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Habitus is a movement for living in design. We’re an intelligent community of original thinkers in constant search of native uniqueness in our region.


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Habitusliving.com explores the best residential architecture and design in Australia and Asia Pacific.


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A Fresh Take On Classic Furniture

In a nod to her European heritage (it may be Autumn here in Australia, but it’s Spring in Europe!) Anne-Claire of anaca studio has launched a pastel green version of the Camille sofa – a classic design in a fresh, trans-seasonal colourway, for a relaxed look no matter the weather. This fresh green Camille, along with the rest of the anaca studio furniture collection, are given a fresh focus in these new colours. A modernist-inspired home designed by Damien Lui from Honto Architecture provides an elegant yet relaxed setting that perfectly complements the furniture’s style. “From a designer’s perspective, I’ve enjoyed playing with colour and context to reframe Anaca Studio’s range, which is exceptionally adaptable” says Anne-Claire, “I was inspired by a fresh palette and wanted to dress the Camille sofa in a lighter colour to show its versatility. While I love the more masculine and luxurious vibes of the classic Navy blue, this fresh green gives the Camille a gentler, more relaxed character.” anaca studio designs versatile, sustainably-produced pieces designed to last a lifetime. Their home wares come in all kinds of aesthetically minimalist aesthetics, offering cool comfort throughout the seasons. “I’m inspired by minimalism, modernism, and simplicity of forms, so Honto Architecture’s house felt like the ideal place to show the collection in a home setting.”  abc
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Live Dangerously In The Safest Possible Way

“Our clients are involved in the design and art scene, and had a good knowledge of how they lived and what the house had to achieve,” says architect and designer Andy Carson. “They provided a program of accommodation to be met, which was further developed. For example, besides the number and type of rooms, the house had to provide safety and containment for their young children and dogs and heighten the sense of connection to the landscape – one of the most interesting requests here was a ‘storm-viewing room’ to watch the drama of approaching southerly storm fronts from the over the ocean.” Given the precarious and somewhat dangerous nature of the site, Andy and team went through rigorous testing with physical and computer models and large drawing sheets all used to ensure the safety of the residents, as well as guaranteeing exact views, passive solar energy systems and architectural geometry hit the mark bang on. Andy explains: “Our clients would often challenge particular qualities of rooms, for example the they requested that each bathroom offer a different experience and different function in the house, so we spent much time collaborating on various configurations and ideas and testing them in a number of different ways. In fact, in terms of detailing, I wouldn’t say we stopped designing until the last moment of construction.” Andy’s primary goal was to create a protected courtyard house, forming an open ‘U’ shape to capitalise on the northern sun. This provides refuge from the bitter southern winds and storm fronts typical of the area. Large retractable sliding doors allow fine tuning dependent on weather conditions. The pavilions are heavily articulated, morphing and twisting whole volumes toward view, sun and protective opportunities. With such vast views the idea was to create very specific alignments to create powerful and memorable images in the mind of the occupants. Often when a building has wall to wall glass and only faces one direction, it can become tiresome and leaves the observer feeling disconnected. According to Andy, much time was spent carefully aligning every window to very specific framed views and their precise composition. “We took compass headings, aligned satellite images with detailed surveys to ensure the various points of interest were captured,” he says. “The extreme ends of the two main pavilions focus like telescopes on the ocean and the farmlands respectively, while the bedrooms offer built in window seats and other personal moments for reflection.” The detailing is “painstakingly minimal,” says Andy, to give a calming uncluttered feeling. “We were interested in the house being a very dynamic place for occupants to move through and but be quite dynamic when viewed as an object in the landscape. For example there are many optical refinements in the house such as the tapered ‘forced perspective’ hallway and the out of parallel walls of the main living area all subtly playing with how the users perceive the landscape.” Externally the whole building shape constantly changes as one moves around it and elements like the angled columns – sometimes looking like they form a wishbone ‘V’, at other angles like an ‘X’ and yet at other like two separate parallel columns. The house can be viewed from above and below, so every surface is on show and had to be highly detailed. The black metal skin wraps the roof, walls and underbelly with geometric precision. Andy notes that: “The house was very much designed for the user-experience from the inside out, however the resulting negative space between the pavilions also had to work and provide inviting outdoor spaces.” Here, converging walls create canyon like spaces that lead inhabitants into specific pinch points that then open out again into private outdoor space. Being such an unusual site, Andy’s design had to be 100 per cent site responsive, to the most extreme extent. Andy himself notes that: “Landscape is king!” and how the whole design was governed by the site conditions with its problems and opportunities. Throughout the process, Andy continuously asked himself “How best to provide protection and still maintain a strong sense of connection to the landscape,” and “How to strengthen and heighten the sense of place and enhance the experience of being in this unique farm meets the ocean setting”. Fully exposed on an elevated position facing south, the idea of creating a courtyard space came fairly quickly providing a protected and private inner sanctum with huge prospect across the 150-acre property and to the greater landscape beyond. The result of Andy’s intensive research and development is a home that allows an an art-and-design-loving family who love a bit of danger and excitement to live their best residential life. Atelier Andy Carson atelier-andycarson.com Photography by Michael Nicholson Dissection Information Oak floorboards from Royal Oak Floors. Chalford Limestone paving (in courtyard) and Wamberal free form natural stone (in courtyard and podium) from Eco outdoor. Bisazza mosaic pool tiles from Academy Tiles. Solid American Oak joinery in living areas and bedroom window seats from Britton Timbers. Prefa ‘Prefalz’ Aluminium standing seam (for external cladding) from Craft Metals / The Copper and Zinc Roofing Company. Double glazed sliding doors, windows and pivot doors from Vitrocsa Australia. Fritsjurgens door hardware from Bellevue Architectural. Stone benchtops from Caeserstone. Door hardware throughout from Halliday + Bailie. Malloy table and chairs designed by Adam Goodrum for NAU from Cult. Delphi Modular sofa designed by Hannes Wettstein for Erik Jorgensen from Cult. Slow Chair designed Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec for Vitra. Volley Chairs designed by Adam Goodrum for Tait. Delta Light and Christopher Boots light (over dining table) from INLITE. NJP Table lamp designed by Nendo for Louis Poulsen from Cult. Brodware plumbing fittings throughout from Yokato Tapware. Basins from Studio Bagno. Victoria & Albert freestanding baths from Candana. Miele ovens, cooktops and microwave from Winning Appliances. Zip tap from Winning Appliances. Ergo Focus fireplace from Oblica Fireplaces. We think you might also like 5 Architect-Designed Homes You Can Stay in Nowabc
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Taiwanese Designers Reclaim Their Design Culture On A Global Stage

“The tag ‘Made in Taiwan’ has come a long way since the island first emerged as a post-war manufacturing powerhouse. Now, creative industries are replacing that label with ‘Designed in Taiwan’. This exhibition demonstrates the value of design in reinventing Taiwanese culture on a global stage,” say the exhibition curators. We ask Vii Chen for her take.   Where did you grow up and what was your first experience of design? I was brought up and educated in Taiwan. My father is an artifact design manufacturer, and my mother is a hair stylist. Influenced by both of them as I grew up, the skills that I developed and the competitions and activities I participated in were mainly creative. In school, I had decided to focus on art creation at a very early stage, so pinpointing when I had my first design experience is difficult. Design has just always seemed a part of my daily life.   What made you shift careers to go from motorcycles to ceramics? With my enthusiasm for creation and under the influence of my family background, I have always been open to continued and varied learning. I have been practicing the fine arts since I was little. In high school, I majored in carpentry. Before I graduated from college, when I specialized in engineering design, I had been recruited as the visual designer for YAMAHA motorcycles. Working for the Japanese corporation as the only female style designer was a challenge that inspired a lot of my interests. Therefore, even though I had been admitted to the master’s program, I still decided to suspend my schooling. After several years, I had still hoped to leave the motorcycle industry to complete my studies and get my master’s degree. “Fruits and Vegetables Peels Cups” is my MA thesis, which represents my core concept in creation: mutual affection. Therefore, I founded ViiCHENDESIGN.     What inspired the peels ceramic cups? The experience of my daily life, the action of eating sweet potato is the origin of design for hand feeling conversion. It is observed that people would use the peels of sweet potato or fruits as utensils [when] eating them. This concept is converted to the design of pottery cup. The local vegetables and fruits selected are separated by the arrangements and features of peel texture and six textures of fruits and vegetables are placed on the cup with the same specification. In addition to the visual affection to the looks of cups, the thought in memory will be reinforced as touching the cup. We intend to keep the particularities of outer and inner surfaces. Furthermore, the space between these two surfaces is empty. That is, a user will not worry about being scalded when his or her hands direct contact the cup with hot drink within.   How does your work evoke sensory experiences and emotions? I treat all life experiences as an origin of inspiration. They are all transformed into memories, even if only in my brain. Some of these touching memories are personal, others interactive, but all close to life and feelings, and the experience may be similar to or different from that of others. These elements with shared feelings provide me with a creative base. Despite my enormous enthusiasm for creation, I continue to deepen my belief in persistent creation through unexpected experiences, which can be considered the catalyst and opportunity for design. On the bases of life, creation is boundless. Art and creation are indeed a part of my life. Through my life experiences, I have unlimited space to continuously create. As for creation, with my belief in “mutual affection,” by focusing on and paying attention to the use of materials, I seek to present the shared affection between the known and the unknown. I have my memory bank; so do the users. Through my creation, the triggered mutual affection comes from the touching moments and pleasures of past memories. From a shallow impression, a deeper and more thrilling mutual affection can be extended.     What materials do you use and what is your process? I most often use natural materials like ceramic, glass, wood, and metal. In the creative process, I sometimes start with the inspiration and then search for suitable or value-adding materials to create. Other times, I may be interested in some material and then create with it. In the process, besides doing research based on different needs and corresponding to the properties of the materials, I also think about the plasticity and the possibility of composite media. To be loyal to the original creation and present the complete concept, the categories of materials have no limitations.   Where have you exhibited your work? I have been invited to join exhibitions over ten countries and cities where my design has won the attention of both consumers and the media, including Dubai (Design week), Paris (MAISON&OBJET), Milano (SaloneSatellite), Essen, London, New York, Tokyo, Bangkok, Shanghai, Beijing, Taiwan…ext.   What else are you working on now? Besides founding ViiCHENDESIGN, I am also the art design director of HEY SHENG CHI SI, where I am responsible for design cooperation with the international brand, exhibition planning, and pop-up store operation. I am also a college lecturer and a mother. In the future, in addition to focusing on creating more experimental designs, I will continue to pursue more diverse roles and cooperation. Besides the executed and projected design service and international exhibition/forum, I plan to make publications about the new series and more diverse product categories for a cross-national double brand cooperative project.   ViiCHENDESIGN viichendesign.com Let’s Tea Party: Taiwan Design Now brings together the work of 17 exhibitors, designers and brands in a showcase of Taiwanese design at the Australian Design Centre in Sydney from 31 May to 13 June 2018 abc
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Caroma On Collins Pays Homage To Native Flora

If you grew up in Australia, Caroma is a brand that – whether you know it or not – was a part of your childhood. It is very likely still part of your adult life. Even if your sink or tap or bathtub or cistern didn’t bear the iconic faded brown Caroma logo, it was the brand that helped introduce the half-flush water-saving system to the world. And after 75 years carving out an inimitable place for itself in the Australian interiors landscape, it has finally opened its first Sydney flagship store. Across its sprawling 2,500 square metres, the Alexandria warehouse space pays homage to Australiana – from the symbols of the bush to city – across three narrative threads, conceived by designer Chris Gilbert and the team at Melbourne-based practice Archier. These narratives had to do with Caroma’s values as expressed through symbol and material; a consumer experience that is distinguished by “emotion” and “pace”; and the narrative of Archier itself, as a relatively new studio interested in producing instinct-driven spaces. Considering the size of the space, material use and layout were both important so that Caroma on Collins felt welcoming rather than intimidating. Chris says the idea was to create an “anti-showroom, one which you did not regret giving up your Sunday to go to, a space that when you entered, you didn’t feel like you had to feign interest or act in a certain way, a space that allowed you to breathe and slow down, a space that was inviting and you would want to visit again”. In this way, the symbols of Australiana were useful foils to vacuity on the ground-floor showroom. Rather than overwhelming visitors with a landscape of product, much of the flagship is taken up by indoor gardens of native flora. Upon entering, it feels like stepping into a beer garden under a tree canopy, filled with the resilient gums and galvanised water tanks of our dry outback setting. Even in the bathroom, a central lemon tree grounds the project in the wide Australian imagination. Materials such as steel and spotted gum are designed to get better with time and develop their own character through wear. “The galvanised water tanks that sit at the heart of the project are a nod to the Australian pioneer, the recluse farmer who valued water above all else and who had to innovate and adapt to survive the Australian environment,” says Gilbert. “The softness and tactility of the ground floor is easy to relate to; the major goal here is to create a space that does not dictate to the user or place expectations on them. Instead, the space is there to support, providing moments of rest and opportunities to linger, so that thoughts can be slowly considered and decisions made. “We wanted to enable consumers to have a tangible experience that they could take home regardless of whether they were in the research or selection phase of their renovation. Each product on display (in the market place or in a design capsule) comes with a product card with key information and a barcode on the back. This card can then be scanned at one of the design kiosks to create a product list with more extensive product information.” Upstairs is a formal departure from the rugged textures and loose program of the ground floor. The former is more direct and deliberately sophisticated to reflect its floorplan of boardrooms, private meeting spaces and executive lounges. This is where the more brightly coloured Clark retail space is located, as well as corporate spaces whose luxe material palette of predominantly green velvet reflects a different audience. Above and below, Caroma on Collins is highly sustainable, using very little power while capturing and re-using rainwater for its continued operation – important for a brand that has revolutionised the way we use water. Caroma on Collins caroma.com.au Archier archier.com.au abc
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This Rural Residence Clearly Defines Its Boundaries – Right Before It Pushes Through Them

When a large site, previously a market garden, provided the groundwork for this project brief it genuinely enabled a home with no restraints. Bramasole House in Waimauku, Auckland, can really breathe. Herbst Architects have taken the reigns and steered this home to sit honestly in its environment. Operating a small equestrian centre meant the owners had already organised the land using tree shelter belts to create large outdoor rooms. Paddock areas were sectioned off for horses, including a barn and dressage area, and a hobby vineyard was planted to one side. The new house design presented opportunity to bring order to the large site. Nicola and Lance Herbst of Herbst Architects immediately recognised the need to create some division between the private home and the public riding facilities. Cleverly designed bi-axial landscaping elements of gabion baskets were implemented to make divisions, the basket walls starting low to emphasise entry points, then rising up to form the anchor walls of the house. Bramasole House Herbst Architects cc Lance Herbst porch [caption id="attachment_74922" align="alignnone" width="1170"]Bramasole House Herbst Architects cc Patrick Reynolds horse Photography by Patrick Reynolds[/caption] The home is designed around three distinct positive spaces - a lanai (open-sided veranda), the bedrooms and the garage. All designed as simple box forms, they are clad with weathered plank skins referencing agrarian wooden crates, almost appearing as if ready for the tractor to forklift. As Nicola states, “The giant crates form edges to the negative spaces and frame views of the site.” These boxes surround the primary negative space, the living room, situated between the lanai and bedroom box. An impressive raked ceiling caps this room propped up like the lid of a large crate. Surrounded by generous lofty glazing the south light is captured along with tree top views. “The intention of the expansive roof is to give the building a scale appropriate to the scale of the land.” Additional design elements incorporated in the openness of the home cater to the seasonal weather including adjustable shutters to control rain and wind ingress and deep eaves atop all of the glass sliding doors and opening windows to ensure dry thresholds. Bramasole House Herbst Architects cc Lance Herbst open plan Bramasole House Herbst Architects cc Lance Herbst kitchen The initial client brief specified separating two of the four bedrooms into an adjoining pavilion. “They were then advised by others to attach the bedrooms to the house. We convinced them to keep a level of separation and now two of the beds are accessed via the external entrance deck.” A resulting degree of independence was achieved aligning with the original thought process. The house is elevated on a blockwork plinth with the aim of lifting it potentially out of the sometimes-soggy land. Essentially a floating appearance results from the raised height allowing enhanced views of the vineyard and a sense of balance is achieved between the occupants and nearby horse-riders. Bramasole House Herbst Architects cc Lance Herbst bedroom Bramasole House Herbst Architects cc Lance Herbst study “The design allows spaces to overlap and share experiences. Not only inside and outside space, but living and sleeping, bathing and sleeping, bathing and outdoors. We work in layers from a solar and seasonal point of view, and also for privacy,” says Nicola. Incorporating home with outdoor lifestyle really feels at the essence of this design to the extent of it sitting magnificently within its environment almost in disguise. Herbst Architects herbstarchitects.co.nz Photography by Lance Herbst (& Patrick Reynolds where captioned) Dissection Information Floor: Spotted gum, black slate Cladding: Band sawn cedar, local stone, block work Wall and ceiling lining: Cedar and painted gibboard Fire and pizza oven faced in black steel Kitchen island bench: laminated spotted gum [caption id="attachment_74925" align="alignnone" width="1170"]Bramasole House Herbst Architects cc Patrick Reynolds kitchen Photography by Patrick Reynolds[/caption] Bramasole House Herbst Architects cc Patrick Reynolds inbuilt lounge Photography by Patrick Reynolds Bramasole House Herbst Architects cc Lance Herbst deck Bramasole House Herbst Architects cc Lance Herbst exterior We think you might also like Forest House by Fearon Hayabc
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Nature Knows Best: Inside-Out House, Semarang, Indonesia by Tamara Wibowo Architects

Nature really is the best designer, don’t you think? So when a design is driven by its existing natural context, you know that it provides the ultimate blueprint for living well. This was the thinking behind Indonesia’s latest residential gem, the Inside-Out House by local ateliers Tamara Wibowo Architects. Located on a corner lot of a hilly neighborhood in the city of Semarang, Indonesia, the house opens up to its surrounding as much as it embodies a comfortable living spaces in the interior of the house. The house, consisting of grey masses that have wood lined openings, is arranged geometrically based on functions. One mass is the living quarter, one mass is office and garage, and the other is the service quarter. Tamara explains how the design concept was centred around the 600-square-metre site’s natural wonders: “All these masses surround a void where an existing mango tree has been growing for decades. This void then becomes the entry point of the house, immediately connecting the resident or visitor with the native flora. We’ve deliberately designed the house to focus on creating a sequence of experiences that always bring the focus back to nature through spatial overlapping of indoor rooms and outdoor rooms, as well as the presence of natural light coming through skylight and large openings.” Inside Out House Tamara Wibowo Architects cc Fernando Gomulya kitchen Inside Out House Tamara Wibowo Architects cc Fernando Gomulya dining room For instance, the house features tall and wide recessed openings throughout not only to maximize visual connection to its surrounding but also to let the house breath by bringing protected light and air into the home. The articulation of the openings allows the architecture to create an “uninterrupted and boundless relationship between outside and inside of the house”, says Tamara. To achieve this connection, Tamara and team have developed a strategic palette of colour, shape and materiality. The house for example, uses contrasted but complementary materials of warm orange wood and cool grey concrete. These materials, kept in their original raw condition, create integrity and honesty to the architecture through their unique natural characteristics. The entrance to the home leads directly into a kitchen and dining area, lined on both sides by glass doors that pivot open to allow air to waft through the space. Here, rows of pivoting glass doors can be opened to allow air to flow through living spaces that open onto courtyards, terraces and lush gardens. Inside Out House Tamara Wibowo Architects cc Fernando Gomulya lounge room Inside Out House Tamara Wibowo Architects cc Fernando Gomulya corridor A short set of steps then leads up from the tiled dining area to a lounge connected to an open-air patio sheltered beneath an overhanging corner of the first floor. All of the main living spaces can be opened up to the central yard, which contains a lawn, swimming pool and several seating areas. Built-in furniture throughout the interior helps to create a clean and uncluttered feel, with teak wood joinery, polished-concrete flooring and exposed plaster on the walls introducing various tones and textures which pair nicely with the local plant life. By seamlessly connecting indoor and out, Tamara’s design is a beautiful sensitive response to the site’s stunning natural features, ultimately providing a range of comfortable spaces that can be used year round in this tropical climate. Tamara Wibowo Architects instagram.com/tamarawibowo Photography by Fernando Gomulya Dissection Information Concrete, raw and II Songno Aluminium frame Flooring from Krono Interior & exterior tiling from Tegel Kunci Interior & Exterior cladding in Teak Wood Inside Out House Tamara Wibowo Architects cc Fernando Gomulya interior Inside Out House Tamara Wibowo Architects cc Fernando Gomulya library Inside Out House Tamara Wibowo Architects cc Fernando Gomulya concrete Inside Out House Tamara Wibowo Architects cc Fernando Gomulya bedroom Inside Out House Tamara Wibowo Architects cc Fernando Gomulya bathroom Inside Out House Tamara Wibowo Architects cc Fernando Gomulya backyard Inside Out House Tamara Wibowo Architects cc Fernando Gomulya backyard Inside Out House Tamara Wibowo Architects cc Fernando Gomulya courtyard Inside Out House Tamara Wibowo Architects cc Fernando Gomulya pool Inside Out House Tamara Wibowo Architects cc Fernando Gomulya outdoor living Inside Out House Tamara Wibowo Architects cc Fernando Gomulya outdoor eating Inside Out House Tamara Wibowo Architects cc Fernando Gomulya pool We think you might also like Sujiva House by Somia Designabc
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It’s Time To Re-Learn Everything You Thought You Knew About Design Hotels

Seven designers from four different creative companies come together to divide and conquer, and conquer they certainly have. The Collectionist Hotel in Sydney, perfectly suited to its locality, the creative hub of the inner west, champions a unique take on a collaborative approach to design. “The brief was for every room to be different,” says Andrew Cliffe, founder of The World is Round. And it was Andrew who initially won the commission of Collectic Hotels to design each room within the hotel. Knowing that thinking differently would secure him the commission, he had the idea that bringing on a few other design studios to contribute their ideas and share the spaces amongst was the way forward. “I saw this as the perfect opportunity to work with local artists, both up-and-coming and established, whom I’d long admired,” he continues. As a result 39 private rooms (and one lobby space to make an even 40) over three levels were divvied up between Amber Road, Pattern Studio, Willis Sheargold and The World is Round so that each studio was response for the interior design of 10 spaces. Eclectic design at its finest. If the any of the designers were worried that Daniel Symonds, CEO & Co-Founder of Collectic Hotels, might not like every room, they were right to be. But that was the whole point. Pushing for 40 unique spaces side-by-side and you’re bound to get some jarring juxtapositions and polarising designs. In saying that, there had to be a measure in place to make sure no one would be assigned a room they were…less than thrilled to be in. The Collectionist Hotel’s individuality stirkes once more. This time in the way one is assigned, or rather chooses, the room in which they are to stay. When you arrive to check in patrons take a tour of the hotel. If a room is occupied the door is closed – “so you don’t know what you’re missing,” quips Daniel on the opening night. Once you’ve seen all available rooms it’s up to you to choose which one you’d like to occupy. Its like a real life, design inspired “choose-your-own-adventure”, so which one would you choose? The Collectionist Hotel collectionisthotel.com.au  

Amber Road


Pattern Studio


The World Is Round


Willis Sheargold

willissheargold.com.au Photography by Terence Chin abc
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A Lesson In Avoiding Art Deco Overkill

When you think of Art Deco, what comes to mind? Is it the flapper glamour of the 1920s, the bold geometric patterns, the lavish ornaments? Perhaps it’s a combination of all three. Wherever our contemporary perceptions take their cues – and we suspect The Great Gatsby has a lot to answer for – Art Deco was for a time, pervasive, and reflected a bold move away from the previous status quo. Almost all parts of life in the 20s and 30s, even into the 40s, were shaped in some way by the design movement. Above all else, Art Deco was a celebration of modern times and technology, an embrace of luxury after the austerity of World War I. Considering its rich and convoluted context then, how do we – almost 100 years later – understand Art Deco? We put this question to architects and interior designers, who have shared with us their contemporary interpretations of Art Deco interiors and 1920s furniture design. High above the Bondi shoreline sits one of the most architecturally significant buildings in Sydney’s surviving Art Deco scene. Built in 1929, the unit block had lost its lustre of late. Dean Bialek, the managing director of Former Glory Inc., worked with SJB’s Jonathan Richards and Ciolino Constructions to bring the heritage building back to life – joining two apartments together to form his family penthouse. A great admirer of Art Deco, Dean’s goal was to restore and rejuvenate the character of the apartments. “We prioritized the retention and upgrading of important Deco features in the pre-renovation spaces, carefully salvaging original cornices, handmade timber architrave details and frosted glass light fittings,” Dean tells. Creating spaces that feel like a natural fit for their modern context and location was also essential. “It’s Bondi Beach, a lively place to start with, and the Art Deco style is often characterised by a sense of joy,” Jonathan Richards of SJB explains. “We wanted these interiors to maintain that jubilance.” Vivid bathroom tiles - seen here in deep green and lacquered black - terrazzo shelving and timber floors in the form of chevron parquetry feel reminiscent of classic art deco interiors, yet still fresh for today. 1920s Furnitue Design Boulevard SJB A love of 1920s furniture design and style drew principal and lead designer of Infinite Design Studio, Michelle Macarounas, to an Art Deco heritage building (now her home) in Sydney’s Coogee. With more than twenty years under her design belt, Michelle approached the project with a clarity and resolve that comes only from extensive experience. She knew what design elements of the era would work in the building, and what parts had the potential to turn comical. “Cliche and themed was not on the agenda,” Michelle recalls. “For us the design was about paying respect to Art Deco with small, unobtrusive referencing.” Respecting the period features of the home and finding inspiration from the Art Deco philosophy was key for Michelle and her team, but they also had to consider contemporary needs and modern use of space. As such, a number of features were used to marry the traditional and the modern day. “Bringing more contemporary lines to the existing design was a natural progression,” Michelle tells. “While keeping the depth of the dark veneers with fresh monochromatic finishes gave a wink to the original time of the home and allowed for consistency to flow throughout,” she adds. In reference to the shiny, lacquered look that characterises 1920s furniture design, key pieces and joinery were finished with glass polyurethane for added flair. In this home, an intrinsic sense of drama is never far from the surface. 1920s Furnitue Design Boulevard SJB Michelle’s advice to others looking to pay homage to Art Deco and mirror key elements of 1920s furniture design? Keep it simple. “When you’re looking to reference any period of time [in designs], it’s important to be subtle,” she says. “The charm of a small link to a period or style gives a much greater impression than a themed cliche design,” Michelle explains. “Play with new ways of using the finishes and fixtures of the time to give a modern edge.” Kirsten Stanisich, director at SJB Interiors, also favours a less is more approach when it comes to reinterpreting traditional designs for a contemporary audience. She says the best designs don’t aim to recreate projects from previous decades ­– it just doesn’t work like that. “We don’t really approach any of our projects in a literal way of reproducing a past period,” she explains. “We take cues and reference ideas where we think they are appropriate and interesting, and give us an opportunity to develop our design thinking.” Collections, Kirsten offers, can be a more authentic, less calibrated way of engaging with design elements from eras gone by. “Look at collecting some original Art Deco pieces, whether that is furniture or objects,” she suggests. “Contrasted against a contemporary space, the setting will really highlight the beauty of the individual pieces.” Rather than requests to imitate old school Art Deco features, FMD Architects faced a different challenge when they took on a project in Melbourne a few years ago. Deco Residence was built in 1930 and as the name suggests, retains all the architectural features of the era. The brief was to modernise the building to meet the needs of a young family of five, while also restoring the home’s features to their former glory. Modern details needed to defer to the more dominant historical characteristics, rather than take over or further muddy the waters. Director of FMD Architects, Fiona Dunin, approached this balancing act delicately, and suggests that others in a similar position do the same. “Respect the Art Deco details and understand they are of their time,” Fiona says. “Don’t reproduce them. Rather, restore what is there, then reinterpret them in a contemporary way.” 1920s Furnitue Design Boulevard SJB New sculptural elements were introduced throughout the home to counterbalance the dramatic period details and 1920s furniture designs. In the master bedroom, a bespoke bedhead and storage unit anchors the bed in the middle of the space, while a curved mirrored wall in the main ensuite responds to the curves in the home’s original design. Where Art Deco details were particularly striking, Fiona and the team stripped back any other elements that could take away from the architectural impact. Design is in a constant state of flux and so too are the art and design movements that we so often consign to the past. While new designs become old and old designs are born again, there’s plenty of ways that Art Deco and 1920s furniture design can, and is, being reinterpreted for a new wave of avid followers. Former Glory Inc. formergloryinc.com SJB sjb.com.au Infinite Design Studio infinite.design Brighton Boulevard, designed by Jonathan Richards for SJB Interiors, plays on the building’s Art Deco roots. Photography by Anson Smart 1920s Furnitue Design Boulevard SJB 1920s Furnitue Design Boulevard SJB We think you might also like No.19 Café by Biasolabc
Design Hunters

Architecture In Papua New Guinea: Traditional, Vernacular, Contemporary

Buildings in Papua New Guinea get little exposure on contemporary architecture platforms, but Studio Workshop’s Small House is attracting attention. While the house is a response to site, climate, local labour and materials, it is undoubtedly different to its neighbours. Small House not only stands out amongst the surrounding timber houses and uninspired apartment blocks, but it stands apart from the vernacular and traditional architecture that contributes to Papua New Guinea’s cultural and national identity. Architecture in Papua New Guinea varies from region to region adapted for climate, landscape and materials and linked with culture and religion. Domestic dwellings were traditionally made with timber, bamboo, coconut leaf, amongst other materials, and often built on stilts over land or water. In the East Sepik region, haus tambaran is an ancestral worship house that serves as the meeting place of elders and a storehouse for sacred objects. It typically has a large trussed entrance, elaborately decorated front walls and sweeping pitched roof. On the Trobriand Islands, yam houses – used to store yams – have symbolic architectural elements and adornments to indicate wealth and hierarchy. [caption id="attachment_74816" align="alignnone" width="1170"] Haus Tambaran, Sepik, by Betramz, via Wikimedia Commons[/caption] While construction techniques and building styles have passed from generation to generation, modern materials such as corrugated iron and concrete have changed the architectural landscape. However vernacular forms and iconography still inform a selection of contemporary buildings that purposefully draw on the country’s legacy of architecture and art. When Papua New Guinea became a sovereign state in 1975, the government initiated a building program to foster the ideals of nationhood. Parliament Haus, built in 1979, embodied the vision of national identity, pride and progress. The brief asked for a building inspired by Papua New Guinea’s “worthy traditions of art and architecture… using solid local materials… so that the substance of the Parliament will also be of the country.” The front entrance of Parliament Haus is modelled on the haus tambaran and decorated with a 63-foot-high mosaic that represents Papua New Guinea’s multiplicity of cultures. [caption id="attachment_74819" align="alignnone" width="1170"] 4. Parliament Haus, Steve Shattuck, via Wikimedia Commons[/caption] Parliament Haus, Rhawi Dantas, via Flickr In 1981, the High Commission of Papua New Guinea to Australia opened its building in Canberra, and it also recalls the haus tambaran. It has an unswept roof and the students from the National Art School in Port Moresby painted the gable with stylised images of clan ancestors. Contemporary architects continue to explore the rich heritage of Papua New Guinea. Jim Fitzpatrick Architects developed the concept design for APEC Haus, currently under construction. Built on reclaimed land near Ela Beach in Port Moresby, its form resembles the shape of a Motuan Lagatoi sail and the interior has a contemporary palette inspired by local shells, clay, timber and metal. It will be used to host the APEC Summit in 2018 and then become a world-class museum. Architecture undoubtedly advances and progresses with innovations and technology and to suit modern lifestyles and needs. While buildings such as Small House, which respond to climate, site, labour and materials, are a contemporary product of their place, those that meaningfully draw on traditional forms and motifs foster cultural and national identity in their contemporary setting. Photography as credited [caption id="attachment_74822" align="alignnone" width="1170"] High Commission, Nick-D, via Wikimedia Commons[/caption] [caption id="attachment_74825" align="alignnone" width="1170"] APEC Haus, Jim Fitzpatrick Architects (Concept Design and Project Design Director), Conrad Garget (Executive Architects)[/caption] Papuan lake dwellings with a lakatoi under sail, Popular Science Monthly Volume 52, via Wikimedia Commons We think you might also like Small House by Studio Workshopabc

Architecture Hidden Amongst The Hill Tops

Credit must go to the early designers and builders of Queensland’s quintessential offering to the architectural archives, particularly in its capital, Brisbane, where old city suburbs rise and dip haphazardly on topographically tricky terrain. The archetypal ‘Queenslander’ is essentially a timber and tin box on stumps.  It’s an enduring design and dream build on flat ground – but a lesson in ingenuity on a block like this one, where only the entry meets the earth. Securing one of these original inner city centenarians could be considered equal parts privilege and curse. And those tasked with adapting them for modern life without destroying their charms might feel the same way.

Owners Matthew and Caroline, a pair of physicians who work in nearby city hospitals, were drawn to its lofty position and expansive views of the Brisbane skyline to the south. Less appealing was the state of the dilapidated relic when they bought it five years ago. “It had what appeared to be a homemade downstairs area that obviously needed to have something done to it,” says Matthew. “And it was clear that the backyard was not being used at all.”

Halfway House Arcke cc Scott Burrows kitchen

A year in, they began a working relationship with architect Matt Kennedy, principal of Arcke, a boutique firm familiar with the quirks and restrictions of old Queenslanders, to transform the former share house into a family home that made the most of its lot. “The original Queenslander perched precariously on a ridge and lacked any real connection to the steep ground at the rear of the site,” says Matt. “All of our renovation designs start with an in-depth understanding of the existing site and terrain together with a thorough comprehension of the structure and history of the original home. From there we are able to determine core elements to be retained and restored. There is an honesty and integrity to the way Queenslanders are built and we always try to work with and complement this in our architectural response,” he says.

His clients had made it clear they didn’t want a conventional upstairs/downstairs floorplan. “Essentially all the living gets done on one level and the other level becomes just a dormitory,” says Matthew. “I was cognitive of the fact that if the kitchen was on the top level no one would go downstairs and into the backyard. And it might seem contrived putting it on a lower level, away from the obvious entrance of the house.”

Halfway House Arcke cc Scott Burrows staircase

Matt came up with a plan to satisfy the brief in an innovative way – and the kitchen was at its core. “Matthew and Caroline had very fond recollections of family meals, conversations and moments at the dining table and we discussed at length the importance of its position in the house,” he explains. “It was determined by all [involved] that we foster this space for gathering and celebrate its importance. Because of the divide between upstairs and downstairs, we settled on the idea of locating the kitchen and dining at the half level. The benefit of doing this was to create a space that is equally accessible from upper and lower levels and very much the heart of the house.” 

Dropping the kitchen down by a half staircase under the existing roofline also resulted in a soaring ceiling – creating a light-drenched space with the help of oversized sliding cavity windows that capitalise on the view. “Matt’s solution works [well] in practice,” says Matthew. “You can easily get to the kitchen from the entry and when you’re in the kitchen you can see and access the downstairs with ease too.” The design ticked another all-important box for the clients who weren’t interested in wasting any real estate on a deck that would be exposed to the elements and sporadically used. “You have to think carefully about how you’re going to use space when you’re renovating an existing house on a small block,” says Matthew. “I wanted the kitchen to be capable of turning into a semi-outdoor area. That’s what led to the arrangement with the very large sliding windows. When they’re open you just have one post in your sightline and can be almost as exposed as if you were on a veranda.”

Halfway House Arcke cc Scott Burrows library

Down another half staircase is the main living zone. Winding down further a music room and the laundry tuck neatly under the kitchen. The cascade continues to the lower floor with access to the backyard: brick stairs and a series of terraces descend to a fire pit area for abundant balmy evenings.

“A large part of the design response was about attempting to ground the lower rear of the house and establish an improved connection between inside and out,” says Matt, who was on site up to three times a week during the ten-month build, fastidiously monitoring its progress.

Halfway House Arcke cc Scott Burrows tiles

There’s no denying the overall visual impact of the end result, but Matt hasn’t neglected the details. Timber floors link old with new, and modern finishes are softened with complementary birch ply features throughout. “We have used it on ceiling linings and cabinetry. We like using it because it offers warmth and texture,” says Matt. The custom ply and recycled timber shelves flanking the top floor library which open out to those glorious views, also double as a privacy screen. “The distinction between the lounge and the library is determined by how many books you have on the shelves,” says Matthew. More minimalist styling means the lounge can also catch the view.

But the test of any design is its livability factor after the clients settle in, and this is where Matt’s attention to detail has future-proofed the re-imagined Queenslander. “Every room is used, no room is arbitrary and they’re all the right size,” says Matthew. “I think that’s a real achievement.”

Arcke arcke.com.au Photography by Scott Burrows Dissection Information Birch ply feature ceilings throughout Hexagonal encaustic concrete tiles from Popham Design Exterior timber finish Dulux Intergrain Blue Mottle Bricks from Lincoln Brickworks Joinery finishes and kitchen island finish Dulux Integrain Buch stools from Great Dane Furniture Recovered pink occasional chair and ottoman in library Kav Pendants over kitchen island from Dezion Studio Droplet Pendant over banquette by Viktor Legin Vogue Ceramica backsplash and bathroom tiles from Classic Ceramics Louvres from Breezeway Louvre Windows Duravit bathroom sinks from Bathe Halfway House Arcke cc Scott Burrows view Halfway House Arcke cc Scott Burrows exterior We think you might also like Buderim House by Norman Richardsabc
Design Hunters

At Home With Vincent Lim And Elaine Lu Of Lim + Lu

Romance was where it all began for Vince Lim and Elaine Lu. They met while studying architecture at Cornell University, New York, and they’re now partners in work as well as in life, having established multidisciplinary design studio Lim + Lu in Hong Kong in 2015.

“We didn’t know each other’s design aesthetic prior to working together,” says Vince. “We started dating and then down the road, we said. We should do something together. Which could have been risky, but it worked out nicely.”

So nicely, in fact, that in 2017 Maison & Objet named their studio one of five winners of the trade fair’s Rising Asian Talents award.

Their star has risen rapidly, especially so considering they only arrived back in Hong Kong and set up Lim + Lu two years prior. The duo readily admits that one project is responsible for their success: their own home. This 112-square-metre space has attracted plenty of attention from media and prospective clients. And no wonder: it’s fresh and alive with colour – soft, Scandinavian pinks, rich, cobalt blues and cosy emerald greens – and a poster child for the kind of multi-purpose spaces compact home owners need.

Lim + Lu cc Nirut Benjabanpot living room

The pair used partitions in their flat to create flexible spaces that can be used in a number of ways. Take, for example, the study-slash-dining-room-slash-guest-room. Coming off the living room, this space features a table, chairs and a pullout daybed that’s part of Lim + Lu’s Mass series. Here, sliding doors allow the pair to open up or close off this room, depending on their needs.

“It’s all about versatile and flexible spaces and objects,” says Vince. “An overarching theme for us is designing objects and spaces that encourage interaction and curiosity. Nothing should be static.”

“That’s how our thought process begins,” explains Elaine. Indeed, it’s how they worked when Tai Ping commissioned them to create a carpet for the residential market. “Our first thought was how do we break with the typical, static carpet that never moves?” She continues: “We designed the carpet in geometric shapes, creating three different modules that users can reconfigure for different spaces.”

The result is Reform, a curvaceous carpet made up of overlapping circles in different textures and in shades of pastel pink and blue, and, like many of their other pieces, it has a place in their home – on the floor of their bedroom.

Lim + Lu cc Nirut Benjabanpot dining room

“A lot of the prototypes end up living in our home. We keep refining them and changing them,” says Vince.

There’s the paneled coffee table, the modular sofa and the bathroom mirror – all of these are original Lim + Lu creations, and all of them are designed with flexibility in mind. The Lunar mirror is “a vanity mirror for two”, says Vince; divided into two halves, it’s designed so that Vince can use the mirror on his side while Elaine uses the cabinet on her side.

Then there’s the Mass sofa: it can be configured in multiple ways, with cushions that can be positioned on different parts of the brass base, giving the user a range of options when it comes to table surfaces and seating arrangements.

This piece is now in production, snapped up by Danish brand New Works after they saw it in a story about Vince and Elaine’s home. “They reached out and said they wanted to develop a range of seating based on this concept,” says Elaine.

Lim + Lu cc Michelle Proctor furniture

Furniture was where Elaine and Vince’s working relationship began back in New York. Elaine was working at Robert A.M. Stern Architects, and Vince was at Kohn Pedersen Fox. “At large corporate offices, the work can be really interesting, but what you’re handling can be really mundane. So we wanted a creative outlet,” says Vince.

“We started designing pieces of furniture on the side. In 2014 we decided to exhibit at ICFF (International Contemporary Furniture Fair) in New York. We had positive feedback, but we knew we could go much further with them.”

Their desire to take their furniture to the next level is what led them to Hong Kong. “We were fabricating in China – it’s too expensive in New York – and we realised we needed to be on the ground,” says Vince.

Lim + Lu cc Michelle Proctor kitchen

“We also wanted to be part of the first wave,” he continues. “With M+ [the much-talked about visual culture museum, which is being designed by Herzog and de Meuron] opening up here and Art Basel happening over the last couple of years, I think there’s a growing awareness in Hong Kong of art, design and creative industries.”

“China’s design awareness is also growing so fast,” says Elaine. Perhaps that’s why Lim + Lu is getting so much work in China. “Right now we’re working on a food and beverage project in China and a series of stores there too,” she adds.

With so much work on the table, do Elaine and Vince ever take a break?

Apparently not. “We don’t have an off switch,” says Vince. “It’s hard to differentiate when you’re working on the clock and when you’re not working. Even when we go out on a regular date, we’re looking around us and we’re saying, Oh that’s really nice, we should use that in our next project.”

“People always ask us, How are you married and working together? Do you talk about anything other than design? – Not really!” says Elaine. “Design doesn’t just enrich our lives… it is our lives.”

Lim + Lu limandlu.com

Photography by Michelle Proctor and Nirut Benjabanpot Lim + Lu cc Michelle Proctor ceramic sculpture Lim + Lu cc Nirut Benjabanpot bathroom We think you might also like Residence HM by Lim + Luabc
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The IN BED Concept Store Is More Residential Than Retail

Walking into the new IN BED flagship store along Sydney’s Oxford Street strip mall in Paddington is like catching up with someone with whom you share regular email correspondence – but for the first time in person. Henry Wilson’s Sconce Light, the Anglepoise Type 75 mini desk lamp, Gidon Bing’s ceramic citrus juicer, the Lemnos alarm clock, Iris Hantverk dish brushes and, of course, the main attraction, the IN BED [bedroom/kitchen/sleepwear] linen: they’re all faces you recognise oh so well yet haven’t actually met. Unspoken yet intentional, this sense of casual familiarity is something founder Pip Vassett holds on to as part of the brand’s DNA. The Journal section of her eCommerce site, one that profiles creatives across the globe of varying fields and shows them in the context of their own home, was initially conceived as a way to illustrate the IN BED products in their natural and intended environment. IN BED Pip Vassett cc Terence Chin homewares And as you enter Pip’s first foray into a permanent bricks-and-mortar store, you get that same sense of being welcomed into someone else’s home. ‘Welcomed’ being the operative word. Regular collaborators Christina Symes and Jessica Stewart of We Are Triibe designed the space to a specific brief that drew as much from this idea of creating a warm and welcoming space as it did from homes previously featured on the Journal. “That was a big driving force [for the physical space] and what’s been the inspiration behind IN BED in general: the creative people’s home, how creative people create a home,” says Pip. “The intention was to create a space that felt more residential [than] retail,” continues Christina. “We divided the store into ‘home’ themes, whereby we created a bedroom area, kitchen area, living and dining area and an area for sleepwear items, which allows the customer to better visualise those items in their environment.” The single floor space is layered with different iterations of dark timber to a striking and distinctive effect. There’s no Scandinavian blonde wood in sight. Custom joinery by Exit Eighty Six runs the long side of the interior in amongst dark wall panelling and furniture. “Taking inspiration from the IN BED Journal and their overall brand aesthetic, we created a palette of natural and warm tones through layered materials,” says Christina. IN BED Pip Vassett cc Terence Chin sleepwear Upstairs, you can find Pip, her husband/ IN BED General Manager Eddie and the rest of the tight knit team. Pip, however, might be downstairs ‘on the floor’ more often than not: meeting her customers, establishing herself and her brand in this new iteration, and making herself available. Not because that’s the smart thing to do, but “because I want to”. IN BED inbedstore.com We Are Triibe wearetriibe.com Photography by Terence Chin IN BED Pip Vassett cc Terence Chin point of sale IN BED Pip Vassett cc Terence Chin linen IN BED Pip Vassett cc Terence Chin tablewares IN BED Pip Vassett cc Terence Chin rocking chair IN BED Pip Vassett cc Terence Chin Henry Wilson Sconce Light IN BED Pip Vassett cc Terence Chin alpaca throws IN BED Pip Vassett cc Terence Chin staircase We think you might also like bassike, Paddington, by Akin Creativeabc