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The Inspiring Journey of Architecture

Jane Cameron Finlay
Jane Cameron Architects Brunswick Addition

Architecture has taken me on journey beyond my wildest dreams.

- Jane Cameron Finlay ARBV RAIA

Architecture has always been part of my life, in one form or another. Growing up on a farm in rural Victoria, I was mesmerised by the local public buildings and homesteads. My childhood sense of space combined with my love of drawing, Lego and sandpits naturally led me to a career in architecture. My curiosity drew me to Europe to explore new culture, modern and classical architecture. These experiences defined my design response to how we live and work.

I am still fascinated how design and architecture influences the way we feel and interact with the spaces around us. I love Scandinavian design. Use of natural materials and light with a connection to nature creates serene, elegant spaces. My designs are informed by traditional European architecture with its symmetry, strength and timelessness. I adore contemporary Japanese residential architecture for its creative use of space and sculptural forms.

My work is inspired by my international experience; with nine years based in London.

During my time overseas I worked with Mark Pinney Associates, on their portfolio of internationally-renowned luxury fashion brands. I was project leader on high-end fast-track retail projects in Barcelona, Dubai, Jeddah, London, Moscow, and Riyadh, where quality and time were of the essence. The pressure was enormous, the awards amazing, and the mentorship priceless. It was the perfect place for an inspiring young architect.

I then worked with Philippe Starck; the French product and interior designer who is said to be the most famous and prolific designer alive. As a senior concept designer I travelled between London and the USA working on luxury residential developments in Dallas, Miami, and Gloustershire, England. Working with a star designer was a transition into another world, and gave me a unique insight into design, branding and marketing.

Later, I joined Eva Jiřičná Architects, in London. Eva is known for her extensive experience in high-end retail design, along with her signature steel and glass staircases. She has an impressive list of accolades to her name, including winner of the Jane Drew Prize, a C.B.E (Commander of the British Empire), and nine honorary Doctorates. Whilst at the practice I was project leader for the ‘Boodles’ flagship stores, on New Bond Street and Sloane Street, London, and assisted on a project in Dubai. It was a delight and honour to work with Eva, and if my homesickness didn’t get the better I would still be working for her.

In 2008 I returned to Australia to set up my own practice, Jane Cameron Architects, in Melbourne.

The practice specialises in bespoke residential architecture and interiors in the inner city, coastal and rural Victoria. It is a client-orientated practice, where each design evolves from working closely with my clients to understand their individual brief and aspirations; with the end result being a tailored personalised design.

Each of my designs evolves out of a collaborative design process. Whether the project is a new build, extension, or renovation my goal is to design a home that my clients will love spending time in. My designs draw on the beauty of our natural environment with simple, light filled spaces that are functional, comfortable and sophisticated.

During the briefing process I take the time to understand how my clients live; and how they will be using the spaces that I am creating. The result is a response to the way they live, work and play.

I love having my own practice in Melbourne. It has taken of lot of hard work, but it has been worth every minute.

I started my practice eighteen months after arriving in the city. It was a brave move considering I didn’t grow up in Melbourne, didn’t have connections, and it was in the middle of the global financial crisis. I was fortunate to have great mentors and a supportive architectural community, which is critical for any start-up.

I believe in helping the next generation of architects coming through the ranks.

I am an active member of the architectural community and the Australian Institute of Architects (AIA). This includes speaking engagements, tutoring on the Practice of Architecture Learning Series, mentoring emerging architects through the Constructive Mentoring Program; and taking part in the Victorian Architecture Awards jury, Member Services Committee, and Practice of Architecture Committee. I have also been a sessional tutor and guest critic in architecture at the University of Melbourne.

For more information: www.janecameronarchitects.com

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