cm studio is an award winning multidisciplinary architecture studio based in Sydney. Founded by Christopher Glanville and Megan Burns the studio creates elegant and livable spaces.
We chatted with Megan and Chris to uncover what makes these creatives tick.
Tell us a little about your backgrounds – what path led you to where you are now?
MB – I grew up in Sydney, straight out of school I did a Fine Art degree majoring in Sculpture at Sydney Uni. From there I went straight into architecture at Sydney Uni, I always wanted to be an architect just took me a while to figure out what was right for me! I think I was always destined to have my own business, I really enjoy the business side, marketing all that as well as the day to day design, site work that we do.
CG – I too grew up in Sydney up on the Northern Beaches. Straight out of school I went to the University of Sydney, where I studied architecture alongside Megan. During my Masters of Architecture I had the wonderful opportunity of studying for a semester in the United States. Megan and I always talked about working together, taking the plunge to start our business before our careers had really even started allowed us to create a work environment now 3 years later that is tailored to how we like to work and is very fulfilling creatively and professionally which we are lucky to have at a relatively young age.
Tell us how cm studio came about?
We started cm studio early 2013. We had both been working for firms after finishing up our degree’s and Megan was approached to work on the Manly apartment project. We had worked together on a number of projects through our Masters of Architecture and had been working on ideas for Megan’s house that is now the Paddington Project!
We had not even been out of uni a couple of months and we had started work on the Manly project. We were able to use it as a springboard to start our studio, as the clients were very open to letting us drive the design aspect of the project and push the boundaries.
By using the experience gained through the Manly apartment project Chris got registered and we were able to register as an architectural practice. We had always planned on being multi disciplinary but use architecture as our basis of our practice and informs all our work.
How would you describe your interior decorating/styling aesthetics in your own homes? How does this compare with the “cm” aesthetic?
MB – I live near the beach that really informs the vibe of the styling. White linen, natural jute rugs, brown leather, marble and oak are the core finishes of my space. I have an interest in art, so all the colour in my space is from the art. My home certainly has elements that are aligned with the projects we work on for clients, its perhaps a bit more eclectic than most of our interiors.
CG – I live with my girlfriend and her sister, lets just say I am allowed little to no input on that front! Unfortunate but true!
Which designers, artists or creative people inspire you?
Designers – Vincent Van Duysen, Isay Weinfeld and John Pawson are all big inspirations.
What does a typical day involve?
Every day is different which keeps us on our toes! Usually we will have a couple of projects being built at a time, our days often start with site meetings first thing finalising details or overseeing the build. We then head to our studio in Darlinghurst and answer emails and get started on what we have lined up for the day.
We are pretty disciplined with how we map out our day, we have learnt this through juggling so many project at once. Often we are out meeting consultants, talking with council about various projects we have in approvals stage or heading to showrooms to source finishes or interiors elements. Somewhere in there we will water our office garden, snack on corn chips and have a chat with some of the other businesses we share our studio with.
What do you like to do in your downtime?
MB – Reading, chilling in the backyard, gardening, down at the beach with my boyfriend and harry our dog.
CG – I like to spend my down time with family on our farm, with my girlfriend at the beach, or with friends at Modus Operandi, a great brewery pub close to my house.
What’s coming up next? Any collaboration on the horizon?
At this stage we don’t have any collabs lined up, as it looks like we will have more than 10 projects building next year so it’s going to be busy! Just focusing on creating beautiful homes for our clients and keeping them all rolling along smoothly!
How did the Cross Street Project concept come about?
When we started out our first projects were through family and friends, our first couple of clients who were not family or friends we won because they were visiting one of our projects and able to experience our designs. We had also done a small apartment renovation in Bondi, and sold the property and wanted to do another in the area. When we did that Bondi project we hired some furniture for the sale process but finished it off with pieces from our own homes to really create the styling that we wanted.
When we found the Bronte apartment we developed the concept of creating a space styled with pieces from all our favourite suppliers in the local area so it looked like a project that we would have created for a client. Making it shopable, holding events that complemented the project and holding design open houses just flowed from there! It was lovely to showcase lots of suppliers and makers that we work with day to day and allow people to experience the pieces in a home context instead of a showroom space or gallery.
Building on the success of the Cross Street project, cm studio have partnered with the wonderful team at Living Edge to create the Paddington Project. This traditional terrace has been rejuvenated and revitalised and features sophisticated, minimalist interiors and styling. 51 Oatley Rd is a stunning transformation of a classic terrace into a beautiful modern home.
In addition to the collaboration with Living Edge, the Paddington Project features by a number of curated art pieces selected by Sebastian Goldspink, and floral art by Dr Cooper Studio. The Paddington Project will be open to the public, and entirely shopable, allowing you to engage with the architecture and its spaces, and purchase the art, and all the beautiful furnishings. All of the furnishings and decorator items featured in the Paddington Project can also be found online at Living Edge in the Paddington Project collection.
There will also be a number of different events held in the space, in late November and early December. Design open days begin Friday November 27th from 1pm.
Design Open Days: 1pm – 5pm
Friday 27th / Saturday 28th / Sunday 29th November
Friday 4th / Saturday 5th / Sunday 6th December
For more information head to Paddington Project.
Photographs: Caroline McCredie