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Winwood McKenzie Knows The Value Of Adaptation

The renovation of a house or apartment is often a result of the need to address our ever-changing needs as we move through the different stages and phases of our lives. “It provides an opportunity to create a built manifestation and realisation of a personal way of living,” adds architect Thomas McKenzie of Melbourne-based Winwood McKenzie. The architecture studio has recently completed renovation works on Brunswick House, extending the back half of a Victorian cottage for a scientist and her two dogs. A key component of the brief given to Winwood McKenzie was to extend the Victorian cottage to include new study and living zones into the garden without disturbing the existing natural, native garden. When the doors are open, “the living space effectively becomes a large verandah within the garden” care of the timber floor which extends from the inside living space to the outside deck. The architecture draws inspiration from the client’s past while working towards enhancing her future. “Traditional Scottish farmhouses with black pitched roofs and white masonry walls; a focus on the fireplace and bookcases; and rooms of a modest scale connect ideas and atmospheres to the existing conditions and location of the house,” says Thomas. Brunswick House Winwood McKenzie Benjamin Hosking floor to ceiling sliding wndows Large sliding doors provide protection from the outside and a barrier against the weather when necessary. Glazed glass works to ensure the temperature inside is affected as little as possible by the weather outside, aiming to insulate the warmth in winter and keep out the heat in summer. The renovation to Brunswick House has been designed around passive design principles taking into account the natural ebb and flow of the Victorian climate. For example, the building’s orientation allows the eastern and northern light to flow in. On a more national scale, local and native materials such as eucalyptus timber veneer, Victorian Ash and bluestone inform the material selection, giving the residence a particularly Australian feel. Brunswick House Winwood McKenzie Benjamin Hosking roofing details and facade “The project considers notions of Australian domestic life providing an adaptive space that responds to the weather, time of year and different uses throughout the day,” says Thomas. “A seemingly simple space provides for a diversity of atmospheres and activity.” Winwood McKenzie was meticulous in its attention to detail to ensure that the renovation was consistent with the existing building yet still had its own character. This is evident in the internal openings of the new living/study space, specifically orientated to afford an unobstructed line of sight to the kitchen. Self-described makers of peaceful spaces, Winwood McKenzie’s Brunswick House unites the interior and exterior spaces while, at the same time, ensuring they are reassuringly intimate and cosy. Winwood McKenzie  winwoodmckenzie.com.au Photography by Benjamin Hosking Brunswick House Winwood McKenzie Benjamin Hosking open plan Brunswick House Winwood McKenzie Benjamin Hosking views and chair detail Brunswick House Winwood McKenzie Benjamin Hosking fireplace living space Brunswick House Winwood McKenzie Benjamin Hosking wooden textures material palette interior Brunswick House Winwood McKenzie Benjamin Hosking study nook Brunswick House Winwood McKenzie Benjamin Hosking study room window lamp We think you might also like Bolt Hole House By PanovScottabc
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Breathe Architecture Bridging Inefficiencies

Jeremy McLeod is adamant that this portrait not be about himself. According to the founding director of Melbourne design practice, Breathe Architecture, the industry feels like “a really tough team sport”, and the things that his practice has achieved to date would not have been possible without his “team of A players”. To put this humility into context, Breathe Architecture has arguably had the most impact on the Australian design landscape out of any firm born of this generation. Since foundation in 2001, its mission has always been clear – and more than slightly ahead of its time. When it was first launched, the practice was one of just a handful of architectural practices that identified as sustainable. “When we built our first website we listed ourselves as sustainable architects. We were one of six architects when you searched ‘sustainable architects’,” says Jeremy. “It seemed obvious to us that there was a lack of understanding about sustainability and a lack of understanding about how to approach sustainability holistically. I think if you search ‘sustainable architecture’ now, Google never finishes. Everyone’s sustainable now…apparently.” From a minority base, the practice has gone on to design high-profile and wide-reaching developments such as the now legendary Nightingale housing project, and reimagine the role architects can play in property development and financing. Breathe Architecture Jeremy McLeod Marnie Hawson | Habitus Living It can seem like post-rationalising, to point back to someone’s childhood and pick out a pattern in their path. But in Jeremy’s case, it does seem like this relentless pursuit of better outcomes runs in the blood. Growing up with two activist parents, whose peripatetic tendencies gave a young Jeremy many towns to call home, the would-be trailblazer recalls memories of pitching a tent embassy on the lawn of Old Parliament House with his father to lobby for more public housing in Melbourne. All of this protesting and pushing for change instilled a sense of the potential for good that design has within society – but it was another type of design that Jeremy originally had his sights set on. “It’s very funny, I actually never wanted to be an architect,” he says. “I had a thing for steel bridges. Some of my happiest memories as a child were of driving back to our home – a small town in New South Wales – and of lying in the back seat of my parents’ Holden looking up through the rear windscreen and seeing the steel-frame bridge above and hearing the click-clack of the bridge as we went across. So in high school, I spoke to my careers teacher, and she said, ‘Oh yeah, to design a bridge you need to be an architect’. I got into architecture school, and halfway through the first semester I asked, ‘When do we start working on the bridges?’ And they said, ‘That’s not this department, you need to be a structural engineer to do bridges. That’s the next department over. You’re in the wrong course.’ But by that stage, of course, I was hooked.” Breathe Architecture Jeremy McLeod Marnie Hawson | Habitus Living After graduating, Jeremy went to work for one of his design idols, the inimitable Nonda Katsalidis of Fender Katsalidis. “I remember vividly when Nonda completed Melbourne Terrace, and seeing that new housing typology and finding out that was led by an architect,” says Jeremy. “It showed me how much impact architects could have, and that architecture was so much more than the building itself.” But as Fender Katsalidis grew bigger – from eight architects when Jeremy first started to 50 when he left – and Jeremy started to feel smaller, he realised he needed to create his own firm if he was to deliver the kind of architecture that was important to him. Cut to Breathe Architecture, which ever since has abided by a mission statement to maintain a small team of like-minded and dedicated individuals. “The reason it was called Breathe was because we wanted every room to have a window; we wanted every room to be able to breathe,” he explains. “It was also never going to be called Jeremy McLeod Architecture because I knew it was never going to be about me. I’m surrounded by incredibly talented individuals who all come together and play really collaboratively.” The values-driven approach that leads Breathe Architecture’s hiring practice and general operations have led to projects such as The Commons, the medium-density residential development in Melbourne’s inner-north that went on to spawn Nightingale – which in turn has led to a whole new development model for Australia’s property industry. Breathe Architecture Jeremy McLeod Marnie Hawson | Habitus Living According to Jeremy, The Commons was a project borne out of necessity. At that point, the firm had worked on a number of award-winning, multi-residential projects, and what they’d found in the existing property development mandate was quite simple: it didn’t work. “We found that the entire property development system is designed for housing failure,” he says. “It is built around building investor stock to sell to investors to rent back to Australians at the highest possible profit margin. It’s about building cheaply, selling at a high price and renting out at a higher price with no care about the comfort of that building.” More than a project, The Commons has now become a movement. Its continuation, Nightingale Housing, is soon to have a presence in six different locations around Australia. The model is based on eschewing the traditional development model by putting architects back in control of financing, using their own learnings around social design and sustainability to deliver outcomes that are high-performing, transparent, affordable and that facilitate community connections. From the first Breathe-designed project in 2014, Nightingale has since grown to encompass accomplice firms Six Degrees, Austin Maynard Architects, Architecture Architecture, Clare Cousins Architects, MRTN Architects and Wolveridge Architects – yet another iteration on the theme of teamwork. Breathe Architecture Jeremy McLeod Marnie Hawson | Habitus Living These days, Breathe Architecture has 16 architects working under its roof. Rather than to grow for the sake of growing, Jeremy says the practice wants to continue to avoid “hero architecture” in favour of projects that create meaning. “I’d like to keep working with our incredibly talented young architects to share with them what I know and to continue learning from them. The more I share with them, the more powerful we become as an organisation,” summarises Jeremy. “Each year as we grow and as we start getting these incredible people joining our team, it helps us distil who we are as a practice and who we want to be. Over time, our message has gotten clearer. For us, we need to be incisive about what projects we take on; they need to be projects that make the city a better place for all of humanity.” Breathe Architecture breathe.com.au Photgraphy by Marnie Hawson Breathe Architecture Jeremy McLeod Marnie Hawson | Habitus Living Breathe Architecture Jeremy McLeod Marnie Hawson | Habitus Living We think you might also like Halo House by Breathe Architecture. abc
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A Bespoke Approach To Infinity Spa By Space Popular

Because of Thailand’s limited geographic sprawl, the vast majority of its shopfronts are designed with a cookie-cutter approach to achieve one defining feature – utility. Here, designers are faced with a pretty big challenge to inject a measure of unpredictability into what are otherwise very predictable spaces. This was the brief given to local design firm Space Popular in its reimagining of Bangkok’s Infinity Spa, spread across two traditional Thai shophouses. “These concrete shells all share the same layout, sizes, proportions and materials; being the most generic spatial typology in the city where all kinds of programs are stuffed,” says Space Popular architects, Lara Lesmes and Fredrik Hellberg. "Besides the practical issues that this typology poses, experientially the aim was to visually eliminate the concrete shell with the use of few materials – paint, light and textiles – and concentrate the attention on the nearly 20 custom-designed furniture pieces that would communicate purpose in an otherwise muted space.” Sections of bright turquoise paintwork and matching furniture, for example, offset the otherwise white-washed treatment rooms. These rooms are draped with back-lit curtains – providing a neutral backdrop for the brightly coloured furniture. As well as designing the interior, Space Popular also created bespoke furniture, including manicurists’ tables, adjustable massage chairs and shelving with niches designed to hold specific nail polish bottles. Infinity Spa by Space Popular Thailand | Habitus Living Infinity Spa by Space Popular Thailand | Habitus Living “The lack of architectural features lets the eye travel from object to object undistracted. The furniture pieces are in extreme contrast with the background: while the space is monochrome, white, soft and textured, the objects feature a high saturation polychromy with smooth materials such as metal, marble and leather. Together they constitute a collective identity through their forms and colours, constructing the identity of the space while addressing very important and distinct issues of comfort and ergonomics,” say Lesmes and Hellberg. Space Popular spacepopular.com Photography courtesy Space Popular Infinity Spa by Space Popular Thailand | Habitus Living Infinity Spa by Space Popular Thailand | Habitus Living Infinity Spa by Space Popular Thailand | Habitus Living Infinity Spa by Space Popular Thailand | Habitus Living We think you might also like Stephen Todd's Perspective On Clients Who Wish To Reproduce The Spa Experience At Home. abc
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Vo Trong Nghia Architects Is Designing For Change

Some say that an action, even at a small scale, has a possibility to have a ripple effect that can affect a greater change. With no such lofty expectations but with a challenge to disrupt the design mindset of one city – Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam – where greenery comprises only 0.25 per cent of its rapidly changing urban landscape, Stepping Park House by the local firm VTN Architects (Vo Trong Nghia Architects) presents a response to a larger topic of environmental impact and usage of renewable resources in a dense metropolitan context. A part of a series of residential projects titled “House for Trees”, aimed to provide comprehensive low-tech residential solutions for sustainable development in tropical countries, Stepping Park House serves as a viable new approach to urban living in Ho Chi Minh City, providing a contrasting model to aggressive urbanisation strategies that have been dominating Vietnam’s urban development policies in the recent years. Envisioned as a living extension of its surroundings, as a continuation of a park on its northern edge, Stepping Park House brings the lush external greenery into its internal spaces, creating a blurred condition between the outside and the inside, allowing the park to seemingly extend into the residence. Incorporation of greenery and passive environmental strategies works seamlessly and hand-in-hand with programmatic considerations to merge aesthetics, functionality and sustainability effortlessly within the dwelling. Via a strategic cut in the building’s volume, the house gently steps back on each level to create a large central void connecting different common spaces for family members to gather, while introducing vegetation to the very heart of the building’s infrastructure. “Greenery is seen as the most important material in the house,” said VTN Architects. “Various local species were selected for different ways of greening: indoor plants, creepers, outdoor plants, according to different environmental conditions. This strategy seeks to preserve and enhance the regional biodiversity.” The inclusion of vegetation within the dwelling does not simply represent a landscape gesture but also functions as a passive energy system within the house. The ivy covering the façade of the house, together with layered glazed sliding doors diffuses the harsh sunlight and helps to filter out the air pollution, while indoor vegetation helps in reducing heat gain internally and cools the breeze from the outdoor spaces. The diagonal void penetrating the house also aids in bringing natural ventilation in, ensuring steady air movement through the spaces and minimising the use of air conditioning. The latest instalment in the “House of Trees” series, Stepping Park House is a step in the right direction for urbanisation-driven Ho Chi Minh City. With this residence ,VTN Architects hopes to begin the transformation of the cityscape into a more sustainably-minded environment. “The lack of greenery generates many problems including increasing air pollution, inability to retain rainwater, insufficient amount of green space to cool the streets, and human inactivity overtime,” says the studio. “Stepping Park House was our rare opportunity to create a sustainable response next to a green space in the city and we wanted to take full advantage of that.” VTN Architects votrongnghia.com Photography by Hiroyuki Oki Stepping Park House Vo Trong Nghia Architects | Habitus Living Stepping Park House Vo Trong Nghia Architects | Habitus Living Stepping Park House Vo Trong Nghia Architects | Habitus Living Stepping Park House Vo Trong Nghia Architects | Habitus Living Stepping Park House Vo Trong Nghia Architects | Habitus Living Stepping Park House Vo Trong Nghia Architects | Habitus Living Stepping Park House Vo Trong Nghia Architects | Habitus Living Stepping Park House Vo Trong Nghia Architects | Habitus Living We think you might also like Four Leaves House by KIASabc
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How An Architect Makes 24 Square Metres Work

Contrary to popular belief, it isn’t always the client who dictates the brief to an architect. Oftentimes, it’s the site and space. A large site may afford the client any amount of bedrooms, multiple living zones, a study space and perhaps formal and informal dining areas. A steep or slanted site would encourage multiple levels; a rural site might suggest making a feature of the surrounding environment; while a coastal site would heavily influence material choices and site orientation. For small-scale projects, however, “the brief is often just to make it liveable”. So says architect Brad Swartz. Under the guise of his eponymous architecture and interior design studio, Brad and his team at Brad Swartz Architects, have recently completed the reconfiguration of Boneca Apartment, a 24-square-metre studio apartment in the inner Sydney suburb of Rushcutters Bay.

The resident and client bought the apartment with the idea of engaging an architect to design a make-over. But there was no strict brief per se – simply to take the shell of the apartment and site orientation as the [only] two absolutes and go from there: nothing was off the table.

Brad Swartz Architects Boneca Apartment CC Tom Ferguson | Habitus Living

Previously, to enter the apartment was to enter the kitchen, which had been separated from the rest of the studio by a dividing wall. Through the kitchen was a bedroom that doubled as the living room and the bathroom. No space was dedicated to dining.

What stands out now about this apartment is how the considered assessment of layout and a resulting relocation of interior walls – all of them, in fact – and plumbing has reinvigorated an apartment that was well designed for its time (the middle of last century) but which had since dated.

Brad has propelled the apartment into the 21st century. “There has been a shift in thinking,” he says. “Going home you want the bedroom to be separate now, and the kitchen to be part of your living space so you can entertain.”

Brad Swartz Architects Boneca Apartment CC Tom Ferguson | Habitus Living

The new space is more or less split in two. As you enter, the kitchen lines the left wall before the inbuilt double bed featuring hidden storage care of custom joinery. Between the kitchen and bed is a short corridor leading to the bathroom, in a new, subtler location. A table for dining, studying or socialising sits in front of the door behind a two-seater sofa and the windows that line the facing wall.

The key to the interior layout is a bespoke sliding screen. While the final iteration is slatted timber custom designed by Brad and built by feather edge – a fabrication company that habitually works on art projects and run by Brad’s brother, Mark Swartz – many other designs were explored first. It began as two sliding doors that then morphed into glass panels, followed by a completely solid timber version.

More than creating visual interest, the final version also provides solutions to a number of different design constraints. One of which is the filtration of light: due to the window-to-depth ratio, the apartment can get quite bright in the middle of the day, sliding the door to cover the bed filters the lighting streaming in.

Brad Swartz Architects Boneca Apartment CC Tom Ferguson | Habitus Living

The sliding slatted timber screen not only filters light but also helps to retain a sense of openness; it defines the room without dividing the space; and allows ventilation.

The screen, depending on which side it rests, determines the feel of the space. Concealing the bed affords the resident a space conducive to entertaining: complete with kitchen, dining and living zones. Alternatively, sliding the screen to hide the kitchen affords a bedroom atmosphere, meaning the resident is able to enjoy two large rooms in a studio apartment of just 24-square-metres.

“You still get a sense of openness because it’s not a solid piece, but you can’t really see what is beyond,” notes Brad.

Brad Swartz Architects Boneca Apartment CC Tom Ferguson | Habitus Living

The seamless and hidden nature of lighting likewise characterises the project. There is recessed lighting and backlighting in the living spaces while strip lighting lines the edges within the bathroom and along the kitchen wall. “We like to hide a lot of the lighting, so you don’t have a busyness of downlights on the ceiling,” says Brad. This aligned perfectly with the client’s sensibilities as she had been staying in nice hotels for work and was quite taken with the concept of hidden lighting. “It ends up with really beautiful results, there are all these little light boxes that are almost light features in themselves,” he adds.

There might be a perception in the wider community that architecture is unaffordable and is a luxury rather than necessity – and perhaps in some [read: many] cases that are well-founded. Boneca Apartment, however, makes a strong case for an alternative opinion.

Given the vast improvement of this space and the liveability for its occupant – and knowing that there were numerous conceptual layouts explored architecturally before the final concept was arrived at – there is no denying the value of an architect. “Using a designer or an architect to really go through the design process can add a lot,” says Brad. It will be an added expense, but the value one gets out of using an architect will far outweigh the cost.

Brad Swartz Architects bradswartz.com.au

Photography by Tom Ferguson Dissection Information Vivid White paint from Dulux White laminate from Laminex Cloud burst concrete Caesarstone bench top Dark grey porcelain tiles from Bettertiles CM05 Habibi Tray Table by E15 from Living Edge Zinnia Rug from Armadillo & Co Bench 153 by Artek from Anibou T900 H Curve ceiling track lights from Brightgreen Pure 600 Solid Surface basin from Cibo Titan Range tapware from Caroma Brad Swartz Architects Boneca Apartment CC Tom Ferguson | Habitus Living Brad Swartz Architects Boneca Apartment CC Tom Ferguson | Habitus Living Brad Swartz Architects Boneca Apartment CC Tom Ferguson | Habitus Living Brad Swartz Architects Boneca Apartment CC Tom Ferguson | Habitus Living We think you might also like Whiting Architects: The Beauty Of Small Footprint Livingabc
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Inspiring Hotel Bathroom Design Ideas

Hotels are spaces that people use and visit in their own terms. Though there may an abundance of settings repeated worldwide, their purpose remains the same: to provide guests with an unforgettable experience. A successful hotel bathroom design requires a holistic approach, one that focuses on curating encounters that guests have with the space. Differing from private residential and commercial bathrooms, hotel bathroom design needs to be universally appealing, as it has the ability to affect moods and, specifically, the ability to relax. Sometimes clad in marble, and other times boasting an essence of onsen minimalism, they have a reputation of encouraging guests to linger longer. The following examples push boundaries on the generic bathroom algorithm: vanity + shower + bath, and instead enhances spa-like amenities that inspire guests to unwind.

Hotel Bocage by Duangrit Bunnag of DBALP Hua Hin, Thailand

Hotel Bocage Design Hotels Hotel Bathroom Design Ideas Breaking the norm by bringing an embodiment of Brutalist architecture to the beachfront, Hotel Bocage is located in Hua Hin, the Gulf of Thailand. Designed with the intention of having strong geometric lines juxtapose organic elements of the beachside, Hotel Bocage is located atop a shopping mall. The neo-brutalist concrete construction and stripped back décor adds a sculptural element to the entire guest experience. The bathroom especially so, utilises floor-to-ceiling glass walls to give guests a dramatic in-tub view of the Gulf while the sanitary-ware underlines a clean and calm setting. Bunnag successfully delivers equal parts brutalist minimalism and refined luxury. [gallery columns="2" size="full" ids="85707,85706"] DBALP dbalp.com  

Amanemu Resort by Kerry Hill Architects Ise Shima National Park, Japan 

Hotel Bathroom Design Ideas Amanemu Resort Japan Kerry Hill Architects Found on Japan’s east coast, and part of the luxury hotel brand Aman, Amanemu references the traditional Japanese ryokan. It comprises a series of structures, with 24 suites and four villas, each with its own private hot spring bath. Amanemu is an epitome of the perfect balance between contemporary architecture and Japanese minimalistic traditions and delights visitors with sweeping views of the surrounds from every room. The interiors highlight Japanese hinoki cypress wood, woven bamboo furniture and lighting, as well as a black wood-panelled façade. Each ensuite is fitted with charcoal-coloured basalt stone tub and tiles that elevates luxuriousness and tranquillity with hot and cold mineral-rich water. It is a full-blown private onsen experience on tap, allowing visitors to submerge themselves in a holistic experience that very much focuses on wellness. The hotel bathroom design is completely influenced by natural hot springs and the therapeutic powers of water, centred on Japan’s centuries-old onsen tradition. [gallery columns="2" size="full" ids="85700,85701"] Kerry Hill Architects kerryhillarchitects.com  

Jackalope Hotel by Carr Mornington Peninsula, Victoria 

Jackalope Hotel Carr Hotel Bathroom Design Ideas One of the most Instagrammed hotels in 2017, Jackalope Hotel opened its doors to the public in April that year and received ample attention for its 46 designer rooms and luxury suites. The boutique hotel, which takes the name of a mythical rabbit-like creature with antlers, is fitted with custom-built furniture, a 30-metre infinity pool, and artworks that also include a seven-metre-tall Jackalope structure. The floor-to-ceiling windows as well as private terraces, consistently seen in every room, allow visitors to connect with the rural surroundings. Clad in zinc, and themed black and gold, Carr Design Group has produced a modern interpretation of agriculture buildings and barn-like structures. This is luxurious theme continues within; where bathrooms feature a black Japanese deep-soak tub, rain showers and double vanities. The holistic design-driven experience is a sensory overload, including copper, silver and gold mosaics. The spa-like interior and exclusive bath products have developed by Melbourne’s Hunter Lab also include a pinot grape skin and seed bath soak and body scrub, made from the hotel’s vineyard. It is definitely a hotel bathroom design deserving a nice glass, or bottle, of local wine. [gallery columns="2" size="full" ids="85710,85711"] Carr carr.net.au  

Elements of Byron by Shane Thompson Architects Byron Bay, New South Wales

Elements of Byron Shane Thompson Architects Hotel Bathroom Design Ideas  With views of the bush, beach, and the rainforest, Elements of Byron is one of Byron Bay’s most voguish resorts. As Byron Bay is recognised for its laid-back aesthetic and lifestyle, Shane Thompson Architects combined a balanced level of Japanese simplicity with an informal Australian feel for its interiors. The wood stools, ladder towel racks, rattan armchairs and shell chandeliers nods to the bohemian reputation of the entire site, and are also respective to the sensitive surrounding wetlands. The roomy hotel bathroom design boasts an organic and pared-back feel, featuring a generously sized stone stand-alone bathtub. Here, guests are not only seduced into a holiday vibe with musing sounds of native birds, but they are also submerged into a state of relaxation that is rare with busy lifestyles. [gallery columns="2" size="full" ids="85703,85704"] Shane Thomspon Architects shanethompson.com.au Though varying in concept and design details, these examples are consistent in that they all capture the spirit and history of their locales, taking the stress out of travelling. Hotel bathrooms have the capacity to showcase significant design statements. In fact, it is more than the sum of sinks and showerheads; conversely, they serve as a sanctuary providing the comforts of a home. Cohesively, these examples of hotel bathroom design balance utility, beauty and connection to its surrounding.   We think you might also like this Design-Led Airport Hotel in Mascot, Sydney Photography courtesy of Shane Thompson Architects, Design Hotels, A+ Design Group, Kerry Hill Architects and Carrabc
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Contemporary Yet Traditional: Bathware By Claybrook

Bathtubs within the Claybrook Collection exude a sense of relaxation desired by most through its refined form and gently curved edges. With more than three decades of experience in the stone industry, the brand is recognised as an expert in materiality with an innovative approach to design. The Claybrook Collection is unique in shape whilst delivering a consistent feel of luxury and elegance. The basins result from an in-depth research and development process, where engineers have focused on the usability features of the basin such as reducing splash and increasing comfort for users. Specifically, for certain basins, this means that the height and slope have been manufactured to a gradient for all types of users without causing any strain. Claybrook Collection Rogerseller The in-house production team of highly skilled artisans effortlessly balance physical and decorative aspects of stone, which culminates unmatched qualities. Each bathroom fitting by Claybrook is hand polished for over 60 hours through a four-stage precision process without compromising the material’s integrity. One of the many benefits of submerging in a marble bath includes heat retention and the feel of stone, especially in comparison to synthetic materials. Furthermore, Claybrook is established as an eco-friendly bathware brand that utilises recycled materials. All Marbleform products are 100 per cent recyclable and emit 0 per cent carbon waste during the manufacturing stages. Claybrook Collection Rogerseller Emily Green, marketing director at Claybrook describes the collection as “ a marriage of technical excellence with a truly natural touch and feel… Whether you are interested in a simple organic form or a more traditional re-worked roll top bath, our products do not date.” The recently launched Claybrook Collection is exclusively available at Rogerseller showrooms and online. Rogerseller rogerseller.com.au Claybrook Collection Rogerseller We think you might also like Modern Heritage Homes in Brisbaneabc
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ARC - Feature

Butcher Shop Turned Family Home By Ian Moore Architects

Ian Moore is an architect known for his black and white palette and glass louvres, but his aesthetic is, as he says, basically about “keeping it as clean and simple as possible”. In the case of the alterations and additions to this inner suburban Sydney house, the interventions are so subtle that it is not immediately apparent that anything has been done at all. But the house quickly reveals that he has achieved a highly refined and understated relationship between old and new, respecting the past without indulging it.

Sydney’s Surry Hills may these days be Trendy Central, but it has a past which its new generation of residents value as much as those who were born and raised there. It has always been a quirky suburb, mixing low-income residential with the rag trade, diverse lifestyles and maintaining itself as a connection with Sydney’s 19th century past as well as being a hub of contemporary innovation and experiment. Ian Moore points out that the shops always tended to be randomly distributed rather than forming strips. This property was a case in point – a butcher’s shop dating from 1898 and the only shop in a street of terrace houses and some low-rise commercial buildings.

Hastings Van Nunen Ian Moore Architects CC Daniel Mayne living

As a shop it fronted straight on to the street with no setback. It was one-room deep with a cool room out the back. The butcher lived in the next door terrace with doorways linking the two properties at ground level and on the first floor. Over time, the shop became a self-contained residence with a new façade and windows for the front and rear walls – windows which are still there. The original butcher shop tiles are still on the walls of what is now the living room, while the original floor tiles are also still there, but now hidden beneath a raised timber floor introduced by a previous owner to match the level of the back yard.

This project consisted of two stages – or three if you include the fact that Ian Moore and his wife (who live close by) are friends of the clients and actually found the house and urged them to attend the auction which, says Ian, they won by 11 cents! Otherwise, Stage 1 involved a new kitchen and some work on the rear courtyard.

Hastings Van Nunen Ian Moore Architects CC Daniel Mayne kitchen

But Ian Moore had done a master plan which indicated what could be done further down the track. In this, he was helped by the existing height regulations in the street which enabled him to add a new level as part of Stage 2 and still remain lower than the highest buildings in the street.

“It was important to make something that was so simple and contemporary that it didn’t compete with the original building,” says Ian. “So, up there we have put a white aluminium box. You don’t really notice it. And it’s set back from the original parapet with a little roof terrace inside (behind the parapet). That’s the main bedroom.” This discreet, private and light-filled little pavilion on top of the original building – along with a sinuous new spiral stairway like a tower linking all three levels of the house – represents Stage 2. The glass louvres for the rear elevation and the handrail for the stairway to be installed.

Hastings Van Nunen Ian Moore Architects CC Daniel Mayne kitchen But, as always with Ian Moore, the magic lies in the details. One enters the house straight from the street with the door on the left. Once inside the circulation continues to range left. A wonderfully luminous – and beautifully proportioned – doorway leads into the kitchen. This luminosity comes from the reflected light of the kitchen tiles, themselves illuminated by an oculus in the kitchen ceiling which, with the passage of the sun during the day, projects constantly changing shapes on to the wall. In turn, the kitchen leads out to the rear courtyard through another superbly scaled glass door.

But there had been circulation issues with the kitchen, the existing bathroom and the tight return of the stairway. These were resolved by Ian with an elegant, long dining and preparation bench in the shape of a hockey stick – which Moore calls “the big gesture” because it is both directional and a sculptural device helping to make the kitchen the “hub” of the home and the link to the rear courtyard. The circularity of the ‘hockey stick’ echoes the round oculus, while the hard-wearing black lino flooring sets up Ian’s typical conversation with the all-white finishes.

Hastings Van Nunen Ian Moore Architects CC Daniel Mayne stairs

The clients’ two young boys have their bedrooms (with some Ian Moore-designed mobile cupboards) on the first floor along with an ingenious study nook on the landing. The master bedroom above continues the black-white conversation. Up here, you are amongst the trees, enjoying dappled sunlight from the west as it makes its way through some handsome established trees. Bathed in light from the little roof terrace, its privacy protected by the restored original parapet, the bedroom is separated from the ensuite by a wardrobe unit with a gap between the top and the ceiling which helps to sustain a sense of space and flow. Meanwhile, the bed features customised, Ian-Moore-designed fitted aluminium side tables in the quest to keep it simple by avoiding additional freestanding furnishings. From the outside, the rooftop addition can scarcely be seen, confirming Ian’s agenda to create a functional contemporary addition without compromising the historic character of the building or the integrity of its neighbours.

Ian Moore Architects ianmoorearchitects.com

Photography by Daniel Mayne

Dissection Information Vivid white paint from Dulux Naoto Fukasawa Deja-vu stools by Magis from CULT Jasper Morrison air folding chair by Magis from CULT Side chair by Knoll from Dedece Sobork 3050 dining chair by Fredericia from Great Dane Tray table by Hay from CULT Eileen Grey light by ClassiCon from Anibou Ceiling light by Bega Bathware from Caroma Stainless steel linear drains from Stormtech 700 wide oven, gas cooktop, and canopy hood from Ilve Fully integrated dishwasher from Smeg Fully integrated freezer and refrigerator from Fisher & Paykel Hastings Van Nunen Ian Moore Architects CC Daniel Mayne main bedroom Hastings Van Nunen Ian Moore Architects CC Daniel Mayne bathroom Hastings Van Nunen Ian Moore Architects CC Daniel Mayne balcony Hastings Van Nunen Ian Moore Architects CC Daniel Mayne master bedroom We think you might also like A Compact, Coastal Home by Topology Studioabc
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The Spirit of Place According To Palinda Kannangara

“We largely work on site!” says Sri Lankan architect Palinda Kannangara of his eponymous practice Palinda Kannangara Architects (PKA). “Our architecture essentially focuses on capturing and expressing the spirit of the place, whether it’s a marsh, a cliff or an urbanscape. The site is the generator of all our ideas, and core to our design process.” This design approach is apparent in PKA’s acclaimed 2017 residential project, the Artists’ Retreat at Pittugala. The project took home the Honourable Mention in the ‘Living Space’ category at INDE.Awards 2018. Hailed by the INDE.Awards 2018 jury as “a magical place born of a singular vision and clever design”, the Artists’ Retreat at Pittugala is a residence of contemporary Sri Lankan artist JC Rathnayake and his artist-printmaker wife Tanuja that also functions as a workshop, art storage space and a gallery. The house was built over three years with a modest budget of 65,000 USD. “Our architecture is always an intuitive reading of the site,” explains Kannangara. This understanding is developed through a series of studies, physical models made in the office, and detailed drawings and sketches made on site. He elaborates, “We always seek to work with the site, to create comfortable conditions for living while preserving and connecting to the natural environment. We hope that the resulting architecture is an experience that is both visceral and pragmatic, also one that is about economy and sensitivity.” The Artists’ Retreat at Pittugala sits on a 3,700-sqft sloping site flanked by paddy fields and a busy expressway. The sloping terrain provided an opportunity to create split-level zoning, avoiding costly cut-and fill processes. Spaces unfold between brick walls both solid and perforated, creating effective passive ventilation. A lush courtyard garden serves as both a private oasis and a buffer for the noise coming from the expressway. The entire ground floor, which is dedicated to the workshop, living and gallery area, is roofed but open to the elements, doing away with doors, windows and glass while the upper floor houses three bedrooms and a lily pond that serves as a meditative zone. Meanwhile, wide steps inspired by Sri Lankan monastic gardens lead to a studio with a high ceiling where large-scale paintings and sculptures dwell. The wabi-sabi quality that permeates the residence emerged from its material palette, which comprised locally available and hand-built materials. Only the studio wall has been finished with paint to achieve the light quality required for painting. Elsewhere, the brickwork is plastered with earth or left raw. Flooring is cut cement. The woods are reclaimed. The furniture pieces are repurposed and upcycled. The building process was personal and collaborative, with the clients managing the project, working with a local workman and hand-building several elements themselves. Colombo-born Kannangara had completed a degree in mathematics before he found his calling in architecture. He enrolled in a course conducted by the Sri Lanka Institute of Architects and received his charter in 2004. He established PKA the following year and has kept the practice small and its service personalised since then. PKA is a team of nine people (with the occasional addition of one or two interns) operating from Kannangara’s home and office by a marsh in Rajagiriya, one of the larger suburbs bordering Colombo. Dubbed the Studio Dwelling at Rajagiriya, the award-winning four-storey building completed in 2015 is a haven to work and live in, featuring a cool microclimate. It is sealed from Sri Lanka’s heat with perforated brick walls to the west and south and kept permeable to the views of the marsh on the other sides. Its garden sponges off water during the monsoon season, sparing the interiors from flooding. The interior palette is minimal, featuring board-marked concrete, wood and brick. “We believe in an architecture that is about the process of reduction; of using available resources wisely and consciously, especially in our tiny island country; of ‘de-cluttering’ both visually and physically; and of course respecting the environment. The ethics of minimalism and environmentalism which are part of the Sri Lankan ethos are also vital to our works,” he says. These themes are apparent in PKA’s recent works, which include the Urban Sanctum at Colombo and Frame at Immaduwa. The latter is a home for a jazz drummer and ethnomusicologist that features an exoskeleton built with scaffolding. It sits gently on the client’s ancestral agricultural lands that had been abandoned for several years due to flooding. Although small, Sri Lanka is blessed with biodiversity and has a relatively untouched natural landscape. This, Kannangara believes, provides architects and designers with an opportunity to work across various environmental conditions while pushing them to be wise with their limited resources. Asked about what the Indo-Pacific region can learn from Sri Lanka’s architecture and design community, he shares: “Sensitive solutions for tropical architecture based on a philosophy of minimalism, resourceful use of materials and simple architectural language reflecting the people’s way of living while being integrally connected with the landscape.” The year 2018 was a year of recognition for PKA. In addition to an Honourable Mention at INDE.Awards 2018, the Artists’ Retreat at Pittugala also received a commendation in Interior and Exterior Connections at Habitus House of the Year Award. Studio Dwelling was named one of the winners of RIBA Award for International Excellence. PKA was also won the Architect of the Year Award for Foreign Countries at JK AYA 2018 in India, which was presented by Pritzker laureate Balkrishna Doshi. “These were all milestones for our small practice,” says Kannangara. He is currently working on PKA’s first monograph. His hope for 2019 includes seeing more design and architecture award programs that provide “more opportunities and recognition for projects from developing countries irrespective of scales, budgets and typologies [and] opportunities to present, exhibit, exchange ideas and publish works.” Palinda Kannangara Architects palindakannangara.com Photography courtesy of Palinda Kannangara Architects.  We think you might also like 5 Architect-Designed Homes You Can Stay In Nowabc
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Traditional Indian Interior Design Is Modernised At ISH

The celebrated interior architect Annu Bains is also the mother of restaurateur Ganeev Bains and together, celebrating their Indian heritage, they have pieced together the latest destination restaurant - ISH -  in one of Melbourne’s finer culinary precincts, Gertrude Street in Fitzroy. ISH is a modern Indian restaurant that effortlessly balances a tightrope between east and west, old and new – both in terms of culinary and interior design. Ganeev and his head chef, Sainyam Kapoor, bring a sophisticated edge to the Indian food palette we all know and love. Annu took on the interior design. Having begun by studying art, design and interior architecture in both India and America, her career was kick-started by designing resort hotel rooms in India. Since then, she has gone on to complete work in residential, commercial and food and beverage spaces like ISH. ISH Restaurant Melbourne Annu Bain CC Rhiannon Taylor sofa lougne casual seating dining “Taking cues from the site’s heritage status, the design for ISH reflects a traditional and modern sensibility with a nod to our Indian heritage,” says Annu. Upon entry guests are greeted with a dark and moody atmosphere, communicated through an exposed brick wall, custom black leather banquettes designed by Anna, tanned timber, and accents of brass. The brass is a reference to India’s ancient heritage, yet modernised taking the form of bespoke decorative plates and light fittings. The brass-striped bar is another custom design by Annu, made from stained oak veneer. It works well spatially with the large communal table it diagonally faces, and the black and white-striped pews. ISH Restaurant Melbourne Annu Bain CC Rhiannon Taylor bar seating and contemporary art work Split across two floors, upstairs ISH takes on a slightly lighter aesthetic with white walls to counterbalance dark timber flooring. The leather banquettes are repeated, lining the walls and complemented by an eclectic mix of leather, timber and brass chairs and circular and rectangular tables. Along the walls upstairs and down is a unique selection of artworks. Some were created in collaboration with Melbourne’s famed design studio, Studio Round, others are pieces from Annu’s personal archives. “In the upper hallway, small framed illustrations and painting depict traditional Indian fables, while monochromatic prints were made from original photos showing vignettes of Indian life I captured in India while scouting locations for a documentary,” she says. ISH ishrestaurant.com.au Photography by Rhiannon Taylor ISH Restaurant Melbourne Annu Bain CC Rhiannon Taylor exposed brick and brass highlights ISH Restaurant Melbourne Annu Bain CC Rhiannon Taylor contemporary rustic aesthetic interior seating decoration details ISH Restaurant Melbourne Annu Bain CC Rhiannon Taylor dining details ISH Restaurant Melbourne Annu Bain CC Rhiannon Taylor fine dining material palette ISH Restaurant Melbourne Annu Bain CC Rhiannon Taylor fine dining highlight colours brass ISH Restaurant Melbourne Annu Bain CC Rhiannon Taylor table arranagement and menu graphics ISH Restaurant Melbourne Annu Bain CC Rhiannon Taylor fine dining interior with brass highlight colours We think you might also like Piccolina Gelato Store by Hecker Guthrie abc
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Four Leaves Villa Emanates Stillness

When Tadao Ando said, “We borrow from nature the space upon which we build,” he was not directly talking about Four Leaves Villa by Kentaro Ishida Architects Studio (KIAS), but he may as well have been. Throughout Japan, the fine line between the built and natural environment is a blurred one. One of the country’s leading architecture and design studios, KIAS, has utilised this concept to form an innovative and cutting edge design for a client’s holiday house. Located 150 kilometres from Tokyo, the residence is located in the Nagano district, a mountainous terrain rich with greenery. Four Leaves Villa Japan KIAS CC Norihito Yamauchi Sympathetic to the natural world, the environmentally sensitive structure of Four Leaves Villa creates an honest dialogue between architecture and site. This is primarily evident with the concave and convex roof configuration. Divided by interconnected volumes, each of the curved roof surfaces resembles gently twisted leaves with slopes that join on top and arch over each other. The straight laminated veneer timber joists are left exposed on the ceiling, forming a sea of geometric and organic shapes. Internally, the ceiling beams are left exposed to detail high dark wood ceilings. This ceiling form does not just respond to the site, but also reacts to the exterior environment through the sun, wind and weather patterns, while also aiding in storm and rainwater drainage. An aerial view of the villa reveals a picturesque landscape of fallen leaves, an aesthetic inspiration from the natural world. This references the dominant aesthetic features apparent within Japanese heritage designs, but with a contemporary twist. Four Leaves Villa Japan KIAS CC Norihito Yamauchi The purpose of architecture is not just to create a building, but also to create an atmosphere that will enmesh itself within a context. It is for this reason that each room within Four Leaves Villa is oriented differently to maximise natural light and scenic views. Specifically, the living and dining space face southeast for increased brightness, while the master bedroom and bathroom face west, fitting cosily into a densely wooded area of the forest. Completed with a central courtyard, the Four Leaves Villa is an exemplary use of “architecture as an aggregate of diverse living spaces,” explains the designer, and is an integration that occurs as a result of blending nature with built context. KIAS kias.co.jp Photography by Norihito Yamauchi Four Leaves Villa Japan KIAS CC Norihito Yamauchi Four Leaves Villa Japan KIAS CC Norihito Yamauchi Four Leaves Villa Japan KIAS CC Norihito Yamauchi Four Leaves Villa Japan KIAS CC Norihito Yamauchi Four Leaves Villa Japan KIAS CC Norihito Yamauchi Four Leaves Villa Japan KIAS CC Norihito Yamauchi Four Leaves Villa Japan KIAS CC Norihito Yamauchi We think you might also like House With Shadows by RT+Q Architectsabc
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FGR Architects Takes Minimalism To The Next Level

When the residents of Salmon Avenue, Steven and Ainsley, decided their “forever house” was to be a new residence made from concrete, their research led them to the director of FGR Architects, Feras Raffoul, who had designed and built his own concrete and glass house.

Feeling they were on “the same wavelength” kept the brief simple. “We pretty much asked for a concrete home that’s light and bright – then we were happy to let Feras do his thing,” says Ainsley.

“My home is an example of experimenting with concrete and seeing where the whole idea of a peeled back palette takes things. This is a more evolved version – it’s series two,” Feras says. One key design ambition was to give the clients privacy from the street. Set foot inside and the emphasis turns to visual connectivity, light and acoustic privacy for the occupants, explains Feras.

FGR Architects Salmon Avenue CC Peter Bennetts concrete

Structurally, 80 per cent of the couple’s new home is concrete and glazing softened by timber cabinetry and greenery, much of which will mature over time. Gallery-like in feel and generosity, FGR Architects designed and built Salmon Avenue around the needs of the family of four.

According to Feras, a house should “mould itself around” the respective living and entertaining requirements of the kids growing up and of the parents. And it does. “The house works perfectly for our family,” says Ainsley. “When the kids are little – being able to see them from wherever you are is important.”

Salmon Avenue exploits the 55-metre long site, running from the north edge to the parklands on the southern boundary. Living quarters are housed in the front square element with a downstairs guest room and three bedrooms upstairs, each with a personal bathroom.

FGR Architects Salmon Avenue CC Peter Bennetts corridor

A walkway links the private spaces to a rear linear element, the entertaining quarters. “This is where we live, it’s the heart of the home,” says Steven. For FGR Architects, overcoming the 3-metre drop that is almost one full floor level, from one end of the block to the other, was one of the project’s biggest design challenges. That was in part resolved using a transition space with a second lounge/rumpus room to one side and a laundry with its own service yard tucked away on the other.

The expansive entertaining area, which flows freely between the kitchen (the home’s “epicentre”), meals, living and alfresco areas, opens directly onto the pool and garden. In contrast to the new residence, the family had previously been living in a small house. “The kids were ecstatic and would literally run laps from the front door and down to the dining table,” recalls Ainsley.

“Having 180-degree visual connection from the kitchen to all spaces means I can organise dinner while the kids are in the pool or the rumpus room and take comfort that I can see them.” As the consummate entertaining spaces for hosting large gatherings with extended family, the 4.5-metre long island bench makes a ready grazing station on one half and bar station on the other.

FGR Architects Salmon Avenue CC Peter Bennetts open plan

Low maintenance was a must. “I don’t want to be home cooking and cleaning all day, I wanted the house to be easy to live in – so that when people come over, this is the way it is,” says Ainsley. Delivering that aspiration is the self-cleaning oven, an integrated fridge, day-to-day appliances concealed in a galley-style pantry (stage left off the kitchen), copious storage for “bits and bobs” and having all the bedrooms upstairs.

FGR Architects not only ensured that the home is robust and family friendly but also offers many opportunities for sanctuary. Steven loves watching TV from the beanbag by the pool or hanging out by the fire pit of a summer’s evening. For Ainsley, it’s a tie between retreating to the master bedroom’s mesmerising views on a weekend or enjoying the entertaining spaces.

Perceptions around concrete being cold to live with are dismissed here. “Visitors to the house see the concrete façade and they’re not sure what to expect, but with the windows, timber and soft furnishings it’s surprising how warm the house is,” says Ainsley.

FGR Architects Salmon Avenue CC Peter Bennetts kitchen

Past experience as a fashion retail manager has instilled conviction in her tastes and preferences.  “I have a strong sense of knowing what I like and what I don’t like,” she continues. “While some people might be overwhelmed by all of the concrete, for us, it was like, give us a concrete jungle, the more concrete the merrier. I think concrete is very organic – you can pare it back with beautiful more refined elements to balance each other out.”

A printer by trade, Steven is a stickler for quality materials and perfect finishes. The build was a collaboration between AMPM Projects and FGR Architects, with Steven and Ainsley heavily involved in all aspects of the construction and finishes.

Building a concrete home is not for overthinkers, cautions Feras. “Concrete is an unforgiving product, you don’t get to procrastinate – you have to make decisions early, be comfortable about it and move on.”

FGR Architects Salmon Avenue CC Peter Bennetts dining

Four custom made, oversized, precast concrete panels for the passage walls run horizontally, a method that eliminated extraneous lines. “That’s the intention of the alchemist – to allow you to enjoy the surface area and have fewer items intruding on your eye space,” points out Feras.

Another prime example of the fastidious detailing was ensuring all electrical conduit had been allowed for within the precast walls prior to installation which resulted in recessed power points and light switches without visible cables. “It’s a lot of work to get there, but once you execute you get a really clean result,” says Feras.

Synonymous with FGR Architects ethos, the home explores the application of one material like concrete to the nth degree – from a wall, floor and even a ceiling application – and then infilling the gaps in between with glazing, joinery and blinds.

FGR Architects Salmon Avenue CC Peter Bennetts corridor

Fundamentally, the occupants are provided with a base palette to create their own tone within the space. “In 10 years time, you could take all the furniture out and put a new infill here for a totally different feel,” says Feras.

While Steven and Ainsley have built houses with a modern slant before, they admit their experiment with concrete has taken their love of minimalist style to the next level.

FGR Architects fgrarchitects.com.au

Photography by Peter Bennetts

Dissection Information Polished concrete flooring by UltraGrind Engineered oak flooring supplied by Woodcut Elba marble benchtops from Artedomus Bathroom Corian benchtops supplied by A Series Charred timber door from EcoTimber Nook sofa,  Harvest armchair, Wilfred armchair and Alby ottoman from Jardan Rug from Armadillo & Co Linen from Cultiver, Kip&Co and Adairs

FGR Architects Salmon Avenue CC Peter Bennetts bathtub FGR Architects Salmon Avenue CC Peter Bennetts master bedroom FGR Architects Salmon Avenue CC Peter Bennetts outdoor dining FGR Architects Salmon Avenue CC Peter Bennetts outdoor area FGR Architects Salmon Avenue CC Peter Bennetts swimming pool FGR Architects Salmon Avenue CC Peter Bennetts exterior wall We think you might also like Full Circle by X+O in Ubud, Bali. abc