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them young, unfortunately." Not that he
plans to rest on his laurels. "I've always
worked as an architect -- it never occurred
to me to do anything else," he says.
"Sometimes it's a little bit dominating,"
he adds, "it's definitely a 24-hour thing, and
you don't stop and start... But for me? It's
love. It's part of my life." I
"It helps put in perspective the quality of
our place; wherever I've worked or travelled,
I always love coming back, and while I love
going to other places, I feel at home and at
one with what Western Australia is about."
Born and bred in WA and having spent
much of his childhood on the coast, his love
for our landscape and the Indian Ocean began
at an early age. "It is a remarkable and potent
setting that holds great attachment for me,"
he says. "It is a precious place we should
respect and understand."
He chose architecture as a profession
because, he says, it's closely linked with art,
another of his passions. And you get the sense
that he sees his buildings as public art, places
that stir an emotion. With his public works
so high profile (Perth's convention centre
and the Western Australian Maritime
Museum), he usually has a fair idea of the
public response. " e tricky thing with
buildings like the convention centre is that
no matter how you do it, they're big things,
they require big continuous spaces," he says.
"It's been contentious, and you have to
take it on board. I suppose those high-profile
ones, sometimes it makes you scared to go
out on a limb. e danger is that you don't
want to get so conservative that you don't do
anything, but you do have to listen.
" e only thing is, you can't always please
everyone. You don't want to produce a camel
that doesn't please or displease anyone. at
lazy mediocrity isn't a good thing."
ere's little danger of mediocrity as far
as Steve's concerned; his peers nominated
him for the AIA Life Fellowship. ey did
it without his knowledge and it was just by
luck that he attended the ceremony.
"I was driving home and so tempted just
to go straight home, but I thought, 'No, I'll
drop in for a drink', and lucky I did. It was
a great surprise -- the only bad thing is that
it means you're getting old -- you don't get
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