About Habitusliving

 

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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The Art Of Functional Bathroom Design

The bathroom as personal retreat is a narrative that never grows old. It’s the one space within the home offering spa-like sanctuary, where the worries of the day can literally be washed away. As such, architects and designers necessarily spend a considerable amount of time getting everything from the layout to the aesthetic just right. A functional bathroom environment that works for the client depends on good design. For Thomas Mckenzie, Principal of Melbourne-based architectural practice Winwood Mckenzie, functionality is one of the most important considerations in the smallest room in the house. “A great bathroom should be effortless to use and maintain,” he says. “So every fixture, fitting and material needs to be thought about to ensure that.” Winwood Mckenzie Art House cc Sean Fennessy custom joinery Winwood Mckenzie Art House cc Sean Fennessy cabnetry His recently completed bathroom for Art House, a 19th century two-storey terrace, exemplifies this and is outstanding in both form and function as a result. Best expressed in the joinery, the hard-working timber unit houses plenty of storage and a surprise soft pink vanity with make-up lighting and drawer. The pink works as a playful accent within an otherwise neutral space, applied to the joinery’s exterior trim and featured in the India Mahdavi-designed cement floor tiles. These are in turn the perfect complement to the white penny rounds that wrap the room’s curved corners. Winwood Mckenzie Art House cc Sean Fennessy archway Winwood Mckenzie Art House cc Sean Fennessy tiles “The design’s semi-circles, circles and arches are a response to the arches and cornices in the original house,” explains Thomas, in reference to the concept’s predominant motifs. “And we’ve created a space within a heritage house where the crafting of the elements within that room makes for a kind of contemporary ornament.” Indeed, the material palette is highly textural, creating visual interest from every angle. But for all its good looks, the space is also extremely practical, with the materials specifically selected for their hard-wearing, easy to maintain surface finish. In the bathroom of Northcote Residence, another recently completed renovation by Winwood Mckenzie, the design is minimalist, but no less impressive. Blue terrazzo flooring wraps the walls and also forms the inbuilt joinery, producing a singular, cohesive aesthetic. Clean lines and crisp edges make the small space easy to manoeuvre and Thomas’ choice of blue for the terrazzo has a calming effect. “It evokes ideas of pools, change rooms and bathing. The rest of the house is neutral and so the bathroom was a space to create something with a more unique character,” he says. While these bathroom designs appear decidedly different, they share a commitment to craftsmanship and materiality that translates into incredibly atmospheric interiors. Regardless of size and scale, Winwood Mckenzie has delivered two custom bathroom spaces that are as user-friendly as they are sophisticated and high-end. Photography by Sean Fennessy (Art House) and Tom Blanchford (Northcote Residence) Winwood Mckenzie Northcote House cc Tom Blachford counter Winwood Mckenzie Northcote House cc Tom Blachford joinery We think you might also like to read about the Archier x Lindsey Wherrett collaborationabc
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Journey To The Source: Celebrating Louis Poulsen’s Iconic PH Lamps In Denmark

For the event 3 Days of Danish Design in late May, Louis Poulsen’s showroom on Gammel Strand in Copenhagen was transformed into ‘The Louis Poulsen Makery’ – a mini factory and café hybrid where craftspeople showcased the assembly process for some of Poul Henningsen’s best-known lamps. The special presentation was a celebration of the 60th anniversary of three of those lamps: the PH Artichoke, PH 5 and PH 5 Mini, which have been released in special editions to mark the occasion. Paul McGillick travelled there for HabitusLiving and immersed himself in the oh-so satisfying culture of Danish design. On a beautifully sunny Monday morning I arrived in Copenhagen – surely the design capital of the world. With most of the shops closed, I decided that the clever Danes had designed the four-day week. It was just a public holiday. But from the moment you get off the plane, you know that this is a place that invests a lot in the quality of life. Poul Kjærholm spent a career designing the perfect chair. And Poul Henningsen spent a lifetime designing the perfect light. He worked with manufacturer Louis Poulsen, design royalty in Denmark. And fittingly for royalty, their showroom is just across the canal from the Christiansborg Palace. In what I presume was once a typical narrow-fronted five-storey terrace house, the showroom is discreet from the outside. Inside, though, it is magical – an example of the newest thinking on showroom design. No longer a shop, the new showroom offers an experience. The products present as a family in a space designed to elicit their inherent values. From the street, a neat window arrangement of PH5 lights invite us in where a grand staircase then leads us up to the main display floor, enticed by a glowing clutch of Artichoke pendants reflected in the perimeters of the glazed void. In fact, Louis Poulsen is on the edge of one of Copenhagen’s main shopping zones, which includes most of the leading brands – an intriguing network of designer shops and design studios. Repeatedly I encounter products and displays designed with an engaging elegance. This is a design tradition so beautifully summed up by Henningsen’s lights: useful, beautiful and functional. It is a tradition of designing things high in aesthetic value, but which work at the everyday level. And it is a tradition that constantly reinvents itself – highlighted by new versions of Henningsen’s PH 5 and PH Artichoke lights, along with a new version of the PH 5, the Mini. Now in brushed, polished copper the five-tiered PH 5 and 72-leaved PH Artichoke lights celebrate 60 years of illuminating, creating and animating space – sculpting in light. Louis Poulsen louispoulsen.com [gallery columns="4" ids="76061,76062,76064,76065,76066,76067,76068,76069,76070,76071,76072,76073,76074,76075,76076,76077,76078,76079,76080,76081"]abc
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Growing Up Together In The Armadale Residence By Pleysier Perkins

Dominique and Duncan Stewart first renovated their Armadale house in 2006, asking Pleysier Perkins to enlarge and renovate what was a double-storey warehouse. They extended the ground and upper floor to turn it into a three-bedroom house with a roof deck at first-floor level. Ten years on and three children later, the Stewarts approached Pleysier Perkins to add another level, as a “hide-out” for the parents. This would provide Dominique and Duncan with a separate and more generous master suite and give their children the whole middle level of the house. The concept was to perch a penthouse on top, set back from the existing view line and put it in contrast to the old building. Pleysier Perkins describes the project as “an adventurous and complicated journey.” They originally considered prefabricated options for a quicker solution, but the local heritage overlay limited the height of the building. So, they engaged a builder to carefully insert new steel members to support another level on the existing structure, taking off the existing roof and protecting the interior all in the midst of winter. “Everything is possible, if you only put your mind to it and have a good team,” says Berit Barton, Studio Director of Pleysier Perkins. “We’re proud that we proved people wrong who said it would be ‘too hard,’ ‘nuts’ or even ‘impossible’.” Armadale Residence Pleysier Perkins cc Michael Kai exterior Armadale Residence Pleysier Perkins cc Michael Kai kitchen The top floor is accessed via a spiral staircase strategically situated beneath a skylight, providing both a sculptural and practical solution. “It was the only way to fit stairs that wouldn’t eat up valuable space – it fit right in the space of the old walk-in robe. The skylight introduces even more drama and light into the beautiful sculpture,” says Berit. Up the stairs, the new top floor has a master bedroom with a daybed and desk, generous ensuite and extensive walk-in robe. It captures views of the city, preserves the skylights on the middle level and introduces more built-in joinery to optimise storage and space for the family of five. The penthouse is a warm and relaxed environment with a simple palette of timber, natural stone and soft whites and greys. “The penthouse level is designed to feel like a different world, like a holiday retreat, inspired by hotels they had stayed at, but with a more homely and private touch,” says Berit. Externally, the sharp black lines of the penthouse addition contrast as well as complement the existing building’s rough render finish. Armadale Residence Pleysier Perkins cc Michael Kai living room Armadale Residence Pleysier Perkins cc Michael Kai study As Dominique and Duncan’s family grows up, so too does their house. Despite the very small footprint, by going up with a penthouse, they now have a four-bedroom home with a backyard and double garage. “This sets another example for rethinking our urban living and reassessing our priorities with regards to quality over quantity,” says Berit. Pleysier Perkins pleysierperkins.com.au Photography by Michael Kai Armadale Residence Pleysier Perkins cc Michael Kai staircase Armadale Residence Pleysier Perkins cc Michael Kai bedroom Armadale Residence Pleysier Perkins cc Michael Kai bathroom Armadale Residence Pleysier Perkins cc Michael Kai hallway Armadale Residence Pleysier Perkins cc Michael Kai backyard We think you might also like Yangsan House by Architects Group Raumabc
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Celebrating New Hand Knotted Rugs From Designer Rugs And Hare + Klein

The latest collaboration from Designer Rugs saw the innovative company re-teaming with interior designers Hare & Klein, the result of which was showcased art-exhibit style at COMA Gallery. With rugs hung like an art exhibition of semi abstract paintings at a special one off event, the Sydney design scene’s best and brightest were out to see the new range, including David Bush, Richard Munao and designer Eliose Fotheringham. Designer Rugs is a renowned name in Australian design, and has been collaborating with artists and creative mavericks for over three decades. Hare + Klein is an award-winning interior design studio known for their expertise in delivering considered, award winning designs. The match between the brands is natural. “The first range by Hare and Klein in 2014 became an instant success,” says Design Rugs Managing Director Yosi Tal on the collaboration, “The subtlety of the range is its strength. The textures and colours used are more reminiscent of abstract paintings on canvas, crafted by hand from silk, hemp and wool in place of oil paint and raw canvas.” Speaking about the range of hand knot rugs at the Designer Rugs launch in Sydney, Principal and Design Director of Hare and Klein Meryl Hare remarked, “We have applied our philosophy of timeless design to the new collection of rugs. They are hand knotted and will last for many years, so the designs, which are mostly abstract, employ a combination of materials such as Tibetan wool, hemp and silk, and range of colours that will complement both classic and contemporary interiors as well as many furnishing styles.” The launch of the range, like the evening, was a knock out success, and another notch in both companies’ belts. Delivering unique and considered design is rarely so perfect for a gallery. Designer Rugs designerrugs.com.au Hare + Klein hareklein.com.au Event Photography by Sean Foster [gallery columns="4" ids="75927,75928,75929,75930,75931,75932,75933,75934,75935,75936,75937,75938,75939,75940,75941,75942,75943,75944,75945,75946,75947,75948,75949,75950,75951,75952,75953,75954,75955,75956,75957,75958,75959,75960,75961,75962,75963,75964,75965,75966,75967,75968,75969,75970,75971,75972,75973,75974,75975,75976,75977,75978,75979,75980,75981,75982,75983,75984,75985,75986,75987,76004,75988,75989,75990,75991,75992,75993,75994,75995,75996,75997,75998,75999,76000,76001,76002,76003"]abc
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The Habitus Top Ten From The Thailand International Furniture Fair 2018

Set to become Asia’s most stylish fair, the Thailand International Furniture Fair 2018 sees a celebration toward the creative and innovative reintroduction of the regional’s culture, craftsmanship, and industry. Here are the Habitus top picks.  

1. Spot Coffee Table

Created by: ROOM Lab Practicality for everyday living. Versatile and responsive to different lifestyles. The timeless tie between the luxury natural stone and the warm Oakwood comes with a removable wooden tray to give an extra layer of space for storage and decoration. A void to fill with mood and tone of the day. Find out more: www.roomlab.design  

2. Ternary Chair

Created by: THELIFESHOP An easy chair in disguise. For those who prefers a minimalist item. The clean looking contemporary chair is a disguise of the 3 craftsmanship of wood, metal, and interlace. The union of the 3 materials is an incognito to the untrained eyes, whereas the truth is in the details. Find out more: www.thelifeshop.co.th  

3. Toom Hanging Lamp

Created by: JOAR The beauty of imperfection from the honesty of the material. The seamless and translucent stone sculpture, crafted from the abundance waste of the industrial mine, to give a soothing effect through a minimalist effort of less is more. The oriental ‘brushstroke’ effect from the hand of nature ensure each lamp a unique piece in the world. Find out more: www.solidsenseliving.com  

4. The Intersect Stool

Created by: Manifesto Designs The heavy-metal stool. The process of making this stool is a fusion language of art and science, with the laser-cut steel plates to precisely celebrate the beauty of the mathematical pattern. The pairing of acrylic and steel resulted in an elegance beyond the expectation of an industrial style. Rock on. Find out more: www.manifestodesigns.com  

5. Star Diffuser

Created by: Vuudh The aroma with style. The next evolution from the award-winning diffuser takes the physical language of a starfruit, an auspicious symbol in the tradition of the region. Handcrafted with high precision for the doubled glass wall moulding technique, to ensure a delicate execution to enhance the visual aspect of the scent. Find out more: www.vuudh.com  

6. Zen Table

Created by: Philos The opposite attraction of Zen meets Art Nouveau. This side table is a marriage of a minimalist Ash wood and an ornamental metal work. The wooden top works as a display box to enhance anything on it into a décor piece on the crafted stand. Find out more: www.philoscopenhagen.com  

7. PP Pubb Pouf

Created by: Ayodhya When a home needs a cosy craftwork. Inspired by the traditional reed mat from the northeast village of Thailand and reinvented with the wrap-around playfulness of handwoven polypropylene. Its durability and neutral design language can reside in both indoor and outdoor areas that need alleviation. Find out more: www.ayodhyatrade.com  

8. Galaxy Chair

Created by: Lookyang Design The futuristic seat to the rescue. Collected and made from the latex of the rubber plant, the future of the earth looks bright again with this experimental approach to sustainability. The sleek and sculptural form makes an environmental-friendly objet d’art for any active space and beyond. Find out more: +66863269074, lookyangrubber@gmail.com  

9. The Stillness through Movement Sofa Chair

Created by: Naughty & Arty Return of the bold colours. The fading hand-crafted skills of wood work and embroidery in the region are romantically revived in the form of this contemporary chair. The matrimony between the masculine language of the teak wood and the delicate feminine colour schemes is a feature décor for any space. Find out more: www.naughtyarty.com  

10. Pinto Tiffin

Created by: Charm-Learn Studio For that chic outdoor picnic. The traditional dining lifestyle of the region is reintroduced in the language of Ceramic stoneware and Porcelain, with the leather handle strap to execute the heritage look. The monotone choice of the tiffin makes an award-winning serve to celebrate the vibrancy of any food. Find out more: www.facebook.com/charmlearnstudio abc
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DesignByThem’s Latest Collection Offers A Fresh Take On Sustainable Design

It’s certainly not news that sustainability has been a primary fixation of the design world in recent years. With the traditional modes of production taking their toll on our natural resources, innovative ways of re-thinking the fundamentals of design production are becoming more important than ever to help us move towards a circular economy – that is, an economy capable of regeneration. Yet perhaps paradoxically, one of the difficulties facing sustainable design is the design component itself. Sustainable products have been traditionally typecast as antithetical to style. And if a product doesn’t look good, especially when considering something as conspicuous as furniture, then there is a decent chance that Design Hunters like you and I, simply won’t be interested – no matter how green it may be. The Sydney-based design studio DesignByThem, however, has been challenging this stereotype by focusing on pieces that strike a balance between ecological production and considered design. While eco-consciousness has been central to the studio’s ethos since their inception in 2007, their most recent collection exemplifies the efforts made in recent years to move away from raw materials. Their lively Confetti range of furniture, comprising of dining tables, stools, and benches for use indoors and out – and with armchairs and lounges to come, represents the studio’s latest venture into innovative sustainable design. Affirming their ‘Bauhaus-meets-fun’ aesthetic philosophy, the pieces in the Confetti collection marry sensible form with distinctive, colourful patterns reminiscent of the paper dots favoured at celebrations. While the Confetti range may not be DesignByThem’s first experiment with stylish, sustainable furniture (their popular Butter chairs and stools are also fabricated from recycled plastic), it marks a notable addition to the studio’s repertoire. All pieces within the Confetti range are fashioned entirely from 100 per cent recycled plastic, and the recycled component isn’t hidden. “Reused and recycled materials are often hidden, but we feel that they should be celebrated,” explain studio founders Sarah Gibson and Nick Karlovasitis. “Not only because they are sustainable, but because they can be beautiful and create conversation.” The Confetti range is also significant for embodying DesignByThem’s increasing embrace of multi-sector product development. Multi-sector product design, however, considers the design process from a holistic perspective: by taking into account the entire production chain, design houses are able to move away from linear product development and single-use items. The world’s most forward-thinking design studios are now instead creating products that can be disassembled and recycled, prolonging the lifecycle of materials and reducing dependence on raw resources. Because DesignByThem’s Confetti collection integrates recycled plastic as an essential component of the design process, rather than as an afterthought, the studio is able to close the loop on its design process – without forfeiting style. With its appreciation of clean lines and playful forms, DesignByThem is set to redefine sustainability. DesignByThem designbythem.com Photography by Pete Daly DesignByThem Confetti Range GibsonKarlo cc Pete Daly family We think you might also like 10 Design Commandments For Apartment Livingabc
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Chris Haddad Of Archier On His Collaboration With Ceramicist Lindsey Wherrett

What made you decide to produce a range of handmade ceramic benchtop basins? All of our product designs typically come about through trying to answer a design problem that’s arisen from our architectural work. We had a couple of projects underway, including Arthur Street in West Hobart, and couldn’t find any basins on the market that quite fit our brief for something unique that has a strong narrative. So, we decided to source a range ourselves and Lindsey’s work was the perfect fit. How did the resulting relationship with Lindsey Wherrett come about? In our architectural work we’re interested in critical regionalism – architecture that has a strong connection to place, as such we push to use local materials, manufacturers and makers as much as we can. While we were looking at basin options for Arthur Street, the Director of our Tasmania Studio Josh Fitzgerald had seen Lindsey’s beautiful ceramics and suggested we commission her to create a new basin product. We were both so happy with the outcome that we decided to work with Lindsey to launch the basin as a commercial product available to the public. What distinguishes these basins from other products on the market? All of Lindsey’s basins are handmade and fired in a gas kiln, which creates greater opportunity for subtle variations in the form and surface of each piece. No two basins are exactly the same. The live flame and adjustable atmosphere within the kiln give rise to a range of glazes that show movement, colour changes and crackle, which are simply not achievable in an industrially produced product. In addition to the aesthetic advantages, Lindsey has developed the range of clays and glazes to best suit the functional demands of a domestic hand basin. Is there a design influence or inspiration behind the product? The thing that really drew us to Lindsey and sparked the basin idea in Josh’s mind was her ceramic planters, which we absolutely love. We were really comfortable with her exploring similar ideas and building upon this work as a framework for the basins. She created a number of prototypes to begin with and we spoke about the technical details and aesthetic options. The existing colour palette in Lindsey’s work is reminiscent of Mount Wellington, which is where Lindsey’s studio is located, and the basins’ six available glazes are Ice, Storm, Lichen, Stone, Earth and Frost. My personal favourite is Lichen because it reminds me of the mossy stones that cover the mountain. It also has an interesting variation of colours, from greens and oranges through to black. Does this product signal increased demand for custom-made bathroom products? There is definitely a growing demand for bespoke locally made products. People want ‘realness’ over products that are mass produced and are looking for something special, something with texture, uniqueness and a sense of tactility that not everyone else has. They want a product or feature piece that stands out and has a story behind it. As a result, they are becoming more interested in understanding how things are made and who was involved in the process. We spend a lot of time creating bespoke architecture for people and using custom-made products not only adds a richness to the design, but also allows clients to have a greater sense of ownership and stronger connection to their home. Archier archier.com.au Lindsay Wherrett lindseywherrett.com Cover photo by Ben Hosking Product photography by Haydn Cattach From L-R: Chris Haddad, Jon Kaitler, Josh FitzGerald, Chris Gilbert. Portrait by Benjamin Hosking  abc
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Habitus On The Ground: Celebrating The Launch Of The Annual Kitchen & Bathroom Edition

The Habitus Kitchen & Bathroom magazine is special edition with a special place in our hearts. For the fourth year running the team at Habitus, aided by our wide community of regional writers, photographers and of course architects and designers, has put together a special issue that focuses on kitchen and bathroom spaces within the scope of residential architecture. We found it fitting that the 2018 Habitus Kitchen & Bathroom edition was launched with a party. On the evening on Wednesday 13th July, hosted by our friends at Sub Zero Wolf, Publisher Raj Nandan, Brand Director Colleen Black, Editor Holly Cunneen and Guest Feature Editor Leanne Amodeo came together amongst peers to celebrate the public release of the special issue the following morning. In attendance were architects, designers (interior, product and industrial), photographers, architecture writers, design enthusiasts and many others within and around the architecture and design industry – though if the launch party was anything to go by it feels more like a community. Photography by Elleni Toumpas [gallery columns="4" ids="75665,75666,75667,75668,75669,75670,75671,75672,75673,75674,75675,75676,75677,75678,75679,75681,75682,75683,75684,75685,75686,75687,75688,75689,75690,75691,75692,75693,75694,75695,75696,75697,75698,75699,75700,75701,75702,75703,75704,75705,75706,75707,75708,75709,75710,75711,75712,75713,75714,75715,75716,75717,75718,75719,75720,75721,75722,75723,75724,75725,75726,75727,75728,75729,75730,75731,75732,75733,75734,75735,75736,75737,75738,75739,75740,75741,75742,75743,75744,75745,75746,75747,75748,75749,75750,75751,75752,75753,75754,75755,75756,75757,75758,75759,75760,75761,75762,75763,75764,75765,75766,75767,75769,75770,75771,75772,75773,75774"]abc
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The Heart And Soul Of Residential Design

Our interest and curiosity in beautifully designed homes remains as strong as ever, which is why this years Kitchen & Bathroom issue features a delicious mix of outstanding projects, topical themes and inspiring ideas. I’m happy to contribute a series of articles offering insight into the way designers and architects approach the heart and soul of residential design to ensure comfort and functionality are always prioritised.

The Light Idea looks at the importance of flexibility in kitchen lighting and the current trend for well-designed fittings that make a statement without being obtrusive. While Hidden Technologies investigates the need for finishes and surfaces that are just as hard working as they are good looking. Finally, Towards Relaxation and Retreat reveals the essential elements for creating the perfect bathroom.

I’m also honoured to interview Bill Granger, one of Australia’s finest restaurateurs and food writers. The very first cookbook I ever bought was Bill’s Sydney Food and to be able to speak to its author about the social significance of food and the role design plays in his brand and business was a real treat. I was struck by the emphasis he places on sharing and collaboration and his desire to keep on innovating; all significant topics that just so happen to underscore the themes of this issue’s content.

Leanne Amodeo Guest Feature Editor St Kilda Kitchen by David Flack. Photography by Sharyn Cairnsabc
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The First Word From Habitus #40 – The Kitchen & Bathroom Edition

What is the most important room of the house – the kitchen or bathroom? It’s a question over which I mused in preparation for this special issue of Habitus Kitchen & Bathroom. It’s a question that I took to our contributors, too. But the correct answer is that there is no correct answer; both are equally important. Together they nourish us in their respective – and complementary – ways. That’s why we’ve chosen to call the Habitus Kitchen & Bathroom Special the Nourish issue. Within the kitchen we store, prepare and cook the food that will nourish our bodies. But the kitchen has evolved past a space simply built to function. A modern kitchen is also a space in which we eat, relax, gather and entertain. The architect, interior and industrial designer each play their part in facilitating these societal and behavioural shifts. Similarly, the bathroom has morphed into a space, bigger than ever before, that provides relaxation, restoration and a daily dose of extravagance. We’re able to indulge in self-care rituals and enjoy the rarity of time spent alone: a luxurious bathroom provides a much-needed antidote to the fast-pace of modern life. I hope this has encouraged you to seek out this special issue of Habitus, and I trust you feel fully nourished at the end of it. Holly Cunneen Editor Elwood Bathroom by Splinter Society. Photography by Jack Lovelabc
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The Power Of Place And The Products That Elevate A Design Concept

In the middle of Lake St Clair in Tasmania sits the breathtakingly beautiful Pumphouse Point. Although it was completed some years ago (2014) by Cumulus Studio, the architecture, design and materiality – such as locally sourced Tasmanian timber – that champions the single residence is as relevant now as it was then. Literally located on the lake and accessible via a long and light looking jetting, access is further complicated by the densely forested hills that surround the lake. But rest assured, this is all explicitly on purpose. Neither the architecture nor the natural landscape steals the show from each other. The architects’ intention was to draw inspiration from the World Heritage Site and have the residence compliment the untamed wilderness rather than compete with it for attention. One avenue through which to do this was the use of Tasmanian timber. The original building formed part of the state’s Hydro Electric Commission which has left the area with a series of defunct buildings – each with a distinct Art Deco flair. Cumulus Studio worked within the shell of the building to ensure the best practice in heritage adaptation. Inside, however, inhabitants are cocooned in a space clad with rough sewn Tasmanian Oak timber along the walls, drawing the eye to a floor to ceiling window that looks out to the water and forest beyond. This raw materiality was a deliberate design decision. The rough nature of the timber wall panelling is part of the first transition between the wild beauty outside and enveloping retreat inside. The entry wall cladding, with its repetition and natural finish, are a reference to the rows of timber on the jetty that every guest must traverse. As guests continue deeper into the space, timber resurfaces in myriad applications alongside the complementary concrete formwork. For the guest rooms, satin-looking Tasmanian Oak is used to encapsulate a sense of luxury. Throughout the rooms and stairways a nod to the Art Deco era can be seen in the ceiling details where geometric shapes and patterns are formed with timber battening. Pumphouse Point is not only an incredible feat of local architecture that champions the use of local materials and respectful heritage restoration, but also the power of place. Tasmanian Timber tasmaniantimber.com.au Images supplied by McKay Timber abc
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Meeting Myanmar Interior Designer Mya Myitzu

Interior designer Mya Myitzu is passionate about the development of Myanmar’s interior design industry. The Association of Myanmar Interior Designers was established quite recently in 2013 – a sign of the fledgling character of the scene there – and Mya considers herself one of the interior design trailblazers in Yangon. She establishing her studio M.ID she’s watched the birth of many other small interior firms in the city. She’s achieved a high profile in the short time since she returned to Myanmar from the USA, where she worked in the studio of Kelly Wearstler. “It’s where I honed my skills,” she tells us. It was also where she learned to appreciate the mixing of patterns, styles and eras in design. This influenced her design for the interior of Rangoon Tea House in Yangon (2014), where she merged traditional teashop culture with a sense of Myanmar’s rush toward modernity. The venue has been recognised by CNN as one of the world’s 11 best tea houses. More recently she worked on a heritage restoration project commissioned by Meeyahta Development Limited, which she describes as being “involved in some of the most socially important projects in Myanmar to date.” She adds, “This was a very special experience and I am honoured to have been selected to participate as the only local designer.” Mya is equally positive about the structure with which she operates her studio. “I am very proud of having a Myanmar team. Additionally, the interior design industry in Myanmar often gives unequal wages to local designers or architects compared to foreign ones. But I can proudly say that my firm has been a market leader in creating equal and fair wages for local designers.” Rangoon Tea House When did you set up M.ID? M.ID was founded soon after I returned to Myanmar in 2011. There was a lot of doubt in the beginning as most people said I could never be an interior designer in Myanmar. It was not considered to be a valued form of expertise, but I’ve turned the tables. What are your thoughts on Myanmar’s interior design and architecture in general? It is still very early. We need help with organisation, support and encouraging interest in future generations. But I am very hopeful for the future. What are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced with the work you do through M.ID? Human resources is a huge problem in Myanmar. It is very difficult to retain staff. The challenge I’ve faced is not having enough experienced junior designers for long-term employment. It takes about eight months to train someone but some want to leave after six. Rau Ram Restaurant and Bar What does the interior design profession in Myanmar need in your opinion? I believe it needs support and understanding. I am still being called an architect and I joke around by asking, “Will your architect go and pick out your curtains or wallpaper with you?” Moreover, I believe there is not enough being done at schools to foster art education and design studies. For a short-term fix, there needs to be more vocational training centres from abroad. And sustainable education shouldn’t be limited to just the interior design profession in Myanmar. For example, I see painters who do not use the correct tools and who skip steps of coating or sealants. It is very time consuming to get involved in every level of detail as a designer in Myanmar, but it has to be done because the country needs help in education and expertise. So I encourage people in the design industry abroad not just to come to us looking for contract work but also to bring knowledge and networks that may be interested to set up vocational training centres around Myanmar. It is desperately needed for the growth of our nation. Do you think urban development in Myanmar is proceeding in a good way? I believe preservation and reliable city planning should go hand in hand. As we preserve our heritage cities like Bagan or Inle, and our heritage buildings, we also need to develop better infrastructure in our cities and underdeveloped towns. We are at the onset of difficult economic times in Myanmar. The construction sector in Yangon has collapsed, leaving many in the industry shy of jobs. So we must wake up and realise there is no contention between preservation and development. While we can preserve our heritage, we can also consciously develop where it is needed for people to live and operate. One example of the need of better city planning is our traffic situation in Yangon, which erupted when the country opened up. We are still struggling with it after all these years. I think the recently announced Yangon New City project represents a great hope for innovation and smart development in Myanmar, which will help ease the inflation of property prices. Perhaps, if we can do things correctly in a growing metropolis like Yangon, it will be an exemplary beacon for the other cities in the country. M. Interiors & Design minteriorsanddesign.com Project photography by Nyi Nyi Bo Portrait by Khaing Pwint Phyu The Tea Factory We think you might also like to read about Vii Chen and Tawainese designabc