From paper to public

Magazine ImageBecoming an architect was a childhood dream come true for Melbourne designer Amnon Weber. While most children were dreaming of becoming firemen, superheroes or football players, he found himself constantly penning houses and buildings in his spare time.

Twenty years later, Mr Weber heads his own award-winning architecture and design firm, specialising in utilising cutting-edge technology for high-end residential and commercial projects. He still thinks back fondly on his high school days where he would put pen to paper and sketch out drawings.

“In high school, I found myself always doodling some sort of house or building,” he said. “As the years went on and I moved into higher grades, the obsession with building became a passion until one day I had to make a decision about my career and obviously I choose architecture.

“I’ve been in the business from the early 1990s and started out renting a small office above Biggin Scott in St Kilda. I went out on my own with one project in hand and hoping that work would then flow on from that project, which fortunately did happen.”

Over the past two decades, Mr Weber has seen plenty of change in the industry, with trends coming and going as design directions shifted and evolved. 

In time, he found a niche in contemporary design, which was cemented when he was awarded a Certificate of Commendation for Outstanding Residential Development in the City of Glen Eira and also won the 2009 UDIA (Urban Development Institute of Australia) award for Best Residential Development of 250 lots or fewer.

“There have been a number of genres in architecture over the past years, with each impacting on most designers in some way,” he said. 

“With myself, I have gravitated more towards contemporary architecture, although I have been known to design some very classical looking buildings as well.

“I design various projects from additions and alterations, new houses to 14 storey residential towers. Each project has its own challenges and it is meeting those challenges that give me the greatest satisfaction and enjoyment.

“Today, one of the most enjoyable parts of my job is the creative aspect of it – I find it extremely gratifying when we follow the process from being given a brief from a client to massaging concepts and ultimately realising my client’s needs and dreams. 

“Having something I initially conceived on paper finally grow into a three dimensional object is the coolest feeling ever.”

The latest real-life embodiment of Mr Weber’s drawings is 123 Acland, located on its famed namesake in St Kilda. The architectural firm’s latest project is a residential boutique development which seamlessly combines its vibrant surroundings with impeccable build, with the project team also involving Element Five and The Chain Group. 

Apart from heading Amnon Weber Architects, he also directs interior design company Amnon Weber Interiors, a vibrant company specialising in contemporary interior design. 

Despite spending so much time in the industry, Mr Weber still finds inspiration in day-to-day life, gaining insight from today’s design forms and methods. 

He also says that nature is one of his inspirations due to its simplicity, saying: ““What inspires me? Beauty in form, great design, the simplicity in nature, and finally, delivering on a client’s brief!”

After all his experience in the industry, one of the most important lessons Mr Weber learnt was maintaining good work-life balance. After coming to the realisation that he couldn’t do it all, his business was expanded to include the architecture industry’s top up-and-comers.

“When it comes to architectural work, my philosophy is that no man is an island,” he said. “I employ a number of young, energetic architects and designers, with each one helping and contributing in their own way when it comes to producing the ultimate design resolution for a specific project.

“This gives me more time to enjoy my hobbies outside of work – I ride a “chopper”, which is a motorbike imported from the United States. I have just started learning to play the guitar and am also now looking to take up photography very seriously.”