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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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Design Hunters

Habitus Star Marion Borgelt Exhibiting at Perth

Opening on April 7 at Turner Galleries in Perth is renowned Australian artist Marion Borgelt’s latest exhibition. The Signature Works collection sees a series of her most iconic and personal work displayed until May 13. Included is a series of evolving blue and white spheres, suggesting the phases of the moon – this installation of exquisite lunar disks of graduating colour and sizes sees a gold lunar wave shimmers against a night black wave in an utterly captivating visual feast. Borgelt’s sensitive selection of materials oscillates between the organic (glass, gold leaf, beeswax, wood, duck eggshell) to the inorganic (synthetic paint, perspex and stainless steel). Such rigour in her choice and application of materials underpins an artist whose practice reflects the allegorical approaches and symbology of two-halves combining to make a whole, in a practical and literal sense. Borgelt draws inspiration from subjects such as semiotics, language and phenomenology to create a personal visual vocabulary rich in metaphor and dualities. Borgelt is that rare phenomenon; an artist whose abstract artmaking sends out a force field of emotion. We can’t wait to see what Borgelt brings to this exhibition, kicking off on April 7. For more Borgelt, pick up the latest issue of Habitus, on sale now, where we feature a profile piece on this uniquely visionary artist. Tuner Galleries turnergalleries.com.au Lunar-Tango-No-1 Lunar-Tango-No-2 Lunar-Wave-No-2 Liquid-Light-75-Dregreesabc
Architecture
Homes

Blurring Traditions in Beijing

The Haitang Villa, from Archstudio, is a three-story townhouse in a residential area of the busy CBD of eastern Beijing. The design of the townhouse sees the first floor and basement connected, serving as a receiving area for visitors. This blending of spatial use is an ongoing theme of the home. While the second floor has been designed for practical daily living with separate entrances and exits, it also serves as a continuation of the home’s theme of blurring the traditional lines between spaces. For Archstudio, the basic concept of the design for the townhouse was to use the changing of material and space to blur the boundary between indoor and outdoor spaces. The result is a home rich in layers, and low of superfluous flourishes; a minimalist wonder that doesn't sacrifice designer charm in a pursuit of less is more. The home serves as a natural, simple and quiet living atmosphere. 006-Tea-Room   The first floor is designed around the living and study rooms, with a unique and visually arresting oak grille and shelves used to meet requirements of book collecting, exhibition and display, as well as creating a sense of layers with its semi transparent nature. The house tea room is finished in stark gray cement paint, complete with a custom-made concrete counter and table top, contrasting the grey box aesthetic and resulting in a sense of playfulness between scale. This design aesthetic is carried over into the design of living room and bedroom. For the basement floor, the designer reintegrates the relationship between the sunken garden and interior spaces, where a bamboo forest in the courtyard creates a conversation between interior and outdoor views. The idea of the dome has been used in the design of the main living area of the second floor, softening the relationship between the roof and the wall and making the interior space inviting and full of change. Archstudio archstudio.cn Words by Andrew McDonald Photography by Magic Penny 001-Dining-Room 002-Entryway 003-Study 012-Small-Dining-Room 010-Guest-Room 018-Sunken-Courtyard 020-Living-Room 021-Living-Roomabc
Design Hunters
People

In Conversation With… Alan Synman

Alan, you’re the ‘S’ in SJB alongside Charles Justin’s J and Michael Bialek’s B. The practice has just turned 40, which makes you a clan elder. How do you think Australian architecture has changed over the past four decades? I think until the mid-90s, Australian architecture was struggling. I mean in terms of the quality of design. Australia has had close to 20 years of growth but for the first time in recent years we’ve seen that students reaching the end of their education can actually see a career path ahead of them. When I was studying it wasn’t at all unusual to see students drop out because the country was going through another economic downturn. The peaks and troughs were incredibly difficult to navigate, especially as a young architect with no real points of reference. So how has that shift affected architectural output? What it’s meant is that since 1995 or so the best students have been able to complete their studies, been able to get jobs and even in some instances set up their own practices fairly promptly. A decade or more on, they’ve become well-trained, well-educated and well-practiced, experienced architects and the industry as a whole is beginning to reap the benefits. They are now contributing to a culture of great design. The number of practices that now have quality design as the essence of their offer is outstanding. It’s certainly higher than it was twenty-five years ago and there is no reason to suggest it will diminish. Has that had an effect on the way property is developed? Definitely. It means that there’s a new generation of younger developers in their early to mid-30s who’ve now been exposed to quality design and have understood its value in real terms. There’s also a new breed of buyers who have also begun to understand the intrinsic – as opposed to merely the resale – value of good design. It’s about creating better living environments, for real people, now. That’s where we’ve evolved to, and it’s a massive and very positive change. What do you reckon the future holds in store? Urban design is a critical part of the process, allowing us to see and act upon a bigger vision of how we are in the world. The prime example of this, to my mind, is Adam (Haddow, SJB Director, Architecture). Time will show that he is to be one of Australia’s great architects. I believe that with all my being, sincerely. The quality of his design is exemplary. But he’s typical of what’s going on in half a dozen, maybe a dozen practices around the country. We’re entering a, for want of a better term, golden age in architecture in this country. This bunch of new architects are radically changing the way we live. Does that not suggest also that the client is maturing, has become more sophisticated in the way they understand architecture and design? Yes, absolutely. What we’re seeing also is a new, younger, more inquisitive client. Whereas twenty or so years ago the client was let’s say sixty or so, nowadays the client is in their 40s and they’re engaged in some pretty serious projects. These are people who have been exposed to good design consistently throughout their lives here in Australia and also throughout their travels around the world. They’ve understood that the public has also evolved along with them and that these days it’s the better quality design that’s going to sell. As we reach a saturation point of apartment development, it’s those with intrinsic design coherency that are going to succeed. People are suspicious of, and bored with, rubbish buildings. Last January you were awarded the Order of Australia, what’s that about? You tell me! You know, you do all this stuff and you don’t think about it over the years. Me, I was very involved in Australian rules football, in one particular club first as a player, then as a junior coach then a senior coach then ultimately on the committee. We’re talking late 1960s early 70s. I was doing all that at the same time as establishing an architectural practice with Charles and Michael. So I began to back-burner a lot of my sports activities to concentrate on SJB and to work with the Australian Institute of Architects to better the ways the industry behaves and is perceived, working as an examiner, a councilor and so forth. Is that worth an Order of Australia? I’ll leave that up to you. Alan Synman was In Conversation With… Stephen Toddabc
Architecture
Homes

How To Build A House Of Hidden Architecture

Before the owners of this home even owned the site, they knew who would design their next house. Day-tripping around their region one day they passed a project that instantly intrigued them, compelling them to connect with whoever was responsible and store that contact away until the time was right. Enter Norman Richards, an award-winning designer who would need everything in his architecture arsenal to deliver on his clients’ brief on what was a hellish block. “Two previous owners had attempted to build on the site and given up,” he says. It was a former quarry and dumping ground for the rest of the estate, with impeding easements adding to the headache. But the pay-off was and is the stunning 180 views, with lush rainforest and the glittering Pacific unfurling gloriously from any vantage point. The owners wanted those views framed from every room with a home of “bold form, clean lines and simple materials”, but it couldn’t attempt to steal the leading role from Mother Nature. Richards’ response was to "increase the natural drama of the site through contrast between how it appears from the street - opaque and impermeable to glassy and transparent from inside”. Norman Richards normanrichards.com Words by Tamara Simoneau Photography by Anastasia Kariofyllidis Read the full story in Habitus issue #35, available now. Buderim Glasshouse | Habitus Living Buderim Glasshouse | Habitus Living  abc
Design Products
Furniture

In the Best Light with Marset

Whether hanging pendant or standalone sculptural statement, feature lamps are akin to architectural jewellery within a space. But it is the quality of the light itself that can imbue an entire room with a particular effect or mood – something of a specialty subject for Barcelona-based lighting design house, Marset. With origins as a family-owned foundry in 1942, Marset Illuminacion began in earnest in 1965. From day one, the company has approached their craft with light as their foremost consideration, working with a range of local designers to create products that disperse and emit light in inventive ways. MARSET | Habitus Living Their newly launched Theia floor and table lamps, by Mathias Hahn, demonstrate the designer’s imaginative, narrative driven relationship with light. Named for the mother of the sun, the moon and the dawn in Greek mythology, the lamp’s form is defined by two overlapping hemispherical shades. One opaque shade rotates around the central stem to enable a spontaneous direction of light, according to the user’s needs. With their pieces featured in homes, restaurants and hotels around the world, Marset’s diverse collections are as beautiful as they are fun to use. The No.8 lamp by Christophe Mathieu comprises a wooden ball at the end of a flexible fabric arm, capturing a playfully tactile, human sensibility – making it a popular solution for bedside table lighting. MARSET | Habitus Living Though the breadth of their large collection exudes a definitively contemporary aesthetic, it is interesting to note one of their most enduringly successful products is one that was originally designed in 1979. The Funiculí, by Lluís Porqueras, was re-released by Marset in homage to one of their most effortlessly functional pieces. Marset is distributed in Australia through AJAR. AJAR ajar.com.au Words by Sandra Tan MARSET | Habitus Living MARSET | Habitus Livingabc
Architecture
NOT HOMES

The COS x Studio Swine Installation Is The Winning The ‘User-Generated Content’ Game

At last year’s Salone Del Mobile, COS blew some minds with their Sou Fujimoto Forest of Light collaboration. The year before that, they joined forces with famed New Yorkers Snarkitecture to produce the Cavernous Fabric Retreat. They were what every physical brand exercise should be – Instagramable. Why? It makes great user-generated content. Imagine launching a collection where your target market does the media work for you! The value of peer-to-peer recommendations on social media cannot be understated, and here, the design industry has a very critical role to play in creating living branded spectacles for our clients. Frequently teaming up with key architects and designers around the world, fashion house COS is arguably leading the pack in the user-generated content space. And their most recent effort with London firm Studio Swine (and sixth time overall for Salone Del Mobile) is no exception. To launch the COS S/S17 collection, Studio Swine an artistic duo between Japanese architect Azusa Murakami and British artist Alexander Groves, will create an immersive, multi-sensory experience for Salone Del Mobile 2017 that, with the name of New Spring, reflects the optimism and renewal that results from seasonality. The installation is of course, all about theatre, aiming to “evoke the memories of joy and vitality”. “We have been inspired by the thoughtfulness of studio swine’s work for some time now and are so thrilled to see New Spring coming to life. I hope their idea for this year’s installation will capture the imagination of those who visit. It is a joy for us to invite such talented creatives to collaborate and ultimately for us to engage with the creative community we draw inspiration from so regularly at COS,” says COS creative director, Karin Gustafsson. Sourcing influence from the Sakura Festival of Japan, the centrepiece of the New Spring installation is a focal sculpture, emitting mist-filled blossoms that burst and evaporate on contact with skin, but lingers momentarily when met with textured fabrics. It’s ethereal, interactive and total gram-bait. For those of you making the Milan pilgrimage this year, the COS x Studio Swine New Spring installation will be open to the public during the fair from 4th to 9th April, hosted at the Cinema Arti – an inactive 1930s theatre built by Italian architect Mario Cereghini. abc
Design Hunters

The First Words from Habitus #35

Eccentricity, seen through the Habitus lens, is a way to embrace design ingenuity, celebrate creativity and push ourselves to think outside that same old box. We look at clever solutions to genuine design problems, strictly avoiding design for design’s sake; there’s flair but there’s no superfluous waste.

Perfectly befitting the Eccentric issue, Stephen Todd – who’s built a bit of a reputation for himself contributing essays on art, architecture, design and fashion to newspapers across the globe, has given our feature section a bit of a shake up. Within it, he pens his thoughts on an Australian design identity – and whether such a thing exists – as well as a few words on life so far for Don Cameron, a rare furniture importer, friend and curator of interiors for Hotel Hotel, Canberra.

Marion Borgelt takes us in a slightly different direction when we visit her immaculate studio, refusing to buy into the notion that mess and creative license go hand-in-hand. But I guess that’s the idea with eccentric beings, they’re unpredictable and it’s part of their charm.

The houses that we visit, generously scattered throughout the region, all encapsulate great design in some form or respect. There’s a beachside abode on Sydney’s North Shore that’s more Brutalist than beach shack; a house atop the rolling hills of Buderim, Queensland, with a silhouette to emulate a viewfinder; and a modern terrace in Malaysia that’s found all the right angles.

So, this quarter we invite you to embrace the eccentricity hidden within. We invite you to get bold, get creative and get amongst it.

Holly Cunneen Deputy Editor

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Architecture
Homes

SoHo Style In the Heart of Sydney

West End is Roxy-Pacific’s new residential development in Glebe, uniquely located to offer some of the most exciting urban living choices in inner Sydney, while retaining the vibrant local environment, rich history, and charming character the suburb is known for. Glebe is one of Sydney’s key destinations for art, culture, dining and relaxing, and this development, designed by multi-award-winning architects Turner with Interiors by Siren Design, will continue this suburban narrative, with two distinct buildings. The two stages are christened The Foundry, and the Arthouse, with the Foundry featuring a range of New York style Soho apartments, arches and a distinctive warehouse style with brick and concrete detailing. The Arthouse, while sharing certain design elements such as asymmetrical arches, will reverse the original architectural motifs, seeing concrete with brick highlights. TPAA3450_Glebe-IN05_Looking-In_D-copy Roxy-Pacific Director Benjamin Hopkins says that the design of the project had the maintenance of the rich history of the suburb always at the fore, “Our vision for the site was inspired by the culture of Glebe, the rich architecture of Ultimo as well as the inner city living allowing residents to walk to the CBD, Broadway and Sydney Harbour in a matter of minutes. We wanted to create a village atmosphere so the residents would be inspired by their place of residence, which will be timeless with its unique design and attention to detail.” For the architectural team at Turner, the challenge was to marry the urban culture of Ultimo and Glebe’s village culture, highlighting the distinctive character and urban scale of both. Views from the apartments are split between a sightline over Wentworth Park and the CBD, and gazing down at internal courtyards and a quiet sanctuary. Inside, apartments are generously proportioned, light- filled, and minimally realised. “We saw a unique opportunity to design iconic, livable apartments for Glebe, that have an industrial edge mixed with a warm and refined aesthetic,” says Mia Feasey CEO of Siren Design. Communal spaces are not set to disappoint either – with a vibrant and interesting rooftop garden also present alongside the courtyards. Future residents will enjoy the night sky and vistas of the city, while relaxing or entertaining with a BBQ for friends and family. Turner turnerstudio.com.au Words by Andrew McDonald TPAA3450_Glebe-IN04_Living_Scheme-A-copy TPAA3450-EA04-Rooftop-Close-copy TPAA3450-Glebe-E04_Cutaway_D-copy TPAA3450-Glebe-E05_Detail_D-copy TPAA3450-Glebe-E08-Elevated-Dusk_D-copy TPAA3450-Glebe-E02-Hero_D-copyabc
Design Hunters
Happenings

Last Night at Living Edge

Today Habitus #35, the Eccentric issue, hits stands and last night we had a little party in anticipation. As glamorous as the glossy pages will have you believe, or as nonchalant as the weighty, uncoated stock may suggest, a lot of hard work goes into each issue we produce. So to have the ongoing support of our industry, our peers, and you – our loyal Design Hunters – means the world. Eccentricity, seen through the Habitus lens, is a way to embrace design ingenuity, celebrate creativity and push ourselves beyond our limits. This issue we look at extravagant design that may otherwise gets cast aside as superfluous or unnecessary. Who better to champion this idea than Don Cameron, who headlines Stephen Todd’s fresh and continuing take on our new feature section, In Habitus Veritas. Sylvia Weimer, as Consulting Creative Director, freshened up the pages giving them a much needed "slap and tickle" to bring them up to date without departing from our core principles. Last night we were lucky enough to sit in on a brief tete a tete between Stephen and Don as Don talked us through his new installation at Living Edge, who were kind enough to host us. Don has an inimitable approach to design and his interview in this issue is a rare glimpse into his Point Piper apartment. The room was full of people who had their hand in this issue as well close friends in and around the industry. It’s the beginning of a new era – an issue not to miss – so I implore you to pick up a copy before they all run out ­(as they did last night!) Holly Cunneen Deputy Editor   Photography by Derek Bogart Habitus 35 Launch | Habitus Living Habitus 35 Launch | Habitus Living Habitus 35 Launch | Habitus Living Habitus 35 Launch | Habitus Living Habitus 35 Launch | Habitus Living Habitus 35 Launch | Habitus Living Habitus 35 Launch | Habitus Living Habitus 35 Launch | Habitus Living Habitus 35 Launch | Habitus Living Habitus 35 Launch | Habitus Living Habitus 35 Launch | Habitus Living Habitus 35 Launch | Habitus Livingabc
Design Hunters
People

In Conversation With… Shigeru Ban

Your installation at Sherman Contemporary Art Foundation opens this Saturday. What can we expect to see there?  In the courtyard there will be my disaster relief structures designed in response to the Kobe earthquake of 1995 and to the Ecuador disaster of 2016. Inside the gallery there are scale models of my Cardboard Cathedral for Christchurch that was completed in 2013 following the earthquake there, and also my Japan Pavilion that was installed for the World Expo in Hannover in 2000. It’s always interesting to me to look back over my work, but it’s difficult for me to describe the changes. This is more up to the viewer. What made you decide to become an architect? When I was very small, I wanted to become a carpenter. I loved the idea of working with wood. But at that time in my life I didn’t know that the profession of architect existed, what an architect could be and the mark that an architect can make on a city and on people’s lives. Who were your early influences? I was never much interested in style, or architectural fashions. They come and go all the time. I was always intrigued by the structural work of Otto Frei, and Buckminster Fuller. I was and still am a great admirer of American architect, John Hejduk. The poetry of his work is very powerful. You are most renowned for your disaster relief architecture, but you also do great urban monuments, like the Centre Pompidou in Metz or the Aspen Art Museum. How do you approach these seemingly wildly disparate briefs or set of circumstances? You know, architects mostly work for privileged people, people who have money and power. Power and money are invisible, so people hire us to make their power visible, to give it form, so we make money into monumental buildings. I love to make monuments, but I also think it is important to use my knowledge and experience in the service of people who are in situations of danger. Architecture can do these two things at one, without one contradicting the other. Today you have offices in Tokyo, New York and Paris. How do you divide your time? I used to go to New York every two weeks, but now I ask my New York staff to come to Tokyo or Paris because I commute between those two cities every week. That means I now only need to go to New York once every two or three months, but my New York staff come to me. How many staff do you have in your three offices? Six people each. I don’t want to make my office any bigger because I want to design everything by myself with just the bare minimum support staff. Why do you maintain an office in Paris? I opened the Paris office after I won the competition to design the Centre Pompidou in Metz (capital of the Lorraine region in north-east of France). At the time it opened in 2010 it was my only French project, but since then we have picked up a few more projects in Europe which keep the Paris office running. You were on the Pritzker Architecture Award jury of 2007, 2008 and 2009, which recognized, respectively, the work of Richard Rogers, Jean Nouvel and Peter Zumthor. Since then, the Pritzker has gone to architects on the periphery, either in the geographical sense, or in terms of practical ethics. How do you explain that? I can’t explain that (laughs). You’d better ask the jury! No, I think that the attitude of the Pritzker jury has changed since I was chosen. When I was on the jury in those years, the attitude was much as it had been for years: to award very large, very grand gesture projects. So when I was chosen, I was very surprised because I did not fit the former criteria. So my being awarded the Pritzker seemed to indicate a shift of some sort. Whether the criteria have changed, or whether it’s just an accident, I can’t say. How long will you be in Sydney for? Two days. But that’s quite unusual. I normally stay only one night in any city I go to, except Tokyo and Paris. Shigeru Ban was In Conversation With... Stephen Toddabc
Design Hunters
Happenings

Ten Top Picks from The Thailand International Furniture Fair

This year, the region’s most comprehensive furniture décor and lifestyle exposition draws inspirations from art history, traditional craft, and the hybrid experiment of time and space for the contemporary living. We bring to you our top ten picks from the event. EasyWingsTable-HabitusLiving1 EasyWingsTable-HabitusLiving2 Easy Wings coffee table Created by: Apiwat Chitapanya An advance preview prior to the upcoming 2017 Milan Design Week. The 2-pieces awards winning coffee table in the marriage of coated metal and wood has simulated the natural patterns from the wings of the dragonfly. The slim legs with the elegant gold-finished tip give an art nouveau touch for any contemporary space. Find out more: www.apiwatchitapanya.com   CanePartition-HabitusLiving1 CanePartition-HabitusLiving2 Cane partition Created by: Atelier 2+, for Podium The historical touch of Colonial classique in a contemporary green paint finished. A tropical material of rattan stalk that lives through the history and in need to sustain the craft of traditional weaving skill. The partition will add an extra layer of semi-privacy area to an exposed space, and brings that little curiosity from the past to the room. Find out more: www.podium.co.th   EarlyBirdHolder-HabitusLiving1 EarlyBirdHolder-HabitusLiving2 EarlyBirdHolder-HabitusLiving3 Early Bird accessary and envelope holder Created by: Moreover Inspired by the Japanese paper folding art of Origami. This wall decoration is a durable piece of folding metal sheet with 2 compartments, and its multi-functional usage is also adaptable for all ages to add some personal layers of creativity to the blank wall. Available in the colour choices of either black or white. Find out more: www.moreoverdesign.com   LandscapeTray-HabitusLiving1 LandscapeTray-HabitusLiving4 LandscapeTray-HabitusLiving2 LandscapeTray-HabitusLiving5 Landscape stationary tray Created by: Patapian Let the warm teakwood landscape and the hand-crafted hills of bamboo strips reminisce the parody of the place from your last night’s dream. Have fun narrate an island or territory to hold your notes and stationaries before the start of the busy day. A small act of creativity to start an interesting conversation. Find out more: www.patapian.com   CrossSunBed-HabitusLiving1 CrossSunBed-HabitusLiving4 CrossSunBed-HabitusLiving2 CrossSunBed-HabitusLiving3 Cross sunbed Created by: Galvanii A relieve to the conventional boxy language of outdoor furniture, and also an attractive piece for the interior space. Its industrial language of galvanized steel in the dynamic lines can be a surprise pairing with the pure luxury of marble setting. Its existence can deliver a well balance context that is both elegant and yet relaxed. Find out more: www.galvanii.com   LeafCabinet-HabitusLiving1 LeafCabinet-HabitusLiving3 LeafCabinet-HabitusLiving2 Leaf cabinet Created by: Studio AB, for The Life Shop The sensational touch of the real Teak leaves on the rustic industrial stands is a symbolic embodiment of nature and machine. The eco-friendly recycle approach of these ancient leaves also ensure that none of the leaves patterns and sizes on the cabinet panel will be identical. A genuine unique décor from nature. A proven accomplishment from the recent 2017 Paris Maison et Objet. Find out more: www.thelifeshop.co.th   RemixWaterdrop-HabitusLiving1 Water Drop Remix Chandelier Created by: Baanchaan An aesthetic glowing quality of tropical illumination in the sculptural form of water droplets. The design was intricately enhanced by the soft element of weaved suede, and the hint of black stripes gives a contemporary feel to the tropical ambience. A suspended art work in its presence. Find out more: www.baanchaan.com   EmmannuelleChair-HabitusLiving1 Emmanuelle chair Created by: Yothaka The throne from the 50’s era is revived with a vibrant contemporary colour palettes. The additional technological advancement of the durable synthetic rattan is an ease of maintenance for both indoor and outdoor usage. This vintage glamour in black was a nostalgic sensation at the 2017 Paris Maison et Objet. The past is now the new present when it is this good. Find out more: www.yothaka.com   Q-compact-HabitusLiving1 Q-compact-HabitusLiving2 Q compact kitchen unit Created by: Kenkoon The hideaway gastronomy for a new socializing space. The all-in-one kitchen station is a ready-to-use plug-in modular unit that challenge the conventional relationship between the kitchen and the inhabitant, and in search for a new possibility beyond the kitchen space. The outdoor material finished of solid wood and black painted stainless steel is an abstraction for that sense of exploration. Find out more: www.kenkoon.com   CuddleDogBed-HabitusLiving1 CuddleDogBed-HabitusLiving2 Cuddle dog bed Created by: Mha Dog and Living No more for us to sacrifice style for our little friend, this national award winning product from last year is now in full production to give the much needed style catch up for our pet. The adjustable cosy bed in grey denim is an easy fit into any colour scheme of the interior space. Find out more: https://www.facebook.com/mhadogandliving Words by Wynn A Bayabc
Architecture
Design Hunters
Homes

Is Western Australia building a sustainable future?

Driving around Perth is complicated. A simple 20-minute drive from the Scarborough coastline to Perth’s CBD is a hectic maze.

While cranes, detours, road blocks and lane mergers at every turn can be seen as a sign of positive change, the big question is, are these new developments building a residential landscape that won’t just be torn down in 20 years? Project by project, the design community is gradually assembling the framework for a sustainable future in residential design. "We are certainly on our way to more liveable and sustainable residential options in WA, but I believe we have a way to go. I'd love to see the people of Perth being offered a more diverse choice of abodes in the heart of desirable, existing communities, rather than the continual expansion into the outer Northern and Southern suburbs,” says property developer Tim Willing of Willing Property. The Terrace House | Habitus LivingThe Terrace House by Willing Property Tim’s current project, The Terrace House, is one of several exciting developments shaping the landscape of WA. Located in the historic area of Guildford, a 25-minute drive out of Perth, the apartments have been well received, selling out in only three months. “Developing well-designed, small scale apartment buildings, that we can be proud of for their visual amenity, quality, considered floorplans and access to local communities, is our best chance at creating a sustainable residential landscape,” he says. "This was our focus with Terrace House. It was designed with classic design principles that will stand the test of time and quality finishes, rather than simply bowing to trends that follow a moment in time.” There’s no denying that Perth is a little behind in terms of sustainable design and though The Green Building Council of Australia recently expressed its concern about Perth’s population set to double over the next 15 years, the future is looking bright. The Exploding! Shed | Habitus LivingThe Exploding! Shed House by David Weir Architect David Weir, who received countless accolades for this inner-city project, The Exploding! Shed House, says that the bastardisation of the Australian dream means that people rankle at the idea of increased density in their neighbourhoods. The Exploding! Shed House is the perfect example of smart, sustainable design in the inner-city suburbs of Perth. It’s projects like this that excite the community and show that sustainable design is available. “It’s a compact and adaptable home, and with a great client we were able to create a liveable suburban home on literally half a block. We had something like two thousand people through that project (at Open House Perth) and so many of them really engaged with the idea of a well-designed small house,” says David. “I feel like as a population we became enamored with the idea of theatre rooms and adult retreats but now a lot of us are waking up from that dreamy fog and realising that good living is not about how many rooms you can have, but how well you can use them, and how well you can engage with your local community.” Providing a variety of living options to WA residents is a step in the right direction of sustainable and smart design. It’s just happening one (slow) step at a time. Words by Clare Ryan The Exploding! Shed | Habitus Living The Exploding! Shed | Habitus Living The Exploding! Shed | Habitus Living The Exploding! Shed | Habitus Livingabc