We chatted with Stuart Vokes, architect/director at Vokes and Peters for our summer issue.

How did it feel to win Australian House of the Year?
I was of course delighted! It was a great honour to accept the award on behalf of my practice Vokes and Peters and our clients who had the inspiration and vision to commission a work that preserved the sensibilities of the original artefact, and one that celebrated the enduring value of private open space. In a way, the award recognises the modest private house and garden as a critical piece of city making in Brisbane.

Favourite international holiday destination, and why?
I am drawn to the Veneto in northern Italy, and the busy port cities in northern Germany, the Netherlands and Scandinavia.

But Japan always seems to be on the top of my list. I admire the culture, the architecture – which has had such an influence on Australian modernism since at least the 50s – the connection to nature, late night ramen noodles, and hot Japanese baths …

If you could have dinner with anyone, who would it be, and what would you serve?
Maybe the late Italian writer Italo Calvino; he’s such an evocative story teller. I could prepare a simple pasta with a simple loaf and sharp cheese.

Ultimate Australian escape and why?
The combination of epic wilderness and a fantastic wine region and hospitality makes the south-west corner of Western Australia a favourite.

Which do you prefer – country or city living, and why?
I grew up in Brisbane and I like the opportunities for exchange that cities offer. I find wide, infinite spaces a little unsettling after a while. My profession works well with what one might refer to as ‘measurable space’ or enclosure, so I guess I am tuned into the comfort of this spatial condition of a city.

Favourite room in your house and why?
My favourite room in our family house is the front sleepout (enclosed verandah). The space is wonderfully activated by daily life and is lovely in both summer and winter. It is also robust enough to operate as both an intimate room for two with coffee, or a noisy dining room for 20 friends and family. I’d argue that it’s the perfect room type for Brisbane.

 

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