A seasoned architect with over 40 years of experience in the industry, Alan Walt is a force to be reckoned with. When it comes to planning and designing phenomenal new builds, he continues to innovate and create beautifully inspired spaces.
Always selecting the finest materials and suppliers, Alan Walt often calls upon the expertise of Midas Paints for superior paints and finishes. We had the opportunity to speak to Alan Walt about his latest projects and that which continues to inspire him.
How many buildings have you designed and built over your career?
I have been in business for over 40 years, so I estimate at least 800 projects built and on paper.
What qualities define your business?
I spend a long time crafting buildings with intense client involvement so this process allows for twists and turns in creating that which is ‘immeasurable’. If I am lucky, happy clients and friends may see value in employing me for future projects.
What was the client brief for your latest apartment projects?
There are actually two international clients who are best friends. One directed me to design the most cost effective development for the site and to provide two dwellings on a very small and odd shaped plot.
The second client provided a brief for a more detailed and more expensive finish, so keeping track of, and splitting costs, has been a challenge.
Both units are for rental however the second client will be using his apartment over the season annually.
What was the design rationale behind these apartments?
The rationale was to produce a pleasant building with good sized rooms with a natural flow. Not much opportunity for Architecture with a capital A.
What where some of the challenges?
The site is small and on a slope and there were two main challenges. Firstly, working space on the site was very limited and foundations needed to be much deeper due to poor soil conditions resulting in a structural rethink. The second challenge came with liaising internationally with clients in different parts of the world, hence resulting in delays in decision making.
Why did you select Midas Paints for the buildings?
I have a long standing relationship with Midas going back to when they were Earthcote and I support their product quality 100%. Since I have met Ryan Rack I am now confident that he is specifying all my waterproofing detailing and monitoring on site. He has been an incredible asset to our business and a great guy to know and technically superior.
What one design element, trend or furniture item can you not live without?
My Corbusier dining table – the perfect size, generous, brilliant resolution of elements, and great bit of conceptual thinking.
What design influence has had the greatest influence on your work and business?
I would have to say Louis Kahn. You would have to see the Oscar winning movie, My Architect, to know fully why, in a way that can’t be explained. His work resonates with me the way some people can connect and are attracted to others and that is what makes us interesting.
Other major influences are Gehry and Zaha, but really there are so many great designers on whose shoulders we stand and here are a myriad of smaller ones who have not had fame. From an interior point of view, I love Jouin Manku and Kelly Wearstler at the moment. Back in the day, David Hicks and Mongiardino too.
What has been one of the most challenging projects you have worked on?
Eagle Rock, a building consisting almost entirely of curved surfaces. I worked with Petra Wiese, an incredibly talented designer.
To achieve the curves we worked the geometries using long lengths of conduit which follow curves from nature, which would be impossible to do successfully on CAD. Another complexity was exposing naturally occurring rocks in the building and incorporating them into rooms.
What exciting projects do you have planned within the next year?
I have two interesting new houses planned in association with Petra Wiese which will push the envelope a bit. You will have to watch this space to find out more!