In Conversation With—Daniel Boddam, Daniel Boddam Studio
Daniel Boddam founded his Sydney studio with a holistic approach to progressive and enduring design in architecture and interiors. Known for his timeless, minimalist aesthetic Daniel is also passionate about the intersection of architecture and the natural world. "To me it's important that the architecture maximises these natural elements." says Daniel. "The landscape often becomes an extension for living. Bedding the building down in nature is important to avoid being dominant but rather effortlessly integrated." Read as we sit down with Daniel to explore the relationship between interior and exterior and the ways in which he brings the two together in his work.
Q—Thanks for joining us, Daniel. Tell us more about Daniel Boddam Studio. How did it all begin?
A—I grew up in a creative household, born to both parents also of the architecture profession. As a child we travelled regularly, having a Venezuelan mother we would often visit relatives in Venezuela via New York and Miami. Each trip was centered around architecture, we visited many art deco and early modernist buildings while in America. Frank Lloyd Wright's work left a strong impression on me.
On our trips to Venezuela we visited brutalist museums that integrated the optical art of Carlos Cruz-Diez with the architecture—immersing you within the creation of the art. This really excited me, the offering of art and architecture as an object to be enjoyed and traversed.
Being surrounded by architecture and design, I was learning by osmosis until I undertook my architecture studies at the University of Sydney, however, my sense of curiosity has always been there. After university I worked with a pivotal sustainable architecture firm in London.
Moving back home to Australia, I set up my own practice in 2013 specialising in residential architecture and design, and in 2015 I introduced my first collection of furniture and haven't looked back.
Q—What is your underlying design philosophy?
A—"The poetry of reduction" is my design mantra. I'm driven by the pursuit of simplicity, elegance, and timelessness, with a singular belief that a sense of calm and wellbeing can be achieved through design.
Regardless of expression—architecture, interiors, or furniture design—I seek to inspire human engagement and a connection with nature whilst celebrating the artisanal. Applying a modern lens to materials, colours and textures inspired by the raw landscape of home, I like to think we articulate a uniquely Australian voice with global resonance.
Q—What are you most enduring creative influences?
A—I'm inspired by early modernist designers—Richard Neutra, Mies Van Der Rohe and Carlo Scarpa. Known for creating holistic environments, I admire how their design language can scale seamlessly from the macro to the micro. I'm also inspired by the simplicity and elegance of Christian Liaigre, Vincent Van Duysen and Joseph Dirand. I admire the craftmanship and timelessness of their work.
Q—Which other Australian designers, artists or creative people are you loving at the moment?
A—There are some truly inspiring designers here in Australia. I admire the work of lighting studio Christopher Boots, artist Clara Adolphs, ceramics by Jan Vogelpeol and Alana Wilson, lighting and objects from Henry Wilson studio, as well as fellow architects Studio Bright and Polly Harbison Architects.
Q—We've worked together across a handful of projects now—what do you look for in a collaborative partner?
A—I look to work with like-minded clients and collaborators. In all my projects there is always an emphasis on quality and craftsmanship whilst celebrating the artisanal. I'm passionate about the intersection of architecture and the landscape and how they can work together in a harmonious way.
We have worked together many times and I always enjoy how Wyer & Co. manage to surprise me with a unique and inspiring outcome each time.
Q—When you're engaged on a project how important is the relationship between inside and out?
A—A relationship exists between architecture, interiors, and landscape. In Australia we are fortunate that our climate is so temperate, and that we have an amazing quality of natural light. To me it's important that the architecture maximises these natural elements. The landscape often becomes an extension for living. Bedding the building down in nature is important to avoid being dominant but rather effortlessly integrated.
Q—What are some of the ways that you bring these two spaces together?
A—There are a few ways that I look to connect architecture with nature.
Where possible I often suggest an earth—roof or green—roof, that connects the landscape directly with the build. It also provides a natural form of thermal insulation and is a thoughtful civic gesture for neighbours who overlook the site. The real beauty is when the wildlife connects with the architecture.
Courtyards are an excellent mechanism for providing spatial relief between old and new elements. These connectors often become a seamless way to flow into the landscape as well as drawing in natural light.
I also like to create horizontal layered garden beds cascading off balconies as a way of connecting and framing views and providing a green edge.
Q—What's next for Daniel Boddam Studio—what are you looking forward to?
A—I'm currently working on a new furniture collection and continuing to experiment with quality Australian materials, colours and textures inspired by the raw landscape. I'm excited to share two architectural projects that are nearing completion, one in Palm Beach and the other in Mosman. I'm also about to start a ceramic course, so I'm looking forward to working with my hands more.