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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
Homes

Bluff Modernism

Inarc Architects’ brief for the project was to design a holiday home which would in future could become a more permanent residence, thus the pragmatic essentialism of an occasionally used dwelling needed to be elaborated with a more complete set of amenities. bluff_house_10 The structure itself sits on top of an escarpment, accessing idyllic rural views to the North and the rugged seascape over nearby Bass Straight to the South. The site is located on a transition point between two geologies, resulting in significant landslip. To address this, deep-bored piers anchor the building to the crest of the allotment at the ground floor, whilst at the upper level, the floor plate cantilevers over the steep terrain below. bluff_house_8 As the architects explain, “The first floor plan is a linear arrangement of spaces kinked around existing trees. The cantilevered corners of the living room and main bedroom give the feeling of detachment from the building, a feeling of leaning over the edge.” bluff_house_12 The home’s starkly contrasting prospects inspired diverging facades to match the mood of their panoramas; as firm director Reno Rizzo comments, “the benign northern orientation has views over paddocks defined by rows of pine windbreaks with rolling hills in the foreground. This facade is clad in tailored narrow blackbutt timber boards and reads as an angular but warm and welcoming timber house. The more inclement southern orientation has resulted in a brooding and sharp composition of dark painted steel and glass.” bluff_house_1 The uniformity of external cladding and the jagged composition of walls and parapets evoke sculptural forms, with the essentialism of the material palette and pure geometry of parallel and perpendicular lines continuing inside. Grey tiled floors, Blackbutt floorboards, white acoustic ceiling and chocolate brown wall panels reinforce the subdued internal experience and the ever-changing external colours. bluff_house_2 The project demonstrates a pairing of striking natural setting and spare, modern architecture unusual to the Australian holiday home vernacular. Rather than aspiring to nestle in its surroundings, it proposes a bold, artistic addition to them, matching them not so much in aesthetic but in mood. bluff_house_7 Inarc Architects inarc.com.au Photography: Peter Clarke peterclarke.com.auabc
Happenings
What's On

Sculpture by the Car

Not often celebrated for their artistic worth or creative attributes, the peculiarly homogeneous materials that Sam Deal chooses for his works are, at first glance, meaningless and isolated. Individually, the objects are nothing more than  shapes, forms that are without character or significance. But when crafted and artfully recombined into relationships with function and rationale, these very same objects reveal a previously unseen purpose. Deal's works uncover their inherent value and beauty. SamDeal “I’m always on the lookout for interesting, unique objects,” says Deal, “I have huge piles of scrap metal just lying around my workshop – my space is full of all sorts of things.” Inspired to re-contextualize these objects, Deal’s keen explorations of their potential creates a sculpture where once static components now capture the intricate patterns of movement and life. “I guess you could say I create something from nothing,” continues Deal. SamDeal5 It is unsurprising then that his latest work exposes the unique componentry of car machinery in ways that edify and enhance the meaning of these everyday, unseen objects. Working with a Hyundai Velostar, Deal has found the poetry in the otherwise unremarkable pieces of machinery that make-up something as everyday as a mass-produced car.“A big part of the way I work is to use found and recycled objects,” says Deal of his unique process, “so, with the car being the biggest found object in this project, I had to go about transforming not only the shell of the car, but also it parts, and give them new meaning.” SamDeal4 The result is a sculpture reinforced by the kinetic and driving energy found within its metallic veins. Now on show as part of Sydney’s annual Sculpture by the Sea exhibition, where Hyundai is a major sponsor, Velostar demands artistic attention, compelling engagement and intimacy with objects often un-seen and un-known. SamDeal2 “This was a piece which evolved through the process itself, it literally grew out of the process of sculpture making,” says Deal of the final product. “I just let my imagination run wide.” By embedding Veloster with a unique personality, Deal has challenged the pre-conceived ideas of what can constitute a sculpture, and has in the process combined un-conventional materials in new and stimulating ways. SamDeal6 Deal’s sculpture is one of more than one hundred works to be installed along the Bondi to Tamarama coastal walk in Sydney, as part of the annual Sculpture by the Sea project. The outdoor exhibition, now in its 17th year, runs from October 24 to November 10, 2013.  Sam Deal samdeal.net Hyundai hyundai.com.au Sculpture By The Sea sculpturebythesea.comabc
Design Hunters
People

Design Hunter Q+A: Raf Maes

What you do: President and Co-Founder of KOMONO. Your latest project: My little girl Suvi Who are three people that inspire/excite you: 1) Steve Jobs 2) Bruce Lee 3) Kelly Slater 
What is your favourite… Car/bike/plane/boat model: 1964 Porsche 356/Honda Dick Mann CB750/Airbus A380/RIVA ISEO Chair model: Charles and Ray Eames Lounge Chair Residential space: Sheats Goldstein Residence by John Lautner Commercial space: New Museum in NYC Decorative product: Man Ray Mirror Les grand trans-Parents (Simon Gavina)
 Functional product: Konica Hexar Silver analog camera Handmade good: Solidignoti 3D objects by Antonino Sciortino Mass-produced good: iPhone meal: Spaghetti a la Vongole restaurant: Veranda in Antwerp drink: Gin and Tonic bar: Vitrine in Antwerp item in your studio: Donic Table Tennis racket piece of technology: Apple MacBook Pro historical figure: Thomas Edison fictional character: “The Dude” – The Big Lebowski vice: Belgian chocolates virtue: good food What does the term ‘Design Hunter’ mean to you? The quest for good things in life.abc
Furniture

Flute

A coffee table characterised by simple and clean shapes, Flute's simplicity makes it suitable for a range of interiors and spaces. poliform_nov_adv_flute_5 Short and sweet – the Flute coffee table is the pint-sized version of its dining counterpart. It has a wide, circular top with a base half its size, connected with an hourglass stand. poliform_nov_adv_flute_2 Designed by Roberto Barbieri, Flute is a timeless piece of design. poliform_nov_adv_flute_3 Poliform poliform.it    abc
Design Products
Furniture

Karton

karton_nomad_officeThe results are amazing: living, working and storage solutions made entirely from pulp. karton_nomad_2 Showcasing the very best in cardboard furniture from around the world and available in Australia for the first time, Karton invites you to forget everything you think you know about cardboard: each of their flat-packed paper stack folds to reveal an impossibly strong and exceptionally handsome way to work, sleep, sit, store and live. karton_bedroom With a clever system of folds and tabs, each Karton piece makes assembly easy, with no tools or glue required. And the results are stunningly simple. Move it, store it, recycle it or leave it exactly where it is, cardboard has never looked so good. Karton kartongroup.com.auabc
People
Design Hunters
Conversations

Shipping News

Before Nicolas Chiew and Michael Geraghty met up for a now-memorable chat at a café in Avalon Beach, Sydney in 2011, it is likely that neither could have envisioned their professional paths being so thoroughly conjoined just a few years later. What arose from that fateful discussion ultimately became the basis for Colonial Trading Company, a unique Australian outfit that specialises in importing recycled timbers procured from decommissioned warehouses, unused kampong houses and old fishing boats in Chiew’s native Malaysia. colonial_trading_company_4 Following a recent launch in Sydney that artfully showcased sample hardwood timbers in the form of a pre-fabricated pergola, the company has piqued the interest of everyone from architects to furniture-makers. A prolific collaboration with Australian landscape designer Charlie Albone at the recent Australian Garden Show didn’t hurt either, keeping the spotlight trained on the company’s timeless, one-of-a-kind wares. colonial_trading_company_7 But far from being a mere supplier of exotic wood products such as unseasoned eucalyptus timbers and rose gum, the Colonial Trading Company’s real allure lies in its role as a purveyor of narratives; whether its salvaged goods are reimagined as bespoke tiling or the rustic interiors of a stylish new Chinese eatery in New South Wales, colourful stories – including those of its founders – are ultimately being celebrated through each respective resurrection of weathered quality wood. colonial_trading_company_2 Hailing from Kuching, Sarawak, the vernacular architecture of old kampong or village houses is a backdrop that resonates with Chiew. A child of mixed parentage – his father is Malaysian-Chinese while his mother originated from Australia - he’d spent much of his childhood vacationing in traditional longhouses and pared down beach bungalows with his family; vivid impressions of these simple, idyllic structures continued to punctuate his memory long after he left the city, acquired a background in engineering, and co-founded a telco business. Around the time that Chiew sold his stake in the business and was eager to involve himself in a new venture, he met and bonded easily with Geraghty over shared memories of his home country. colonial_trading_company_3 Australian by birth, the latter lived and worked extensively in various parts of Malaysia over a 15-year period before returning to Sydney. Geraghty had grown well acquainted with the lay of the land, cultivating in depth knowledge of Malaysia’s diverse terrain through his years as a seasoned oil palm industry professional. Enchanted by their connection to heritage and ancient customs, he found himself lamenting the fate of these historical dwellings whenever he’d hear of one that had succumbed to the pressures of modernisation. colonial_trading_company_6 “From the outset I was fascinated with the architecture and construction of early kampong houses, and subsequently upset every time I saw one being pulled down,” he recalls. “[My wife] Judy and I would wonder why they did not re-use the timber, and we are talking about the most beautiful hardwood timber species in the world. I would often tell myself that one day I would set up a business recycling this discarded timber,” colonial_trading_company_8 Steeping themselves in the complexities of an import and export business, Chiew and Geraghty utilised their understanding of the country’s cultural and geographical workings, and their extensive network in both Australia and Malaysia to ensure that shipping, as well as the ethical procurement of suitable timber species, could go off without a hitch. “It is primarily due to my close relationships, knowledge, and love of Malaysia, which is built on a foundation of many years, that makes this all possible,” says Geraghty. colonial_trading_company_5 Carefully orchestrated logistics aside, the Colonial Trading Company is, at its heart, propelled by the idea of giving back to a country that continues to hold many emotional ties for both founders. It is essentially this devotion to heritage and the land that set its wheels - or rather, its metaphorical sails - in motion, giving Malaysia’s humblest splendours their due.   Colonial Trading Company colonialtrading.com.auabc
Design Products
Furniture

Introducing Weylandts

Weylandts offers a globally curated mix of products, known predominantly for their contemporary quality designs sourced from different corners of the world. The product range fuses raw materials with modern designs and sustainable techniques - and is merchandised to inspire and surprise. weylandts_5 The Melbourne Weylandts store will be a destination in which furniture, homewares, food and fashion coexist. The store will house The Kitchen, a chic Fusion Bistro that will feature fresh, seasonal free-range produce, complemented by wines, olive oil and lemon juice produced on the Weylandts’ Franschhoek family farm, Maison. weylandts_7 “I have always known that Australia and South Africa share a similar appreciation for the home and good living, and in particular, Melbourne with its culture centred on design and the arts. I knew that it was the perfect location for the first Australian Weylandts store,” says CEO and owner Chris Weylandt. weylandts_3 Conceptualised in 1964 in Nambia, what started as a small family-run furniture store has led into the global expansion of the brand. Helmed by Chris Weylandt for the past 25 years, Weylandts has grown into an internationally renowned lifestyle destination, offering a unique in-store retail experience. Walk into any one of Weylandts’ ten stores around the world and it is easy to get a sense of the Weylandts-self. weylandts_1 The four pillars by which Weylandts operates are Quality, Sustainability, Value and Design, asserting that quality should be paramount, even when no one is looking - something that is evident in everything Weylandts does. Behind The Scenes: TM Collection Launch from Weylandts on Vimeo. Weylandts’ Melbourne store will open at 200 Gipps Street, Abbotsford on 15th November. Weylandts weylandts.com.auabc
Architecture
Homes
MAGAZINE

Poem in Black & White

Hero: Top level sitting room featuring a Tunnel coffee table and Bridge desk by Piero Lissoni, Marc Krusin and Carlo Tamborini for Glas Italia, from Space Furniture; vintage telephone from Sydney Antique Centre; black wall lights Serge Mouille. It used to be a grocery warehouse servicing the corner stores of Sydney’s city fringe suburb of Surry Hills. It was double-fronted, with one, a loading dock at the end of what is now a pretty cul-de-sac of restored terrace houses and a mysterious sandstone retaining wall at the end; and the other, facing north onto a through-street. The internal width of the house is 4.65 metres. As Ian Moore points out, once the guest bathroom, laundry, storage, the stair to the upper level and the minimum width required for the garage were taken into account, there remained just 10mm for the wall between the garage and the stair. “What could I use which was 10mm thick which could hold the house up?” Moore asks rhetorically. The answer was a 10mm thick steel plate structure which forms the entry portals, the stairway wall, the kitchen surround and the floor-to-ceiling bookcase in the main living area – thus defining the functional and aesthetic character of the house. strelein_warehouse_1 The garage entry with the address laser-cut into the steel portal. In fact, the upstairs is wider than the downstairs, but has been brought in to match the downstairs width, mainly in order to accommodate the steel columns in the walls which support the steel beams needed to open up the roof. But for Ian Moore, who originally trained as an engineer, the difficulties thrown up by re-inventing an inner suburban warehouse are simply creative challenges, especially given his portfolio of supremely elegant houses and apartment buildings. strelein_warehouse_3 The kitchen looks down on to the visitor entry and main living area. Kreon track lighting from dedece. The catalyst, in this case, was his client who, after hunting around for some time, asked him to come and take a look at the warehouse. “I said ‘It’s perfect’. She said she’d go to the auction and asked me what she should go to. I said, ‘Keep going until you get it.’ Which she did, thankfully.” Thereafter, the client remained at arm’s length, giving Moore the simplest of briefs: “All I want is a black and white Ian Moore house with a very well-lit bathroom and a big bath.” strelein_warehouse_8 Marcel Wanders Dream bed by Poliform; Eero Saarinen Tulip bedside tables by Knoll from dedece. From this simple brief has emerged what could be described as a poem in black and white. This tonal counterpoint works in tandem with a splendid manipulation of space and light to make the house absolutely right for what it needs to do – not too big and not too small, private but never claustrophobic, compact but flowing and providing the opportunity for two people to have their own personal space when required. The front door is the old cul-de-sac loading dock, but now with a massive, pivoting translucent glass door. This opens directly into the main living space and a black steel stairway which leads up to the next level (with the kitchen and the other loading dock, now the garage with laundry, storage and guest bathroom) and then continuing on to the upper level with a sitting room, bathroom and the only bedroom. strelein_warehouse_2 Visitor entry featuring the floor-to-ceiling steel bookshelving, Antonio Citterio Mart armchair by B&B Italia, from Space Furniture; vintage Eero Saarinen Tulip side table by Knoll from Shapiro Gallery, restored by Your Home Design. The ground floor living room is framed on the street side by an impressive black steel plate floor-to-ceiling bookcase, and on the other side by a steel plate-framed banquette above which is the galley kitchen. A steel portal frame – yes, 10mm thick – runs up the two levels and encloses the stairway to the upper level which helps create a great sense of adventure as one climbs the stairs into the light that suffuses through the upstairs translucent glass windows. strelein_warehouse_5 Stairs to the top level are a steel plate frame. The warehouse had been bought by an artist in the 1970s, who then converted it to a studio and residence. The bedroom and living room were upstairs. “We have added the bathroom,” says Moore. “We just got a big can opener, got the roof and cranked it up, so it is flooded with light.” The bathroom Moore describes as a “major success”. It sits between the upstairs living room and the bedroom, a floating black cube (the joinery is black anodised aluminium), but with clear glass highlight windows on the three interior sides and the roof jacked up on the southern side to accommodate a bank of electrically operated glass louvres which draw light in literally day and night. “You can get up in the middle of the night,” says Moore, “go there and you don’t need lights at all.” Black on the outside, inside the bathroom glows and reflects Moore’s on-going adventure with Corian which here includes the bath, the walls, the floor and the custom-designed basins. strelein_warehouse_9Handbasin is custom designed by Ian Moore in Corian; Cube WC by Caroma. The bathroom, says Moore, creates a sense of separation between the bedroom and the sitting room, but also a sense of containment for the bedroom. It also contributes to the black-and-white graphic poetry of the house because, as Moore points out, you can stand at the top of the stairs and see the black box of the bathroom and the black box of the stairway, while downstairs when you enter you see the black box of the kitchen. The garage has a white epoxy floor. But this was not possible on the upstairs timber floor where an epoxy finish would crack. Instead, Moore has used a rubber finish which not only softens the experience of moving around in the house, but offers a beautifully subtle variation – a warm off-white to complement the otherwise pure white of the house. Similarly, a series of black-and-white photos along the upstairs wall provides an intriguing contrast to the pure blacks of the new insertions. strelein_warehouse_7Upstairs sitting area with windows referencing the building’s industrial past combine with vintage Art Deco armchairs from Shapiro Gallery, upholstered by Recovery Upholstery; Kennedee sofa by Jean-Marie Massaud for Poltrona Frau, available from Corporate Culture. Deciding not to use curtains was an important factor in using the high performance translucent glass for the windows – drawing in modulated sunlight during the day and filtered light from the streetlights at night. When open, the bedroom window frames the outside Paperbark tree, but screens out the neighbouring houses. Otherwise, the black steel framed windows quietly reference the light industrial buildings typical of the precinct. Space, light, elegance and restraint – these are qualities I associate with Ian Moore’s previous work, and they are defining characteristics of this intimate house. As with his other, larger scale projects, light is used here to create the space. What distinguishes this new house is the way in which he has used black as a unifying graphic element. Like a De Stijl painting, the composition of the house is essentially musical with the tangible, assertive black line counterpointed against the intangible, fugitive white space to create the rhythm of space itself. Ian Moore ianmoorearchitects.com Photography: Iain D. MacKenzie iaindmackenzie.comabc
Design Products
Habitus Loves

Habitus Loves… Danish Design

Opera Pendant by Lightyears

Created by: Jørn Utzon for Lightyears

Why we love it: The Opera pendant is characterised by bright, downward illumination. But Opera also illuminates itself through the special gaps between the shades. This accentuates the pendant's decorative effect and makes a positive contribution to the overall lighting in a room.

Where you can get it: Cult

Breadbin by Wrong for Hay

Created by: Wrong for Hay

Why we love it: Suitable for either bread, or hats, this laminated beech container is a deep circular tub with a lid accessible via three finger holes. Clean, nordic elegance.

Where you can get it: Cult

Beolab 14 by Bang & Olufsen

Created by: Torsten Valeur and David Lewis Designers for Bang & Olufsen

Why we love it: Combining B&O's technical mastery with a sleek, playful design the Beolab 14 epitomises the innovation, pure aesthetics and attention to detail the Danish form is renowned for.

Where you can get it: Bang & Olufsen

Bistro by Bodum

Created by: Bodum

Why we love it: The groundbreaking BISTRO b.over Coffeemaker automates the popular “pour over” coffee brewing method for a delicious, flavorful brew.

Where you can get it: KitchenwareDirect

Möbius ring from Georg Jensen

Created by: Georg Jensen

Why we love it: The Möbius sterling silver ring is inspired by geometry and a magnificent example of post-modern innovation. Launched in 1968, Möbius is a great example of Georg Jensen design from the mid to late 20th century. It encompasses philosophy and beauty, an artistic creation that turns an unusual shape into a stunning piece of jewellery.

Where you can get it: Georg Jensen

In Between Chair by &traidition

Created by: Sami Kallio for &tradition

Why we love it: The interplay between positive and negative space is central to In Between - its back and side panels provide a concrete shape and support, but forms are created equally by the gaps in between them. In Between has a low-swung, crescent back- and armrest and a very slightly pitched seat pan. Both are balanced by the dynamically angled legs, resulting in an equilibrium of forms that makes In Between a contemporary design classic.

Where you can get it: Great Dane

'Grand Prix' by Kay Bojesen

Created by: Kay Bojesen

Why we love it: In 1938 silversmith Kay Bojesen’s first silverware made jaws drop, so pure was its profile and so pleasant its appearance. 13 years later the stainless steel range took First Prize at the World Exposition in Milan. From then on the range became known simply as "Grand Prix"

Where you can get it: Great Dane

Coppernix by Scanpan

Created by: Van Eijk & Van Der Lubbe

Why we love it: The Coppernox 28cm fry pan expands on traditional cookware with its unique construction. The base is impact bonded with a copper wedge for rapid and even heat distribution. The range features cast stainless steel handles with soft touch and comfortable silicone inserts and a internal mirror polished 18/10 stainless steel finish.

Where you can get it: Scanpan

For more fabulous Danish Design check out ‘Danish Design at The House‘ at the Sydney Opera House, from October 25 to November 11, 2013.abc
Design Hunters
People

Design Hunter Q+A: Emma Blomfield

Your name: Emma Blomfield What you do: I’m a Sydney based Interior Stylist specialising in online decorating so that I am able to offer my services to homeowners across the country, especially those in rural or regional areas with limited access to design services. (nestdesigns.com.au) Your latest project: A holiday rental apartment in Palm Beach, it’s a full fit out, right down to the corkscrews in the cupboards! As well as travelling the country to run decorating workshops in rural areas, it’s so great to meet so many lovely homeowners around Australia and see that my city clients and rural clients share many common decorating problems despite their locations. It’s been a really rewarding and inspiring experience so far, with three more workshops across the east coast booked in for the rest of this year. Who are three people that inspire/excite you: 1) Diane Bergeron 2) Sibella Court 3) Mia Freedman What is your favourite… Car/bike/plane/boat model: Aston Martin Chair model: The classic shape of the Bentwood dining chair Residential space: somewhere by the sea Commercial space: ditto above! Decorative product: flowers and candles, they finish off any room. Functional product: sounds nerdy and a bit silly but I really love my iPhone! Handmade good: pretty much anything I find on Etsy Mass-produced good: Lindt orange chocolate meal: wagyu restaurant: Pony in The Rocks drink: watermelon & mint cocktail bar: Baxters Inn item in your studio: my custom mouse pad! piece of technology: toss up between my iPhone and my Macbook. Both I cannot live without. historical figure: all through high school history, I was fascinated by Henry VIII and his six wives. fictional character: Cinderella. I believe in fairy tales. vice: my inability to finish dinner without having chocolate afterwards. virtue: intuition What does the term ‘Design Hunter’ mean to you? Someone who lives and breathes design, someone who doesn’t stop searching and learning among the world of interiors and design because it’s built into your psyche to continue finding out more and more about the world of design and broadening your skill set in the process.abc
Architecture
Homes

A Pod’s Potential

With a brief for a versatile extra residence able to double for other purposes when vacant, Takt | Studio embarked on a "modern interpretation of a traditional, timber-framed, fibro granny flat". Takt-for-Woonona-1 Added to a perfectly functional workers' cottage, the renovated house comprises a sleeping space, a bathing space, and a combined kitchen, dining and living space. When vacant the space is utilised for a range of activities, spanning sunny morning yoga, private study, reading and art projects, and extra living space and bathroom for parents and teenagers. Takt-for-Woonona-3 Separate from, yet part of, the existing family home, the new structure is linked to the main dwelling by a covered deck. Architecturally, the defining aesthetic is, as Brent Dunn and Katharina Hendel of Takt explain, "a series of portal frames ... used as the main design element to give rhythm to movement along the space - closer together around private functions, and stretched further apart in more social spaces." Takt-for-Woonona-6 'The Pod', as it is affectionately referred to, connects to the surrounding landscape through extensive glazing, which accesses dynamic and seasonally varying views of the escarpment. A solid wall to the south protects against cold winds, and the northern glazing and skylight create a sun trap in the winter months while being shaded in summer. Takt-for-Woonona-4 Materially, the project pushes the capabilities of timber, with hardwood portal frames hand charred to create a unique and intrinsically durable finish. The client was also interested in incorporating rusting steel into the design; in response to this, the architects managed to source cladding left-over from the Museum of Old and New Art, (MONA) in Tasmania. Takt-for-Woonona-7 An unusually high level of client engagement with the building process saw architects and family working together to finish and apply timber elements, while the Lego splash back was built entirely by the clients' daughter and friends. Takt-for-Woonona-8 The client was very pleased with the final outcome, citing a harmonious client-architect relationship as a defining factor – "They gave us the confidence to do things that were a little out of our comfort zone and we trusted them that the end result would be worth it - which it was". Takt | Studio for Architecture takt.net.au Photography: Shantanu Starick thepixeltrade.comabc