Architectural Collaboration

Q&A with Katherine Stewart from Page Stewart

As modern day builders, we understand the importance of collaboration here at SECON Constructions. Over the years, we’ve teamed up with a number of high-quality architects and designers on our remarkable Bayside homes.

Most recently we were lucky enough to collaborate with Katherine Stewart, Director of Page Stewart to bring our 38 and 38A Martin Street projects to life. The former of these was a dilapidated period home, which we worked with Katherine to transform into a fully-functional and luxurious home that pays homage to the original design. The latter, a modern new home build with a unique street appeal.

To learn more about the architectural process of home building and understand the importance of collaboration in design, we recently sat down with Katherine. Keep reading to hear what she had to say…

SECON: What inspires you as an architect? And how does this translate into your work?

KATHERINE: I’m inspired by the way architecture and the built environment can influence a person’s behaviour and emotions by modifying mood and perception. When it comes to my work, I have an appreciation of natural light and how it plays on different surfaces, and I love to use natural materials as much as possible with the aim of creating spaces that make the user feel good about themselves.

SECON: What’s the most important part of the creative process?

KATHERINE: Getting the layout right with the client at the start of the design process is so important. At Page Stewart we work closely with clients to tailor the layout and floorplan to suit their exact needs.

SECON: What excites you about the current state of architecture and design in Australia?

KATHERINE: At the moment there are a number of materials available to use at a variety of price points. We’re lucky to have access to many ranges of materials and design elements so no matter what the client’s budget we can find solutions that will work with their functional and aesthetic needs.

SECON: Can you describe your process of working with builders? What makes you engage one over another?

KATHERINE: It’s always great to have a builder engaged as early as possible to provide advice on budget and so they can be involved through the design process. This makes for a seamless building journey from the start. Having a builder on board early also means they are across all of the details of the build, as well as our and, most importantly, the client’s vision.

It’s also important to work with a builder who communicate well, is easy to deal with and is able to create your vision for the space. If they can’t bring our ideas to life, we would be reluctant to choose them.

SECON: How do you ensure collaboration between builder, client and architect in a build?

KATHERINE: The best way is to schedule regular meetings between all parties and ensure that communication is open and honest from the start. Communication is key when it comes to collaboration.

SECON: How do you go about designing a heritage home renovation? What are they key elements you focus on?

KATHERINE: Heritage renovations are my favourite as the bones are already there. When renovating a period home like 38 Martin Street, I always ensure that I respect and enhance the original features of the existing building. Any new extensions are done to complement the heritage values of the original building, ensuring never to overwhelm.

SECON: What global design trends are inspiring your work in 2020?

KATHERINE: There are so many to choose from! I would definitely say natural and warm materials, lots of stone, timber, whites and greys – we’ve been using these across many of our projects of late.

SECON: What’s your favourite piece of architecture in Melbourne?

KATHERINE: My favourite building in Melbourne is the National Gallery of Victoria. I love how simple it is – it was built in the 1960’s but because it uses natural stone cladding, it could have been built today. I love it so much I even had my wedding reception there!


If you’re ready to get started on an architecturally-designed custom home or heritage renovation project, get in touch with the expert team at SECON Constructions today! We pride ourselves on collaborating with the best architects, designers, contractors and trades in the business. To find out more about Katherine and the team at Page Stewart, visit their website.

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