Architect Spotlight – Mel Bright

Mel Bright

MAKE Architecture

Architect Spotlight – Mel Bright
Architect Spotlight - Mel Bright

We have an image of your project, the ‘Little Brick Studio’. What is it about this project that makes it special and what are some of its hidden qualities?

This project is special to us as it was one of the first built projects that encapsulated some key interests at MAKE, interests that are still being explored in our larger projects now. This project was about building small and thinking big. The idea that small scale projects can activate and make contributions to our communities and suburbs. It also looked at ideas around ‘loose fit’ spaces that can change over time, material specificity to site and thinking about small spaces that have delight. The brief was really just for a garage but we have squeezed in an upper flexible studio space that gives this family space to grow in this inner urban site.

little-brick-studio
Little Brick Studio Photography Credit - Peter Bennetts

Which architect or person do you admire as an inspiration?

Locally – Kerstin Thompson – consistently beautiful work that engages with typology and site.
Internationally –Peter Zumthor has been a favourite for many years.

What do you consider the most underrated thing that architects do?

Being able to engage across so many disciplines –architects are expected to not only design but they must be able to engage with structure, budget, human relations, construction etc etc… it’s not always easy to jump from such diverse things.

house-at-big-hill
House at Big Hill Photography Credit - Trevor Mein, Meinphoto

What is the quality you most admire in a client?

Enthusiasm, perseverance, the ability to trust and to be brave.

Which project made you happiest?

I would struggle to choose … Local House is high up there. The projects that we are working on right now I’m enjoying a lot. We have a number of really wonderful clients at the moment and we are enjoying the sense of collaboration and the enjoyment we have with them and their homes.

local-house
Local House Photography Credit - Peter Bennetts

Tell us one (secret) thing about how you design?

There is not a lot of inspiration – just heaps of hard work and testing over and over. Good architecture has so many layers – so many things to respond to – you cant solve that with a ‘light bulb’ moment. Hard work and research might get us there though.

What inspires you, what gives you inspiration to do better?

We are driven in the studio by the desire to seeing great things built – this pushes us every time. Seeing a project come out of the ground on site is possibly one of the most rewarding things of my job. One of the questions we ask ourselves in the studio during the design stage is ‘are you excited about seeing it on site? ‘ if the answer isn’t yes then the design isn’t good enough yet and we know we need to work harder.

Name one architectural destination that non architects should see?

A favourite for me was the Igualada cemetery near Barcelona but I would also pick the High Line in New York – both are more landscape based than architecture. I suppose if you had to choose only one piece of architecture, then I would have to choose the Sydney Opera House – so iconic and so representative of the challenges required to produce something truly great.

igualada-cemetery
Igualada Cemetary

What do you consider your greatest achievement?

The ability to run a practice with sustainable working hours, be a mother and be able to produce work at an award winning level is something I am pretty proud of.

Further information details

For further information on Mel Bright and her projects, please visit:
Web: http://www.makearchitecture.com.au/

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