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Why Wrap An Art Deco House In A Veil Of Steel?

“It was made fairly clear that this house was special and that the only path forward was a sympathetic extension – or no works at all,” explains architect Nic Owen when asked about the process of crafting an extension to the O’Brian house, A.K.A Shadow House, in the Melbourne suburb of Richmond. Graded “A” by the City of Yarra (the highest rating from council level), the house bears its own citation which includes a detailed description of its distinctive gable and hipped roof, its Moderne-style stucco, unusual brick window hood details and curved entry porch. Nic’s clients desired a modernised city pad (they live in a larger house outside Melbourne), with an additional first-floor bedroom and bathroom; an update to the existing bathroom; and an improved inside-outside connection. Shadow House Nic Owen Architects CC Christine Francis exterior door Shadow House Nic Owen Architects CC Christine Francis corridor Whilst the architectural concept was to “mimic the existing form”, the architects have been able to translate this idea into a contemporary architectural solution. “Roof forms and pitches play a very important visual role of any building, and this was particularly important with this historic house,” explains Nic. “The name, Shadow House, came from copying the existing roof pitch as a starting design approach and trying to achieve an outcome which was simple, a modern interpretation of the past. Using the same material for the walls and roof helped with minimising visual noise and making the extension seem smaller than it actually is.” Nic is referring to his use of ‘capping-less’ steel cladding, which undeniably bold, avoids overpowering the intrinsic quality of the original architecture. The home’s interior layout is equally pragmatic, with a light-filled open plan kitchen and living area to the rear of the house. Because privacy from the side street was a concern, there are no first-floor windows located along the south side. In their place, a north-facing, full-length skylight draws light deep into the first floor. Shadow House Nic Owen Architects CC Christine Francis indoor and outdoor Shadow House Nic Owen Architects CC Christine Francis openplanlivingandkitchen A pared back interior scheme has been employed throughout the house in keeping with the restraint exercised over the external materials. “We believe that with smaller spaces keeping things simple can greatly increase the feeling of space. The owners can add their own colours with artworks etc. Therefore white and black are the only colours – with a new hardwood floor and hoop pine plywood joinery adding a feeling of warmth,” adds Nic. An additional challenge the architects encountered was the restriction by the council on off-street parking. “We really wanted to hide the fact there was off-street parking and we also did not want a large car access door visible in such a prominent place. Therefore having the side ‘fence’ tuck back into the building fulfilled this requirement. The builder did an excellent job in making this happen. Once closed no one would know that it was a gate.” Nic Owen Architects nicowenarchitects.com.au Photography by Christine Francis Dissection Information Retractable shades SL from Luxaflex Kitchen appliances supplied by Miele Integrated fridge from Fisher&Paykel Basin from Kado Tap, toilet and bathroomware from Roca Shadow House Nic Owen Architects CC Christine Francis kitchen Shadow House Nic Owen Architects CC Christine Francis stairs Shadow House Nic Owen Architects CC Christine Francis bedroom window Shadow House Nic Owen Architects CC Christine Francis bedroom Shadow House Nic Owen Architects CC Christine Francis bathroom Shadow House Nic Owen Architects CC Christine Francis open dining table Shadow House Nic Owen Architects CC Christine Francis decking Shadow House Nic Owen Architects CC Christine Francis street Shadow House Nic Owen Architects CC Christine Francis exterior night We think you might also like Pond House by Nic Owen Architectsabc
HAP - Feature

Test Riding Elica’s Latest At The Portsea Polo

Described as an open-air catwalk, the Alfa Romeo Portsea Polo is undoubtedly summer’s most glittering event. In among the crowd of well-heeled polo goers, this year was Elica’s design experts, along with a very special guest. As a sponsor of the Portsea Polo, Elica took the opportunity to bring a selection of clients into the exclusive Point Nepean Polo Club stand for a day of sumptuous food and drinks. In addition to the stunning surrounds, Residentia’s guests were treated to an extra something special – delightful bites cooked by Chef Paolo Arlotta on the soon-to-be-released Elica NikolaTesla Switch. Elica NikolaTesla Switch Cookstop Portsea Polo freestanding cooktop Paolo Arlotta is an Italian chef who has worked at some of Melbourne’s best restaurants and cafés and is a proud exponent of healthy eating and healthy living. Bringing his expertise to Portsea, Paolo cooked a selection of plates, including a truffle risotto, all with the NikolaTesla Switch. Elica’s NikolaTesla Switch combines induction and extraction into a single free-standing unit, which features refined detailing and performance. Rather than having a hulking exhaust fan, the NikolaTeslaSwitch includes a minimalist fan right in the centre of the cooktop. This exhaust fan can sit flush when not in use and can then be simply flipped and rotated to capture all the grease and steam created when cooking. By capturing the fumes and odour on a downdraft, the extraction on the NikolaTesla Switch performs five times faster than when working with a traditional rising speed. In addition, the new induction and extraction cooktop offers low noise levels and an A+ energy efficiency rating. Technology is furthered by the integration of sensors that detect air quality when in use, automatically adjusting the speed as required. The NikolaTesla Switch by Elica is the perfect product for eager home chefs, who also have an eye to design. And if Chef Paolo’s delectable handiwork is anything to go by, you’ll be making foodie masterpieces at home in no time. Elica’s NikolaTesla Switch will be available in Australia in the next few months, find a dealer for more info. Portsea Polo portseapolo.com.au Elica elica.com [gallery columns="4" ids="85235,85244,85241,85234,85240,85243,85237,85236"]abc
Around The World
ARC - Feature

ONG&ONG Framing And Taming Nature Through Design

Distillation is an art. To distil a web of conflicting challenges to an essential but integrated design is to work towards the highest form of poetry. Masters would appear to have produced an outcome almost effortlessly when in truth, much thought and experience have preceded a deceptively simple solution. Within the Faber Hill estate in Singapore resides the latest house completed by design team Tomas Jaramillo, Diego Molina and Maria Arango of ONG&ONG. It is their fourth house in this neighbourhood and one of their most elegantly resolved works.

“Our first challenge,” says Diego during a tour of the house with Shanti its owner, “was to turn what was originally a semi-detached house into a detached one. The land size allows for this conversion and this was one of the first requests from the owners.” The clients’ parents have lived at this Singapore property from its inception in the 1970s, having purchased it directly from the developer, but they themselves have lived in Jakarta for over 20 years.

Ong Ong Faber Hill Singapore CC Derek Swalwell living space and pool

When they relocated back to Singapore, they decided to redevelop the house to its full potential. After exploring several semi-detached options in the initial design, the decision was made to proceed, even if it meant surrendering a 2-metre strip of built floors and the prospect of overlooking the neighbour’s party wall. But the advantages of air, light and independence proved irresistible. The solution adopted was to reclaim floor areas to the maximum line allowed on both sides of the boundary, thus giving the house a perfectly rectangular floor plate with a strong symmetry along a central axis. Indeed, symmetry became an operating influence on the overall design. The neighbour’s wall is painted with the same grey that themes the interiors of the residence.

“Our second constraint was having to deal with the noise from the Ayer Rajah Expressway (AYE),” adds Tomas Jaramillo, ONG&ONG's senior designer in charge of the project, in reference to one of the country’s major arterial highway. As the back of the house faces this expressway, placing the living room directly in front of this noise source was certainly a considered one. Not only due to the noise factor but also because it is at odds with conventional practice to place living areas in front of an internal road entrance.

Ong Ong Faber Hill Singapore CC Derek Swalwell living space interior exterior open

The reason for subverting this convention is compelling too. Setbacks from the highway meant there is more garden area at the back, whilst mature trees planted beside it provided a ready-made verdant backdrop. The fact that the rear 12-metre building setback line did not apply to basement structures also meant that a pool could be built along the back garden and its bottom could be appreciated from the basement via the use of the acrylic panel.

“Naturally, the back garden then became the focal point of the house,” says Tomas “but we had to be careful with the noise.” On the ground floor, the only effective solution was fixed double-glazing and a limitation to the opening panels. But this limitation simplified the design. The garden became a panoramic framed view, the concise exemplification of the Chinese design practice of jiejing or “borrowed scenery” – water in the foreground, lawn and shrubbery in mid-ground, trees in the background. In a choreography of framed views, much as in a lyrical Japanese movie by Ozu, a visitor enters the house via a passage that skirts through the kitchen and lift lobby, led on by a low-running band of bay window before the culminating scene at the living space, where the hard edges of cut materials dissolve into the green beyond. The serenity of this space is now so prized that the clients’ forbade their parents to clutter the concrete ledges with collectibles and various forms of art, even though this was what they have been designed for.

Ong Ong Faber Hill Singapore CC Derek Swalwell cabinetry details

Should the living room doors be kept open, the other place of quiet respite would be the subterranean floor directly below. Here, one is effectively transposed to a realm of pool-filtered light complete with the soothing sound of rising bubbles propelled from a row of jets along the acrylic plane. This space can be further contained by a track of acoustic curtains next to the stairwell. Otherwise, the stairwell, which rises over four floors, becomes a socialising shaft; a vertical ‘hearth’ that connects all floors visually and centrally. Crowned with a skylight and bedded with a dry rock garden, one can imagine everyday conversations floating up and down its teak panels; voices from faces rather than from the intercom.

Another example of a gentle subversion of the convention is the master bedroom designed without a walk-in wardrobe. Instead, all the side walls of the bedroom are lined with contiguous, streamlined cabinetry that is then flush with – and visually extended to – the external projecting walls. These cantilevered wedges are joined across the top to form a tapered eave that is in turn, a part of the ledge-cum-parapet for the water feature on the roof terrace above. The aesthetic composition is thereby part and parcel of the practical elements and one is hard-pressed to decipher which design consideration had preceded the others.

Ong Ong Faber Hill Singapore CC Derek Swalwell master bedroom

Perhaps this survey could end where it started, back to the threshold of the house. Here, the vertical teak strips that line the walls have continued from the outside into the stairwell at the heart of the house. Beside the front door, it conceals the shoe cabinets. Opposite the shoe cabinets are granite plinths that look right as an anchoring base to the row of free-standing columns. But they are here also appropriately used as benches for sitting on as one puts on the shoes. Next to these plinths, the planted soil level is raised to almost the same level. The plants are then seen even when one is seated in the living room sofa. Colours are understated so that the leafy greens and the woody panelling become the natural highlights, with the Indonesian furniture from the owners’ collection serving as accents. Together, they form a gracious, harmonious entity and the very essence of distilled design.

ONG&ONG ong-ong.com

Photography Derek Swalwell

Ong Ong Faber Hill Singapore CC Derek Swalwell bathroom Ong Ong Faber Hill Singapore CC Derek Swalwell home theatre Ong Ong Faber Hill Singapore CC Derek Swalwell staircase Ong Ong Faber Hill Singapore CC Derek Swalwell floor to ceiling glass Ong Ong Faber Hill Singapore CC Derek Swalwell details exterior Ong Ong Faber Hill Singapore CC Derek Swalwell backyard Ong Ong Faber Hill Singapore CC Derek Swalwell driveway We also think you might like House With A Loggia by RT+Q Architectsabc
Design Hunters
Design Stories

Penelope Forlano Marks A Century Of Women’s Achievement

With an extensive background in high-end interior architecture, Penelope Forlano knows aesthetics and design. Since opening her own design and art studio Forlano Design, she has worked on specific smaller projects in order to imbued these with a sense of intimacy and care that only comes from a careful eye and focus. This careful considering paid to projects and objects lead to the creation of the Shield of Voices – now part of the permanent collection of the Parliament of Western Australia. A unique, stainless steel work, the Shield of Voices recontextualizes the old school ‘gentleman’s club’ style interior of the Parliament building, and its association with its 1830s creation level of gender and class discrimination. Through reinterpreting the calling card silver tray of old – a formal place where men of deposited their calling cards requesting meetings with upper class gentlemen – to serve as a feminist work of art, Penelope Forlano has created a unique and meaningful statement in the Parliament. Designed in contemporary materials and processes, the piece reflects the 93 women Members of the Parliament of Western Australia, with the cards representing the diverse new views these women brought as participants to Western Australia’s democracy. The oversized silver tray is now a permanent wall-mounted object in the Parliament, taking on a shield-like appearance – suitably conveying the collective strength and determination of the women is honours, celebrating their contribution over the last 100 years. [gallery columns="4" ids="85198,85199,85200,85201"] The piece continues the emotional and narrative explorations of personal and public meaning that have characterized Forlano’s work, and follows on from 2018’s Counterpoints piece. Designed and sculpted as a response to the Bondi coastline for the 2018 Sculptures by the Sea exhibition, Counterpoints sees Penelope Forlano echoing both the universal and the local. The design of the piece is equal parts water droplet and stone spearhead - recognizing the Aboriginal engravings nearby its original location. Through the universal design symbols of spearheads, water droplets and the nature of time, the work is suited to a range of locations and communities [gallery columns="4" ids="85203,85204,85205,85206"] Shield of Voices by Dr Penelope Forlano is on permanent display in the Parliament of Western Australia. Forlano Design forlanodesign.comabc
Design Hunters

Duplex Design: When Two Is Better Than One

A duplex isn’t traditionally known for its architectural ingenuity – often dark, enclosed and of somewhat stock-standard design. But these duplexes are undoubtedly different. Despite the constraints of their sites, these duplexes maximise liveability with light-filled spaces that are connected to their surroundings and have stand-out street appeal.

Binoculars, Assembly Architects Limited, Queenstown

Binoculars, designed by Assembly Architects Limited, is a tall, mirror-image duplex with bold cantilevered balconies that focus squarely on the view of Lake Wakatipu in Queenstown. The duplex is the clients’ holiday home, as well as providing short- and long-term accommodation options for their family and friends. “The bedroom and bathroom arrangements are different per side, and the apartments have distinctively different character due to the sun access, and the inhabitants,” explain Louise and Justin Wright of Assembly. At the front, the entrances are framed at the centre of the duplex to form a meeting point. A naturally lit staircase leads to bedrooms and bathrooms with colourful finishes on the middle level and open-plan living on the top floor. The dining rooms open to the rear courtyards, which are connected by a gate for shared parties. The kitchens are central and social; the cozy lounge rooms face south to the balcony and Lake Wakatipu, and gently sloping ceilings also draw focus to that spectacular view. [gallery size="large" ids="85056,85057,85058"] [gallery columns="2" size="large" ids="85060,85059"] [gallery size="large" ids="85062,85061,85063"] Photography by Simon Devitt Assembly Architects Limited assembly.co.nz  

Lake Weyba, Robinson Architects, Noosa

Designed by Robinson Architects, Lake Weyba Duplex in the Noosa hinterland has a feeling of separation between the two houses. Sited on a corner, they have entrances on different streets, turn their back on each other and are distinctly designed for natural light and ventilation. The owner/builder intended to live in one three-bedroom duplex with his young family, and to sell the other two-bedroom duplex for profit. “The brief was to create a functional and uplifting place for the clients to live. We saw it as an opportunity to break with the standard duplex mould,” says Jolyon Robinson. Rejecting the mirror-image approach, Robinson Architects created a single building that presents as two houses. They are connected with a party wall on the ground floor and separated by a narrow void on the first floor. Their asymmetrical volumes respond to the orientation, while their form and material palette unites them. Black aluminium screens provide privacy from the street and protect the interior from sun. Living space is maximised, with no hallways, and internal voids allow for high ceilings, natural daylight and views. [gallery size="large" ids="85070,85071,85072,85073,85074,85075"] Photography by Alain Bouvier Robinson Architects robinsonarchitects.com.au  

3 Houses Marrickville, David Boyle Architect, Sydney

3 Houses Marrickville provides a model for respectfully increasing density in inner-city suburbs. David Boyle Architect converted a large corner block in Marrickville into three properties by dividing a two-storey house into a duplex and building a new house fronting the street behind. “It provides an example of how urban consolidation of larger suburban blocks can be achieved with contemporary design sympathetic to surrounding built form,” says David Boyle. An existing Federation house had been substantially altered with an ungainly upper storey. David resolved these unsympathetic additions and reconciled the front of the building to create separate-looking dwellings within a singular form. Inside, he carefully stitched a new party through the building to create two terrace-like homes – one with four bedrooms, and the other with three. Removing some of the walls at the rear of the building allowed for open-plan living spaces and the footprint to be extended. The living areas now spill out to covered decks connected to the garden. The new timber-clad house at the rear of the site has a U-shaped plan around a central courtyard to respect the streetscape of single-storey detached houses. [gallery size="large" ids="85044,85047,85048"] [gallery size="large" ids="85045,85046,85049"] Photography by Brett Boardman David Boyle Architect davidboylearchitect.com.au  

Masuto, Jamison Architects, Melbourne

Masuto in Aberfeldie, Melbourne, provides a comfortable and healthy living environment and a positive contribution to the streetscape. The client wanted to downsize to a smaller home and engaged Jamison Architects to design a duplex with one house for their family, and one house to be sold. “They wanted a home that was architecturally unique, functional, practical and met all their needs for family life,” says Mark Jamison. The duplex faces south to the street, with rear living spaces to the north. Central courtyards, blockwork blade walls and full-height glazing allows light to flood in and provides a connection to the landscape and privacy from neighbours. The courtyard, a two-storey void and slightly splayed hallway also allow the space to expand horizontally and vertically, opening up the elongated plan. The kitchen and dining area at the centre of the house is where the family love to cook, entertain and share meals with family and friends. Entertaining also spills outside with the pool and alfresco dining. Bedrooms, bathrooms, a study and family room are upstairs, with lots of practical storage, and materials and finishes unifying the interior and exterior. [gallery size="large" ids="85043,85042,85041,85040,85039,85038"] Photography by Derek Swalwell Jamison Architects jamisonarchitects.com.au   

A&M, Marston Architects, Sydney

The A&M houses are built on the site of a former single-storey home in Fairlight, Sydney. Marston Architects wanted to design a duplex with a modest footprint, plenty of natural light and views. “Conceptually, the A&M Houses have been an experiment in drawing a relationship and balance between a reduced footprint, comfortable living and maximised amenity,” says Vivianne Marston, principal of Marston Architects. The mirror homes are linear in nature. Skylights, undulating roof lines and a central internal patio bring light, views and outdoor connection, creating a greater sense of spaciousness on the elongated site. Skylights illuminate and cast shadows across the white waxed-stucco party wall, which reflects and refracts light; central internal patios allow northern sunlight into the south-facing living areas, and large openings and limestone flooring create generous and seamless connections from indoors to out. The sense of space is further enhanced with built-in timber joinery and furniture, and sliding timber screens, frosted glass and linen curtains in place of fixed internal doors, allowing spaces to be opened up or closed down. [gallery size="large" ids="85050,85051,85052,85053,85054,85055"] Photography by Katherine Lu Marston Architects marstonarchitects.com.au  

Bluebird Duplex, Altereco , Victoria

Bluebird Duplex designed by Altereco is far from confined, with allotment size of more than 400 square metres and a fresh, colourful and bright interior. The duplex in Barwon Heads is a single-storey mirrored design with independent street frontage and minimal party walls. “We respected the predominantly single-storey streetscape and created intimate spaces that are filled with natural light,” says James Goodlet of Altereco. The clients are photographers that Altereco has a long-standing relationship with. “We were super excited, knowing that they are adventurous by nature and we could reflect that in the style,” James says. Each townhouse has a study at the front to provide a buffer from the street, three bedrooms down the hallway, and the open-plan living area at the rear. An internal courtyard brings light, ventilation and nature into the centre of the house, and a skillion roof with high windows allows natural light into the living area. The material palette is light and playful with a colourful laminate and plywood kitchen and black stained timber lining boards. [gallery size="large" ids="85068,85066,85069"] [gallery size="large" columns="2" ids="85065,85064"] Photography by Nikole Ramsay Altereco altereco.net.au   We think you might also like Five Of The best Australian Housesabc
Design Accessories
Design Products

Walk On Landscapes With Designer Rugs

It is often forgotten that carpets are more than just a type of flooring; it is also a textile – one that can add warmth and finish a space. The inspiration behind the second collaboration between bernabeifreeman and Designer Rugs was developed through the exploration of aerial views of the natural landscape in muted tones and textures. It was then turned into an abstract image before transforming into a graphical element. Four hand-tufted wool rugs comprise the collection, with designs and colours that directly reflect its respective thematic names; Ocean, Plateau, Spring and Crossing. Echoing the hues of the landscape, it is also a complex colour scheme, where some of the designs may have up to 18 shades of colours. The unique colour palette of these rugs is rich with gradients and shades that consistently create a wash of colours, making it ideal for residential and commercial environments with an already minimalistic interior. Designer Rugs Bernabeifreeman CC Richard Whitman plateau landscape
Designer Rugs Bernabeifreeman CC Richard Whitman plateau coloursPlateau
Highly crafted and irregularly shaped, each rug is consistent in fabric – made from 100 per cent New Zealand wool – and texture to create contoured depth, adding an extra dimension. For the past 15 years, the innovative works of Rina Bernabei and Kelly Freeman have pushed the boundaries of the way patterns, textures and furniture is perceived. Working with the in-house expert from Designer Rugs, Christine McDonald, the rugs fill a gap in the interior design scene. Bernabei explains further that “what was needed in the interior design scene was strong colours – strong tones of colour, but pared back. For example in Crossing, the shades of nudes, with pinks and grey.” Designer Rugs Bernabeifreeman CC Richard Whitman crossing landscape
Designer Rugs Bernabeifreeman CC Richard Whitman crossing coloursCrossing
Designer Rugs has built its name on an extensive range of rugs designed in-house, as well as a set of unique collections created in collaboration with some of the best minds in Australia's art, fashion and design industries. This Designer Rugs x bernabeifreeman collection is on display at Designer Rugs’ showrooms in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Auckland. Designer Rugs Designer Rugs Bernabeifreeman CC Richard Whitman spring landscape
Designer Rugs Bernabeifreeman CC Richard Whitman spring coloursSpring
Designer Rugs Bernabeifreeman CC Richard Whitman ocean landscape
Designer Rugs Bernabeifreeman CC Richard Whitman ocean colour Ocean
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When West Is The Way Forward

The design of west-facing houses often produces distinctive solutions as architects seek to maximise natural light while limiting heat gain from the afternoon sun. At Screen House by WARC Studio, timber-batten screens extend around the rear addition to shield the interior from the high summer sun. Screen House is home to a family with three young children. They engaged WARC Studio to update their detached weatherboard Edwardian house in Camberwell, Victoria. WARC Studio designed a rear extension to create more living space, improve circulation through the house and provide for a swimming pool and landscaped areas. “The design solution focused on the interaction with the garden and outdoor space, while managing the potentially harsh western aspect of the site,” says Andrew Wilson, director of WARC Studio. “Windows, cabinetry, walls and ceilings were also strategically placed to unveil views and openings to the outside.” Screen House WARC Studio CC Adam Pocock timber battens slits entrance Screen House WARC Studio CC Adam Pocock kitchen splashback and dining table There is a view of the rear garden through the corridor from the main entrance. Bedrooms and a sitting room are in the front, and the addition stretches beyond the sides of the original house. The kitchen and dining area face west to the deck and swimming pool, while the living area has a view to the north. High-level windows in the kitchen provide views of the neighbouring trees, and a skylight through the centre of the living area brings sunlight deeper into the plan. Bi-folding timber-batten screens clad the exterior of the addition and extend beyond the living area, as if framing the view in and out. An awning covers the deck to provide a shaded outdoor area and obstruct sunlight inside the house. “The timber hardwood screens mitigate the northern and western sunlight while maintaining views and visual surveillance of the pool area,” says Andrew. “They can be opened to maximise the afternoon sun during winter as well as enabling maintenance to the façade.” Screen House WARC Studio CC Adam Pocock cupboard panels Screen House WARC Studio CC Adam Pocock open living kitchen and dining   The white and timber palette provides a warm and natural atmosphere inside. Joinery in the living area frames the garden view to the north, provides storage and bench seating and wraps around the fireplace. “Framing the views to the garden was instrumental to the design, and the cabinetry is an integral part as its inherent depth enhances the framed view,” Andrew says. Small functional features double in providing decorative interest: recessed shelving breaks up an otherwise plain wall of cupboards, and finger-pull holes in the joinery create a simple graphic. “They are far more interesting than ubiquitous handles or recessed pulls, and they are also excellent at enabling ventilation to cupboards that include electrical appliances,” says Andrew. Screen House WARC Studio CC Adam Pocock shelf Screen House WARC Studio CC Adam Pocock living area While Screen House effectively blocks the western sun, it is still filled with light and warmth and offers views and glimpses of nature throughout. “There is an immediacy in the connection between interior and exterior spaces, and the dappled light that filters through the screens creates a softness that is alluring,” Andrew says. WARC Studio warc.com.au Photography by Adam Pocock Dissection Information Timber battens and Shiplap weatherboards from Radial Timbers Timber stain to batten, weatherboards and timber windows from Quantum Aquaoil Timber floorboards from Blackbutt Satin waterbased floor polish from Bona Mega Stone benchtops in Elba Marble from Artedomus Screen House WARC Studio CC Adam Pocock open plan kitchen and dining Screen House WARC Studio CC Adam Pocock exterior decking open interior plan We think you might also like Split End House by Mártires Doyle abc
Design Hunters
DH - Feature

Pan Yi Cheng Simply Designs and Makes

Graduating top of his class at The Architectural Association’s School of Architecture (AA), Pan Yi Cheng is very much a product of his generation. His career has taken on many guises, as he’s worked around the world, collecting essential experiences and skills, to prepare him for his ultimate endeavour: building his own design business - Produce.

Time spent with tutors Chris Lee and TP Bennett early on was followed by a stint at UNStudio in Amsterdam.

In 2010, four years after finishing his studies, he moved back to Singapore to start his own consultancy company with a school friend from AA, naming it PAC to service masterplans for one developer in China. “They were the scale of townships, had long lead times and were, often-times, speculative works. After three years I felt it wasn’t going to evolve into anything physical so I decided to come out of that partnership and start Produce,” says Yi Cheng. “At the end of my time at PAC we had just one project in Singapore, a Herman Miller showroom in Xtra, the premium furniture retailer at Park Mall.” With a “shop-in-shop” concept, the project won the Best Retail Building award at the World Architectural Festival of 2012, and represented a breakthrough for Yi Cheng in many ways.

Produce Pan Yi Chen operating cnc machinery

“It was during this project that I realised that as an industry in Singapore, we are unable to do customised fittings or customized product easily and there’s not enough competition.”

Installed as a continuous skin of undulating lattice made up of triangular plywood panels, the design involved complex geometries “hooked” together with “interlocking lapping joints”. Its design process was hampered by the lack of facilities to test out 1:1 scale mock-ups using the actual material so designs were initially tested on scaled-down versions made of cardboard.

“It was slow and dogged by inaccuracies. The design was eventually tested at 1:3 scale with birch ply but out-sourced to London for its cheaper pricing. Only when we started to assemble it did we find areas we could have trimmed off, so we learnt from accumulated mistakes,” Yi Cheng recalls.

Produce Pan Yi Chen architecture model

The final fabrication as carried out by a firm in China presented other challenges – materials not done to specifications and batches with upside-down cuttings – but its eventual success encouraged Yi Cheng and another AA alumni friend to pioneer an equipped facility where they could do their own experimentation and to demonstrate the potential of doing bespoke works. “So we started Produce with the idea of ‘design and make’,” Yi Cheng continues. “This is in opposition to the convention of having designs out-sourced to different groups of contractors or fabricators who then have to figure out how to make your design intention come to life because in my experience, they tend to overprice complex designs and these then get value-engineered out. Our idea was to incorporate the fabrication and construction stage into the design stage. We decided to have our own prototyping facility. Together with two other partners, the four of us pulled our resources, took out a factory space and bought two machines: a laser cutting- and a three-axis CNC (Computer Numerical Control) milling machine. We started with small objects like furniture and products and sought to build our portfolio upwards from there.”

The efficacy of this investment is best appreciated in the second version of the showroom Produce designed and manufactured for Xtra in 2016, at their new premise of Marina Square, Singapore. Once again inspired by how the Eames chair had innovated the use of plywood ergonomically, Yi Cheng challenged himself to manipulate the material with new geometries. “We started to see the space as a body where we could wrap a new skin around,” he explains. “The only requirement from the owner was to have less number of parts. The first store had 4000 over parts which were arduous to assemble.”

Produce Pan Yi Chen chair

For the second iteration, Yi Cheng used larger panels of plywood and found ways to distort them to the required geometries without breaking them down into triangles. This was achieved by puncturing wedge slits over thin slices of ply and closing them up with stitches of plastic loops, much like how darts are used in sewing to shape the contours of a garment. The resultant conglomeration of double-curved parts resembled the rippling folds of loosely draped fabric, a design Yi Cheng calls “Fabricwood”. This time, only 400 parts were used to encapsulate a larger area. The work garnered multiple awards, including the Gold Medal for Retail in 2016 from the Singapore Interior Design Award.

Other interior works moulded by the Produce prototyping capabilities include the inventive structure for Wild Rocket restaurant which simulates a cascade of disintegrating timber pieces, and the cheerful Kki Sweets and The Little Dröm Store, Winner of Best Retail Interior 2015 INSIDE Festival. Today, Yi Cheng is 38 and has achieved licensed architect status earlier in the year. He is seeking to start a new sole proprietorship practice, as none of the other three partners of Produce are qualified professionals. He has applied for his firm to be named “Type 0”, an allusion to going back to the origin, a resetting of all typologies to tabula rasa. Concurrently, he has also initiated the formation of another entity called Superstructure to capitalise on the use of his facilities for digital fabrication to other companies. While very much a deep-thinking man who knows the world and his place in it, he still retains a hurried hunger to remake both.

Produce produce.com.sg Produce Pan Yi Chen profile Produce Pan Yi Chen cnc machinery Produce Pan Yi Chen factory exterior We also think you might like Medway Drive by Produceabc
ARC - Feature

What Does An Architect’s Passion Project Look Like?

New Year New You, and what better way to self improve than surround yourself with architectural feats of the greats… and the underdogs… and even the next generation. Adam Haddow, director of SJB, has a side hustle that will help you do just that and it’s called The Architect’s Bookshop. Located at 498 Crown Street in Sydney, just across the road from the SJB headquarters, Anne Proudfoot, formally of the AIA bookshop Architext which served as a landmark in Potts Point for decades, runs the bookshop alongside Meredith Buhler recently of the Museum of Contemporary Art Store. The Architects Bookshop is designed to act as a community space dedicated to design in its various expressions: architecture, interiors, landscape and urban design. “We are passionate about hunting down new titles – exposing Sydney to new practices and practice,” says Adam. Two rooms comprise the space, the front is the literal bookshop characterised by unfussy shelving made from Australian native timbers and integrated seating. Both rooms feature pressed metal ceilings. The backroom is to become a place “where ideas can be exchanged”, hopes Adam. It can be used for readings, book launches, meetings, seminars and discussions and casual catch-ups. “The site will become a cultural hub not only for architects but for the interested public,” says Adam. “We want the space to have the spirit of openness and generosity, so all types of people will feel welcome.” The Architect’s Bookshop is an offline, In-Real-Life manifestation of a passion project to gather and invest in an all-inclusive community showcasing the work of Australian Architecture. The Architect’s Bookshop thearchitectsbookshop.com.au Photography by Anson Smart We think you might also like Iconic Heritage Architecture And Its Restorationabc
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A New Picture Of Suburban Living By EHDO Architecture

It’s the site that came with baggage. Not only is it divided by a sewerage main, but its narrow street and crammed streetscape of turn-of-the-century cottages made it unappealing. It comes as no surprise that the block had been on the market for several years before a new owner (and builder) stepped up to the challenge, and in collaboration with EHDO Architecture, built a functional house that successfully bridges the gap between the old and the new. The building design of Silver Street House had to cater for a semi-retired couple and the comings and goings of their adult children. The result is a unique floor plan that has a strong relationship with the outdoors, with the ground level dining, kitchen and living areas designed to open onto a landscaped courtyard, allowing a seamless connection to the outdoors. Silver Street House EHDO Architecture CC Dion Robeson home entrance door wide Silver Street House EHDO Architecture CC Dion Robeson study and office space “The skills of the owner, particularly carpentry and gardening, were key to the design,” explains Dimitri Kapetas, director and designer of EHDO Architects. “The landscaping binds the project together and adds to the passive solar performance, cooling and cross ventilation of the building through ponds and deciduous plantings.” A holistic design approach was taken to limit the impact on the environment and create a functional and lasting home that embodies a pared-back simplicity. Selected materials are authentic and durable, with off-form concrete, brickwork and Australian Cypress, chosen for their organic aging abilities. Silver Street House EHDO Architecture CC Dion Robeson indoor kitchen and dining exterior Silver Street House EHDO Architecture CC Dion Robeson dining kitchen and exterior fireplace “Materials requiring minimal maintenance eliminate a need for additional coatings and associated costs. As an added measure, remnant tins of house paint were sourced from the tip and used to paint internal walls,” explains Dimitri. Internally, old and new are drawn together with the integration of warm and natural materials and the owner’s love of mid-century furniture, while oversized folding windows and opaque walls add to the spacious aesthetic, still maintaining privacy. “The sunken lounge is a special place, cozy and warm with natural light. It’s private and yet connected to the garden and the gentle sound of the pond,” says Dimitri. Silver Street House EHDO Architecture CC Dion Robeson open living and dining Silver Street House EHDO Architecture CC Dion Robeson outdoor dining Concrete is a major design feature, both inside and out, with the concrete staircase a prime example. The visually interesting staircase leads to the upstairs living and bedroom, which has a connecting courtyard that acts as a hidden sanctuary. “Projections of this [upper-level] mass shade the ground level, minimizing the need for mechanical cooling. The thickness of the walls and window reveals are enhanced by deep box awnings, offering further protection from the summer sun and privacy from neighbours for its occupants,” explains Dimitri. EHDO Architecture ehdo.com.au Photography by Dion Robeson Dissection Information Classing from Frenchams Australian Cypress Insulated wall panels from Pro9 Microcell panels from Danpalon Concrete from Mian Concrete Track lighting supplied by Lightcube Silver Street House EHDO Architecture CC Dion Robeson window seat Silver Street House EHDO Architecture CC Dion Robeson shelves Silver Street House EHDO Architecture CC Dion Robeson bathroom sink Silver Street House EHDO Architecture CC Dion Robeson bedroom balcony Silver Street House EHDO Architecture CC Dion Robeson outdoor dining Silver Street House EHDO Architecture CC Dion Robeson outdoors Silver Street House EHDO Architecture CC Dion Robeson exterior view and structure We think you might also like this Design Hunter profile on EHDO Architectureabc
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Rear Studio Plays With The Traditional Forms Of A House

In a built form that turns conventional notions of a house – four walls and a pitched roof – on its head, YT House by Rear Studio and AHO Design Studio presents itself in a somewhat disassociated manor. Simple geographic forms, on one end a circle and the other a rectangle, are connected by a seemingly floating roof that doesn’t quite cover the entire structure. Aerially, this is especially notable. The kitchen and amenities are housed in the circular structure, as is the formal entry, while the two bedrooms are enclosed within the rectangular structure, bookmarked by internal yet uncovered courtyards. Solid walls mark these private spaces. Beneath the traditionally pitched roof and connecting the two ends of the residence is the public space: living, studying and dining quarters on an open plan. Sliding timber batten screens form the walls along the length of the house, allowing residents to feel in amongst nature even when they are indoors. “On one hand, [this space] connects the two main functional blocks, on the other hand, it connects the external and internal spaces,” says the project architect. Situated in a small village northwest of Dalak, Vietnam, with a large migrant population, Rear Studio has clearly been influenced in their design by the multicultural vernacular that characterises the area. Rear Studio + AHO Design Studio Photography by Quang Dam YT House Rear Studio AHO Design Studio CC Quang Dam symmetrical interior YT House Rear Studio AHO Design Studio CC Quang Dam shelving details YT House Rear Studio AHO Design Studio CC Quang Dam open living space We think you might also like Tree-Ness House by Akihisa Hirata Architecture Officeabc
Design Products
Habitus Loves
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Habitus Loves… Making A Statement

Hold in Forest Green from Curious Grace

The original Hold sofa is a pleasant and gentle addition to any home. The Hold is available in two sizes and a range of fabric colours, featuring handcrafted natural oak legs and two oak wood buttons. Curious Grace Habitus Loves Making A Statement sofa curious grace

Black & Snow Chest Set from Dinosaur Designs

Each chess set comprises 32 hand-made pieces representing the traditional chess kings, queens, rooks, bishops, knights and pawns. Dinosaur Designs Chess Set 1  

Collecta Coffee Table by VELA

Characterised by large pieces of inlaid Terrazzo marble, the Collecta coffee tables resemble polka dots. Designed by Alberto Bellamoli, an Italian industrial designer, the table features a white base with green marble spots. VELA  

Svaale Cushion Cover from Marimekko

The folkloristic Svaale pattern in white, dark green and dark blue covers this heavyweight cotton and linen blend cushion cover, which measures 40 x 60 cm. Marimekko Habitus Loves Making A Statement marimekko  

Regenbogen Bowl from Fenton &  Fenton

Handmade from heavy crystal and treated with a special chromatic film on the underside to distort the crystal's natural ability to break light into seven rainbow colours, the Regenbogen series of bowls was inspired by taking an augmented reality approach to the laws of physics. Fenton&Fenton  

Eames House Bird from Vitra

Charles and Ray Eames augmented the interior "collage" of the Eames House with numerous objects brought back from their extensive travels. The figure of a black wooden bird - evidently one of their most prized objects of American folk art - has stood in the centre of their living room for over fifty years. Vitra  

Torso Chair by VELA

Designed by Walter Barda, the Torso chair references the smooth lines of his watercolour paintings. It is manufactured using the technique of steam bending woodwork where strips of wood are steam heated using a steam box. VELA  

Luxa Mirror by Totem Road

The Luxa mirror boasts a timeless appeal that is a result of its luxurious function and authentically simple proportions. Crafted from ethically-sourced sustainable solid oak with a stunning hand-finished natural grain throughout, Luxa gives you the freedom to personalise any surrounding space. Totem Road  

Bathyscafocus Hublot Suspended Fireplace from Oblica

With a shape that references the helmet of a deep-sea diver, Bathyscafocus Hublot brings together the ancient element of fire and the power of the sea to spectacular results. The unique porthole provides an easy view of roaring flames as well as excellent fuel efficiency. Oblica

Ottawa Side Table from BoConcept

Cleverly designed, the base of Ottawa fits right to any sofa or bed, giving you a place to put down your drink or meal for a comfortable snack. Though slim and elegant in design, the table is sturdy enough for both laptops or books. BoConcept  abc