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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

Finding the Marriage Between Indoors and Out

This new build in the heritage suburb of Freeman’s Bay in Auckland sees the horizontal texture on the precast concrete walls echoing the linearity of traditional weatherboards. The roof of the family retreat residence has been designed in Dutch gable style, clad in steel and ultimately conceived as a habitable attic, recalling the dormers of Auckland’s colonial times. While the house is situated in its surrounding suburban area of Freeman’s Bay as a single-storey form, internally a split-level design sees two levels for living. The base of the build sees a 20 metre long space lending a sense of generosity of space, only amplified by the double-height ceilings above the living zone. The industrial palette employed by Dorrington Atcheson Architects here is juxtaposed by a cedar-wrapped insertion, which gracefully curves across the length of the living room and houses the garage. The kitchen sees a wall of cabinetry finished in black-stained particleboard, enclosing a powder room and coat cupboard. Lower ceilings here than the main living space allow for a sence of intimacy and remove the cooking space from the entertaining area. Two concrete-walled bunkers become a separate home office and studio for the owners. The surprising geometry of the architecture of the Freeman’s Bay home is picked up in a striking spiral stair of concrete that leads to the upper level where a diagonally cutting bridge links the adults and kids’ bedrooms. A playful tube of colour houses the bathroom with its faceted shape providing an arresting visual flair to the space. These playful design elements, the concrete against the colourful tube; the mix of open and enclosed spaces; the openness of the ground level in its embrace of the outdoor space; it all works together to create a dwelling that is both challenging in formal design, yet ultimately a warm home for a family. Dorrington Atcheson Architects daa.co.nz Words by Andrew McDonald. Photography by Emma-Jane Hetherington. 3366 3367 3370 3371 3372 3378 3379 3382 3391 3394abc
Architecture
Homes

A Classic Brief With a Modern Outcome

“The brief was a classic ‘alterations and additions’ scope – a new kitchen, living, dining and master bedroom suite, with associated service spaces,” says David Barr of David Barr Architect. “The clients, a family with two children, were keen to open their existing federation house to its site, letting in light and connecting their day-to-day lives with the garden.” The single-level extension involved expanding the floorplan into the garden of the clients’ 1000 square metre site, which was home to a number of established trees and neighbouring gardens. David says the existing landscape, and the roughly one metre fall from rear boundary to street, formed the genesis for the project’s design. The new rooms were designed to interact with the outside areas; the lawn, courtyard planted garden, the pool and outdoor living area. High traffic living areas boast large sliding doors and windows that open onto the outside living spaces, while also allowing an abundance of natural light into the abode. David-Barr-Architect-Claremont-Residence_Photo-Robert-Frith9 Four steps up from the ground level (house level) sits the undercover living and pool area – with a consistent ceiling height between the two. “The house is primarily constructed from painted brick volumes that are opened to the garden using large expanses of sliding glazing. Openings, depending on their orientation, are recessed deeply within the building or screened,” says David. “A separate external dining and pool area is linked to the main house by a covered walkway that filters light through polycarbonate roofing and a timber batten ceiling.” Internally, the minimal palette of polished concrete floors, American Oak timber veneer cabinets, marble bench tops and white painted walls is timeless. Externally, the white paint, dark steel, brickwork and timber highlights are a striking design feature – an example of how David Barr Architects successfully connected the aesthetic of the old with the new through the use of mixed materials. This project is an entry in the Australian Institute of Architects WA Architecture Awards in the category of Residential Architecture – Houses (alterations and additions). David Barr Architect davidbarrarchitect.com.au Words by David Congram. Photography: Robert Frith – Acorn Photo David-Barr-Architect-Claremont-Residence_Photo-Robert-Frith David-Barr-Architect-Claremont-Residence_Photo-Robert-Frith1 David-Barr-Architect-Claremont-Residence_Photo-Robert-Frith3 David-Barr-Architect-Claremont-Residence_Photo-Robert-Frith4 David-Barr-Architect-Claremont-Residence_Photo-Robert-Frith5 David-Barr-Architect-Claremont-Residence_Photo-Robert-Frith6 David-Barr-Architect-Claremont-Residence_Photo-Robert-Frith7 David-Barr-Architect-Claremont-Residence_Photo-Robert-Frith8abc
Design Hunters
Conversations

No Green Thumb? No Worries

With a background in interior design, Lauren Lance and Lauren Modi, the ‘two Laurens’, as they like to go by, found that there was a missing niche for hire plants in a “boutique, more bespoke style, that centered more on the design aspect.” The pair met after they had both completed their degrees, collaborating on an exciting street party wedding and working harmoniously to pair the right succulents with the right pots and baskets, and ultimately, giving birth to The Borrowed Nursery. The-Borrowed-Nursery--45 Based in Miami, Queensland, The Borrowed Nursery consists of a retail side and a hire side, for the business. On the retail side, customers can visit their potting shed and get a glimpse of the magic happening within: green plants and twine are spread out across the floor and walls, with a semi-industrial backdrop. For hire, they offer styling advice to customers, and work with retail and hospitality projects to style spaces correctly, as well as offer a maintenance service. The-Borrowed-Nursery--78 “I was doing events before we started the Borrowed Nursery, and Lauren [Modi] noticed while working in interior design that there was nowhere you could go to get a really nice pot and plant, and find out how and where to use that,” explains Lauren Lance. While The Borrowed Nursery is still quite a young venture, the pair have since supplied plants and styling advice to a number of corporate, hospitality, and retail projects along the Gold Coast. The Borrowed Nursery | Habitus Living “I think people want to bring the outside in. Plants are not just a visual thing, there’s a feeling,” Lauren continues, commenting on the ever enduring popularity of plants, “There’s a further dimension with plants, and people like the engagement with their plants. Keeping something alive and being hands on – it gives people ownership. Having something in their home that is beautiful, that they also help to keep alive is beautiful – and there’s the fact that they’ve been around forever!” The Borrowed Nursery theborrowednursery.com.au Words by Christina Rae. Photography by Sabine Bannard. The Borrowed Nursery | Habitus Living The Borrowed Nursery | Habitus Living The Borrowed Nursery | Habitus Living The Borrowed Nursery | Habitus Livingabc
Architecture
Places

Can Sydney do Bagels Like Montreal?

Seasoned coffee roasters Mark Treviranus and Dave Young are heading up the new hot spot for Sydney bagels, being the first duo in the city to serve authentic Montreal style bagels, made onsite in what is Australia’s largest purpose built bagel woodfired oven. But what is a Montreal style bagel? Mark says, “Montreal style bagels are smaller and sweeter than other bagels. We individually hand roll, boil them in water sweetened with honey, before placing them into the woodfire oven. That gives them a crispy outside and chewy inside, quite different to any other style produced in Sydney.” As a sign of authenticity, Mark and Dave had a 14-tonne brick oven flown in especially from Canada. From a design perspective, this oven was important in immersing the customer in the bagel experience from first entrance. The oven has been positioned nearby the entrance, to show everyone the process of rolling, boiling and woodfiring each bagel, immersing patrons in the theatre of the creation process. The Smoking Gun team are committed to using only the best local artisanal products for seasonal toppings, presented in open bagel style, including Pepe Saya, who have exclusively created a Smoking Gun cream cheese. Mark and Dave developed the Smoking Gun bagel recipe alongside Montreal’s, Saint Viateur, one of the city’s original bagel hot spots, and in conjunction with Jo Barrett, head of pastry at Yarra Valley’s Oakridge Winery. Currently, the duo are offering six types of toppings on four types of bagels, including Hands Off Snakey, a wood fired bacon and herbed egg mix; Queen P, a peanut butter topping with macadamia, wattle seed, and salted macadamia brittle, the Yid-Life Crisis, a wood-fired chicken topping with charred avocado, kaffir lime & mountain pepper, and more. The inspiration for a Sydney bagel joint came from Mark and Dave’s bagel tour of North America in 2015, where they visited dozens of bagel stores in San Francisco, Montreal and New York. This also saw them training at the San Francisco Baking Institute before a pilgrimage to the bagel heartland of Montreal. “We used the knowledge we gained in North America to ensure what we were bringing back was as genuine as a Montreal style bagel can get,” says Dave. Smoking Gun Bagles smokinggunbagels.co Words by Andrew McDonald. Photography by David Li and Henry Slaughter. DSC_0201-credit-David-Li DSC_0013 DSC_0001 Cafe2_IMG_1496abc
Happenings
Parties

Celebrating the Launch of Habitus #33

Guests and some of the design scene's best and brightest met to celebrate the launch of the new issue, enjoying a night of design and drinks with the Habitus team. Hosted in the always stunning Living Edge Brisbane showroom alongside gorgeous succulents from The Borrowed Nursery, we want to give a shout out and a big thanks to all of those who came to help up kick off the Nature issue in style. We hope you enjoyed it! Habitus #33 is on sale now! Photography by Andrew Porfyri and Marc Grimwade. [gallery columns="5" ids="54252,54253,54254,54255,54256,54257,54258,54259,54260,54261,54262,54263,54264,54265,54266,54267,54268,54269,54270,54271,54272,54273,54274,54275,54276,54277,54278,54279,54280,54281,54282,54283,54284,54285,54286,54287,54288,54289,54290,54291,54292,54293,54294,54295,54296,54297,54298,54299,54300,54301,54302,54303,54304,54305,54306,54307,54308,54309,54310,54311"]abc
Design Hunters
People

Arent&Pyke Design With Heart and Soul

Juliette Arent and Sarah-Jane Pyke established Arent&Pyke in 2007 with the desire to inject a new design spirit into people’s homes. Nine years on they have grown to a team of 12, undertaking the full scope of interior architecture and design, from major renovations and wet areas to art selection and styling. With Sarah's background in interior architecture and Juliette's background in interior design and fine arts there is richness to their work. But this richness runs far deeper than the look and feel of a space and is driven by their understanding of people’s daily rituals, routines and relationships and the possibilities of how they could live in a space. Arent&Pyke | Habitus Living “When we design someone’s living space we become quite intimate with their day-to-day experience of each other and the really important relationships they have with one another,” says Juliette. As the designers reimagine the space and replan the way it is used – as they realise its possibilities – the design process becomes not only transformative for the house but for those who live there. “Clients have dreams about how they want to live and how a space is going to change their lives and we get to be a part of that story,” Sarah adds. Arent&Pyke | Habitus Living This all speaks to Arent&Pyke’s mission to “help and inspire people to live a beautiful life,” which is very much influenced by the pair’s own values and how they seek to live life. “We are always referring to the way we ourselves experience life knowing there are certain things design can make easier,” they explain. “It’s not an aesthetic word necessarily; rather we’re helping people tap into beauty in life.” Arent&Pyke | Habitus Living This human-centred approach is well suited to a design practice focussed on residential architecture, but they have also recently added commercial and hospitality projects to their portfolio with the award-winning Alex Hotel, and with no loss of attention to creating a space that helps people feel at home. Working to the concept of “hotel as home,” the design team successfully created a space that fosters the same emotional connection as their residential projects. “It came down to the way people use the shared spaces and making them feel incredibly inviting so that people form a connection or feel at ease the minute they walk into the space,” says Juliette. Arent&Pyke | Habitus Living Art also plays a significant part in Arent&Pyke’s projects, adding not only to the richness of the aesthetic, but to that of life in general. “Art is important not only for how it can make a space feel but for starting a dialogue about art, the role of art in society, and the importance of having these things in our life,” says Juliette. They help clients source pieces from exhibitions and galleries and are great supporters of Artbank, through which the Alex Hotel leased a significant collection and commissioned a piece for the lobby. Arent&Pyke | Habitus Living In addition to their project work, the studio produces the design and lifestyle blog In/Out with interviews and content that extends upon the mission of Arent&Pyke and expresses what they, and others, think it means to live a beautiful life. And for designers Juliette and Sarah that, like everything they do, is far more than an aesthetic; it’s the “experiential and environmental notion of living a beautiful life” that they seek to create. Arent&Pyke arentpyke.com Photography by Anson Smart, Felix Forest, Tom Ferguson and Julie Adams.  Arent&Pyke | Habitus Living Arent&Pyke | Habitus Living Arent&Pyke | Habitus Livingabc
Design Hunters
People

How Can We Make Our Obstacles Work For Us?

“Nature works by repelling, attracting, repelling, attracting, all the way down to an atomic structure,” says artist Joshua Yeldham, and the man behind Surrender, a visual journey devised to be a journal for his daughter . “As artists we think we should just keep on being attracted, attracted, attracted to our work, our creativity. My pictures destroy themselves if I start hoarding creativity to a point where I won’t let it collapse. It’s such an important part of any creative path, to learn to push through the complete collapse of your project, or your idea.” busfrom-dune_F It’s a process most people try to resist, fearful that collapse signifies an ending rather than an important step in the process of renewal or the act of becoming. “I have had to develop the endurance necessary to work through many, many sequences of collapse until I arrive at a point where the picture is no longer telling me to come to it. For me, a picture is finished when it longer asks me to move away and towards it. It just no longer needs me.” 004-230210_joshua_yeldham_F However, it is not only in his art that Joshua feels the influence of this push and pull. It has also been an essential quality of his experiences as a father. “Our children are the same. One minute we’re snuggling up, enjoying this incredible intimacy and then the next minute it’s Armageddon!” sb-110 Having children also means more distractions but, rather than resist his new reality, Joshua has come to weave it into the way he works. “It's very easy as an artist to feel that if you're distracted you'll lose your creative thought or you'll lose your inspiration or you'll lose your talent just because someone keeps interrupting you. Once I worked through that I realised that I've got to find a way to lose thought creatively and trust that it will come back again and again. In my opinion if you feed your family and your loved ones the art will just happen anyway.”

Read the full story in Habitus issue #33, available now.

Joshua Yeldham joshuayeldham.com.au Photography by Jo Yeldham Art by Joshua Yeldham Words by Andrea O'Driscoll Surrender_F mix0161_Fabc
Architecture
Homes

The Arthur and Tyrian Apartments Are Fit for Royalty

Situated on Queens Road in Melbourne, the apartments aspire to give a touch of sophisticated urban living to the city, with both residential apartments, and a 5-star hotel side by side. Luxury can mean many things to many people but to Brittany Cini, lead designer of the project in Melbourne, “luxury living means convenient living”. Spaces that function as cohesively as they appear — particularly task-based zones such as kitchens and bathrooms — are like people that look as good as they feel; it’s interrelated. But it’s not always easy to strike a balance. Arthur and Tyrian Apartments - Hallmarc | Habitus Living “[It’s] not only about quality fixtures and finishes anymore, but having everything you need at your fingertips,” continues Brittany. With the ever-increasing demand for vertical living in Melbourne, the usual suspects in apartment living such as an onsite gym, pool, communal courtyards and perhaps a café nearby, have become just that ­— the usual. Pushing the boundaries and thinking outside the box led to some newer, more exciting drawcards. Think 24-hour reception, a restaurant/café on the ground floor (if you don’t have time to grocery shop are you really going to have time to cook?), and rooftop views of the surrounding city. Arthur and Tyrian Apartments - Hallmarc | Habitus Living A classic colour palette and high quality finishes bring a sense of longevity to the project. “The design brief for the Tyrian serviced apartments [was] to try and stay ahead of the trends, we didn’t want it to look dated in a short amount of time,” says Brittany. “The Valcucine kitchens definitely set the tone of the Arthur apartments with their soft colour palette and clean lines.” Arthur and Tyrian Apartments - Hallmarc | Habitus Living As it did for the kitchen, approaching the design of the bathroom began with a focus on usability, only then to be followed by design. “I start[ed] by focusing on the functionality and use,” says Brittany. “I then [thought] about how the bathroom will compliment the rest of the home. It is one room in which you do not furnish and therefore the colour palette is very much set by the core elements.” Arthur and Tyrian Apartments - Hallmarc | Habitus Living You could argue, given that sobering fact, that bathroom architecture has a bigger impact on the overall aesthetic of a home than any other room. Looking to Rogerseller and the high quality of their products, which comes as standard, allowed Brittany and her team to base their selection of fittings and the like purely on aesthetics. Products used include the Miky 50 underbench basin, Fantini Mare tapware, Rogerseller Flow showers, Catalano Sfera toilets and Rogerseller Peak flush plates, BLB Comfort baths and Rogerseller Strap accessories. Arthur and Tyrian Apartments - Hallmarc | Habitus Living When asked to select her favourite part of the design, Brittany can’t go past the lobby. As the first room any guest will experience, and one that effectively and immediately communicates the overarching aesthetic of the project, it’s a befitting choice. A bespoke, gold-mirrored reception desk, a stunning custom-made central pendant and curved archways with gold trims are not-so-subtle signs of the luxury to follow suite. Arthur and Tyrian Apartments - Hallmarc | Habitus Living The Arthur and Tyrian Apartments are currently under construction with completion estimated mid-2017. Arthur Apartments arthurapartments.com.au  Hallmarc hallmarc.com.au Rogerseller rogerseller.com.au

Images by Hallmarc

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Architecture
Around The World

Cane Furniture and Coconut Shells Like You’d Never Expect

The guest experience begins from the Amanpulo Resort's private hanger and guest lounge at Ninoy Aquino Airport. Around 70 minutes after boarding a nineteen-seat Dornier turbo-prop first, the first glimpse of Pamilican is through the window of the open cockpit: a 5.5km long, 500m wide stretch of white sand and jungle, fringed by coral reef  on the turquoise waters of the Sulu Sea.

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Amanpulo opened on the previously uninhabited island 23 years ago. It was the third link in Aman Resorts’ luxury chain, which now boasts 30 hotels and resorts in 20 countries. Known for its flawless service, minimalist interiors, embrace of local architectural vernacular and often far-flung locations, Aman Resorts will launch its thirty-first property in Shanghai next year.

Mañosa & Co, headed by famed Filipino architect Francisco ‘Bobby’ Mañosa, was handed the original commission for Amanpulo. The initial brief was an extensive list comprising of: 40 cottages (which Mañosa coined ‘Casitas’), a clubhouse with a restaurant, library, boutique, a large swimming pool, a beach side specialty restaurant; tennis courts and the accompanying ‘back of the House’ with employee dormitories, an airplane hangar, and a reception hall.

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“It is always a challenge when building on a remote island, says Bobby’s son Angelo Mañosa, CEO of Mañosa & Co. “Many factors come into play such as weather, power, water, logistics and environmental impact.” All materials had to travel by barge to Pamilican Island, sometimes needing to wait for up to three days before it was safe to approach the island. To ensure a consistent supply of potable water, Amanpulo had to ship in its own desalination plant.

The design of Amanpulo was inspired by the traditional Filipino ‘Bahay Kubo’ thatched house, which Mañosa divided into two 35 square meter segments for bedroom and bathroom. “Back in the early 1980’s, having a bathroom of 35square meters in the Philippines was unheard of,” recalls Mañosa of the casitas which were each required to include a free standing bath tub with a sea view. “It set the precedent for many other luxury resorts to follow.”

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Interiors feature cane furniture, artisanal homewares with inlaid coconut shell, Cebu marble tabletops and capiz shell light fixtures. “Architects have a responsibility to support local industry," says Mañosa, “We have always championed the use of local indigenous materials, which we take in its simplest form and then begin to innovate with design, finding ways to elevate the material to a new level.”

Despite more than two decades of wear and tear, Amanpulo still feels like a new resort. “An island is one of the harshest environments you can build a structure on”, admits Mañosa, “but for twenty years Amanpulo consistently works with us in a cohesive balance of design, building maintenance, and new island experiences. They are a truly unique client.”

Amanpulo Resort aman.com

Photography and Words by Dave Tacon.

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House Of The Year

Cabbage Tree House

The site is a north facing small escarpment that is characterised by large a floating rock shelf, and a waterway that stems from a distant catchment and flows steadily to the inland bay two kilometres away through remnant swamplands. The building is elemental, almost cave-like and has a horizontality that places the layers of the building as primary contours of the hillside; one safely traverses the land physically and emotionally with the house. The bold leaning façade plays poetically with both the sky and the immediate land. This is a building that unashamedly becomes one with its locale. Historically, residential buildings are rarely questioned for their relevance; should we repeat the past and occupy a box, fill it with stuff and find solace in the computer screen? Or is this the time to revisit ancient values, values of sociability, shared care, awareness, consciousness? Can a house promote such values or is it purely the occupants? The project is a sum of its understanding across disciplines. The initial framing of land was delivered by Peter Stutchbury Architecture and continues to be regenerated by Luke Dewing of Joshua Tree Landscapes. The structural integrity of a complex masonry insert was delivered by Richard Matheson of van der Meer Consulting, who tied the core of the building to rock strata up to 9000 mm below the surface. An elemental and restrained building has enabled a cost effective outcome on a demanding site. Sustainability is easily misrepresented. In its purest form, the sustainability of a building stems from decisions that demonstrate a true understanding and respect for the environmental factors it will face. Siting is a significant concern – dependent upon latitude and location. Cabbage Tree House was located, and materials selected, based upon site character and solar management. Thermal mass is used to both hold and transfer heat and as a consequence the internal temperatures of the building varying only minimally, winter to summer. The building is located due north, and splayed to capture winter sun. The angled east façade was positioned to channel cool breezes entering the valley from Pittwater through the building in summer. The clients are delighted with the outcome of this project. Never predicted was the hospitality of the building nor the level of seasonal comfort. The smaller built area along with careful and expressive finishes support the clients desire for a responsible built outcome. Cabbage Tree House is a real investigation into raw living, a track to past habits and a shelter that is more reminiscent of cave than shed. As world values shift and the strength of awareness diminishes, Cabbage Tree House challenges what part the house plays within the current scenario of housing. The building is elaborate only in its restraint.abc
House Of The Year

D House

Think of sustainability and environmental issues come to mind to do with passive climate control, energy conservation and responsible use of materials. But other things are also subject to the imperative of sustainability – emotional and cultural sustainability, for example, economic sustainability and sustaining families from one generation to another with all the social and personal benefits that brings. This house in the northern Vietnamese city of Hanoi is in a dense urban setting where lots of concrete and loss of greenery has created a noisy, polluted heat trap, making lifer especially difficult in the hot and humid summers. The architects have set out set out to create a green oasis within this urban jungle, to create a home which is not just environmentally sustainable, but also culturally and socially sustainable. The 178 square metre house is also in a flood-prone area, so it is elevated at ground level above anticipated flood levels. It is on an irregular plot which the architects have exploited to create angled openings for visual variety and air circulation. And from the street the house clearly signals the intent behind its design, with its lush greenery and screen of hanging vines. The house extends over three levels and, like any multi-generational house, is planned to offer a balance between privacy and community. Hence, with the exception of one bedroom, the ground floor is the communal area with a free plan of living, dining and kitchen, an extending backyard and three voids which act as garden courts, doubling as wind chimneys providing natural ventilation throughout the house. The second level is the private domain and main bedroom area while the third level provides storage and an altar room. But the third level is only partly enclosed. The remainder forms an open roof garden. For the grandparents, who come from a farming background, this provides a sense of continuity and guards against any sense of alienation in an urban setting. The garden is also a source of fresh herbs and vegetables for the extended family. The house is oriented towards the east, allowing it to catch breezes in summer. However, this also makes it relatively cold in winter, so the openings need to be closeable. Still, the facade is designed to draw fresh air in and up through the entire building. At the same time, the greenery, which is both a skin for the building and its lungs, not only mitigates heat from the sun, but also counters air pollution and street noise. There is a high degree of connectivity throughout the house, especially on the ground floor. But this connectivity is not so much with the urban outside but with an inner world. The house has its own natural landscape with internal spaces blending with the garden courts and their trees which reach up to the second level. Spaces flow into one another and out to the courts creating a relaxed and surprisingly spacious ambience for a house which is actually on quite a small plot.abc
House Of The Year

Patama’s House

Located in the tranquil landscape of Minburi, on the outskirts of Bangkok, the context offers a sense of retreat that drove the intentions behind the design of this residence. It was conceived as a group of interrelated dwellings, a compound, rather than a house in the traditional sense. Patama Roonrakwit, the owner and architect of the residence, intended that the place be many things. Hence, it is not just a family residence, but the compound also includes an architectural office, a tourist agency and a music school, plus accommodation units for visiting foreign friends. These functions all answer to the diverse requirements of the Roonrakwit family which consists of three generations, including seven members from 8 to 84 years of age. In addition, there is a one hundred year-old wooden house belonging to the family for four generations that had to be relocated to the site. The first question Patama, needed to answer was how to accommodate all these requirements while retaining the sense of privacy and tranquility that the context already offered. Patama’s solution was simple. In order to sustain the sense of individuality while acknowledging familial community – as well as embracing the tropical climate – the place would be organised as a compound of separate units joined together by roofed terraces. Once separated, all of the ‘boxes’ are free to let light and air in. The way these units are positioned within the site also aims at an interplay between privacy and community, letting the inhabitants of each unit be protected within their own spaces while allowing them to see and be seen as desired. The views from within, while generous, are never homogeneous. Instead, they are always framed to give the inhabitants different ways of relating to the landscape, which can be brought near, remain far, or left in-between. For this reason, everyday domestic activities are never overshadowed by the presence of the surrounding landscape, which becomes a background for contemplation rather than an overbearing foreground that screams for attention. Built for a family of seven, plus frequently visiting foreign friends, the residence is organised into seven separate yet interconnected units. Four dwellings and two working units are connected by a central ‘communal’ unit that also contains the old wooden house on its upper level. From public working spaces to private living spaces, every area accommodates diverse functions that are translated into different ‘rooms’. Yet many of the rooms are not defined by the traditional element of a wall, but instead the perimeter of the rooms is left blurred, allowing the many usages to merge and emerge. This also occurs between the interior and exterior spaces of the house. Apertures are stratified in such a way that the inhabitants’ relationship to the surrounding landscape can be adjusted or chosen at will, which creates a free play of light and darkness, the fresh air, the breeze as well as the views. The compound is designed with a unique sense of lightness, along with the sensitive stratification of its enveloping enclosures that make the place a welcoming public space while remaining a private universe awaiting its inhabitants, who return each day, to retire and quietly recharge before the next day begins. With two young children in the family, the residence has to accommodate not only the current needs, but also to foresee and take into the account future requirements that will arise as the children grow older. It has to be flexible enough to provide a framework for future transformation. Such simple balance is not easy to achieve. Had the design been too specific, the house would have remained firmly fixed, resisting any functional adjustments. On the other hand, had the design been too loose, each space may have lacked identity, without the particularity that creates a sense of place. It is only through careful anticipation that the design achieves the balance of being both framed and free. The uniqueness of its appearance also comes from the re-use of architectural elements and materials from an old house, dismantled and reassembled in a new way, with a new language. It is at once familiar and refreshingly new. Materials and elements, local and ‘old’, are configured and assembled with a language pertinent to current usage, giving an ambience of something contemporary. It is a house conceived from a close connection between inner demands and outer context, creating a unified whole that belongs to both the owner and the place where it is situated.abc