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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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Security and style in Kerala with the Running Wall

Being in one of the rougher area’s of Kerala, the Running Wall house needed to fulfil requirements of fortitude as well as design and style. This is why the playful lightness of the laterite wall is such a striking feature of the design; beginning at the entrance gate at the surrounding wall and continuing, serpent-like along the entire property. This wall subdivides certain areas within the property and establishes connections to others, ebbing and flowing in and out of the house. This wall created privacy of course, but also allowed for open spaces wherever desired by architect and resident. The result is a well ventilated house, connected to nature and which challenges ideas of inside and outside. The internal court of the Running Wall house both holds the foyer and is planted with banana trees, ferns and other tropical species. The architects, LIJO.RENY.architects, have also indulged in a creative execution of levels in the ceiling, with a combination of barrel vaults and slabs at higher levels. Skylights and unobstructed fenestration invite sunlight and ventilation into the internal spaces with several large openings protected from the glare of the sun through custom designed screens. LIJO.RENY.architects lijoreny.wordpress.com 15-lap-pool-view-from-the-dining 14-dining 11-living-opening-into-the-internal-court 10b-sitout 20-staircase-in-the-central-court 25-master-bedroom 59-Guest-bedroom-patio  abc

Glamour, Colour and Joy in Glenferrie

Can you please explain the story of the residents and how your design solutions were influenced by them?

Only a cross-court back-handed winner fit-out would do for this early 80s glamour with a late 70s hangover apartment block a short lob away from Australia’s spiritual home of tennis. The bougie suburb of Glenferrie is home to many retirees looking to age-in-place and this spacious gem provided just that opportunity. Interestingly, this lively older couple are actually the parents of our Forever House clients. Having spent much time there, it’s understandable that some of the greatest hits reappear.

Can you tell us about the design brief and approach? 

The brief: design us a joyful colourful space that will make us smile. We have many clients who have spent most of their time in heritage family homes and this is their chance to enjoy a fresh modern aesthetic. A purge of old furniture can be good for the soul and crisp white walls were a must for the clients.


Can you please explain some of the design solutions and responses to practical concerns?

The Corian and solid timber V-shaped island bench is the signature design outcome of the renovation. Derived formally from offsetting the new walls of full-height joinery that wrap the existing walls of the apartment, the shape is both functional and ergonomic. This provided an informal table for four (probably grandchildren) with plenty of bench area for the chief, and even more at Christmas time.

Melissa Bright from Make Architecture spoke recently at the MPavilion about how homes now operate more like efficient work spaces than blank spaces for random happenings. Demolishing the wall between the old kitchen and living / dining changed the entire space, making it a light filled, aesthetically pleasing, functional workhorse. Flanking the new opening are two massive bookcases to hold the clients novels. It’s as though every wall is working hard or multi-tasking.


Can you explain a little bit about the design process?

We asked all our clients to suspend their traditional understandings of how architecture is made and make a scrap book of spaces they like but mostly of objects they loved or owned – objects with a story. In this instance we were given a beautiful navy vase and an apricot scarf.

Sometimes the references play out rather literally – these two colours informed the choice of the two Kartell FL/Y suspension lamps (oldies but goodies). But more often than not, it’s the nuances that provide more juicy design opportunities.


Can you tell us about some of the pieces you chose? 

A pair of WOWOWA’s own copper Rosella pendants hang in the living room – a lovely reminder as, like the couple, Rosellas mate for life.

The Loom rug was our colour muse. The 80s terracotta coloured building exterior set up the use of the beautiful orange Sydney blue gum timber, but the rug instantly gave that fabulous colour injection.

Many of the furniture pieces are from Café Culture + Insitu who also stock WOWOWA's solid brass cast Monroe pendants.


What are some unique, interesting elements of their home?

The beauty of these older apartments is they were designed for owner occupiers as an appealing alternative to a standalone house. Rather than the current investment vehicle paradigm, they are big – surprisingly big and spacious for a two bedder. On the ground floor their title also included the garden around the property. The plan twists and turns to create interesting spaces that allow the home to feel cosy for two or big enough for grandchildren to stay over.

We also really enjoyed the old existing letter boxes in the main foyer and the 80s glass bricks.


How does the physical environment impact on how humans interact with the space and each other?

A brief must-have was two study spaces. This played out as a hybrid man-cave/spare bedroom/television zone, with a "lady" computer nook in the main kitchen area – very stylish and where the action is.

Are there particular features of the design that enable or express a particular way of living? 

With the mantra ‘life’s too short for boring spaces’ we advocate for an in-depth design process to unpack what that means for each household. Our Forever House project was one of our first renovations and since then we have focussed on designing family homes for people who want to invest emotionally and experiment with making the house an expression of them. We find it extremely rewarding and the stylish bed head, to me exemplifies the chic playfulness that is seen throughout the Kooyong Apartment. Game, set, match.

Photography by Martina Gemmola Styling by Ruth Welsby WOWOWA Architecture & Interiors wowowa.com.au WOWOWA_Master  abc
Design Products

Light – sophistication and atmosphere

Chris Aplin has designed the lamp with intent complement any interior, home or commercial, by adding a functional statement. Light’s simple curves and classically minimalist style, combined with its sleek lines and unobtrusive functionality, create a contemporary yet timeless feel. Light as a force is part of everyone’s life; it dictates our days and nights, it illuminates our environments and sets the mood around us. The positive effects of good lighting cannot be overestimated, nor can he negative effects of the wrong sort of lighting, which is why the proper lamp is an essential part of modern living. “The design process comes naturally to me, and every step is logical and adds reason to the end result,” says Chris. The most beautiful interiors will fail to shine without the correct lighting, and Light by Aplin Creative is the correct lighting for any modern and stylish space. Light is distributed in Australia by Workshopped. Workshopped workshopped.com.au Aplin Creative aplincreative.com lamp+2 LampMain  abc
Design Products

From fashion to flooring – the Distressed Look explained

We’re all familiar with the distressed look in fashion – that worn-down, super soft denim look that feels lived-in and ultra comfortable. It’s no surprise that it’s filtered through to interiors in soft furnishings, such as rugs and carpets. It brings new colour and antique authenticity to any interior design, building in popularity to the point that, what began as a traditional homage to antique carpets and rugs, is now an enduring trend in flooring. The distressed look first originated through the revival of antique classical rugs. Not only was this an economical way to invest in a beautiful original rug but it was a smart way to recycle something old into new. Bringing original handmade classical rugs back from the brink, rug producers would source antique rugs from Turkey, Iran, Afghanistan and surrounding countries, celebrating the rugs’ traditional patterns – faded and worn with age – by applying a modern twist of distressed patterning and trending colour tones. MELODY-AGRA-detail Often valuable and beautifully aged, each rug would be skillfully distressed to carry a completely unique combination of traditional pattern, treated with contemporary colour combinations and carefully applied distressed patterning. Nowadays the distressed look is so popular that carpet and rug producers are designing distressed patterns from scratch. Classic patterning is carefully crafted and coloured to achieve that fresh-meets-faded aesthetic. The result is a complete one-off, dynamic, character-filled carpet or rug design that exudes a soft sheen – thanks to fibres of viscose, silk and linen often used when creating the distressed look. For more information on carpets and rugs with the distressed look, visit the RC+D website. RC+D rc-d.com.au MELODY-AGRA-grey-fuchsia- FLEUR-DE-LEA-grey-blue-pink-1 EMBROIDERY1-black-white- DAMASK-silver-smokeabc
Around The World

A hotel that charms

The brief for Adelaide’s new 170-room Mayfair Hotel called for an intimate interior that respected the character and quality of the existing structure. As the project’s interior designer (alongside the base building architect JPE Design Studio), Bates Smart delivered just that, taking their cue from ornamentation and detailing on the heritage-listed 1930s Colonial Mutual Life building’s elegant facade. “We thought the notion of a Moderne-type style was what was appropriate for this project, so we picked up on a lot of the exterior’s key design elements and extended them internally,” explains Bates Smart’s Director of Interior Design Jeff Copolov. The 1930s as a golden era of travel was also a source of inspiration (a hotel, after all, is for travellers) and so early-era Art Deco sensibilities reverberate throughout the interior’s overall scheme. M11463_N67 It was important for Copolov and his team, including Project Leader Erica Lienert and Principal Interior Designer Kendra Pinkus, to achieve a consistent design language across all areas of the hotel. “We wanted people to be able to walk in and not quite know which parts we’d touched,” he says. But while there is strong harmony between old and new, the black steel ribbon staircase connecting first floor through to lower ground floor gives no apology as a recognisable insertion. Adding a dramatic sculptural element to the pared-back lobby, it becomes the design’s unifying feature, together with black balustrades and dark timber panelling in the restaurant, which reference the exterior’s metal frame windows. The rest of Mayfair Hotel’s muted colour palette stands in stark contrast, with grey, taupe and putty hues functioning as a backdrop across all 14 floors. “Travelling can be stressful and for me, hotels are about creating sanctuaries in places you might not necessarily be familiar with,” says Copolov. “So we were keen to make the interior very neutral and calming.” It also allowed for stronger colour accents to be introduced throughout, including deep purple and pink in the lounge and dining areas and rich golden copper tones in the rooftop Hennessey Bar. M11463_N68 Decorative hardware in brass, bronze and steel compliment these colour finishes and reinforce Copolov’s fine attention to detail. The bathrooms are especially evocative of the Art Deco period with modular vanities finished in marble, mirrors with curved corners and patterned wall tiles oozing equal parts charm and glamour. The design never resorts to mere pastiche. However (and this is where Copolov and his team have excelled), they have managed to capture that spirit of the golden era of travel while still remaining clearly contemporary in their conceptualisation. “It was all about bringing new life into an old building,” he reflects. “So the interior is a nod to the past, but at the same time, it’s forward-looking and I think it finds that balance very well.” Photography by Sean Fennessy and Peter Barnes Mayfair Hotel mayfairhotel.com.au M11463_N66 M11463_N65 M11463_N64 M11463_N63abc
Design Products

Four new tables from Neutra

After some ten years in the bathroom and wellness product areas, Neutra has pushed into the living décor sector. Neutra’s mastery of marble and natural stones has led to the launch of the Ace, Mahón, Leaf and Essence table ranges. All tables in the ranges have clean and sophisticated lines; Neutra has designed a light, innovative, and sophisticated range with stone, with decoration haing been left behind for the clean minimalism of geometry, colors, and veining of the stone. The Ace range of coffee tables is designed with simple lines and available in different heights, which can be arranged into round and irregular shapes. The Mahón is the ultimate expression of technology applied to stone, with remarkably round tabletop corners and the legs while the Leaf expresses the weightlessness of its namesake. Finishing off the display is Essence, a white marble backlit wall for custom solutions. The Leaf collection includes a wide range of sizes and materials: stone, glass, wood, and metals that can be used to personalize the product and easy to fit into both home and contract situations. Neutra Design neutradesign.it Mahon_coffee-table,-1-Bianco-Carrara,-2-Trasparent-Bronze&Moon-StoneMahon Leaf_dining,Bianco-Carrara&Extralight-glassLeaf Ace_coffee-table,1-Basaltina&gubmetal,-2-Silver-Stone&gunmetal,-3-Black-Rock&gunmetalAce  abc
Design Hunters

New online gallery Curatorial+Co showcases one-of-a-kind artworks from around the world

Born out of a passion to make art internationally available to Australia art aficionados, Curatorial+Co is part online gallery, part pop-up gallery host and the new home for Australian art lovers. Founded by Sophie Vander, the gallery has been established as a way to offer new collectors an entry point into the often intimidating world of art collection, offering them a starting point for their obsession, as well as a place to give established art lovers an curated selection of alternative pieces to add to their spaces. Curatorial+Co creates lasting connections between artists and collectors, as well as interior designers and organisations looking to add a unique and one-of-a-kind flair to their environments. The site presents painting, drawing, printmaking, photography and sculptural art works alongside new media and multimedia art works Director Sophie has a passion for global design and a love of supporting emerging artists and collectors, which informs the curated nature of the online gallery, currently showcasing a number of works including features artist Michelle Weinberg. Curatorial+Co curatorialandco.com Diptaa-Sloniir---Sarah-&-Zuma Mairi-Timoney---One-Good-Turn Kate-Banazi---Through-the-Sqaure-Window---on-white Michelle-Weinberg---Rabbit-Hole Michelle-Weinberg---Cornershop Michelle-Weinberg---Modern-Diagram Michelle-Weinberg---Modern-House  abc
What's On

Crawling through Fugitive Structures

The structure is designed by cutting-edge architect Vo Trong Nghia, and will be installed across two cities and two sites. Vietnamese born Vo Trong Nghia was recently named one of the world's four edgiest architects in the world by the New York Post and earned his architectural stripes in Japan. His firm, Vo Trong Nghia Architects, comprises over 50 local and international architects. Frustrated at being unable to find fabrication engineers to realise his avant-garde creations in full, Vo expanded his team to include the entire gamut of technical experts required to design, engineer and build his structures. Fugitive Structures brings his work to Australia for the first time. Dr Gene Sherman, Executive Director of Sherman Contemporary Art Fair, says “The design of the SCAF pavilion centres around two central pillars of Vo Trong Nghia’s approach to architecture: the innovative use of bamboo, and his passion –and self imposed duty –to green the world's urban landscapes with plants and vegetation”. The structure blurs the line between ideas of strong and lightweight, and sits in a place that is part industrialised design and part nature. A grid-like bamboo construction incorporates a dense jungle of natural materials, while a clear ceiling hovers above, creating a shelter from the elements whilst allowing visitors to view the sky. The structure is highly porous, with entry points for adults and children to walk or crawl through. “I want to bring nature back to the city,” Vo says. “In Ho Chi Minh City, the population has reached nearly 10 million with only 5.35km2of green space –only 0.25% of the entire city. Vietnam’s unrestricted economic development has devastated the natural environment across the country. This is the problem architects need to solve.” Fugitive Structures will be shown at… State Library of Queensland, Brisbane 1 March –15 May 2016 Sherman Contemporary Art Foundation, Sydney 8 July –10 December 2016 Sherman Contemporary Art Foundation sherman-scaf.org.au render4 render3 render2 render1 model2  abc
Design Hunters

Denmark’s HAY in the heart of Surry Hills

The first of its kind, the Australian HAY store is spread over two floors, managed and operated by Cult Design. “From the beginning [Cult founder] Richard Munao has been a strong supporter and an important part of HAY before anyone else. The opening of HAY in Sydney is the culmination of 12 years with a great partner we are extremely grateful to work with”, co-founder of Mette HAY, comments. Opening on December 19, the brand channels its Denmark home, with a design inspired by an open plan apartment. Wrong for Hay– the furniture, lighting and accessories sister brand – joins HAY in Surry Hills, as does HAY Mini Market, an accessory in-store concept. Founded in Denmark in 2002, the brand was established the desire to create modern design that fuses innovative technology with quality materials, "At the heart of everything that HAY does is the notion that contemporary design should spring from a good idea, innovative technology and quality materials in combination with joyful, straightforward and uncomplicated aesthetics" says Richard Munao. Now known worldwide, the brand realised this vision with collaborations now including Sebastian Wrong, the Bouroullecs, Scholten & Baijings and Stefan Diez. From grass-root beginnings in Chippendale, Cult was the natural choice for managing the Danish brand in Sydney, "I was immediately impressed with their designs and use of bright colour, which had a real point of difference from other contemporary Danish brands," says Richard "At Cult Design we are very proud to have partnered with HAY since then and been part of their journey to becoming one of the most beloved design brands today" With showrooms in Melbourne, Brisbane and Auckland, HAY Sydney is the first fully operating retail store under the Cult brand. Cult cultdesign.com.au HAY hay.dk Mags-Soft-Divina-Melange-120 Mags-Sofa-hallingdal-944-catalogue Mags-Sofa-surface-by-HAY-120-catalogue New-Order-army-catalogue New-Order-light-grey-catalogue-01 New-Order-light-grey-catalogue-02 New-Order-11 Slit-Table-Round-brass DLM-powder Copenhague-Chair-16 Tray-Table-40x40-red Copenhague-Chair-09  abc
Design Hunters
Design Stories

Greening Rooftops: Why Should They Be Part Of Our Future?

  Earlier this year, France introduced new legislation requiring all new buildings within commercial zones to be partially covered in plant life or solar panels. The city of Toronto adopted a similar law back in 2009 mandating green rooftops on all new residential and commercial buildings. Incredibly, Switzerland implemented their equivalent agenda in the late-1990s. But despite Australia’s sunny disposition and love of the outdoors, growing a green rooftops culture has struggled to gain momentum. M Central in Sydney set a benchmark for sustainable living rooftops when it was constructed in 2005. Set six storeys above the bustling streetscape of inner-city Pyrmont, this 3000m2 residential recreation space is the work of landscape architects 360°. Creating the “antithesis of a tiled rooftop terrace with a pool and some pots” atop the heritage-listed woolstore, the studio utilised the vast scale to sculpt a diversity of spaces and a genuine sense of landscape. “We were inspired by European common gardens where people have both private respite and chance interactions with other residents – a vital factor in developing a sense of community amongst residents,” principal Daniel Baffsky says. “This lead to the concept of the landscape as an island in the sky, with floating timber pathways, daybeds and pocket lawns set in a sea of grasses. We also used the split level to introduce water for ambient cooling.” 1133_01-07-2013_7349 Green rooftops act in alleviating the urban heat island effect – where heat-absorbing building materials trap heat within a city, causing excessive rises in temperature compared to outer-lying suburbs. By reflecting rather than absorbing heat, green walls and rooftops cool buildings, reducing reliance on air-conditioning and overall energy consumption. These urban canopies can also be designed to capture precious rainfall, minimising stormwater run-off and filtering it through the building’s plumbing channels. The soil of the garden beds then stores excess moisture, while the trees absorb radiation and reduce pollutants in the air. As well as attracting bees, birds and other insects, the sky garden offers a place for urban dwellers to connect with nature and potentially grow their own food, improving health and wellbeing. Shaping such a space for quiet respite, social connectedness and growing food was among Breathe Architecture’s intentions with the rooftop garden at The Commons. The shared set of ethics and values between both architect and residents has driven the design of this multi-residential development, resulting in pared-back, mindful living quarters supported by communal amenities and spaces. “The idea of the rooftop is that it’s meant to be a place for the community to gather. It gives the 'Commoners' the ability to come together in smaller or larger groups when they’re feeling social, but also gives them an opportunity to be more recessive, sitting quietly in a corner to read a book on their own,” says Jeremy McLeod. “As Melbournians, we’re looking at a drastically increasing population over time. So in this more urbanised city, I think the simple choice of adding vegetation to the rooftop of every building is key to simple things like biodiversity, but also biophilic design, and connecting humans back with nature is really important.” 12 While the City of Melbourne and City of Sydney have both made efforts to release guides to greening their local built environments through roofs, walls and facades, a larger unifying agenda is yet to transpire. Junglefy founder and horticulturalist Jock Gammon worked with French botanist Patrick Blanc to deliver one of the world’s tallest vertical gardens as part of One Central Park in Sydney – its green veil comprising 38,000 indigenous and exotic plants. He says going forward we need to think past green walls and rooftops to a broader scale of plant integration within urban architecture. “I think it’s about making green infrastructure more functional. Rather than a garden just looking good, can it be used to treat water? Can it be used to clean air? Thinking beyond the amenity for the building owners and the public, and installing a garden for biodiversity, stormwater management and to combat the urban heat island effect,” Gammon says. While there are challenges of structural capacity, waterproofing, drainage and plant selection to consider, it’s in pairing these environmental and social sustainability intents that a common sense approach to shaping more liveable cities arises – drawing on those benefits of nature and resituating them within the urban context. wuttke-408 mcentral6769 16 10 mcentral6808abc
Design Hunters

Guild of Objects fosters Community and Experimentation

Guild of Objects' aim is to foster neighbourhood interaction, artist experimentation and a general love of the handmade object, and it looks like they're doing a pretty good job so far. Located in Queensberry, Guild of Objects popped up in June this year. In just one day local carpenter Simon Robinson of Sweet Fern built the bones of the store, which heroes plywood in the form of shelving, floating plinths and a display counter. Aware of the challenges of getting a small business off the ground, as well as difficulty in showcasing original, hand crafted work in their local community, the three decided to combine forces and build a permanent retail space. Their new store stocks their own creations, as well as the work of others including ceramics by Jiah Jiah Chen and Barbara McIvor, clothing by Inside Outside and Primoeza, weavings by Belinda Evans and jewellery by Seb Brown. Guild of Objects also holds regular classes and workshops, with a couple coming up in the next two weeks; Botanical Textile Dyeing Workshop with Belinda Evans of Achemy and Glaze Techniques with Chela Edmunds from Takewei. Guild of Objects guildofobjects.com Photography by Linsey Rendell GuildOfObjects_ShopDays_LinseyRendell-13 GuildOfObjects_ShopDays_LinseyRendell-12 GuildOfObjects_ShopDays_LinseyRendell-11 GuildOfObjects_ShopDays_LinseyRendell-10 GuildOfObjects_ShopDays_LinseyRendell-7 GuildOfObjects_ShopDays_LinseyRendell-6abc

Garden Retreat

When will we begin to take on board the severely deleterious effects of noise on individuals and communities? The evidence has been out there for a long time that unwanted noise damages both physical and mental health, and impairs social interaction and intellectual functioning. But attempts to address the problem have been patchy at best. For the designers of this house, Warren Liu, Darlene Smyth and Lim Pin Jie from Singapore-based A D LAB, the issue was more or less unavoidable. But, given that necessity is the mother of invention, their solution is fascinating – all the more so because it is part of what is a very beautiful and liveable home. a_Dlab_1_004_EDIT Liveable? Sustainable? Do the words have an equivalence? I suspect so, especially if we take a holistic view of sustainability – environmental, social, personal and cultural. And the home needs to be the most sustainable part of our lives. It is what sustains us as individuals and families in every sense of the word. The site for this house proved to be both the challenge and the opportunity – a perfect corner site on an incline, but exposed to a very noisy elevated expressway used by many heavy vehicles. The brief called for a house that quarantined itself from this noise. It was also to be a multi-generational home to accommodate a newly married couple, one pair of parents and anticipated children. At the same time, this very successful professional couple entertain a lot, so there was another aspect to the brief: providing the space and amenity for entertaining, while providing privacy for the parents. a_Dlab_1_011_EDIT The area has an undulating topography and many of the plots are below street level with an entry on the second storey. This house takes advantage of the slope as well, but rather than treat the lower level as an enclosed or semi-enclosed basement (now very common in Singapore as a way to generate more space while still conforming to height restrictions), the architects have created an open sunken garden courtyard that becomes the heart of the house – living, dining, entertaining and recreation with parents’ and guest bedrooms at the far end opposite the entry paviion. a_Dlab_1_013_EDIT The house consists of three pavilions. The long sunken courtyard is bookended by the bedroom pavilion at the far end and an arrival pavilion at the street entry where an extended canopy protects the carport. We enter through two splendid timber doors into a vestibule where there is a choice of circulation: go up half a level to the home office, a glass cube with views down in to the courtyard and a unique circular powder room with glistening mosaic finishes; go left and turn on to a long covered timber walkway which screens out the neighbouring property, but also provides alternative access to the parents’ quarters; or go down to a spacious entertainment room opening on to the sunken courtyard with its swimming pool, jacuzzi, family room, living area and kitchen/dining area. The circulation of the house, in fact, is designed to clearly separate different functional areas. In the bedroom pavilion, for example, the circulation is organised around spaces to avoid people bumping into one another. a_Dlab_1_016_EDIT The roof of the timber walkway is partially grassed, while the opposite elevation boasts an even more elaborate elevated garden – a green landscape running the length of the site. Together they make the house appear as though it is a part of a landscape – or, as architect Warren Liu puts it, the whole house becomes a piece of landscape. One result of this is to moderate the scale of the house, making it, says Liu, a “non-presence” compared to the somewhat overbearing neighbouring houses. The sunken ‘Garden of Eden’ with its water and lush greenery plays an important cooling role for the house. However, it also posed the problem of how to get air into this basement area, generate cross-ventilation and counteract dampness and humidity. The solution was a pair of shaped ‘porches’ at the street end of the main rooftop garden which capture breezes and scoop them down into the basement area. a_Dlab_1_015_EDIT Sinking the ‘heart’ of the house to the basement level inures it to the noise of the expressway, helped by the rooftop gardens which absorb noise. The exposed upper levels of the pavilions have fritted glass to insulate them from noise, while also providing a lower shading co-efficient – because this is a house which enjoys generous amounts of natural light. In the case of the bedroom pavilion, a timber screen and green wall also serve to moderate light and heat. Extensive cross-views, together with upward and downward views, give this house a highly theatrical quality, focussed of course on the sunken garden courtyard with its glittering mosaic-tiled swimming pool. There is always something to look at, and the timber walkway and elevated pavilions provide a variety of vantage points to watch the social activities in the courtyard. The architects see the house as having a “choreography” to it, in the sense that from these vantage points people can be seen passing, disappearing, then re-appearing in a kind of ongoing tableau vivant. a_Dlab_1_017_EDIT But complementing this very social character is the way the house also provides high levels of privacy with its timber-screened bedrooms and smaller break-out rooms. There are intimate spaces to balance the more public spaces and ample opportunity to withdraw from the highly public area of the central court. In short, this is a highly sustainable house – for its passive cooling and cross-ventilation strategies, for its ample natural light, but also for the way in which it combines privacy and community, allowing a family to be together yet still enjoy opportunities to be alone. Photography by Derek Swalwell A D LAB a-dlab.com a_Dlab_1_001_EDIT a_Dlab_1_007_EDIT   a_Dlab_1_020_EDITabc