Caroline Hickey. Perth, Western Australia
Caroline Hickey from Bosske Architects has an impressive portfolio of engaging, thoughtful and unique projects. Caroline’s view is that when she designs a home for clients, that home couldn’t exist for anyone else, anywhere else. “We research both our client’s wishes and the site to get the best design outcome”, she says.
As a result of this research, conceptual ideas emerge which then set the tone for the spaces and aesthetics of the home. “My ideas are always intended to be simple and direct, not ambiguous or abstract”, says Caroline. “These ideas are often something bigger than the project, and give the home a unique scale and a very direct relationship with its context.”
In particular, sense of place is an important idea in Caroline’s work and she always tries to think beyond the site – asking what is this suburb about? And what makes this area different? In Caroline’s view, “houses have a community responsibility and this sometimes becomes the kernel of an idea, and drives the design. We are not driven by aesthetic choices alone. We question, we listen, we research, we respond.”
When it comes to selecting materials Caroline looks for those that provide another dimension to the design idea. They also need to be good quality, low maintenance and sustainable.
Sustainability infiltrates all aspects of Caroline’s projects at all stages of design and construction. “There are numerous approaches to sustainability, but we focus on building less, building better, re-use and adaptation and then knowing the appropriate ‘bolt-ons’”, says Caroline.
Caroline’s advice to people thinking about designing and building a new home is to do it once and do it well and, for those people thinking about using an architect, to make sure you like their work and you’re comfortable talking with them.
Looking at Perth design trends, Caroline is seeing a growing awareness of the social and community role of architecture in relation to both processes and built outcomes. However, the design trend she would like to see in Perth is greater imagination. “While consultation is essential, there still needs to be scope to achieve the unexpected from a brief”, she says. “I’d like to make sure that we don’t lose the sense of wonder and amazement of design and that architecture continues to push innovation forward.”
Caroline’s favorite part of designing homes is “hitting that initial idea of a project that feels like the right approach”. She also enjoys the end result. “Seeing people in it, use it, love it, and those people who walk by and comment on it – good or bad!” she says. Caroline’s focus is to get a good outcome through a good process and she does everything in her power to make this happen.