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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Design Products
Accessories

Birdcabin by Tait

Material mainstays at Tait - Spotted Gum timber off-cuts salvaged and reused from the Tait factory floor and a single piece of steel that has been cleverly folded, form the sturdy Birdcabin structure. Like all Tait furniture and accessories, Birdcabin is built to last. The concept and sustainable design was led by Tait’s long-time Production Manager, Wayne Bell, (also a passionate gardener and bird enthusiast), who drives sustainability practices in the factory and spends a lot of time contemplating environmental initiatives and improvements. Birdcabin’s design and specifications have been closely informed by Wayne’s knowledge of the behaviours and nesting preferences of small native birds in collaboration with the Tait design team. Openings are carefully sized to allow a bird to fit in and feel safe, without being followed in by a predator, while the use of untreated timber addresses birdlife disdain of foreign smells. birdcabin_2 Hang Birdcabin in a partly shaded spot, ideally from a tree branch to boost the odds of a bird identifying Birdcabin as a safe posy. Alternatively Birdcabin makes a joyful addition to a balcony or veranda, and can be suspended from the ceiling. Tait madebytait.com.auabc
Architecture
Homes
MAGAZINE

Harbourside Hill Town

Above: The original façade by Wilkinson is visible from the street.  “What I really like about Wilkinson’s work,” says Luigi Rosselli, “is the fact that there was an approach looking to simplify architecture, to look for a very pure form. He was looking for a more organic type of architecture.” He points out that the plan and section of this house (built in 1936 for a doctor) is quite complex and conveys the sense of a house which has grown quite naturally over a period of time. “It is,” he says, “quite similar to what time does to a building – complexity gets layered with time.” harbourside_hill_town_2Steps leading from the street to the entry.  Wilkinson became foundation professor of architecture at the University of Sydney in 1918 and was soon after appointed university architect. Right up to the time of his death in 1973, Wilkinson was hugely influential and undertook many private commissions – domestic and multi-residential, ecclesiastical and commercial – in addition to his outstanding work at the University of Sydney. He was attracted to the vernacular architecture of the Mediterranean and colonial Australia. This interest manifested itself in various ways, including finishes, decorative elements and an easy connection between inside and outside. But it is also apparent in this house with its complex section and plan. This makes the house seem like a ‘family of rooms’. With his additions, Rosselli has responded to this sense of ‘family’ and highlighted the organic, or additive, character of the house to create a cluster of buildings linking together to form a little village. harbourside_hill_town_3Classic furniture and contemporary art in the main living room. “He always managed to keep the envelope quite compact,” says Rosselli, “by interlocking the different sizes of the rooms, the different heights of the rooms and the different levels. So, he would have a high ceiling height in the living space and a low ceiling in the bedrooms or utility rooms. This creates something akin to Adolph Loos, a Rubik’s cube type of structure with lots of steps. You go up to mezzanines and then go down with lots of different levels and split levels.” This house, he says, is a classic split level with the front part of the house at the lower end of the site and the back section half a flight higher. This reflects the steep site. The house steps up the site to a sandstone rock-face with a shelf on top. This is almost the height of the two-storey house and so was difficult to access. harbourside_hill_town_5The staircase was restored to its original polished concrete finish. The client is a collector – of paintings, books, rugs and, quips Rosselli, children. He has six. Accordingly, he had outgrown the house. So, the brief was to provide more accommodation to fit the growing family. But new possibilities kept presenting themselves until there were three DAs current for the house. This could have resulted in something of a mish-mash, but Rosselli was able to unify old and new elements through materials and a consistency of form. There is also a sequence of arrival and progress, both internally and externally – ultimately leading all the way up to the pool and pool house on top of the sandstone rockface – which links this cluster of semi-autonomous elements together into a miniature version of a Mediterranean hill town. harbourside_hill_town_4Children in the breakfast room, which showcases pieces from the residents’ art collection.  The restoration work left the lay-out of most of the rooms intact – only the kitchen and laundry areas were re-worked, along with renovated bathrooms, under-floor heating and new lighting. Otherwise, shutters have been repaired and Wilkinson’s beautifully sinuous internal stairway stripped back to its original polished concrete finish. The new works began with the pool house, followed by a new family room (off the new kitchen and cut out of the sandstone rockface) and then the basements. “It was basically adding where you could add,” says Rosselli, “without impacting on the original Wilkinson footprint and original building forms.” harbourside_hill_town_6The staircase connects the interlocking levels of the house. The pool is now accessed by a stairway which makes its way up past a rain and stormwater retention pond (which filters the water for garden reticulation and for the toilets). The infinity-edged pool has sensational views out over Sydney Harbour, while the elegant pool house with its rendered brick pillars is more like a garden pavilion with more than a hint of Mediterranean classicism to link it to the house below. Steps and retaining walls throughout are all sandstone to sustain the sense of a Mediterranean hilltop town – reinforced by the way the library is cut into the sandstone rock-face, almost like a cave. harbourside_hill_town_7Left: The pantry and laundry makes use of clean lines and minimal finishes. Right: A renovated bathroom. The original garage at the bottom of the site was disconnected from the house and could house only one car. So, Rosselli has converted it into a children’s playroom, connected to the house by extending the internal stairway. The garage has been re-located to the garden, its roof forming a raised terrace and extension to the garden. The other addition takes restoration even further. It is the new entry gate – designed by Wilkinson, but never built for cost reasons. Rosselli has built the gate to Wilkinson’s design using authentic detailing salvaged from other Wilkinson sites. harbourside_hill_town_8One of the children’s bedrooms. Like a hilltop town, this house follows the contour of its steep site – so much so that it looks as though its has been cut out of the rockface, and its walls made from the excavated stone. And like a hilltop town it consists of a progressive series of landscaped terraces, connected courtyards and viewing platforms. This informal progress is reflected in the interior lay-out with its somewhat meandering plan linked by small transitional spaces which appear unexpectedly as the house sashays from one room to another or from one level to another as the staircase curves its way up. harbourside_hill_town_10The pool house references Mediterranean classicism, linking it to the house below. Not only has Luigi Rosselli been able to extend the house without compromising its original character, he has actually been able to further reveal that character by using sympathetic materials, respecting the existing geometry and by engaging with the dynamics which drive that character. harbourside_hill_town_9Looking down to the courtyard from the pool.  Wiston Gardens won the Woollahra Conservation Award, 2008 Photography: Justin Alexander justinalexander.com.au Luigi Rosselli Architects luigirosselli.com  ProjectTeam Luigi Rosselli, Candace Christensen InteriorDesign Interni InteriorDesignTeam Louise Bell, Shane Gogan HeritageConsultants Tanner Architects, John Oultram Heritage & Design Builder Sydcon Building Services Structural& hydraulics O’Hearn Consulting Archeology Asset Geotechnical Engineering GeotechnicalAsset Geotechnical Engineering Landscape design Andrew Pfeiffer & Associates, Circle Square Landscape Design Landscaping Bates Landscape ARTWORK Living paintings by Ralph Balson and Michael Johnson. FURNITURE Chairs in Breakfast Room, Warren McArthur chair from Spence & Lyda, spenceandlyda.com.au, and No 17 chairs by Thonet, thonet.com.au. In main living room, TV Chair by Grant Featherstone and in family room, Kone chair by Roger McLay, both from Ken Neale Twentieth Century Modern. FINISHES Windows and shutters by Artarmon Joinery, artarmonjoinery.com.au. Metalwork by La Maison de L’Art, lamaison_delart@optus.net.au. Joinery by Silkworth, silkworth@bigpond.com. Interior walls finished in interior stucco Marmorino from ID Colourfield, idcolourfield.com. Stone throughout is Mt White sandstone from Gosford Quarry, gosfordquarries.com.au, and Pellegrino from Homestone, antropez@gmail.com. Flooring interior timber floor is Tallowwood finished with Synteko Pro low sheen, synteko.com.au, and specialty concrete work to front entry floor by MJW Applications, mjwa.com. LIGHTING Lamp in children’s bedroom by Jieldé from Spence & Lyda. Other lighting throughout by Tangent, (61 2) 9698 5088. FIXTURES/EQUIPMENT Heating by Sun Heating, sunheat@optusnet.com.au. Hardware from Style Finish, stylefinish.com.au.com abc
Happenings
What's On

Deerubbin Architecture Seminar 2014

Above: Milson Island Sport & Rec Camp The Architecture Foundation Australia, which presents the annual Glenn Murcutt International Master Class and other educational initiatives, is organising a weekend residential seminar of good people and good architecture – staying all together, at the on the stunning Milson Island on the Hawkesbury River, north of Sydney. The theme will be ‘trace de la main’. “Whereas a Gothic cathedral will express the real and physical presence of the stone from which it was made, and of the masons who laboured over its construction so many years ago, very few modern buildings carry the same physical presence of the materials of which they were built. In short, ‘the trace de la main’, the evidence of those who built it, is not there.” - Peter Rice The seminar is inspired by a similar event attended by Peter Stutchbury and Lindsay Johnston in April 2013 - the Røros Seminar in Norway - which has been a biennial event since 1988. Hosted in the remote historic village of Røros, participants shared accommodation, creating great camaraderie and discussion. deerubbin_2 Milson Island Speakers will include Niall McLaughlin, award winning architect from UK and Ireland; Sofie Willems from young woman’s practice Spektrum Arkitekter in Denmark; the legendary Ian Athfield from New Zealand; and eminent Australian architects Kerry & Lindsay Clare, Michael Heenan of AJC – designer of the award winning sports hall on the island -  Rachel Neeson, Richard Leplastier and Peter Stutchbury. Friday 28 – Sunday 30 March 2014, with seminar convener and raconteur Lindsay Johnston. The fee is of $630 + GST ($693), which includes bunk house 2 - 4 people share accommodation, all meals (and modest quantities of beer and wine) and ferry transfers from/to Kangaroo Point, just off the M1 Freeway 50km north of Sydney, or Brooklyn Hawkesbury River Rail Station on the Newcastle Central Cast line. Probably only 80 places available. The event will attract 9 formal and 1 informal CPD point hours. For more informarion visit ozetecture.org or contact admin@ozetecture.orgabc
Design Hunters
People

Design Hunter Q&A With Darren Palmer

Your name: Darren Palmer What you do: I'm a speaker, writer and designer who also has his head on the TV as a Judge for The Block. I'm the brand ambassador for Carpet Court, myLJhooker and a charity called Young Care. Your latest project: I have 3 projects happening right now: a house in North Bondi - an amazing architecturally designed new build; another home in Woollahra - an equally amazing and exciting architecturally designed new build; and a large apartment in Elizabeth Bay on the water, which my client describes as "restoring the faded grandeur". I'm equally excited about each of them for different reasons, as they will all be beautiful when complete. Who are three people that inspire/excite you: 1) I'm married to my greatest inspiration. I'm a better version of myself because we're together. 2) The work of Christian Liaigre was an early inspiration for me. Such attention to detail and layering of textures, light and colour really helped steer me in the right direction. 3) If I think about who in the world I would most like to be able to sit and talk design with, I think that person would be Tom Ford. His style is a bench mark for all men and his design firm is a world leader. What is your favourite… Car/bike/plane/boat model: Favourite car is the Mercedes SLS AMG Black. It's a modern design classic. Chair model: If I had the space I'd love a Wikkelso V11 Easy Chair & Footstool. It's pretty hard to choose a favourite though with so many amazing new products launching every year. I could live my whole life in Poliform too I think... Residential space: Well it's a hotel in Bali so it's kind of commercial/residential but Alila Uluwatu. OMG the most amazing place I've ever laid foot. Everything was designed by WOHA. Makes me want to, at the same time, stay there forever and get straight back to work to lift my game. Commercial space: The Poliform showroom? Any furniture showroom really. I loathe shopping but could look at furniture 24/7. I guess I'm in the right line of work. Decorative product: How long is a piece of string... Anything that's authentic and from your travels that has meaning, character and interest. Functional product: That hands free, keyless, remote control entry. I want this for my house as i love it so much in my car. Handmade good: Art. The paintings you add to an interior really add life, vibrance and integrity to a room. I love the pieces we own. They each add something different to our home. Mass-produced good: My car Meal: Ice cream - Gelato Messina to be precise. Ice Cream is a meal right? Restaurant: China Doll in Woolloomooloo Sydney Drink: Water Bar: As you can imagine if my favourite drink is water I don't frequent too many bars. I'm pretty much the opposite of fun. Item in your studio: The wolf sculpture I used on a GQ shoot years ago. I loved it so much it now sits on my desk. Piece of technology: Has to be the iPhone. I know there are many better but it was the first that worked for the masses. Historical figure: I'm drawing a blank, so I'll say the Big Bang? Fictional character: Ari Gold from entourage is pretty awfully brilliant. Vice: Sugar. Virtue: I'm fair. What does the term ‘Design Hunter’ mean to you? It means someone with an eye for design. I think of myself as a designer rather than a design hunter but it's always lovely to see new and creative things. Darren Palmer is an expert judge for the upcoming Gift and Life Instyle Awards (Gala), which coincides with the Life Instyle and Reed Gift Fairs February. At the heart of programme is The People Award category, Retail Rep of the Year and GALA Lifetime Achievement award which will showcase individual commitment to retail success abc
Architecture
Homes

Hidden House

Eugenie grew up in the sphere of architect Geoffrey Bawa’s influence: her late father, Michael Mack, a top manager at the hotel group that commissioned Bawa to build its chain of iconic hotels, culminating with Heritance Kandalama, took the young Eugenie on his site visits.  Fascinated by his work and the way Bawa tended to use old doors and windows she started her own collection. hidden_house_10b Nevertheless one thing was clear. She wanted a contemporary home – light and bright, simple with nothing ostentatious and preferably hidden from her parents’ home next door. She picked architect Madhura Prematilleke (principal at studio Team Architrave) to design her dream home because she felt he could deliver “something special”. hidden_house_6 Madhura, who has designed several award-winning personalized family homes in Colombo and the suburbs, loved the prospect of designing to hide. “The house hides itself in a number of ways: not only is it hidden within its garden, its spaces are also divided into a series of experiences, so that the whole of the house cannot be sensed from any one point, despite it being a large house, approximately 9,000 square feet (800 square metres),” he says. hidden_house_4 The house was laid out around two giant trees – the Bamboo and the Breadfruit, which occupy the ‘Red Court’ strewn with red ‘boralu’ pebbles. There is a strong and continuous connection between inside and outside and Hidden House continues Madhura’s exploration of the concept of the ‘Tropical Glass Pavillion’ – the generous use of glazing completely screened and enclosed by greenery. hidden_house_8 The organization of the spaces is based on a very personalized pattern of use: three paths of circulation –guest, family, and service- are structured via two sets of stairs. hidden_house_7 The main spatial axis includes a mezzanine dining level which opens on to the double height living space. A magnificent old window (at dining level) set as a piece of sculpture frames luxurious trees in her parents’ garden, continuing the notion of borrowed landscape, which Madhura effectively achieves in most of his urban houses. hidden_house_5 The language is clearly modernist, but the conversation between new and old continues throughout the house: tall old doors at the entrance; old wooden screens on her “granny” verandah that has most of the old family furniture; and old wooden pillars on the unusual Verandah, pulled out into the garden as an open entertainment space with a transparent roof and a bar at the far end. hidden_house_2 Eugenie loves the unself-conscious ambience of the house and the tropical lushness of the garden that has attracted birds and other wild life, a passion among her young children. hidden_house_9 But her favourite is the dining area: “Sitting there, enjoying meals and observing the home and garden I grew up in through the beautiful old window gives me the feeling of being up in a tree house enjoying gentle breezes blowing through wonderful foliage and (exquisite memories of care-free childhood).” Team Architrave teamarchitrave.com Photography: Kesara Ratnavibhushana kesara.carbonmade.comabc
Design Stories
Design Hunters
Conversations

Video Art: Time and Space

Words flash on a television screen, popping up and then fading two seconds later. They are sentences about the artist – what they like, what they think. It’s easy to take in at first. And then more and more statements pop up simultaneously. Now I have to make a choice – which sentence do I follow? I don’t know what to do. qtvideoart Video and installation art can make me feel uncomfortable – and I’m not the only one. In his latest book, Art as Therapy, (Phaidon, 2013) British philosopher Alain de Botton says, “Our encounters with art do not always go as well as they might. We are likely to leave highly respected museums and exhibitions feeling underwhelmed, or even bewildered and inadequate, wondering why the transformational experience we had anticipated did not occur. It is natural to blame oneself, to assume that the problem must come down to a failure of knowledge or capacity for feeling.” Phew. At least it’s not just me.qtvideoart2The above work, The Drift (2010) by Grant Steven, is shown in the rooms at the QT Sydney. And there are also public works: a single-channel high definition digital video in the reception titled Static No.18 (phase shift) by Daniel Crooks, and multi-channel floor-to-ceiling installations in the elevators by Daniel Boyd. “Moving images provide a contrast and play to current sensibilities,” says Amanda Love, who curated the hotel’s collection. “They add frisson and an overall level of excitement that relates directly to the hotel’s demographic and location. All are museum quality artworks in their own right,” Love continues, so patrons receive “an enhanced experience that has real cultural and historical value”. centralpark2 French lighting artist Yann Kersale has just created an artwork for the Central Park multi-use development on Broadway, titled Sea Mirror. Inspired by Sydney’s iconic harbor, Kersale installed 320 mirrored plates containing nine LED lights each, programmed to reflect the changing seasons and light variations on the surface of water. “The intended experience for an onlooker is that he/she become an actor when looking at it from any random point of view,” Kersale says.This is just one of many public works to be enjoyed in the development. artbank Liam O’Brien, Whistling in the Dark 2013, high definition video, 4:50 mins, commissioned by Artbank 2013, annual rental $660 (GST inc.) Tony Stephens, Director of Artbank, adds to the discussion: “Often, people and organisations who are interested in contemporary culture or who are at least interested in projecting themselves as being located within this conversation will be consumers and exhibitors of this kind of artwork.” “There is a perception that screen-based work is too abstract to be deciphered by the lay person, but given our literacy of screen-based works gained through television, cinema and the internet, this is probably a case of perception driving reality.” Hero image: Daniel Crooks, Intersection No. 4 (vertical volume) 2008, digital video, 4:29 mins, Artbank collection, annual rental $660 (GST inc.) Artbank artbank.gov.au Central Park centralparksydney.com QT Sydney qtsydney.com.auabc
Finishes
Design Products
Accessories

‘Calibre’ by Instyle

This stunning textile with a classic mid-century vibe is available in 21 colours, including a wide range of greys and neutrals and a comprehensive palette of modern blues, retro orange and vibrant green, purple and yellow. instyle_jan_adv_2 Made locally, Calibre is a high quality, wool-rich fabric that provides exceptional durability, achieving over 100,000 Martindale abrasion rubs. Calibre is ideal for upholstery, screens and wall panelling in any interior space. Instyle instyle.com.auabc
Happenings
Parties

Art in Motion Singapore Launch Party

Art in Motion agas.org.sg/events_details.acv?member=22&id=526 [gallery ids="28277,28276,28275,28274,28273,28272,28271,28270,28269,28268,28267,28266,28265,28264,28263,28318,28317,28316,28315,28314,28313,28312,28311,28310,28309,28308,28307,28306,28305,28304,28303,28302,28301,28300,28299,28298,28297,28296,28295,28294,28293,28292,28291,28290,28289,28288,28287,28286,28285,28284,28283,28282,28281,28280,28279,28278"]abc
Architecture
Homes

Terrace Transformation

Architects Atelier Wagner were employed to create a three bedroom house in the Melbourne suburb of Fitzroy suitable for a family. Specifically, the client wished to retain and refurbish the front two bedrooms and extend the structure on each level to provide living, dining, kitchen, master bedroom, study and bathroom, with courtyard garden to the rear. fitzroy_residence_5 The existing house was a small, single-fronted 1880s terrace on with a parapeted and detailed façade, set on an inclined site; Architects David and Jacqui Wagner comment that, "The historical texture and urban grain of the site set on the steep gradient of Fitzroy Hill provided an inspiring but challenging setting for the development of the scheme." fitzroy_residence_2   In response to this, the house has been designed as a series of interlocking spaces cascading down the site incline before coming to rest as a double height living space, extending into the rear garden on a spotted gum platform. Spaces engage with the sky for aspect and are shrouded from overlooking their neighbours, ebbing and flowing in, through, under and around the vertical circulation shaft. A black steel framed, translucent polycarbonate stair with cedar battened balustrade rises through the gathering of voids, allowing light to flow into the spaces below. fitzroy_residence_4 The architects observe in their statement that "The upper level provides textural and textual readings of the surrounding Victorian roofscapes with aged and weathering grey rendered parapets, chimneys and cornices including those of the nearby neoclassical townhall, gathering a sort of constructed palimpsest of post-colonial construction and renewal." fitzroy_residence_7 Internally, the home has a clean palette of finishes designed to enhance spatial and elemental character. These are expressed in a background of white painted plasterboard walls and ceilings with American oak tongue and groove floor boards, white and veined Carrara marble, honed dark grey basalt tiling and the steel, acrylic and timber staircase. These colours and textures provide a passive and neutral background, allowing the spaces to flow from one to another and presenting a flexible and accommodating palette for the occupants to layer furnishings and artworks over. fitzroy_residence_6 The project form and detail work with the neighbouring built environment have resulted in a comfortable, albeit small, family home in a densely built up part of the city. The house demonstrates a passive and inexpensive approach to sustainability, utilizing cross ventilation (including a central light court which acts as a thermal chimney), a well shaded rear elevation that can fully open to the winter sun and passively heat the floor slab as well as hydronic heating system. fitzroy_residence_1 Photography: John Gollings gollings.com.au Atelier Wagner atelierwagner.com.auabc
Architecture
NOT HOMES
Places

Sensory Lab

The brainchild of coffee connoisseur Salvatore Malatesta - co-owner of premium coffee brands St Ali, and Plantation amongst others - the recently opened Sensory Lab on Bondi’s bustling Hall Street is the first Sydney outpost of the Melbourne-based high-end coffee brand. sensory_lab_7 Known for its globally sourced premium beans, exceptional roasting techniques and unique brewing methods, the specialty brand is also synonymous with superb craftsmanship, supremely evident in its original Melbourne CBD location. sensory_lab_4 Whilst the interiors at the Melbourne cafe are rich and intricate (the cleverly interwoven brewing equipment and tasting and seating areas a feature), the Sydney cafe is significantly more simplistic in layout and design. sensory_lab_2 However, that’s not to say that the interiors aren’t in keeping with the style and class for which Malatesta is known.  “The focus on the Bondi location was to create a non-distracting space that focuses squarely on the coffee,” explains Malatesta.  “The result is a simple, minimal and functional layout that also extends and supports the Sensory Lab brand.” sensory_lab_8 Whilst the functional aspects of the space were designed by master barista Matt Perger (Australian Barista Champion), the designer details are the collaborative effort of creative design studios Cibi, Bureau8 and Richard Brownfield. sensory_lab_6 An essentially linear space (only 60sqm), the cafe features a timber and steel open-shelved retail section, a concrete-topped barista station (offering Perger’s unique filter-style coffee produced through the espresso machine) on one side and a charcoal grey felted wall (featuring vertical copper piping and hanging pot plants), inspired by German artist Joseph Beuys’s installation “Plight 1985” on the other.  Visually arresting, the acoustically-effective felting creates a calming and soft ambience within what is essentially a concrete shell.  Bludot Hot Mesh Chairs and a penny mosaic floor installation forming the words “coffee inside” at the entrance, add to the raw, industrial aesthetic.  The oversized custom-made steel and glass front doors open up the cafe to the street, creating a seamless transition between the interior and the street and by extension - the beach. sensory_lab_3 Sensory Lab sensorylab.com.auabc
People
Design Hunters
Conversations

Of Cultural stock

Hero Image: The Outofstock team (L–R) Wendy Chua, Sebastián Alberdi, Gustavo Maggio and Gabriel Tan. A fortuitous Stockholm event brought them together and eventually provided the inspiration for their moniker. Gabriel Tan, Wendy Chua (both from Singapore), Sebastián Alberdi (Spain) and Gustavo Maggio (Argentina) all participated in the annual design competition and workshop, Electrolux Design Lab in 2005. Here, they worked closely together and, enjoying the experience, kept in touch when they returned to their respective homelands. out_of_stock_2 Detail of glide chair from a collection launched at imm Cologne 2010 for design label, Foundry.   “Despite being based in our own cities, we communicate on a regular basis,” says Gabriel. “It was interesting. Whenever we shared our views, we found strange similarities toward some things and stark differences in others.” This dynamic relationship inspired them to work together creatively for a second time, presenting a collection of furniture at Salone Satellite 2007 in Milan under the name Outofstock. out_of_stock_3 The Naked chair is extremely lightweight and flat packs for transportation. Once this was successfully completed, they decided to register the company in Singapore, with plans to collaborate long term – for the annual Milan fair, as well as other interior design projects, commissioned product designs and educational workshops. In some ways, their methodology could be conceived as unusual, but in other ways, a cross-cultural design collective makes complete fiscal and creative sense. Gabriel describes the logistics and what advantages they offer – from where they can best achieve cost-effective, quality prototypes, to their decision to store these in Spain following exhibitions to enable efficient transportation between interested European manufacturers. out_of_stock_4 Left: The Sherlock floor lamp is inspired by the magnifying glass. As well, an international office means a 24-hour output. “When we work on interior projects or commissioned work for clients in Singapore, Spain or Argentina, being in different time zones actually enables us to turn around things pretty quickly for clients,” Gabriel explains. “Especially when we have tight deadlines, because at any one time at least one of us will be in normal working hours.” out_of_stock_5 The compact Arbor desk features five different species of solid timbers. The creative advantages are even more forthcoming, with a depth and diversity of inspiration and experiences for the group to draw from. Gabriel gives an example of designing a tea trolley: “We can talk about the different ways we make and enjoy tea in our respective countries. We often take pictures... and this sort of allows us to take a peek into each other’s cultural backdrop.” This consideration is something that gives their products a wide appeal, imbuing complementary senses of revealing and discovery. It’s a simple aesthetic that, beyond the initial engagement, invites a deeper connection and understanding of more complex mechanisms, details and relationships – which almost mirror the group’s own identity. out_of_stock_6 Image: Glide chair has the warm tactile quality of solid timber.   For Outofstock, it is connection that is the crux of their positive engagement – both between themselves and with clients. “The key is to communicate with each other frequently, clearly and concisely,” Gabriel says. “Especially in relaying the design brief or what the client’s needs and wants are, because the designers in other cities may not have met or spoken with the client in person.” Although there is much to be learnt from traditional methods and crafts, all that is creative is not lost in the contemporary world. Technology and travel have made it completely possible for Outofstock to discover and celebrate diverse traditions in their aim to ‘bring back poetry and romance in the design of everyday items’. This can only serve to add richness into the way we experience furniture design, they believe. As Gabriel aptly describes: “When you bring people of different cultures together, you are accumulating vastly different experiences... Design is driven by inspiration and it is personal experience that inspires people.” Outofstock outofstockdesign.com Photography courtesy of Outofstck.abc
Design Stories
Design Hunters
Conversations

Green Rooftop Dream

Matt says, “If your inner city house doesn’t have space for a backyard garden, think vertical and consider creating a rooftop garden. Before you start, you must make sure that your rooftop is in top condition to avoid any future damages and hazards. Once you get the green light that the structure of the roof is suitable start planning the style of garden you would like.” Untitled-1 By following Matt’s rooftop garden ideas, unused spaces can be turned into a rooftop sensation. 1. Assess the condition of your rooftop membrane The construction of your roof needs to be the first thing you need to consider for safety reasons. Is the waterproof membrane sealed, intact and fully protected? Is your existing membrane compatible with chemicals and organic compounds such as fertilisers, composts and leachate from plants? Do you have a drain in place so water drains out easily? Are you aware of the weight your structure is able to bear? If you have answered ‘yes’ to all the above, then turn a dull unused space into a lush and beautiful place. If you have answered no, don’t worry just about every problem has a solution. Matt recommends consulting your local council or engineer for construction and garden approvals before you commence any large scale garden installation. Untitled-2 2. Use Astroturf For an easy green roof terrace surface install a layer of AstroTurf for an everyday ready-to-play area. Although initial costs may seem high, it is a low maintenance option for those who may not have the time or energy to water and cut their own grass on a regularly basis.  Sports grass commonly known as synthetic or artificial drains well, saves water, as well as having long life expectancy – saving time and money. Especially for a dark south facing balcony where grass isn’t an option. There’s also the benefit of letting your kids and pets run around the new play area without needing to worry about them coming back into the house covered in mud if it’s been raining! rooftop_gardens_7 3. Find suitable plants Roofs are constantly exposed to the Aussie sun and crisp wind so choose plants that can adapt to your climate and location. Succulents, grasses and coastal species are highly recommended because they can cope with shallow soil, heat and dry conditions. Aloe x spinosissima, also known as the Spider Aloe, is a rosette of inrolled succulent leaves, sprouting a spike of tubular orange-red flowers to add a touch of colour in the garden. Senecio mandraliscae, or Blue Chalk Sticks’ are another great option which forms long silvery blue cylindrical leaves that grow 30cm tall and blossom yellow daisy-like flowers in the summer. Select dwarf-like plants which are securely tied down so your neighbours won’t be finding broken pots in front of their doorsteps after a storm or high winds. rooftop_gardens_8 4. Grow flavoursome herbs Your kitchen will soon be piping out homey aromatic dishes if a decorative variety of fragrant herbs are planted on your rooftop. Herb gardens can provide a beautifully scented garden and are ideal for growing in planter boxes that are perfect for giving a rooftop garden a stylish edge. Another benefit of herbs is that they are light weight plants - and common mint, parsley, basil, thyme, rosemary, chives and other classic favourites are easy to grow. rooftop_gardens_9 5. Plant an organic veggie patch Grow a range of organic juicy vegetables for the family on a green roof that absorbs sunlight and water -  a win win solution for both the produce and building. Use containers to allow drainage so that plant roots won’t burrow into the roof membrane. A little TLC will be required and Matt stresses the importance of growing vegetables that are in season. For a healthy veggie patch all year round, consider iceberg lettuce, snow peas, kale, spinach, zucchini, and cherry tomatoes on your new rooftop garden. Start eating clean with your home-grown chemical-free, pest-free, additive-free fruits and vegetables. Untitled-4 And remember – if you don’t have a traditional backyard space looking up could be the solution to creating a beautiful green sanctuary.   Landart Landscapes http://www.landart.com.au/abc