Q&A with Tony Chenchow
Partner at Chenchow Little Architects
Graduation year: 1993
Q. What appealed to you about UNSW and your degree?
My partner Stephanie Little and myself both researched local Universities prior to applying to UNSW. Practicing architects we spoke to all recommended UNSW.
Q. How did you two meet?
We met through mutual friends within the Architecture faculty. Other students we met during our time at UNSW are still some of closest friends and form a network of contacts across the world.
Q. List any highlights during your time at UNSW.
During my studies, I won the 1988 Royal Australian Institute of Architects Kann Scholarship, the Royal Australian Institute of Architect’s National Biennale Award, the NSW Chapter Prize 1992 and the Royal Australian Institute of Architects Prize 1992.
Q. How has your degree at UNSW School of BE helped you achieve your professional goals?
Our undergraduate degrees at UNSW provided a solid foundation for our future career. We still keep in contact with some of our UNSW lecturers who continue to provide academic support and professional advice.
Q. How did you go from graduating to owning your own company – what steps did you have to take and was this always your dream?
Due to my design awards and reputation I was offered private projects soon after graduation. Stephanie and I formed a partnership to complete these projects. One project lead to another and our the partnership eventually became a company.
Q. What would be your advice to graduating students seeking work?
Be clear about the experience you would like from your first job. A large commercial company will offer different opportunities and experience than a smaller design practice.
Q. Particular career achievements/highlights
Chenchow Little have won numerous industry awards including the 2009 Australian Institute of Architects Robin Boyd Award, the highest accolade for residential architecture in Australia. Our practice was recently selected by Architectural Record (USA) for their Design Vanguard 2010 issue for the top 10 emerging practices in the world. Our work has been included in the top architectural journals from around the world including Casabella (Italy), Dwell (USA), Wallpaper (UK), Mark Magazine (The Netherlands) and Architecture Australia.
Q. What are your plans for the future? In one article you spoke about the possibility of working in other countries – do you have anywhere specific in mind that you’d like to work?
We are working on a variety of projects, including cliff top dwellings in the eastern suburbs of Sydney, new attached dwellings in Mosman and a new fitout for a large inner city office. In the future we will continue to focus on maintaining a high quality of design in our work. We like projects where we are required to challenge stereotypes and look at a design problem in a new way. The particular country a project is located in is not as important to us as the client and the brief.