Spending 15 years as one of Australia’s top professional ballroom dancers, Taras Wolf has an incredibly diverse background. From painting to graphic design to owning his own dance school, his career has spanned many artistic endeavours; yet he believes they’ve all contributed towards his favourite venture thus far, his architecture firm, Wolf Architects.
“It’s this broad background in all things artistic that gives Wolf Architects its greatest edge,” says Taras. “We are more unconventional and better communicators because of our history. Our team consists of people, like myself, who also have diverse creative backgrounds.”
Starting Wolf Architects almost ten years ago, Taras now leads a team of around 15. Together, they have made themselves known as leaders in Melbourne’s residential design scene, an area of architecture Taras favours for the fact that it is ”emotional work”.
“Our passion for residential work comes from my belief that the family is where we establish our ideals in life,” explains Taras. “Thus a home designed to nurture these ideals is a microcosm of all greater architecture. Understanding how to design a home helps me to understand life.”
Along with designing homes, Wolf Architects also has an art, sculpture and furniture side of the business, which Taras believes is intrinsically linked to their success as architects and designers. “That side of the business keeps us creative, energetic, refined and different,” he says. “All buildings must function perfectly but further to that, they need to also be beautiful and inspiring. An appreciation and understanding of art, sculpture and furniture helps us to make buildings more than just functional.”
Currently working on a mix of new homes, unit developments and renovations, Taras is constantly striving to satisfy his clients. For him, the best reward is seeing the elation in his clients’ eyes. “Winning awards is nice but I don’t believe it’s a clear reflection of how good the work is. Our work is incomplete if it does not deliver joy to its users, despite any awards or recognition it may receive.”
That being said, Wolf Architects have won their fair share of awards, receiving honours at the HIA-CSR Australian Housing Awards, IDEA Interior Design Awards, Asian Pacific Architectural Excellence Awards and the Bangkok Design Awards.
One such project that received a lot of that attention was The Wolf House, a space that does triple duty as their office, Taras’ home and a show home for potential clients to visit. With a focus on connecting the architecture to the interior to the landscape, The Wolf House is a prime example of Wolf Architects’ interest in creating holistic projects from start to finish. It’s the reason it’s one of Taras’ favourite projects.
For Taras, the clients can make all the difference to his work and fulfilment: “Working with clients who have passion for their lives and know how to express those lives within their home, that’s my dream project!”