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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.


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The Nostalgia Issue

A Castle In Coogee As Featured Habitus #37 – Out Now!

Where were you living ten years ago? Was it the same place in which you live now? Chances are it wasn’t. As a whole, the western world seems to be cementing ties to this concept of permanent impermanence, which can a beautiful notion. Life is in a constant state of flux; we could relocate anywhere at any moment and that’s an exciting and privileged thought. But take it a step further and because nothing lasts forever, we don’t plan for forever. We’re weary of commitment, not in love but in life.

Maybe we should take a leaf out The Romantics’ book. What happens when you commit to committing? Plan for the future and roll with the punches – sometimes they come, sometimes you get lucky.

Christine and Laurie moved into this fortress-like abode in South Coogee, Sydney, just over ten years ago. With a six-month-old boy in tow the recent parents were working closely with Italian-born, Sydney-trained architect Renato D’Ettorre to create the ideal home on a separate site for their new family. However things took an unexpected turn – as they’re often wont to do – and suddenly this house, which felt immediately like a perfect fit, became their home.

A decade on and two children richer (a boy and a girl) the time came to refresh the interiors. The goal wasn’t to start anew it was to prepare Christine, Laurie and their kids (seven, nine and 11) for the next ten years. “We’ve brought up our kids from babies to now and we’re entering the second phase of how we use the house,” says Christine. There are no rooms in which the kids and their friends aren’t allowed to play, there never have been. “It has never been precious or showcased it’s always been extremely lived in.” From day one it’s been a home in which all inhabitants feel at ease. Memories stand and have been created, just as there are many more to come.

Coogee Castle Malvina Stone Jody D'Arcy aran chair adam goodrum

Durability, practicality and longevity were high on the agenda in the brief that Christine and Laurie didn’t technically give to Perth-based interior stylist and close family friend Malvina Stone. “She’s the sort of stylist that knows us so well that [the brief] wouldn’t have been more complicated than durable, strong, comfortable, suitable for a growing family and not precious,” remembers Christine. “Everything needed to be fairly resilient, robust and fun for the children to be in. It just needed to be a family home,” adds Malvina.

The concrete, fort-like façade of the Coogee Castle is architecturally in harmony with the dramatic cliffs and coastline native to the eastern seaboard, yet hints at Renato’s heritage: “You can see the influence of Italian architecture and materials,” says Christine. Teamed with interiors boasting marble, travertine and wooden parquetry, and Malvina could have ended up producing a cold and distant interior. 

Instead, she’s used a Nordic colour palette of cool greys, navy blues, light woods (bar a few exceptions recycled from the previous interior scheme), buttery soft leathers and tangible textiles. “The textures have really softened it,” says Christine. The same rugs were used throughout the home to add warmth as well as ensure consistency.

The furniture is a combination of bespoke timber pieces commissioned by Malvina from Perth-based manufacturers – “to me, that can be easier than sourcing ready-made furniture” – and locally found from places like Cult, Space and Anibou. Once of Malvina’s favourite pieces is the Aran armchair designed by Adam Goodrum for Cult, made from reindeer leather in a light tan. Christine, on the other hand, has a fondness for the Living Tower, originally designed by Verner Panton in 1969, a piece she spotted and sourced herself  with a nod of approval from Malvina. For Christine, its appeal lies in the fact that something designed so long ago has remained so relevant. Not to mention the endless hours of fun her kids and their friends get from scaling and lounging in it.

Coogee Castle Malvina Stone Jody D'Arcy dining room

An exercise in restraint, Malvina’s interiors compliment the site, rather than compete with it. “I tried to make it more about the architecture and view and less about the furniture,” she says. “I don’t need to do that because the house speaks for itself. The view speaks for itself.”

This large and lengthy block somehow feels small and intimate. Instead of dividing the space up into Tetris-like rooms, the walls are positioned on angles. These angles create interest as well as closeness and connection. A site that would have the potential to feel overly expansive, empty and disconnected is exactly the opposite.

This isn’t one of those homes that looks beautiful but functions poorly, the interior design speaks specifically to their lifestyle. As such the family are able to capitalise on every inch of the space they’re lucky enough to have.

The public and private living spaces are segregated by storeys. Downstairs you can find multiple living spaces, the kids’ play area, the kitchen and dining rooms. Whereas upstairs is dedicated to the bedrooms, each of which has an enviable view. “With the parallel block we’re able to have five bedrooms along the top. Everyone has a view, it was impossible to really find that anywhere else – it’s fairly unique,” says Christine.

Pool parties are wildly popular with the kids and their friends. Likewise with Christine and Laurie who, behind a glass wall, can keep a supervisory eye on proceedings allthewhile leaving the kids to enjoy a sense of independence.

On the other side of the house, beneath a pre-existing, cave-like sandstone wall and floor – “thousands of years old I imagine” – the ground has now been overlaid with timber decking so that the kids can play basketball, kick a soccer ball or scoot around amongst each other. “You could come out before but it was uneven,” says Christine. “As the kids have grown up [they have] craved somewhere they can bounce a ball and have a flat surface.”

Near enough to everything yet far enough away, with it’s dramatic views, rugged exterior and contrastingly warm, welcoming interior, this family really have found their happily ever after home.

This story was originally published in Habitus #37, the Nostalgia issue – out now!

Photography by Jody D'Arcy

Dissection information Living room sofas custom upholstered in La Vita fabric from Fabric Pavilion. Custom made cushions in La Vita fabric from Fabric Pavilion and rug from Tribe Home used throughout. Aran chair by Adam Goodrum from Cult. Reindeer hide from Great Dane. Artek webbed chair from Anibou. Disc coffee tables from Temperature Design. Hand knitted throw from Nickel.N.Co. Custom made dining table in stained American white oak from Revival Furniture. HAY About a Chair dining chairs from Cult. Jasper sofa modules from King Living. Felix sofa from King furniture. Living tower sofa by Divani from Space Furniture. Custom made bed in master bedroom from Revival Furniture. Bedcovers from Country Road Home. Cashmere and mohair throw from Bemboka. Deborah chair by Maxalto from Space Furniture. Custom cabinetry in kitchen and HAY About a Stool chairs from Cult.

Coogee Castle Malvina Stone Jody D'Arcy Living Tower Verner Panton

Coogee Castle Malvina Stone Jody D'Arcy pool

Design Accessories
Design Products

Featured In The Current Of Habitus, Vipp Is Now Available At CULT

It is no short stretch to say that we are inundated with options when designing and decorating interior spaces. And despite the perceived benefits that come with an excess of choice, it can more often than not choke the design process. Vipp is one of the few brands today that understands this pervading anxiety. Entirely comfortable in their own skin, Vipp’s industrial-based range cites a single product for each item category.

It makes perfect sense, then, that to celebrate CULT’s 20th birthday, they have welcomed in the Danish brand. An expansion with an expanding brand, who’s adherence to quality and function has seen its long line of products linger on – unchanged – in the contemporary home.

Vipp came to standing in the 1930s after designing their – now iconic – steel-cylinder pedal bin for a private hair salon. Customers and neighbouring hair salons alike took notice of its exceptional strength and considered design, creating a best seller that continues to decorate the front pages of Vipp’s website and stores.

The pedal bin was an important lesson for designer Holger Nielsen; that objects should be first and foremost functional, and if an object has truly been designed well – from every angle and perspective – then it shouldn’t need to be reinvented. The job of the designer should then be complete; do it once and do it well.

The DNA of this progenitive pedal bin lives on and has been extended throughout the entire home through Vipp’s collection of decisively timeless, sleek and impeccably resolved products. They have more recently released module sections within the bathroom including a sink, tap and shelving solution. While in the kitchen, their concept bundles enable you to lift their own perfectly curated, interconnecting spaces and drop them right into your home directly from theirs.

And this same concept of making prefabricated and completed designs accessible is truly realised in their latest and most daring project to date; the Vipp shelter. Amalgamating their breadth of products within the one site, shelter transforms individual items into a holistic object itself; a two storey, steel structure getaway.

The Vipp collection is simultaneously as expansive as it is slim; taps, soap dishes, towel rails, lighting, linen, floor lamps, toothbrush holders and breadboxes – each considered to be the best that they can be. Evidence of how an edited down collection – under a conscious and critical eye – can offer you choice, function and high design.

Vipp, available at CULT cultdesign.com.au

Vipp Kitchen CULT

Vipp pedal bin CULT

Vipp Bathroom CULT

Vipp Shelter CULT


A Supermodel Home

Located an hour north of Manhattan, the supermodel’s home is awash in white with bright pops of color. The kitchen was designed by Coco herself, along with her husband James Conran who have created a space that’s both contemporary in style, and family friendly in function and aesthetic. With a model’s eye on design and colour, Rocha explains how much she loves the large open plan kitchen, living and dining space and emphasizes the crucial role of materials in this transformation; “We kept the design simple yet contemporary… Materials were really crucial in bringing the whole look together.” The 50-foot long open space is the result of a total gutting of the 1980s home - where kitchen, living and dining spaces now sharing the naturally lit space.

Functional and Beautiful

When it came to selecting new countertops, the choice of Silestone’s Blanco Norte was an easy one. Ultra-sleek and ultra-durable yet easy to maintain, Silestone surfaces are as stain, impact and scratch resistant as they come. For Rocha and James, this means not having compromise style for functionality. The Silestone finishes island serves as both a food work prep zone, as well as gathering spot and separator between the kitchen and living spaces.

Finish Combinations

In the end, Coco and James mixed together an array of finishes throughout the space – the dining room, where a copper theme is present, houses her favourite item; the AllModern copper chandelier that “looks like some Cold War-era satellite”, Coco says. With a huge passion for both colour and Pop Art, Coco’s statement-making pieces bring personality to the space, and the Silestone Blanco Norte finishes – used in the kitchen as well as the living room fireplace – create a strong design cohesion throughout the spacious room. If you'd like to have the model looks in your own home, be sure to check out the full Silestone range online or at the Cosentino City in Alexandria. abc
Around The World
ARC - Feature

Six Senses Qing Cheng Mountain

Habitus Living takes at look at Six Senses Qing Cheng Mountain, a luxury spa resort with an eco-friendly focus in Sichuan Province, China. Located 60 km north west of Chengdu, Six Senses Qing Cheng Mountain is the most recent opening for this Bangkok based luxury spa chain, which currently boasts 12 resorts and 19 dedicated spas across three continents. Six Senses Kitzbühel Alps in 2010 is planned to open in Austria in 2020. Vernacular architecture is hallmark of Six Senses’ resorts. Six Senses Qing Cheng Mountain was designed by its in-house team and fellow Thai firm Habita Architects. The resort’s 103 suites and 12 villas are based on a traditional siheyuan courtyard home design. The suites are on two levels and offer either a private courtyard on the ground floor or a balcony overlooking the perfectly manicured gardens on the floor above. Traditional tiled roofs and Chinese architectural motifs such as Moon Doors feature throughout the property with exposed pale timber and woven cane lanterns play key to the interior design. The centerpiece of the property is circular walled spa with an elliptical design that echoes Tadao Ando’s Oval hotel at Benesse House on the Japanese island of Naoshima. Six Senses Qing Cheng Mountain Dave Tacon pond The resort is set in an extensively landscaped setting, forested with native bamboo, vegetation that makes the area a traditional habitat of the Giant Panda. This endangered species can be seen at near-by Panda Valley, a research facility that prepares young, captive-bred pandas for release into the wild. “Our plan was to create gardens and landscape that blend Six Senses values of sustainability with local plants, traditional Chinese Medicine and astrology,” says Andrew Best, Vice President of Architecture and Technical Services at Six Senses. Project management and landscape design of the resort was overseen by LA headquartered AECOM. The Sustainable practices at the resort include an on-site organic vegetable garden, free range chickens, re-usable glass drinking water bottles and a fleet of electric powered Tesla S limousines to whisk guests from Chengdu’s Shuangliu International Airport to the resort in about an hour. Guests at Six Senses Qing Cheng Mountain can make the most of its location with guided tours to Panda Valley as well as to the twin UNESCO sites of Qing Cheng Mountain, the birthplace of Tao Buddhism and the ancient Duijangyan irrigation system, which dates back to 256 BC. Six Senses sixsenses.com Six Senses Qing Cheng Mountain Dave Tacon garden Six Senses Qing Cheng Mountain Dave Tacon restaurant Six Senses Qing Cheng Mountain Dave Tacon lighting Six Senses Qing Cheng Mountain Dave Tacon dining Six Senses Qing Cheng Mountain Dave Tacon lighting Six Senses Qing Cheng Mountain Dave Tacon bedroom Six Senses Qing Cheng Mountain Dave Tacon ensuite Six Senses Qing Cheng Mountain Dave Tacon garden Six Senses Qing Cheng Mountain Dave Tacon nightscapeabc
The Nostalgia Issue
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Design Hunters

The First Word From Habitus #37, The Nostalgia Issue

Why do we have such a far reaching fondness for the past? Where did it come from and why does it compel us so strongly – everything looks better in hindsight, right? As time passes and memories sweeten, a soft spot for bygone eras draws dangerously close to putting them on the proverbial, unattainable, pedestal. Which begs the question: Is it impossible to move forward if we keep looking back? In this issue we wanted to explore the idea of retrospection further, as the design industry is one with a particular penchant for all things ‘nostalgic’. The celebrated names and faces of architect John Wardle and designer Marc Newson grace this issue and we count ourselves lucky to have borrowed their time. Both men have reputations that precede them and we ask how has this impacted their approach to future projects. Does it help or hinder? In his essay Passé Composée, Stephen Todd relays Patricia Urquiola’s suggestion that it is impossible to ignore the past, that we must use it to inform the future. Later on, Andrea Stevens writes about childhood memories revisited – and reworked. New Zealand’s Opahi Bay was once the small town frequently visited by a young couple and their three daughters. Now, a generation on, it’s the slightly larger small town in which the same three daughters have subdivided the land on which their holiday home once stood. One lives there permanently with her young family in a new home that evokes the past yet allows space for the future. Without holding on too tightly, I think it’s possible honour the past, perhaps even draw inspiration from it, and use it to better the future. I hope that’s what we’ve shown you. I hope that’s what you get from these pages. Image courtesy of 'Cassina: This Will Be The Place' written by Felix Burrichter and Cassina. Left to right: LC4 CP, Le Corbusier, Pierre Jeanneret and Charlotte Perriand, 1928. 111 Wink, Toshiyuki Kita, 1980. Photography by Beppe Brancato at Villa Erba, Cernobbio, Como, Italy.abc
Design Products
Fisher & Paykel
Fixed & Fitted

Fisher & Paykel Create A Dialogue Between Architect + Industrial Designer

What is the best way to understand what a client wants? Ask them, of course. This is not news to Fisher & Paykel, who are going straight to the source, conducting workshops across the region with leading architects and designers to delve into the details of our commonly used – and often overlooked – home appliances. “A big part of our business is to understand,” says head of design, Mark Elmore. “So it’s important to open up a dialogue; to understand where they’re coming from and we can share where we’re coming from to get our designs in the right place for that audience.” The workshops trace the brand’s evolution into the higher bracket of appliances, targeting premium commercial and residential spaces. Through uniquely inclusive and collaborative efforts between Fisher & Paykel and their clients, they are able to cater to their needs as well as that of the Australian and New Zealand public with an unprecedented intimacy. It’s a win-win, really. The involved architects are given the space to provide feedback on the gaps and opportunities for innovation in the existing market. The inaugural workshop was held in November 2016, with impressive results. “We did one last year and it was really successful,” says Mark. “We felt like we really needed to keep catering to that, so we’re continually planning ahead to keep the momentum going.” The proof is in the pudding, or at least the fridge that holds the pudding. Designers previewed the ActiveSmart™912mm refrigerator, the latest custom panel ready model in Fisher & Paykel’s integrated range, that has been developed in direct response to feedback collected from the previous workshop and customers. To some, details of everyday cooking accessories might seem mundane, but to the team at Fisher & Paykel the task of smoothing out our time in the kitchen is crucial. As Mark describes, “It’s a premium moment to have that time as a family or with friends, to actually slow down and enjoy that process.” Fisher & Paykel Experience Centre Fisher & Paykel Experience Centre Fisher & Paykel Experience Centreabc
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Foolscap Studio Create A New Sensation

There are strong futuristic and ceremonial elements in your design. What is the primary design concept? The design concept is ‘Machine For Living’ which has been explored through efficiency, ritual and order between human and machine. Our intent is to refine the typical cafe experience to create a place where patrons are greeted by a finely tuned production space – a micro factory for all things coffee. There’s also a nod to the spirit of modernism [and routine] captured in John Brack’s fabled Collins Street, 5pm, But also to Japanese efficiency and their celebration of the ceremony present in everyday rituals such as the morning coffee. How does the spatial layout differ to ‘standard’ coffee shop planning? Sensory Lab is a contemporary café space and follows the Modernist doctrine “form follows function”. Functionality and efficiency is at the core of workflow, and at the core of Sensory Lab’s design. A clean, crisp and structured design, Sensory Lab is the result of efficiency, subtle use of technology, minimalism and allowing coffee and tea to be the hero of the design. What design tools have employed to create this sense of order? Line and grid are important elements in the arrangement of space. Clean lines and visible dimensions mark purpose and place and aid occupancy. These elements help mediate perceptions and orientate both patron and staff within the space. This organisation through line and grid is emphasised further through primary and complimentary materials such as concrete, cork and marmoleum. How have you fused your modernist approach with the use of natural materials. On entering, patrons are greeted with a façade of vignetted windows that evokes a 20th century electronics lab. On the inside, the scene is one of a finely tuned coffee production space. Here, like an altar, the central work bench is the focal point of café, surrounded by a variety of seating areas to accommodate patrons and varied use throughout the day. Materials that represented ‘high tech’ in modern times like stainless steel, Tyvek and linoleum marry 20th Century ideas with the new and low tech with high tech. What is the primary design element in the space? A gleaming stainless steel counter top. Here, the Sensory Lab team prepare espresso and filter-based coffees, teas and a selection of toast from the city’s best bakers. The large, conveyor belt style toaster was sourced by Foolscap Studio specifically for the project and was customised to fit the counter. Cork wall finishes and marmoleum flooring complement its clean, efficient lines and enhance its mid-century feel. You’ve artfully combined technology with a refined selection of furniture and accessories. Yes, a series of iPads integrated into the central floating bar allows customers to get their daily news digitally, in addition to a newspaper rack at the counter’s end. Utilitarian furnishings including stools and tables each adhere to strong form-follows-function approach. Foolscap studio also worked closely alongside Sensory Lab across all customer touch-points, including crockery, cutlery, staff uniforms and merchandising of the retail area. Ultimately, this space and design seems to work on so many levels. Foolscap Studio’s design response and integrative approach have made for an aesthetic outcome, where functionalism is indissoluble to aesthetic and site consideration. For, although coffee making and efficiency are central, the café offers opportunities beyond this requirement. It offers a space for reprieve and exchange, within its high foot traffic CBD location. Sensory Lab Collins Foolscap Want more about the Sensory Lab by Foolscap? Here’s a super quick snapshot… Activating ground plane at the Collins Street site, the design responds to the ritual of the morning coffee in the context of the modernist architecture of the site. The concept is a ‘deconstructed’ yet refined experience that diverges from the standard coffee shops of Melbourne. In the spirit of the history of the site, here the aim is to create a sense of order between human and machine – patrons are greeted by a finely tuned coffee production space, a micro factory for all things coffee. A nod also to Japanese Modernist efficiency and the ritual of ceremony. Reminiscent of a 20th Century electronics lab, the exterior vignetted windows form the point of service where staff and customer interact. However inside the ‘vending machine’ facade a human element is revealed, bringing analogue language to the customer interaction. The production line style counter serves speciality toast, teas and of course coffee recalling the ideals of maximum efficiency that modernism stood for, all within a simple and warm architecture. Materials that represented ‘high tech’ in modern times like stainless steel, suspended translucent canopies and marmoleum marry 20th Century ideas with the new; the low tech with the high tech. Clean, strong and utilitarian furniture maintains a form follows function approach. The clean, crisp and structured design result creates efficiency through technology. Here the design brings a new take on Melbourne coffee through the Sensory Lab experience. Sensory Lab Collins Foolscap Sensory Lab Collins Foolscap Sensory Lab Collins Foolscap Sensory Lab Collins Foolscap Sensory Lab Collins Foolscap  abc

George Livissianis Designs Bec+Bridge’s First Retail Store

Since 2003, Australian fashion designers, Becky Cooper and Bridget Yorston, of Bec+Bridge have enjoyed incredible success with women from across the computer screen and through various stockists. Up until now they had never had a physical bricks-and-mortar store. The duo enlisted the help of George Livissianis, the man behind the interiors for restaurants The Apollo (Potts Point and Tokyo), The Dolphin, and retail stores for Jac+Jac, among many others. All spaces applauded equally for their style as for their offering of food and garments respectively. With no existing retail store to draw reference from, George had to work closely with Bec+Bridge to hone in on exactly what the core of the brand is, realise who exactly the Bec + Bridge customer is, and how the brand connects them to their lifestyle. Then translate all of that into a physical space. “This is their first [store], so everything was on the line,” says George. “As a male, it’s quite hard to click with a brand that’s for 20 year old girls. We kind of worked through an exercise of trying to create a brief and a lot of that came from seeing their lookbooks and their images.” Bec+Bridge Bondi Junction George Livissianis clothes rack Imbedded in the brand, George saw a uniquely Australian – and more specifically Sydney – aesthetic, established through the brand’s connection to the outdoors, insinuated by repeated reference to the pool, the garden or a terrace. The store, a tenancy within Bondi Junction’s Westfield, needed to exude a subtle sense of the outdoors while retaining the sophistication echoed in the clothing. Paving was inlaid into the flooring to capture a sense of blurring indoor and outdoor spaces. And further, George constructed a European-inspired vaulted ceiling – borrowing from a landscape frequenting their Instagram – to conceal and diffuse the lighting and emulate natural sunlight. Being situated in a shopping centre, the overall design had to deliver the soft blush hues of Bec+Bridge into the starkly lit context. “Everything in there is artificial,” says George. “You can’t have what I would say is the right lighting in there because the next store is going to be bursting with light. [And] you’ve got this competitiveness in that environment to try and grab everyone’s attention.” Despite constraints, the store is girlish and romantic; accenting a base Himalayan Salt pink with creamy pavers, polished chrome, onyx counter top and hairy textured furnishings. Still, George hesitates slightly when trying to put the Bec+Bridge aesthetic into words. “It’s all about that feeling that you get inside the store,” he says. “You need to experience it.” Photography by Tom Ferguson  Bec+Bridge Bondi Junction George Livissianis display Bec+Bridge Bondi Junction George Livissianis chair Bec+Bridge Bondi Junction George Livissianis changing room Bec+Bridge Bondi Junction George Livissianis doorabc
Around The World

5 simple ideas to nail Asian landscaping designs

If you can’t quite imagine what Asian design looks like, or you’ve never experienced the bliss of strolling down a cherry blossom-lined arbor, think of all the enviable Instagram posts from yoga retreats in Bali or Vietnam. The ones with impossibly photogenic people meditating among bamboo forests or doing headstands next to a moss garden complete with Buddha-inspired water features. Modern Asian landscape design offers the best of both worlds, as a perfect meeting point of East and West; of nature and the man-made. The best part is that you don’t need to cross continents to get inspiration for your Asian landscaping design ideas. Below you will find five helpful tips to keep in mind when trying to create an Oriental style in your own backyard. Dig in, and zen out.


Wood – particularly bamboo – plays an enormous role in Asian landscaping design and Asian design in general. Extremely fast growing and requiring very little maintenance, bamboo is one of the more sustainable timbers available on the market. It also has myriad application possibilities, able to be crafted into furniture, left as part of the landscape, fashioned into an arbor, or used as an Asian-style fence. For any Asian landscaping design ideas you employ, Bamboo is key. Asian landscaping design ideas bamboo


Stones plays an important role in achieving simple Asian designs, and there are a variety of ways to use them in your design. You can create a Japanese-style rock garden with odd-numbered groupings spread out on a bed of sand or gravel. Alternatively, you can use stones as paving for a meandering pathway through your garden. Be sure to avoid straight paths, as this is believed to allow evil spirits directly into the house.


Water is another element that is crucial to pulling off the perfect Oriental-themed landscape. For a traditional option, a koi pond is your best bet, although this will require more maintenance and attention than other options. Be sure to use an irregular shape if you do incorporate a pond into your landscape, to help create that natural aesthetic. If you don’t have the space of a pond, a small waterfall or fountain is still a good option, particularly when paired with bamboo and stone.

Less is more

Don’t feel like you need to fill every available inch of space with something. When it comes to achieving simple Asian design, less is more. Pick one or two aspects as the key features that catch the eye, then add only the necessary accessories to make these elements really stand out. Asian landscaping design ideas shrine

Keep it natural

One of the most important things to remember is to use natural materials. Artificial materials can look tacky and really spoil the authentic, meditative feel that a well-designed Asian landscape inspires. The careful use of space with some natural additions is all you need to create a serenity-filled Asian landscape in your very own backyard. Asian landscaping design ideas staircaseabc
HAP - Feature

A Night With Jardan

For more than 25 years Jardan has been busy building a cult following amongst architects, interiors designers, and design aficionados. Although their success and recognition is Australia-wide, it's inarguably grounded in Melbourne. Well things are about to change. While this isn't their first foray into Sydney it's certainly their most impressive. Having held out for the perfect site in the perfect location, the finer design details were no less considered. When the space recently opened to the public a celebratory evening packed out the space. Three levels, designed by Iva Foschia and her team at IF Architecture, were filled with architects and designers who were hard pressed to hide their awe – notably so. Jardan jardan.com.au [gallery columns="5" ids="60839,60838,60837,60836,60835,60834,60833,60832,60831,60830,60829,60828,60827,60826,60825,60824,60823,60822,60821,60820,60819,60818,60817"]abc
Around The World
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The Temple House in Chengdu

At first glance of the attractive grey bricked Qing Dynasty façade of The Temple House, one could be forgiven for assuming the hotel and residence is a renovated place of worship. Although the property does incorporate seven heritage buildings, near-by Daci Temple, a monastery from which it gets its name, is not one of them. The façade is in fact the entrance to the home of a Qing Dynasty translator. Latticed timber windows and balconies have been beautifully restored on either side to the shaded path to the lobby, with a small art gallery featuring local artists on one side and a mini library containing a curated selection 1,000 English language books and 1,000 Chinese language books to the other. Temple House Chengdu kitchen Temple House Chengdu restaurant The London based MAKE Architects have created a property that utilizes shiheyuan courtyard homes, within the same quadrangle template found throughout Chinese architecture from humble family dwellings to Beijing’s Forbidden City. The bulk of the development puts a modern twist on this concept with glass towers, camouflaged with a grey forest themed pattern over floor to ceiling windows, overlooking a green lawn with a sunken garden. This lush landscaping serves the original desin brief, which, according to Katy Ghahremani, director of MAKE, was to create an urban resort, ”more tranquil than [the] elegant Upper House in Beijing and [the] trendy Opposite House in Hong Kong.” Temple House Chengdu staircase NYC firm AvroKO is responsible for the F&B interiors which include Mi Xun Teahouse, attached to the Spa and located in two courtyard homes that were still inhabited 15 years ago. Ornamental Chinese Traditional Medicine draws are a main feature of the teahouse, a vernacular reference also seen in Beijing’s Opposite House lobby, designed by Kengo Kuma and Associates. The Jazz Age appears to be the leading inspiration behind Tivano Italian restaurant, which looks onto the sunken garden and JING, the hotel bar. Both establishments feature ample angular leather seating and light fittings that evoke art deco. One the properties design centerpieces are four round, terraced mounds of green lawn topped with circular skylights that provide lighting for underground areas while echoing Sichuan’s famed rice terraces. At ground level, slim, grey oblong bricks are used to complement the heritage elements. “We took our main design inspiration from Chengdu itself – its rich history, celebrated traditions and lush landscape”, says Ghahremani. “Establishing a distinct sense of place was a defining factor of Swire’s brief, as was delivering an up-market aesthetic on a small scale and ensuring the guest experience came above everything else.” Photography by Dave Tacon Temple House Chengdu lobby Temple House Chengdu ensuite Temple House Chengdu rooftop garden Temple House Chengdu exteriorabc
Design Products

Multi-Faceted Furniture By Lim+Lu

The pushcart is a pervading feature in the landscape of New York City. Previously huddled on the cobbled street edge, delineating the black and white tinted images of the city, and now emblazoned in a technicolour of soft drinks and quick eats, the pushcart has become a ubiquitous part of the pedestrian skyline. In honour of this icon of street furniture, Hong Kong architecture firm CL3 and interdisciplinary design studio Lim+Lu have created a 12-piece collection of furniture in collaboration with Cornell University. Founder of CL3, William Lim, and founding partners of Lim+Lu, Vincent Lim and Elaine Lu, are all alumni of Cornell University’s College of Architecture, Art and Planning, and jumped at the chance to give back to the institution that fuelled their own creativity. All three designers were inspired by the everyday objects that have become so entrenched in the fabric of New York City. Thus, the pushcart came to mind; something that might not overtly exude a sense of glamour but sings to the everyday commerce and community spirit that drives the city. In their research and study of the pushcart, they affectionately appreciated its shifting stance, moving between upright and reclined. This element is visually translated into a collection of multi-use pieces that combine various personalities depending on their context and position. For example, a lightweight three-seater sofa is able to completely transform, becoming a coat rack when upright. The collection is distinctly multi-faceted, able to be used in different ways and moved easily from place to place. “We blend an intuitive sense of light, balance and proportion with contemporary solutions and innovative materials to produce designs that are versatile,” says CL3's William Lim. “We have thought about the true purpose of the furniture, how it will become part of Cornell's fabric, go beyond the primary usage, and spread out within the context it has been placed within.” The collection was created in collaboration with Cornell University, sitting in their Manhattan studio, and was released at the 29th annual ICFF fair in global design. Lim+Lu limandlu.com Lim+Lu Lim+Lu Lim+Lu Lim+Lu Lim+Lu Lim+Luabc