PART 1- The Beginning – WOLF Architects Melbourne

When I’m asked about which architects I like or follow, or my thoughts on the latest award-winning building, I cannot confidently respond as I do not consider myself well-read enough. Furthermore, WOLF Architects is a bustling enjoyable practice, leaving minimal headspace to comment on others. In fact, we now rarely enter competitions or awards. This may sound ignorant and yet liberating in the lack of distraction by trends or trophies. Educating ourselves on materials and products is more relevant so our focus can be purely on the client and creating a unique living experience for them.

Learning about legends of the past like Frank Llyod Wright, Mies Van der Rohe, Le Corbusier, to name a few, assisted in developing my palette, and yet I was unable to identify with most.

The big guns in my student days were Renzo Piano and Norman Foster and many tried to emulate their amazing achievements. Work out of the 1980s was overly complicated in my view, instead I focused more on proportion in ancient structures like those in Egypt and South America. The massing of structure was complimented by carefully conceived openings. I obsessively deliberated over things like the spacing between windows and shapes of columns, things that most students would not even consider. Proportion was everything to me and I spent a lot of time cultivating what we now refer to at WOLF Architects as the “eye of the WOLF”, knowing when something looks balanced.

Later I discovered the minimalistic works of British architect John Pawson, combined with my desire for perfect proportions formed the basis for my personal style. I explored designs that were essentially featureless, with facades often devoid of any openings, yet still able to be light-filled and dramatic. This experimental approach was at the expense of being highly controversial yet was rewarded with top marks.

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