About Habitusliving

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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Architecture
Homes

A Concrete House Finds a Home in the Tropics

At a glance, Kuala Lumpur projects a very specific attitude to architecture: the bigger, the better. Over the years, this excess-is-best approach has given way to extravagantly realised buildings whose impetus hinge on spectacle rather than human-scale concerns or respect for context. Happily, the proliferation of these super-sized structures seems to have an upside, prompting renewed interest in intimate, pared-down dwellings that display an adherence to modernist principles as well as an affinity with their immediate surroundings. Damansara11 Situated on a slope in the affluent suburb of Damansara Heights, the Chempenai House is one such example. For a number of reasons, the house, designed by local firm WHBC Architects, is something of a diamond in the rough of a neighbourhood dominated by nouveau riche mansions and luxury condominiums. In contrast to the architecture of its more flamboyant counterparts, its stripped down concrete surfaces don’t vie for attention, and if its steep, off-the-beaten-track location is any indication, it doesn’t want to be found either. Indeed, it’s difficult not to entertain Batcave comparisons, walking up Jalan Chempenai to catch a glimpse of the half-hidden rhomboid box peeking clandestinely through a romantic blur of tropical trees and vegetation. Damansara32 Despite the stark presence of the concrete, the building blends effortlessly into its leafy surrounds. The effect is further accentuated by the house’s most prolific design feature: an unusual, egg-crate shaped façade that was cleverly envisioned by the architects as a sun-filtering device. Given the intense tropical climate, WHBC co-founder BC Ang focused his energies on safeguarding the house from extreme heat and sunlight. “The structure naturally allows daylight to filter through but resists radiation,” he offers. The perforated facade, he says, also allows for the existing undergrowth to unfurl over surfaces in a consistent manner as the house is slowly reclaimed by nature over time. The notion of a hidden sanctuary is thus brought to the fore as visual harmony is achieved through this gradual marriage of building and jungle. Read the full story in Habitus issue #33, available now. WHBC Architects whbca.com Words by Adele Chong. Photography by Ben Hosking. Damansara52 Damansara43 Damansara50 Damansara41 Damansara39 Damansara18abc
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Furniture

Ritzwell’s Homage to Furniture Design

Since its inception in the early 1990s, the name Ritzwell has been associated with thoughtful design, careful craftsmanship and enduring style. Originating in Japan, the brand has followed a global path of growth, relocating its headquarters to Milan, Italy, where it blends its distinct Japanese sensibility with a fresh approach to furniture design. Ritzwell_19 Given its poetic ethos and culture of design ­– so beautifully articulated by Ritzwell’s sales and marketing director, Wataru Yano, it comes as no surprise to find its culture of design transcends geographic boundaries to speak to users universally. “Ritzwell breathes the essence of warmth into our furniture by combining quality materials with delicate craftsmanship,” explains Wataru. “This isn’t mass production: this is the creation of art to blend into your daily lives. Ritzwell_25 “Beautiful furniture: quiet, subtle, but undeniably an expressive presence in your room. Like music or art, our goal is to make furniture that becomes a part of your daily life, surpassing artificial boundaries of culture and custom to bring peace and tranquillity to people everywhere.” A beautiful case in point is the recently launched BLACK&WHITE Collection which is defined by its simple, understated balance of form, function and visual appeal. “Black and white usually look cold and inorganic,” says Wataru, “but in the world of Ritzwell design they make a warm combination. The warmth of the colours gently draws out the beauty of the wood, giving new depth to the design,” he says. Ritzwell_4 Wataru highlights the MO table for its perfect balance of shapes and material. “The MO table is a discrete element, silent, but undeniably a significant presence in each room,” he says. Available as a dining, coffee or side table, its subtle black or white surface can easily be added to a lounge, living or dining room without upsetting the existing theme. Its solid wood construction speaks to tradition while simple lines embody a modern aesthetic. The Marcel dining chair, too, is striking in its midnight black or white finish, complementing the MO dining table with modern woodwork that reveals the expertise of Ritzwell’s skilled designers and craftspeople. “The natural feel of the basic walnut is preserved, bringing out the warmth of the wood,” notes Wataru. Ritzwell_8 He encourages the user to lean in and embrace the Ritzwell ethos with the BLACK&WHITE Blava easy chair. “The more you use Blava the better it will feel,” says Wataru. “And as you get to know it you’ll appreciate its luxury: the feel when you sit, the organic fusion of leather belts and wooden frame that you’ll never tire of.” From past to present Ritzwell pieces are designed to grow and age gracefully with the user, and to build a relationship that surpasses seasonal trends. It’s relationship of mutual discovery and shared provenance, founded in the idea that each Ritzwell piece becomes a part of your daily life and absorbs your habits… just as you do it! Ritzwell is available in Australia exclusively from Stylecraft. Stylecraft stylecraft.com.au Words by Alice Blackwood. Ritzwell_9 Ritzwell_11abc