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Interview with Brisbane’s premier architect

Cattle barons, CEOs, lawyers, developers and brokers have been named as the multimillion dollar buyers fuelling Queensland’s luxury housing boom and my mate, architect Shaun Lockyer, is the creative talent behind so many of these homes and designs.

Shaun is Brisbane’s premier architect for modern design and architecture. He designs sustainable and efficient principles into very memorable spaces. He is creating homes which are fast becoming Brisbane landmarks, like Balaam.

Shaun and his team’s designs add value to the owner’s lives and because I have had the great pleasure of working with him on several projects, I know how happy it makes anyone to be in a space SLa has created just for you.

Perhaps surprisingly, Shaun’s focus on quality correlates with a passion for downsizing. At a time when more is considered more and bigger is considered better.

To be honest, Recognise parallels between Shaun’s process of design consultation for creating spectacular bespoke homes and the way we sell them – we both value collaboration and transparency countered with a good dose of passion for some jaw dropping results. We keep it simple.

Shaun, he and his team see building as being an act that is about the people, not just about construction. 

“For me it is about retaining and celebrating the history of some homes and always creating the new with a high sustainability agenda without compromising on a contemporary aesthetic,” Shaun said to me recently. 

“Architecture for me is for every home to endure and remain relevant for future generations – and yet reveal clues about how effectively and positively we live today,” he says.

There were three factors for me when I started working with Shaun, number one was his focus on his client’s wellbeing through the act of building – it remains a core value of his practice. This is not just good marketing rhetoric, I have been his client, through renovations and new builds, and can personally attest to this.

Number two, he gives back to the industry, outside of the practice Shaun is well recognised for his contribution to architectural education and support for the profession. He is A+ member of the Australian Institute of Architects.

My third reason is I love Shaun’s focus on quality and downsizing. We may both be known for our association with big luxury homes but in 50 years, this bloke wants to see homes being designed smaller. He wants us to learn better ways to build, wasting less and building more cost efficiently. The challenge for him is about smaller yet devilishly-clever design which slowly reveals itself with innovative architectural experiences despite minimising space and volume.

I absolutely love Shaun’s modernist architecture that connects people and place, at the same time as incorporating environmentally high-performing principles and embracing and integrating all builds with the surrounding landscape.

Shaun’s designs have been commissioned all over Australia but I honestly think his architecture optimises lifestyle in the sub-tropics. As if life couldn’t get any better up here.

Here are some of SLa’s recent design projects.

I hope you enjoy the read.

Matt Lancashire