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

ADVERTORIALS
Design Products
Fixed & Fitted

The final touch – the crown gem – of the bathroom

The acclaimed Geberit flush plate family of round buttons has a new, stylish addition. The new Sigma21 is designed to be the gem that finishes the aesthetic of any designer bathroom. Available in a range of colours, the collection has been designed to a world-quality standard that is long lasting as well as a trendy statement for your bathroom. Among Geberit’s comprehensive range of flush buttons, there is something for everyone’s taste. With a variety of materials, designs, surfaces and colours to choose from, the Geberit design experts have ensured that every bathroom can have that final touch that completes the look. The launch of the Geberit Sigma21 flush button sees the rollout of the highest-quality flush plate with round buttons to date. The design is based on that of the Sigma20. The Black, White and Sand colour options are notably impressive thanks to a precise cut that reflects the light in sophisticated fashion. The Slate colour button is manufactured from a single piece of fine-textured slate, representing this natural material used in the Geberit range of flush plates for the very first time and last but not the least Matt Black button provides a striking conversation piece for a bathroom. [gallery columns="5" ids="79194,79193,79192,79190,79910"] Like its close relative – the plastic Geberit Sigma20 flush button – the Sigma21 have elegantly curved flush buttons. Thanks to the chrome-coloured rings, the flush buttons stylishly contrast with the reflective cover. Available now in Matt Black, White, Sand, and Slate colours, the Sigma21 flush buttons are ready to be the final touch in the designer bathroom of your dreams. Geberit geberit.com.au abc
Habitus Favourites - Slider
Happenings
Parties

Celebrating 20 years of Farage fashion

Hosted by Founders Joe and Katy Farage, the 20th anniversary dinner was held to celebrate not only a momentous two decades for Farage, but also for a huge milestone in Australian fashion. Farage’s success and long history in Australian fashion has been attributed to its consistent promise of delivering quality tailoring, exceptional customer service and experiential retail. Offering ­ in addition to this - its ability to evolve and adapt to an ever-changing retail market. Born from a hunger for great fashion design, Joe founded the company with his now wife Katy in 1998 soon after the pair recognising a shared passion for the fashion industry and identifying a gap in the market for premium, luxury tailoring in Australia. 20 years on, Farage is now one of the country’s leading suiting brands and is loved not only by its loyal and ever-growing clientele base, but some of our most talented local celebrities including Hugh Jackman, Delta Goodrem and Emma Freedman. Guests at the dinner included Joe and Katy Farage, Erika and Andrew Kingston, Tom Derickx, Eleanor Pendleton and Mathew Wilson, Donny Galella, Dale McKie and Jonathan Ward. As the company celebrates 20 successful years in business, it is now looking forward to the next 20 by continuing to create beautiful collections, quality garments and delivering exceptional customer experiences. “Our focus in-house at the moment is to continue to deliver beautiful collections that people really enjoy and want to be a part of, and to deliver the best experience we can in our current locations,” says Joe Farage. [gallery columns="4" ids="79879,79880,79881,79883,79884,79885,79886,79888,79889,79890,79891,79893,79895,79896,79897,79898,79900,79901,79902,79903,79904,79906,79907"] We congratulate Joe, Katy, and the entire Farage team on 20 years of success, and toast to the next 20! Farage farage.com.auabc
Homes
Around The World
Architecture
ARC - Feature

Return Of The Breeze Block

A single unit, with the potential of indeterminable configurations, scale and patterning, the ubiquitous concrete breeze block is synonymous with Modernist architecture of the 1950s and 60s. The then popular material skinned residential and commercial buildings in cities prone to much sunlight, providing the assets of strength, easy maintenance, low cost and shade without removing natural ventilation. It also embodied the ‘less is more’ mantra of Modernist architects by combining decoration and structure in one stroke. Overshadowed subsequently with sleeker materials like glass and steel, the breeze block is making a come back, reflecting the current desire for tactility and simplicity in design. “Many pre-fabricated elements tend to be mass produced but clinical. However breeze blocks, along with the brick, are both pre-fabricated, modular and yet rustic,” suggests architect and founder of Red Bean Architects Teo Yee Chin on the material’s renewed popularity. He should know, having given it centre stage in a new residence he has designed in Singapore for a couple who lives here with two young children and a lived-in helper. Within Frame House, the breeze block forms two walls rising up three storeys – at the front elevation and side near the rear where bedrooms are located – defining an architecture governed by white walls and rectangular planes. Frame House Red Bean Architects building side Frame House Red Bean Architects windows This strategy of “framing” drives the design to achieve twin requirements of privacy from its corner roadside location and thermal comfort from the unforgiving tropical sun, especially since the house’s long side faces west. A two-storey gap between the front breeze block wall and the interior spaces allow the interiors to be naturally ventilated. This voluminous void at the foyer also provides an inviting and uplifting welcome into the property. The full-height windows of bedrooms face the short side of the house, keeping the long façade relatively blank. Setting back the middle of the house allows bedrooms at the rear to obtain more indirect views and light, with deep roof eaves extending overhead to shelter this part of the house containing the common spaces – the study on the second storey and a lounge on the third storey for the couple to hang out near the stars wine in hand – from sunlight, rain and public views. “Even within a tight plot like this, we made a deliberate attempt to layer the façade elements as different planes, creating recesses of different depths when seen from the long side. Layering is the architectural device here. This creates interstitial spaces that give privacy, shade or create sequences of movement,” explains Teo, referring to the balconies and voids on the different storeys. Frame House Red Bean Architects entrance foyer Frame House Red Bean Architects internal pond The house is governed by a basic budget but is no less interesting. Within, herringbone pattern parquetry and deep blue carpentry laminate detailed with exposed edges pop against a foil of homogeneous tiles, white walls and mild steel railings. In the master bathroom, sea-green tiles exude calm and a vintage feel matching that of the breeze blocks. Teo shares that that initially the husband wanted a resort house with a relaxed ambience incorporating nature and the wife wanted one more iconic in form. Frame House marries the embodiment of both desires in an abstract, restrained and graceful manner but most importantly conscientiously provides utmost liveability and usability in its design. Red Bean Architects redbeanarch.com Photography by Daniel Koh and Tan Yun Liang Dissection Information Breeze blocks from All Well Trading & Transportation Pte Ltd Bathroom and kitchen from Bravat, Grohe and Rubine Sockets and switches from Schneider Electric Interior tiles from Hafary and Ah Huat Trading Joinery finish from Lamitak Laminates, Admira Laminates and Inspire Quartz Hardware from Blum Frame House Red Bean Architects staircase Frame House Red Bean Architects wood parquetry Frame House Red Bean Architects master lounge Frame House Red Bean Architects walk in robe Frame House Red Bean Architects bathroom We think you might also like Forever House by Wallflower Architecture + Designabc
Architecture
Conversations
Design Hunters
Habitus Favourites - Slider
Homes
Primary Slider

Creativity And Constraints: How Architects Are Modernising Heritage Houses

Australian housing in the late-eighteenth and early-nineteenth centuries was very much influenced by the British, Italian, French and American with Victorian terraces, Edwardian cottages, Federation villas and California bungalows lining inner-city and suburban streets. While these houses embody a slice of Australian history, serving as architectural symbols of the country’s heritage, many have been altered and adapted over the years, reflecting the desire for more natural light, fresh air, open space and outdoor connections. These houses are often located on long, compact blocks with neighbouring properties and heritage overlays. But with constraints comes creativity as architects modernise the houses while preserving and respecting an original character.    

Bell Street House by Bagnoli Architects

The Victorian style proved to be the most popular housing typology from around 1840 to 1890. They began as formal but plain one-storey dwellings and became taller, grander and more decorative as the period progressed – an expression of Australia’s increasing wealth and confidence and development of industry and craftsmanship. Bell Street House in Hawthorn is a Victorian cottage built in 1887 that Bagnoli Architects transformed into a light-filled home. The client – also the builder – wanted and a home with flowing spaces, increased living area, separated sleeping zones and outdoor space for the dog. “Despite no heritage overlay in the area most of the houses have remained sympathetic to the original Victorian cottages lining the street,” says Stefan Bagnoli. The front of the house has been preserved and the two-storey addition begins behind the front hip roof and is clad in timber battens to soften the form and create interplays of light and shadow. “The dissolving nature of the spaced timber-batten façade and hip roof provides a sympathetic response to existing neighbourhood conditions,” Stefan explains. The interior layout is compact and efficient with small sanctuaries that enable the family to be together or on their own. Skylights bring light deeper into the house; a large circular window provides a view into the backyard (and an escape hatch for the dog), and custom-designed elements, such as the staircase plinth that doubles as a low seat for changing shoes, are designed specifically for the family’s way of living. [gallery size="large" ids="79452,79461,79451,79460,79462,79455,79458,79453,79456,79454"]
Photography by Peter Bennetts
 

South Yarra House by O’Connor and Houle

South Yarra House is an alteration and addition to what O’Connor and Houle describe as a “somewhat unconventional two-storey Victorian house”. Part of a Level 1 streetscape in a Heritage Overlay, the area is highly protected with Victorian-era homes and early-twentieth-century houses and apartments lining the streets. O’Connor and Houle modernised the house, adding new service areas, living spaces and courtyards, while restoring the characteristic elements of the Victorian house. “We cut into and away from the cellular nature of the Victorian plan to create an amalgamation of private spaces and communal spaces that represent the ideal configuration of the modern house,” explain Annick Houle and Stephen O’Connor. “The new rear façade and north-facing garden exploit the environmental context and introduce light, shade, air, city views, and greenery to the historic interiors.” A verandah wraps around the front and side of the house, while the other side is set in from the boundary. O’Connor and Houle inserted a barely visible addition in this tall, narrow space to accommodate services. Clad in a deep-green glass and set back from the façade, it houses the kitchen, bathrooms, a study and laundry. The upper and lower hallways were offset from each other, which enabled the removal of small upper-level rooms without interrupting the envelope of the house and its roof. A new two-storey void brings generous space and light into the middle of the plan, and new living spaces within a modern addition are oriented onto a north-facing courtyard conceived as an outdoor room. [gallery size="large" ids="79467,79465,79469,79466,79468,79464"]
Photography by Earl Carter
 

Highbury Grove House by RITZ&GHOUGASSIAN

Federation-style houses built in the late-nineteenth and early-twentieth century celebrated Australia’s budding national identity. Architects and builders fused influences from France, Britain and America to create houses less formal than Victorian-era predecessors and far better suited to the country’s subtropical climate. And with the fervour of nationalism and pride that accompanied federation in 1901, architects embedded symbols of flora and fauna in timber work and sunrise motifs in front gables to signify the dawning of the new century. Highbury Grove House in Prahan is the family home of Gilad Ritz, director of Ritz&Ghougassian. The studio took an inward-looking approach to updating the Federation house, creating private spaces with internal courtyards, rather than a traditional backyard. “The project contrasts the medium of light and air against the heaviness of the concrete walls,” say Gilad and Jean-Paul Ghougassian. The heritage façade conceals the expansive contemporary addition, with a narrow threshold accentuating the transition between old and new. Heavy-set concrete-block walls define cavernous spaces and frame views of the courtyards that flank each end of the living area. “The connection between the heritage architecture and the new addition is expressed as a singular moment cast in shadow. The user is squeezed into close contact with the concrete walls, before stepping up into a large hollow volume of open air and light,” Gilad explains. The concrete-block walls emphasise the module of the brick and meticulous geometry of the house, with spotted gum joinery and doors bringing warmth and grain to the interior. [gallery size="large" ids="79474,79475,79471,79472,79473"]
Photography by Tom Blachford
 

Bouwam House by Sam Crawford Architects

Haberfield was dubbed the Garden Suburb in the early twentieth-century due to its parks, tree-lined streets and one-storey Federation houses with pristine gardens. It was an experiment in urban planning and to be an exemplar for middle-class Australia suburbs. Consequently, the majority of houses in Haberfield are protected in the Conservation Area of Haberfield, part of the Register of the National Estate of Australia, and renovations and additions must follow strict guidelines ensuring they stay true to the style of the era. Sam Crawford Architects’ addition to this 1914 Federation house included removing a 1990s extension and adding spacious and contemporary living spaces: open-plan kitchen, living and dining room, media room and attic conversion. “The original dwelling has its own strengths and is very much of its time. We wanted to reflect the solidity of that existing form, yet at the same time provide a contrast,” says Sam. The contemporary use of concrete represents the timeless nature of the original and new buildings. A curved concrete wall expressed inside and out marks the transition between old and new and draws visitors into the light-filled rear living spaces. Formwork joins and tie-rod holes are visible on the exposed concrete walls reflecting the rawness of the material. A former garage at the back of the property has been repurposed into a cabana space, creating a sanctuary and recreation area adjacent to the pool. [gallery size="large" ids="79477,79479,79478,79480,79476"]
Photography by Brett Boardman
  We think you might also like The Potential Of Laneway Architectureabc
House Of The Year 2018

St Vincents Place

St Vincents Place in Albert Park is one of Melbourne’s most coveted addresses. The heritage-listed Victorian streetscape, with its intact period homes, appears to have been preserved in aspic since the mid-to-late 1800s. However, behind one of the largest Victorian terrace frontages in the street is a fine contemporary home designed by B.E Architecture. The only sign of a contemporary gesture is the leadlight surrounding the Victorian-style door, with said leadlight speaking of the present rather than the past. Had everything been intact, the renovation by B.E Architecture would have been considerably different. But apart from the 250 millimetres of brickwork that constituted the northern façade, virtually every other Victorian detail had been decimated by previous owners, including its use for several decades as a convent, not to mention the time it was used by squatters. For the owner, engaging B.E Architecture was an opportunity to not only create a new home, but use the architectural practice’s entire range of services, from the granite and timber lining floors, to the furniture and artwork gracing the many walls and even courtyard garden. Nathan Coley’s artwork, Heaven Is A Place Where Nothing Ever Happens (also a well-known song by Iva Davies), was purchased well before the design of the house was even completed. “George and I went to Sydney to meet the artist to get greater insight into this work,” says Broderick Ely, Design Director at B.E Architecture, who worked closely with the firm’s architect and director, Andrew Piva. Well-known artists such as Tony Clark and Brook Andrews are also represented. “I wasn’t just looking for ‘bricks and mortar’. You could say I wanted to be taken on a much larger journey, learning more about art, furniture and the decorative arts,” says the owner, who interviewed a number of architects for this project. “It wasn’t just [B.E Architecture’s] ideas, but also their enthusiasm and passion for what they do,” he adds. Only the heritage-listed façade was salvageable, so beyond the tessellated verandah, everything is new, except an adjoining wall. The formal lounge at the front of the house, for example, is contemporary, but has a strong feel for the past. Instead of marble over mantles, B.E Architecture used marble above the fireplace. Likewise, in the main bedroom located on the first floor, green onyx was used for the feature wall. Skirting, architraves and ceiling mouldings, all designed by B.E Architecture, show a level of craftsmanship rarely seen in contemporary renovations. The timber skirting boards, for example, are all dove-tailed together, capturing their hand-crafted beauty. Likewise, rather than just creating a brick addition, the courtyard wall (referred to as the bookend of the Victorian façade) features an in-situ concrete wall with a gentle curved edge, not dissimilar to the rolled edges in many of the rooms. Swiss timber used for the kitchen joinery went through a number of processes including being lightly tinted to create the effect of a fine 1960s Danish credenza. While the kitchen overlooks an impressive twisted grapevine, the wine-tasting room that doubles as a dining area is animated via its floor-to-ceiling steel wine shelves on four sides. “This house allowed us to pursue ideas we’ve been researching for years,” says Andrew Piva, who was keen to create the artistry of the Victorian period without resorting to what can often be quite heavy and inward-looking. St Vincents Place took a year to design and over three years to build. It is a large and palatial home (approximately 750 square metres), including a 22-metre-long swimming pool at the lowest level, complete with a gymnasium, steam room and onsen, the latter being a Japanese-style room to cleanse oneself before diving into the pool. “It is a complex home, but I found the process to be extremely creative and rewarding. What could have been a stressful build really felt quite effortless,” the owner reflects. B.E Architecture bearchitecture.com We think you might also like other projects from Habitus House Of The Year abc
Design Hunters
People

“Consolidation of identity and an embrace”: Habitus House of the Year Judge Narelle Yabuka on the Narratives of Design Development

Overseeing a suite of titles across Asia Pacific, Narelle Yabuka has a unique insight into the specificities of architecture and design across the region. Since her start in architectural publishing in 2002, she has seen a significant shift in the way we approach new projects, a departure from the so-called “import model” of design that is allowing APAC’s local talent to shine more brightly. “Back then I saw an international character dominating the work – especially in Singapore,” she reflects, “But since then, there has been a kind of consolidation of identity and an embrace of architecture and design that speaks more to place.” This embrace is telling; it marks a move away from “vacuum-sealed air-conditioned life” as local designers and architects – and their clients – explore, as Narelle notes, “a willingness to live with a closer relationship to climate”. With this comes a far greater diversity of aesthetic and planning approaches, a region-specific mode of design reflecting the particularities of Asia Pacific that are best understood by the architects and designers who call it home. Indeed, this innate understanding of geography and lifestyle is bringing with it a new age of architecture. The “boldness and originality of form” that Narelle identifies as central to the region is manifesting itself in increasingly exciting ways. Homes are continuing to explore a “more porous architecture” that encourages the kind of green living that synchronises built environments with the wider ecosystem. Within this broad, tropical-inspired aesthetic, Narelle points to key differences and quirks that separate countries from each other, producing the kind of eclectic range in design and persuasion that continues to distinguish Asia Pacific from its global neighbours. There is, as Narelle says, “an incredible complexity in this part of the world, with extremes of economic and development status, cultural tradition, climate and modes of practice and construction. Meticulously planned and preened Singapore can feel a world away from congested Jakarta or Ho Chi Minh City with its rapid development challenges.” Within these complexities, nuances are born; design signifiers that grow into narratives, feeding into the way we understand spaces themselves. From Singapore’s “city in a garden” to the open-plan pavilions that continue to inform Indonesian residential design, architectural directions become intrinsic to the way places form in our minds, a subconscious reckoning that cannot separate countries, cities and suburbs from the buildings they contain. These narratives are made all the richer by new outlooks and fresh perspectives. When we asked Narelle about shifts in development practices across the region, she told us of a new undercurrent where second-generation developers across South-East Asia are becoming increasingly “keen to prioritise a sense of place and a community spirit over return on investment.” This responsibility to place carries through to Narelle’s own reporting in the region – being the product of an editorial mindset that is deeply informed by a rich diversity. Identifying that the “complexities of this region generally need to be more deeply investigated and communicated by those outside it,” Narelle endeavours to get writers on the ground, tapping into the contextual realities that can’t be captured in photographs and architectural plans. As we look towards Habitus House of the Year, this specificity to place remains front-of-mind. As a member of our inaugural jury, Narelle will be looking to reward thoughtfully designed houses that speak to their environments. These will be projects that show “consideration of how we live within our communities,” while making the best use of construction parameters and materials. And of course, homes that respond intelligently to their climates, surroundings, and the people who call the house a home.  

For more information on Habitus House of the Year and to view the full shortlist of unique projects in the running for this year’s prize, pre-order your copy of Habitus issue 41 and subscribe to our newsletter today. Read more about Habitus House of the Year 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
Architecture
Around The World
Homes
Primary Slider

A Modern Layout Marks This Apartment By Goy Architects

Ryota Yamazaki and his wife Cheryl Ang wanted their two-bedroom resale condominium apartment to have a feeling of easygoing tranquility, and turned to designer Goy Zhenru from Goy Architects to help them achieve this. Inspiration came in the form of Singapore’s classic architecture – from the rows of conservation shophouses lining heritage streets to the black-and-white bungalows that dot the landscape of the more prestigious neighbourhoods. By taking cues from these buildings,Goy Architects has designed a home that fully embraces Singapore’s tropical vernacular. “Elements like the ceiling joists and casings are integrated into the design and construction. We wanted to bring out the vernacular aspect of the space,” says Goy. Bukit Regency Goy Architects living room Bukit Regency Goy Architects TV cabinet Goy Architects engaged Towner Construction, the same contractors that worked on and restored The Warehouse Hotel. “For this home I really wanted to provide the best services, and the guys from Towner Construction know what to do with conservation elements and details,” Goy explains. In its previous condition, the apartment was gloomy and dank, and so one of Goy’s main design objectives was to create ventilated spaces and introduce natural light. The walls to the kitchen were knocked down to open up the space visually and introduce a more inviting vibe. And in keeping with the vernacular design, timber was chosen as one of the predominent materials – not just for flooring and fittings, but also when it came to the furniture, which were either sourced from Indonesia or specially customised for the owners. In the living room, French folding doors open to reveal the balcony. When fully opened, natural light floods the space and creates the scene of veranda living that the owners desire. Also, shuttering the doors on particularly sunny days still allows light into the home through the louvred fronts. Bukit Regency Goy Architects kitchen Bukit Regency Goy Architects kitchen Another key feature in the living room is the timber screen, which conceals the television when not in use. The design is a throwback to the Southeast Asian theme, with its layered, linear pattern and dark timber construction. With the apartment’s new open layout, Goy needed a way to visually demarcate the space. Instead of building glass walls or doors, she came up with a subtle way to segregate the zones: the ceiling in the living room is designed to look like rafters and joists. “It adds texture to the room without compromising space,” she explains. “This ceiling feature is a great way to visually demarcate the different zones in this home. You know where the living room ends and the kitchen begins, even if there are no vertical partitions marking the boundaries.” Goy Architects goyarchitects.com Bukit Regency Goy Architects dining Bukit Regency Goy Architects bedroom We think you might also like this apartment by Mimimology abc
Happenings

Habitus House of the Year Spaces: The Living Space

The idea of domestic comfort and the notion of leisure were first introduced during the early days of the Industrial Revolution. Though this combination of luxury, comfort and leisure led to a living space, it had no real functional purpose except to entertain. Despite the lack of a clear definition in its past, today’s living spaces are a vital component to any home, setting atmosphere, style and general identity of the built environment as a whole.

The Evolution of Living Spaces

While some people are drawn to bigger cities and the unique joys of living in dense populations, others might enjoy a family home with a large courtyard. Directly informed by personalities, wants, needs and the idiosyncrasies of its occupants, the residential sector flourishes dynamically. A centre for all daily functions, whether this entails a glass of wine at the end of the day, a place to entertain family and friends or somewhere for the kids to do their homework, there is a natural progression to combine living, dining and kitchen (LDK) spaces. The concept is not only popular because of sweeping images from magazines and social media, but because of its ability to conform to multiple residential landscapes and environments. There is no one format or design language that determines a living space as suitable, just so long as it “coincides with the individuality of the occupants,” explains Tony Russell, Brand Director of StylecraftHOME. “It will allow people to be at their most comfortable state,” whether that means being a multipurpose area or a segregated, compartmentalised one.

Outdoor Living

Particularly evident throughout Australia and New Zealand where residents are spoilt for clement outdoor conditions, there is growing admiration for outdoor living spaces. It is no surprise that when speaking about these lifestyles, words like ‘relaxed’ and ‘hideaway’ continue to pop up. Separate from the competing priority of indoor living spaces, and in line with sustainable practices, affinity with nature becomes the focal point of many households.

Turning the House into a Home

Although a house can be any basic unit of dwelling – a mobile home, apartment, penthouse or an ultra-modern glass box – its form and structure should support and shape what goes inside. People and their prized possessions transform a building fabric into the comfortable environment we all deem worthy of being called a home. “…An architecturally-designed home should provide a functional canvas for the occupants to personalise. This can be achieved through key furniture pieces, an investment in decorative arts and of course, the memories.” – Tony Russell  A humanistic approach that places end-users and guests at the heart of the space ensures that the living space is a genuine reflection of the person or family residing within. A house becomes a home when it fulfils basic necessities, expresses the residents’ characteristics and enriches their way of life.

StylecraftHOME

After successfully delivering commercial furniture in Australia for over six decades, Stylecraft’s evolution into the residential sector recognises changing concepts and influences affecting design in the places we work and play. StylecraftHOME supplies both overseas and local designer products that have been selected for residential environments. In both Sydney and Melbourne showrooms, the brand showcases a considered style of appearance, appealing to a wider range of end-users – with the assurance and backing of an already well-known and recognised brand. “All showrooms are designed to make visitors feel the same way they can expect to feel in their own homes,” says Tony Russell. -- At Habitus, we’ve always known that design can inform a way of life. As a company that understands the processes of designing as a means to enhance lifestyles instead of hinder them, StylecraftHOME is an ideal Major Sponsor in the inaugural Habitus House of The Year initiative. abc
Design Hunters
Conversations

Indigenous Collaborations: Minnie Pwerle

Art dealer for more than 20 years, and specialising in Indigenous art for more than a decade, Jenny Hillman of Waterhole Art came to know Minnie’s work quite intimately when she was invited by Minnie’s grandson to their ancestral lands near Utopia in the Northern Territory. “I’d always been an admirer of Minnie’s work [and here I was able to] watch her paint, seeing her endless obsession with putting marks down and understanding what they meant.” Having known Yosi Tal, Managing Director of Designer Rugs, and watching his business for some years, Jenny saw the opportunity for a collaboration. She and Minnie’s grandson, prominent Indigenous art dealer Fred Torres, put together a selection of Minnie’s existing works that were simple, graphic and would work well large-scale on rugs. “At that time there hadn’t been an Indigenous artist featured in a rug collection,” recalls Jenny, “So I put it to Yosi that the time was right and Minnie’s work would translate amazingly.” Yosi agreed. Jenny and Fred negotiated a beneficial contract to enable Minnie and her community to receive royalties from each sale.” From there, the process took roughly two years. “The incredible Designer Rugs team worked extremely hard to deliver an image that is true to the artwork,” Jenny says. “It was hours of selecting colours, choosing the right mills. Once the colour selection had taken place, high resolution photographs of each piece was sent to the manufacturer, along with working drawings. Sampling was produced to ensure that the essence of Minnies work was achieved. “It was a highly collaborative process and one which was very rewarding for everyone involved,” Jenny believes. When Minnie passed sadly during this time, it was left to her grandson, who was “extremely adept and very commited to preserving her legacy”, to complete the project. According to Jenny, Fred remained very involved and signed off on every detail. Yosi Tal explains, “Minnie’s signature as an artist would definitely be her energetic brush strokes, so we took the challenge upon ourselves to translate this energy into the rugs. The painterly, sweeping effect of the designs are achieved through careful stippling of different coloured wool, and was the first time we had achieved this type of effect.” ‘Atnwengerrp’, which means ‘land of dreamings’, comprises a limited edition collection of seven hand-tufted 100 per cent New Zealand wool rugs, based on iconic Minnie Pwerle paintings. “It was incredible that we were able to produce this collection that so honoured her,” says Jenny. “Her daughter, Barbara Weir, was incredibly impressed when she saw it.” Jenny believes Minnie’s art – and the rugs by extension – have a potent power. “Minnie’s sense of colour and geometry is amazing, but there is also a connection to land and ceremony. [The rugs] have a topographical story about the landscape, but then there is a deeper story about how [her tribe] lives in the landscape, how they relate to it, and their ancestral stories. They’re very unique; so Australian and so worthy because they’re like a flag,” she continues. “You have a piece of great significance and great beauty, but you can also not understand any of that, and still appreciate it.” The Designer Rugs team say that through the process they “gained a great deal of insight into the nuances, history and importance of Minnie’s work. We hope we’ve been able to pass this meaning along to a new audience, who then go on to engage with Minnie’s art and other indigenous artists. Indigenous art is as unique as it is beautiful, and we saw it as a great honour to be a part of preserving Minnie’s work, her history and her talent. Also from a purely aesthetic standpoint, Minnie’s art is mesmerising and meaningful – we were excited to translate the work into rugs, and saw the potential for creating great design.” Although Minnie passed away before the launch of the collection, the royalties continue to support her family and community. Importantly, this collaboration paved the way for further Indigenous collections with Designer Rugs. So there is an ongoing connection with Indigenous tribes – and another way for their stories to be shared. “We believe it is important to keep indigenous art alive through a younger generation,” concludes Yosi. “Commerical collaborations like this should not only support young artists financially, but also show them that being an artist is a viable career. Nurturing that motivation to create is critical in keeping this unique art form alive.” Designer Rugs designerrugs.com.au ‘Atnwengerrp’ rugs have been specified into a variety of projects, from beautiful homes to the National Museum of Australia. They are available from Designer Rugs. abc
Habitus Favourites - Slider
Around The World
Architecture
ARC - Feature

A New Visitors Pavilion At The Singapore Botanic Gardens

Prior to 1930, the Bukit Timah Core of the Singapore Botanic Gardens (SBG) was the site of economic crop plantations such as rubber and sago – hard to believe on a contemporary weekend when the rolling lawns are teeming with people enjoying picnics overlooking the Eco Lake. “There’s a history of developing rubber tapping techniques at this part of the SBG, which subsequently evolved into a rubber manufacturing economy,” says Wu Yen Yen, Principal Architect at Genome Architects. And in the heydays of Singapore’s rubber industry, the railway was a vital link for exports. “Historically, there was a Cluny Road Railway Station located along Bukit Timah Road, and further along the road, a rubber factory,” explains Wu. She and her team at Genome Architects drew deeply on this history when designing a visitor pavilion for the National Parks Board (NParks) at the SBG’s Bukit Timah Gate. “We saw this new pavilion as a piece of architecture that is not only for navigation and service, but that also carries a narrative speaking of the Bukit Timah Core’s heritage,” says Wu. Singapore Botanic Gardens by Genome Architects Singapore Botanic Gardens by Genome Architects Genome developed a lightweight, open structure with slim, custom-profiled steel. Its shape references the angular grooves that are sliced into a rubber tree’s bark during the process of rubber tapping. The structure also references the historic architecture of old railway stations. Visitors arriving from the nearby Botanic Gardens MRT station approach the pavilion on a pathway of simulated railway sleepers set into the garden. “It’s a coming together of botanical influences, the national heritage of economy crops and our history of railway transport, amalgamated into a single contemporary garden pavilion – a lightweight structure that treads lightly on the ground, nestled into the lush landscape,” says Wu. The dual-skin roof takes on a different character at night, when uplighting emphasises a vault of slats. These are smartly assembled into L-shaped louvres that provide variable shading conditions through the course of the day. Singapore Botanic Gardens by Genome Architects Singapore Botanic Gardens by Genome Architects Genome Architects also strategised the placement of the pavilion, pairing it via sight lines with a new boardwalk (also designed by the studio) and an existing pavilion across the Eco Lake. Landscape design was a collaborate effort with Tinderbox Landscape Studio. The boardwalk provides new vantage points from which to visually engage with the Eco Lake and its surrounds. It brings visitors from a marshy area out over the open water, with integrated signage set into chamfered surfaces offering information about the wildlife and plants that might be encountered on the lake. It confirms the importance of the Eco Lake as the present-day heart of the SBG’s Bukit Timah Core, and adds to the experience of the Gardens for the many visitors to this UNESCO World Heritage Site. Wu Yen Yen was also one of the Curators and Exhibition Designers for the Singapore Pavilion at the Venice Architecture Biennale 2018. Genome Architects gad.com.sg Photography by Khoo Guo Jie Singapore Botanic Gardens by Genome Architects Singapore Botanic Gardens by Genome Architects Singapore Botanic Gardens by Genome Architectsabc
Architecture
HAP - Feature
Happenings
Places

Fall In Love With The Look And Feel Of Oak

Australian brand Tongue N Groove has moved into a new home in Sydney, designed by renowned architects Tobias Partners. The concept of thinking outside the box at it’s best; the space highlights the material’s versatility and marks the beginning of endless design possibilities for all designers, architects and consumers. Nick Tobias – who serves as the founding partner of Tobias Partners – designed the interior with a nod to the company’s ethos and success in the past few years. He transformed the space into a series of “experiences” that he describes as “contemporary interpretations and variations of the product.” Serving as a stage to shine light on the potentiality of solid oak boards, Tongue N Groove really placed emphasis on its product in a new way. “Although our product range is recognised as high-end across the architecture and design industry,” explains Elle McCarthy, general manager at Tongue N Groove, “we wanted to showcase the product in such a way that it appeals to a wider range of consumers and designers.” This resulted in several design features: a vertical dance of the products on the ceiling; timber battens that divide private and public rooms; exquisite brass mirror inlays and various finished floor levels displaying the playfulness and flexibility of Tongue N Groove’s portfolio. Having designed the brand’s previous showrooms, Tobias Partners understands that the core values of Tongue N Groove lie in its passion to provide the Australian market with an unmatched product in strength and style. Comprising three layers of solid European oak and a 6mm wear layer, the product bestows elegance and durability upon each and every project. In order to ensure that people step foot into the store, architect Nick Tobias explains that, “the entire shop front opens up with no visual obstructions.” This actively engages consumers from the street-level, proving that the more sensory the experience, the more likely people get drawn in.
“The wide space granted architects with design flexibility and the ability to create a new design story that is specific to the products we offer.” – Elle McCarthy, general manager, Tongue N Groove
[gallery columns="4" ids="79521,79525,79526,79527,79528,79530,79532,79536,79537,79539,79540,79541,79542,79543,79544,79546,79548,79549,79550,79534"] The Tongue N Groove showroom can be experienced at 17-19 Danks St, Waterloo New South Wales Celebrating the launch of a showroom that consciously pushes the boundaries of design as we know it, Habitus Living wishes to congratulate the Tongue N Groove team on an exciting new chapter!abc
Architecture
Homes
Primary Slider

A Fitzroy Addition Inspired By A Church

Like so many original single-fronted terraces in the heart of Fitzroy, this one suffered from a lack of natural light and tight special constraints. Add to that a makeshift mezzanine bedroom and it was definitely time for an update. The brief called for a functional two-bedroom home on a modest budget and Whiting Architects has delivered the goods, all within a contemporary design that retains the charm of a humble brick floored workers cottage. Yet the project was not without its challenges, including heritage restrictions requiring the rear addition be hidden from the street and a large bluestone church behind the property that visually dominates the site. From the ground floor there is no hint of the new first level, which was created by extending and connecting the existing mezzanine to the addition, allowing for a bathroom, second bedroom/study and the stairwell. “Space was a premium and needed to be used wisely,” says the practice’s Melbourne-based Director Steven Whiting. “So we re-positioned the stair from the middle of the living areas to free up more room and located it adjacent the kitchen, treating it as an external element.” Moor Street Residence Whiting Architects cc Tess Kelly kitchen living open plan Moor Street Residence Whiting Architects cc Tess Kelly dining The stairwell is particularly bright and airy and the perforated metal privacy screen adds a sense of wonder and curiosity as dappled light dances across the interior’s white surfaces. It’s a clever way to introduce a decorative feature into the addition, which is otherwise characterised by clean lines and sharp angles. These take their cue from the church’s spire, perfectly framed by the rear bedroom’s rectangular skylight. Other windows frame the church’s stained glass windows, while the home’s east elevation pays the most compelling homage to its holy neighbour. As Steven explains, “We folded its form to appear like angel wings protecting the building and this works to clearly articulate the elevation, breaking down the addition’s bulk without compromising privacy and light quality.” Moor Street Residence Whiting Architects cc Tess Kelly staircase Moor Street Residence Whiting Architects cc Tess Kelly bedroom It’s one of the project’s most unexpected moments, along with a kitchen ‘cupboard’ that allows access to the stair and second level and an internal kitchen window that actually looks directly onto the stair. This is a stylish abode that’s equal parts cosy and hard edge, successfully reconciling old and new in an appealing and highly liveable design. Whiting Architects whitingarchitects.com Photography by Tess Kelly Dissection Information Tambootie dining table by Agostino and Brown Chiaro dining chairs by Leon Ransmeier for Mattiazzi from District Furniture CH24 chair by Hans J. Wegner from Cult Design Dreamweaver pendant lights by Pop and Scott Moor Street Residence Whiting Architects cc Tess Kelly CH24 Chair Hans Wedgner Moor Street Residence Whiting Architects cc Tess Kelly bathroom Moor Street Residence Whiting Architects cc Tess Kelly church Moor Street Residence Whiting Architects cc Tess Kelly building side We think you might also like Church Conversion by Kister Architectsabc