Five Minutes with…Tim Jackson, Director Of Jackson Clements Burrows Architects

Tim Jackson is one of the three founders of Melbourne architecture firm Jackson Clements Burrows Architects, which was established in 1998.  Over the past 17 years,  Jackson Clements Burrows has grown into one of Australia’s leading firms, specialising in residential and commercial/institutional projects, interiors, master planning and landscape design.

One of Tim’s latest projects was designing Piccolo Developments’ $50 million residential apartment building Upper House, which  was a winner at the 2015 Victorian Architecture Awards (Best Overend Award for Residential Architecture – Multiple Housing).

What sparked your interest in architecture and urban design?  My father Daryl Jackson is an architect – so to be honest from a young age it was something that I always thought was fairly normal and in a sense  took for granted – it wasn’t until much later that I realised people were actually drawn to architecture as a way of life – fortunately or unfortunately for me,  there was never a profound moment.

What drives you – has there been someone or something that has inspired your career?  At some point I realised that thinking like an architect was ingrained and that infact it was something that I intuitively felt more comfortable doing than anything else – this was after I realised that the rock band (Autohaze) I was in wasn’t going to sell that many records despite being on high rotation on triple JJJ  in the mid-90s.

What is the most challenging aspect of your job?  The challenging part is reassuring people that you have empathy and can understand their needs and that through the sometimes arduous process of design positive moments of revelation will occur and that it is rare than an overnight solution will save the day.

What is the highlight of your job?  Once the waiting is over and the project emerges complete on site is when you feel a sense of both excitement and moreso relief – that miraculously despite the often confrontational  process the built form outcome lived up to your expectations.

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The exterior of Upper House, designed by JCB.

What project are you most proud of and why?  Upper House was such a project where the spirit of collaboration and respect was strong between the client, architect and builder and the final outcome retained the integrity of the original concept. Throughout the process there was a sense of understanding that something remarkable could be achieved and that through the inevitable moments of value management and general concern this is something that should not be lost sight of.

Who are your three favourite architects? Le Corbusier, Alvar Aalto and  Rem Koolhaas

Apart from those by your own company, what do you think are the three best projects in the world at the moment? The market/housing hybrid by MVRDV, the High Line project New York , Museo Jumex by David Chipperfield Architects

Where do you think the architectural industry will be five years from now? Hopefully,  more in control of its own destiny  on the basis of a greater understanding of the actual liability and responsibility that architects carry.

What is the most pressing policy issue facing your industry? Legislating to somehow  retain a sense of integrity throughout  the design process from start to finish so that our intellectual property can’t be abused.

What or whom have you learned the most from? My father

What is a website or blog that you visit often? Essendon FC

What are three books that have you either influenced you professionally or personally? Invisible Cities, Italo Calvino;  Delirious New York, Rem Koolhaas; The Road, Cormac McCarthy

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The kitchen and living area in an apartment in Upper House, designed by JCB.