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Design Hunters
DH - Feature
People

We Are Huntly Rebrands as GOLDEN

When Alicia McKimm and Kylie Dorotic first joined forces in 2013, it was under the guise of We Are Huntly. The interior design studio head up by the two women quickly became known for their projects across the hospitality, commercial and residential sectors. In 2016 they were named Emerging Interior Design Practice at the Australian Interior Design Awards. Last year when we spoke to Alicia and Kylie at the launch of the annual Kitchen & Bathroom issue, they hinted something big was in the works. And indeed it was. The duo has renamed and rebranded themselves: what was once We Are Huntly, is now GOLDEN. “It’s a rebrand, as a result of a cumulative redirection, which came gradually over the years,” says Kylie. “It has reinvigorated and refocused us.” The studio is still comprised of the same team, the projects they’re working on are still focused on hospitality and residential spaces, and their dedication to the details has likewise remained the same. What has changed however, is their methodology running the business. GOLDEN embodies a decidedly more holistic approach. “GOLDEN is a boutique interior design studio that is focused on creating intelligent interior spaces. We work on the interior architecture of a space right through to the furniture selection. Our primary concern is the way a space makes you feel comfortable,” says Kylie. Where did the name come from? “We connect strongly with the idea of being ‘golden on the inside’,” adds Alicia, referencing the spaces they create and feelings they’re hoping to elicit. GOLDEN designbygolden.com Portrait by Kate Ballisabc
Architecture
Around The World
Homes
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The White Brick House From Southern France To Singapore

The owner’s memories of his childhood greatly influenced the design of this home, which design firm Upstairs_ affectionately calls the White Brick House. According to designer Dennis Cheok, the homeowner desired a material palette reminiscent of a country house’s open spaces, whitewashed timber and raw bricks. The designer emphasises however, “We were also immensely mindful that the end result must be modernised and made relevant to the current place and time; it would be quite easy to produce a ‘theme park’ fantasy.”

The charming brickwork on the townhouse’s façade was what first attracted the current homeowner to this property. The building was constructed from red bricks in the seventies and had undergone several rounds of modification over the years. As the design team stripped the house of its layers of plasterwork and flooring built up from alterations over the years, they made exciting discoveries of pre-existing wall bricks and even kitchen floor tiles. These layers of original and modified architectural elements greatly informed the design approach.

A particular challenge was the existence of the many nooks, crannies and tight alcoves found in the master bedroom, study mezzanines, and even the stairway. Dennis shares, “Although many of them were not the most usable in terms of size and form, these nooks and crannies tend to be spatially interesting—a split-level here, a skylight there. We reimagined these as nooks for living or resting, and it was important to us that they contributed spatially dynamically—to lend depth, light and meaning—for each of the main rooms that they occupy.”

In the master bedroom, an intimate sleep alcove was created out of an otherwise odd elevated corner. Natural sisal built into the platform surface gives warmth and texture. A freestanding clawfoot bathtub is placed within the bedroom and leads to an adjoining bathroom with a fully custom-made marble basin counter.

In the bedroom designed for the homeowner’s son, the bed was custom built in solid pinewood and plywood timber pallet. The room also has a study alcove built entirely in raw plywood.

UpStairs white brick house bedroom

Another objective was to create a sense of flow between spaces, given the odd layout. It was especially important for the homeowner that the social spaces for living and entertaining would have an ease about them, that one could move across the patio, lounge, dining and outdoor terrace intuitively.

This was achieved by designing the spatial flow to begin from the front garden patio into the living hall that is connected with an elevated dining and kitchen space, before culminating with the rear patio that terminates with an elevated deck that overlooks the sprawling forested townscape.

Recycled sun-bleached timbers are used for the patio areas which were custom-designed for a water pond area at the front, and formed an outdoor bench and stepped viewing deck at the rear.

Dennis says, “The homeowner and his son were absolutely hands-on with the design process, and they both came to the table very clear about their personal preferences. He was also very particular about identifying the spaces and how he imagined himself to use them, and we made ‘discoveries’ together and planned around these ideas. Once it became clear that we were on the same page, he offered us a free hand to reimagine how the entire house would come together.”

The White Brick House is wonderful in how it homes in on all the things its inhabitants care for, including memories, meaning, and a ‘monster pond’ for their giant snapping pet terrapin.

The homeowner explains, “I wished this house to be an anchor—a base camp I could happily return to after work or after a long trip; a place that makes you feel like you are on holiday even if it is just for that few hours you spend at home after a work day; a place that leads the mind to clarity, peace and creativity. It should be a place that returns the mind to the basics; and also, a place that encapsulates the nostalgia I have of my childhood—all while being functional and stripped of superfluous elements.”

Upstairs_ www.upstairs.sg

UpStairs white brick house lounge

UpStairs white brick house living room

UpStairs white brick house bedroom study

UpStairs white brick house master bedroom

UpStairs white brick house bathroom

UpStairs white brick house bathroom 2

UpStairs white brick house bedroom bathroom

UpStairs white brick house telescope

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Happenings
What's On

Architecture Studios Open For Sydney Open

As a part of Sydney Open this year, not only have architecture practices Candalepas Associates, DKO Architecture, Grimshaw, JPW, PTW in Aurora Place, and Unipsace at Grosvenor Place granted public access to examples of their most revered work, but they’re also opening the doors to their studios.   [caption id="" align="alignnone" width="1170"]Sydney Open Candalepas Photo by Brett Boardman Candalepas Associates. Photography by Brett Boardman[/caption] Candalepas Associates converted a turn-of-the-century inner-Sydney industrial warehouse into their own architectural studio and have occupied the space since 2016. Although the space was Heritage Listed the refurbishment of the space has honoured many elements from its original use such as high ceilings, circulation plans, original staircase (there is a new lift), timber framing, and brick walls.   [caption id="attachment_65528" align="alignnone" width="1170"]DKO Offices, formally the Redfern Post Office. Photography by Dan Hocking DKO Offices, formally the Redfern Post Office. Photography by Dan Hocking[/caption] DKO Architecture sits within a two-storey brick and rendered building dominated by a four-storey clock tower built in 1882, once the Redfern Post Office. Nearly a century and a half later many of the original design features remain well preserved, these include ornate plaster cornices, pressed metal ceilings, timber floorboards and a grand central timber staircase.   [caption id="attachment_65561" align="alignnone" width="1170"] 333 George Street designed by Grimshaw. Photography by Ashleigh Hughes[/caption] 333 George Street was designed by Grimshaw for Charter Hall to exemplify a “new breed” of workplace design. Eighteen storeys and a fully glazed façade the building illuminates the street below and surrounding buildings.   [caption id="attachment_65527" align="alignnone" width="1170"]JPW office. Photography by Richard Glover JPW office. Photography by Richard Glover[/caption] JPW is hosting rare, guided tours of within their Pitt Street Studio. Having worked on some of Sydney’s most recognisable contemporary buildings – The National Portrait Gallery in Canberra, The Museum of Sydney, the Asian wing of the Art Gallery of New South Wales and an extension to Sydney’s Anzac Memorial in Hyde Park – their own offices exhibit their signature, controlled approach to design.   [caption id="attachment_65529" align="alignnone" width="1170"]Sydney Open PTW Syd Offices Photo by Murray Fredericks PTW Sydney Offices. Photography by Murray Fredericks[/caption]   PTW approached the design of their headquarters less like a brief to problem solve and more like a calling card. The brief, as well as the design, was informed by a number of staff workshops to ensure modern working habits and needs were addressed. The resulting office boasts natural ventilation, a reduced need for artificial overhead lighting, breakout spaces and height-adjustable desks. [caption id="attachment_65530" align="alignnone" width="1170"]Unispace Office. Photography by Shannon McGrath Unispace Office. Photography by Shannon McGrath[/caption] Visit Unispace studio on Level 43 of Grosvenor Place. As the building nears its 30-year anniversary it remains an iconic feat of Australian architecture. As one of Harry Seidler’s most complex and (with a slew of awards to its name) celebrated works, the building features two crescent towers split by an elliptical central core: a convex lenses through which to view picturesque Sydney. Sydney Open sydneylivingmuseums.com.au/sydneyopenabc
Happenings
Parties

Twenty-Five Years For Tait

There are few furniture brands in Australia that are able to stake claim to a long a fruitful existence. With globalisation, “the internet” and social media increasing the appeal and accessibility of a considered approach to interior design – and decreasing the expense of it – it can be tricky to compete in an international market. Add to that an unwavering commitment to design and manufacture on Australian shores, and the path to long-lasting success becomes steeper still. And yet, here and there people manage it. People with immense skill, unfaltering moral standards, and dogged determination. A quarter of century since foundation, Susan and Gordon Tait recently celebrated this momentous milestone in Tait’s history in the new flagship Melbourne showroom. NGV’s Senior Curator (Dept. of Contemporary Design and Architecture), Ewan McEoin welcomed a crowd full of notable members of the design industry, key company partners, a bevy of Australian designers, employees, close friends and family. Mark Simpson and Damien Mulvihill of DesignOffice then spoke to the design concept of the new flagship showroom before Tait Director and Co-Founder, Gordon Tait, closed out the evening by paying tribute to an incredible 25 years in the industry. Here’s to 25 more. Photography by Gareth Sobay [gallery columns="5" ids="65548,65547,65546,65545,65544,65543,65542,65541,65540,65539,65538,65537,65536,65535,65534,65533,65532,65531"]abc
Happenings
Parties

St James Whitting And Designer Rugs Launch Elementals

Kate St James, FDIA, and Catherine Whitting, AssDIA, have long, extensive – but heretofore separate – careers in the Australian design realm. The duo joined forces in recent years to create St James – Whitting, an interior design practise with a hard lined focus on sustainability and environmental responsibility. Designer Rugs have likewise endured the ups, downs, shifts and flips the ever-fluid design industry is known for. No strangers to each other, or to the process or collaboration, the two entities have been hard at work putting together the Elementals rug collection produced and distributed through Designer Rugs. On Thursday 19 October – at long last – the collection of five dynamic, colourful, and truly unique rugs was launched. You can see them in more detail here. Photography by Sean Foster [gallery columns="5" ids="65490,65492,65493,65494,65495,65496,65498,65499,65500,65501,65502,65503,65504,65505,65506,65507,65508,65509,65510,65511,65512,65513,65514,65515,65516,65517,65518,65519,65520,65521,65522,65523"]abc
Parties
Happenings
HAP - Feature

SJB Turns 40

After 40 years in the biz, SJB has still got it. Established by Alan Synman, Charles Justin and Michael Bialek in 1976, the practice has driven many innovative projects and contributed considered design to our cityscapes for decades. Some of the firm’s most significant works include Melbourne’s Domain in 1993, demonstrating the potential for office buildings to transform into successful apartments, and the Casbah in Waterloo, NSW, which gained multiple local industry awards as well as a World Architecture Festival Award for Mixed Use - Completed Buildings in 2015. On Thursday 26 October, SJB’s founding directors, new associates, designers, architects, planners, staff and extended network of clients and supporters converged at their Melbourne studio to celebrate the firm’s many achievements, with champagne and nibbles aplenty. The evening was an opportune moment to showcase SJB’s relatively new workspace, where the team relocated to in mid-2016. Situated within a heritage warehouse building, in a cobblestone laneway so characteristic of the city, the office at 18 Oliver Lane evokes the casual elegance of a Soho loft. Designed with seamless flexibility in mind, the evening saw focused workstations transition into nooks for convivial conversation, all in view of the Melbourne cityscape. So, from Indesign to SJB: here’s to the next 40 years of a practice that certainly knows how to party! Photography by Lucas Dawson [gallery columns="5" ids="65376,65375,65374,65373,65377,65378,65379,65380,65381,65386,65385,65384,65383,65382,65387,65388,65389,65390,65392,65396,65394,65399,65401,65402,65403,65404,65405,65406,65407,65408,65409,65410,65411,65412,65413,65414,65415,65416,65417,65418,65419,65420,65421,65422,65423,65424,65425,65426,65427,65428,65429,65430,65431,65432,65433,65434,65435,65436,65437,65438,65439,65440,65441,65442,65443,65444,65446,65447,65448,65449,65450,65451,65452,65453,65454,65456,65458,65459,65460,65461,65462,65463,65464,65465,65466,65467,65468,65469,65470,65471,65472,65473,65474,65475,65476,65477,65478,65479,65480"]abc
Architecture
Header Slider
Homes

A Ranch House Reinterpreted For A Modern Rural Lifestyle

The American ranch house that emerged in Southern California in the post-war era had a low, rambling form; deep overhanging eaves; large picture windows; and sliding glass doors that promoted indoor–outdoor living. Interior spaces were informal, open and airy, and natural materials, such as timber and stone, exposed. This archetypal suburban house provided Dan Gayfer of Dan Gayfer Design with inspiration for Ceres House, sited on rolling hills in Ceres, west of Geelong. Home to a family of six, the “all-inclusive environment” is designed with their activities, day-to-day living and family and friends in mind. “The brief was largely concerned with facilitating the multifaceted and diverse lifestyle of the ‘busy’ family, and the constant revolving door of kids and adults,” Dan says. “The design therefore needed to accommodate fraternising between all kinds of people, at all different scales and at any time of the day and week.” The single-storey T-shaped house is composed of two perpendicular wings, each one-room deep to allow for views and light. The east-west living wing houses the sitting/dining/kitchen area and a living room separated by a floor-to-ceiling sandstone fireplace; and the north-south wing contains bedrooms and wet areas. A terrace stretches alongside both wings, connecting the interior with the extensive outdoor living space. “It shares the same roof structure as the residence and gives the impression that some of the walls were simply removed to create this exterior living area,” Dan explains. The house, constructed by local builder Built by Wilson, is oriented for 180-degree views and large picture windows and sliding glass doors allow them to become part of the design and aesthetic. “The design unashamedly takes the views on offer and integrates them into the interior design,” says Dan. “They are not borrowed but practically stolen from the surrounding landscape to become part of the interior.” Dan Gayfer Design Ceres House kitchen dining dog The size and layout of interior and exterior spaces has been carefully considered and designed to facilitate the family profile in regards to size, social groups, lifestyles and interests. “It became more about the structure of spaces and functions as opposed to their physical boundaries,” says Dan. “Where and how do people congregate? Do particular spaces have the capacity to facilitate a diverse range of functions, activities and interactions? How do people move from one internal space to another? Where could one escape for some quiet time? How do you comfortably move from inside to out, and at what locations?” This meant the design team could be less restrained in designing spaces larger than accustomed to in order to facilitate interactions at all scales between family members and friends. As the views draw in the rural surrounds, so too does the aesthetic of the interior and exterior with timber and stone elements. This includes a mixed timber palette of Blackbutt cabinetry, Cedar linings, American oak flooring and Spotted Gum timber decking, as well as burnished-concrete floor. The double-sided fireplace between the living room and sitting/dining/kitchen is crafted with Mt Angus sandstone and timber cavities defined with raw steel sheeting; and the cedar-lined cathedral ceiling “brings a grand, almost imposing, character to the open area,” says Dan. While the post-war American ranch house was a suburban typology, it has certainly found its contemporary interpretation on the rolling hills of Ceres where the family embraces indoor-outdoor living and the rural surrounds. Dan Gravfer Design dangayfer.com Photography by Dean Bradley Dan Gayfer Design Ceres House fire place 3 Dan Gayfer Design Ceres House kitchen dining Dan Gayfer Design Ceres House hallway Dan Gayfer Design Ceres House bedroom Dan Gayfer Design Ceres House bathroom Dan Gayfer Design Ceres House lounge Dan Gayfer Design Ceres House pool house Dan Gayfer Design Ceres House backyard Dan Gayfer Design Ceres House horse  abc
Happenings
What's On

Design Canberra Is Back!

Running in locations all over Canberra from the November 6 – 26, Design Canberra 2017 is set to offer insight into the talent pool of makers, designers and thinkers that are working, living and creating in the nation’s capital. This year’s festival will showcase works from the latest recipient of The Belle Alessi award, Rene Linssen together with Alison Jackson, Tom Skeehan and many more established and emerging designers. “Design is in Canberra’s DNA,” says Rachael Coghlan, CEO and Artistic Director, Craft ACT, who are organizing the festival, “From the time of Walter and Marion Griffin's visionary design a century ago, to iconic experimental modernist architecture of the 1950s and 60s, and contemporary and sustainable design developments today, Canberra has been — and will always be — a living design laboratory” Design Canberra promotes local and engaging design and craft, and helps develop new and expanded audiences, forges marketplace connections and facilitates unexpected and exciting collaborations. With over 100 events, exhibitions, talks, tours, activations, markets, collaborations, artist studios and open homes, Design Canberra, will transform our nation’s capital into a hotspot for design. “We are excited to offer this year’s schedule of more than 100+ events throughout the busy calendar. It is our most beautiful and most ambitious festival program yet. DESIGN Canberra is an incredibly important part of the arts community. It is so important to support local artists, designers and makers to forge unexpected collaborations and marketplace connections, and develop new and expanded audiences” Says Coghlan. In the spirit of a living design laboratory, DESIGN Canberra will experiment with new ideas and expand the most successful programs into new directions in the 2017 festival. For full details and event listings, see the Design Canberra website.abc
Places
Around The World
Architecture
ARC - Feature

The Bulgari Hotel In Beijing

Genesis Beijing promises to cause quite a stir. Located in Chaoyang District, this mixed-use complex is sustainably driven, community focused and it hopes to bring together the work of some mighty fine international design minds. Tadao Ando is responsible for the art museum, which will open in 2018. Enzo Enea has taken on the landscaping of the expansive, sculpted gardens, and Kohn Pedersen Fox is behind the architecture for the office towers and the on-site hotel, Bulgari Hotel Beijing. Antonio Citterio and his business partner Patricia Viel, meanwhile, are spearheading the interiors for the office towers, and for the hotel, which is Bulgari Hotels & Resorts’ first project in China. Bulgari Hotel Beijing opened in September, weaving together the art and nature that are an integral part of the Genesis Beijing proposition. Colours are warm, earthy neutrals mixed with burnt orange and ochre, and materials such as teak and elm, bronze, marble and granite feature throughout the public and private spaces. Paintings by Chinese artist Yan Pei-Ming, photography by Irene Kung and antique maps by Franciscan friar and cartographer Vincenzo Coronelli are part of Bulgari Hotel Beijing’s art offering. Other artworks include sketches of Bulgari’s luxurious jewellery designs, plus photographs of celebrities wearing Bulgari pieces, which were drawn from the Roman house’s archives. The brand’s Italian heritage comes through loud and clear in the hotel’s design, too: Antonio Citterio Patricia Viel and Partners hand-picked or custom-created every piece of furniture, as they have done with each of the ‘urban resorts’ in the group’s stable. Naturally, many of the pieces they have chosen are by contemporary Italian furniture makers. B&B Italia, Maxalto, Flexform and Flos all feature prominently in the 119 rooms and suites, as well as in the hotel’s public spaces. Bulgari Hotel Beijing bedroom Then there are the Barovier & Toso chandeliers that hang over the tables in the hotel’s restaurant, Il Ristorante Niko Romito. These custom-made Murano glass lights also give the ballroom staircase its jewel-like character (a little nod, of course, to Bulgari’s expertise in haute joaillerie). Another standout design feature is the hotel’s hand-hammered and polished bar. A local artisan made this giant, oval-shaped bar from bronze and stainless steel, and it’s a good example of the hotel group’s dedication to using luxury materials and to working with craftsmen to cut, carve, shape and polish it all to jewel-like perfection. It’s an approach that applies across the board, from the elm-wood entrance alcoves in each room to the onyx in the bathroom of the 380-square-metre Bulgari Suite and the Vicenza stone around the spa’s 25-metre indoor swimming pool, which is a modern take on the ancient Roman bath. Sustainability is a core part of the Genesis Beijing concept, and it’s not forgotten at Bulgari Hotel Beijing. Like some other luxury brands we know of, Bulgari Hotels & Resorts says very little about its environmental commitment, but it’s happening, and it’s significant. The properties use geothermal energy as one source of power and heat, for example, and they also harvest rainwater. Bulgari Hotel, Beijing bulgarihotels.com Bulgari Hotel Beijing lounge Bulgari Hotel Beijing bathroom Bulgari Hotel Beijing bar Bulgari Hotel Beijing chandelier Bulgari Hotel Beijing exteriorabc
Architecture
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Places

TomMarkHenry Takes On Double Bay’s Famed Indigo Café

Design studio TomMarkHenry were called in to revitalise Indigo Café, a cherished breakfast spot with a hoard of loyal clientele in Sydney’s Double Bay. So arose the question; what is it that invites a sense of community around a café? Not just a seat to enjoy scrambled eggs, a good café can become an alter where we live out our daily or weekly rituals. We inherently seek out spaces that are comfortable and soothing. TomMarkHenry imbue this through their carefully curated palette, with an emphasis of soft, pale tones and tactile timbers. The use of timber – undressed and exposed – is a material that we understand. And thus, can establish a sense of familiarity is unfamiliar spaces. It is this effort to create a sense of homeliness that informs Indigo Café. Despite the busy occupancy of the café, TomMarkHenry have established a slow and steady pace within the design. Custom elongated mirrors and lighting above the banquettes seemingly stretch in a graceful yawn across the space. While an emphasis on texture – rendered walls, blue vein Concordia stone table tops, irregular-laid timber – create interest without interrupting the peace of the space with piercing colour. Taking notes from the café’s name, an indigo shade flows throughout the space, blue-tainted metal sheet, linen, stained joinery and exterior tiles, to create a sense of totality and completion. The embracing blue accents are supported by the quietness of washed whites and neutrals. Apart from the handwoven Stipa chairs and Svelte Drexel sled chairs, TomMarkHenry custom designed all of the furniture within Indigo Café. This enabled them to have complete control over the resulting look and feel of the space. And ensure an overarching sense of equilibrium across each precise element within the space. With a different café sitting at the corner of almost every block, we are inundated with choices on where to eat. But it is the venues that offer more than fine food and service that edge their way into our routines. At Indigo Café, TomMarkHenry tap into our desire and need for comfort. And with our own home spaces becoming increasingly invaded with stress and work, sometimes it is easier to outsource to the professionals a space for relaxation. TomMarkHenry tommarkhenry.studio Photography by Damian Bennett Tom Mark Henry Indigo Cafe interior 4 Tom Mark Henry Indigo Cafe interior 4 Tom Mark Henry Indigo Cafe interior 1 Tom Mark Henry Indigo Cafe interior 5 Tom Mark Henry Indigo Cafe interior 2 Tom Mark Henry Indigo Cafe exterior 4 Tom Mark Henry Indigo Cafe exterior 7abc
Design Hunters
People

In Conversation With… Sue Carr

ST: Sue, the Jackalope Hotel is a most extraordinary establishment, the relationship between the architecture, interior architecture and the artworks is extremely nuanced. How did you respond to what surely must’ve been a pretty whacky brief? SC: At times I thought, Oh my gosh, we have to stick to what we believe in but we’re also on this amazing journey with this amazing young man, developer Louis Li. A lot of our job was to bring a somewhat out of control gallop to a more tempered cantor. Louis’s vision right from the start was to create a most unique estate, and this enthralled us since so many of our briefs on hotels are pretty standard. Even when we do give them something unique it tends to be value managed out over time. But we were certain that Louis was true to his vision and for us that was an irresistible aspect to the project. Much of his vision was fuelled by his love of film and art, reinforced by his imaginative approach to story-telling. Jackalope stands apart on the Mornington Peninsula. Were you ever worried that you were creating something so atypical that it would be totally out of context? To an extent, yes. But if you think about the main hotel building, the way it stands with its metal-clad form is quite industrial, and its saw-tooth roof was directly inspired by the historical form of the adjacent barrel room. Within the context of the historical Willow Creek vineyard in which it sits, Jackalope is right at home. In fact, Carr Design Group was involved in the development of Willow Creek even before the idea of Jackalope was mooted, right? Correct. We created the original Cellar Door and Bistro – now Rare Hare – in 2011. Then a change of ownership in 2013 saw Louis Li purchase the property and join forces with Carr to realise the vision for this incredibly captivating and dramatic site. Interestingly, the most fundamental form of the brief was the same for each owner – ‘to create a boutique, destination hotel offering guests an experience like no other!’ The interior is incredibly dramatic. Yes, the intention was to create an impactful interior that would surprise and delight. It is intentionally eclectic, experimental, it’s designed to celebrate the mystery and whimsy of alchemy and the art of transformation which is such a large part of the wine-making process. The alchemical elements – gold and silver, copper and bronze – was where Louis had us start and from there we embarked on a journey that is all about surprise. That’s the essential narrative of the place, embracing its wine-making origins but at the same time celebrating the future. It’s designed to be a sensual, magical experience. The guest rooms relay an immediate, thorough sense of calm respite. They’re dark and moody to a point I’ve never experienced in a hotel before. What’s that about? The guest rooms were designed as a contrast or counterpoint to the public spaces. They are deliberately rectilinear, in muted shades of black, charcoal and grey. Most hotel operators run a mile from rooms that they consider too dark – or too light for that matter – but Louis allowed us to take it to another level. We made a real effort to use really intimate, tactile finishes like brushed metals and charred timber. We placed the black Japanese style bath tubs in the rooms themselves so that the view if from tub through bedroom to the vineyards beyond. It was all about emphasizing the retreat aspect of the private spaces. The key brief for the rooms was that they be calm, that they provide sanctuary from all the drama outside – in the sense of the décor of the public spaces, but also more generally as a retreat from the outside world. Sue Carr Design is one of only 10 finalist practices – and the only Australian practice – in the WAF Hospitality and Leisure category. How does that feel? Beyond words. It was one of the most challenging projects we’ve ever collaborated on but it’s also been the most exciting and adventurous. It took us to another level and I am excited – and a little bit nervous – to be presenting it to the judges in Berlin next month. Sue Carr was In Conversation With… Stephen Toddabc
Design Hunters
People

Much More Muuto, Please

In 2006 Muuto was founded by Kristian Byrge and Peter Bonnen with the idea to carry the golden age of Scandinavian design into the 21st Century. A year later Anders Cleeman joined the team, coming from a background in affordable luxury fashion, and in 2015 became the CEO. A recent visit to Australia afforded Habitus the ability to meet the man in person. In the decade since inception the Muuto offering has grown from accessories to lighting, and more recently furniture. Despite temptations here and there over the years to deviate from the initial goal, Muuto’s design philosophy has remained firmly in line with the original mission: to provide honesty, functionality and craftsmanship through design. That’s not as easily done as it is said; it takes finesse to develop an iconic aesthetic to cater to a modern market. Yet they’re able to do so by pairing new materials and methods of construction alongside traditional forms, likewise responding to new and developing needs with a clear handle on classic design. “Take a product like the Unfold lamp,” says Anders. “From a distance it looks like a completely traditional industrial lamp but when you get closer you find out it’s made of soft silicon. It’s quite playful in its expression.” Despite an interest in classic and traditional forms of Scandinavian design, they have a notably modern approach to business. Namely, their designs are exclusively the result of external collaborations. Perhaps this is why their catalogue never seems to tire, instead producing an endless array of innovative designs. With a finger to the pulse of the design scene, Muuto are talking to designers, AKA potential collaborators, all the time. Conversations arise and partnerships often result. Similarly their approach to distribution has always had a focus on establishing a global presence. “We’ve had an international mindset from day one,” says Anders. According to the CEO, today only seven per cent of their annual turn over comes from the Danish market. America and the Asia Pacific form the biggest markets followed closely by France, Germany and the U.K. Understandably so, relationships with distributors across the globe are not entered into lightly. In Australia, Muuto has been distributed by Living Edge for the past three years. “It’s a fantastic partnership,” says Anders. “They [share] a passion for the brand and…an understanding for our positioning.” Living Edge knows what Muuto is and, just as importantly, what they are not. Pragmatically speaking, a large and loyal distributor network and stunning space in which to be showcased certainly doesn’t hurt either. According to Anders their showrooms across Australia are second to none – on a global scale. Muuto is available nationwide at Living Edge livingedge.com.au Muuto compose 3seater Muuto Anders Cleeman compile black side Muuto AdapTable Under the Bell  abc