Michael Leckie - Leckie Studio
Guest of this appointment is Michael Leckie, founder in 2015 of Leckie Studio Architecture + Design. After a Bachelor’s degree in genetics, Michael received his Master of Architecture at the University of British Columbia, UBC, practicing for several years at Patkau Architects, having later a collaborative work experience with a colleague.
The young multi-disciplinary practice, based in Vancouver, embraces different typologies, single-and multi-family residences, renovation, hospitality design, boutique-interiors mainly realized across North America. Essentiality and simplicity characterize their energetic realizations, displaying an attentive sensibility towards details and the act of making.
Awarded several times as emerging firm by the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada, and the Institute of British Columbia, Leckie Studio has won in 2019 Architizer A+Awards, shortlisted for Dezeen and Frame awards, winning recently the 2022 Architectural Record's annual Design Vanguard. The projects of the practice are widely featured in publications including FRAME, Arcade, Wallpaper, Azure, among others.
A side project company, The Backcountry Hut, established by Michael and a partner, complements the practice, creating prefabricated modular prototype shelters, flat-packed sustainable structures, simple to be assembled and easy to be transported.
The conversation starts from the long journey that has led Micheal to study architecture, after a series of interesting experiences, as an undergraduate degree in genetic and microbiology and an adventurous, nomadic life, a network of knowledge and experimentations that have contributed to the individual character of his work.
We speak about the initiative of realizing prefabricate, mass-customizable small-scale cabins, a challenging opportunity of hands-on approach, creative design for young architects and about a new shift that the production is gradually witnessing. For a series of contingencies, economic factors and a diffuse rethinking of certain existential values, people seem motivated to consider alternatives to the increasingly densified and prohibitive urban situation, re-evaluating more liveable and affordable suburban areas and the economic cabins, easy to be assembled by any common person with no construction experience, offer an attractive complement of this new, possible model of life.
Full House, a multi-generational residence in Vancouver, a flexible space, plenty of green and natural light, proposes another interesting topic, appropriately responding to our urban dystopian scenario. The attention focuses then on a recent realisation, the University of British Columbia Arts Student Centre, winner of this year's Architectural Record’s Vanguard award, an iconic, contemporary and essential gesture, well expressing the core mission of ‘common ground’ it embodies, promising an innovative and collaborative active space.
We then explore the whimsical, special atmosphere created for a new-born cosmetic clinic, a beautiful, soft, monochromatic ambience evoking freezing moments of cosmic geological silence, inspired by the ‘Quarries’ of the famous photographer Edward Burtynsky, and the surrealist works of Matthew Barney. An interior particularly original and appropriate for the treatments of the clinic, well expressing the brand’s identity, and its core values.
Micheal concludes by explaining his idea of an aesthetic driven by pragmatic considerations and his aspiration to a biophilic design, in respect the client’s expectations.