Sometimes a career can take a winding path. Candice, who works in our heritage team, started out studying architecture, then conservation. Sounds straightforward but she was born in South Africa (SA), on the outskirts of the relatively young city of Johannesburg, where conservation work isn’t really a possible career choice. She enrolled in a multidisciplinary course in Belgium, post grad. Private practice in architecture followed, but a trip to Australia to attend a friend’s wedding led to her falling in love with Melbourne.
Of her early life, she says, “When I was little, I was in awe of Johannesburg’s buildings. I fell in love with South African Art Deco”. Later she realised that her European studies gave her experience in international law relating to heritage — and SA law is largely based on UNESCO guidelines and the Burra Charter — giving her a head start in Australia. And fate had a hand: “The person next to me on the plane to Australia had a friend in heritage. I already knew about Lovell Chen but this connection resulted in an interview”.
“It’s the variety of type of projects that draws me — every level and size.” Does she miss architectural design? Well, no: “My work intersects with the design side … reviewing and making assessments. Lovell Chen is the right path for me”.
Architecture and Conservation team
Max is very clear. There are two reasons why working at Lovell Chen appeals to him. “In working with built heritage, we inspect and analyse historic fabric in very close detail. It’s such an effective way to learn about the process and sequence of construction.” The second reason touches on his self-confessed nostalgic streak — feeling that he is contributing to the ongoing story of a building, being part of a continuum and playing a part in the bigger picture.
Now a registered architect, he was always interested in heritage. He pinpoints the the moment a maths teacher at primary school taught him perspective drawing as the genesis of this, inspiring him to draw old hotels and country town corner shops.
He encountered Lovell Chen at university, when Peter Lovell and Anne-Marie Treweeke came to talk about the Old Quad project. Attracted by the varying scales and types of project we work on, he decided it was the place to be. “Lovell Chen seemed to have an innate connection to Melbourne and Australia’s heritage.”
Within a week of his interview, he was offered a casual position and within 12 months he was working full time. That was four years ago. He’s now a vital part of the continuum!