CONVERSATION: ROB GRAY
Rob Gray of Graya Construction and Graya Developments is one of Brisbane's most respected builder/developers having built and renovated homes for high-profile clients such as Quade Cooper and Laura Dundovic, TV reporter Alison Ariotti and most recently Darius and Kayla Boyd. He took time out from his busy schedule to chat with Concrete Nation about their current projects, trends and building his own dream home.
It's exciting times for Graya. What are some inspiring projects you’re currently working on?
There are a lot of great projects at the moment but a really good one for us is the Rockbourne Terrace development. The traditional way of subdividing is to build two houses using the same architect but we have gone in a different direction and used two architects. The existing house Rhondda - designed by Myers Ellyett Arhcitects - is white and traditional and the other one on the new block - designed by Tim Stewart Architects - is black and architectural. They are both shaping up to be two of the nicest houses we’ve ever built. They are right next to each other and are chalk and cheese so it’s really interesting, visually.
What’s a key trend in building in 2018?
Curves. Curving wherever you can.
We have had the pleasure working with you on a few of your projects such as Mahara in Brisbane, and most recently your own home. Why do you think architectural concrete elements such as flooring, benchtops, furniture, vanities and basins have become so popular in interior design?
Traditionally, it’s been marble and products like that but they are overused. The beauty of being able to pour it means what you can achieve with concrete is endless. And raw concrete is a new palate, which I think is something that is going to stick around long-term.
You are known for rebuilding some of the worst homes in Brisbane’s best streets and reselling them. What has been one of your most challenging yet rewarding projects?
We became known for transforming two hoarder houses into multi-million dollars houses, which we went on and sold. Those were obviously a huge challenge but really enjoyable and rewarding. Since then, the most challenging project we have been working on is on one of the best streets in Paddington, which is where we do most of our work. Is a street called Upper Cairns Terrace, and it is actually my brother Andrew’s house. The complexity of the building works on the cliff is like nothing we’ve ever touched before. It is going to be a bit of game changer. It has been really rewarding being able to transform one of my favourite streets in terms of housing. Since we’ve started, a couple of others in the street have had the courage to do it, too.
You’ve incorporated concrete into your own home, which you recetly completed. What bespoke pieces did you use?
We have used a fair bit of concrete. We have it all through the kitchen – with the standout piece being the island - all of the vanities have integrated sinks, the kitchen has integrated sinks, some powder rooms have integrated sinks... It definitely adds to the look we are going for.
What’s next for Graya?
Everything on the drawing board is bigger and better. The market is strong at the moment, which is great for us builders. We are pushing boundaries on all of our upcoming homes.