Design Hunter™ Q+A with Glenn Murcutt

Natural elements and the core Principles of Design come together in every one of Glen Murcutt’s projects, as the Architect and eternal Design Hunter™ explains to Alicia Sciberras

11 Apr 2012

Where do you live:

Mosman

Who do you live with:

My wife, and until a year ago our beloved dog.

What are you inspired by:

Nature. If you have a love of nature, you begin to observe it closer and understand it further to a degree that makes it more beautiful. Nature is an endless supply of inspiration in terms of structure, order, supply and transpiration. Nature is a superb order that has enormous variations. Architects are also a continual inspiration for me, those architects out there doing wonderful work are very inspiring because I know how hard it is to achieve anything beyond mediocrity.

When and what made you first fall in love with your craft:

At the age of twelve. My father was a leading influence in my life, every school holidays I worked in his joinery shop until I was eighteen. This is where I learnt my craft, I learnt how to build racing-sailing boats, staircases, windows and all the essential joinery elements. Furthermore, I assisted my father to make models of his own designs which we then photographed and developed. Since I showed such interest in my fathers business he made me study US architectural journals that I would later be quizzed on and if I answered incorrect I would be made to re-read the journal until I got it right. The questions were always about the underlying principles of design.

What do you most look forward to:

After a rough year in 2011, I look forward to getting back in to my practice as an architect with the enthusiasm that I have always had (which thankfully I have already managed to find). I have a wonderful prospect for 2013 that will see me undertake a residency in Rome courtesy of the American Academy of Arts and Letters. My wife Wendy Lewin (also an architect) will accompany me; we often work in equal collaboration on particular projects, so Rome will be an exciting venture. 

Pick up a copy of Habitus 16 to check out the beautiful Blue Mountains House by Glenn Murcutt.