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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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Opening Up An Interwar Duplex

At face value, a three-storey residence in Melbourne’s inner suburbs sounds a dream. However, this interwar duplex fronted by a distinctly 1930s exterior façade wasn’t without a unique set of challenges. Nevertheless, Foomann Architects and their clients saw potential in the building. The floor plan over the three floors was complex and the basement completely detached. Recognising what they didn’t appreciate in the existing structure helped the clients identify what was important to their way of living. First and foremost was a spacious and cohesive new layout. “The primary requirement was creating connections. We needed to de-tangle the interior,” says Foomann co founder, Jo Foong. Holroyd Court Foomann Architects cc Willem Dirk du Toit kitchen The only way to do this was by demolishing some dividing walls and removing some floors to open up the communal and transitional spaces. This would allow the clients’ three children, plenty of room to play and be active with their young Border Collie indoors and out – another important element to the clients’ brief. “The basement garage was connected through a new staircase and re-purposed as the kids’ play area,” adds Jo. Above the entry a central void was created to visually link the three floors, creating drama and offering visual clarity to the new arrangement of spaces. Outside, the strong presence amongst the streetscape and visual weight of the original building was preserved and reflected internally through the use of curved details and materials designed to emphasise mass. Among the challenges of the project, there were also some perks. For example, the building’s steep elevation atop a sloping site afforded excellent views. And a pre-existing relationship between clients and architects saw the entire project sail smoothly from concept to design and renovation. “The relationship with both clients had an ease and openness that made the process a pleasure,” says Jo. “There was great mutual understanding.” Holroyd Court Foomann Architects cc Willem Dirk du Toit first floor Six months since completion and the clients are taking up residence and by all accounts the entire family are loving their new home: “It’s a brilliant entertainer and the kids are running wild,” concludes Jo. Foomann Architects foomann.com.au Quadro Constructions (builder) quadro.com.au Photography by Willem-Dirk du Toit Styling by Esme Parker Dissection Information Pare table lamp from Douglas and Bec Beni M'rirt 1 rug from Halcyon Lake Coffee table and armchair from Modern Times Painting by Fred Fowler Dining table by Dave Frankel Integrated fridge from Fisher & Paykel Stools from Pop and Scott Arch vanity chair from Douglas and Bec Ames rug from Halcyon Lake Holroyd Court Foomann Architects cc Willem Dirk du Toit bench Holroyd Court Foomann Architects cc Willem Dirk du Toit formal dining Holroyd Court Foomann Architects cc Willem Dirk du Toit living Holroyd Court Foomann Architects cc Willem Dirk du Toit open plan Holroyd Court Foomann Architects cc Willem Dirk du Toit staircase Holroyd Court Foomann Architects cc Willem Dirk du Toit storage Holroyd Court Foomann Architects cc Willem Dirk du Toit bedroom Holroyd Court Foomann Architects cc Willem Dirk du Toit bedroom Holroyd Court Foomann Architects cc Willem Dirk du Toit bathroom Holroyd Court Foomann Architects cc Willem Dirk du Toit exterior We think you might also like Update and Extend by Foomann Architectsabc
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Can A Fixed Home Governed By Hyper-Minimalism Grow And Change?

For a young family, a home that moves and grows with you is critical. Your needs change, your children’s needs change, and your needs as a collective become less aligned, and increasingly disparate. The challenge however, is that with a fixed structure, change and evolution over time can be difficult, if not impossible… or so we thought. Located in the rural city of Yansan in the in South Korea’s Gyeongsangnam-do Province, local design studio Architects Group Raum were approached to produce a home for a young family with small children, that would ultimately mould and re-mould itself to the constantly changing needs of the growing family. “Our brief was to create a home that would grow and change as the family grew and changed,” says lead architect Oh Sinwook. “We created a response based on hyper-minimalism, which would allow what is ultimately a well-designed blank canvas to change into whatever the family needed at any given moment. We designed the home according to the existing circumstances of the residents, while also providing a basis for future growth.” To begin with on the 164.66 square-metre property, Sinwook and team needed to define how the space could respond to changes in life. The concept of connected compartmentalization become the driving philosophy, where spaces could be both separate/private, or opened up to be connected. Yangsan House Architects Group Raum cc Yoon Joonhwan rooftop Yangsan House Architects Group Raum cc Yoon Joonhwan rooftop Rooms within the house are separated into zones and are not designated specific functions, but rather can perform different roles at different times. The living room for instance, is separate from residential space, and has been designed to function as a living room, a daycare room, a study, or even a guest room. Even the garage is multi-functional, where it not only houses the family’s cars, bikes, and son on, but also serves as an in-house workshop for metal and wood working, which opens up into the lower level of the home. The second floor is the primary residential space featuring three decent sized bedrooms, which have been designed to change (expand and or separate) at any time based on the needs of the residents. At the rear of the house, a low wall encloses a courtyard garden flanked by sliding and folding glass doors that connect it with the kitchen and dining area. The garden space is further defined by a narrow roof structure. Supported by a pillar in one corner, it traces the boundary of the plot. “The yard is also an outdoor living room,” says Sinwook, “a children’s playing space, which is an extension of the interior life.” Yangsan House Architects Group Raum cc Yoon Joonhwan courtyard As a rather beautiful piece of design nostalgia, Sinwook and team have introduced elements of memory into the in the courtyard for instance, is the same age as a child. “So the home marks and remembers a child’s growth,” notes Sinwook. Other significant design devices were not random, but deliberate inclusions in the architecture to communicate. Here, the signature white gabled roof refers to youth in an attempt to differentiate it from the more traditional South Korean archetypes in the surrounding area, and white in particular was used to represent “infinite potential”. A living, breathing piece of honest architecture for varying modes of living. Architects Group Raum rauma.co.kr Photography by Yoon Joonhwan Dissection Information Steel framed reinforced concrete architetcural structure Exposed concrete exterior finishing from Stucoflex Interior finishing V.P. on Plaster Board Yangsan House Architects Group Raum cc Yoon Joonhwan nature Yangsan House Architects Group Raum cc Yoon Joonhwan courtyard Yangsan House Architects Group Raum cc Yoon Joonhwan staircase Yangsan House Architects Group Raum cc Yoon Joonhwan corridor Yangsan House Architects Group Raum cc Yoon Joonhwan staircase Yangsan House Architects Group Raum cc Yoon Joonhwan attic Yangsan House Architects Group Raum cc Yoon Joonhwan streetscape Yangsan House Architects Group Raum cc Yoon Joonhwan building We think you might also like Siglap Plain by HYLA Architectsabc
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5 Architect-Designed Homes You Can Stay In Now

Seidler Pied-à-Terre by Harry Siedler, Anthony Gill Architects, Arent&Pyke

Sydney, Australia Seidler Pied-à-Terre is the result of a triple threat of talent. Harry Seidler designed the original Gemini building and apartments in the 1970s; Anthony Gill Architects did an award-winning redesign of the apartment in question in 2011; and Arent&Pyke refurnished the apartment and refurbished the bathroom more recently. The clients engaged Anthony for an affordable and functional redesign of their 38-square-metre one-bedroom apartment, wishing to create a liveable space for a couple and their young child. Anthony demolished the joinery (not original) and inserted a new joinery element to reconfigure the space, address privacy, provide storage and allow for move living space. The plywood-joinery wall runs the length of the apartment separating the kitchen and living room and functions as a screen and storage while allowing interaction between the spaces. More recently, Sydney interior design practice Arent&Pyke refurnished the apartment and updated the bathroom with terrazzo and mosaic tiles and Arne Jacobsen Viola tapware. Anthony Gill Architects won Apartment Unit or Townhouse in Houses Awards 2011, and Residential Design (National) and Residential Design (NSW) in the Australian Interior Design Awards 2012. Book it on Airbnb or Contemporary Hotels. [gallery size="medium" ids="74670,74674,74671,74673,74672,74675"] Photography by Prue Ruscoe

  The Brake House by Ron Sang

Auckland, New Zealand Ron Sang designed The Brake House in 1976 for renowned New Zealand photographer Brian Brake. Brian had lived in Asia prior to building his home and the architecture and design expresses this Eastern influence. The Brake House comprises a series of glass and weathered-cedar-clad pavilions that sit amongst the Waitakere bush and give the sensation of floating. A north-facing deck and Tatami Room, originally designed for meditation, are supported on single columns. Large floor-to-ceiling glass panes help forge an intimate connection with the natural environment and offer views of the distant city. Most of the house is only room wide and there are minimal corridors as one space flows into another. Sleeping and entertaining zones are linked by a glass bridge, and the uncluttered and serene Japanese aesthetic reflects the passion of its original owner. The Brake House received the NZIA Enduring Architectural Award in 2001. Book it on Airbnb. [gallery columns="2" size="medium" ids="74639,74641,74640,74642"] Photography by Simon Wilson and Richard Brimer. Images courtesy of The Brake House  

Scrubby Bay by Pattersons Associates Architects

Canterbury, New Zealand New Zealand is an isolated country and the helicopter ride or 40-minute four-wheel drive across cliff-top farm tracks to Scrubby Bay will have you truly feeling like you’ve got away from it all. Designed by Pattersons Associates Architects, Scrubby Bay is a robust and luxury house conceived as “a piece of slowly aging farm driftwood,” as Pattersons describes. The farmhouse sits facing a thundering surf beach surrounded by green and golden hills. Its vernacular form is clad with cedar timber and pierced with floor-to-ceiling windows that slide open onb both sides for a connection with the farm and the bay. Inside, the pitched ceiling reaches a 5.5-metre-high apex. The interior is lined with macrocarpa timber and a massive stone fireplace is constructed from rock quarried from the property (or ‘station’ as New Zealanders’ call it). Scrubby Bay was a finalist in HOME New Zealand’s 2014 New Zealand Home of the Year and in the World Architecture Festival for 2015 Building of the Year. Book it on Annandale. [gallery size="medium" ids="74658,74659,74660,74667,74669,74661,74665,74664,74666"] Images courtesy of Annandale  

Kadju House by Zowa Architects

Tangalle, Sri Lanka Kadju House is a beach villa designed by architect Pradeep Kodikara of Zowa Architects in Tangalle, Sri Lanka. The site was once a cashew plantation (hence the name, kadju) and the house was originally designed as a retreat for an Indian writer. It was later converted into a luxury hotel villa with five bedrooms and an Ayurvedic spa. The house is set on a sloping site one kilometre from the coast and is designed for sweeping views of the crescent-shaped beach. Pradeep prioritised views to maintain a connection with the bay and used a restrained material palette, simple forms and minimalist design. Kadju House has minimal walls, doors and windows in the public spaces; the living and dining areas are permeable to the garden and ocean views; and the threshold between the interior and exterior is barely there. Concrete and timber provides a backdrop to the landscape and furnishings have a luxury tropical aesthetic. Pradeep Kodikara received the Geoffrey Bawa Award for Excellence in Architecture, 2013/14 for Kadju House. Book it on Plans Matter. [gallery columns="2" size="medium" ids="74649,74655,74654,74653,74652,74651,74650"] Photography by Yannik Tissera, Laxman Nadaraja    

Flinders Lane Apartment by Clare Cousins Architects

Melbourne, Australia Clare Cousins Architects’ design of Flinders Lane Apartment, located in a heritage-listed building in Melbourne CBD, explores the efficiency of high-density inner-city living. The 75-square-metre apartment designed for a young family of three was inspired by Japanese architects’ use of small spaces in unconventional ways. Clare took inspiration from the urban Japanese way of life, treating bedrooms as pragmatic spaces, and minimised the sleeping areas to maximise the living and social spaces. A timber box inserted in the corner of the apartment replaces the original one bedroom and provides two ‘micro’ bedrooms and storage that can be accessed from both sides of the walls. Each bedroom is the length of a bed, and the main bedroom is raised on a platform with ply-clad steps that can also be used for additional seating. Three sliding screens, influenced by Japanese Shoji screens, open and close the bedroom to the living room. Book it on Airbnb. [gallery size="medium" columns="2" ids="74643,74644,74648,74647,74646,74645"] Photography by Lisbeth Grosman We think you might also like Iconic Heritage Architecture And Its Restorationabc
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A Bundle Of Joy

The anchor of the living room, it’s hard to overstate the importance of a good sofa. It’s the object that defines the room’s aesthetic and which all others are placed around. Walter Knoll’s new Bundle Sofa – named after the traditional British children’s game bundle where piled up clothes and blankets are leapt into with the shout “buuuuuun-dle!” – is a sofa for modern, comfortable design lovers. The promise of similar childhood happiness is inherent in the new sofa designed by EOOS. Driven by the simple, ingenious idea of soft upholstery resembling a large folded blanket, Bundle is a sofa that unites all the sensorial qualities of a well-designed piece of upholstered furniture. A soft, gentle, comfortable place to not only relax, but admire in the centre of the room. "The idea: in the beginning was a blanket or rather a two-dimensional swatch of fabric. In a matter of seconds, we created an object by turning and folding, a spur-of-the-moment sculpture. A simple, rational procedure aiming at both seizing and freezing the spontaneous action such as folding, captured the instant thus giving form to an emotional quantum: the Bundle Sofa. An expressive, passion-charged sculpture in a room – that was the idea. Nothing more, nothing less. And yet this is an extremely new approach because the sofa is created from an outside-in perspective; the folds determine the form, the base retreats and gives the object a floating appearance. Casualness, spaciousness, softness."  The EOOS team develops its talents together. The Austrian designers Martin Bergmann, Gernot Bohmann and Harald Gründl actually recognised the special synergy of their talents during their studies at the College of Applied Art in Vienna where they all attended Paolo Piva's design master class. In 1995, they founded a studio together and since then have constantly developed their own special methodology. To date, the team has been awarded more than 130 design prizes including the Compasso d’Oro. Special recognition: the MAK, the Museum of Applied Arts in Vienna, mounted an individual exhibition on EOOS in 2015 which provided insight into the designers' work process and showcased their extensive and eclectic work. Their range is availabel in Australia exclusively through Walter Knoll. Walter Knoll walterknoll.com.au abc
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A Japanese Sensibility Guides A Singaporean Residence

A Japanese sensibility guides the aesthetics of the Faber Drive House by HYLA Architects, whose long elevation is veiled by a light, timber screen and simple, grey, mono-pitched roof. At the front façade, an off-form concrete wall creates a reticent shell, which belies the interior openness. This architectural aloofness addresses the house’s prominent corner position along a public road. Once past the front door, there is an invitation to go straight through to the living areas laid out along the house’s length, or up a flight of stairs along a stepped feature of courtyards and terraces by the parti wall. Adorned with abundant foliage, flushed with natural light from skylights above, and cooled by breezes wafting in through both open ends of the house, these spaces are truly the occupants’ own slice of tropical paradise. Faber Drive House HYLA Architects cc Derek Swalwell greenery Faber Drive House HYLA Architects cc Derek Swalwell internal courtyard “The introduction of external courtyards, which are covered yet naturally ventilated, provides the semi-detached house with possibility for better ventilation by being able to open the side facing the parti wall. Indeed, the house is extremely breezy. It also allows for plenty of light though without the heat build up. A water feature on the second level courtyard also acts as a cooling feature,” shares Han Loke Kwang, founder of the Singapore-based architecture firm. This leitmotif is consistently explored in the firm’s oeuvre. “This house continues HYLA’s rethinking of landed house typologies and the introduction of external covered and open courtyard spaces within the site and building. Besides climatic reasons, these external spaces also become the internal focus of the house, so that there is an inward view and centre for the rooms,” explains Han. The house’s programming have a deep relationship with the courtyards: the grandparent’s room on the first storey has its own outdoor deck and garden; the second storey family room opens up to the second storey courtyard, and the master bedroom on the third storey has voids cut through so there is further connectivity to the courtyards. Built for a multi-generational family with different demands for privacy, there is a separate outdoor staircase leading straight to the upper levels so that one may bypass the living areas on the ground level. Faber Drive House HYLA Architects cc Derek Swalwell living room Faber Drive House HYLA Architects cc Derek Swalwell palm tree The modest material palette of concrete walls and Chengai Timber screens creates the perfect foil for the play of light and shadows. “Internally, the teak timber floors, wood veneer cabinets and white plastered walls emphasise the light and flow of space and its relation to the external areas rather than calling attention to themselves,” emphasises Han on his penchant for simple and natural elements. HYLA Architects hyla.com.sg Photography by Derek Swalwell Dissection Information Fixtures & fittings in bathroom and kitchen from Hans Grohe, Duravit and Gerberit Cararra bianco marble in Nero Novulato Travertine marble from KStone Homogenous tiles from Hafary Granite from Earth Arts Slim tile from GF+A Mosaics from Mosaico Door handles by Olivari Wevre & Ducre pendant light Custom joinery by Shanghai Hup Seng Reinforced concrete with timber board form Faber Drive House HYLA Architects cc Derek Swalwell palm tree Faber Drive House HYLA Architects cc Derek Swalwell bathroom Faber Drive House HYLA Architects cc Derek Swalwell verandah Faber Drive House HYLA Architects cc Derek Swalwell entry Faber Drive House HYLA Architects cc Derek Swalwell exterior facade Faber Drive House HYLA Architects cc Derek Swalwell street view Faber Drive House HYLA Architects cc Derek Swalwell timber screens We think you might also like XXX by XXXabc
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Liebherr And Things To Know About Wine Cellars

The design team at Germany's Liebherr know wine. When it comes to storing fine wine, know the big four are light, humidity, temperature, and minimal disturbance – if the storage unit looks nice too, then even better. Too strong a light, an overly moist or dry environment, too hot or too cool a space or too much disturbance, and the prized bottle we’re saving for just that right now is ruined. This new wine cellar to the Liebherr range – the EWTdf 3553 Built-In Dual Zone Wine Cellar – solves these problems in a stylish and unobtrusive aesthetic. Like a shaken bottle of champagne, this cellar is absolutely exploding and overflowing with features…
  • Eighty bottle capacity
  • Triple glazed tinted glass door
  • Fresh air supply via activated charcoal filter
  • MagicEye SoftTouch with LCD
  • Internal temperature display
  • Two independent temperature zones, adjustable from 5°C to 20°C
  • Dimmable LED interior lighting
  • Nine handcrafted beech wood shelves
  • Soft-closing door
  • Vibration free compressor
In fact, it’s quite possibly the most flexible wine cellar in the Liebherr range. In addition to the above features, this built-in wine cellar can be installed using cabinetry to suit any kitchen décor or alternatively an optional extra stainless steel frame can turn this work of art into a stainless steel masterpiece. With two independently controlled temperature zones you can store different wine varieties at their optimal serving temperature. So, no matter what your taste buds crave, you will always have a wine ready on hand. So what are the optimum wine serving temperatures? For red wines, you’re looking at 14°C to 20°C. Rosé should be cooler, between 10°C to 12°C, and white cooler still, from 8°C to 12°C. Sparkling wines can be as low as 7°C and as high as 9°C, and pure French Champagne should be the coolest of the lot – between 5°C to 7°C to really let those flavours shine. The EWTdf 3553 Built-In Dual Zone Wine Cellar is available in Australia from Andi-Co. abc
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4 Ways In Which Richard Munao Has Seen The Consumption Of Design Shift

In thinking about the various shifts in the consumption of design amongst a local market that Richard Munao has witnessed and responded to over two decades in business as CULT, perhaps the first is in fact the one he tipped…   1. The corporate culture Twenty years ago CULT was founded by Richard Munao on the basis of retailing individual pieces of furniture for the Australian commercial environment. Back then it was a market saturated by workstations, desks and chairs. Met with surprise and confusion, he persevered. “People thought we were crazy,” he says. Yet he was clearly on to a winner, as more and more companies began investing equally in how they presented themselves to their clients and visitors. “We said Corporate Culture – as it was – is going to look at the front end: the lobby, the reception, conference rooms, board rooms…we’re going to focus on putting furniture into areas that show off your corporate culture.”   2. Outstanding design makes its way inside From commercial and workplace beginnings, the residential sector has grown to form a big slice of CULT’s client base. And where the design-minded population was once concerned predominantly, some solely, with the exterior architecture of our homes, now we care just as much for how they look and feel on the inside, too. “Twenty years ago I felt that we were more interested in what things looked like on the outside, so the money [was in] the architecture: things that are visible versus the things that actually you know,” says Richard. “But what is wrong with having both beautiful?” As CULT’s clients have grown to include the design savvy and fit-out their houses, it’s clear that there’s been a societal shift which puts due emphasis on the experience, usability and atmosphere of an interior environment.   3. A willingness to invest in design Since day dot Richard and the ever-growing team at CULT have heralded authentic design connecting the local community to the iconic and emerging design houses. Fast fashion may have made its way into the interior design realm in recent years but the waste it’s producing is quickly becoming apparent – and unappealing. “Buy once and buy well. We’ve seen ourselves as advocating and educating clients as to why if you buy something that lasts a long time, even if you get sick of it in your own mind you can give it to a second home,” says Richard. And while issues plaguing the industry – replica furniture and low quality, low cost design for example – may not be completely resolved, Richard remains optimistic. “It’s still a long way but I think its part of the opportunity for growth.”   4. The rise and rise of local designers What’s most exciting and motivating for Richard is seeing Australian design beginning to challenge that which comes out of Europe and America. As we grow as a region we’re beginning to form our own design identity and compete with international designers and manufacturers. “The interesting thing for us really is that you walk in [to the CULT showrooms] and you can go one direction and see all our European brands or you can go another and see all our Australian pieces.” Without suggesting one group to be better than the other, it’s Richard’s opinion that Australian design is absolutely beginning to challenge its international competitors. While there are many showrooms and distributors that showcase purely Australian design, and others that exhibit solely European, what happens when you put them side-by-side, as CULT has done? “Australian and the best of the European brands in one showroom really challenges our Australian designers to do their best work,” says Richard. “In the end who are you competing with? You’re competing with the best in the world in the one showroom.” The Australian pieces Richard is referring to come from the collection NAU, a brand he launched in 2017: internationally at ICFF in New York and locally at DENFAIR in Melbourne. In support of some of Australia’s most innovative, ingenuitive, and creative talents, Nau brings designs by Adam Cornish, Adam Goodrum, Jack Flanagan and Gavin Harris to the CULT floor.   Success in an industry that’s as inspiring, rewarding and fun as it can be draining, challenging and arduous doesn’t come easily. For Richard, he feels CULT’s success is founded on the basis that businesses need to replenish the industry when they benefit from it. “As a company we do a lot to put back into Australian design, if you don’t sow the seeds there will be no grass to support industry.” CULT cultdesign.com.au NAU naudesign.com.au   NAU [gallery columns="2" size="large" ids="74605,74604,74606,74607"] Photography by Sean Fennessy   International Brands [gallery size="medium" ids="74599,74595,74598,74602,74596,74594,74601,74600,74597"] Photography by Fiona Susanto   abc
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Iconic Heritage Architecture And Its Restoration

As the last of the new residents moved into their PopovBass designed apartments in the repurposed Griffiths Teas building last December, they joined the swelling ranks of a new breed of urban dweller. People who value quality housing but eschew even near-flung suburbia, who relish the clamour of city dwelling, thrive on the buzz of funky bars (and perhaps the occasional drunk) on their doorsteps. Well-travelled folk with unencumbered budgets; nomadic romantics keen to create a little bit of New York or Paris back home.

They are also, perhaps without realising it, members of what might be thought of as the Cornerstone Club. Helmed by former electrical contractor Michael Grant from its seaside offices on the northern beaches, Cornerstone Property Group has nurtured some of Sydney’s most distinguished urban renewal projects into being.

The award-winning Casba apartments and public courtyard development on Danks Street in the former industrial precinct of Waterloo; Cleveland & Co, an amalgamation of two stoic heritage structures on a major arterial in Redfern; Nº1 Lacey, a landmark Edwardian building in Surry Hills; and of course the iconic, much sought-after Griffiths Teas project. (Such was the excitement over this landmark building hitting the market as luxury apartments that 5,000 registrations were received for the 38 properties, three or four buyers finally battling it out for each allotment.)

All were envisioned and developed by Grant in collaboration with architects of significant stature including Alex Popov and Brian Bass, Adam Haddow of SJB and Iain Halliday of Burley Katon Halliday.

Not bad for a man was started out as a sparky.

“I left school after Year 10 with a bit of trade knowledge,” says Grant. “I began working for my father and by the age of nineteen I thought I was ready to take over his business, but my mother said no, I wasn’t ready. So I went overseas, saw a bit of the world, got experience bartending, that sort of thing. When I came back my mother said I still couldn’t take over my father’s business. Then I went to India and swam in the Ganges and came back and said I’m ready to take over the business and my mother still said, no.” A painter and sculptor, Mrs Grant felt her son should carve out a niche of his own.

[caption id="attachment_74584" align="alignnone" width="1170"]Griffiths Teas by Michael Nicholson Griffiths Teas. Photography by Michael Nicholson[/caption]

“So when I came back from another trip to South America, I bought my own truck, put my one piece of conduit on the top and away I went. In three years I went from having no staff to about twenty people working for me. I worked literally sixteen hours a day, seven days a week for probably fifteen years. The advantage a trade gives you is that you’re first on site and often the last on site, you’re putting conduit behind walls, getting inside the whole structure. It gives you an incredible understanding of the intricacies of construction. That said, I was always more interested in art and architecture than I was crawling about under floors.”

As his rapport with builders evolved Grant eventually partnered on a small northern beaches development of two apartments. Then one of four, six, twenty-four until by the time he met Alex Popov in the mid-1990s he was ready to step into the big ring.

“By then I had some land in Mona Vale and I asked Alex to work on it. He accepted, but more than that he became an incredible mentor, sending me off on a voyage of discovery to Saint Petersburg, Stockholm, Copenhagen, Paris, Barcelona, Rome – places where I could see work by the likes of Le Corbusier, van der Rohe, Antoni Gaudí, Henning Larsen and Jørn Utzon.” (These last two Popov had worked with after he graduated from the Royal Danish Academy of Art in 1971.)

“I took my mother on the five and a half week trip and when I got back I had to tell Alex what I saw in these buildings.”

The result of this voyage of discovery – and the fruit of the first collaboration with Popov – is the Rockpool multi-residential development on the beach at Mona Vale, north of Sydney, finished in 1999. A noble composition of asymmetric arches that appear to hunker down in the dunes, it echoes Le Corbusier’s famous vaulted houses, the Weekend house in the suburbs of Paris of 1935 and the Maison Jaoul of 1952.

But perhaps even more remarkable than the building itself was the savvy urban programme. By using the double rows of apartments to create a new pedestrian neighbourhood, Grant and Popov demonstrated the capacity of private development to affect public good.

Cleveland & Co by Yanni Kronenberg [caption id="attachment_74589" align="alignnone" width="1170"]Cleveland & Co by Yanni Kronenberg Cleveland & Co. Photography by Yanni Kronenberg[/caption]

For his next key project, inspired by the communal architecture of Northern Africa, Grant commissioned SJB’s Adam Haddow to devise a residential complex that would also enhance public amenity. The result was the Casba complex, which won a World Architecture Award for mixed-use development in 2015.

“Michael’s way of explaining a brief is by images and recounting experience,” says Haddow. “He needs to evoke an emotional response, to talk about how people will live not just in but around his buildings.”

Haddow began with what became known as the cloister, the open-ended public garden around which small business, bars and restaurants would thrive, creating a new urban enclave. The 65 apartments above have been built from recycled industrial brick in homage to the site’s heritage; the interiors, orchestrated by BKH, effectively articulate inside and out, expansive terraces enhancing a Mediterranean feel.

“Michael really gets inner precincts like Waterloo, Surry Hills, Redfern,” says Haddow. “He understands that the ground plane should be an extension of the living rooms, that vibrancy at street level is adding amenity, real value beyond the actual property price.”

“Casba was about developing a location that needed a new sophistication,” Grant says in sum. “Cleveland & Co is in Redfern so needed to be more bohemian. Not grungy, but groovy. Nº1 Lacey at the corner of Kippax is the heart of the old rag-trader enclave and I wanted the new building to reflect that more romantic kind of vibe, which Iain Halliday does so well. Griffiths Teas is a bit more hard-edged industrial, a bit gritty, which Alex Popov is really good at conveying.”

At Griffiths Teas, PopovBass stripped back the 1915 structure to its elemental components of brick and timber beams to reveal a series of eccentric internal volumes following the sharp apex of the tight corner site. The new architectural program involved the elaboration of a central, lacquered pod in each separate unit which conceals all utilities while also creating a sculptural core that separates dining and entertaining from sleeping and ablution zones. More poetically, the pods reference the tea boxes in which the Griffiths brothers shipped their valuable merchandise until the company shuttered the premises in 1965.

At Nº1 Lacey, Iain Halliday has converted a handsome 1912 factory into 38 warehouse apartments which celebrate a bygone era. Raw brick work, vast arched timber windows and wooden columns have been restored and transformed, re-oriented to the 21st century. A five-storey central atrium references International Modernism and opens up into the seven penthouses, their large, private rooftop terraces look over the Sydney skyline.

Cleveland & Co is a rearticulation of two adjacent industrial buildings: the 1889 New York and Brooklyn Tobacco Factory, designed by Sydney architect R. Kunstman, and the 1938 Demco Machinery Company, by J. Aubrey Kerr, to form a unified complex of 38 residential apartments designed by SJB and interior designers, BKH. Adam Haddow and his husband own the penthouse – christened Cleveland Rooftop – which last November  was awarded the INSIDE World Festival of Interiors prize for  Residential design.

“The ambition for Cleveland Rooftop was to realise a garden that you happened to live in, rather than an apartment surrounded by greenery,” says Haddow. “This sky landscape is a retrieval from the bustling city lifestyle, and contributes to the network of inner-city green spaces.”

It’s been a busy couple of years for Michael Grant and his tiny team of five in their beachside offices along the Mona Vale strip mall. Grant estimates he has “delivered about $350 million worth of property” in the past year. “For a small developer that’s a lot,” he admits. “It’s intense, but I am focused and committed to doing cool, extraordinary things. I think I’ve got another ten or fifteen great projects in me, and I can only do that if I recalibrate and refocus.”

Photography as credited  No.1 Lacey by Yanni-Kronenberg [caption id="attachment_74586" align="alignnone" width="1170"]No.1 Lacey by Yanni-Kronenberg No.1 Lacey. Photography by Yanni-Kronenberg[/caption]abc
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ILVE cooking up designs for true foodies

Cooktops is where ILVE shines, and their latest two releases are the perfect example of their thoughtful design direction, borne from a deep understanding of consumer behaviour and habits in the kitchen. ILVE’s VERSA cooktop cleverly combines their Brass ‘infinity’ wok burner with a four zone induction cooktop, to cater for those who regularly cook with a wok, which is the only way to perfect many Asian recipes. The burner allows the heat to reach around the side of a wok, so ingredients can be cooked at the same intensity when stir frying, which allows for restaurant quality cuisine. Induction is now hugely popular due to the power and precision of the technology, so ILVE has integrated both cooking functions into one clever appliance. This allows the cook to swap between low simmers, quick boils of induction and high intensity heat of gas, which is bang on with current trends of getting more features in one appliance. [gallery columns="4" ids="73576,73573,73575,73574"] ILVE FUSION cooktop is the second in their latest line-up which fuses together an integrated downdraft hood and cooktop. This high powered cooktop is induction and has 4 electronic cooking zones. Made from ceramic glass, it is super stylish and will make an impressive addition to any island bench style kitchen. The most inventive attribute of this cooktop is the powerful built-in downdraft hood. With a simple tap of the black aluminium push-in catch panel, the hood is exposed and unlike any other conventional rangehood, pulls steam and odour down and in. This cooktop brings together two major kitchen essentials into one exciting appliance. [gallery columns="4" ids="73578,73581,73579,73577"] These latest cooktops from ILVE demonstrate how design is moving forward in a more integrated fashion with multiple functions and features within a singular high performance appliance. abc
Architecture
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HYLA Architects Are Making A Case For Courtyards

The front-facing brick wall of the Princess of Wales House is a simple shelter for privacy. Inwardly, the wall encloses a courtyard space, a private garden foyer open to the sky. The house is located in a residential estate in Singapore’s west and continues HYLA Architects’ exploration of the integration of external courtyard spaces into the house, the creation of foci with courtyards, the blurring of the distinction between inside and outside, and the provision of shelter from sun and rain required in Singapore’s hot and wet climate. Daily homecoming is a passage through a series of thresholds, each successively more private: one first enters the property through the gate, after the porch a brick wall presents an opening to enter the courtyard. A bridge-like decking conveys one further inward, yet, even here, admittance into the house is not yet gained; one only comes face to face with a timber wall. Here, as HYLA’s principal Han Loke Kwang describes, “The main door is hidden, there is no lock, nor handle, no visible sign of entry at all.” This last door to the house, concealed in the patterning of wall’s timber cladding, is perhaps most emblematic of the quiet and private nature of the house. cess Wales House HYLA Architects pool cess Wales House HYLA Architects indoor outdoor Han adds, “The privacy and mystery of the house starts from the blank wall façade at the front. Anyone looking from outside will wonder what is inside. And the mystery continues until they enter the house, and then the space totally opens up.” The client’s brief was a practical order of five bedrooms and a study on top of the usual living, dining, and kitchen spaces. Around these, Han has appended courtyards—one as the above-mentioned garden foyer at the front entrance, another laid out along the main living spaces, integrated with the pool. On the second storey there are two—one located directly behind the staircase which continues from the side courtyard space, and the other one in the middle of the house, facing a bedroom. cess Wales House HYLA Architects courtyard cess Wales House HYLA Architects dining room The success of the house is in its achievements of privacy and openness for the enjoyment of natural light, air and outside spaces. Not only were openings strategically inserted in the design, various means towards porosity were devised, as Han points out of the staircase which spans between the party wall and the main building: “We wanted it to make it as light as possible so we use timber strips with 15 millimetre gaps for the tread to further emphasise the openness.” Overhead, the latticework of the pergola is spaced with consideration—more densely above the staircase where it gives shelter, and gradually more open as it extends outwards. HYLA Architects hyla.com.sg Dissection Information Front facade wall, Marono Gesmoord Extra Facebrick from Wienerberger Front entrance wall in Chengal Timber Living room floor, Ariston Marble Built-in TV cabinet - XPE151 Wall fabric from Greenland Wallcovering Dry kitchen island counter Gris Expo, Compressed quartz from Silestone Parti Wall beside staircase, Marono Gesmoord Extra, Facebrick from Wienerberger Structural column and beams on parti wall, Grey Pebble Wash Staircase thread in Chengal Timber Bedroom floor, Burmese Teak Outdoor timber deck in Chengal Timber Swimming pool mosaic, Black Magic Mosaic from Gallery T Pte Ltd Dining Pendant light, Algorithm, Pendant light from Vibia Ceiling Fan, I Series, Ceiling fan from Haiku C5-GQ door handles, Lever Handle from Kawajun Master bath basin, Tai counter top basin from Art Ceram Master bath basin and shower mixer, Pan concealed wall mounted mixer from Zucchetti Bath tub mixer, Pan, 4 hole bath filler from Zucchetti Durastyle built in bathtub from Duravit Master Bath wall and floor, Fantasy Grey, Natural Granite GEA under-counter basin from Art Ceram Basin and shower mixer, Sun single lever counter top mixer from Zucchetti Perforated bath wall, Marono Gesmoord Extra, Facebrick from Wienerberger Bath vanity counter, Gris Expo, Compressed quartz from Silestone cess Wales House HYLA Architects bedroom cess Wales House HYLA Architects bathroom cess Wales House HYLA Architects pond cess Wales House HYLA Architects brickwork cess Wales House HYLA Architects exterior We think you might also like Siglap Plain by HYLA Architectsabc
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Finding Colour In Milan For Salone Del Mobile 2018 At Hermes

“The eyes can see but they can see only colours. If our eyes could see forms and materials, we would not need hands. The eyes can see only what we cannot touch and what we cannot reach with the rest of our body. That is why they can see only emptiness and fire, and why we close our eyes only to make the sky disappear and, with it, the sun and space.” It was fitting that Hermès presented a work of contemplative, dream-like text from artist and poet Jean-Luc Parant alongside its collections for the Home 2018-2019 in Milan this year. In style, subject and introspective character, Parant’s words were an ideal accompaniment to the objects and the pavilion in which they were presented – a cluster of pavilions, in fact, which absorbed and immersed you in overlapping microcosms­ of colour, light and reflection. Colour is the overriding theme of this year’s collections, which consist of vases, trays, boxes, furniture, textiles, wallpapers and items for the table. Blues, reds, yellows and greens – and mixtures thereof – resonate from surfaces in designs drawn from elements from the urban and natural landscapes: bricks, louvres, lattices, mosaics, twigs, leaves, grasses, bark and fruit. Bright and vibrant colour renditions on lacquer, porcelain and textiles are balanced with denser and more matte expressions on leather and wood. The mixing of colours with each other and with the materials they adorn presents colour as part of the language that composes objects, and that punctuates the home – the basis of another story that an object can tell atop the stories of form, motif and material. The cashmere plaid Avalon Tangram, for example (designed by Gianpaolo Pagni and Studio Hermès), painstakingly hands dip-dyed with the overlapping of its blue, red and yellow areas creating shapes in green and brown. The colours bleed not only into each other but also into the cashmere, creating deep, low-resolution edge to each colour zone. The process of the dye penetrating the material can almost be visualised. The effect is that the design seems to come to life. That contemplative mind set is also encouraged by objects such as Attrape-Rêves (Dream Catcher), designed by Attrape-Rêves (Dream Catcher), designed by Guillaume Delvigne, Damian O’Sullivan and Studio Hermès. This circular frame of maple with leather cord defies any familiar function but encourages the contemplation of how it could perform – as a holder for scarves or notes, for example. The Hermès Collections for the Home 2018-2019 were unveiled in Milan at the Museo della Permanente in April during Milan Design Week. The presentation, one of the most memorable of the week, captured that contemplative, engaged, dream-like and very personal state of mind with an architecture and scenography that immersed thoughts and bodies. It balanced the colour absorbed by the eyes with the forms engaged with by the body, as Parant described in his text. Most critically, it expressed the intimacy at the heart of the Hermes Collections for the Home – an intimacy that comes with finely detailed and crafted objects for the personal environment that will be engaged with as part of daily life over a long period of time. The structure of the installation was designed by Charlotte Macaux Perelman, Deputy Artistic Director for Hermès Maison with Alexis Fabry, and the scenography inside the pavilions was designed by Hervé Sauvage. Seven pavilions housed the collection, each of them bearing a skin of handcrafted Moroccan zellige tiles of glazed clay. Single colours defined the exterior and exterior of each pavilion, with spotlights and light shafts bringing the undulating tile surfaces to life with shimmering reflections. Colours would bleed and blend through the reflections, and perspectival views through the hall would layer colours, exteriors and interiors into a dreamy composition. Scale was used to great effect to contrast the monumental architecture with the intimacy and precision of the objects, which were displayed on plinths, steps and shelves. In places, the objects (such as textiles) were presented in deep dialogue with the architecture through reflection and the layering of colour. It made for an immersive, sensual and surprising encounter – perfectly Hermès. Hermes hermes.com Photography by François Lacour/Hermès 2018  abc
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Tapping Into One Of Singapore’s Most Engaging Designers: Olivia Lee

“As we approach peak stuff, the focus areas should be those that need design – agriculture, supply chains, ecosystems, bio-design, technology – all these areas would be great themes to talk about,” said Olivia Lee at Indesign Media Asia’s Milan In Review panel discussion last year in 2017. Olivia, who had just returned from her first display at Salone Satellite, was referring – with a level of insight appreciated by the audience – to whether the world’s biggest design week had the breadth of focus that would be most beneficial to the future of design and our lives. The projects that attracted her in Milan in 2017 were those that had something to say – be it about a new way of recycling waste material, or aligning with a new kind of business model. And there you have a window into the mindset of one of Singapore’s most exciting young designers. Olivia’s eponymous design studio is grounded by an industrial design approach, but pivots from product to spatial design, from research insights to ideation, with the goal of creating unique experiences. Lee focuses on uncovering new rituals and behaviours, navigating the tension between tradition and the future, and bringing brands into unexplored territories through design and narrative. [caption id="attachment_74550" align="alignnone" width="1170"] Olivia's studio, The Wonder Facility[/caption] Her Athena Collection – shown at Salone Satellite last year ­­– was all about how technology is changing our lives. Today, suggested Olivia, Athena would be a goddess of technology. The collection is “a range of objects that are technological in an analogue sense,” she explained at her Satellite stand – analogue objects for digital habits. “They don’t involve any electronics but they work together with the way we use social media, the way we use video calls on our phones, the way we have such an intimate relationship with our handheld devices.” Hence, she created a rug with tactile details and borders to demarcate virtual and physical space during gaming or VR use; a series of sceptres with various functions (from swivelling smartphone holder to personal mirror); a tray table to cater to laptop use and leisure; and more. Olivia has produced work for international partners such as Hermès, The Balvenie, Mann+Hummel, Samsung, Mathmos, Bank of Singapore, Economic Development Board of Singapore and the British Council. Olivia Lee olivia-lee.com Is Olivia Lee your Prodigy of the year? She could be taking home the INDE.Awards Prodigy trophy for 2018. Join us at the INDE.Awards 2018 Gala as we celebrate The Prodigy of the year, presented by Cosentino. We think you might also like Anonym Studioabc