The latest architectural release from German publishing house Taschen, Cabins, features four Australian projects, including Trunk House by Paul Morgan. The 63 square metre house in Victoria’s Central Highlands was completed in 2011 and was designed to co-exist with the surrounding Stringbark forest. Minimising the cabin’s eco footprint was at the forefront of the mind of the Melbourne-based architect who had a mobile milling machine delivered to the building site so that Stringybark timber could be milled on the spot to produce lining boards for the structure. Paul has worked as an architect for more than 20 years, and has run his own practice Paul Morgan Architects since 2003.
There are 61 cabins from around the world that feature in the book Cabins, which includes illustrations on all the projects by Marie-Laure Cruschi. A selection of images above by Melbourne photographer Peter Bennetts are in the book.
Which five words best describe you? Dreamer, writer, internal, diver, collaborator.
How did you get your career start and what path have you taken since? I started my practice with no clients and no capital, just an attitude. With a former business partner we secured some work on a bid for Melbourne’s Docklands, as well as a university lecture theatre. Since then we have completed over 90 uni and TAFE projects, some houses and exhibited at the Venice Biennale.
What’s the best lesson you’ve learnt along the way? Just when you think you’ve “made it”, a fall is always around the corner.
What’s your proudest career achievement? In 2007 the practice was awarded the national Robin Boyd Award for Residential Buildings by the Australian Institute of Architects for the Cape Schanck House.
What’s been your best decision? To start a practice with no clients and no capital.
Who inspires you? My partner, Jo Scicluna, an artist and educator and daughter Lola.
What are you passionate about? Ecological design and late 60s and early 70s film, cars, design: maybe a combination of the above.
Which person, living or dead, would you most like to meet? Neil Armstrong.
What dream do you still want to fulfil? To design more houses.
What are you reading? Life and fate by Vasily Grossman.