Getting to Know: Architect Jess Walker on Killing Eve and Turkish baths

As the creative force behind architectural firm Bureaux, which she founded with friend and fellow architect Maggie Carroll in 2010, Jess Walker has a cultivated eye for design. Here we ask Walker to look beyond blueprints and reveal her plans for happiness.

My personal style can be defined by as
A domesticated Monica Bellucci character on vacation in the Italian countryside.

The last thing I bought and loved was
An Akari H pendant light from the Noguchi Museum that I now have hanging in my dining room.

Jess’s dining room with her Akari H pendant light

My favourite room in my house is
My bath with the afternoon sun and a book.

My favourite app is
I am always slightly terrified but also fascinated by the Apple Health aps ability to have more of a grasp on what my body has been doing than I do.

An indulgence I would never forgo is 
Scented candles.

John Lautner’s Sheats-Goldstein residence

An unforgettable place I visited was
American architect John Lautner’s Sheats-Goldstein residence in Los Angeles.

Maison de Verre

Next place I’d like to go to
Maison de Verre in Paris.

If I had to limit my shopping to one neighbourhood in one city it would be
Omotesando, Tokyo.

Brookbanks windows

An object I would never part with is
I have a number of special artworks made by clever friends – if I had to pick one it would be a sculpture of windows by Stephen Brookbanks.

My style icon is
My style icons are a small number of women in my life who have brilliant minds, love to dance and love to cook. A fabulous dress, gumboots, cocktail in hand traipsing through the garden to collect herbs to garnish a lovingly prepared meal. This is my perfect woman.

The best book I’ve read in the last year is 
The Overstory by Richard Powers.

I can’t miss an episode of
Killing Eve.

In my fridge you’ll always find
Homemade condiments.

I recently discovered
That I am very happy being in lockdown, in my house, with my family. 

A gadget I can’t do without is
The robot vacuum cleaner I have yet to purchase that works well on timber floors and rugs and will tidy up after my dog and children.

Giorgio Morandi
Donald Judd
Anni-Albers

The one artist whose work I would collect is (if price is not an issue)
It’s far too hard to answer this question with just one – it would be a collection of perhaps Giorgio Morandi, Donald Judd, Tomislav Nikolic and an Anni Albers print.

The last meal out I had that truly impressed me was
Albertos Lounge in Sydney, followed a few days later by a perfect last supper at Bar Celeste the night before going into isolation and then lockdown, many nights ago.

The podcasts I listen to are 
I’m not sure I’ve ever listened to a podcast; I prefer to read or watch.

Kokeshi

I have a collection of 
Kokeshi – traditional Japanese wooden dolls. It’s a collection I have started for my daughter.

The best gift I ever received was
Peter Zumthor’s complete works – which comes in a collection of 5 volumes, which my husband lovingly lugged home from a bookstore in the US.

The beauty product I can’t live without is
Zoe and Bios face Oil.

The last music I downloaded was
John Prine

If I wasn’t doing what I am, I would be
A florist. 

My favourite pampering treatment is
A Turkish bath – preferably in Turkey.

Image credit: Header Image: Jackie Meiring

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