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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 Products
Fixed & Fitted

Nuage – The First Perfectly Integrated Hood

A stylish and discrete household appliance with sinuous, almost organic shapes, the Nuage is a highly customizable offering for the design hunter’s kitchen, with the option to cover the external panel with plasterboard, tiles or paint, meaning any surface will suit. Nuage's conception lies in wanting to integrate cooker hood and architecture, making it possible for you, or your designer, to integrate your own emotions with both product and design. Outside of aesthetics, the Nuage is a filtering hood with the option to become an aspiration hood with back aspiration installation, and is equipped with an intuitive rotary switch and high performance & efficiency motor. What this means is just peak hood performance for your kitchen, inside a stylish and clean unit, which, with lighting by LED strips, gives an efficient and natural light effect. Coming in two versions, with plasterboard panels, or paintable iron, the Nuage is also customizable according to your needs. The Nuage hoods are available in Australia through the design lovers at Residentia Group.  abc
Design Accessories
Design Products

Iconic Scandinavian Glassware

With their simple aesthetic and perfectly balanced designs, the Aarne, Essence and Ultime Thule collections have grown from 1950s designer objects, to beloved design icons. When it was first unveiled in the 1950s, the Aarne collection set the trend for modern glassware for the second half of the 20th century. The collection, designed by decorative artist and glass designer, Göran Hongell, continues to be widely celebrated today. Aarne, one of the cornerstones in Iittala’s collection of iconic glass objects, is the perfect example of the brand’s commitment to timeless design. The history of Essence goes back to the post-war rebuilding of Finland, and the country’s renewed passion for peak design. Essence presented a new direction for glassware, with the range initially comprising only four parts, the basics for everyday use. It was also revolutionary in technical terms with its single-stage stemware glass blown into the one mould. In spite of this, the glass was considered to have an aesthetic that was generally lacking in stemless glasses at the time; the clean shape, simple lines and delicate rim combined with a solid bottom combined to create an iconic piece. The melting ice of Finland’s Lapland region inspired the Ultima Thule range – with Wirkkala originally creating the surface in the 1960s after carving into a graphic mould. The resulting glass is a unique design, reflecting the thousands of hours spent perfecting the glass-blowing technique required to produce the effect. The patterns gradually change as the glass burns the surface of the wooden moulds. Need a touch of Finnish design in your life? Be sure to visit the experts at Iittala! abc
Around The World
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Fusing Culture And Architecture At Wild Rocket, Singapore

The new architectural structure for Wild Rocket restaurant in Singapore is affectionately referred to as the ‘nest’. From afar the intricate timber impression is complex and strikingly modern, yet it’s inspiration draws heavily from traditional Japan. When looking for an inciting concept for the restaurant, PRODUCE design firm only had to look close to home. The creative team were inspired by the story of chef Willin Low’s career, which was sparked hosting and cooking for his homesick friends while studying law overseas. The physical structure that PRODUCE constructed is modelled off chashitsu, a traditional Japanese teahouse that is designed for hosting others. Thus, Wild Rocket extends this, merging traditional and contemporary experiences of hosting and catering to guests in a space that benefits from centuries of gained knowledge in hospitality. When entering Wild Rocket, one is met with a visually arresting entryway formed from compressed layers of fabric. This element visually refers to the more traditional roji garden path, and constructs a physical and psychological transition from the exterior into PRODUCE’s intricate inner world. Wild Rocket PRODUCE Singapore bar Inside, the design team have constructed a unique, custom timber lattice, which is a modern interpretation on the traditional structure of the chashitsu. The lattice is comprised of 15,000 individual pieces of wood and took six dedicated workers four weeks to complete. This structure, although rigid up close, creates an interwoven and delicate looking cascade of spiralling timber batten. The open web of this allows for light to transfer through the space, all the while offering a sense of protection and intimacy from the building’s exterior. Wild Rocket restaurant, once a local neighbourhood favourite, has evolved into a beacon of modern Singapore cuisine. The lattice exterior and interior visually delineate the restaurant from the outside streetscape, giving it its own deserved identity. And further, the formulaic appeal of the building visually appeals to the experimental flavour combinations of chef Willin. Yet, stepping a little closer, the menu’s grounding in ancient Japanese cuisine and the handiwork behind the contemporary interior, fuse cultures, flavours and architecture to construct a space that is incredibly rich and dynamic. PRODUCE produce.com.sg Photography by Derrick Lim Wild Rocket PRODUCE Singapore lattice work Wild Rocket PRODUCE Singapore interior Wild Rocket PRODUCE Singapore bar Wild Rocket PRODUCE Singapore bar detail Wild Rocket PRODUCE Singapore cutlery Wild Rocket PRODUCE Singapore entrance Wild Rocket PRODUCE Singapore entranceabc
Design Hunters
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The Tang Dynasty: A Retrospective of Sir David Tang

Outspoken, at times brash, hilariously witty and a flamboyant innovator, Sir David Tang recently died, at age 63, on 29 August 2017, from liver cancer, in London. “Pray that you have fortune, because 80 percent of what matters in life is luck, at the right place, at the right time, and doing the right thing.” ~Sir David Tang This Hong Kong businessman, column writer for The Financial Times, socialite and patron of the arts, educated in London, received his knighthood from the Queen in 2008 for his philanthropic work in the United Kingdom and in Hong Kong, the countries in which he divided the majority of his time. Earlier in 1995, he had also been conferred the French title as ‘Chevalier’ of the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres, in recognition his contribution to and propagation of the arts and literature. Most recently, in 2014, at the Asian Awards, Sir David also accepted the honour of Outstanding Achievement in Art and Design. With a dash of good fortune and born into affluence in 1954, Sir David appeared to stand by his statement: “You are what you give, not what you are given.” In his time on this planet, he gave the world so much, not least of all bringing a contemporary edge to Chinese fashion and presenting it on the world stage, for all to see. By 1994, China still had no household brand name in fashion, let alone on the luxury echelons, until David Tang stepped in. Founding Shanghai Tang saw the birth of an iconic Chinese name, synonymous with Chinese chic. He sought to immortalise the epic nature of Chinese history, coupled with a contemporary aesthetic. The heyday, glamour and sharp tailoring of the 1930s and 1940s merged with modern confidence. That legacy has since evolved into 48 international high-end stores, complete with ready-to-wear garments and imperial tailoring, as well as home and gift collections. In 2008, Sir David sold the brand to the Swiss luxury goods behemoth Richemont. In the early 90s, David Tang also set up the Pacific Cigar Company, with the exclusive rights to import Cuban Habanos cigars, and opened a slew of elite clubs, to enjoy the finer things in life. One of the most renowned was The China Club in Hong Kong, founded in 1991. Located in the Old Bank of China building, on Bank Street, The China Club design aesthetic echoed the values he would bring to Shanghai Tang. Steeped in tradition and history, old and new worlds meet in collaboration. In a veritable showcase, art and sculpture from Chinese talent adorn the walls and corridors, while its library houses one of the most extensive collections of books on China and its people. A highly successful man, and keen supporter of the arts, Sir David Tang’s place in history is assured. Yet, try as one might to discover the secret to his success, he best reverted in his unique style, in an interview with CNBC, in 2014, by saying: “It is a ludicrous proposition, totally stupid, and moronic even, for anybody to expect that there should be a life formula for success, not only in business, but in anything…” Portrait by Victoria Birkinshawabc
Around The World
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Open-Plan Architecture And Plenty Of Space For Yoga

Kouichi Kimura of FORM Architects, has created an open-plan house in a quiet residential area in Japan’s Shiga Prefecture. Responding directly to the clients’ requests and needs, Kimura has designed a space to act as both a private residence, and the owners’ own personnel yoga studio. Titled House of Scenes, the house reflects “a living space that expands towards the outside” spanning a total 175, 68 m2. With Kimura’s signature symmetrical and rectangular compositions, the house is striking with geometric proportions in design. The front facade and entrance of the house stands poised and completely windowless, with only a singular entrance leading to the transparent and open interior, spaciously connecting to each room and the outdoor terrace. Throughout the space, there is in inter-connectivity between external and interior spaces, with generous glass windows and doors allowing for natural light during the day and indirect lighting at night. It is their minimal approach that maximises space, and connects living spaces with a central outdoor patio for the private yoga studio. Utilising key materials of frosted glass, tile and mortar, the space reflects soft light from it’s wide windows and sliding glass doors. Utilising all Japanese materials for the build, Kimura explained the emphasis on Japanese aesthetics within the design. “We focussed on the Japanese sense of beauty by skillfully using light and shadow to emphasise texture and enrich expressions of space.” The design process began with a sketch and plan after initial conversations with the owners and their required needs, which then Kimura took and led the project without any required additional input from the owners until completion. “Since we shared a similar sense of values ​​with the clients, we proposed designs that matched their needs and therefore there was no particular client involvement in the design process.” Maintaining a visual continuity between both upper and lower flowers, the house is divided into different “scenes” connected by the main structure where architect Kimura explains, “The tower can be regarded as the symbol of this house.” In response to changing lifestyles, it is a perfect example of Japanese contemporary architecture where bold, geometric shapes influence traditional aesthetics of light and space. FORM Architects form-kimura.com Photography by Yoshihiro Asada FORM Architects House With Scenes exterior FORM Architects House With Scenes interior FORM Architects House With Scenes indoor outdoor FORM Architects House With Scenes outdoor FORM Architects House With Scenes kitchen FORM Architects House With Scenes dining FORM Architects House With Scenes living FORM Architects House With Scenes entrance FORM Architects House With Scenes streetscape FORM Architects House With Scenes patioabc
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Jardan’s New Sydney Flagship Store By IF Architecture

“Colour is expressive light, and Sydney has light like no other place in Australia,” says Iva Foschia, Founder, Principal and lead architect at IF Architecture. Iva headed the design of Melbourne furniture brand, Jardan’s, recently opened Sydney flagship store. Her inspiration for the space turned to the decadent colour palette of the emerald city to align the colour and vibrancy of Jardan to that of its New South Wales location. Borrowing hues from the deep blues of Sydney Harbour, greens from the canopy-draped streets of Rose Bay and the autumn reds and yellows strewn through the trees of the surrounding Surry Hills and Paddington, Iva wanted the store to physically illustrate the influence of colour on the identity of the city. Sydney’s reputation entrenched in ripe colour is largely due to the artistic creatives who have sketched out its dense skyline to eyes overseas. And thus, to honour the palette of the city, Iva’s concept for the store also saw homage the prominent design families that made it so. The ultramarine strokes of Brett Whitely, and continued artistry of wife Wendy and daughter Arkie; the bold colours of John Olsen, and graphic shapes now offered from his daughter Louise Olsen, as one half of Dinosaur Designs; and eclectic contrast of texture in the interiors of Marion Hall Best, are all honoured in the layering of Jardan’s interior. “Colour and family are big parts of the Jardan story,” says Iva. “We wanted to use a palette derived from the tastes and styles of iconic families, and in turn, find something unique for Jardan.” Situated on a prime corner block in Paddington, the bright display window wraps around the sightlines of two streets and beckons one in through the entryway, delineated in gorgeous veins of blue and rust marble. The store is dispersed over two levels and sectioned off into exemplary room arrangements, offering innovative takeaways for one’s own home. The entirety of the space is dominated and unified by an angular staircase, encrusted in more marble and coated in a soft pastel pink to ease its geometric proportions. Merging buoyant colour and shape, Jardan’s new flagship is bold enough to pull you right in off the street. And that is because the interior is not only loud, but it speaks to its audience and to the tones that have become the backdrop to Sydney life. And this is the genius in Iva and IF Architecture’s design, the store is at once both unique and iconic – something that we all strive to create in our own homes. Jardan jardan.com.au IF Architecture ifarchitecture.com.au Photography by Sean Fennessy IF Architecture Jardan Sydney Flagship upstairs IF Architecture Jardan Sydney Flagship IF Architecture Jardan Sydney Flagship interior IF Architecture Jardan Sydney Flagship IF Architecture Jardan Sydney Flagship exteriorabc

Corben Architects On The Sydney Coastline

After living abroad for some years, the family of this Northbridge home on Sydney’s north coast sought to create a space where they could set down the collection pieces that they had gathered over the years. Stirring an impressive collection of antique furniture with contemporary Australian art and a decadent natural lookout, this home is transformed into an elegant lived-in exhibition of the places the family have enjoyed. The property and original structure were purchased in 2008. The intention was always to renovate as the layout design spoke to a previous generation and did not easily accommodate the couple and their three sons. It was the absolute water views over Middle Harbour and north-easterly orientation to absorbing sunlight that rendered nil all other qualms with the house. The couple approached Sydney-based Corben Architects to help revitalise the house to better suit the splendour of the natural site. The original building was a true depiction of historical home fashions, speaking to both the floor plan of 1960s construction and alterations from the 1980s. Coolawin Road Corben Architects kitchen The former kitchen was isolated from living spaces and the interior was dissected into awkward segments that cut through and undermined the view. Corben Architects stripped back the initial plan and was able to disperse the newly freed space to extend the dimensions of the living area, dining room and bedrooms. A wall was added perpendicular to the entryway to initially shield the view to ensure maximum impact when you enter into the main living spaces. Although an open and flow-through floor plan gives generous space, Corben Architects did ensure that there was a nice mix of open to intimate spaces by creating the formal dining room. This allows one to move into a space that best suits how they feel, whilst retaining the family ritual of eating together – a shared moment that is increasingly endangered in a modern schedule. On the exterior of the house, the traditional tiled roof was replaced with a more weather resistant and modern slanted skillion roof. In a feat of brilliant design from Corben Architects, the roof was lifted above a band of glazing on top of the external wall. This extending the internal ceiling height while also flooding the interior spaces with natural light. And just for safe measure, the front of the house is adorned in full-length glazing and external louvres that can be adjusted for privacy, and offer – even more – natural light and ventilation. The modern and elongated form of the house speaks to the lifestyle and taste of the family, and places the house firmly in the 21st Century. An updated floor plan allows ample space for a busy family. But it also provides the space for the family to lay down the treasures that they have collected so far. Making this house then, the perfect representation of the family currently; of where they are and also of where they have been. Corben Architects corben.com.au Dissection Information Aran Bianco Sawn Limestone floor tiles and White Carrare handmade porcelain wall tiles in en-suite from Onsite Supply and Design Calacutta Stone kitchen island benchtop from Granite and Marble Works Black slate living room plinth/fireplace and supplied by Granite and Marble Works KWC Eve Kitchen mixer from Winning Appliances Elegance 1000mm gas fireplace from Real Flame Miele oven, microwave, gas cooktop, integrated dishwasher and warming drawer from Winning Appliances Smeg oven from Winning Appliances Liebherr fridge and freezer from Winning Appliances Qasair range hood from Winning Appliances Coolawin Road Corben Architects balcony Coolawin Road Corben Architects lounge room Coolawin Road Corben Architects bedroom Coolawin Road Corben Architects bathroom Coolawin Road Corben Architects art Coolawin Road Corben Architects interior Coolawin Road Corben Architects entry Coolawin Road Corben Architects drivewayabc
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What's On

The Biggest Ever MPavilion Program For 2017

An amphitheatre which rises out of the grass, and a rotatable grandstand – the fourth MPavilion, created this year by international firm OMA, is a confidently civic space. An architectural spectacle designed specifically to engage Melburnians from all walks of life. Fitting then that this year’s MPavilion program intentionally speaks to a broader, more diverse demographic than in previous years. Presented by Sibling Architecture, a day-long event entitled Designing the age-friendly city will include an intergenerational workshop for grandparents and children led by artist Tai Snaith, as well as discussions on designing for diversity led by the Hallmark Ageing Research Initiative. “It’s about giving a platform to different voices,” says Timothy Moore, Co-founder and Director at Sibling Architecture. “So it’s fantastic that we will have an opportunity to hear from speakers who are around 80 years of age.” MPavilion Amphitheatre OMA At an entirely other end of the life cycle, A stage for new parenthood will see monthly baby-friendly modifications to the space, with a regular playgroup and conversation series highlighting ways that design can cater towards growing families. Music plays an even bigger role at MPavilion this year. An exciting arrangement with Bakehouse Studios will see the public space transformed into a working rehearsal venue for a secret roster of musicians. “You will only find out who the artists are just before their rehearsal slot – so it could be someone new, or someone who is more an established artist. It’s going to be a space to watch,” says Sam Redston, executive director of MPavilion. “When bands rehearse they normally face each other, but when they perform, they project to the crowd,” says Quincy McLean, owner of Bakehouse Studios. “This setting gives you the option of both, and the audience can decide where they want to be to experience it.” Another first for MPavilion in 2017 will be the program’s regional activation, formed in collaboration with the Shepparton Art Museum and the Geelong Gallery. “There will be a strong focus on the aboriginal communities in both locations,” says MPavilion’s new Regional Project Manager, Sarah Lynn Rees. “And we will also be looking at immigrant communities and diversity which exists in regional centres.” MPavilion Amphitheatre OMA Design-curious individuals based in the remote townships can experience artist Keg de Souza’s work with local cultural groups, and enjoy workshops run by celebrated London-based architect Jack Self, curator of the British Pavilion at the 2016 Venice Architecture Biennale. MPavilion’s expansion into rural areas not only makes for a more egalitarian dialogue of design outside of the city, but also aligns with OMA’s current fascination for the countryside. On October 3, Melbourne School of Design will host Rem Koolhaas’ lecture on his vision of the countryside in a sold-out event (OMA fans can register on an MPavilion waitlist for notification on when further tickets may become available). The new pavilion’s role in supporting design discourse will come to the fore during a highly anticipated forum presented by Rem Koolhaas and David Gianotten. The pair will discuss and examine public space with a panel of experts, while the structure itself, configurable in either grandstand or auditory mode, provides a moving stage used to moderate the conversation. “The cultural exchange takes priority over the building as an object,” says Paul Jones, Director-Architect at OMA. “The collaborators were briefed of the possibilities of the space, and they’re really embracing the structure in different ways. So by building in that adaptability, we have been able to support a very diverse program.” As Jessie French, deputy creative director of MPavilion explains: “We are trying to get across the idea that design is for everyone – to give people ways to understand how it relates to them, and what good architecture and design can do.” MPavilion opens to the public from 3 October 2017 and runs until 4 February 2018. MPavilion Amphitheatre OMA MPavilion Amphitheatre OMA MPavilion Amphitheatre OMA MPavilion Amphitheatre OMAabc
ARC - Feature

Fish Creek House: Balancing Expansion And Containment

Jackie and Richard Dargaville approached Edition Office to design a house for their retirement and narrow Gippsland, Victoria, block. Their top priorities were sustainability, comfort and flexibility of program, so they asked for a house with a small footprint to shield them from the strong winds, which can whistle across the surrounding farmlands, and mute traffic noise from the nearby busy road. This had to be achieved without interrupting spectacular views to Wilsons Promontory National Park, which made their property so attractive in the first place.

Flexibility of design was also necessary to accommodate future changes in mobility, and visiting extended family, when needed.

Edition Office solved the brief’s binary challenges – enhancing both comfort and landscape experience in an exposed setting, and providing mod-cons, contemporary style and sustainability on a modest budget – through a single-level plan comprised of three skewed, black-stained pavilions on a North-South axis. The pavilions were separated by courtyards and wrapped, on all but one side, by a solid brick wall, ensuring both privacy and protection from wind and noise.

The well-oriented, modular program also allows easy movement through its volumes, which are easily penetrated by northern light, warmth and breezes. Any pavilions that are not in use can be easily closed up. Rainwater capture, a hydronically heated slab, onsite waste processing, solar photovoltaic electricity, and the option of wood fire heating, are other sustainable features that also enhance comfort.

From a distance, Fish Creek House presents as a dense, singular, rectangular form; monochromatic and anchored in the landscape. But as one approaches, the earthy, tactile qualities of the protective wall come into focus: its alternating perforated and solid sections made from recycled bricks, all thickly and messily troweled. Clean geometry married with the perfect imperfection of, what looks like, artisanal craftsmanship make for a surprising and tactile elegance up close; and nod to late modernism from afar.

Fine and curvaceous outdoor furniture from Tait’s Tidal collection, in black, powder-coated stainless steel and smoked glass, work well as softening contrasts to the austere architectural form.

So it is unsurprising that Edition Office’s solution to significant site and brief challenges has been recognised with every significant architectural award to date in 2017, including the Victorian Architect’s Institute Residential Award and Houses New House Award.

Edition Office edition-office.com

Dissection Information Recycled brickwork walls with custom mortar joint Silvertop Ash cladding with black stain High Feature Silvertop Ash wall lining boards Black film faced birch ply ceiling from MaxiPly Blackbutt timber veneer Devonshire hand made kitchen tiles from Bespoke Ceramics Matt white 100x200 Vogue tiles form Classic Ceramics Gold ‘Brahma’ dining pendant, small, from Living Edge Black AJ4 Wall Sconce from Great Dane Black Gemini track and surface mounted spot lights from Masson for Light 900CH Esse wood fired range cooker and hydronic boiler Fisher & Paykel Induction Cooktop Fisher & Paykel integrated dish drawer Electrolux integrated fridge Neptune sink from Franke Water Jewels Vitra washbasin form Rogerseller Zero 50 washbasin from Rogerseller Roca Freestanding bath from Rheece Astra Walker Icon tapware Custom Blackwood robe hooks, door and joinery pulls form Interia Custom steel door pulls form Like Butter View 8 wood fired stove from Stovax

Fish Creek House Edition Office architecture

Fish Creek House Edition Office indoor outdoor

Fish Creek House Edition Office dining

Fish Creek House Edition Office sitting room

Fish Creek House Edition Office kitchen

Fish Creek House Edition Office firewood

Fish Creek House Edition Office balcony

Fish Creek House Edition Office brickwork

Fish Creek House Edition Office floor to ceiling windows

Design Products

Caesarstone’s New Colours For 2017

Following on from Caesarstone’s popular Rugged Concrete finish released this July is the Cloudburst Concrete – a white on white tonal cloud like patina finish. This complement the existing Caesarstone concrete range, emulating the look of hand poured concrete, including the new rough-style surface finish. Frozen Terra, with its sparsely distributed aggregate set in an off-white base colour, reflects the aesthetics fusion of the terrazzo and aesthetic forms. Canon Terra, with its dark grey base and sparsely distributed aggregate and matt surface, is the darkest Caesarstone concrete design to date – ideal for cementing that classy look in your home. If it’s a granite inspired design that you are looking for, look no further than the Turbine Grey finish – a next generation modern granite with mid to dark grey veins and white features within its unique pattern movement. Perfect for transitional interiors! Well known for innovation in white tones Caesarstone is introducing Intense White their newest whitest white. Modern, crisp and fresh this bright white works perfectly with any interior style, and many materials. To fully appreciate the latest Caesarstone colours, large panels can be viewed at the nearest Caesarstone showroom and kitchen retail outlets locatable using Caesarstone’s Find a Display website tool. abc
Design Products

The New Tait Flagship Store – Designing A Life For Outdoor Living

From Melbourne to the rest of Australia, Tait has been designing and producing world-class outdoor furniture for over 25 years – and with the launch of this new flagship in the brand’s homebase of Melbourne, things are looking brighter than ever. Designed in collaboration with Damien Mulvihill and Mark Simpson of DesignOffice, the flagship store blurs the lines between retail store, and lived experience. “This is an exciting time for Tait – it’s our first major flagship store, designed to showcase our entire range of products and bring our ethos of ‘A Life Outside’ into full, living colour,” says Tait Creative Director Susan Tait. The space, which previously saw life as a major bank, has undergone an ambitious ‘inside out’ procedure that saw Tait and DesignOffice strip the building back to its bare essentials and use the raw, unrefined base to build a spacious, airy, light-filled space.

Living ‘A Life Outside’

In bringing Tait’s philosophy of outdoor living to the indoors, DesignOffice has addressed the mood of the space with a series of unique-to-the-space design interventions, “How do you make an indoor showroom feel as external as possible?” asked DesignOffice’s Damien Mulvihill in approaching the design “We wanted to avoid the standard clichés and evoke the emotion of being outdoors with light and greenery, as well as materiality and topography” New paved grey display windows have been added to the west-facing street front, set against lush greenery strategically hung to filter a dappled filigree of leafy shadows and light into the space. A series of architectural insertions are used to recall the outdoors – a hanging pergola structure serves as both a zoning tool for display of furniture and accessories, and references classic outdoor Australiana. Custom-made metal fixtures throughout echo the quality and detailing of Tait’s outdoor furniture and reveal Tait Managing Director and metal craftsman, Gordon Tait’s, passion for metal working. “Everything from the shelving through to the display rails has been designed and made in our Melbourne factory to reflect DesignOffice’s vision for the space and give the Tait shop-fit a unique point of difference,” said Gordon. Tait madebytait.com.au abc
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When traveling in an age of AirBnB and low-key ‘just like the locals’ living, the places where we rest our head might seem secondary. But the mighty Hotel, grand and glamorous, was once considered an incredible experience of luxury in and of itself. And not only to tourists, the Hiltons, InterContinentals and Ritzs were grandiose palaces in town, offering a silver service spread and a look in to a lavish lifestyle. “The restaurant in a hotel was something special,” says Rachel Luchetti, one half of architecture and interior design firm Luchetti Krelle. “I remember when I was growing up, it was a big deal. We would go for our birthdays, we would go for big breakfasts, and that was something that I did with my grandparents. It was a sense of occasion, something that you would dress up for.” Rachel headed the recent revamp of the Four Seasons Hotel’s dining space, MODE Kitchen & Bar, in Sydney. For the past few years, the dining space has moved through various fit-outs, each offering a unique take on the image and function of a hotel. When Luchetti Krelle were bestowed to construct the current space, Rachel first looked back to the historical hotel and hotel restaurant, examining the experience of guests in a more vintage time as well as into the modern day. Her designs sought to return to the enduring connotations of glamour that come with the Four Seasons brand and reinstate the romance of the hotel. Mode Kitchen Bar bar banquette Mode Kitchen Bar lounge “It’s more about the image of the Four Seasons, the brand that they have created globally,” says Rachel. “ It was about doing something that would be timeless, that would have longevity.” MODE Kitchen & Bar encompasses an intimate formal dining space as well as a more casual eating and drinking area. Luchetti Krelle drew inspiration from the 1920s era, integrating a material palette of thick velvet, rippled marble, polished brass and fluted glass. “I obviously looked back to the [Four Seasons] in New York where they have trees inside, and that was a really timeless design for them.” Rachel alluded to this within MODE, incorporating a tree motif that was designed in-house, and connected the space to the larger hotel brand in a classic and sophisticated way. Despite being guided by an overtly luxurious aesthetic, Rachel grounded the design firstly as an open space, inviting in neighbours seeking breakfast and out-of-towners in need of a late, jetlagged bite to eat. “It should be somewhere that welcomes people in rather that making them feel like they’re not welcome because they’re not a guest,” says Rachel. “It should have a sense of luxe without feeling too fancy.” [caption id="attachment_60540" align="alignnone" width="1170"]Mode Kitchen Bar chef's table Photography by William Meppem[/caption] Mode Kitchen Bar Private Dining Outlookt Rachel and her team enjoyed a great amount of freedom in their design. “They didn’t really say ‘hey, this and this has to stay’, it was more like, ‘this is the budget so be clever about what you do’,” recalls Rachel. “It’s so nice to be trusted and, you know, allowed to do our job.” Rachel enlisted the help of a tried and tested furniture maker who she had worked with many times previously. Custom furnishings give MODE a unique character to bring the new design concept to life. “We try and find things off the shelf and there’s just something not quite right about it, so we do a bit of prototyping” says Rachel. “Otherwise it gets a bit boring, everyone’s seen it on Pinterest.” A custom Island bar stands proud, boasting continental breakfast in the morning and cocktails in the evening. The low, exposed nature of the bar breaks down the physical barrier between the bartender and the guests, and aligns with the open view kitchen, establishing a more casual feel with a sense of theatre. A great hotel offers an experience of cosmopolitan luxury that has been enjoyed from generation to generation. MODE, in the Four Seasons, perfectly constructs this, offering grandeur that is not intimidating to the modern, more casual, guest. Luchetti Krelle luchettikrelle.com Photography by Anson Smart (unless otherwise stated) [caption id="attachment_60541" align="alignnone" width="1170"]Mode Kitchen Bar entrance Photography by William Meppem[/caption] Mode Kitchen Bar lounge artwork [caption id="attachment_60539" align="alignnone" width="1170"]Mode Kitchen Bar cocktails Photography by William Meppem[/caption] Mode Kitchen Bar Menuabc