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.

 

Learn more

Architecture
Homes
MAGAZINE
Primary Slider

Habitus House of the Year: A New Celebration of Regional Excellence

For ten years, Habitus has shone a much-needed spotlight on the unique architecture, design, and art of the Indo-Pacific. Produced in the region but beloved around the world, Habitus has emerged as the leading global destination for design hunters in search of unique, inspiring projects that challenge conventional ideas about residential architecture and design. Over the years we’ve evolved across both our print and digital platforms to present the best of regional design to you in the most original, engaging ways – an evolution that reflects the amazing progress of architecture and design in our part of the world. The past ten years have seen astounding growth in our region, and the emergence of a number of leading lights who are changing what it means not only to design but also to live in the vibrant Indo-Pacific region. In spite of this growth, Habitus has remained faithful to its origins as a labour of love: a magazine for design lovers by design lovers. Both our print and digital platforms cover architecture in a way that you won’t find anywhere else, combining stunning imagery with thoughtful, immersive writing that finds the real stories behind the stories. To this day, we remain driven by a desire to highlight the incredible talent within the Indo-Pacific and honour the growing role of design as a way of life.

Introducing Habitus House of the Year

As we celebrate ten years of championing regional excellence, Habitus is pleased to announce ‘Habitus House of the Year’, a new program honouring outstanding residential design in the Indo-Pacific. Our upcoming special edition will showcase a handpicked shortlist of the twenty best homes completed in our region in the past twelve months, and will be supplemented by an exclusive online showcase of five projects hosted right here on Habitus Living. In true Habitus fashion, the shortlist will honour homes by established practitioners and emerging talents alike, creating a snapshot of the current state of regional design and a tantalising glimpse into what the next ten years may bring. From this shortlist, and independent jury of design heavyweights will award top honours for the Habitus House of the Year, Exemplary Integration of Environment, and Outstanding Interior Architecture.

Competition Jury

The inaugural Habitus House of the Year competition jury has been carefully selected to represent a cross-section of the leading thinkers and doers in regional residential design. Habitus Founding Editor Paul McGillick is joined by Cubes magazine and Indesignlive.sg Editor Narelle Yabuka, architecture writer Karen McCartney, Burley Katon Halliday founder Neil Burley, and architect Howard Tanner. Stay tuned for more information on each of the judges and their exciting, varied backgrounds in design.

Get Involved

In addition to the jury selections and special mentions, the ‘People’s Choice for the House of the Year’ will give Habitus readers the opportunity to have their say. Watch this space for more details about the voting process and how to get involved with the program.

Partnering with the Best

 
Helping us realise the House of the Year program is a suite of sponsors who lead the design industry. We are proud to work alongside Stylecraft, Sub-zero & Wolf and Zip as we search for the Region’s most outstanding new homes. More about our partners will be revealed soon.

Want to be the first to know more about Habitus House of the Year and a number of exclusive events to commemorate our upcoming special issue? Sign up for our newsletter today.

  We would like to extend a special thanks to our Major Sponsors for their support in the inaugural year of the Habitus House of the Year initiative. Thank you to StylecraftHOME, Sub-Zero Wolf and ZIP Water.  abc
Design Hunters
People

“More Than Mannerisms of the Day”: Habitus House of the Year Judge Neil Burley on the Importance of Considered Design and Craftsmanship

To speak with Neil Burley is to discover a treasure trove of oral history about the who’s who of modern Australian design and architecture. Speaking with a passion and eloquence burnished over years of diverse creative practice, Neil is full of vivid anecdotes about some of the most seminal figures in Australian art and design history. From Harry Seidler to Marc Newson, Glenn Murcutt to James Bradley, Robert Klippel to Tina Engelen, he speaks of his contemporaries with fondness and respect that belies the far-reaching influence he himself has had. The founder of architecture and interiors practice Burley Katon Halliday and furniture store Anibou, Neil has for decades been a stalwart of the national design scene. In 1961, he commenced his architecture studies at the University of NSW, where a communications tutor, Michael Nicholson, introduced him to what would bloom into the first phase of his career: graphic design. After 5 years of full and part time study he dropped out to work for the now-defunct Clune Galleries in Macleay Street, Potts Point - later to become Sydney’s iconic Yellow House. Out of university, Neil’s graphic design business flourished and he established Neil Burley Design, expanding his practice to include interior and product design. “It felt like a natural transition,” he explains, “There’s a very strong relationship between some elements of any type of design. Graphic design may just be two dimensional, but good layout is very much like rational planning in architecture. There are many strong similarities between all those disciplines.” A design polyglot in the truest sense, Neil continued to work across the three disciplines and grow Neil Burley Design significantly, eventually taking on partners David Katon and Ian Halliday and renaming the business Burley Katon Halliday in 1989. He remained with the practice until 1995, when he left to pursue another love: furniture. “By that time I had already started Anibou, and that was beginning to demand quite a lot of my time,” says Neil by way of explaining the shift in focus away from interiors, “So I simply went there and continued.” Originally conceived as a distributor of European bentwood, Artek and other Finnish products, Anibou quickly evolved into a showcase for both international and Australian designers. “It was always obvious to me that local designers were being ignored,” says Neil. In response, Anibou provided a platform for emerging and established local designers including Tomek Archer, Frank Bauer, and Caroline Casey. Although in 2015 a group of former staff led by MD Philip Burrows took control of the business, it remains faithful to the original vision and continues to stock iconic Scandinavian and European brands. In July this year it added the 60s classic Swiss modular storage and furniture system, USM. Throughout his long career, Neil’s practice has consistently been underpinned by two distinct passions: one for nurturing the local design scene and the other for design that prizes quality, craftsmanship, and meticulous attention to detail. “When something is well designed,” he says, “You can see with just one look that it’s going to be good, efficient, logical… that it’s more than just the mannerisms of the day.” A strong advocate for pragmatic design that prioritises practicality over trends, Neil underscores the importance of careful planning across all the creative disciplines, from furniture and products to architecture and interior design. It is this pragmatism – in addition to his extensive expertise in design and interiors – that Neil brings to the table as a judge of this year’s inaugural Habitus House of the Year program. “I strongly believe that things have to work before they can do anything else: they have to satisfy the brief,” Neil says, “I also hope that all buildings are well built, and that inevitably involves craftsmanship.” Craftsmanship, a high level of finished quality, and a sensitive response to the client brief all rank high on the list of things Neil will be looking for in a winner, in addition to some point of distinction – in design, concept, or execution – that clearly separates the winning project from other homes. And at the top of his wish list when searching for the winning project? “The two most important things to me are planning and whether something is climatically suitable,” he says, noting the particular importance of climate- and landscape-sensitive design in the Indo-Pacific region, where outdoor living is de rigeur, “Planning isn’t just in the abstract. Planning needs to relate to the sun and landscape and the site on which [the house] sits. Overall, I’m much more interested in ‘does the thing work?’ than ‘is it flash?’” Bringing together twenty-five of the best residential projects within our region from the past twelve months, the Habitus House of the Year shortlist is sure to give him more than ample options from which to choose.

View the full shortlist of projects in issue 41 of Habitus, available for pre-ordering today. For more about Habitus House of the Year, subscribe to our newsletter or read more here.

  We would like to extend a special thanks to our Major Sponsors for their support in the inaugural year of the Habitus House of the Year initiative. Thank you to StylecraftHOME, Sub-Zero Wolf and ZIP Water.  abc
Design Hunters
People

Vale Kerry Hill

It is with great sadness that we note the passing of Kerry Hill on 26 August 2018. Hill established Kerry Hill Architects in 1979 and ran studios in Singapore and Fremantle. He was Singapore based. Hill received numerous honours over the years, including the Aga Khan Award for Architecture in 2001, the Australian Institute of Architects’ Gold Medal in 2006, the President’s Design Award (Singapore) in 2010, and appointment as an Officer of the Order of Australia in 2012 for his distinguished service to architecture – particularly as an ambassador for Australian design in South-East Asia, and as an educator and mentor. He received an Honorary Doctorate from University of Western Australia in 2008. He was recognised as a Luminary by Indesign Media Asia Pacific in 2017. Hill’s resorts, singular dwellings and housing, and his array of cultural, civic and institutional projects in Asia, Australia and further afield are recognisable for the meditative quality they impart. His work emerged at the point where intuition and exactitude met – where aspects of the history of architecture in a place met a vision of spatial order, climatic response, and experiences that caress the senses and clear the mind. His work needs little by way of introduction – such is the extent of its influence and accolades. Less visible, perhaps, are the processes that shaped it and the life experiences that informed Hill’s approach. This memorial note draws heavily on an article first published by Cubes magazine in 2014 (‘Intuition & Exactitude’, issue 70), for which Hill generously shared insights into his professional background and mode of practice. Kerry Hill   Hill spent the early years of his life in Perth, and studied architecture at Perth Technical College and the University of Western Australia in the 1960s. At that time, a modernist spirit had begun to stir in suburb-dominated Perth, reflecting the optimism surrounding a future fuelled by the spoils of the mining industry. After graduation, Hill took a position with Perth firm Howlett and Bailey Architects where he encountered an exceptional clarity of planning and the use of modernist strategies as a springboard to the development of original design directions. “I left Australia for Hong Kong in 1971,” said Hill during our 2014 interview at his Singapore studio, “at a time when most Australians simply flew over Asia on their way to Europe. The traditional route for young Australians was to head straight to London.” Hill’s journey emerged by chance through his search for work in the United States – a potential means of extending his experience beyond Perth. But it was a depressed time in the States. He happened to see an advertisement in an American journal for a position at Palmer and Turner in Hong Kong. Two months later, he was there. Although moving to Asia was not entirely a conscious decision, it was entirely life changing. Hill never returned permanently to Australia, although he opened a studio in WA (in 2005) to see through the construction of his winning entry to the State Theatre Centre of Western Australia competition. The Fremantle studio flourished thereafter with a number of civic and residential projects. The Singapore studio is located in a shophouse on Cantonment Road. Back in Hill’s early days, however, it was an experience of Bali that was formative in terms of life decisions as well as professional development. He was sent to Bali to oversee the construction of Palmer and Turner’s Bali Hyatt, and stayed (for as long as he could) from 1971 to 1974. “Bali had an enormous influence on me,” he recalled. “There were only 100 foreigners living there and very few roads. I was practically straight out of Perth, and Bali’s singular culture astounded me. It was a very complete culture, where everything in daily life had meaning. So did architecture; it always related back to daily life, whether it was the spatial qualities of a courtyard cluster or the form of the buildings themselves.” His experience of the planning of traditional Balinese villages and buildings – with their sequences of outdoor rooms, axial planning and courtyards – can be read in much of his subsequent work. Experiences of Japan and Sri Lanka (including the work of Geoffrey Bawa) were also formative, encouraging an appreciation of how architecture can be intimately tied to and powerfully express aspects of site, place and culture. This experience of Asia fostered an approach to ‘building appropriately’ to cultural tradition and aspiration, and architectural history. After a period at Palmer and Turner’s Jakarta office from 1974 to 1978, Hill decided to settle in Singapore to establish his own studio in 1979 with a job in Bali from Adrian Zecha, who later founded Amanresorts and would become a longstanding client bringing many regional resort projects to the practice. Hill carried the lessons learned in Bali and elsewhere with him as his portfolio developed, blending the intuitive basis of his response to place and culture and the exactitude of rationalisation into refined planning and spatial organisation. A constant curiosity was a driver of his work – an approach surely driven by personal inclination, and perhaps also by the habit of looking with an unfamiliar gaze. It is in the plan that the combined influence of a traditional and modern approach is most succinctly expressed. “The plan,” Hill said in 2014, “is the unifying strategy in our work. For many years, all our plans were orthogonal. I remember one day, one of my architects came running down the stairs in the studio and said, ‘You’d better get up to the top floor – there’s a curve in the office!’ But there are more curves in recent years. Our plans are changing; they’re becoming more malleable and a bit more curvaceous, but nonetheless they still have their gestation in site, in the climatic aspects of the place, in culture, and in traditional planning forms.” For Hill, the plan was the key that unlocked the idea to a scheme. Kerry Hill Architects is known for its production of impeccable models – a form of representation with perpetuating potency despite the parallel use of digital rendering. The dedication to the time-consuming process of impeccable model construction is an apt reflection of the time spent understanding place and developing an appropriate and sensitive response through architecture. The practice’s move into the realm of architectural competitions more recently brought new opportunities (for example, civic and cultural projects in Perth and the Royal Military College in Jordan), but in some ways challenged the well-honed processes. “Doing competitions affects the way we work, but in a stimulating way. You have to think quickly and it forces clarification of your ideas,” said Hill. In 2013, Hill released a book through Thames and Hudson ­­– a 440-page tome titled Kerry Hill: Crafting Modernism. At the time of our interview in 2014, it had already been reprinted and was counted as one of the publisher’s ten best-selling architecture books. The publication offers the opportunity to survey Hill’s work in, more or less, its entirety – which is otherwise a challenge given the minimal nature of the Kerry Hill Architects website. Perhaps its most valuable pages are the two spreads of grey paper across which thirty-three plans have been placed side by side. Even without the contextualising information of land contours, landscaping or urban elements, these abstract ideograms can reveal, upon scrutiny, aspects of site and experience that will be had in the built works. Such is the impact of an architecture rooted to its place by way of planning – that aspects of its essence can emerge from representational lines printed on a page.   Our thoughts are with the Hill family and the Kerry Hill Architects community. Photo of Kerry Hill in his Singapore studio taken in 2014 by Rebecca Toh for Cubes issue 70, reproduced with her permission.abc
Design Products
Fixed & Fitted
Furniture

Tableau – The Modern Kitchen Redefined

With a blend of considered luxury aesthetics with hard working functional adaptability, Tableau is the kitchen system reborn. The fourth system from kitchen manufacturer Cantilever, Tableau is the next evolution in flexible Australian-made kitchen systems. Conceived as a series of versatile, considered components, each item on its own is a charming and functional piece of kitchenware, but the range truly shines when the items are brought together, thus the name Tableau. For Cantilever director Travis Dean, the collection is the ultimate expression of the brand’s dedication to marrying form and function in the practical application of design. “At Cantilever, we aim to continually drive our expertise in the long-term, functional applications of design. Our mission with Tableau was to blend high-end design with ease of use to ultimately create a product that would stand the test of time,” said Dean. “Tableau is a considered product – an exercise in tailored design – that we hope appeals to discerning consumers, builders and architects who value sustainable, refined and user-centred design” The range is composed of four components; Tableau’s Core is defined by the functional elements ‘Block’ and ‘Bench’; While the ‘Shelf’ and ‘Store’ elements work under the Compliment banner. To aesthetically complete the kitchen, these elements be joined by ‘Seam’ – a connector channel. When the Core and Compliment items are designed together as a suite, Tableau functions as high-end kitchen furniture – shaping and defining the home that surrounds it. The system continues Cantilever’s renowned signature approach to quality and build, honouring the form and aesthetics of solid timber. Combining handcrafted details with world-class technology and an evolved, elegant aesthetic, the system is as much as a statement on the beauty of unified forms as it is a functional kitchen suite. Tableau continues Cantilever’s ongoing legacy of sustainable manufacturing and timeless design. “It’s our goal that each Cantilever Kitchen System provides a distinct point of difference in the range; a unique detail or finish that separates its product identity from others. Tableau stands apart for its colour offering, luxurious materialisation and refined, statement-making design,” says Dean. Cantilever Interiors cantileverinteriors.com DesignOffice designoffice.com.au Photography by Haydn Cattach   abc
Homes
Habitus Favourites - Slider
Around The World
Architecture
ARC - Feature

Surprising Seclusion From Modern Life

With both the front and rear of the house facing busy city roads, the prospect of creating a private and relaxing home was a difficult one for Hyla Architects. For the Surprising Seclusion home though, the solution was to look inward – which is house the house was designed. The design of a triple volume court, covered but naturally ventilated, became the focus of the internal space. With a pool at its base to create a relaxing and oasis reminiscent aesthetic, the busy roads surrounding the property become an ancient memory. On the home’s side, a striking sculptural staircase cantilevers from the wall to reach up to the second level family room. The open space in the home’s centre can’t help but draw you upwards, and as you continue on another staircase, stepped planters on the walls are lit from the above light. The aesthetic here is a clever mix of strong urban style with the grey concrete, softened by the natural light and greenery. The Master bathroom continues this aesthetic, with brick openings that allow ventilation and breath life into the room, but are angled so as to ensure privacy for the residents. Hyla architect Han Loke Kwang describes the space as “inward-looking and hermetic”, a property which is juxtaposed by the bathroom, porous and sunlit design. “Normal windows would have made it quite exposed, so we created openings in the brick that allow air to go in and out but that keep it completely private through the interlocking pattern of three layers of brick,” says Han - the Surprising Seclusion name makes more sense at every turn. In a long, narrow bathroom space, a sense of space is achieved through more luxurious high ceilings, recalling the overall design of the home, as well as clever storage, and the creative eschewing of an enclosed shower for a column. “Originally the shower was just to be a regular column, then the client came back and said, There’s no way I’m going to be able to put my shampoo and body wash there, so it became a crucifix shape instead,” says Han. “We joke that showering is like a religious experience.” Hyla Architects hyla.com.sg abc
Architecture
Design Hunters
Happenings
People
What's On

Introducing the Judging Panel for the Inaugural Habitus House of the Year

Coinciding with the tenth anniversary of Habitus magazine, Habitus House of the Year is a new program for celebrating the diverse, vibrant design and architecture of the Indo-Pacific region. A means of recognising both emerging talents and established luminaries alike, the program will take a deep dive into what it truly means to adopt design as a way of life within our unique part of the world. True to the core values of Habitus, the winning project will be a home that responds deftly to its brief, context, and landscape in an exciting and innovative way. Our upcoming special edition will feature a shortlist of the best twenty homes from our region in the past twelve months, and will be supplemented by an online showcase of five projects hosted exclusively on Habitus Living. From the combination of these two shortlists, an independent jury of design experts will name the inaugural House of the Year and award commendations for Exemplary Integration of Environment and Outstanding Interior Architecture. Below, we introduce the members of this year’s Habitus House of the Year competition jury.

Meet The Judges

Paul McGillick (Chairman of the Jury)

A name that will be familiar to many of our readers, Paul McGillick is the Founding Editor of Habitus and the author of several books on residential architecture throughout the Indo-Pacific region. Paul has written extensively on visual arts and design for publications including the Australian Financial Review, The Sydney Morning Herald, and Indesign.

Narelle Yabuka

The editor of Indesignlive.sg and Singapore design publication Cubes, Narelle Yabuka is well versed in the intricacies and idiosyncrasies of design within our region. Originally from Perth – where she earned a Bachelor of Arts (Interior Architecture) from Curtin University of Technology – Narelle gained specialised knowledge of residential design in her roles as assistant editor of Architecture Australia and Houses magazines and joint editor of Designed Life: Apartments by Page One Publishing.

Howard Tanner

One of the co-founders of Sydney architecture firm TKD Architects, Howard Tanner is a prominent architect, educator, and author. Previously the National President of the Australian Institute of Architects, Howard takes an interest in both architecture and landscape, and has written widely on both topics and the nexus between them. In 2016, he was the curator of Planting Dreams: Grand Garden Designs, an exhibition of stunning landscape design presented at the State Library of NSW.

Karen McCartney

Few writers have written as prolifically and extensively about Australian interiors and architecture as Karen McCartney, Editorial Director of Temple & Webster and Architecture Editor of Belle magazine. The author of Twenty-one Australian Architects, Breaking New Ground; the Iconic Australian Houses series; The Alchemy of Things; Superhouse; and Perfect Imperfect, Karen is adept at recognising the qualities that make architecture and interiors exceptional and appealing to a mainstream audience.

Raj Nandan

Raj Nandan is the Founder, Publisher and Chief Executive Officer of the design industry’s premier regional media house, Indesign Media Asia Pacific. After acquiring his first magazine at the age of 22 in 1993, Raj continued to launch a suite of magazine titles throughout the 90s, which would become the foundation for his boutique publishing house. A mainstay on design boards and juries across the globe, Raj’s curatorial eye has allowed Indesign to grow into the most influential design voice in the Asia Pacific.

Neil Burley

The founder of interiors and architecture firm Burley Katon Halliday and furniture retailer Anibou, Neil Burley has been a leading light in Australian design for decades. Having worked across all disciplines of design from graphics and product design to interiors and furniture, Neil has unique insight into the characteristics that enable design to successfully strike a balance between practicality and aesthetics.

Read more about the inaugural Habitus House of the Year program here. Want the latest updates on the program and a number of exclusive events to commemorate our upcoming special issue? Sign up for our newsletter today.

  We would like to extend a special thanks to our Major Sponsors for their support in the inaugural year of the Habitus House of the Year initiative. Thank you to StylecraftHOME, Sub-Zero Wolf and ZIP Water.  abc
Design Hunters
DH - Feature
People

Inside The Kitchen Of One Of Australia’s Favourite Food Bloggers

If you ever find yourself in Brunswick East caught by the heady scent of just-baked goods, you might well be within sniffing distance of Julia Busuttil Nishimura’s home. “For me, food and cooking are so intertwined into my daily life, the lines of personal and professional are always blurred, and it’s how I like to think of it all,” says Julia. “It’s who I am, not what I do.” This life-affirming love for creating simple, flavoursome meals led to the launch of her blog in 2014 and publication of her eponymous book, Ostro, in 2017. Named for the southern Mediterranean wind in Italy, with a knowing wink to the Latin root for ‘Australia’, Ostro enabled the enthusiastic gourmand to share her carefully gathered recipes under a unified banner. “Above all, the food I was making was my home food – I’ve never looked to fit into a box or certain trend, so the name had to match that,” she explains. “With my family coming from Malta, my love of Italy and me living in Australia, Ostro tied it all together.” The fascination for food began as early as pre-school, when Julia’s mother would encourage her by reading recipes out to try. Hers was a childhood of formative culinary memories: collecting saltwater at the beach for making ricotta with her parents, and spring afternoons podding broad beans with her grandmother. “My family kitchen was really wonderful,” says Julia. “My uncle is a cabinet maker and my mum designed the space for hers and our needs in mind. Wide bench tops, double ovens, lots of drawers and natural light. It’s where I learned to cook and has always felt very special.” Upon moving to Melbourne and cooking her way through a series of sharehouse kitchens, Julia developed a necessarily self-reliant approach to food. Forget fad superfoods and gadgets – to cook the Ostro way is to cultivate one’s own intuition: watching for a perfectly golden crust, trusting your tastebuds to discern what may be lacking, and learning correct consistencies by feel. Today, Julia creates from a charmingly modest yet functional kitchen in the home she shares with her husband Nori and young son Haruki. And, just as Julia’s family influenced her own food-filled path, her child has a similarly hands-on approach. “Haruki loves being in the kitchen – eating and helping, usually at the same time,” says Julia. “He adores anything that’s a noodle, whether it be spaghetti, udon or soba!” Ostro julia-ostro.com Photography by Marnie Hawson abc
Architecture
Around The World
Homes

What Do Luis Barragán And Wes Anderson Have In Common?

Inspired by American film director Wes Anderson and Mexican architect Luis Barragán, this home’s lively colour palette pays homage to their iconic works. This distinct use of colour not only creates a strong design identity, but also defines the different areas of the home. Eugene Lee, founder and designer from Shijin Design Consultancy explains: “Colour is utilised as the main design element to demarcate space, mood and function.” Multi-coloured concrete floor tiles set in a herringbone arrangement create a trail from the front entrance and into communal zones. It reflects the homeowners’ jubilant personalities and their enthusiasm in welcoming friends and family into their home. On the different flooring treatments, Eugene says: “The angle created by the floor termination and joinery provides a visual cue into the living, dining and kitchen areas.” To cater to homeowners’ lifestyle needs, their home’s layout had to work around their personal interests such as entertaining. That meant reconfiguring the old floor plan drastically. The previous homeowner left behind open-plan layouts for the kitchen and a common bedroom. Eugene kept the open-concept kitchen but designed a counter to front the entrance. The open-plan bedroom behind the dining area was sealed back however, and this creates a soundproof room for a recording studio. The current kitchen layout includes a clever, multi-functional counter with dual-sided storage. Other than storing baking equipment, it works as a food prep station and an additional dining space to host guests. “The recess below the drawers can accommodate seats for guests if the need arises,” says Eugene. He also remarks on the homeowners’ interest in baking: “They bake more than they cook, and filling the house with the aroma of freshly-baked treats is something they like to do.” To make room for more guests, all the homeowners need to do is swing the mobile TV console, which divides the living and dining areas, up against the wall. Eugene adds: “The TV console is hinged on one side. The heavy-duty castor wheels will swing it parallel to the wall.” The other side of this moving divider offers shelving which now houses the homeowners’ CD and vinyl record collection. Another divider resides behind the sofa and it serves as a seat backing while offering additional power points and two-way light switches. Shijin Design Consultancy leeshijin.wixsite.com/shijin Photography Fabian Ong abc
Interiors
Primary Slider

Social At Verandah Offers A Garden Oasis In Sydney’s CBD

Sitting comfortably in Sydney’s CBD, Social at Verandah has already generated a lot of buzz on the local foodie scene. Just when you though Sydney’s CBD couldn’t get any more vibrant with character and exquisite flavours, this multi-faceted restaurant will excite you that little bit more. Dressed throughout in pure designer style, this elegant destination is also accompanied by an extensive balcony to bring the city’s famed outdoors, in. If the design scheme inspired by tropical greenery isn’t enough to entice you, the abundant designer bars, relaxing booths and lounges alongside traditional fireplaces are sure to reel you in. For Social at Verandah, Head Chef Brad Sloane celebrates the ethos of simple and great classic food. And this philosophy is carried over into the design of the space. “The tiled balcony is a contemporary take on patterned encaustic courtyards with the dark timber and rattan finishes, contrasted against the hanging greenery throughout the space,” says Lead Designer Stuart Krelle of Luchetti Krelle. “Continuing the jungle theme, the main wall of the dining room features a custom mural by artist Chris Nixon mixing botanicals and patterns to ensure the bold graphics pop against rendered walls.” The delicately balanced architectural and gastronomic flavour of Social at Verandah is bound to an impression on Sydney and its discerning diners. Through the space’s carefully selected designer furniture, diners are welcomed through the seamless flow from dining room to cocktails at the bar – with all spaces celebrating that luxe colonial classicism that will fascinate all night long. With designer style and world-class food paired with an impressive wine selection, Social at Verandah has suitably made an impressive stamp on the Sydney scene. Next time you’re seeking an escape from the concrete jungle, this garden oasis needs to be on your list. Luchetti Krelle luchettikrelle.com Photography Courtesy of Social at Verandah We think you might also like 12-Micron by SJBabc
Primary Slider
Homes
Architecture
ARC - Feature

What Happens When Hecker Guthrie Are Given Carte Blanche?

A daring manipulation of form and deliberately pared back, minimal interiors are the hallmarks of this South Yarra home, designed by Hecker Guthrie. They reference elements of a quintessentially modern Australian architectural aesthetic, but also an approach that stems intrinsically from the pair’s own design vocabulary. “For Hecker Guthrie, this was an opportunity to display the ultimate expression of what we do as a practice, as we had 100 per cent control over the direction of the architecture and interiors,” explains Hamish Guthrie, co-director of the Melbourne-based practice. The designers were fortunate to work with an empty plot and alongside a client-builder, who gave them extensive design freedom. Whilst the overall aesthetic is one of minimal restraint, the house overwhelms with its abundance of light and connection to the landscape. “The strong materiality of the exterior is counterbalanced by a lush, mossy driveway and façade to seamlessly blend in with the typically heritage streetscape,” says Hamish. Internally, the open floor plan is punctured by light-filled courtyards that connect the various spaces whilst maintaining a sense of intimacy. The atrium acts as “the heart”, allowing light to flood in through the large structural floor-to-ceiling glazing and internal sliding doors. The kitchen forms the social nucleus of the house, along with the generously-sized living and dining room, ensuring that ample space is available for extended family and social gatherings. “Each area throughout the home is tied together without clearly defined edges, allowing the family to use it to meet their changing needs,” Hamish adds. Interior materials consistently reference and match the exterior architecture with the extensive use of brick and concrete consistent across both interfaces. “With this philosophy you create a beautiful and rigorous architectural space and then into it you insert objects that have personality that start to represent the clients,” concludes Hamish. Hecker Guthrie heckerguthrie.com Photography by Shannon McGrath Dissection Information Nuvo Aspire bricks in Mist from Boral Pretziada Illusion and Panama rugs from Halcyon Rugs City Stick floor mounted white bath mixer from Brodware Alape WT 400 Round Washstand and Highgrove Toob Freestanding Basin from Reece Freestanding Clearwater Formoso 1690 Bathtub from Reece La Lampe Gras Wall Light blak Pianca Dedalo bedside from Meizai We think you might also like a new showroom space by Hecker Gurthrieabc
House Of The Year

Two Wall House

The site is in a relatively dense inner suburban area characterised by early 20th-century, single-storey cottages. However, this plot accommodated a fairly grand 4.85-metre-wide, two-storey Victorian terrace house. It was positioned in the corner of the plot which suggested to the co-owners that a second dwelling might optimise the use of the site giving each their own residence. Realistically, the useable land was not sufficient for a truly habitable free-standing house. The solution was to join the two houses with a party wall and, inside, take 700 millimetres away from the width of the existing house. This left an interior width of 4.2 metres for each house and leaving the new single-storey house a very modest 3.7-metres street façade. The façade, though, is subtly designed with a low-rise concrete garden planter behind a steel grill fence to separate it from the street, a scaled up timber door and an imposing frangipani tree screening the feature window of the small front sitting room. The scale of the doorway is repeated above with a large dormer window extruding from the pitched zinc roof. These shapes quietly resonate with the imposing upright form of the next door terrace. In turn, the steel frame and balustrading of the terrace’s upper verandah shake hands with the steel grill fence of the smaller house. This conversation – which is also quietly about the new and the old – is repeated more explicitly at the back of the two houses where their two rear elevations in steel and glass replicate one another. The interiors of the new single-storey terrace feel surprisingly spacious. Even the small front sitting room seems far more capacious once the blind is up and the feature window lets in the frangipani’s dappled light. The ceiling height is 2.7 metres at the entry, but the house then steps down twice keeping the ceiling height constant. We first pass a dark timber pod containing a powder room, then step down to the kitchen/dining space, then down to a large family room looking on to the courtyard. By now the height is almost four metres. This journey is defined on the party wall side by joinery, by the stairway (up to the three bedrooms and master bathroom) and the kitchen. On the other side a slender skylight runs almost the length of the house further expanding our sense of space. Another such skylight illuminates the stairwell on the party wall side. Similarly, the family room has full-height sliding glass doors onto the courtyard with its plunge pool and delicate crepe myrtle. Bookending the site is the timber-clad garage with an upstairs studio boasting another generous feature window to look back on the house. The architect and owner, Domenic Alvaro of Woods Bagot, sees the project as an investigation into the potential of the terrace house typology and into how, through urban infill projects such as these, we can achieve more density without loss of amenity. He also points out that this house cost less than a city apartment of similar scale. The result is a family home which despite its size (a mere 160 square metres) never seems short of space and light or connection to nature. It is a thoroughly modern home which sits quite comfortably in an historical context of early 20th century cottages and terraces.abc
House Of The Year

Bardon House

Liam Proberts is a principal in the outstanding Brisbane architectural practice, bureau proberts, and he designed this house for himself and his family. It has all the modernist rigour and functionality that mark the practice’s work, but it also has a warmth and sensuality that derive from two contextual issues close to Liam’s heart: the rich architectural vernacular of this fringe CBD suburb and the lush tropical landscape it overlooks. The suburb is typified by ‘Ashgrovian’ bungalows (1920-30s), a blend of the Queenslander and Californian bungalow. The Ashgrovian dispenses with the Queenslander’s central entry and corridor, but retains the gable roof, enclosed verandah (or sleep-out), entry porch, the use of timber batten screens and various decorative elements such as latticework. Bardon House responds to this context not with pastiche, but with discreet contemporary elements that distil the character of the Ashgrovian bungalow, especially in its street presence. The result is a satisfying sense of architectural continuity and cultural coherence. The house’s roof form references the gables and hipped rooves of the Ashgrovian. Similarly, the screened front of the house with its black and white triangulated decorative screen hints at the latticework and battens – but in an entirely modern format. The low-lying street façade is deceptive, concealing as it does the interior from the public domain. In fact, the house sits on a north-facing ridge with the land falling away steeply to a lush and variegated bushland reserve at the back, giving Liam the opportunity to luxuriate in his love of the tropical landscape. Not surprisingly, he has devised an arrival sequence that leads the visitor in stages to the grand reveal of the reserve. The Ashgrovian entry porch is only faintly seen from the street, set back from the screened façade. It acts an internal mid-level entry lobby. One either goes upstairs to the bedrooms or downstairs along a slightly kinked stairway and open corridor to the main living, dining and kitchen space. On the left is an operable screen which draws the eye to an internal garden court. This carefully manicured Japanese-style pebbled garden, we quickly realise, acts to complement the wild tropicality of the reserve. Finally, we reach the main space. Like a huge verandah, it is fully glazed with massive sliding glass doors, across the full 12-metre width of the living area and kitchen. It is as though we are floating amongst the tall-ranging trees outside. A planter strip acts like a ha-ha, accentuating the illusion that we have come to the edge of the world. In fact, there is a lower level with a family room, garden and pool before we reach the edge of the property, but this remains unseen from the living space. On the one hand, this is a sleek and unadorned modernist house. Yet it also has a decorative dimension with its de Stijl-like geometry of triangulated patterns. It is further softened by the use of stone tiles, timber and plywood. These elements are combined with the rear walls and ceiling using a faceted pattern of limewashed hooped pine panels, creating a soft but energetic geometric frisson to the interior. This is a family home designed to adapt to the changing needs of a growing household. It is also a good neighbour, its street frontage respecting the scale of surrounding homes, while still able to fully exploit the steep fall of its site and embrace a spectacular natural setting.abc