Like his buildings, there’s more to Callum then meets the eye. At once disarming, with a ready smile and a quick wit, as you speak with him, you’re conscious that although he is here with you, engaged, his mind is racing behind the scenes, thinking, observing and formulating new ideas.
Founding Elenberg Fraser in 1998, Callum has a legendary ability to combine high-level design skills with commercially viable project outcomes. Inspired by sources as diverse as Ponti’s tour de force Villa Planchart in Caracas to George Lucas’ masterpiece in Star Wars, Callum’s design direction has both a playful intellect and deep-seated cultural appreciation. His design sensibilities are enhanced rather than compromised by his canny understanding of market forces: under his leadership, Elenberg Fraser has become a formidable and unpredictable force in the Melbourne and Australian architecture scene.
He has a personal interest in fusing the aesthetics of architecture with advanced research into passive building technologies. Consequently, Elenberg Fraser has spearheaded the architectural application of wind technologies that enable significant energy reductions and increased comfort for building occupants to be gained through design.
The legend may have left the building but the spirit remains. Zahava Elenberg founded Elenberg Fraser after graduating from RMIT. When you experience her piercing mind and quiet determination, it’s easy to understand how this woman has achieved so much, including receiving the Telstra Young Businesswoman of the Year Award in 2003, and together with Callum, the Ernst & Young Southern Region Young Entrepeneur of the Year for 2005. Since the practice’s beginning, Zahava has been a fundamental part of the growth and development of the studio. Although there was no conscious separation from Elenberg Fraser, Zahava remains a big part of the practice identity, although these days she is most likely to be found working on Move-In, her FF&E commercial fitout company, or writing film scripts for international blockbusters. Design is a part of every day for Zahava, as she says it never stops. She is still excited by Melbourne’s unique environment that affords big opportunities to young architects. In the future she is looking forward to continuing to ‘infect’ the Melbourne and Australian design scene and influencing the culture of the city’s urbanism.