The Tale of Kelvin Ho
Photography: Julie Adams Words: Georgie Abay
The Grace Tales is all about celebrating mothers but given this Sunday is Fathers Day, we thought this week wed focus on fathers. When we were brainstorming who to profile, Kelvin Ho of Sydney-based architecture and interior design firm AKIN Creative instantly came to mind. Partly because we shot his gorgeous daughter Harriette when the site first launched a year ago and she's utterly adorable. We also wanted to profile Ho because hes the man behind some of Australias most impressive retail destinations, hospitality and residential projects such as the newly launched Coogee Pavilion in Sydney.
Ho became a father for the first time in November 2012. "Fatherhood has given me even more appreciation for my childhood and upbringing by my parents," he says, adding that his favourite way to spend time with his daughter is walking to Bondi Beach or Marks Park and interacting with nature. "We love smelling flowers, watching clouds, swimming, playing on the grass and collecting stones," says Ho.
Looking back, he was always going to be an architect. I clearly remember being in grade two and the teacher asked us what we would like to be when we grew up. I said that I wanted to be an architect, he says. From a young age I have been around architects who have mentored me and helped me navigate the industry." His advice to budding architects? "Make sure you love the industry and surround yourself with people that inspire you. Ho launched his company AKIN Creative back in 2005. I was 26 and my father fell quite ill (hes a workaholic) and it made me question how I was working. It inspired me to find my own path within the industry that suited the way I work and let me focus on the types of projects that I wanted to work on. Forming AKIN Creative was the platform for this new direction of my career.
On his favourite project, Ho says: Its hard to single out any one project as my favourite. They each are fulfilling in their own right. The new Coogee Pavilion is an ongoing project that has been keeping me busy. We have just opened stage one which has been a success and really well received by the local community. Hes also recently launched new stores for APC, Lover, bassike and DION LEE and is working on a new production with the Australian Ballet, which will launch in Melbourne and Sydney in 2015.
Who does your daughter take after?
Harriette takes after Jacqueline. She is very caring and sensitive and is very funny!
Whats the best advice youve been given about fatherhood?
To put yourself in their shoes it shows you that children, despite their age, are very knowing and understand everything. The inner wisdom of a child is quite incredible.
What is the best moment of the day?
When Harriette wakes up and we play with her teddies and read books together.
How would a good friend of yours describe your work?
Thoughtful and uncomplicated with a sense of warmth.
Which architects do you admire the most?
I admire the work of many architects. John Pawson, David Chipperfield, Marcio Kogan and Peter Zumthor are some of my favourites.
Kelvin wears Alexander McQueen jumper, $1590, and Balenciaga jeans, $525, from Harrolds in Westfield Sydney, (02) 9232 8399. Harriette wears bassike mini top, Seed tights and her own skirt.
Kelvin wears Maison Martin Margiela T-shirt, $270, and Balenciaga jeans, $725, from Harrolds in Westfield Sydney, (02) 9232 8399. Harriette wears Saint James top and her own tights.
Kelvins little list of loves:
Taking Harriette on the flying fox at our local park.
Walking Lily, our family pet.
My drafting table and designing.
Making orange juice with Harriette.
Researching old cars Porsche in particular.
Going for a run.
Early family dinners at Coogee Pavilion.
Down time with the family.
Lying down and reading books with Harriette.
To read more, click on the below images to open the gallery.