Never tell


I read a great quote the other day, not sure who to credit but it’s worth sharing:

“There are 2 rules to life:

Rule 1. Never tell anyone everything that you know.”

Banksy on Architecture



The media is abuzz with Banksy and his month long ‘residency’ on the streets of New York, check out his website here that has been solely devoted to a daily update from the streets “Better Out Than In” through October. Banksy has always caused controversy where ever he works and his audience lap it up, I’m not just referring to the fawning public but the likes of Christies, Sothebys, Brangelina, Saatchi etc, they all just love it as do I.


Flinders Street Station Design Competition



You may have seen a few posts on the interwebs about Victoria’s biggest railway station and, what I would call, Victoria’s greatest design competition since Fed Square or the original Flinders Street Station. It is all very exciting, as an architect it’s great to see so much discussion within the industry both locally and the massive international curiosity, check Dezeen, Archdaily, Afasia, to name a few. Let’s not forget the Victorian public, it shows we care about our city and we also care a great deal about good design (tick & tick).


Temperature – what air conditioning?



When I went through university studying architecture, lecturers always preached that we avoid air conditioning. I doubt they ever imagined the BOM (Bureau of Meteorology) adding extra high temperatures up to 54C with new purple + pink colour indicators, as forecast later this week.

I think we need to adjust our methods.

*UPDATE – The BOM have updated their forecast and removed the purple haze over South Australia however the temperature range colours remain.

Grand Designs Australia



I have watched a few episodes of Grand Designs Australia and I am always surprised and amazed at how good they are. While I am probably a little bias in the fact that I am an architect, Peter Maddison and the show’s approach is outstanding. They are ultimately aimed at the public and end users (our clients) and whether the outcome is good, bad or ugly, the journey is very entertaining and the most important element.

We may have found the Robin Boyd of our time. Peter is out there talking about the process and delivers the story impeccably with a very professional angle while still being personal for the owners benefit. He makes them feel good about divulging very private information.

I suggest anyone that is about to commission an architect to design a new home, renovation or any project to watch a few episodes, it will make them feel a little more comfortable. The process is not always easy as Peter says, but with a clear head, a little faith, openness and perceveerance the outcomes will be well worth the time and effort.

Peter was well deserving in winning the recent AIA Vic media award, congratulations.

Please note, this is NOT a paid promo for Foxtel, The Lifestyle Channel, Grand Designs Australia or anything of the sort, this is simply my own personal opinion & commentary on the process of design and architecture. Watch the show or buy some DVDs, I have.

Steve is speaking at Process



I’m speaking tonight at Loop in Meyers Place, Melbourne for Process Monday night talks. Part of the AIA and Victorian Young Architects & Graduates organisations. Come and see what’s on my desk.

Middle Park Renovation



A challenging renovation to a stable in Middle Park. The existing house was based in a old stable that was subdivided off a larger property in the late 70s. Cox Carmichael did a first take on the property and created a hidden oasis off the rear street that is the little known Canterbury Place (not to be mistaken for Canterbury Road as with most pizza deliveries). The original renovation worked well however it was tight and had not worn well, basically it was tired and needed a refresh.

We were commissioned to review the building and let it come up for some air. The structure and planning were great and they didn’t need any meddling, our solution was to simply push the building out wherever neccessary and we also pulled up part of the roof. These gestures created new areas for extra spaces and more clearance around existing programme. Every surface was considered and the house now feels brand new with a very happy client. I love the fact that you could never tell from the outside.

AAA – Ken Yeang



Dr Ken Yeang is the green building go-to guy. When I was in Uni he was the sustainable tower force and he has not let up. Yeang will be speaking here in Melbourne for the next AAA Black talk, RMIT on Friday 26 October 2012 at 6:00pm.

Discounted tickets for all Architecture students – $20. Previous AAA Black Talk attendees & AAA members – $50. Use this code when booking “BT50PV”.

More info can be found on the Australian Architecture Association’s (AAA) website here.

Flinders Street Station Design Competition (#FSSDC)



Our Flinders Street Station Design Competition entry. A collaboration with Mihaly Slocombe & Foong + Sormann with renderings by Robert Ventresca.

The shortlist of six architects is a veritable who’s who including some of the biggest guns on the globe: Herzog & de Meuron (Switzerland), Zaha Hadid & Grimshaw (both from the UK) along with some larger Victorian firms. The only anomaly in the list is the Columbian group of Velasquez + Pineda + Medina, one of whom is on sabbatical from his architectural degree (well done).

I’m looking forward to seeing all the Stage 1 entries soon, lets hope Major Projects Victoria take this opportunity and hold an online or physical exhibition as soon as possible. We may get some healthy debate and constructive criticism amongst Victorian architects and the community.

Lets also hope this competition goes full tilt and becomes a building some day in the near future, it would be frightening to think of all the man hours 117 firms committed. This would only have be worthwhile if the government follows through, regardless of which party is in office.

It was fantastic to be involved and all the best to the shortlisted entrants and the eventual winner, to be announced in July 2013, check back for updates. Or alternatively go to the Southern Thunderer as they (without rhyme or reason) were the first to break the shortlist news.

Francisco Mangado



Looking forward to tomorrow night’s talk organised by the Australian Institute of Architects, Spanish Architect; Francisco Mangado.

An update: I generally only comment positively on any of these talks as I am happy that Victoria is simply included however, I must be honest, this was a very difficult talk to endure. While I commend Francisco for his attempt at speaking in a foreign language to a room full of Australian’s, this lecture needed an interpreter. This was compounded by Mangado’s minimal slide presentation and excessively verbose explanation of every single minutiae. Question time was even worse… Saying that, his ceramic water cooling exhibition building was stunning.

Also thank you Angelo Candelepas for letting us know that our next AIA international speaker will not be coming to Melbourne with a chuckle, all class.

Awards floor talks with the AIA



The AIA are proposing some floor talks for Thursday the 12th and Saturday the 14th of July with the recent 2012 Architecture Award winners, these are an excellent insight and well worth a look see. Register your interest by emailing Elycia de Guia from the Australian Institute of Architects on See you there.

Crane Light



I think this new light sculpture is fantastic. Designed by Charlie – Davidson Studio as a 1:50 scale model of the worlds largest crawler crane with a magnetised glass light pendant. Very very nice. Via Mocoloco.

Steve is speaking at NAM



Last Friday night I presented to a fairly large group at the New Architects Drinks Talk in the offices of Multiplicity. This is a new initiative by Eugenia Tan of Breathe Architecture and a great idea that I suspect will continue to grow.

Some other presentations included Mihaly Slocombe Architects, Harrison and White, MAKE & Studio Index amongst others, some excellent talent and I felt privileged I was a part of it.

Thanks Eugenia.

Spiral stairs by Steve Rose?



I love these old stairs, the last one I saw was in the Duomo in Florence (the Basilica di Santa Maria del Fiore, Firenze) and this was completed in 1436AD, that’s 576 years ago.

I want to build one. What are the chances that a client in 2012 will ask for one of these? If anyone else likes the look of these, please contact me and we can make it happen.

The global warming deniers winter games



Another ripper by Wiley Miller via The Washington Post.




Merry Christmas and all the best for the New Year from Steve Rose Architect.

Lego for Little Architects



Start them off early. Lego for Little Architects is on this Sunday the 30th of October at the BMW Edge in Federation Square, bringing architecture to the public in a new way; this one is for the kids.

The Melbourne Architecture | Annual week is nearing it’s end for 2011. I am looking forward to the coming years of the MA|A and plenty more events. A big thanks to Shelley Roberts the Guest Curator, Nic Granleese and all the people involved in this initiative, well done.

Designing houses for rock stars and artists

Callum Morton’s house - designed by architect Chris de Campo

Callum Morton’s house – designed by architect Chris de Campo

An upcoming Melbourne Architecture Annual (MA|A) event “Designing houses for rock stars and artists” is on this Wednesday, Oct 26. If you want to come along, book your tickets here, its sponsored by Our Houses. The image above is Callum Morton’s house that was designed by architect Chris de Campo. A great way to understand the design process is to listen to them both talk about their experience. Architect Stuart Tanner and Violent Femmes bass player Brian Ritchie will also talk about their project.

The Age recently ran an article by Joanna Brookfield which is a good read. Joanna interviews Cameron Bruhn of Our Houses about this idea; ”And what about the role of these clients in this relationship? Are they different to the usual, being creative themselves? No, it turns out they’re not,” Bruhn says. ”They’re still interested in the same things, they’re still interested in the amount of storage space, where the kids are going to sleep, the kitchen layout.”

In the same vein, a few years ago I heard Roger Wood of Wood Marsh talk with Juliana Engberg, the curatorial director of the ACCA, this gave great insight and it reinforced how important this relationship is to any design process.

Gold Medal for Graeme Gunn



I’ve booked my tickets for the AS Hook Address. Graeme Gunn is the AIA 2011 Gold Medalist and he will be talking about his work.

Renovating – Stay or Go?



Many clients ask if they should live in their homes while renovating, I show them this.

Non Sequitor by Wiley Miller can be found in The Age.