Phoenix Takes 5 With… Arki Building Group’s Brad Ryan
As part of Phoenix Tapware’s new interview series with key designers, architects, builders and plumbers, we take five minutes with Brad Ryan, founder at Arki Building Group, based in Brisbane, to chat about his career, inspiration and current design trends.
How did you get started in the building industry?
I started in the building industry after completing year 12 in 2001, I had never questioned my career path knowing carpentry and building was the direction I would follow since I was a child. I was given the opportunity to complete my carpentry apprenticeship with a great mentor, one who helped me grow and establish my foundations in the industry.
Apart from learning general carpentry skills I developed a strong work ethic, attention to detail and the understanding of the importance of impeccable teamwork. Following on, I was able to spread my wings as a qualified subcontract carpenter working on high-end residential projects for many years, eventually becoming foreman and running projects to a value of five million dollars.
I had always endeavoured to start my own company, however I wanted to make certain I had the skills and financial means to ensure its success for my clients and myself, and so Arki Building Group was born in2016.
What does a typical day look like for you?
What I love about my job is that every day is different, but a typical day involves an early breakfast and out the door by 6am. I meet my team onsite where we run through the daily tasks. You can find me on the phone liaising and organising meetings with clients, architects, and the various sub trades.
I do love to work on the tools and still have some opportunities to make this happen where I can. I like to ensure that the site is running with precision and cleanliness is a top priority. I’m lucky to share the same values with most of the sub trades that we work with.
What are your favourite types of projects to work on?
Our favourite types of projects to work on are new builds and renovations for some of Brisbane’s best architects. A carefully considered project with fine attention to detail excites us. We love being involved in outside the box designs where we can utilise our skill mix. Arki Building Group celebrates collaborating with the client and the architect from the outset; we find this provides the best possible outcome.
What do you find to be most rewarding about the industry?
What I find most rewarding about the industry is adding to the growth of Brisbane and watching our city evolve while still incorporating the history. Arki Building Group has a strong emphasis on team culture, and we love to encourage one another with our goals.
The opportunity to pass down the carpentry craft to eager apprentices is very fulfilling. Watching an apprentice develop their skills and build confidence both professionally and personally is one of the biggest privileges within the industry.
What currently inspires you and your work?
We are continually inspired by the challenges of difficult sites and detailed design. We love to see the use of simple materials with the emphases on the design, detail, and the quality of the workmanship. Working closely with architects presents an opportunity to refine the detail in a cost-effective manner. Proving that it is possible to create great design without straining the budget.
What is your favourite project to date that you’ve worked on?
Our favourite project to date would be our Duke project in Bulimba for Base Architecture. This was a great example of collaboration between the clients, architect and engineer to deliver the project on budget without compromising on the design. We really like the play of different finishes and materials, these combined created a modern contemporary yet low maintenance home.
Built on a relatively small block the home is spread out over three levels to include four bedrooms, three bathrooms, two living spaces, laundry and a three-car lock up. Duke Street is a truly unique home breaking the streets traditional vernacular.
What are the greatest or most important lessons you have learned along the way in your career?
I have learnt many important lessons throughout my career however I find communication to be one of the most significant. Ensuring that the lines of communication are kept open between our clients, architects and myself maintains trust and builds strong, lasting professional relationships. With all parties being on the same page encourages regular open dialogue and clear expectations can be set and met from beginning to end of the project.
What kinds of trends/ client requests are you seeing in kitchens, bathrooms and laundries?
The kind of trends and client requests currently are the continued use of black, white and timber to create that timeless look. Rejuvenation on the Midcentury Modern theme is seemingly popular with the use of exposed members and natural finishes. Butler’s pantries in kitchens and pendant lighting in bathrooms remain popular.
We are finding that laundries are the powerhouses of the home and with that we are certainly seeing more emphasis on creating a more aesthetically pleasing space with plenty of storage.
Recently Arki completed a renovation in Brisbane’s suburb of Red Hill designed by Base Architecture. The luxe ensuite features Phoenix tapware and mixers and it boasts dual Laufen basins in a marble top, with a Phoenix Vivid Twin Shower.