Local architect builds blueprints for dreams
by Jane Grljusich
All his life, Neil Cownie has been combining his passion for design in all its forms – architecture, landscape, furniture, lighting and objects – with his clients’ aspirations – to realise their dreams in built form.
His work is timeless, creating spaces that endure through both dedication to his craft, and his clients.
Neil was born in Perth to Stewart and Marie Cownie, the former a chief artist for The West Australian newspaper, cartoonist, visionary and historian, the latter a passionate writer and researcher, both sharing a passion for heritage buildings, and having a major influence on their son.
“I was raised in a creative, yet practical family environment where my father was hands on with building things around the house, all the time, when he was not in his studio creating his next series of artworks,” Neil told the Voice.
“I worked in London for five years after graduating from university and I learnt so much from seeing the world through travel (back in the good old days!), but I love Western Australia, and seek to represent the essence of what is unique about WA in my design work.”
With a focus on highly personalised service and working closely with builders, Neil delivers projects on budget, and is constantly researching current methods and products in the world of environmental design to provide clients with sustainable living environments.
“I approach each brief, each client, and each site as a unique opportunity,” Neil said.
“I believe successful buildings and spaces, whether large or small, are designed to enrich people’s lives and the quality of their everyday experiences.”
Neil affords his clients design-led solutions with a WA sensibility.
“I design, detail and run all projects in my office as I remain personally involved in all aspects of every project for its duration. I bring my 35 years of experience in architecture and interior design to every aspect of a project,” Neil said.
“I strive to reveal what is unique about each client, and their spaces, to deliver them a building and interior that sits comfortably with the family and the location. I do not follow a ‘style’ as each design is timeless and unique for my clients. I respect each clients aspirational brief and work with them to deliver a project that brings ongoing joy to them and their family.”
Neil is a Director of the Architects Registration Board WA (six years service and counting) and an academic at the School of Architecture at Curtin University.
“When I’m not working, I enjoy nothing more than nurturing my native garden and the company of my blended family and two hungry Labradors,” he told the Voice.
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