatedly that small scale – budget, project or practice – is no barrier to sharp thinking and clever design. Huge thanks to all our presenters for generously sharing their work. We love finding out more about what you do.
Last, but not least, big thanks again to Daniel Varcoe, Marissa Cseh and all the crew at the Fisher & Paykel Experience Centre for their warm welcome and generosity. We look forward to plotting future Sydney adventures with you.
Next Members’ Projects Night
The recent Members’ Project Night (Melbourne edition) was hosted by Mihaly Slocombe Architects at their schmick new office in East Brunswick – thanks again Warwick + Erica for a top night! If you haven’t been to a projects night before, do yourselves a favour and look out for the next one.
Keep an eye out for events or sign up to Datum, the co-op newsletter, to hear about Projects Nights and other ArchiTeam events.