“We’re like family now”, says Gauri Pisolkar, the first-ever member of our team. As R ARCHITECTURE celebrates its 10 Year Anniversary, we speak to the people behind the projects.
How did you first come to R ARCHITECTURE?
I met Gaurav and Vishaka at the end of 2014, after moving to Australia from India three months beforehand. It was a completely new environment for me, so meeting somebody from my own background was quite exciting and sort of relaxing. It’s very comforting, especially when you’re new to a country.
Can you share an insight into the early days of studio life?
I started working part-time in the small study of Gaurav and Vish’s place. At the time, you could hardly fit two tables in it! I was the first person they hired, and I learned a lot as the practice grew. Gaurav taught me everything. I was a pretty clean slate since I was quite new to architecture in India and had no experience in Australia. So it was easy for me to adapt to Australian ways of practice.
What were the first few projects that you worked on?
I began design work on townhouses for families. Now when I look back at it, those projects were pretty simple, but they were pretty challenging for me then. Picking up new software skills wasn’t so much of an issue, in those early days it was more about understanding cultural differences.
Fascinating. So how did those differences influence residential design?
This was really interesting because the lifestyle and the way family life works in Australia is very different to the way it works in India. In Australia, it’s much more modelled on a nuclear family, with each individual person having their own large private space. Which was very different to the culture that I come from. So it was a great learning experience, to see how living spaces are planned here according to different people’s needs.
In your time at R ARCHITECTURE, how have you grown professionally?
At work, it’s been great to increase my knowledge of architecture, learning about new materials and building techniques, as well as Australian standards. I also really enjoy working on single houses, because you work very closely with clients. You know that whatever you’re doing, the end product will be perfectly made for that end user. It’s a very satisfactory feeling, and it reminds me why I’m in this profession.
What do you reflect on as your biggest achievements?
Well, the first thing I always say is my architectural registration, which I got in October last year. It was a long process for me, but it had always been my aim. Gaurav was a great mentor, guiding me and giving me direction. I was officially naturalised as an Australian citizen last year as well, which felt like a huge achievement! And I also had my first kid recently and R ARCHITECTURE has been very supportive through that time. I feel like whatever I am today is all because of Gaurav and Vish. They gave me a chance, and it all started from there.