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Twin Townhouses In Melbourne Reveal A Hamburger-Like Plan

Finding a patch of dirt to build on is becoming extremely difficult in Melbourne, particularly in the inner city. However, husband and wife – and recent parents – Jesse and Seada Linardi found an unlikely sliver of land in Collingwood. Jesse, a director of DKO Architecture and Seada, director of SLAB, worked with their friend and developer Michael McCormack, director of Milieu Property. “We wanted to build a family home, testing ideas that would be more challenging for clients,” says Jesse. “We didn’t set limits from the start. It was simply putting our ideas out there and seeing what could be achieved,” adds Seada.

Once a double garage for an adjacent Victorian building, the entire site is a meager 75 square metres. Building one townhouse on such a site would be commendable, but two? The other constraint within this site was that only one elevation, orientated to the west, would receive full sunlight (other elevations are impeded with neighbouring properties). Fortunately the site just “squeezes in” to a commercial zone, with the neighbouring properties zoned residential. “We couldn’t have reached this height if the site was just a few metres to the north,” says Jesse.

However, given the proximity of neighbouring residential properties, the couple was mindful of creating visual bulk.

The couple lives in one townhouse, with Michael originally intending to live in the other. However plans changed – as they’re often wont to do – and the Linardis’ new neighbour is architect Michael Drescher, a fellow director of DKO Architecture. “The two are slightly different, but you could say they ‘read’ as one building,” Jesse notes.

Twin Townhouses DKO Slab Architecture cc Tom Blachford street front

Perhaps the only marker that there are two homes rather than one is the strip of LED lights framing each doorbell. Each one is programmed to display different colours so there’s no confusion for guests finding the front door. However, behind the black powder-coated perforated steel façade (enveloping all four elevations) are six levels, each one identical in footprint. “This is far from the open-plan living arrangement you find in most homes. This place is more of a ‘hamburger plan’, with each level providing a different filling,” says Jesse.

With the gritty urban streetscape featuring a mélange of building types, from warehouses and apartments to Victorian cottages, the Linardis decided on pursuing a more abstract form of architecture; something that didn’t resemble a conventional house. Each level comprises a four-by-nine-metre floor plan, with a stairwell and adjoining lightwell/breezeway offering light and ventilation throughout each level. “We could have gained a few extra centimetres by not having the lightwell, but we wanted to have air continually circulate,” says Seada.

Given the dimensions, there wasn’t sufficient room for a lift. “Having a lift would have lost us about one tenth of each floor plate. And climbing stairs every day is a great way to keep fit,” she adds. While many might be puffed out by the time they reached the rooftop garden with its plunge pool, the Linardis tend to spend most of their time oscillating between the upper levels, particularly the kitchen and living area on the fifth level.

Twin Townhouses DKO Slab Architecture cc Tom Blachford Seada Linardi Jesse Linardi Twin Townhouses DKO Slab Architecture cc Tom Blachford living room

At basement level there is the media room/guest bedroom with an ensuite and fold-out bed concealed behind one of the cupboards. At ground level is the garage and entrance. A second bedroom and bathroom can be found on level one, with the main bedroom and ensuite located on the floor above. “We spend most of our time around the kitchen bench, particularly on the weekend. We both love cooking,” says Seada. “It’s truly an event, not just serving up a meal. Jesse will generally put on his records [there’s a built-in record player in the style of the 70s that allows the vinyl to be flipped over] while we’re chopping up vegetables.” One of the many nifty design features is the treatment of the kitchen, with its steel dining table piercing what the couple refers to as a chopping block. The timber block — often used to chop food — can be wheeled away to allow the dining table to be fully expressed and accommodate up to eight people.

While the house can be closed down during the colder months of the year, with three-metre-wide perforated steel shutters featuring on three levels to the western elevation, during the warmer months it can be opened completely with both the shutters and generous western glazed windows pulled back. “Even when you leave the shutters closed, there’s still the dappled light coming through,” says Seada, who included additional layers of block-out blinds and sheer curtains for each level.

Twin Townhouses DKO Slab Architecture cc Tom Blachford rooftop pool

Although there’s no back garden or balcony, there was sufficient room to include a rooftop garden. Offering views of the city as well as the Dandenong Ranges – on a clear day at least – this impressive backdrop makes the effort of climbing every step worth it! And rather than just a few pot plants dotted around the terrace, there is also a plunge pool. “We use this space as though it’s another room, particularly as it’s only one staircase away from the kitchen,” says Seada. Jesse and Seada aren’t thinking about life in their old age. They have a more conventional beach house at St Andrews Beach on Victoria’s Mornington Peninsula and Jesse’s mother lives in a four-storey house without a lift. “She never complains. You just use the spaces differently,” says Jesse.

The Linardis’ townhouse isn’t just a gimmicky idea to slow down traffic, although many strolling past take the time to reflect on what they’re looking at. But the residence also shows what can be achieved when architects think outside the box and take risks to deliver truly great architecture.

DKO dko.com.au Slab Architecture slabarchitecture.com Photography by Tom Blachford Dissection Information Custom solid hardwood removable kitchen bench/chopping board from Eco Timber. King size master bed from Cobram Kitchens & Cabinets. Curtains by Lovelight. Walter Knoll Jaan Living Sofa from Living Edge. Minotti Caulfield Coffee Table from dedece. Poltrona Frau Ilary Monolithic Coffee Table and Cassina Cab Chairs from Cult. Tom Fereday Parisi Outdoor Table and Chee Outdoor Chairs from Space Furniture. Timber veneer kitchen & study pedestals by owner. B&B Italia Cratis Rug from Space Furniture. Lighting throughout generally by Sphera Lighting. Rooftop lighting by Davide Groppi Concrete floor from Concrete Colour Systems. Precast concrete wall finish from Cement Concrete & Aggregates Australia. Blackened custom steel bench joinery from Life Space Journey. Italian Royale Marble stone wall and bench and splashback from CDK Stone. Timber Veneer joinery throughout from George Feathers & Co. Custom made stair steel stringer with blackbutt hardwood from Pondeljak Engineering. Mild steel flat bar balustrade from Milieu Built. Joinery from Cobram Kitchens & Cabinets. Melamine joinery from Laminex. Marble mosaic floor tiles from Signorino and Artedomus. Mirrored walls from Viridian. Timber floor from Royal Oak Floors. Ceiling & wall paint from Dulux. External powder coated aluminium façade, bi-fold screens and aluminium sliding screen from Euting Pty Ltd. Rooftop pool by Laguna Pool. Home theatre system from Carlton Audio Visual. Light well & external steel planter box from LVDI. Blackened steel joinery and door handles from Life Space Journey. Induction cooktop, range hood & oven from Gaggenau. Integrated dishwasher from Fisher& Paykel. Refrigerator from Liebherr. Kitchen accessories throughout, pivot Sliding kitchen door, and foldaway side mounted single bed and queen size bed lift from Hafele. Tapware from Gessi, Rogerseller & Brodware. Basin from Agape & Parisi. Sink from Franke. Rooftop outdoor pool shower from Brodware. Turntable joinery and whiskey bar from client Twin Townhouses DKO Slab Architecture cc Tom Blachford record player Twin Townhouses DKO Slab Architecture cc Tom Blachford record player Twin Townhouses DKO Slab Architecture cc Tom Blachford dining kitchen Twin Townhouses DKO Slab Architecture cc Tom Blachford master bedroom Twin Townhouses DKO Slab Architecture cc Tom Blachford master ensuite Twin Townhouses DKO Slab Architecture cc Tom Blachford study Twin Townhouses DKO Slab Architecture cc Tom Blachford drop down bed Twin Townhouses DKO Slab Architecture cc Tom Blachford spare bed Twin Townhouses DKO Slab Architecture cc Tom Blachford internal courtyard Twin Townhouses DKO Slab Architecture cc Tom Blachford drone We think you might also like A Private Family Sanctuary By Carter Williamson Architectsabc
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International Style: A Reference Point For When East Met West

The turn of the twentieth century was a time of rapid change in the western world and architecture in particular felt the effects. New materials and construction techniques were inciting an entirely new type of architecture in Europe and North America. Long, straight lines of glass and steel, coupled with previously unfathomable shapes of formed concrete. This pared back approach was quickly coined as Modernist. A new age had dawned and every architect of the day was clambering to make a statement – Gropius, Mies van der Rohe, Breuer, Lloyd Wright… the list goes on.

The International Style has been a point of reference for many architects – from Bauhaus through to late Modernism, many have strived to reach the same level of purpose and functionality. That stripping back of ornament for a design outcome which offers nothing but raw simplicity and necessity.

It has been a movement that is highly recorded, revered and held up, even still, as a point of inspiration. But nothing is ever static, which is ever more apparent in how these strong ideals have trickled into other cultures, creating subsequent movements of their own.

It’s this fusion of western Modernist ideals with a local vernacular slant that offers another facet to the story and evolution of modernism. And one of the leading proponents of this was, of course, Geoffrey Bawa.

Geoffrey was a Sri Lankan architect and has been often dubbed the guiding architect of Tropical Modernism. He trained at the Architectural Association School of Architecture in London, bringing his strongly held views on the profession back to his native Colombo. Interestingly, Geoffrey received his registration at the age of 38 after previously being a barrister. In spite of a long and prolific career, his buildings rest predominantly in Sri Lanka, with a sprinkling in India and Indonesia. In this sense it could be argued that he was a truly South East Asian Modernist architect.

The driving philosophy of Geoffrey’s work was always to seamlessly blend inside and out. To a contemporary frame of reference this doesn’t necessarily sound ground breaking. But it’s important to remember that this approach broke away from the typical British Colonial influences of the time and introduced an aesthetic that brought people closer to the lush tropical surrounds. The late 50s and early 60s heralded a new type of architecture, with forms such as horizontal rooflines directly referencing the likes of Le Corbusier (a major influence for Geoffrey). Unfortunately, he soon realised that function trumped aesthetics as pitched roofs with a heavy overhang offered more protection against the Sri Lankan climatic conditions.

As Geoffrey’s regional take on Modernism began to progress, elements of local vernacular began to flourish alongside. This included the use of white formwork concrete, criss-crossing trusses and porous ground levels with pyramid hipped roof pavilion structures.

This is especially apparent on Geoffrey’s own homes, including his house in Colombo, Number 11, and his holiday home, Lunuganga, which are both now open to the public. Throughout his career Geoffrey worked across all typologies – homes, hotels and resorts, schools, and government buildings.

In the Philippines, Leandro Valencia Locsin was commencing his architectural career in uncanny resemblance to Geoffrey’s path – having first studied law before changing to architecture.

Leandro was driven by the philosophy of combining the Oriental and Occidental – to create a harmony between east and west. Leandro’s most recognisable projects, although drastically different in form and materiality to Geoffrey, are the perfect exemplar of regional Modernism. They incorporate the key principles and materiality of the movement, but also take into account their local context and culture.

Concrete is the dominant material throughout Leandro’s work, so much so that it is what his work is remembered for most. But the architect’s use of concrete wasn’t just to follow in the footsteps of International Style, although he did much admire the work of Paul Rudolph and Eero Saarinen. Leandro incorporated concrete due to the fact that it was a relatively cheap material and also readily available in the Philippines at the time.

The most recognisable of Leandro’s buildings is Tanghalang Pambansa, located within the Cultural Center of the Philippines. Featuring a hulking marble façade that appears to float above the ground, at first glance the Cultural Center could be a building from anywhere in the world. A closer look however reveals certain details that locate it in its place and time.

The flat roofline is distinctly Modernist but the pool-sized water feature at the front of the building is shaped in a more suitably Asian-inspired hectagon. In addition, the tightly curved concrete fins at the base of the building feel strangely space age, while managing to recall a sense of the Orient. Similarly to Geoffrey, Leandro worked across many typologies throughout his career – from homes and hotels, to civic structures and interiors – but in each of them he sought a balance between east and west.

Even though the European Modernist masters have gone down in the history books, there is still plenty of inspiration to be found in the localised iterations of the movement.

What’s even more exciting is the next generation of Asian designers who are inspired by this significant moment in time. How will they take the philosophies of Modernism and reinterpret them in a 21st century context?

Photography courtesy Lunuganga Trust abc
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Homes

The Successful Transformation Of A Tricky Space In Hong Kong

Arc Village Studio is the result of a well planned and thoughtfully considered design from Sim-Plex, who has transformed the 606 square metre flat into a combined living & working studio. Designed around the idea of a clustered of arc frame, the space now forms a village-like communion. Previously, the working space of the flat was an enclosed, isolated and fenced off area – separate from the living spaces and without any sunlight. As a self-employed IT professional, this was a problematic layout for the client, and it’s clear a change was needed, and the Arc Village Studio is the inspired solution. "In our mind, we've got a simple and poetic image with a few village houses surrounded by a little creek; a full moon is appeared to shine and light the skies, creating a dancing shadows of trees," said Sim-Plex on the romantic inspiration for the new design. Hong Kong is famous for its expensive cost of living, and having both a home and separate office is a luxury few self-employed workers can afford. Yet the separation of relaxation spaces and working spaces is an important aspect of any home office. The lines between living and working may be blurred, but they still exist – even in a small space. For Sim-Plex, it was the village theme that provided the solution. Small spaces, linked through an open plan centre – recalling small housed based around a promenade. The living and dining space is an open, light generous area, with separate passaged to the foyer and kitchen, bathroom area, and important only opposite sides of apartment, the sleeping areas and the work studio space. This separation allows for a mental breaking apart of areas designed for relaxation, and areas for work. With clean, minimalist style throughout, the area can be imprinted upon with whatever the clients need it to be at any time. From family home to work space to place to unwind and watch TV – the space can embrace these differing moods. The fulfillment of poetic idea for apartment design, Arc Village Studio is a successful transformation of a tricky space – now an area suitable for work and play alike, a space to enhance communication between family members and allow the co-existence of work and live harmoniously. Sim-Plex sim-plex-design.com We think you might also like this dog-friendly designed apartment home by Rooot Studioabc
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Urban Retreat: The Westin Debuts In Perth

A collaboration between Melbourne’s BAR Studio (interior design), HASSELL (architecture) and BGC Development, the Westin Perth towers over the new Hibernian Place precinct, which boasts several leading hospitality operators, including Melbourne chef Guy Grossi’s restaurant Garum. Originally from Perth, BAR Studio co-founders Stewart Robertson and Felicity Beck utilized their insider knowledge of Perth’s laidback lifestyle and love of the outdoors, by injecting these design elements into the 28-storey hotel. The lobby and entrance is grand with high-ceilings and a light-filled lobby that overlooks the Hibernian Place central plaza. Movement between the interior and exterior spaces is organic with a connection of daylight and the leafy courtyard enticing guests to sit outside. “Throughout the project we aimed to optimise Perth’s extraordinary quality of light,” says BAR Studio’s Stewart Robertson. “In all these spaces we’ve paid attention to framing openings to allow for maximum natural light and views, connecting these spaces to the outside and further enhancing the sense of location and place. But we’ve also been conscious of mediating the sometimes-harsh Perth summer sun.” The interiors are a nod to Western Australia’s landscape with natural materials of timber and sandstone complementing accents of citrus tones and a calm colour palette inspired by Perth’s iconic beaches. Inspired by the idea of a cosmopolitan Perth residence, BAR Studio kept the public and guest spaces simple and modern with layered levels of furniture, handpicked accessories and curios to engage with the guests on a more personal level, while still exuding five-star understated luxuriousness. It’s apparent that art is a key to the project, with the building showcasing a 22m-high mural of a woman’s face, completed by Melbourne street artist Rone. Inside, art continues to play a vital role, with over 2000 artworks by Australian and Western Australian artists, exclusively curated by art consultants llana Rabinowitz and Sonja Brouard from Art Duo. “The Robert Bridgewater sculptures in the porte-cochere and lobby make abstracted references to light and nature – very appropriate subject matter for Perth - and you can lose time gazing at them,” says BAR Studio’s Felicity Beck. Nearly all the artwork in the guest rooms reference WA landscapes including Dunsborough photographer Christian Fletcher’s popular aerial shots of Broome’s Cable Beach. The generously sized 368-rooms range from a 42sqm Deluxe Room to a 240sqm Presidential Suite, all with sweeping views of the Perth hills and surrounds. Level five is the Wellness Level with a 20m-infinity pool, gym and Bodhi J Wellness Spa, while the hotel’s main restaurant, Garum, headed up by acclaimed chef Guy Grossi, is housed in a heritage listed building on the Lobby level. Natural light continues to be embraced in Garum, with BAR Studio enhancing the bay windows and opening the space to highlight the original lofty Jarrah wooden ceiling. Exposed bricks, combine with marble and tan leather seats for an industrial and warm aesthetic. The Westin Perth westinperth.com Bar Studio barstudio.com  abc
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Tadao Ando: The Quiet Icon

Buried within a soft, undulating hill on Naoshima, a small art island in the Seto Inland Sea, sits the Chichu Art Museum by architect Tadao Ando. But quite unlike the Guggenheim museums by Frank Lloyd Wright in New York City and Frank Gehry in Bilbao, Spain, Tadao’s geometric design of Chichu is submerged. The subterranean museum made from cast concrete is positioned to channel light from voids and apertures in the hillside above.

This immersive space, which elevates the visitor’s experience to a ritualistic or spiritual rite of passage, is a hallmark of Tadao’s conceptual approach. Chichu transforms the concept of an art museum to that of a meditative crypt – inverting the iconic value of a museum into a solemn and dignified shrine.

[caption id="attachment_74407" align="alignnone" width="1170"]Tadao Ando Chichu Art Museum Chichu Art Museum, 2000-04[/caption]

Inspired by nature and sunlight, Tadao Ando has become known globally for mutating everyday spaces into sacred experiences. Elements of light, water, wind and rain are central to shaping his dramatic yet delicate structures.

“I was born and raised in a traditional residential neighbourhood of downtown Osaka. My home was a dark place with little light and high windows,” Tadao Ando says.

“In the dim interior, I appreciated what little light we received. I would often fill my cupped hands with light coming into my room. Since then, this is the type of architecture I’ve wanted to build; an architecture which values light and reminds me of the same feelings I experienced as a child.”

His own home, Atelier, was built as a personal residence near his office in 1995: the whole home shaped around a camphor tree.

“The initial concept of the project was to construct an expansive residence around a camphor tree by spatially layering the interior and the semi-outdoor spaces,” Tadao explains.

“In the twenty years since the completion of this project, the tree in the inner garden has grown taller than the building itself. In 2015, the guest room on the top floor was converted into a meeting space. The glazing was moved and expanded into a new, cantilevered lounge space to accommodate this change.

“The original structure supports this lounge space with two diagonal rods, as if it were a floating tearoom surrounded by greenery,” he explains. While Tadao no longer lives at Atelier, preferring instead to reside in an “ordinary” apartment, he uses it for business meetings and for building scale models.

Over the years Tadao has become not only a design icon but a great advocate of social and environmental causes. A look through his portfolio reveals examples of how he’s sought to intertwine his buildings with nature.

He has also been intimately involved with planting trees in disaster zones and urban areas since the 1990s. He is currently overseeing the erection of the Sea Forest in Tokyo Bay and the planting of cherry tree orchards on Naoshima.

[caption id="attachment_74410" align="alignnone" width="1170"]Tadao Ando church of the light Church of the Light[/caption] [caption id="attachment_74409" align="alignnone" width="1170"]Tadao Ando church of the light Church of the Light[/caption]

“I attribute the fact that nature is incorporated into my designs to the proximity of water and greenery to my childhood neighbourhood. My house was adjacent to the Yodogawa, the largest river in the Osaka region. These two elements, light and nature, resided near me and led me to create buildings like Church of the Light [and] Church on the Water,” Tadao says.

The motif of the shrine also reoccurs in Tadao’s work, taking from Shinto a devotional attitude toward place-experience.

“Much was discarded in the postwar Japanese houses in the name of Rationalism: contact with nature, the tangible aspects of life, the rays of the sun, the flow of the wind, and the sound of the rain. But I did not wish to discard the elements that directly speak to the body and spirit.

“I continually want to create living spaces that are integrated with nature so people can really feel that they are living.

“At times, the intrusion of nature into a building can be cold or uncomfortable, [however] it ultimately leads to robust and pure experiences of space,” Tadao says.

One of the best examples, he says, is an early progressive residence he started in 1975.

[caption id="attachment_74414" align="alignnone" width="1170"]Tadao Ando Row House in Sumiyoshi Row House in Sumiyoshi, 1975-76[/caption]

“At Row House in Sumiyoshi [also called Azuma House], a small residence in Osaka, an umbrella is necessary to access the bathroom when it is raining. The house does not contain heating or air conditioning.

“When the client came to me and asked me what he would do when it became too cold in the house, I told him to wear a sweater. When he asked me what would happen if it got even colder, I told him to wear many sweaters.

“Initially, when the house was first constructed, it was criticised for its difficulty of use, but recently it has been commended as a net-zero [carbon footprint] house. It’s funny how things change,” Tadao says softly.

Right now, he is busy undertaking an ambitious plan to transform the Bourse de commerce — the historic stock exchange in Paris — into a museum for businessman and art collector François Pinault.

“When I look back at my past work, the boldest buildings were typically realised in the presence of a brave and understanding client.

“Yukio Futagawa, a dear friend, mentor, and photographer who passed away in 2013, used to say that ‘Fifty percent of what makes great architecture is the power of the client’.

“I think that only human power can create a human architecture,” Tadao says emphatically.

Indeed in all he says and writes he emphasises the critical importance of integrating nature into architecture and warns against an over-reliance on computers.

[caption id="attachment_74412" align="alignnone" width="1170"]Tadao Ando church on the water Church on the Water[/caption] [caption id="attachment_74411" align="alignnone" width="1170"]Tadao Ando church on the water Church on the Water[/caption]

“Over the years I have worked with a range of clients with distinct personalities, including Issey Miyake, Soichiro Fukutake of the Benesse Corporation, Mr. and Ms. Pulitzer of the Pulitzer Arts Foundation, Giorgio Armani, Luciano Benetton, Tom Ford, Karl Lagerfeld, François Pinault etc, many of these clients have become my close friends.

“Relationships between architects and clients play a considerable role in forging architectural culture, but in modern times, these relationships have begun to vanish,” Tadao says.

Since setting up shop in 1969, Tadao Ando has designed more than 200 buildings. His iconic status now rivals that of Le Corbusier, the man who sparked his initial interest in architecture when he was in his early 20s. Tadao now splits his time between teaching, volunteering and special projects.

“It is essential to incorporate nature into architecture, whether by materiality or element. The feeling of warmth is important in a residence, but even moreso is the integration of the structure in nature.”

When working at his own Studio Oyodo, Tadao explains that he structured the office “to be one connected space”.

“It is crucial to me that sound and information spread throughout the building,” he says. When it comes to hiring architects, he takes a similarly direct approach.

“When I make decisions to hire new young staff, I tend to look at their faces. I have always thought of a person’s face as a doorway to their feelings and thoughts. Specifically, if their eyes are bright and gleaming, I will know that they will have a firm resolve and be passionate about their work.”

Tadao Ando Architect & Associates tadao-ando.com

[caption id="attachment_74413" align="alignnone" width="1170"]Tadao Ando church of the light Tadao Ando seated within Church on the Water[/caption]abc
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Modernist Architecture And Australiana Collide

What is the ultimate Australian dream house? What does it look like and how does it function? What is its design driven by? Given that we are blessed with some of the world’s most stunning natural flora, surely it includes connection to the landscape. No matter your personal aesthetic, leanings and tastes, everyone benefits from living in and amongst nature. This was particualry the case for a Sydney couple and their Newport Beach property. Located on a steeply sloping waterfront block facing a tranquil tidal beach, a flotilla of boats and the vast expanse of Pittwater, the Newport House brief was to allow nature to lead, offering maximum seclusion and connection to its surrounds and outlook. “The clients’ brief was for a house offering sanctuary,” says architect Koichi Takada, “a place simultaneously for both refuge and frequent entertaining. Away from the public eye, without being isolated or reclusive.” Koichi, in collaboration with JGroup Projects & Development, quicly uncovered that the concept also needed to reflect the owner’s love of the outdoors; an openness of space and beach lifestyle, offering constant opportunities to connect with nature. Respecting the site’s natural ground levels, Koichi and team created a series of artificial rock or floating platforms that are presented as a sequence of cantilevered concrete slabs that float above recessed stacked-stone cladded podium. This maximizes the sense of levitation as the slabs are elegantly tapered to a finer point water-wards, with the living and dining area particularly designed to appear as a floating box. Koichi Takada Architects Newport House cc Tom Ferguson dining Koichi Takada Architects Newport House cc Tom Ferguson dining Large floor-to-ceiling internal sliding doors, floor-to-ceiling glazing, skylights, and dramatically oversized cantilevered balconies are used to effortlessly connect occupants with each other and with their surroundings, outlook and nature. Breaking down the building’s large 1,600 square metre footprint, interior spaces were programmed as inviting ‘pockets’ over four main levels, creating a sense of intimacy and warmth in even the largest open-plan. Appreciating the psychological impact and beauty of early morning light, four bedrooms were positioned on the upper entry level, with light drawn from the rooftop, offering guests the joyous warmth and feel of early sunlight across a floor and space. An open-plan living area, show kitchen and rear functional kitchen occupy the third level, with informal spaces – including a home theatre, bar, gym and casual entertaining spaces – positioned on the fourth floor as you move closer to the beach and relaxed waterside setting. Overlooking and offering access to the garden, beach and Pittwater a half level below is the resort-style infinity pool. Koichi Takada Architects Newport House cc Tom Ferguson outdoor living Koichi Takada Architects Newport House cc Tom Ferguson outdoor kitchen All materials are meticulously married and detailed to seamlessly connect exterior and interior spaces, to create a seamless organic flow, enhance the perception of space, and, importantly, to speak of the surrounding landscape. Particularly inspired by the “hues and textures of the area’s sand, bush and water”, key elements include the sandstone stack-stone feature walls, creamy, whitish-grey in-situ concrete walls, bleached European Oak and limestone flooring, soft sandstone-coloured stack stone feature walls, and ‘invisible’ floor to ceiling Vitrocsa glass. To fully experience the site’s glorious changing light through the hours, days and seasons, Koichi finds the beauty in the collision of European Modernist architecture and the natural materials and flora Australia is known for. A stunning and striking piece of design chemistry. Koichi Takada koichitakada.com Sarah Jayne Studios sarahjaynestudios.design H Interior Design hinteriordesign.com.au JGroup Projects & Development jgroupprojects.com.au Dissection Information Exterior batons by Covet International Interior marble flooring (bathrooms, front kitchen) from CDK Stone Laminam tiles in bathrooms from Living Tiles Carpet in bedrooms from Cavalier Bremworth Wall paneling (master bedroom, office) from Pelle Leathers Wallpaper in theatre room from Instyle Wallcoverings Paint (internal and external) from Dulux Marble on exterior façade from My Stone Sandstone on exterior façade from Eco Outdoor Joinery (front kitchen, master suite, theatre) from Briggs Veneer Joinery (prep kitchen, front kitchen, master suite, office, bedroom, theatre) from Laminex Joinery in BBQ Area from New Age Veneers Stonetops (prep kitchen, powder rooms, bathrooms, master ensuite, lift) from Caeserstone Coffee table from Artifex Coffee table from Mark Tuckey Rugs from Armadillo & Co Bench & lounge chairs from MCM House Custom dining table in formal dining from Artifex Dining chairs in formal dining from Jardan Dining setting in informal dining from Anibou Furniture Kitchen stools from Mr Frag Outdoor Furniture from Eco Outdoor Hanging Chair from Byron Bay Hanging Chairs Master robe storage from Sagitine Accessories from Dinosaur Designs, Hub Furniture and Lumu Interiors Lighting supplied by Fred International, LA Lounge and Spence & Lyda Newform Tapware in kitchen from Harvey Norman Commercial Billi Zip Tap from Harvey Norman Commercial Abey Sink in kitchen and at BBQ from Harvey Norman Commercial Miele kitchen appliances from Harvey Norman Commercial Sub Zero Wolf kitchen appliances Parisi sanitaryware and tapware from Harvey Norman Commercial Miele laundry appliances from Harvey Norman Commercial Koichi Takada Architects Newport House cc Tom Ferguson exterior pool Koichi Takada Architects Newport House cc Tom Ferguson living Koichi Takada Architects Newport House cc Tom Ferguson formal dining Koichi Takada Architects Newport House cc Tom Ferguson bathroom Koichi Takada Architects Newport House cc Tom Ferguson entrance Koichi Takada Architects Newport House cc Tom Ferguson tilted door Koichi Takada Architects Newport House cc Tom Ferguson timber screens Koichi Takada Architects Newport House cc Tom Ferguson rooftop garden We think you might also like Brighton Residence by Rob Mills Architecture & Interiors abc
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Life In A Glass Castle

Brickworks latest collection, Poesia, is all about fine quality, craft traditions and the refined beauty of Italian glass making. It was designed in Italy and took years to perfect its purity and crispness of glass all the while maintaining durability and strength of bricks. The clear glass brick is a first for the Australian market. The collection’s solid glass construction allows architects and designers to create dynamic light-filled interiors, dazzling gallery spaces and transparent volumes the flow and interconnect. The bricks can be used internally or externally while still providing thermal shock resistance. Available in standard form (230mm x 110mm x 76mm) and in a range of 3 different finishes: natural, polished and frosted. The range also comes in five different designs: from the pure white of Arctic Crystal, to the calming blues of Aqua Marine and Blue Sapphire, to the warm Golden Amber and moody Smokey Quartz. Brickworks australbricks.com.au Brickworks Glass Bricks orange Brickworks Glass Bricks blue Brickworks Glass Bricks colours Brickworks Glass Bricks coloursabc
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Sculptural Architecture Makes Its Way Inside

When we throw the term ‘property market’ around in Australia, it usually comes with negative connotations. The high cost of living and our ever-shrinking floor plans are the first conversation points to leave our lips, and while these are inarguably problematic, it often takes coming from a different property market to gain a bit of perspective on our silver linings. For their latest residential project, Technē Architecture + Interior Design was commissioned by a Hong Kong-based family of five looking to rejuvenate one of the oldest properties on Victoria’s Mornington Peninsula. The historic property along this scenic stretch of coastline dates back to the 1880s and, while the existing home miraculously didn’t require too much of an intervention, the family did want to expand its footprint for a growing family. This footprint itself presented as the first challenge. Far from the simple, clear-edged beach lots or land we’re accustomed to, the project, called Eastwell House, required the navigation of two sites – or, as Senior Designer Jonny Mitchell describes it, “separate, rectangular portions of land that touch each other.” “It looks like one is cantilevered onto another,” he says. “The existing house, because of where it is [on the eastern end], didn’t give us too many options for where to locate the new structures. In the morning [the family] wanted views over the tennis court to the east, and on the opposite end of the day they wanted to make the most of the west-facing garden.” After looking at several different options, Jonny and his team settled on two interlinked pavilions joined together with glazed glass transitions. These new structures allowed Technē to deliver the extra spaces the client wanted – bedrooms, living area and study – without compromising the integrity of the older building. Eastwell House Techne cc Tom Blachford open plan The desired space wasn’t just horizontal. In Hong Kong, properties tend to be much more compact than what can be achieved within the Australian vernacular – and particularly within a coastal climate. To maximise ceiling height and natural light, Technē conceived of a sloping, cathedral-style ceiling within the second pavilion. Combined with the glazed glass links, the effect is one of quintessential coastal Australiana. That is, breezy and light-filled. Since the Hong Kong-based family only uses Eastwell House several times a year (“Christmas and maybe Easter”), the interiors were left minimal in its truest sense. There wasn’t a whole lot of fitted furniture that was necessary to the renovation. Instead, the focus was on delivering details that could bridge the old and now aspects of the home. “The material palette was the link between new and old,” says Jonny. “The existing house is quite traditional, with timber lining boards. We were keen to make the new stretches very contemporary in terms of their detailing and forms, but we tried to be as respectful as we could with existing rooms. We added consistency with the timber linings, then the flooring changes between timber in the main spaces and bluestone in the traditional spaces. Upstairs in the existing house, the bedrooms are all Baltic pine that was refurbished. Eastwell House Techne cc Tom Blachford dining “Finally, we wrapped the [external] roof cladding up and over the walls and up to the roof of the structure, partly to break down that building mass with two materials and to give a link to the existing house. We didn’t want it to be too jarring.” The final product, a combination of new details (the deceptively simple, refined staircase with its steel balustrade and open-tread stair) and odes to more traditional forms (the sloped and sculptural roof, further echoed in the angular internal detailing), is testament to the fact our inherited past can be sensitively – and effectively – reconciled with the forms of our future. Technē Architecture + Interior Design techne.com.au Photography by Tom Blachford Dissection Information Exterior Hardwood timber decking from Britton Timber Bluestone pavers from Signorino Horizontal timber weatherboard cladding from Tait timber. Interior Timber veneer joinery in oak white wash from Fethers Fireplace render in Waterstone concrete plaster from Bishop Décor Tara honed stone benchtops from Signorino Inax YT wall tiles in bathrooms from Arte Domus 220W European oak floor boards from Tongue n Groove Flos IC suspension lights in study nook from Euroluce Flos Mini Glo Ball in bathroom & ensuite from Euroluce Highline linear pendant light in kitchen by Archier from Rakumba Ceiling fan from BigAssFans Kaldewei Classic Duo oval bath from Reece Undermount vanity basin from Studio Bagno Astra Walker Icon tapware Muuto towel hooks for bathroom in grey Leather Joinery pulls from Made Measure Eastwell House Techne cc Tom Blachford living room Eastwell House Techne cc Tom Blachford study FLOS pendant Eastwell House Techne cc Tom Blachford extension outdoors Eastwell House Techne cc Tom Blachford exterior Eastwell House Techne cc Tom Blachford extention addition We think you might also like Portsea House by Mitsuori Architectsabc
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Penelope Seidler One On One With Stephen Todd

Penelope Seidler is not the kind of great woman to have ever stood behind a great man. Throughout their almost five decades of married life, the architect and noted patron of the arts stood firmly beside her husband – the feisty Austrian-born modernist, Harry Seidler. Penelope was 18 and studying at the University of Sydney when she met the celebrated young architect in 1957. They married in December 1958. Seidler was thirty-five. “I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life but when I married Harry I knew I didn’t want to just be an architect’s wife,” she says today, at home in the cool concrete interior of the house the couple designed at Killara, on Sydney’s north shore. “All he and his friends talked about was architecture. So I switched to architecture in order to enter Harry’s world on an equal footing. I graduated five years later.” By that time the young couple were living in the penthouse of the 10-storey Elizabeth Bay apartment building Seidler had delivered in 1960. The Ithaca Gardens block is a stoic, sandy brick oblong dissected by an expressed concrete grid. Perfectly oriented north for solar exposure and impeccable harbour views, it is washed by the breezes sweeping up the hill from Beare Park. But the pair wanted to expand their horizons – professionally as well as personally – to design a house together that could become their forever home. By the time their first child was a toddler they decided to scout around for a block of land on which to build their family residence. Penelope Seidler Stephen Todd cc Tony Amos Killara House “I said I’d go as far as Killara,” Penelope remembers. “Having grown up in Wahroonga I wasn’t keen to settle too far away from the city again.” Fourteen kilometres north of Sydney on the edges of the Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park, Killara was established when the railway opened there in 1899. It was planned as “a gentleman’s suburb” of expansive mansions and sparse commerce. At Wahroonga, a 25-minute drive further north along the A3, is still to be found the heritage-listed childhood home of Penelope Seidler née Evatt, a palatial, red brick and colonnaded Georgian Revival manor designed by architect Stuart Traill and built in 1940.

Wahroonga is also, curiously enough, the site of Harry Seidler’s first Australian project, the commission that brought him from Oscar Niemeyer’s Rio office to our shores: the private house for his family, today known as Rose Seidler House, completed a decade before the couple met.

Penelope Evatt was born into a well-to-do political family of liberal convictions. Her father, the Hon. Clive Evatt QC was a Labor minister during World War II when Penelope was a young child. His elder brother Dr H.V. Evatt was Attorney General then Minister for External Affairs throughout the 1940s. (He was also widely rumoured to be the first Australian to own a Modigliani.) “It was a very tumultuous time and my father and uncle were often in the news which didn’t go down so well at Pymble Ladies’ College,” remembers Penelope. “I was probably the only girl there from a left-leaning family. I felt very under siege.” Penelope Seidler Stephen Todd cc Tony Amos tulip chairs While her two siblings followed their father into law, and he would have had her do the same, Penelope had a penchant for culture and yearned to become involved in the visual arts. Except that visual art was not yet a certified subject for study at the time, ineligible as a matriculation merit. “It was a drop-out subject.” At the University of Sydney she enrolled to study philosophy, history, anthropology – the liberal arts – but as luck would have it other students of her age included Robert Hughes and Clive James who would become fast friends. “We were all just one big happy family and I was having a wonderful time!” Not long after graduating, James moved to London to establish himself as one of the greatest TV presenters of his generation and Hughes soon followed to launch his career as an international art critic and cultural historian. But by then, Penelope had met Harry. “He was older, and so sure of what he wanted to do, unlike all these other layabouts I’d been used to,” she laughs. “He’d still not decided to stay in Australia and he did threaten to leave from time to time. But after he did his first house for his family he’d become quite famous and was getting other commissions and that’s why he stayed.” Penelope Seidler Stephen Todd cc Tony Amos The Killara House, essentially four volumes – or half-floors – suspended around a void, is composed of reinforced concrete, basalt, timber, white concrete blocks and quartzite. A more definite commitment to the long term is difficult to imagine. By coincidence, ‘killara’ is an Aboriginal word meaning ‘permanent’ or ‘always there’. Approached by a concrete entry bridge, the kitchen, dining area and library are on the top level; the living space and main bedroom beneath. The third level was originally a dedicated children’s wing – what was formerly known as the playroom is the only volume with direct access to the lush native garden. Today it is an ancillary sitting room, overseen by a monumental Frank Stella painting. The lowest floor contains a studio, guest suite and service room. “I live mostly on the upper two levels these days,” notes Penelope. “It may seem silly for a single person to occupy such an immense house on their own, but this was and always will be my home.” Bauhaus-inspired but resolutely Australian, it is embedded in the middle of its steep, sloping site above a creek, as if part of the tectonic plate itself. “In fact, I sometimes think it would look quite silly anywhere else,” says its coauthor. Harry & Penelope Seidler House was awarded the Australian Institute of Architects’ Wilkinson Award the year it was completed, in 1967. A brass plaque sits at the front door to this day. As director of Harry Seidler & Associates, Penelope spends most weekdays at the Milsons Point Offices & Apartment building of 1973. Her city residence is in the Cove Apartments in The Rocks (completed in 2004), the last residential building Seidler completed in Sydney – two years before his death from septicemia following a stroke, in 2006. Penelope Seidler Stephen Todd cc Tony Amos living room It’s from here Madame Seidler sets out almost every evening to some cultural event or society dinner, seemingly indefatigable. She sits on the boards of the Biennale of Sydney, the National Gallery of Australia Foundation and the Institute of Architects Foundation. Since 1973 she has been a member of the International Council of the Museum of Modern Art in New York, and in 2011 was made a Chevalier of the Légion d’Honneur of France. “Penelope Seidler is inspiring for the fact that she has always taken the initiative to educate herself,” says architect and academic Melonie Bayl-Smith. “She has never sat back and waited for the world to reveal itself to her. As an architect she’s shown a way of being outside the practice and that in turn nourishes those around her.” Penelope Seidler is a great woman - une grande dame - indeed. To see her enter a room is to watch her cut a fine swathe; people make way for her not because she demands deference but because she inspires respect. She’s part of what I like to think of as the Strapping Generation, that breed of unabashed cultural actors like her classmates Clive James and Robert Hughes, like Gough Whitlam, Germaine Greer, Patrick White; big characters with bold ideas unafraid to air them. Iconoclasts more than icons, a very Australian rabble, butterflies of the mind. Harry Seidler & Associates seidler.net.au Photography by Tony Amos Penelope Seidler Stephen Todd cc Tony Amos Frank Stella painting Penelope Seidler Stephen Todd cc Tony Amos library We think you might also like to read our interview with Bill Hensonabc
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Indoor Outdoor Spaces At One With Nature

In dealing with the harsh, tropical climate, many modern houses are often closed-up, glass edifices where occupants are divorced from nature. In Singapore particularly, where land is scarce and also expensive, homeowners often demand to build up to the maximum area, leaving the garden space an unusable patch of green (or even tiled up flooring, for that matter). The two-storey Verandah House designed by Formwerkz Architects eschews such an approach. As its name implies, it celebrates union with the outdoors through the thoughtful positioning of multiple verandas for homeowners to enjoy not only shelter from rain, but also shade and breeze. “As the family unit is not sizable – a couple with three sons – the spaces consist primarily of communal spaces and minimal bedrooms for the family, instead of maximising built-up area, which would have resulted in possibly many rooms with redundant function,” explains lead architect and one of the firm’s founders Alan Tay. Verandah House Formwerkz Architects cc Fabian Ong verandah The house is located uniquely at the end of a long driveway, bound by neighbours on all four sides with no road frontage. The client desired for communal spaces to entertain different groups of people at any one time as well as connectivity to outdoors. Entering the home from the car porch, one glimpses a miniature courtyard garden in the first storey with a further vista of the pool and landscaping beyond. The living, dining, study and family rooms are arranged in an L shape around the rectangular pool. Verandas and courtyards with greenery and lush foliage weave in between the spaces, binding them to each other and also the exterior panorama. “The house is conceptualised to maximise porosity and at the same time to buffer weather elements in the tropics with deep overhangs. The different pockets of communal spaces form a continuous extroverted space, and are akin to pavilion-like spaces. But rather than connections by linkways, the spaces are connected by verandas that co-join the pockets of spaces on the ground floor,” says Alan. Verandah House Formwerkz Architects cc Fabian Ong lounge room Glass sliding doors wrap each pocket of space, the transparency affording a sense of seamlessness between the indoors and out. “When opened or closed, the outdoor and indoor spaces are continuously redefined, blurring the boundaries between exterior and interior,” adds Tay. On the second storey four bedrooms sit in a row, looking out to an open terrace and a generous rooftop garden beyond. Structural provisions are provided at the current second storey garden for further expansion. It’s a smart gesture that creates yet another area for entertainment if necessary; otherwise, it acts as a more private garden space. Says Alan, “the second storey garden area reclaimed a landscaped ground plane that would otherwise have been lost to built-up areas.” Nature, it appears, is always at the heart of the design. Such a model of living creates carefree, comfortable living, where architecture, nature and occupant function as one. Formwerkz Architects formwerkz.com Photography by Fabian Ong Dissection Information Fixtures & fittings in bathroom and kitchen from W.Atelier Pte Ltd Homogeneous Tiles from GF+A Global Pte Ltd Golden Teak from Perswood Pte Ltd Aluminum framed doors, windows, and fixed glass from K&H Facade Pte Ltd Verandah House Formwerkz Architects cc Fabian Ong staircase Verandah House Formwerkz Architects cc Fabian Ong timber panelling Verandah House Formwerkz Architects cc Fabian Ong pool Verandah House Formwerkz Architects cc Fabian Ong garden Verandah House Formwerkz Architects cc Fabian Ong courtyard We think you might also like Damansara House by Endeavour Landabc