Director and founding partner of Melbourne-based design office Neometro, Provan believes it is essential to ensure quality design elements are not “managed out” during the development phase.
November 4th, 2013
How did you first become involved in design/architecture/development?
I essentially grew up on a construction site – my father was a builder and his father and my grandfather were timber merchants – it was unlikely I was going to become dentist!
What led you to found Neometro?
My Neometro co-founder, Barry Ludlow, had similar aspirations and design ideas and after a few joint projects we formalised Neometro in 1985. Our focus initially was on design, construction and development and then we introduced in-house architecture to the business.
What was your main ambition for the company?
Our key objective was to introduce strong design elements to speculative residential developments. Our commitment to design means that we don’t lose sight of the original concept we set out to achieve.
Has this changed over time?
Many of our original principles still apply, however, there is now increased competition and the consumer is more educated and design-conscious.
What has been the biggest challenge in directing the company?
The biggest challenge for us has been constantly tweaking and progressing best practice. The market has also become crowded in the last few years and the reality of delivering on our promises can be challenging. Our commitment to design and quality may mean that a project takes a little longer or costs more, but the integrity of our product is key to us – and also the person living and using the space at the other end.
What do you feel Neometro’s greatest achievement is?
Setting new benchmarks for residential design principles that have been adopted into various government initiatives and guidelines.
What is your favourite Neometro project?
Our Luxe project in St Kilda (9-15 Inkerman Street, St Kilda) is probably my favourite project delivered to date. It is a mixed use warehouse conversion comprising 24 new build apartments, 14 office studios and two commercial spaces – one of which is now home to Karen Martini’s Mr. Wolf. Luxe was completed in 1998 and won the Royal Australian Institute of Architects Sir Osborne McCutcheon Award for Commercial Architecture in 2000.
What do you see in the future for the company?
Our steady but deliberate growth path has kept us true to our design heritage and will continue to do so. We would like to continue to expose larger audiences to high levels of design and amenity.
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