Property Developer, Orchard Piper
South Yarra, Victoria
When did you first know you wanted to be a property developer?
When I realised the magic in bringing a set of plans to life. It’s a wonderful day when you work out you can get paid for pursuing your passion.
What was your latest project?
Washington Street in Toorak.
Please tell a bit about this, what were the highs and what were the challenges? How did you overcome these?
Washington Street is the most highly specified and intricately detailed building I’ve ever been involved in. It’s not often you get a site where you can take the reins off the design team completely. A project like this lets you work with global talent. Having Venini (Italy) and Lindsey Adelman Studio (United States) involved in making some custom pieces for the project was definitely a highlight.
Dealing with overlooking in an inventive way is always a big challenge, especially in the more open areas of Toorak. We will never just use opaque glass or crude screening to deal with overlooking. We meticulously manage the occupant’s ability to overlook by integrating physical barriers into our design, like extra wide planter boxes on terraces and deeper reveals in windows. This way you can’t get close enough to the boundary to overlook and don’t need the ugly screening.
Where you find inspiration?
Anthropology. Paying close attention to us humans answers most questions about design.
Three people that inspire/excite you:
1) My wife, Amelia
2) our Design Team
3) Ian Schrager
What is your favourite…
Car: 1953 Porsche Speedster or the new 911 Targa, it’s a tie.
Bike: my Ducati Monster 1200s
Boat: The Hedonist by Art of Kinetik
Chair model: Andoo Lounge Chair by Walter Knoll
Residential space: One of the Penthouses in our last project, Davis Avenue
Commercial space: 101 Collins Street, Melbourne
Decorative product: Plants
Functional product: Zipp Tap
Handmade good: Panerai Watch
Mass-produced good: Nike runners
Item in your studio: Knoll Lounge Chairs – I still walk past and look at them everyday.
Time of day to work/play: first thing in the morning, I can get up at anytime, I love mornings
Meal: Steak and salad with a side of fries
Restaurant: France Soir
Drink: Old Fashioned
Bar: Hotel bars whenever travelling
Piece of technology: Bang & Olufsen BeoVision 11
Historical figure: Mike Tyson or Michael Jordan
Fictional character: Tony Soprano
What does the term ‘Design Hunter’ mean to you?
A lifelong search for perfection in design. Luckily this doesn’t exist, so it will take a lifetime of searching!
Who are two people you’d call Design Hunters?
Myself and my business partner, Rick Gronow.