Nick Travers is a director of Technē Architecture + Interior Design – a Melbourne studio that specialises in the design and delivery of residential, multi-residential, commercial, retail and hospitality projects.
Since being founding in 2002 by Travers and co-director Justin Northrop, the studio has completed Melbourne icons such as The Prahran Hotel, Tonka, and The Bridge Hotel.
Technē’s upcoming projects include the redevelopment of the Village Belle in St Kilda, a number of national boutique hotels, the riverfront homes in the Alphington Papermill site, and multiple high-end single residential dwellings.
Main image above: Nick Travers, left, and Justin Northrop - Technē Architecture + Interior Design founders and co-directors.
What triggered your interest in architecture?
My interest in architecture evolved towards the end of secondary school. At this stage, the decision needed to be made as to which direction to follow with my university studies.
Up to that point my understanding and appreciation of architecture was naïve, but I had always been an avid drawer and enjoyed my subjects in art and graphics.
It was a natural decision to move into the design industry as a consequence and after making applications to study architecture and industrial design I was accepted into architecture at The University of Adelaide.
I am inspired by many people in their pursuit of excellence - elite sportspeople, professionals, artists, musicians, etc. Working in the field of architecture demands a lot of intellectual effort and energy to bring projects to fruition.
I am constantly driven by the daily challenges of our projects. Our aim is to elevate our work to stand as true works of architecture where social, cultural, commercial, artistic, technological and scientific attributes are deeply considered and managed into a design and the process of delivery.
I am inspired by special individuals like:
Sportspeople: Ayrton Senna, Mark Webber
Artists: Picasso, Ai Weiwei
Modernist Architects: Alvar Aalto, Mies van der Rohe, Le CorbusierContemporary Architects: Sir Norman Foster, Tom Kundig, Bjarke Ingels, Frank Gehry
Entrepeneurs and business leaders: Elon Musk
What is the most challenging aspect of your job?
Working as an architect is a complex role. This is what makes the job both exciting and sometimes difficult. The challenges vary from project to project but town planning approval processes tend to be the most frustrating. However with a professional approach we achieve great outcomes for our clients.
What is the highlight of your job?
The completion of all of our projects is a highlight. It is always amazing to see a building and/or fitout come to reality with the memory of the initial client briefing, site visit and first concept sketches in mind.
What project are you most proud of and why?
We are proud of many projects we have completed, but The Prahran Hotel is a special project for us. It was a turning point for our practice and has helped to cement our professional reputation and recognition for achieving design excellence through numerous awards, most notably from the Australian Institute of Architects at a state and national level.
Apart from those by your own company, what do you think are the three best projects in the world at the moment?
-A number of Tom Kundig’s single residences; like the Pierre, and a lake house he did with an enormous pivot door that opens up the house to the lake and vistas.
-Bjarke Ingels’ New York apartment building that merges the qualities of a skyscraper and a courtyard design.
-Sir Norman Foster’s new apple headquarters/campus in Cupertino.
Where do you think the architecture industry will be in five years from now?
There will be more immersion and advancement in BIM for design and documentation, and even more advancement in the adoption of sustainable design and construction. We will see more prefabricated building techniques in construction, which generally signals a move to more advanced and sophisticated modes of manufacturing techniques in constructing buildings.
What is the most pressing policy issue facing your industry?
The most pressing policy issue facing our industry is to continue to drive higher standards of sustainability and design and to meet the challenges of providing high quality, affordable housing. Great architecture and urban design also needs to be supported by the best infrastructure for transport/mobility and connectivity.
What or whom have you learned the most from?
I have learned the most from Technē itself. Justin and I started the practice as relatively new graduates 15 years ago with a fairly modest base of experience in the industry.
My growth as a professional architect has mostly occurred within the opportunities we have created with the business. At times it has been challenging to manage the demands of running a business and at the same time producing work for our many and varied clients, however it has been hugely rewarding and an ongoing process of ever-expanding experience and education.