Eldridge Anderson designs thoughtful, robust and refined works of architecture. Working in coastal, urban and rural areas, they are inspired to create places that unite their location, the brief, and the people that will spend time in and around them. The studio harmonizes the requirements of a project, and understands the importance of not only how a building looks, but also how it feels and operates. They believe in the power of good design to inspire, and at the same time are motivated to compose structure, space, material and light into enduring places that are honest and uplifting. We chat with head honchos, Jeremy and Scott, and here’s what they had to say…
George Takes Twelve
1. Pleasantries first… Tell us about who you are and what you do?
We are Jeremy and Scott and we’re the directors and founders of Eldridge Anderson Architects. We are a young architectural studio with a passion for creating robust and refined works of architecture.
2. When I was growing up I wanted to be….
Jeremy: I always had an interest in drawing and painting when I was younger and always thought I would be an architect. I also had a real passion for being in the outdoors and as I was starting to make decisions about the career I wanted to pursue I thought I would take time off to travel the world to find a path that would allow me to merge my passion for drawing and the outdoors. I was lucky enough to meet some great architects who explained to me that architecture really is about the exploration of the site and the external elements and the way in which they live.
Scott: Yes I always enjoyed drawing and spending time outside making things. I also loved looking at how things go together and would always be in trouble for dismantling a new gift to find out how it worked. I think part artist and part scientist.
3. What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?
Jeremy: I was lucky enough to spend time with Glenn Murcutt at the Glenn Murcutt masterclass in Riversdale who said that “Architecture is not created, it is discovered – the hand will find solutions before the mind can even comprehend them.
Scott: ‘be careful whose advice you take’ but I also love the line Utzon wrote about ‘nature knows nothing about compromise… just a new set of factors that configure a totality’ I’ve often returned to that line.
4. What’s been your favourite project so far?
Jeremy: We have been lucky to have some amazing clients early on in our practice that have been very supportive of our work. We consider all of our clients friends. I have also been lucky enough to build my own house which is almost finished and has been a very rewarding experience.
Scott: I also like the Ballarat House. It was our first project together and we weren’t sure we could pull it off. I think you tend to do the best work when the constraints are tight. That place is optimistic but doesn’t do anything it doesn’t need to. It sets up a lot of the principles we’re interested in and contains a sort of practical optimism we’ve applied through other projects. It’s also on a spec house plot for a similar budget and hope more people appreciate the value of good design wherever it occurs.
5. What’s the most treasured belonging/item in your own home?
Jeremy: I have a beautiful sketch of Richard LePlastrier’s in red ochre crayon which sits on my desk.
Scott: I have a photo in a gorge at Karajini National Park WA from about 10 years ago. The vastness of that ancient place gives me perspective.
6. What’s the most impressive party trick you can muster?
Jeremy: I’m still intent on learning to juggle. One day.
Scott: I don’t do tricks.
7. Are there any architectural trends you are excited about?
We try to avoid trends in our work. We are always inspired by the work of great architects – the discipline of Mies and Murcutt, the attitude of Stutchbury or power of Zumthor to name a few however we are also encouraged by the direction and capacity of the younger architects pushing the profession. The quality of work from the new generation of Australian architects is remarkable.
8. What advice would you give to someone wanting to become an architect?
Jeremy: Architecture is a really diverse profession in many ways, as an architect you have to be aware of many different factors. Above all of that to me the key is passion. You must be passionate about everything that you do and with that the quality of what you produce will generally reflect that.
Scott: Architecture is the most incredible privilege, but it’s not simply something you wake up and do, it is who you are and how you see the world. If you want to become an architect you must invest yourself in it.
9. What’s one thing people may not know about you?
Jeremy: Outside of architecture my other great passion is the mountains. Every chance I get to leave the studio I will most likely be snowboarding with friends.
Scott: I’m a university lecturer and coordinate the final year studio for the Master of Architecture.
10. You’ve got a week off, where are you going?
Jeremy: During the Australian winter I head to My Hotham at every opportunity, in Summer I love to travel, Chamonix in France is an amazing place and Alaska is my favourite destination.
Scott: to Bridgewater Bay (far South West Victoria).
11. What is your favourite way to get the creative juices flowing?
Jeremy: I always find that inspiration is not something that can be forced, ideas seem to appear whenever I am not focussed on producing work.
Scott: not sure, how do you make them stop…
12. Favourite architectural style from a bygone era?
Jeremy: I’m not sure that there is necessarily a ‘style’ of architecture that I prefer. There are a number of architects who have pursued a particular theme in their work that I find inspiring. Some of the architects we previously mentioned are role models of ours however I find the work of Mies van der Rohe to be a consistent source of inspiration.
Scott: ancient Greece the masters of philosophic intention through proportion and purpose.
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“A real mixture of songs that have significance, either soundtracks to various travels over the years and others that are just beautiful songs.” – Eldridge Anderson Architects