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Friday with Shaun Lockyer

By Katie Adams

When driving around New Farm you are sure to see a beautifully crafted home thoughtfully designed by Shaun Lockyer. His projects have a distinct style and incorporate amazing natural materials creating striking and functional open spaces. Our favourites are the conversions of the traditional New Farm house, a derelict ‘post war’ Queenslander. Shaun seamlessly blends the historic character and his modern design.

We have interviewed the very talented Shaun Lockyer to find out about his daily running’s and what makes Shaun Lockyer Architects work.

Tell us a little about your background – what path led you to architecture originally, and to the launch of your own business?

I was born in South Africa to a family full of accountants so chose architecture to follow in the footsteps of my paternal grandfather who was a master craftsman.

I chose to start my own business after deciding that I wanted to operate in a more authentic and direct way with people. I wanted to be in smaller, more intimate business where I was directly engaged with every decision, client and process. I did not like the way that I has to step back from the client and project in a bigger practice. I like to remain professionally and personally invested in every project from beginning to end!

What has been your favourite project to work on and why? 

Ooh, I would be committing professional suicide to have a favourite but it’s safe to say I have had lots of really key projects in my life. My first house in New Farm, 70 Villiers Street was a real game changer for me professionally so this remains very significant for me. Equally, I have made so many close friends from past projects that the relationships become the more significant thing I take away from each project. My own house is also significant as the lowest budget project but certainly one of personal significance. On dream briefs, we are currently underway with a build on north Stradbroke Island which will certainly be up there with my favourite briefs (combined with the location which is personally very important in my own life).

What does a typical day involve for you? 

Insanity for 15 hours followed by sleep (after some time with my family). I spend a lot of time on site, designing and with clients in roughly equal proportion. I have an amazing team that support me and make everything happen for our clients.

Who inspires you? and where do you turn for inspiration? 

My team inspires me to do better and the world around me inspires me to see little and big things in equal importance. I like the idea that architecture is all around us all the time, you just need to be in the moment to enjoy it and take it all in. On a pure academic level, there are many colleagues who inspire me with my favourite (living) architect being Marcio Kogan (Barzilian Modernist).

What is your proudest career achievement to date? 

I have been lucky to have won a few awards and received a lot of media support over the years but ironically the most significant achievement for me is always a new friendship at the end of the project. I know this sounds corny or clichéd but it’s what motivates me to work harder for every person that chooses to work with us!

Do you have a dream creative project? 

Yes but its very small. I am in the process of buying a small house originally designed by Donovan Hill on Stradbroke Island (my favourite place on earth). The project involves about $50k in work but will be the most meaningful investment of my family’s collective lives. I love the idea that small things done well matter as much (if not more) than big things!

All about Brisbane 

Where would we find you on a typical Saturday Morning? 

Breakfast in Paddington or New Farm, sport with my Son and then working in the office!

Favourite place in Brisbane? 

North Stradbroke Island (Favourite place on earth)

Place to eat in Brisbane?

Montrachet and the Survey Company!

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