Q&A: Nick Barber, an architect’s world

What is your favourite part of the job?

The creative freedom.

What are some of the fundamental elements of your job?

Most of our projects come from recommendations. Often, we will be in competition with firms — either in the U.S. or overseas —  where we present our understanding of the client’s problem and our proposal. Architecture and interiors can be quite simple once you understand the original problem. Working that out tends to be the complex part.

Architects are known for crazy work schedules. How crazy has it gotten for you?

For big pitches, we will work three or four days of 18 hours straight — way too much coffee — to the point where our Mr. Coffee [machine] broke down.

Who are three architects who inspire you?

Anna Chilli, Carlo Molino and RM Schindler.

What are three structures in the U.S. that blow your mind?

Kings Road House, Hollywood;  San Francisco’s De Asisi Church in Taos, New Mexico; and the old New York classic, William Van Alen’s Chrysler building.

What are three structures in Australia that blow your mind?

The Sydney Opera House, preferably the baby one. Then, I would have to go natural: West Head, Pittwater, Sydney Harbor — that is where the real beauty of the Australian environment is clearest.

What’s in your work tool kit ?

Too many Macs!

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