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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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Introducing Wilkhahn, Your 2018 Luminary INDE.Award Partner

Everyone knows what a luminary is. They’re the figures that inspire and lead by example, the vibrant, talented ones who illuminate others by the strength and spread of their light, the individuals who change the playing field so drastically that it is impossible to imagine a time before them. Others bathe in the warm glow they cast, comforted by its steadiness and enlivened by the promise it represents. But where do you find a luminary? Notoriously difficult to pin down, luminaries are constantly on the go, often travelling at a breakneck speed and on roads less travelled. They’re at the vanguard of things, blazing out a new path for others to follow; they’re at the coalface, bravely mining the depths of creativity for new avenues to explore; they’re at the fringes, exploring ways to do things that fall well beyond the norm. Wherever they are, luminaries distinguish themselves by their skill, insight, and foresight, and encourage others to follow their example and grit their teeth, dig their heels in, and give it everything they’ve got. Often, luminaries are moving so fast and between so many places that it is impossible to get a hold of them and celebrate the full extent of their wonderful and important work. The Luminary category of the INDE.Awards attempts to do just that, recognising industry leaders whose influence is often simply felt rather than lauded. Rewarding an idiosyncratic approach to design and innovative use of technology, materials, and technique, the Luminary award crosses design disciplines and geographic borders. Veterans in all design fields across the Asia Pacific region are eligible for the award, so long as they have had a sustained, demonstrated impact on the landscape of design. One of only two people’s choice awards in the INDE.Awards program, the Luminary award gives the A+D community a voice to name the leaders and mentors embedded within it. Late last year, INDE.Awards experts and Indesign Media editors selected design professionals in the Asia Pacific region for recognition as Luminaries, nominating individuals that they feel have made an indelible mark on the region’s design. The resulting list is diverse and recognises that excellence spans across disciplines and continents, and is characterised as such by its ability to push the industry in the direction of change and constant improvement. Fittingly, German ergonomic furniture designers and producers Wilkhahn will once again support the Luminary category of this year’s INDE.Awards. Renowned for their seamless marriage of cutting-edge design with state of the art engineering, Wilkhahn have been a guiding light for generations of industrial designers around the world. For over a century, the company has committed itself to refined, distinctive design that diverges boldly and bravely from the pack. Since bursting onto the market over six decades ago, Wilkhahn‘s office furniture has led the market when it comes to high performance, striking commercial furniture design. Their dynamic task chairs have helped usher in a new age of health-driven, ergonomics-focused workplaces, and set the standard for countless other ergonomic chairs now entering the market. Beyond this, the flexibility afforded by Wilkhahn‘s space-saving tables far predated today’s agile, open workspaces, demonstrating the kind of remarkable prescience with which luminaries are gifted. Importantly, Wilkhahn‘s extensive design portfolio reminds us time and time again that functionality need not be a limitation on the scope and creativity of design. Like every true luminary, Wilkhahn is keen to share their knowledge and skills and recognise the talent possessed by others. The company is pleased to enable the much-deserved celebration of game-changing talent in the burgeoning Asia Pacific design industry, and looks forward to seeing the leaders that members of the design community recognise from amongst their ranks.

Vote for your 2018 People’s Choice Luminary now and be in the running to win an all expenses paid trip to Germany!

Thanks to Wilkhahn, we’re giving you the chance to win an all expenses paid trip to Germany for Orgatec 2018. The winner will be flown to Germany for an activity-filled week with the Wilkhahn Asia Pacific team. This exclusive VIP itinerary includes*…
  • Flights to Germany for Orgatec 2018
  • A two-night stay in a five-star castle
  • An all-access tour of the Wilkhahn HQ, the world’s largest furniture factory
  • All passes to Orgatec 2018
  • VIP city tours of Cologne
  • A two day sojourn in Munich
 

To enter, simply vote for your favourite Luminary for 2018 and follow the prompts to be in the running.

ENTER NOW!

   
*All travel and meals are included in the winner’s prize, including all agreed extras such as city tours, conference passes, golf and parties. Any additional purchases will be at the expense of the winner. Terms and conditions apply. Indesign Media Asia Pacific, INDE.Awards Asia Pacific and Wilkhahn Asia Pacific reserve the right to change the terms and conditions at any time without notice.
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Foomann Architects: Spaces That Feel Good

Melbourne-based Foomann Architects design residential and commercial spaces. They work on small projects and large ones. They treat each project as it’s own. What ties their work together is Jo and Jamie, the duo behind the studio, and their shared design philosophy: “We like to think that we are particularly receptive and free of ego. We allow the context, brief and end users steer our approach, so that we are as curious about the outcome as our client.” The result? spaces that feel good and, by extension, spaces that feel like Foomann. Foomann Architects are not shy of having diversity among their folio of work. They want their designs to reflect the tastes and personalities of their clients and they enjoy working with different materials and approaches. Whether it’s for a residential or commercial project, whatever the size or scale, Foomann Architects listen to their clients, their needs and wants, and take the time to adopt but also question the ideas they have so that they create spaces that get to the heart of what will really work. “ When we start a residential project, we work with our clients to envisage how they want to live... As with residential; hospitality and commercial projects require that we theorise experiences and scenarios with the added layer of brand identity. We project ourselves into spaces and query whether they will make us feel good.” While this might mean a particularly explorative process (though that’s where the fun is for these two), the result is something that feels far easier. “Our strength lies in distilling this complexity into the realisation of what we hope to be beautifully simple spaces.” And – it seems – something that also feels like theirs. “When we design, we know when it feels like one of ours.” Another commonality between Foomann projects is the focus on context, environmental outcomes and compact footprints. This doesn’t mean they won’t make statements with their designs, but that they also have to be in harmony within the new environment. “We are happy to make a statement so long as the reshaped context feels natural and cohesive,” they say. This has resulted often in spaces that mitigate the distinction between indoors and out and blur the experience of moving between old and new. Of course working in this way is also conducive to addressing another very real concern facing the design industry right now: housing affordability. “Sustainability and housing affordability are intersecting concerns that are driving positive change. Design being produced in Melbourne is incredibly good and Foomann are proud to be part of a community that continues to lift the standard and seek solutions.” As a practice that believes we can have it all – efficiency, sustainability, affordability and luxury – we can only look forward to seeing more from this local studio. Foomann Architects foomann.com.au We think you might also like more of Foomann's work here and here.abc
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Let The Sun Shine: Passive Solar Home Design

Passive solar home design takes advantage of the sun and wind to illuminate, warm and cool interior spaces. Designing a house according to passive solar design principles can improve the performance, thermal comfort, energy efficiency and sustainability of a home. Not only can it reduce reliance on heating, cooling and lighting, but natural light and fresh air are good for wellbeing, making passive solar-designed homes a better choice for people and the environment. A passive solar home is designed specifically for a site: taking orientation, climate, landscape and materials into account. We take a tour around Australia to see how four architects have renovated houses using climate-responsive principles.   Photosynthesis House by Matt Elkan Architect, NSW The orientation of a house should take advantage of the sun for natural light and winter warmth. Locating living areas and windows to the north means spaces typically used most often will receive sun throughout day. (An exception is in tropical climates as they can overheat.) Photosynthesis House, designed by Matt Elkan Architect, is located on a sandstone ridge nearly Manly Dam in Sydney and is the renovation of an existing fibro beach cottage with a two-storey pavilion addition. All rooms open to the north with extensive glazing and a skylight between the two halves of the house brings sunlight deeper into the home. With the sun comes heat (up to 87 per cent of a home’s heat can be gained through windows), and while it’s beneficial in winter, it’s less desirable during hot summers. Eaves, awnings and screens can therefore shade windows in summer, while still allowing light in during winter when the sun is lower in the sky. At Photosynthesis House, sensor-operated Venetian blinds shade the northern and western sides of the house to moderate sunlight, a green roof extends over the skylight to cut high-level solar access during summer and louvres keep the home naturally ventilated. On the other hand, up to 40 per cent of a home’s heating energy can be lost through windows, which is why quality glazing is important for energy efficiency and thermal comfort. Here, low-E (low-emissivity) glazing is used throughout, its transparent coating minimising the amount of heat that passes through the glass. Photography by Simon Whitbread [gallery size="medium" ids="72655,72657,72658,72654,72659,72656"]   Dover House by Shaun Lockyer Architects, QLD Of course north-facing living spaces are not always possible. And in a warmer climate like Brisbane, it means east- and west-facing rooms run the risk of overheating in the early morning and late afternoon from low-angle summer sunlight. Dover House, designed by Shaun Lockyer Architects, comprises a classic Queenslander with a concrete rear addition that is very much influenced by the local climate. The house is located on an east-west site and glazing along the northern side is designed to absorb as much sun as possible, maximising light and heat gain during winter. With living areas to the west, deep eaves, screens and an outdoor curtain help keep internal temperatures cooler by controlling solar access, depending on the angle of the sun throughout the year. Large openings allow for natural ventilation and louvre windows, skylights and large sliding doors also leverage light and breezes to enhance the comfort and efficiency of the house. Photography by Scott Burrows [gallery size="medium" ids="72640,72638,72641,72643,72642,72639"]   Boya House by maarch*, WA Natural ventilation helps keep a house cool by making use of outside air movement and pressure differences. Cooling breezes carry warmed internal air out of a building, replacing it with cooler external air and effectively lowering the temperature of interior spaces. Boya House, designed by maarch*, is located in Darlington, east of Perth. The brief called for an extension to a late-1970s house that opened to the south and therefore had limited light. The addition, which houses the dining room, extends north into the bush and is surrounded by glazing on three sides, with sliding doors to the east and west for cross ventilation and breezeway louvres to north. “The dual aspect of the house orientation (open on three sides) enables us to work with any configuration to cool the inside,” says Mark Aronson, director of maarch*. “As the easterly winds are strong at night and in the morning, we open the windows after 7pm in summer to flush out warm air overnight. The south-western ‘Fremantle Doctor’ [a vernacular term for the cooling afternoon sea breeze which occurs during summer months] reaches the hills by about 4pm in summer and we open up the western windows to let in these cooling breezes.” The house also takes advantage of the surrounding vegetation, with tree canopies filtering sunlight and tempering solar gain. Photography by Douglas Mark Black [gallery size="medium" ids="72634,72635,72633,72636,72637,72632"]   Glide House by Ben Callery Architects, VIC Materials such as concrete, masonry, stone and rammed earth have high density that can be used to capture and store heat. Suited to regions with sunny days and cold nights, thermal mass acts as a heat bank, storing the warmth from the sun during the day and gradually releasing it in the evening as the temperature drops. Insulation also serves as a barrier to heat flow and can make a vast difference in the internal comfort and performance of a home. In Melbourne, Glide House, designed by Ben Callery Architects, has high levels of thermal mass and insulation to moderate internal temperatures and reduce reliance on energy and power. The living spaces have a north-facing rear aspect for solar access. Concrete flooring provides thermal mass, receiving sunlight through the low-e glazing, and insulation in the walls, flooring and roofing provides thermal stability. The sculptural roof has clerestory windows to capture the sun on the north side, and it dips to the south to protect from early morning and late afternoon sun. Louvres allow for breezes from the south side, which cool the interior and carry out excess heat from the thermal mass during the summer. Photography by Tatjana Plitt [gallery size="medium" ids="72646,72650,72645,72652,72651,72644"]   We think you might also like to read about architects designing for the future  abc
Homes
Architecture
ARC - Feature

Acclimatising To Context

Kempsey, a coastal town in mid-northern New South Wales, has a long history embedded in Australia’s timber industry, founded on its thick wood of red cedar. And it was this town in which architect Daniel Hudson spent his childhood kicking pieces of lumber around in his family shed as his grandfather whittled down his own chunks of timber. As a boy raised in a family of tradesmen and builders, Daniel learnt to respect the unique character of this material, something that offers both a connection to the surrounding native landscape, as well as protection from it. The influence of growing up in a town that thrives on its relationship with the natural world is honoured in Daniel’s practice as an architect with Jackson Teece and director of their Queensland office. Living and working in Brisbane’s sun-soaked CBD, his own home, Gresham St House, elegantly parades his understanding of site orientation and architectural know-how in a structure that evokes the protective woods of his younger years. Kempsey House Photography By Christopher Frederick Jones Entrance Daniel and his wife purchased the property seven years ago. The house was a 1930s masonry ‘Queenslander’: muscular and elevated, in keeping with the canon of the northern state’s signature architectural style. The house had a great original aspect with the backyard facing directly north to embrace Brisbane’s syrupy weather. And so, when first walking through the property at the inspection, Daniel and his wife mentally configured their plans for the soon-to-be family home. The aim was to amplify a connection to the surrounding environment and expand the amount of liveable space with a timber-wrapped pavilion that honoured Daniel’s upbringing in quiet, coastal Australia. Yet despite the natural assets of the block, the layout of the house was a mess. “Internally it was almost the opposite of what it should be,” said Daniel. “It was around the wrong way. So the main objective was to reconfigure the layout, the program of the house, without changing any of the wall locations.” The old house was roasting in summer, biting in winter and longed for sunlight throughout most of the year. None of the old rooms responded to the context of the site and Daniel had to rearrange much of the floor plan. The lounge room became the master bedroom, the entryway a generous ensuite and wardrobe, the dining room a second family room and the old kitchen now the main family bathroom and toilet. “It was a complete reshuffle,” he concedes. The pre-existing building was reimagined as the sleeping quarters and the new living pavilion contrasted as an open, well-lit space, syphoning in the family’s social activity. The bones of the original structure had to be maintained to keep the renovation within budget and to adhere to the low environmental footprint that was central to Daniel’s design. The original house lies within a demolition control precinct to protect the character of the original façade. And so the extending new structure – swathed in rich timber and carrying a distinctly modern appeal – creates a striking juxtaposition between the more historical and contemporary architectural aesthetics. Kempsey House Photography By Christopher Frederick Jones Hallway The separation between old and new segments of Gresham St House establish two different destinations to suit one’s mood: one to bathe in the sun and native landscape, and the other to hide away in a more secluded and private space. A concealed full-length sliding door pulls out from the wall to open up or cut between these spaces. This not only visually breaks up the house, but also allows for the family to have greater control over the internal temperature and ventilation. Daniel installed a three-station temperature thermometer in the kitchen, sleeping area and outside of the house, which allows the family to monitor the different temperatures and open up or close down the space accordingly. “We get the opportunity, in winter, to shut down the sleeping area from the rest of the house so it keeps warm. And in summer, we shut the space down equally so it keeps cool when you’re sleeping at night,” says Daniel. Working to the house’s orientation was paramount to promote the passive heating and cooling systems within the design, and ultimately create a house that responded to its climate. A gallery of louvres help to welcome in the bay breeze from the east while expelling the heat that is already inside. Over the central living space, large vertical timber blades run from the east and west façades, and are carefully angled to respond to the shifting temperatures throughout the year. “During summer there literally isn’t any sun that comes [to heat] the deck or house. Whereas in winter you stand in the kitchen and the sun’s on you,” says Daniel. “They’re the attributes that give me joy every day.” Kempsey House Photography By Christopher Frederick Jones Living Areas In addition to the rear pavilion, a new entry annex was built, clad in warm enveloping timber batten. The annex soothes the robust frontage while visually introducing the entwining of the old and new parts of the house that is continued into the rear. The annex is an ingenious feature in the design, and while the outer gate is closed, allows for the other doors to remain wide and encourage free-flowing ventilation across the length of the house. The annex also constructs a physical and psychological transition from the urban frenzy of the outside streetscape into the airy and restful pavilion. “Walking through the house, the idea was to create a serene experience,” says Daniel. Moving from “the timber batten and filtered light [at the entrance] to that more secluded – and I’d like to say protected – living space; when you walk into that space, the acoustics are very quiet. The amount of timber contributes to that definitely.” The pavilion addition exists as both a living room and an extension of the outside deck, stirring the boundary between the internal and external parts of the house. And this is perfectly suited to the family’s lifestyle. “My son plays a lot of sport, so for him to be able to stand in the backyard kicking a soccer ball while he’s eating a piece of toast, it’s a nice thing to be able to do.” Gresham St House visually plays out the narrative of years gone by. The house draws on components of Daniel’s background and applies them within Brisbane’s urban setting. Illustrated as a result is a harmony between divergent design styles, reinforcing how our past influences continue to evolve and inform the paths of our future. Jackson Teece jacksonteece.com Photography by Christopher Frederick Jones Kempsey House Photography By Christopher Frederick Jones Kitchen Kempsey House Photography By Christopher Frederick Jones Deck Dining Kempsey House Photography By Christopher Frederick Jones Bedroom Kempsey House Photography By Christopher Frederick Jones Swimming Pool We think you might also like See Through House by Wallflower Architecture + Designabc
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A Breakfast Celebration For Designer Rugs And Felicia Aroney

The collaborative collection sees the renowned design team at Designer Rugs teaming up with Felicia Aroney, whose elegant floral artworks have been shown in galleries and art fairs all around the world. The collaboration was an attempt to translate her feminine aesthetic into beautiful artworks for the floor, and the resulting collection features three hand-tufted rugs: Blossom Dance, Bronte and Marguerite, all of which explore Felicia’s love of texture, light and shade and Australian botanicals. In launching this collection, the Designer Rugs team saw fit to celebrate these floral designs at a designer breakfast event in Sydney's Botanical Gardens. The celebrations saw a showcasing of the wonderful new collection to some of Sydney's best and brightest in design and art, alongside the Designer Rugs team and a host of enthusiastic design lovers. The breakfast, like the collection itself, was a wonderful success and a great way to launch a series of rugs that show that artwork is for more than just the walls. Designer Rugs designerrugs.com.au [gallery columns="5" ids="72565,72566,72567,72568,72569,72570,72571,72572,72573,72574,72575,72576,72577,72578,72579,72580,72581,72582,72583,72584,72585,72586,72587,72588,72589,72590,72591,72592,72593"]abc
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Sway, My Way : Behind The Scenes With Made By Pen

In 1519, William Horman – then headmaster of the famed public schools of Eton and Winchester – published a Latin primer. Posterity has been kind to him for (if nothing else) its opening inscription: mater artium necessitas. ‘Necessity is the mother of invention.’   Some five hundred or so years later, and necessity remains just as central to the pursuit of creation. “We were in the process of renovating our home,” says Susan Chung, “and as we were looking for a floor lamp to stand beside our couch, we were dismayed that we couldn’t find one that could both fit and that had an attractive base.” Unlike myself, Susan along with her husband Michael Mabuti did not bemoan such a deficiency. Rather, like so many punctuating the annals of design history, they embraced necessity as the wellspring of innovation. “Out of this, the inspiration for a new venture emerged – a cordless lamp.”   As the directors of the Melbourne-based design studio, Made By Pen, Susan and Michael speak considerately about seeing design as a way of life. “Our products all carry the same objective, to provide a solution to something that is missing or currently not available. Our idea come from talking to consumers, designers and architects, so we can gauge need.”   ‘Sway’ – the studio’s recent design of a cordless, swaying lamp ­– is a true exemplar. Since the days of electricity’s first foray into our lives, the basic design elements of lamps have remained largely unchanged: static pedestal, counterbalanced base, tethered to a power socket. But for Susan and Michael, those days are a far memory. Of course, they’re right! While the world around us continues to change, new forms of inspiration and innovation abound: “The way people use spaces has changed,” says Susan. “Work environments are more flexible and people’s homes are no longer defined by singular rooms but, instead, fluid spaces.”   “This means that we now demand more from the products around us”, Michael adds. “They need to do more, and incorporating a cordless, rechargeable feature within the design of the Sway lamp delivers on this.” Designed in collaboration with Nick Rennie, Sway’s globular base allows the lamp to playfully teeter and sway when knocked or moved. “It breaks the mould of how you would expect a lamp to be formed, allowing the user to playfully interact with it.” Play, interaction, joy: the humble ‘lamp’ has been reimagined to elicit our emotional reply.  
“With all new products there is a process of design, refinement and testing. For Sway, with the cordless feature we wanted to achieve this simply meant this time there were a few more refinements. However, the time spent perfecting this we understood to be worthwhile. […] Designed in collaboration with Nick Rennie, who is renowned for his playful designs that create pieces to engage with the end user and elicit and emotional reaction, our main goal for Sway was to develop something fun, absorbing and inviting for the user to interact. Sway does just that. It breaks the mould of how you expect a lamp to be formed and allows the user to playfully interact. In fact, with our preview showing, consumers have shown such a positive reaction to the light that we only have a limited number left in Australia from our initial product run.”
  In more ways that one, the emotional secret life of objects is the Made By Pen signature. Turning their hands from lamps to, instead, servingware for ‘Field’ designed in collaboration with Helen Kontouris, it was precisely the emotional underside of design that inspired the product’s development.   “If you get to know Michael, myself and the rest of the Made By Pen team”, says Susan, “you’ll soon realise that food is very much a part of our lives, as are friends and family. Made By Pen’s team is a blend of different cultures in which gathering occurs around a table of food. Food, design, nature and love of family became a simple combination to make this partnership work beautifully.”   Inspired on the hand by the shared company of loved ones and, on the other, by the thousand-years-old history of agriculture and the cultivation of the land, ‘Field’ brings to mind the country’s dramatic landscapes, its fertile earth and the communities it sustains.“ Like Helen Kontouris, we are also inspired by natural landscapes and it’s not hard when Australia has so many breathtakingly beautiful places”, Susan continues. “Much of the inspiration for our work comes from light, contrasts, angles and the tonal palettes of natural landscapes.”  
“The slow food movement is very important to us all at Made By Pen. Taking time to sit and enjoy food and company is an important antidote to the stark contrast of our ever-increasing app-enables lives. In this, the collaboration with Helen Kontouris was an easy one. Food, design, nature and love of family are shared by us all, and it was this simple combination that made the partnership work so well.”
  It is clear that, speaking so eloquently about the inspiration nature provides, that Australia and Australian design heavily colours the Made By Pen philosophy. Working in close collaboration with the nation’s top talent – including the likes of Michael Ong, Helen Kontouris, Nick Rennie and Jim Hannon-Tan in recent years – the studio has recently emerged as a front-runner in a new wave of Australian design.   It was precisely this embrace of local talent that the Made By Pen team inspired the industry with late last year at Sydney Indesign 2017. After launching the very first glimpse of the Sway Lamp in collaboration with Rennie at the event, as well as showcasing Field in partnership with Helen Kontouris, the brand also exhibited the latest iteration of Linea. “For us,” says Susan, “Linea is a really remarkable product as it can continuously evolve. It allows us to creatively never be finished, insofar as we can and indeed are continuously exploring different surfaces, colours and materials.”   Developed in conjunction with Jim Hannon-Tan, Made By Pen have also collaborated with the Clan Collective to create a new suite of resin attachments for Linea’s essential core form. Whether on a kitchen bench, a desktop or even a bathroom counter, Linea’s supreme functionality appears almost an extension of its beautifully resolved form.  
“The evolution of this product range was as much consumer-led as it was design-led, too. In a way, these latest developments for Linea are a response to those who initially bought it, and found new configurations and ways to incorporate it into their lives, in the bathroom, in their offices and home studies and even kitchen benches. Anywhere that items need to be contained and ordered, Linea is their solution.”
  In more ways than one, with interactive and responsive approach is highly characteristic of the Made By Pen orientation to the world of design. “We love interacting with our users, and consumer feedback allows us to translate and evolve the design elements”, says Michael. Even though they work alongside some of the design community’s biggest names, both Michael and Susan remain highly attuned to the fact that a central philosophy of their brand is that it remains to a degree “also user-curated.”  
“We respect the design process and understand that artists are able to identify and process objects, lines, light and space in a unique manner. By collaborating with them, we are able to capture these ideas and develop the Made By Pen range.”
  And yet, retaining these close ties to the local design community and their family of Made By Pen design hunters will always be a core driver of the studio’s place in contemporary design. “Australia, and in particular Melbourne where we are based, has a strong sense of identity and culture. Behind whatever inspires you, there is a strong community that supports it. There is a passion and respect for ‘good things’ that exists too, hence why we are rich on so many levels from food, events, fashion, and even our street art! As a consequence, the design community here is strong, cohesive and supportive. There exists the freedom to design, and attempt anew.”  

Made By Pen’s entire portfolio is available through various stockists across Australia and the United Kingdom.

Visit www.madebypen.com for more information.

  Made By Pen madebypen.com   A version of this article was originally published by the writer in McGrath Magazine (March 2018).  abc
Architecture
Around The World
Homes

Rooot Studio Get It Right For A Four-Legged Client

Designed by Rooot Studio, this apartment is home to an adventurous couple and their furry canine companion, and the playful use of simple but bold geometric shapes and pastel colours perfectly encapsulate the homeowners’ vibrant personalities and love for the outdoors. To make the apartment feel more spacious and less boxed-in, the designers hacked away some of the walls to transform the communal areas into an open-concept space. To open up the home even more, one of the bedrooms was torn down to form part of this open-concept zone and is now the dining area. And with bench seating featuring hidden storage compartments making efficient use of space, the home’s new layout allows the couple to enjoy a larger living area for parties and gatherings. The owners’ pet dog is also not forgotten – the designers have built it a kennel right under the settee cum shoe cabinet. One of the most unique features in this home is without a doubt the entryway with its pitched ceiling. Designed to resemble the shape of a tent, this visual element is further emphasised by the creative use of colour and lines. This feature wall is not only a beautiful focal point that reflects the personality of the homeowners, but also helps to subtly demarcate the private rooms from the rest of the house. The style of the master bedroom follows the design of the living-dining area. Instead of woodgrains however, the flooring in the master bedroom is concrete screed. This gives the bedroom a slightly different feel as one enters it. A built-in wardrobe stands in the middle of the bedroom and divides the space into two, creating an area for sleeping and a separate one for getting dressed. The entrance to the en-suite bathroom is concealed by another set of built-in wardrobes, which keeps clutter away to maintain the clean and restful atmosphere in the bedroom. Rooot Studio roootstudio.com Rooot Studio House Entry hallway Rooot Studio House Dining room Rooot Studio House Storage Rooot Studio House Open plan We think you might also like WALL Design Studio’s Library Houseabc
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The Transformer Apartment by Sim-Plex Design Studio

Hong Kong apartments are infamously tiny, but such challenging living conditions have an upside – it spurs interior designers (homeowners, too) to innovate and think outside the box for ways to make these spaces more liveable. Located in Tsung Kwun O, Hong Kong, the aptly named Bay House is a case in point. The designers from Sim-Plex Design Studio have maximised this two-bedroom apartment’s limited space of 503sqft by wrapping the existing bay window with adjustable wooden cabinetry and furniture. “In Hong Kong, local real estate moguls often chose to enlarge the bay window as much as possible as they were exempted from gross floor area [calculations]. This apartment is one of the products of that period,” says Patrick Lam, founder and creative director of Sim-Plex Design Studio. “However, this unique phenomenon has been on the decline since 2012 with the update to the area exemption regulation,” he adds. “The supreme large bay window has become a monument in Hong Kong, [and so we asked], was there anything our studio could do for it? ” In the living room , the TV, long bench, book shelf, display glass cabinet, and lighting have all been integrated into the bay window; and next to it, a full height cabinet and shoes cabinet hides an adjustable dining table, a sliding bar table and two movable benches. Multiple living scenarios are thus created among this transformable furniture. According to Patrick, the clients, a young couple, wanted to bring the surrounding scenery into the home, and asked for a flexible spatial arrangement that would fully utilise the bay window without obstructing the view. Says Patrick: “The featured bay window thus becomes the spine of the apartment, reinterpreted as a multi-functional picture frame that connects the scenery with the interior harmoniously. This same approach is reflected in the guest room, where the bay window is transformed into a wooden resting platform and frames the mountainside scenery outside. Sim-Plex Design Studio sim-plex-design.com Bay House Sim-Plex Design Studio Storage units Bay House Sim-Plex Design Studio Storage unit view Bay House Sim-Plex Design Studio Dining Bay House Sim-Plex Design Studio Storage Bay House Sim-Plex Design Studio Bedroom view We think you might also like Sensible Density And Small Scale Residential Buildingsabc
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Melbourne Meets Memphis Design

Laying eyes upon Biasol’s latest project, the pink-adoring character of Maggie from 1957 comedy Funny Face would shudder with pride. It’s easy to imagine that the brief for Pinkie, a new café in Melbourne’s northeast, was ‘Think pink – and you’re the Michelangelo!’. Maybe it sounds easy, taking a café and bathing it in a hue. But there’s a lot more that went into the execution of Pinkie than a paintbrush and a tin of rose-coloured Dulux. For the project, Biasol drew on their multidisciplinary roots in architecture, interior design, branding and product design to develop a concept filled with surprise textures, subtle shifts, deft spatial layouts and a delicate balance of tonality. Despite the project’s single-minded resolve regarding its palette, there’s nothing overwhelming about its application. Architect and Biasol founder, Jean-Pierre Biasol, was approached by the owners of St. Rose and No. 19 – two already successful Melbourne cafés – with a brief to create a “bolder” design for their next concept. The colour palette, already outlined, was what ignited the idea for a cohering name. “It was also the perfect opportunity to incorporate our rose-pink glass bricks,” says Biasol’s Heidi Wong, who was in charge of Pinkie’s signage and branding. Since it was founded in 2012, Jean-Pierre’s studio has become known for taking the old and making it new, and Pinkie is no exception to this. This is particularly evident in the extensive use of glass brick – a lynchpin of late 20th Century homes – and the bold, geometric touches that Heidi says were gleaned from the iconic Memphis design movement. Biasol Pinkie Photography by James Morgan Tables “Our design process is often inspired by the past, as we reignite and modernise styles for contemporary appeal,” she explains, throwing out design references that span eras and styles. The contrast of pink ducting against exposed concrete on the ceiling is typical of postmodernism, she says, while the bare, minimal forms are evocative of Bauhaus; the bright bursts call to mind Ettore Sottsass and Memphis, and the glass brick kitchen framework pays homage to the French architect Joachim. This mixing of movements speaks to Biasol’s deep appreciation for its design predecessors, while their seamless blending in Pinkie confirms the studio’s own individuality and capacity for innovation. Of course, no matter how clever a project’s design, a deal always needs to be struck with functionality. Pinkie’s layout is evidence of Biasol’s capacity for delivering efficiency tempered with beauty. The careful spacing out of features was done to maximise functionality and operations, and clear differentiation between takeaway and dining areas is achieved through a simple neon marker. Even the rose-coloured bricks are more than something nice to look at, cleverly wrapped around the kitchen to bring natural light and transparency. Biasol biasol.com.au Photography by James Morgan Biasol Pinkie Photography by James Morgan Stools Biasol Pinkie Photography by James Morgan Counter coffee machine Biasol Pinkie Photography by James Morgan Counter Biasol Pinkie Photography by James Morgan Sink Biasol Pinkie Photography by James Morgan Bar seating Biasol Pinkie Photography by James Morgan Entrance Biasol Pinkie Photography by James Morgan External facade Biasol Pinkie Photography by James Morgan Materials We think you might also like Boosa Cafe by Kestie Laneabc
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HAP - Feature

A Bamboo Playground For Barangaroo

If the agile workplace revolution were to have an Australian mascot, it would likely be Sydney’s Barangaroo. The previously non-existent inner-city suburb was taken on as an ambitious government project in 2012 and has since become known for both its heavy-hitting commercial occupants and the striking buildings they’ve come to reside in. The architecture of Barangaroo is eclectic, to say the least, but the diverse design styles that can be witnessed walking through the precinct – delivered in large part by Roger Stirk Harbour + Partners – share a common thread of futurism, underpinned by a commitment to sustainable technologies. In this sense, the form of Barangaroo’s first architecture pavilion is surprising. Erected earlier this month, the pavilion, called Green Ladder by Vietnam’s Vo Trong Nghia Architects, harks back to a more place-based and nature-oriented form of architecture, which juxtaposes sharply with the slick glass and metal of the harbour foreshore. Another surprising aspect of the commission: it’s not its first iteration. Green Ladder was first commissioned back in 2016 as the fourth of the Fugitive Structures pavilion series, led by the Sherman Centre for Culture and Ideas (SCCI). Unusually for an architectural pavilion – a form that is synonymous with impermanence – its Barangaroo reincarnation is its third. “We asked [Vo Trong Nghia] to create something that was flexible enough to go to two sites,” says Dr. Gene Sherman, founder of SCCI. “Every site is different, as we know, and now it’s gone into three sites. It’s had to be adapted a little everywhere it’s gone. He developed the concept based on adaptability, and Green Ladder came out of that.”
Green Ladder Photography by Jamie Gene Sherman
Green Ladder looks as it sounds. The pavilion is made up of a series of ladders made from bamboo that have been soaked in the rivers of Vietnam for three or four months – a technique that gives the already durable material added strength. These ladders are bound together with tough ropes of grass, and strung with hanging flower baskets. These baskets have changed their contents in response to each subsequent context – native flowers in Sydney, and bougainvillaea in Brisbane, where Green Ladder had another of its incarnations as the centrepiece of the Asia-Pacific Architecture Forum (APAF). “I grew up in Africa, so it was recognisable. Not in terms of the structure itself, but it had the same taste of materials from the environment [and] handiwork by well-trained craftspeople who took a pride in their work,” says Gene. “Barangaroo has all of these top-tier experts who I don’t even remotely have access to, and they went out to the site where we were storing [Green Ladder] and just said the bamboo needs some TLC, and the roof – a glass roof – needed to be replaced, but that wasn’t a difficult thing. [The Barangaroo Delivery Authority] organised the transport and they put it in a location which I chose. The shape was slightly adapted, but not much. We angled it slightly [on its rectangular lot] and there are ledges around it that people can sit on and have their lunch, underneath the greenery.” While at first, the structure seems at an aesthetic juncture with the rest of Barangaroo, Green Ladder is, in fact, a conspicuous representative of the precinct’s commitment to sustainability, and to design that is different. “Our ambition is to deliver a distinct and unique voice within the broader [landscape] in Sydney and Australia, animated through creative and engaged partners such as the Sherman Centre for Culture and Ideas,” says Barangaroo executive director, Sandra Bender, by way of a press release. “Our partnership with SCCI in the delivery of Barangaroo Structures will provide an opportunity for our visits to explore emerging architectural ideas with innovative sustainable materials.” “Many more people will see [Green Ladder] in Barangaroo than would ever have seen it here, or in Queensland,” concludes Gene. “They’ve done a beautiful job in putting it up – the ceiling is gleaming, the bamboo is shining, the whole thing looks fabulous!” Take a look at another project by Vo Trong Nghia Architects that brings in a little nature, The Atlas Hotel. Photography by Jamie Williams.
 Green Ladder Photography by Jamie Williams Bamboo gravel
Green Ladder Photography by Jamie Williams Plant box
Green Ladder Photography by Jamie Williams Top
Green Ladder Photography by Jamie Williams Tower
Green Ladder Photography by Jamie Williams Side viewabc
Architecture
Homes
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Inspired By Elegant Simplicity

Mies van der Rohe’s Barcelona Pavilion (1929) may have been short lived but its influence is long standing. Mies believed in the concept of fluid space; of diminishing the boundaries between the interior and exterior by using simple and transparent forms, as he later did at Farnsworth House (1945–51). These pavilion-style buildings with expansive glass walls and open-plan interiors continue to be influential, their elegant simplicity inspiring the design of contemporary homes such as MH House by Architects Ink. MH House has a single, rectangular volume in which form and materials are used to create an open, light-filled space. “Strong horizontal lines, planning to a grid, minimal material palette and integration of indoor and outdoor spaces are synonymous with the pavilion and common elements in our approach to many residential additions,” says Marco Spinelli, architect and director at Architects Ink. MH House Photography by Sam Noonan Entrance The rear extension to the client’s bluestone villa accommodates a new family living space. With a low, flat roof, the volume is barely visible from the street despite large existing side setbacks to the villa. The pavilion extends the full width of the site to minimise impact on the backyard area and maximise outlook from the living spaces. At the new side entry, an oversized custom glass pivot door is a link between the existing house and new marble-chipped rendered wall. Steps lead up to the villa or down to the open-plan space with kitchen and butler’s pantry, dining area, living area and a covered outdoor space. Floor-to-ceiling glass accentuates the horizontal profile and large sliding doors wholly open the lounge to the garden and external area. “We managed a tight budget to allow for the inclusion of premium German-engineered, highly insulated sliding glass doors. They create a seamless transition between indoor and outdoor environments, which was very important to the client and in keeping with the ethos of the pavilion typology,” Marco explains. Interior detailing is crisp and clean. A compact joinery ‘pod’ clad in American walnut timber contains the kitchen, pantry and laundry with no structural walls. Centrally located, it allows natural light to penetrate the ‘working’ zone from both sides and an uninterrupted view of the pool and garden. The burnished concrete floor and rendered walls extend externally to enhance the outdoor connection. The rear bluestone wall of the villa is exposed in the entry passageway, providing texture, colour and a connection between old and new. Like the Barcelona Pavilion and Farnsworth House, MH House meshes the manmade and natural to reinforce the concept of fluid space, bringing the inside and outside together as one. Architect's Ink architectsink.com.au Photography by Sam Noonan MH House Photography by Sam Noonan Living fireplace MH House Photography by Sam Noonan Kitchen MH House Photography by Sam Noonan Kitchen MH House Photography by Sam Noonan Open plan garden MH House Photography by Sam Noonan Pool MH House Photography by Sam Noonan Open plan living MH House Photography by Sam Noonan KitchenMH House Photography by Sam Noonan Living fireplace MH House Photography by Sam Noonan Frontabc