Christopher Megowan is a leading Melbourne-based architect, known for his sophisticated and sensible designs that prioritise natural light and a connection to nature. The Director of Megowan Architecture opens up to us about restoring 1960’s furniture pieces, a potential Australian design trend he has observed, and how only one guilty pleasure is never enough.
What current architectural trend do you currently like?
I don’t know if this is a trend, but it seems to me that Australian architecture has a proud and long history of using and expressing natural materials internally and externally within spaces. I noticed this quality about Australian Architecture as an architectural student in California and it’s part of what drew me to want to practice here. If it’s a trend, I hope it continues but I think it’s more of a classic approach at this stage. The expression of various types of bricks or natural stones, for example, seems to have been having a resurgence over the last 5 years and I certainly don’t hate it.
How would you describe your architectural style in one sentence?
Sophisticated, sensible and adventurous.
Who is an architect that inspires you?
So many to choose from! I’ve always admired the work of Tom Kundig and Peter Stutchbury. These particular architects (along with their very talented teams) are masters at material and detail expression to create striking, functional and honest architectural languages that seem to cut through style and trends.
Name 3 essential elements of any home?
Natural light, natural materials and connection to nature.
What is your favourite piece of DOMO furniture?
Name a project you have recently worked on and why it is special?
We’re lucky enough to have several spectacular urban, coastal and rural homes on the drawing boards at the moment. We’ve just seen three different homes in South Yarra reach completion in the last three months, each with their own distinctive points of difference.
The Argo Residence, being one of the three, was a special job for us as it was built by our long-time collaborators Kabsav Projects, who really understand and look after the architectural intent and detail throughout the whole build process. The Argo Residence strikes a signature balance between a right sized home and timeless sophistication that you can actually feel as you move through the home.
Put another way, there are moments of poetry found in the procession of spaces. Entering off the street via a compact entrance reveals a restrained courtyard, you then get to softly unfurl into layers of spiralling stairs, stone, timber, natural light and eventually culminate at the roof deck with panoramic views over Melbourne. It’s deceptively simple but somehow the experience of moving from street to sky in this house never gets old.
What is a DOMO piece used in one of your projects?
The Pumpkin Armchair seems to be a reoccurring theme in our projects as of late. Both in the Argo Residence and on our most recently completed residence, the House of Bronzed Steel & Stone. It seems to offer just the right amount of plump indulgence.
What is the oldest piece of furniture in your home?
I’ve got several eclectic pieces from the 60’s and 70’s, much of which we’ve had reupholstered, reglued and restored. We’ve got some Bertoia Bar Stools that likely date back to the early 60s that we bought second hand from a hotel bar.
Image credit: Knoll International
And what is the most recent addition?
A handmade dining table from a dear friend made of sheoak and mountain ash.
When you indulge, what is your guilty pleasure?
Only one? Travel, wine and loud music.
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Photo credits for the Argo Residence and House of Steel & Stone:
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