Object magazine 62 — Donovan Hill
Monday April 16 2012
An architectural practice established in 1992, Donovan Hill has made its name with work pushing back on the standard convention of ‘architect as service provider.’ Where a service provider will activate a brief and provide the client with a building to specification, Donovan Hill, through their practice, view themselves as professionals tasked with lifting the project into another realm.
This ‘professionalism’ is grounded in their philosophy of moving past the pluralistic concerns of ‘on time and on budget’ — this is the service provider’s concern. Director Timothy Hill sees the practice as most akin to the creative process accompanying a cinematic production — somewhere at the beginning is a kernel of an idea that, over what could be many years, progresses through the minds and fingers of everyone from producers to sound engineers, from directors to costume designers, and comes out as a synthetic approximation of the initial kernel. Donovan Hill’s role is to direct that idea into a viable end product that achieves everything desired, and hopefully more.
Nielson Design Lecture
Thursday November 24 2011
After spending the afternoon at the offices of Donovan Hill, talking to architect Timothy Hill about his studio (watch out for more on Hill in the next issue of Object magazine in March next year), I headed to one of their best known buildings, the State Library of Queensland, to see the third annual Nielson Design Lecture, featuring international heavyweight visionary Bruce Mau.
Firstly, the State Library of Queensland (SLQ) is an incredible building in so many ways, from the integration of the outside and the inside to the spaces with no specific purposes allowing you to adapt to suit your needs. It looks amazing, and it works in far more sophisticated ways than I can go into here — that’s for another day. There is no wonder CNN has selected it as the third contemporary architectural wonder in Australia (after Federation Square and the Sydney Opera House.) In fact, Mau said at the beginning of his lecture that ‘What you’re doing here is the future’ about SLQ — I couldn’t really agree more.