In the last couple of decades, a specific architectural scene has developed in Australia that emerges from the mixture of different influences: Pacific cultural exchanges, pragmatic Australian mentality and gradual acceptance of the values of Aboriginal culture. Richard Leplastrier and Peter Stutchbury are the protagonists of this small scene gathered around the OZ.E.TECTURE educational platform, which organizes master workshops around the world. These two practising architects and professors, who are also close friends, research educational models and ways of reflecting architecture that surpass academic or theoretical tenets. They base their approach on the refined feeling for the context, thoughtful approach to the art of construction and empathy to the user.
ORIS: Your intellectual background unites different cultural traditions. Richard, you studied with Jørn Utzon and lived in Japan. But Australia could be even more important. Prominent landscape painter Lloyd Rees was your drawing teacher and also a major influence.
RICHARD LEPLASTRIER: When you are brought up in a country which has great physicality, strong landscapes and a big variety of situations, you have a certain sort of foundation that is embedded within you – you are calibrated in a different way. Then, family and education change you. I went to Sydney University Architecture School where Lloyd Rees taught, then studied sculpture under Lyndon Dadswell at night. Loyd Rees was one of the great painters and drawers of our country. They had a great effect because they taught you about form and how it worked, what you could reduce while somehow keeping the originality intact. It influenced the way that we work, with drawing, not with computers. And then Utzon, of course, taught us how to listen to the nature.