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Around The World
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A Recent Commission Took Singapore-Based Formwerkz Architects To Malaysia

Slope House, in the Malaysian city of Johor Bahru, combines the sensibilities of its owners: the aesthetic preferences of wife with the practical mindset of husband. While he works within the property development industry, she has a keen interest in interior decoration and varied art works and styles: a connoisseur of the au naturel style of architecture trending the Malaysian residential scene in the past decade. The couple had previously commissioned Formwerkz Architects to renovate another residence, and when the chance of a choice plot in an established part of town presented itself, this collaboration was renewed. The experiment became one of designing gathering spaces that are perfectly in-tune with the climate and natural environment in the most economical means possible. For Alan Tay, the Singapore-based partner of Formwerkz Architects, the opportunity to work in Malaysia was a liberating experience. “In Singapore, the client would feel compelled to pack as many rooms into the house as possible and to have a lift, with a view to the resale market. There would be a certain way of designing with a wet kitchen and the back-of-house. It doesn’t matter that you don’t use a wet kitchen, you build one because you think the next buyer would need one. And then there are issues of maintenance and security. Perhaps it has to do with the pressure of land prices.” But for Slope House, the owners were more receptive to unconventional ideas. pe House Formwerkz cc Fabian Ong living The cue for the design of Slope House was taken from its site’s profile. Unusually for a corner terrace piece of land, there is a 2.4-metre difference in height between the front and rear plots. Designing for a house with two floors of bedrooms that could enjoy both the front and back views meant that the simplest roof covering both ends will pitch like a ski slope cantilevering down to the street front. The roof became a design unifier, sheltering a strip of private rooms next to a broader zone or family atrium, mediating the transition from indoor to outdoor spaces. The visual transparency behind the social spaces is immediately apparent on approach to the house. Alan clarified that the idea behind the full-height front slide-fold doors was to maximise natural ventilation. “To begin with, the entire space is non-air-conditioned. The owners took the stance that the volume of space was so large, it was impractical to air-condition it,” Alan explains. “Our solution was to capture the uphill draught and funnel it through the house.” The resulting high volume – and correspondingly high walls – are perfectly suited to the display of larger pieces of art. One result of being breeze-swept is wind-driven rain. “Our problem was more on how to deal with the rain. The overhang in front helps and so did the bank of high windows at the back which are fixed glass louvres.” But the continuity of space framed by the elongated roof allowed the interiors to colonise the car porch, incorporating it as an extension of the more formal dining area. “We used brick, a warm material, for the driveway and gravel for the garden, so that the car porch can double up as an outdoor dining space.” Likewise, the entire front gate and fencing can be swivelled open to connect the house with the street. The extended space can host BBQ and spill-over crowds such that from the neighbours’ point of view, the house seems more like an inviting tent than a private enclave when the owners are entertaining. Slope House Formwerkz cc Fabian Ong Voids pe House Formwerkz cc Fabian Ong porch The hub of the atrium is the open dry kitchen. “This is the way the owners live. No wet kitchen. We have designed a nice chimney to exhaust the cooking fumes out the external wall up to the roof,” says Alan. As with the pared-down aesthetic of the house, there is a juxtaposition of industrial materials such as stainless steel, corrugated metal, bare concrete and expanded mesh railings with the decorative earthiness of Peranakan floor tiles and herringbone arrangements of parquet flooring. “The tiles were suggested to give the house a dash of personality, a sense of imperfection,” notes Alan. To the side of the formal dining, a large glass door connects this space to the landscaped patio outside, so that diners can easily adjourn to the latter for wine and cigars. Since its foundation in 1998, Formwerkz Architects has garnered a reputation for being able to intellectually translate a client’s agenda into forms with a clear storyline, as evidenced in how their houses are named. In many instances, there is an additive quality to their architecture, of blocks coming together with Lego-like precision to integrate disparate parts into a streamlined whole. Slope House reaffirms this approach on a foreign shore, using simple geometry and materials to organise inclusive spaces for living and socialising. Formwerkz formwerkz.com Photography by Fabian Ong Dissection Information LYSAGHT Roofing & Walling Furniture from The Commune Life Furniture from Boo Furniture Lighting from Hwa Ann pe House Formwerkz cc Fabian Ong contextabc
Design Products
Fixed & Fitted

How The Twenty Collection Finds Beauty In Geometry

Crisp rectangular planes, thin sides and fronts with a soft and subtle radius on top. Parisi’s Twenty collection of washbasins is a range for all contemporary designer-friendly bathrooms. With perimeters that elegantly frame the basin tops and sleek lines driving the design from conception to execution, the Twenty collection is a series of pieces that can serve as distinctive feature objects in a bathroom, without the pratfalls of bulkier basins Designed and manufactured by Ceramica Tecla in Italy, the collection’s unsurpassed quality is achieved by means of the most up to date production methods for ceramics. Knowing the value of traditional Italian artisanal methods, all models are finally hand finished and then rectified after firing. A smooth 125mm in height, the Twenty collection comes in four lengths from 610 up to a luxury 1210mm, all with tap landings. To cater to all needs, the range comprises four configurations; full bowl, centre bowl with two side shelves, hard right or left aligned bowl with opposite hand shelf, with the 1210mm available in a fifth configuration with a double bowl with centre shelf. While generously proportioned, the collection is also versatile. Twenty basins can also be wall mounted, installed on bench tops or paired as a full ceramic top with the contemporary Feel collection of bathroom furniture. Parisi parisi.com.au abc
Design Hunters
Design Stories

Japanese Design – Top 6 Places To Get Your Fix

The world of Japanese design is a fascinating school. Whether you’re drawn to the traditional and restrained beauty of old world Nipon or the hyperactive kawaii of modern Tokyo, there’s a world of design charm from the Islands of Japan. Unfortunately, a trip to scratch that design itch might be out of the question – lucky for us in Australia though, there is a world of great Japanese design at our fingertips. Whether you’re after an afternoon in serene relaxation, a late night of neon excitement or seeking something to take home, the options are thankfully plentiful. With this in mind – here are our top six for your fix on Japanese design…


Richmond’s Apato brings some of Japan’s finest brands and furniture from across the sea to Australian design lovers. A range of Japanese design from artisans and designers is available exclusively in Australia thanks to its carefully curatorial eye. The Apato furniture collection features products by a range of designers, from the heavyweights of the contemporary Japanese design scene – Naoto Fukasawa, Motomi Kawakami, Kiyoshi Sadogawa, Riki Watanabe – to emerging and innovative young designers including nendo, Inoda+Sveje, Torafu Architects, Keiji Ashizawa, Mikiya Kobayashi and more. [gallery columns="2" size="large" ids="76699,76697,76698,76696"]


Hungry for something more than food? Since Melbourne’s Eq. Tower opened it’s been an eye-catching highlight of the city’s skyline – but it’s what’s inside that counts. HWKR is a Japanese market-style restaurant and in its short life has already won the hearts (and stomachs) of locals. The food-driven offering is unique for its rotating tenancies – with different vendors taking up temporary, pop-up space to offer their own food to customers dining in the fusion Japanese design inspired space. [gallery columns="2" size="large" ids="76700,76701,76702,76703"]


Tokyo headquartered retailer Muji has been a favourite in the Japanese design scene for years now. Originally founded in 1979 and specialising in paired back minimalist aesthetics in stationary and clothing, the brand now has hundreds of stores around the globe and offers everything from pens and notepads to furniture, whitegoods and even automobiles. What separates Muji from the pack, is the design cohesion – a Bauhaus-reminiscent, functional minimalism that encompasses all products, store design and branding. Lucky for us, there are already four Muji stores in Australia, with more to come. [gallery columns="2" size="large" ids="76704,76707,76706,76705"]

The Rabbit Hole

The Rabbit Hole is a Sydney tea café designed by Matt Woods Design that pairs an original building's industrial features with a Japanese design aesthetic and numerous whimsical elements. The Rabbit Hole is influenced by the Japanese art of Kintsugi, which is based on the celebration of the imperfections in ceramic objects. Matt Woods has created a counter from shards of crushed tiles and a display made of balancing bowls to channel this feeling. "The Japanese art of Kintsugi forms the foundation of the new design elements," Matt says. "This is most apparent in the speciality tea display where, like spinning plates on top of a circus performers pole, custom designed Kintsugi bowls sit delicately above turned oak timbers." [gallery columns="2" size="large" ids="76708,76711,76710,76709"]


Mimoto is an independent online business based in Melbourne, specialising in simple, modern and traditional goods and accessories of Japanese design and origin. Mimoto is drawn to the raw and simple beauty of Japanese design, arts and crafts, and its products celebrate both the traditional and the modern. Mimoto's product range has been carefully curated to showcase the best of contemporary Japanese craftsmanship and aesthetics. Mimoto has created a range of products available online and in-store to showcase Japan's extraordinarily developed design intelligence and integrity, but also the quirky sense of design humour. [gallery columns="2" size="large" ids="76713,76714,76715,76716"]


Moga is a restaurant located in the iconic restaurant hub of Rosalie Village, in Brisbane’s Paddington. Moga is informal Japanese dining with a robata grill, market fresh sashimi and Japanese tapas style dining. Moga translates as Modern Girl and comes from the 1920s phenomenon in Tokyo. The Modern Girls appeared on the city streets of Tokyo with short bob hairstyles and Western-inspired dress. This fusion of east meets west Japanese design culture is present in the design of Moga. The interior design of the space has taken inspiration from historic eateries seen in Kyoto with wood panelled walls, timber furniture and the warm glow of dimly lit lighting. This, combined with world-class sushi and sashimi, makes Moga an easy way to scratch that Japanese design itch. [gallery columns="2" size="large" ids="76717,76718,76719,76720"]abc
Design Hunters

The Colourist Manifesto: Three Lessons I Learned From Giulio Ridolfo

A spectre is haunting design – the spectre of monochrome. Across our homes and offices, restaurants and hotels, black and white is the new black (as it were), and with its ongoing preeminence, we appear to have become oddly suspicious of one of our most vital of design principles: colour.   For some, this predilection for the unabashedly neutral heralds a new form of sophistication. In a world full of riotous activity and clashing, diverse perspectives, the quietness of black and white offers respite far beyond merely visual phenomena. As such, it is believed to evoke calmness, resoluteness and the lack of prevarication – after all, in a world full of shades of grey, it is refreshing that some things can (at least) appear black and white. But for others, the return of black and white as the tonality du jour is more redolent of the growing influence of fashion colouring (pun intended) other design disciplines. Crisp white shirts and little black dresses continue to rule the runway – thanks, largely, to the ongoing prevalence of greats such as Rei Kawakubo, Rick Owens, Jil Sander (by way of Raf Simmons), Hedi Slimane and Yohji Yamamoto in particular – proving that black and white aren’t going to be bumped from the style firmament any time soon.   But what is it, precisely, about the pairing of these two colours that so captures our imagination? Well firstly, ‘colour’ needs to be addressed here. Sitting on opposite ends of the spectrum, neither black nor white can be considered a ‘colour’ per se. White (a tint) registers colour’s absence, while black (a shade) registers its overabundance to a point of colourless-ness. Between the two ends of this spectrum, whole universes await.  

I.          “They should generate possibilities…”

“For me, a palette is more than a selection of different colours that can adorn a situation. They should generate possibilities – just like matching ingredients from a recipe to a more complex scene, all the while being singularly good-looking.” – Giulio Ridolfo.
  Earlier this year I had the pleasure of learning the complexity inherent in using colour from Giulio Ridolfo firsthand. And during our conversation, I found it impossible not to catch his infectious enthusiasm. For Ridolfo, working with colour is one and the same as playing God – the truest articulation of the human spirit’s desire to create.   As such, it isn’t difficult to see why he has been recognised by our A+D community as the maestro di colore. It’s an accolade that has followed him from Kvadrat to Tod’s, Vitra to studio Heinle and, now, it has followed him to Australian shores in the form of a recent collaboration with Schiavello. Working alongside the Australian brand to develop the new suite of palettes for ColourLab, Ridolfo and Schiavello both understand the wealth of possibilities in design direction that can be achieved through expert use of colour. And although hailing from Italy, it is clear that Ridolfo was influenced by the beauty of the Australian climate in creating these new palettes for ColourLab. Proving in very real terms that not only “should [colour] generate possibilities”, but also that it can evoke entire worlds, ColourLab instantly conjures everything that is unequivocally Australian. A pallid spearmint swatch sits alongside a robust ochre, and instantly my mind is thrown back to road trips through Australia’s heartland, with a red dusty road stretching out interminably into the distance, edged on either side with a phalanx of grey-green gums. Elsewhere, washed out blues and silvers are offset by pinkish hues or oranges – suggesting the underside of galahs as they fly overhead, or the effect of the first raindrops punctuating sun-bleached tin roofs as showers begin to confuse rust setting in aluminium. Vivid yellows and antique creams, when paired together on Ridolfo’s palette boards, remind me of my Queensland childhood at the beginning of summer holidays when Erigeron glaucus (fondly known as ‘seaside daisies’) open their buds each morning as the sun hits sand dunes. Elsewhere, soft beiges, buttery fawn and rich chocolate browns suggest jersey cows dotting a hillside at the height of the February dry season. Everywhere, I have the odd feeling that I am viewing a simulacrum of my own memory, expressed solely in the visual and neuroaesthetic language of colour.   Evidently, I appear to have a highly nostalgic relationship with colour. And yet, perhaps even more evident is Ridolfo’s hand in all of this. Not only has ColourLab brought to life physical aspects of the Australian experience, but it has brought to life temporal ones too – reminding me of snapshots of my childhood and, appropriately enough, a dream-state version of this country that if not vanished already, will never be the same again.  

II.          “The reflective phase…”

  “I’d say that my work is somewhere between intuition and anthropology”, says Ridolfo. It’s a statement that warrants further investigation. Springing partly from personal experience, the subconscious and the human creative impulse (“intuition”), Ridolfo’s design process for ColourLab is also equally influenced by community, collective expression, common identifications, the design imagination of the group, and the entire global history of ornamenting our world (“anthropology”). When one combines this with the practice of architecture and the built environment, colour then steps forth as one of the most impactful elements of design on our daily lives:  
“The reflective phase of colour and texture was tempered with a constant and balanced perception of our contemporary environments. The perception of light was a strong theme that captured an awareness and intensity, and provided the focus to begin the process of finding families of colour.” – Giulio Ridolfo.
  Recognising that colour is just as much a psychological miracle as it is a physical one is potentially ColourLab’s greatest strength. Wherever your eye looks at ColourLab’s array of tones, it is clear that each and every iteration represents hundreds of hours of research. Whether looking at how colour is registered by a viewer both psychologically and physically (think: the effect of certain colours on the healing process when used in hospitals, for instance), or how particular hues will react with a host of different applications – applied as dye for leathers and textiles, or hard surfaces such as laminates or timber and beyond – Schiavello and Ridolfo have ensured that ColourLab is a true resource to the practicing designer in many more ways than one.   Using red and blues as one of the prevailing pigment profiles, many have noted how Schiavello’s ColourLab is a further iteration of the company’s investment in escalating design for critical success factors in the commercial space. With this red/blue base, ColourLab investigates a recent study conducted by the University of British Columbia. Testing the output of surveyed respondents working in a room coloured largely red, and another coloured largely blue, researchers noted that while the red room instilled greater proprioception and alertness, the blue room more than doubled creative output and lateral cognition. Combine this with the increased investment for design thinking in the commercial space, and ColourLab becomes a not only a resource for practicing designers but also an important tool for commercial clients.  

III.         “…be open…”

  The status of the individual remains central to the human-centred values of our times. As such, and in keeping with Schiavello’s activity in the commercial landscape, ColourLab recognises the power of colour to elevate the experience of our built environments. So, when Ridolfo says that one needs “to be open to accept that there is no rigid way to se colours”, his words ring true to for designer and end user alike. It is commonplace now to note that colour can have a profound effect on not only our professional output, but patient recovery time, and also effective learning behaviours. With ColourLab, both Schiavello and Ridolfo herald a new wave of recognition for colour’s central position as a driver of good in the world. Harnessed to the pursuit of design, ColourLab ensures that the use of colour no longer remains merely decorative. And, what’s more, used in the built environments across Schiavello’s Asia Pacific market, ColourLab finally offers our A+D world the chance to not only “generate possibilities” for successful projects, but allow these projects to enter “the reflective phase” – speaking to our identities, our communities, our desires and our memories. Schiavello schiavello.com abc

Rogerseller’s Insights: Taking You On A Design Journey

When homeowner and Rogerseller client Damien purchased an inner city Melbourne Edwardian house, his design renovation journey began. First things first, he needed to find an architect. Finding and appointing the right person for this job is a critical step, as you can imagine. You want to have a working relationship that works well and brings respect for each other and your roles. Working with an architect and a selection of experts is an important step when undergoing your build. For Damien, the choice was a bit easier as he has an old highschool friend who runs a successful architecture practice FGR Architects. “It was fortunate that he knew a lot about me and was able to reflect my needs. I felt that I didn't really have to go into too much detail with the brief,” says Damien. What if you don’t personally know someone that’s an architect? Now it’s time to do some more research. Just as you did in the inspiration-gathering phase of the project, this time look for an architect that has already done work that resonates with you. Once you’ve appointed the right person, it’s time to build up rapport. Don’t forget that an architect can bring maximum design value for your dollar – so make the most of it. From there, final details need to be decided. This is where the Rogerseller’s insights from a professional team at Rogerseller can help. Read the full design journey and hear in more detail about Damien’s experience with his architect and Rogerseller's insights here.
Mitchell Street Residence
Hero image : photography by Brooke Holm, styling by Marsha Golemac
Design Hunters

Empathy As A Design Catalyst

“Design is about solving problems, which starts with being empathetic,” shares Michael Seum, the VP of Design at Grohe. For Michael, that starts with simple things, such as a handshake with each staff member, every single day. This simple, but personal gesture has created a team that is open to communication, along with an honest sharing of ideas. “My whole team is seeing the benefits of this approach, particularly when working with other parts of the business,” he says. This shift in thinking has, of course, made its way into the product outcomes. Most notably is with Grohe’s soon-to-be-released in Australia Water Security System. The easiest way to describe this new system is as an Internet of Things for water. Smart Homes and IoT have been hotly debated for some time now. It’s not uncommon to find new multi-residential projects kitted out with the latest in gadgetry. So the idea of being able to control your water through your device doesn’t seem far-fetched. Yet it is the first of its kind. And as can be imagined, it has required a meticulous attention to detail and thought for the end user. A project of this scale doesn’t happen overnight. Michael joined the Grohe team three years ago and was brought on board specifically to bring the Water Security System to life. Throughout that process he had to bring in a whole new team, including a digital designer in order to carry out the interfaces needed for an IoT product. The new system will give homeowners the ability to monitor water usage, which is a critical consideration, as water becomes an ever-dwindling resource. It also allows you to remotely shut-off your water supply, which could save your home from being flooded if a pipe was to burst. For the Chicago native, that very scenario is something that hits close to home. “I’ve had water damage in my home before, and I lost all my original sketch books and university portfolio. Things that are not replaceable. It’s a devastating experience,” shares Michael. Having a personal understanding and emotional motivation is just another example of how empathy comes back into Michael’s work. From intuitive products that solve human needs, to a team instilled with trust, it seems most everybody could take a leaf out of Michael Seum’s empathetic approach. Grohe grohe.comabc
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A Design-Led Airport Hotel Lands In Mascot, Sydney

Airport hotels don’t have the best of reputations when it comes to design. However Fox Johnston Architects, which Space Control on the interiors, have combined their efforts to well and truly change such a perception for the recently opened Felix Hotel in Sydney. Located in Mascot, just a stone’s throw away from the Sydney international and domestic airports, Felix Hotel offers 150 rooms that each wholeheartedly embrace the location, albeit with a 1960s, ‘golden era of air travel’ twist. Felix Hotel Mascot Fox Johnston Architects Space Control cc Tom Ferguson Felix Hotel Mascot Fox Johnston Architects Space Control cc Tom Ferguson dining A double-heighted lobby greets travellers upon entry to the building, while to the opposing extreme, a rooftop or ‘sky lobby’, as it’s referred to internally, sits atop the building offering expansive views south across Botany Bay and the airport, and north and east of the city. Conceived as a second place for occupants to socialise, relax or perhaps work as required, the sky lobby benefits from the complementary forces of naturally sun-drenched areas through out the day but also from full height controlled glazing. Similarly, the suites, marked by colourful mid-century designs and furniture, maximize views of the runway, aeroplane hangars and taxiways, celebrating the locality rather than attempting to disguise it. Felix Hotel Mascot Fox Johnston Architects Space Control cc Tom Ferguson lounge
Felix Hotel Mascot Fox Johnston Architects Space Control cc Brett Boardman viewfinder Photography by Brett Boardman
The building façades were carefully considered by Fox Johnston Architects in relation to the passive solar and ventilation principles of building orientation. In particular, heat build up on the west and north sides, and heat loss on the southern side, has been mitigated in the form of sun shading devices, double glazing and low-E glass. So for a room like no other, in a location heralding convenience like few others, Felix Hotel in Mascot might just tip the game. Fox Johnston Architects foxjohnston.com.au Space Control spacecontrol.com.au Felix Hotel Sydney felixhotel.com.au Photography by Tom Ferguson unless otherwise stated Felix Hotel Mascot Fox Johnston Architects Space Control cc Tom Ferguson boardroom Felix Hotel Mascot Fox Johnston Architects Space Control cc Tom Ferguson suite
Felix Hotel Mascot Fox Johnston Architects Space Control cc Brett Boardman building Photography by Brett Boardman
We think you might also like The Collectionist Hotel by Amber Road, Pattern Studio, Willis Sheargold and The World is Round abc
Around The World
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Strata Design For A Family Home

Located on a tight site in India’s megacity of Bengaluru, Strata is Cadence Architects’ response to the problem of maximising on space for varied uses in a busy city context. With clients seeking to have a home for a joint family with members across a varied age group, the challenge was to accommodate a dense design program within the limited space. So the design moved upwards. In order to offer private spaces for all the members without losing the feeling of the spaces working together as an independent residence (as opposed to a multi-level residence), the design saw the rooms designed and stacked vertically. This enabled the creation of a stratified effect with the façade, which is where the home takes its name. Individual spaces spread across three levels ensures privacy for each family member, yet a cleverly fragmented arrangement of the spaces created break-out areas at each level. Areas that facilitate congregation and interaction of the family. Helping this sense of interactivity and connection is a full height cut out space in the building. This allows the family to see the entire design as the one home it is, as well as be in visual connectivity with each other. The interiors themselves have been designed with an opulent and luxurious aesthetic, unique for the area, replacing more traditional carvings with more contemporary finishes, creating a chic and glossy style. Designed with sustainability in mind, each level of Strata features design flourishes that aid this environmental mission. The ground floor pool in the helps to cool the air that moving up to the higher floors. The first floor court and second floor deck are both deeply recessed areas that promote interaction between the family as well as serving as tools to best experience the lush greenery surround the house. This terrace garden then becomes an important sustainable feature to cut out the heat passing through to the lower floor. The design of Strata is a step away from conventional façade design. Instead of decks and glazing, a dynamic façade was crafted as a composition of static and dynamic design. With apertures at all levels of the building, this opens the home to the natural foliage at every level – taking the form of a stack of hollowed out spaces and fluid forms. Strata is a a collage of individual aspirations, unified with a strong design ideology. Each private space was designed with the person living there in mind, tailored to suit their briefs. The large family can enjoy their individual privacy, without sacrificing the unity of a family home. Cadence Architects cadencearchitects.com Photography by Anand Jaju abc
What's On

Australian Kitchen Design On A World Stage: Enter The Sub-Zero & Wolf Kitchen Design Contest now!

Australian design is world class. It’s a phrase often thrown around but not always necessarily backed up – until you consider the incredible amount of Australian projects represented in last year’s Sub-Zero & Wolf Kitchen Design Contest. Maybe there’s something in the water down here. Or maybe it’s possible to achieve outstanding design by having just the right combination of luxury products paired with willing clients. Whatever the case may be, last year’s program saw five very different, but equally striking Australian projects make it to the finals of the Kitchen Design Contest, with three of them taking out a win. [caption id="attachment_107984" align="alignnone" width="1100"]The Farm by Fergus Scott Architects, photo by Michael Nicholson. The Farm by Fergus Scott Architects, photo by Michael Nicholson.[/caption] One of those winners was Fergus Scott, of Fergus Scott Architects, who was awarded the 1st Place Global Winner in the Contemporary category on his project The Farm. When commenting on the win, Fergus shares, “It’s a fantastic affirmation for us as designers and architects, but it’s also great for our clients. They’ve been very supportive and they’ll be excited for us because they’ve come along for the ride as well. This award gives us the confidence to design on a high level and to try and work as hard as we can to make every job we do better than the one before.” [caption id="attachment_107985" align="alignnone" width="900"]Previous Kitchen Design Contest winner: Darling Point Apartment by Chenchow Little. Photo by Peter Bennetts. Darling Point Apartment by Chenchow Little. Photo by Peter Bennetts.[/caption] Another one of those winners was Chenchow Little with its Darling Point Apartment. The clever and compact project received an award for Global Winner First Time Entrant. “I think that ultimately, what impressed the KDC judges is that Darling Point is very unexpected. But with our practice, we try to give each client a high level of craftsmanship and customisation, so they have something that is their own, and enhances their quality of life,’ says Tony Chenchow, co-director of the practice. [caption id="attachment_107986" align="alignnone" width="889"]DRF Residence by Mim Design, photo by Sharyn Cairns. DRF Residence by Mim Design, photo by Sharyn Cairns.[/caption] The final winner was Mim Design with DRF Residence. This modern kitchen was awarded 1st Place Global Winner in the Transitional category and beautifully integrates Sub-Zero & Wolf’s product into a decidedly petite kitchen. Entering Sub-Zero & Wolf's Kitchen Design Contest is a simple and straightforward process, with the potential to elevate your business out to a global audience. Not only do you get to put your project on the international stage, the 29 professional finalists will receive: $2,000 and an all-expenses-paid trip for two to the Winners’ Summit and Gala held in the USA (US Autumn 2019). Let’s make sure the 2018-2019 program has strong Australian representation. Get your projects in now! Find out more here.abc
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Small Design Makes Big Impact

The idea of compact living and minimalism, frequently gets thrown around when discussing sustainable building designs, but often gets pushed to the side when it comes to high-density living. House A by Perth’s Whispering Smith, is an attainable and practical new build, executed on only 175 square metres in the coastal neighbourhood of Scarborough. House A is the first of three homes destined for one block of land. House B is a renovation in progress and House C is currently in planning stages. “House A embodies our desire to build something relevant for our generation,” says architect and director of Whispering Smith, Kate FitzGerald. “A lot of younger people and downsizers don’t have a lot of stuff or are having children much later, and we are using our homes for all kinds of things, from starting businesses or hosting a long table dinner for 20. We wanted to build a prototype house that did these things, while being affordable, sustainable and made from beautiful, long lasting materials, and we thought the best way was just to design and build it ourselves.” House A Whispering Smith cc Benjamin Hosking concrete House A Whispering Smith cc Benjamin Hosking kitchen Whispering Smith made the most of the space available by connecting the living areas to the courtyard and building the bedroom in the roof loft. The floorplan organically flows from room to room, with the only door allocated to the toilet. “We can section off parts of the house for coziness and privacy, but the most important part is that we can open up huge sections of it to the garden and courtyard, and for six months of the year we live half-outside,” explains Kate. “We hosted an informal night for planners and local government interested in seeing what a small house can be, and we had 30 guests that night – someone made the comment that it feels more like a bar than a house, and that’s a mighty achievement for 70 square metres of floor area.” A conscious decision was made to feature materials that not only aged well over time, but were simple to understand, construct and didn’t require cladding or extra finishes. The walls feature 70-millimetre-thick foam panels and the roof is highly insulated, resulting in no air-conditioning. House A Whispering Smith cc Benjamin Hosking split level House A Whispering Smith cc Benjamin Hosking indoor outdoor “We used a really high recycled content mix for our tilt-up concrete walls, which have 65 per cent slag [a byproduct of steel production] instead of high carbon emitting Portland cement. We used recycled bricks in the walls and landscape, with some coming from the demolished parts of House B. We also recycled some of House B’s cabinetry, and custom milled old jarrah stud frames,” says Kate. Kate says the house itself is economical, as they chose to build less house on less land. “We were our own clients and spent our budget making each square metre an absolute delight to be in, and it costs us next to nothing to operate in the longer term, because it performs so well thermally and spatially,” she says. Whispering Smith whisperingsmith.com.au Photography by Benjamin Hosking

*House A was recently awarded an Architecture Award in the Small Project Architecture category at the Australian Institute of Architects 2018 WA Architecture Awards

House A Whispering Smith cc Benjamin Hosking staircase Dissection Information Built by Talo Construction Landscaping by M&B Johnston Building and Landscapes Loose furniture by Mass Productions from District Stools by Guy Eddington Sofa and timber storage boxes custom designed by Whispering Smith Kitchen/laundry cabinetry by Raw Edge Furniture Steel Mesh laundry by Wilding Welding Concrete Benchtops by M&B Johnston building and Landscapes Tapware in kitchen and laundry from Astrawalker Tapware in ensuite from Brodware Windows custom steel design by Whispering Smith, made by Wilding Welding Art by James Turrell, Meghan Plowman, Ben Hosking and Steven Christie Washer/dryer from Miele Cooktop and rangehood from Bora Lumen8 adjustable spotlights supplied by Alti lighting Lysaght Hi Strength Kliplok and SIPS industries panels on roof Ampelite Easy Click polycarbonate screens House A Whispering Smith cc Benjamin Hosking bedroom House A Whispering Smith cc Benjamin Hosking bricks House A Whispering Smith cc Benjamin Hosking furniture House A Whispering Smith cc Benjamin Hosking roof We think you might also like Is Western Australia building a sustainable future?abc
Design Hunters

Top 5 Beach House Designs To Escape The Winter Chill

There’s little more Australian than a weekend away at the beach. We’re blessed with some of not only the world’s loveliest beaches, but some of the most attractive places to appreciate them, both the landscape and the beach house designs themselves. While these winter months might make a beachside retreat sound unlikely, there’s no bad time to plan your next holiday. Whether that’s when it warms up, or if you’re looking for a sunny piece of coastal relaxation to chase to winter chill away, these five beach house designs are sure to impress – and maybe just inspire you to add a touch of the coast to your own home.

Killcare House

Australian beach house designs are always noteworthy for their laid back and relaxed aesthetics, but the Killcare House in NSW’s Bouddi National Park offers a delightful antidote to the ubiquitous minimalist genre. “Our clients wanted to create a sophisticated and unconventional beach house, whilst give it a relaxed barefoot elegance,” explains Alexandra Donohoe Church, founder and managing director of interior design firm Decus Interiors. “They were keen to marry texture, richness and references to beautiful European farm houses and chateaux, which they had visited during their travels.” The beach house sees a richly evocative interior scheme drawing inspiration from the surrounding natural surroundings. The house has a sense of luxury not often seen in beach house designs – amplified by a palette of lush finishes, including dark timbers, black steel paneling, marble and the integration of leather and hand blown glass. “We deployed little details to keep a clean and uncluttered look, such as the stone upstand in the kitchen, which hides ample storage,” adds Alexandra. “This is then balanced by softer lighter elements seen in the wall colour, stone and flooring - and of course - the ample natural light.” [gallery columns="2" size="large" ids="77306,77308,77309,77310"]  

Barefoot at Broken Head

One of Australia’s most iconic beachfront getaways, Barefoot at Broken Head is nestled in rainforest south of the Byron Bay Lighthouse. A true luxury escape of a beach house, the five bedrooms here are housed in separate Balinese-inspired residencies, connected by charming walkways and private decks. So whether you’re feeling social or looking for a private place to read a book with a nice drink, you can retreat to the space that best suits. Ideal for large groups (accommodating up 70 people) or honeymooners alike, Barefoot integrates the best of Balinese architectural design with stylish contemporary charm. The ‘beach house’ is actually four separate bedroom pavilions arranged around one central lounge pavilion. This pavilion opens to pristine, landscaped tropical gardens, while a gourmet kitchen and lounge completes the compound. So if a sense of the truly luxurious is what you’re after in a beach house, Barefoot can be booked for your next vacation right now. [gallery columns="2" size="large" ids="77311,77312,77313,77314"]  

Seaberg House

The Seaberg House is the result of Kerstin Thompson Architects’ inspired interpretation of the Australian beach house. Breaking from the faux-crusted paint furniture and ‘gone fishing’ welcome, the house – with deconstructed and flexible layout – offers an accurate depiction of the casual coastal lifestyle. The development of this classic design archetype ignores cliché gimmickry and iconography, instead recalling the beauty of the beach house as a structure that is utterly entwined with its surrounding environment. The standout design feature of the space is the loose and free-flowing structure of the house itself. The main living space and master bedroom act as the core of the building, hugged with clinging exterior outhouses. The spread of rooms over the site mimics the relaxed connotations of the seaside location, while also responding to the malleable nature of modern family life. These rooms are attached only via an overhanging pergola, providing a balance of protection and exposure to the outside when manoeuvring throughout the house. [gallery columns="2" size="large" ids="77315,77318,77317,77316"]  

Arthouse Bay of Fires

Don’t let the name fool you; Arthouse Bay of Fires is a perfectly safe and utterly bewitching piece of beach house design. The architect-designed beach house is nestled in a private and protected natural bush amphitheatre in North-East Tasmania, just 50 steps from the luminous white sands of Binalong Bay. Framed by the bay’s sands, pink granite boulders encrusted with orange lichen and its aquamarine shoreline, the house is a self-contained two-bedroom beach house ideal for a couple’s getaway. Name for the Bay of Fires that stretches north from its location, the beach house is ideal for those in search of a truly secluded slice of design. Comfy without feeling old, modern without feeling cold, the deserted beaches, clear waters and abundant wildlife will beckon visitors out to explore the surrounds. With an expansive, stylish, light open plan living space leading to a large north facing deck overlooking a landscaped secluded garden and the sounds of the ocean lulling you to sleep, this is a beach house you’ll never want to leave. [gallery columns="2" size="large" ids="77319,77320,77321,77322"]  


When talking about beach house designs in Australia, you can’t overlook the most famous coastal attraction on our shores, and that’s where East Bedarra Island Retreat comes in. The Great Barrier Reef adjacent beach house on Bedarra Island is a private luxury house of unsurpassed natural beauty perfect for a secluded getaway. East Bedarra Island Retreat is the jewel of the island. The luxury villa was designed with romance and couples in mind – so if a honeymoon or anniversary is coming up, and you’re after a beach house in the heart of Australian beauty, book now. Sitting on the remote east side of tropical Bedarra Island, the house is right on the waters edge – where rainforests meet reef. The Coral Sea is a comfortable swimming temperature year round (winter included) and, being in the heart of the Great Barrier Reef, is inhabited with colourful reef fish and sea turtles. While there is a gourmet chef’s kitchen, outdoor dining patio, extensive covered deck, marble vanities and rain shower – perhaps the sign of a truly great beach house, is how little time you’ll need to spend inside. [gallery columns="2" size="large" ids="77323,77324,77325,77326"]abc
Design Products
Fisher & Paykel
Fixed & Fitted

Ultimate Design Freedom With Fisher & Paykel

The kitchen is perhaps the most rapidly changing room within the four walls of a house – in a constant state of flux. As our behaviours and patterns around this space change it’s important that the architects designing these spaces, and the industrial designers developing products and appliances, hold pace. At times revolutionary technology sparks these changes, while at other times it follows in response to ever-evolving habits of a population. The Companion range from Fisher & Paykel is the result of both. “One of the trends we are seeing is the move towards smaller kitchens as a result of high density city living,” says Adam Moody, Chief Designer in the cooking and dishwashing product development team 
at Fisher & Paykel. “Space is a premium.” Fisher & Paykel Companion Range Despite this trend – one that is almost strictly the case in cities such as New York, London, Hong Kong and Japan and is gaining fast traction in Australian and New Zealand cities, too – Adam also notes that residents of apartments and terrace houses are still investing in premium kitchens and appliances, and looking for ones that work smarter, look better and blend seamlessly into their condensed spaces. So in spaces big or small, the Companion range fits perfectly. The pieces within the much-awaited Companion Range have been purpose designed to complement each other functionally and aesthetically. “The whole system is designed to work as a completely flexible modular system,” says Adam. This is realised through the consistency in dimensions and specs across the range but also in the visuals; ensuring there is consistency in features such as glass components, control panels and the stainless steel elements. Depending on the space available, the products of the Companion range – a full sized pyrolytic self-cleaning convection oven, a combination steam oven, coffee maker and combination microwave oven – can be installed horizontally, vertically or even in a grid format. This flexibility means that the companion range will work perfectly in any kitchen layout, whether it is a larger scale space or a compact kitchen. Fisher & Paykel Companion Range Fisher & Paykel Companion Range The Companion range is also a good example of Fisher & Paykel using their resources to research the market ensuring they’re developing the products the market is missing. There is an existing range of Companion products in the market and over time the Fisher & Paykel team have been gathering feedback from architects, kitchen designers retailers and installers – not just consumers. Finally, while the recent boom in appreciation for food culture has certainly been beneficial for the Fisher & Paykel team, as people take a greater than ever interest in the origins of ingredients, food preparation, and consumption, it’s also a shift in the market that aligns perfectly with their values, too. “We’re definitely seeing these meta-trends of respect and love for food… This paddock to plate mentality, slow cooking and quality ingredients are all things that come up when we talk to people about our products, and those kind of ideals really fit well with our brand,” says Adam. Fisher & Paykel fisherpaykel.com Fisher & Paykel Companion Rangeabc