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Design Hunter® Q&A: Luke McKie

Orchard Piper’s Luke McKie is a Victoria based property developer and Design Hunter®. We chat with the man about his loves, inspirations and challenges in the design world


Luke McKie


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

Vice: Obsessiveness

Virtue: Curiosity

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.

Orchard Piper