Last week Stuart Vokes came to chat with us about his practice, his influences, and his work. Stuart’s Brisbane office, Owen & Vokes, in which he is co-director with Paul Owen, has long been on our radar so it was a treat to have him break in our new data projector in the meeting room. Stuart’s presentation, loosely based around his practice’s study of garden and landscape, was a stimulating combination of architectural precedents (Palladio, Loos, Khan, Aalto) and his practice’s built responses.
Amongst the many ideas raised by Stuart we felt a particular affinity with the way Owen & Vokes critically engages with the dominant ideas of Australian modernism. Rather than reusing the typical Queensland formal and material language of
‘stick architecture’ they re-explore the European engagement with nature by adapting the ‘sleep out’ room; These rooms suggest a way of inhabiting the space between house and garden that is not simply the ‘outdoor room’.
It is always nice to see rigorous, crafted projects, but for us it is even more inspiring to see them created by a person, and a small office, that retains humbleness and humour about architecture and its practice.