“What people say they want might not be what they really mean,” says Chahid Kairouz, Architect and Managing Director of Melbourne’s C. Kairouz Architects. You must dissect the brief and really understand what the key drivers are. Often, the most successful projects are the ones where you deliver something that’s not necessarily what the client originally set out for.”
Robust communication with clients is a key focus for Chahid and his practice, enabling him to take a huge variety of complex projects at all scales. “Even though it is a tangible building that we deliver in the end, what we do is all about people. It’s all about inspiring people with a vision both in design intent and outcome... One of the greatest parts of the job is being able to be relied upon, to be trusted and to really impact people’s lives. When you do that once or twice it becomes like a drug; you're addicted to both helping and improving."
Chahid was perhaps always destined for entrepreneurship, though the architectural focus of that aspiration came a little later. “I came from a family culture where owning your own business was the norm. I started working for my father’s meat processing business at the age of 10. It became part of my psyche to eventually enter into a field where I could run my own business. I liked the idea of managing a team of people and all the processes that come with it. So, really, whether it was architecture or being an optometrist or a taxi driver, it was always the optimum pursuit to own my own business.”