About Habitusliving

 

Habitus is a movement for living in design. We’re an intelligent community of original thinkers in constant search of native uniqueness in our region.

 

From our base in Australia, we strive to capture the best edit, curating the stories behind the stories for authentic and expressive living.

 

Habitusliving.com explores the best residential architecture and design in Australia and Asia Pacific.

 

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Architecture
NOT HOMES
Places

Streat

Streat is a not-for-profit enterprise which provides homeless and disengaged youth with the skills to develop and sustain careers in the hospitality industry. Spearheaded by CEO Rebecca Scott, the organisation recently opened a freestanding cafe on the ground level concourse of Melbourne Central.
A successful Pozible campaign – the proceeds of which were matched dollar for dollar by The GPT Group of Melbourne Central – plus generous time and resource contributions from Six Degrees Architects, McCorkell Constructions Eymac Stainless and Online Upholstery, have resulted in a distinctive and enduring installation. “We were asked to create a flexible and economical structure with a strong visual presence,” explains Simon O’Brien, director at Six Degrees Architects. “Rebecca (Scott) also wanted to play with concept of ‘street’ reflecting Streat’s mission.” Given the tight budget and Streat’s request for a minimal environmental footprint, Six Degrees employed Trueform beams as the primary external material, using them in varying forms to dress the four-sided, black form-plybase. However, the bulk of the structure was built off-site, including the painstakingly-designed stainless steel interior, which satisfied all the complex requirements for storage and operation. Suspended Trueform beams were also used to fashion the cafe seating elements as well the suspended horizontal lighting “We often use materials re-purposed from another industry,” adds O’Brien. “They come with their own history, adding layers of interest to the design.” In this case they have painted alternating ends of the Trueform beams (many of them reclaimed) black and blue, referencing the manner in which they would be systematically sorted on a building site.   Six Degrees Architects sixdegrees.com.au Streat streat.com.auabc
Design Hunters
People

Design Hunter Q+A with Ten Things

Your name: Saskia and Libby from Ten Things What you do: We search the world to find beautiful and functional products for our online store. Whilst we sell more than ten items, our philosophy is about carefully selecting what we acquire and paring back our belongings to those things that we truly love. Your latest project: We are currently working on a new section of the website where we invite guests to curate their ten most treasured items. Who are three people that inspire/excite you: 1) Ai Weiwei: Chinese artist and activist 2) Augusto Boal: Theatre director, writer and politician 3) Edith Head: Costume designer What is your favourite… Car/bike/plane/boat model: Our grandfather owned a Grand Banks boat that we spent time together on as kids. They are a beautiful and distinctive design.  Chair model: The Eames Moulded Plywood Chair Residential space: Photographer David Moore’s house in Lobster Bay, designed by Ian McKay.  Commercial space: Liberty. We loved visiting this iconic department store when we lived in London. It’s a grand retail space with an eclectic range of beautifully designed products. Decorative product: Fresh flowers Functional product: The Victorinox Tomato Knife Handmade good: The Waxed Tote by Southern Field Industries. A functional, durable and beautiful bag. Mass-produced good: Camera meal: Anything Japanese café: Cornersmith, Marrickville drink: French champagne for something special. Coopers Green for everyday. bar: The Narrow Boat, London item in your studio: Our oversized whiteboard on wheels! Perfect for an old-school brainstorming session. piece of technologyOur Macbook Pros. As an online business we couldn’t survive without them! historical figure: Salvador Dali fictional character: Ernie from Sesame St vice: Chocolate Paddle Pops virtue: Determination and integrity What does the term ‘Design Hunter’ mean to you? Being on a constant search for products and spaces that have an inherent functionality or beauty. Items that will be with you for years to come. Spending time on this search and having the patience to wait until the best solution is found.abc
Architecture
NOT HOMES

The Wine Store

It comes as no surprise that The Wine Store carries a great selection of independent and premium wines, and, located in a heritage-listed building, the venue includes everything you could ever want from a wine experience (wine bar, cellar, bottle shop and South American inspired eats...) all in the one exquisitely designed space. That’s where Design Theory comes in.  

Design Theory is an emerging local practice with a portfolio of hospitality, residential and retail projects. The Wine Store, one of their recent projects, is a fantastic venue located in one of those great places (East Fremantle) that manages to seamlessly combine heritage, European influence, lifestyle and creative innovation. Drawing inspiration from this local context Design Theory has managed to design a space that stands out from the crowd.

 

The Wine Store is located in a heritage building that was constructed in 1905, presenting both opportunities and challenges for the brief. Design Theory’s Lisa Reeves comments that the focus for this project was “on creating quality spaces to be experienced and enjoyed.” Local influences, community aspirations and programmatic ingenuity were cleverly blended with the existing heritage fabric to create a sophisticated design outcome. 

The historical context was a major influence on The Wine Store, and after uncovering a book in the local library detailing stories of previous occupants, Design Theory discovered that the building itself had a lot offer. Introducing a palette of reclaimed timber, natural stone and leather with internal planting used to highlight interactions with the heritage building’s limestone walls (a strong regional vernacular) new layers become patent discoveries.  

Internally the furniture mixes classic design, second hand finds and custom pieces giving unique personality to the spaces – a direct extension of Design Theory’s inclusive client philosophy where transparency, trust and confidence are all key ingredients. 

 

Memories of late night drinks, exotic travels and local enthusiasm delicately haunt the venue to create a sequence of spaces that are a well crafted combination of atmosphere, materiality, light and texture. Design Theory and their clients have worked together to create an overall experience that entices you to a destination that is truly difficult to leave.

The Wine Store
thewinestore.com.au

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Happenings
Parties

AJAR Showroom Launch

AJAR's  objective is to present the best of International and Australian design to architects and designers, for both the commercial and residential markets. AJAR have scrupulously selected their range based on their strong design qualities, excellent craftspeople and idiosyncratic profile.

AJAR
ajar.com.au

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People
Design Hunters
Conversations

Profile: Iain Halliday

What attracted you to the world of design and architecture?

From an early age I was obsessed with my surroundings and my idea of what was beautiful & glamorous. The look of certain movies and television programs both old and contemporary were a fascination. James Bond always seemed to have the best cars, watches and toys. Bond villains always lived in Lautner houses or on private islands. Movies set in New York always featured penthouses. 

Who are the people alive or dead that you think are/were truly inspirational?

Such a difficult question – so many! 

Mies Van Der Rohe, Paul Rudolph, Halston, Josef Hoffmann, Constantin Brancusi, Gianni Agnelli, Tom Ford, Peter Marino, Anna Wintour, Yves Saint  Laurent, Donald Judd, Anish Kapoor.

How would you describe your signature style?

Appropriate, sure-footed, elegant & stylistically diverse.

What matters to you most in the work that you do?

Seeing a client that is happy with what you have produced for them, knowing that you were able to deliver your best in the context of their needs and budget.

Do you have a favourite residential project?

The Johnson – Nicols House in Whale Beach 

What is your design pet hate?

Acres of furniture from only one supplier mixed with a bad high rise flower arrangement and bad art hung too high up the walls (does that constitute 3 hates?)

What do you think works without fail?

Beautifully considered lines, attention to scale and an understanding of appropriate materiality.

You oversee a team of eighteen employees – what do you look for in the people you work with?

A genuine dedication to what we are selling – an understanding of proportion, appropriateness and quality. High levels of energy and patience.

You have had much peer recognition over the years. Is there a key moment that matters most? 

Probably not one but several –
The opening of Darley Street Thai Restaurant (1993)
The release of BKH Book 1 (2007)
The opening of BKH New York Office (2008) 

What would the future bring that would make your career complete?

A substantial commission in New York

 

BKH
bkh.com.au

Article courtesy of Temple & Webster
templeandwebster.com.au

 

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Architecture
Homes

Beauty in Imperfection

Above: The playhouse roof of Hern’s home pierces the sky like a concrete eco-rocketship

Known by his nickname, Hern, this 34-year-old dreadlocked Thai man makes an instant impact. With a playful personal style, Hern lives and breathes art with every fibre of his being. “For me, every day is a holiday. What I do does not feel work or a job to me.” Hern smiles and you feel the sincerity.

Hern plays with his dog, Plachon, while his assistant organises the day’s agenda.

In actuality, Hern is a very productive and prolific artist, with an abundance of ideas and plans. He lives out all of his artistic fantasies: “My art is crazy because my mind is crazy – I put everything in my head into my art and feel peaceful for a moment, until the noise starts again. It helps me get creative.”

Concrete and nature intertwine around Hern’s simple, yet functional, carport. 

The son of a carpenter father and farmer mother, Hern’s accepted success as an artist is relatively recent. He struggled to find his path and live from and through his art, but since 2009 he has been flourishing.

Born in 1977 in central Thailand’s Ayutthaya Province, Hern spent his childhood by the river, sketching and drawing in green and natural surroundings. He acquired technical skills and a love of wood from his father.

Hern created the doors and windows of his home to be utterly imperfect, yet this huge sliding main door appears the perfect gateway to his realm.

At the time, art wasn't considered a viable career choice in Thailand, and his family was reluctant to show support. His older brother went into the construction industry and his younger sister became a nurse. “I could have selected any job other than art and they would have been happier," he laughs. Yet, he still went to art college in Bangkok, and then moved to Chiang Mai some 16 years ago to study Fine Arts – and stayed.

Hern works primarily with functional art and re-purposing or recycling, including sculpture, painting, installation art, design objects and mixed technique pieces, such as his painting with a mounted TV shell, integrated working speakers and an MP3 player dock.

In the upstairs bathroom, Hern showers under the stars. “I grew up living amid nature, which makes me still always want to be close to it.”

Hern also brings art to the community as owner, director and curator of Gallery See Scape, his very own gallery/lounge/cafe/shop/ atelier, complete with quirky artist residence and a mobile art gallery in the form of an old converted Ford Sierra Jeep. “Art is a part of our life – I want to show art in everyday life. I believe everything around us is art,” he notes with a slightly philosophical, yet unpretentious, air.

Although Hern’s dog feels he rules the roost, Hern’s art is king, scattered across the floor and rugged white walls everywhere in his home.

He has a similar affinity with nature, and his recycling of old junk as well as his partially technicolour ‘Empty Land’ oil and acrylic paintings reflect his love of the

environment. Where others see junk, Hern sees treasure and the potential for great art. “I look at everyday objects and think about how I can use them differently, giving them a new or special function. I get inspiration from all around me.” Snooping around his home, gallery and ateliers, one gets an instant sense of who Hern is, and he is exactly as he appears. The pleasantly exhausting and chaotic nature of his art is balanced by the chilled persona of a truly contented individual.

Left: Wooden slopes and stairs jut and spiral their way to the top of the playhouse, as do the artworks and oddly-shaped windows and doors.
Right: The downstairs bathroom features one of Hern’s favourite colours, green – even in the tub.

When designing his home, Hern first stood in the empty plot of land and considered all of the elements before putting pencil to paper. For him, they all conspired to allow for his ideal living space. Hern drew inspiration from a child’s drawing of a house, with simple lines, tall sloping roof, and simplistic doors and windows – an oversized playhouse.

His home is a functional empty space, like a blank canvas or gallery, adorned with his art, very low-tech and utterly imperfect. Old rough, scratched wood blends with thick iron for surfaces; doors are damaged and illfitting; windows are unsealed; and plaster and above left | Wooden slopes and stairs jut and spiral their way to the top of the playhouse, as do the artworks and oddly-shaped windows and doors. above right | A bedroom for sleeping and nothing more, this is the only space in the home where art does not pervade walls and floors. paintwork are chipped, scuffed and patchy. “Life isn’t perfect,” he says. “If I had built a perfect space, I would feel far too serious. There is beauty in imperfection.”

A bedroom for sleeping and nothing more, this is the only space in the home where art does not pervade walls and floors.

To allow maximum space for art, his various shaped windows are small, in contrast to most new homes built with vast expanses of glass. Floors throughout are quite barren, aside from a few standing sculptures and minimal, eclectic furniture. His bedroom contains little more than a bed. The exterior walls with climbing vines are plain grey concrete. His open, outdoor atelier is strewn with finished and unfinished artworks, collected junk, old wood and metal scraps. A water feature is home to a solitary koi carp named Alone.

Hanging in his house is a series of paintings on rough-edge art paper that sums up his style of living: simple, yet special. Created while hanging out with a friend, the first shows playing a guitar, the second an art object, the third his friend reading, the next his dog sleeping (a wily bull terrier, ‘Plachon’ is translated as ‘snakeheadfish’), and lastly Plachon’s feeding bowl: play, create, relax, sleep and eat.

At the side of the house, an almost identical staircase, seemingly extended from the inside out, creeps up the wall with the greenery clinging onto the carport roof terrace.

“I live at times simple, sometimes special, depending on how I feel in the moment,” he says, perhaps subconsciously alluding to his budding relationship with his terribly famous Thai pop singer girlfriend, Praow.

Last year, Hern produced the interiors for Sukjai Thai and Middle Fish restaurants in Sydney and Melbourne respectively. In both cases, he reinterpreted the usual concept of Thai restaurants and culture to create something unique and contemporary.

Currently, Hern is working on an installation for the Richard Koh Fine Art Gallery in Singapore in mid-June. The concept focuses on ‘the day before an exhibition opening’, where the viewer is unsure whether the installation is ready or not, as it showcases handmade equipment replicas and cables that technicians use for mounting and displaying the works. In addition to further installations abroad, one of Hern’s main objectives for the near future is to continue supporting other artists through his gallery and increasing focus on his artist residency project. And another project is to build a small Chiang Mai art hotel-cum-artist residence to promote the exchange of ideas and experience between Thai and international artists. “It is important to constantly evolve and challenge myself,” he stresses.

Torlarp Larpjaroensook
hern-art.blogspot.com

Photography: Owen Raggett
owenraggett.com

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Architecture
Homes

Rolling Stone Landscapes

With a site enjoying stunning views of the Sydney Harbour Bridge from the front living areas of the home, the client for this project wanted to create a private space for entertaining family and friends Faced with the dilemma of a steep site,  Herald decided to set the level for the backyard so that it could be easily accessed from both the first and second terraces of the residence. This helped create a wet edge spill over wall to the pool and even presented an opportunity to construct an integrated sauna, which can be accessed from the lower level of the house. A glass spa is cleverly positioned to catch glimpses of the Sydney Harbour Bridge and is close enough to the main pavilion to ensure that people in the spa are connected to those cooking or enjoying the lounge. The main pavilion has been designed with entertaining in mind. The outdoor kitchen includes a teppanyaki style BBQ, pizza oven, sink and custom made fridge. A unique cantilevered dining table has also been incorporated into the kitchen bench. It extends out towards the buffalo lawn and ensures that the connection between the cook and their guest is maintained at a high level. A wood fire is included within the pavilion, allowing the space to be used even in during the cooler months. The colour and material palette for the project were based on the finishes and architecture of the residence. Large format travertine paving was selected for its hard wearing and low maintenance properties and to compliment the blue pool tiles. The structures are complemented well, with an array of selected foliage plants such as Agave attenuata, Ctenanthe ‘Grey Star’, Archontophoenix cunninghamiana and Liriope muscari. Privacy from neighbouring properties has been achieved by planting Acmena smithii ‘Sublime’ which is under-planted with Alternanthera dentata. The mix of colours and textures help soften the spaces and creates an interesting backdrop to the feature areas of the backyard. At night the garden is brought to life with carefully positioned lighting. Pool lights illuminate the large rectangular body of water transforming it into a deep blue, and the glass sided spa turns into a shimmering cube of aerated water. Subtle outdoor lighting highlights feature plants throughout the garden and creates a wonderful ambience. To finish off the garden an entertainment system has been incorporated, consisting of an LCD television and surround sound audio system which can be heard anywhere in the backyard. Rolling Stone Landscapes rollingstonelandscapes.comabc
Design Hunters
People

Design Hunter™ Q+A with Dean Angelucci

Your name: Dean Angelucci

What you do: Owner of Angelucci 20th Century, retailing an eclectic mix of product, focusing on vintage 20th Century design imported from Europe. Also included are contemporary bespoke lounge ranges, outdoor furniture and homewares.

Your latest project: development of a new low table for our range

Who are three people that inspire/excite you: 

     1)  My Wife, designer Lisa Gorman

     2)  Angelo Mangiarotti, particularly for his Eros marble table series

     3)  Architect Paulo Mendes da Rocha

What is your favourite…

Car/bike/plane/boat model: Almost all car designs by the Milan-based design house Zagato

Chair model: The Sheriff chair by Sergio Rodriguez

Residential space: Our own home by Nest Architects

Commercial space: The Parco dei Principi Hotel in Sorrento (Italy) by Gio Ponti

Decorative product: ceramics by Dame Lucie Rie

Functional product: KAI Santoku Chefs knife

Handmade good: A classic shirt by Christian Dior

Mass-produced good: The Bialetti percolator

Meal: Tinned Orazzuro Sardines on buttered sourdough toast with lemon juice and parseley. (Hangover-specific)

Restaurant: Impossible to have just one, living in Melbourne !

Drink: Victorian Pinot Noir

Bar: Enoteca in Gertrude st Fitzroy

Item in your studio: a Red pen

Piece of technology: Smart phone

Historical figure: Victorian convict/escapee William Buckley

Fictional character: Ferris Bueller

Vice: red wine

Virtue: My glass is always half full

What does the term ‘Design Hunter™’ mean to you? Pursuing the notion that ones’ reality is enhanced by the functional, beautiful, and sublime.

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Architecture
Homes

Royal Quarters

Designed by Benson McCormack Architects (BMA), Kings Apartments, Roseville has just been awarded two prizes by the Urban Development Institute of Australia’s (UDIA). BMA were successful in taking out the national prize in the Medium Density Housing category during March 2013 and in winning the coveted 2013 President’s Award for their Kings Apartments.

Judges at the National Congress held in Melbourne said: “Kings Avenue is praiseworthy for its lightness in the landscape both in its relationship to the landform and vegetation and to the neighbouring built form. Despite being six stories and spanning four lots, the building is broken up into a number of vertical and horizontal elements that allow the building to sit comfortably within the street scape of single storey detached bungalows. The building steps down the slope, never seeming to overly impose on its neighbours.”

First recognised in NSW by the Urban Development Institute of NSW in August 2012, these multi-residential apartments have now been awarded at national level by the UDIA for their outstanding contribution to urban architecture. Teaming up with the builder and developer Hone Construction, the architects say they wanted the Roseville development to hold a strong point of difference in the market.

The choice of Prodema for the Kings Apartments façade system was another important step according to Benson. “When it came to materials we were looking for a natural products that could reflect the characteristics of the site and provide a visually dynamic address to Kings Apartments,” he explains. The true timber veneer, in a deep rusty hue, was chosen to reflect the site's natural landscape setting.

The result of Benson McCormack Architect’s design for Kings Apartments Avenue is a sensitive development that blends harmoniously in the suburban landscape.

Benson McCormack Architect 
www.bensonmccormack.com

 

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Happenings
What's On

‘Birds With Skymirrors’ at Carriageworks

With a bold and ground-breaking stage vocabulary, Birds with Skymirrors is a dance reflection on the human relationship with the planet at a time of momentous climate change. The title is inspired by an encounter had be Ponifasio on the Pacific Island of Torawa, where he witnessed migrating birds carrying strips of deadly black magnetic tape in their mouths, which appeared akin to liquid mirrors reflecting in the sky.

Inspired by what was at once a vision of beauty and spirit of death, Ponifasio, who holds the title of a High Chief among the intellectual and spiritual leaders of Samoa, said: “I have prepared Birds with Skymirrors not as an environmental lecture but as a karanga, a genealogical prayer, a ceremony, a poetic space; a life reflection as a member of the human species sharing Earth’s process with all sentient beings.” When asked about the political dimension of his work, Ponifasio commented that " my aim is not to express a political point of view, I think if we create a space where people can sense their own sense of relationship with the world or their moral then its up to them to take appropriate action to live their life."

Ponifasio goes on to explain how he composes his performance, meditating on how it is crucial to understand a space and then build a dance for it, "the work is always about space, therefore light and dark is the main design element of thinking about space." Obviosuly, however, the human element needs to resonate within that space - "you can put all kinds of fancy lights on but if the dancer doesn’t inhabit the space it’s nothing."

Lastly, we ask Ponifasio about what he would like his audience to take away from a performance: "I don’t think there’s anything I want them to understand", he answers, "they’re experience is more important to me, if they have an attention or a silence, an absence of propaganda, to cut out the bullshit, that is for me the most important mission of why you go to the theatre."

Birds with Skymirrors transcends conventional ideas of theatre and dance and traverses themes of nature and the destructive power of the human race, without ingratiating to Western aesthetics or South Pacific clichés. Evocative lighting and video projections create an austere and mystical world, as the performers convey an urgent message – radical climate change is not an apocalypse about to happen; it is already here.

This performance at Carriageworks is the Australian premiere of the work and runs 1-4 May.

Carriageworks
carriageworks.com.au

Mau
www.mau.co.nz

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Design Products
Habitus Loves

Habitus Loves… Milan SDM 2013

Anomaly
Created by: Front for Moroso Why we love it: Curious, humorous and a little weird, Anomaly consists of a series of seats, the aesthetic expression of which is related somehow to animal forms or perhaps some unknown creature. The natural coloured leather is stretched over a wooden mould, while the foam inside is digitally milled to fit the shape perfectly and create a soft seat. Where you can get it: Hub Furniture
Bell Lamp
Created by: Marcel Wanders for Moooi Why we love it: The bell represents a very early and essential form of communication, generating a welcoming ring that brings people together for festivities and congregations. Echoing this communal connotation, the Bell Lamp blends classic and modern. Where you can get it: Space Furniture
Chou Lamps
Created by: Yonoh Studio for LZF Why we love it: Inspired by the film "The World of Susie Wong" the designers plunge us into the cinematic aroma of Hong Kong with the Chou series. An object that decorates any room with tales from the Far East. Where you can get it: Ke-Zu
Dalia
Created by: Marcel Wanders for Cappellini Why we love it: A poetic and contemporary armchair that resembles the shape of the colorful flower that bears its name. Its size, the inviting upholstery and its swivel base make it versatile and comfortable. Where you can get it: Corporate Culture
Foliar
Created by: Adam Cornish for Wovin Wall Why we love it: An elegant three-dimensional modular wall panel system, 'Foliar' is made up of flexible plastic forms with embedded magnets and adjustable leaf-like elements, which alter the effect of the surface. The design, inspired by nature, encourages play with its multi-textural surface, which can be read as flat, partially unfurled or as undulating foliage. Where you can get it: Wovin Wall
Lederam 2
Created by: Catellani & Smith Why we love it: Evocative of the beaten metal braziers of the pre-electrical world, the Lederam series of lamps pairs this historic motif with an elegantly minimal arrangent. Where you can get it: Hub Furniture
Oursin
Created by: Hella Jongerius for Vtra Why we love it: Oursin is both a spontaneous seating option and a decorative ottoman for lounge chairs and sofas. The shape and the ray-shaped pattern are reminiscent of the sea urchin that gave Oursin its name. Where you can get it: Vitra
Standard
Designed by: Francesco Binfaré for Edra Why we love it: Plush, deep and adjustable, the Standard offers a wonderful mix of elegance and lazy casualness.    Where you can get it: Element 26
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