Not only physical clutter is organised, but also visual clutter, highlights Gabriel. This approach continues into the architectural finishes. He complements the existing crème-coloured marble flooring with other natural materials – unfilled silver travertine wall cladding and warm whitewashed ash timber ceiling whose dynamic lines draw the eye to exterior vistas. Throughout, sandblasted black ash joinery, stained cork wallpaper and bronze acid etched mirrors add definition, texture and shine. The finishes were chosen for the way sunlight hits them and reflects around the spaces. They also add depth and, as in the case of the dining room, create focal points. Here, the clients requested a touch of culture. Gabriel responded with a wall melding hydraulic tiles – reminiscent of traditional Peranakan shophouse interiors – with the rhythmic grace of rounded-edge, carved oak planks. “Not only does [the latter] help to diffuse sound, it adds a softness and warmth to this communal space,” says Gabriel. Sliding glass doors, which contain uproars during game nights, provide continuity of visual expanse and light into the corridor.
“A design is deemed successful if the client is happy with the space at handover and still in love with their home a couple of years later.”
Gabriel’s background in product design came in handy when he couldn’t find suitable furniture. In the living room, he created an extra-long TV console whose cantilevering profile – inspired by architecture – accords the space a feeling of lightness, while a petite sofa nestles into a study room’s bookshelf niche. A chest-of-drawers and sideboard in the master bedroom with child-friendly rounded edges, and a curved upholstered bench in the dining room perfect for accommodating extra persons, considers the family’s way of living. Designing across scales has enabled Gabriel to create a holistic environment, where space and furniture are co-dependent to creating comfortable, well-proportioned and timeless interior environments. The Grange Garden Apartment is a fitting illustration. Gabriel Tan Studio gabriel-tan.com Photography by Studio Periphery Dissection Information Bathroom and kitchen fittings from TOTO, American Standard and Blanco Power sockets and light switches from Legrand Cork wall finish by Dekwall 2065 lighting from the Sarfatti Collection by Flos from Astep Ambit Rail lamp from Muuto Åhus Easy Chair by Outofstock Design from Blå Station TV entertainment console and chest of drawers from Gabriel Tan Studio Curved dining bench, sofa and side table from Gabriel Tan Studio Hepburn bed from De Le Espada Saarinen dining table and armless chair from Knoll Furnishings from Hunter Douglas and Ferm Living We think you might also like Sunny Apartment by Very Studio | Che Wang Architectsabc
Gabriel Tan Studio incorporates storage into the interior architecture and furniture for a clutter-free ambience.
The runway of golden sand that announces Queensland’s Sunshine Beach has an operatic relationship with the Pacific Ocean that laps at its edge. Both beach and sea share in wildness and grandiosity, enhanced by their uninterrupted vastness. A prevailing southeasterly breeze often whips at the surfaces of sand and water and sends a shiver up into the adjacent bushland.
A steeply sloping hillside plunges towards the beach, forming an amphitheatre auditorium from which to watch the waves and the cruising whales. To the north, a crouching headland divides Sunshine Beach from the Noosa National Park, where a string of gloriously picturesque stony bays punctuates the coastline, each fringed with dense rainforest. Beyond this reserve, the township of Noosa Heads has become a busy haven of upmarket stores and eateries. Sunshine Beach, its southern sibling, retains something of the simpler life, or what many locals might see as a more authentic beach existence that champions the pleasures of sand, surf and sun – albeit with a handful of desirable restaurants. The milieu here is casual comfort rather than branded glamour, thongs and sarongs are de rigueur any time day or night.
Above the golden band of the beach, a series of bushy terraces cling to the steep hillside, affording many wonderful opportunities to view the ocean from on high. When Bark Architects Lindy Atkin and Steve Guthrie were commissioned to design Sunshine Beach House for a young family of London-based ex-pats, they knew exactly how to channel the site’s best aspects.
One of the clients had a strong connection with the place, having spent happy childhood holidays with family and friends in the area.
“I grew up spending many summers at Noosa,” she recalls. “We used to stay at Paramount Towers on Hastings Street and camp on the North Shore. My best friend had a beach house at Sunshine and we spent many happy days there too.”
Lindy and Steve are old hands at designing in this coastal region that has been both their home and muse for multiple decades.
“We design from the inside out,” says Lindy, commenting on a modus operandi that begins with a detailed examination of the site’s attributes. The site, according to Steve, was probably the last available in the area and had been ignored to date because of its steepness and the assumed difficulty for construction.
The elevated site has views across the Pacific Ocean to the east, and northeast to the headland. Directly below to the east, a swatch of council bushland provides a wall of native foliage and a luscious green base to the blue panorama of sky and sea beyond. Bark Architects' early watercolour sketch plans detail the prevailing breezes and solar angles. The plans soon led to a breathable house with an exoskeleton of operable fins, louvres and walls that could open and close to accommodate various weather conditions and seasons.
The clients’ brief was to capture a view of the sea, and to design a light and open house that was “not too polished but very much a beach house”. Drawing on the typology of earlier coastal beach shacks, both the material palette and scale were kept humble. Fibrous cement sheeting with cover strips receives a crisp, modern interpretation with their coats of white paint.
Sunshine Beach House hunkers into the steep slope on the west and generously retains neighbours’ views from above and behind. A two-storey pavilion on the east houses children’s rooms downstairs and a communal kitchen, living and verandah rooms above. The western pavilion houses the master bedroom and guest bedroom, divided by respective bathrooms. A bridge connects the two pavilions. The linking bridge that incorporates a connecting stair, bathroom and spare room, is wrapped in a thin skin of opalescent polycarbonate sheeting attached to a raw timber stud frame. At night it creates a giant lantern in the landscape. It overlooks the central pool and entry courtyard that forms the breathing lung and focal point in the heart of Sunshine Beach House.
While the eastern verandah can be battened down when the southeasterly winds pick up the pace, the central courtyard is bound and protected by the surrounding home and landscape. The waters of the shaded raised pool cool the home in summer, while the sun reaches into the court and surrounding rooms to warm the spaces in winter.
“The pool provides a wonderful focus for the house and bounces light into the rooms,” said the owners. The process of designing and collaborating between London and the Sunshine Coast was surprisingly easy, they continue.
“We knew that Bark Architects had done work for overseas clients before. We used Dropbox for plans and had regular conference calls. We visited the site only three times while it was being built – before, during and after it was finished. We suspect this not only made it easier for them, but probably stopped us fiddling and adding to the cost. It also made it more exciting when we saw the finished article.”
The rigour of the plan allows for cross-ventilation in each room and peripheral space. Thermal trapping and heat release is also integral to the design which responds to the sun’s penetration angles through the seasons. A large fireplace is available for colder winter nights.
The compact plan is deceptive. The separation of spaces is clearly considered and nicely choreographed. “[Sunshine Beach House] brings everyone together but allows us to spend precious time together without feeling on top of each other,” said the residents.
Extended family groups and all sorts of occasions have been happily accommodated. “We have already had family birthdays, a boys’ weekend and romantic weekends there and the house ticks the box for all occasions,” says the owner. A favourite moment of theirs is watching the sunrise “when the whales are in town”. Watching the migration of the majestic Humpbacks from the protected verandah or the master bedroom perch must seem a dreamily long way from busy London life.
Bark Architects barkdesign.com.au
Photography Christopher Frederick JonesDissection Information Snowdrift polished concrete from Boral Blackbutt hardwood flooring by Queensland Timber Floors Organic white reconstituted stone benchtops from Caesarstone Blackbutt limewash Hoop Pine veneer plywood joinery by Minka Joinery Silver anodized aluminium windows from AWS Windows Altair Powerlouvre galleries and doors from Breezeway supplied by Horizon Powder-coated plantation shutters in 'Dulux Stone grey' by IQ Shutters Pyrmont dining table from Urban Couture Balmain entertainment unit from Urban Couture Hay About A Chair from CULT About A Lounge from CULT Floor rug in Marle Tuck from Armadillo & Co Outdoor table from Furniture by Marx Pure sofa outdoor lounge from Cosh Living Chairs from Stylecraft Lighting fixtures from Noosa Lighting Floor lamp from Urban Lighting Fireplace from Heatmaster Box Cooktop, oven, rangehood, washing machine, clothes dryer from Bosch Fridge and freezer from Fisher & Paykel Sinks from Abey Tapware by Rogerseller and Villeroy & Boch We think you might also like Bronte House By Nick Bell Architectsabc
Have you been to Milan before?
Yes, I usually come to Milan twice every year. We source a lot of raw materials from Northern Italy such as stone, lighting, unique materials and ideas. Here you see the very best and latest from around the world, So we regularly travel to Italy to discover a much broader range of colours and textures. We are also drawn to Italy for is architecture, culture, cuisine and most importantly for the people.
And the Salone del Mobile?
Always a highlight. We come here to refresh our palette and be inspired. We never really know what we are going to find; it’s simply about the journey. Some years are better than others and what’s on show tends to reflect the economy at the time. I thought 2019 was a very good year.
What does this global fair mean for designers, architects and design enthusiasts in Australia?
I can’t speak for other designers, but the source of our inspiration is definitely Europe. For an Australian designer, it’s an essential part of your ongoing education to travel here if you want to design in that style – which we do.
I am Anglo-Saxon; my family came from Europe and I’ve grown up in environment influenced by Europe. My mother studied fine art and from a young age we were emersed in the history and culture of Europe. By the age of 16 I had experienced every major art gallery and public building in many parts of Europe. I respect and appreciate their way of life. So Europe calls to me. I always want to understand it more. And of course some of the best designers in the world have traditionally lived and worked in Europe, so the design culture interests me too.
What was your favourite stand at the fair?
There were definitely some standouts: Flexform, Baxter and B&B. All three created a landscape within their display so it was an absolute pleasure to walk among their furniture. Wherever you looked, there was a green backdrop, which was both refreshing and intelligent.
There were many impressive smaller brands too, such as Articolo. I thought what Nicky Green had achieved was outstanding with a product that easily stands up against the world’s best. That was a proud moment for Australia.
What were some of the stand out installations this year?
Boffi is always good. Agape, Viabizzuno and Baxter – we went to their jazz bar, which was exciting.
What was your rose for the week?
For me this year it wasn’t so much the place as it was the people. My highlight was travelling with my colleagues from RMA: Kendra Pinkus, Mellisa dal Pozzo and Clement Chen. It was so much fun. Melissa is head of marketing. Clement is a lead architect. Kendra is a head of interiors, and quite celebrated in her own right.
Our work environment is pretty intense and disciplined, and we share in this responsibility. In Milan we shared these inspiring experiences which encouraged a common ground and foundation to draw from. Most importantly we lived together enjoying the fruits of Milan
And your thorn?
I was really overwhelmed by the premiere of our new film. That was a big deal for us. The process of making the film was fun but there was so much at stake, and it was quite demanding. About a month or two out, we realised to tell our story we needed more than just the original film so we made two more films leading up to Milan and that was a stretch. It involved travelling around Australia with a drone photographer capturing the land we are working on across the country.
By the time We arrived in Milan, having just finished with the film two days before Friday, we were finished!
It must have felt nice to present it, despite the nervous anticipation.
It was. I had spent a great deal of time writing a speech, and I was very proud of it, however the moment I really enjoyed was when I ad-libbed. There was such a positive energy in the room that evening which I won’t forget.
Will you come back next year for Salone?
Absolutely. I see it as a great education for our team. There is always something more to discover.Rob Mills Architecture & Interiors robmills.com.au *Robs Mills debuts his film, The Search, at Salone del Mobile.Milano 2019.abc
Although to the mass market the use of bamboo in construction may seem like a relatively new concept, the versatile and resilient plant has long been utilised extensively in many countries in Asia and South America, where the plant grows natively. As the popularity of bamboo as a structural material spreads to the global construction industry, bamboo’s reputation as a versatile and eco-conscious choice is propelling its usage beyond small-scale projects to more ambitious and long-term undertakings worldwide.
“Bamboo is plentiful; it grows quickly and easily and is uniquely versatile,” says Elora Hardy, founder of the Bali-based architecture and design studio IBUKU, in her response to why she prefers to use the material in her projects. For Elora, who has been one of the early pioneers in utilising bamboo as a primary construction material, the plant is the source of inspiration for exploration of the untapped possibilities as the eco-friendly alternative to more conventional construction materials.
With a three-year growing cycle and very little care needed during the growing period, bamboo is a compelling, low-maintenance, low environmental impact choice for planting and building. It has a higher comprehensive strength than timber or concrete, with its tensility rivalling that of steel. As a material for foundation piling, it surpasses steel in its practical applications in coastal areas, where steel tends to rust over time in a saline environment.
Amidst bamboo’s increasing popularisation and obvious structural opportunities, its usage in construction does not come unchallenged, however. One of the fastest growing and resilient plants in the world, bamboo has nevertheless faced several inhibiting factors limiting its use in building design. As only some of bamboo’s 1450 species are suitable for construction, quality control of bamboo remains to be an immediate challenge and a deterrent to many architects who have been mildly curious about its use in construction. If untreated, bamboo is also highly flammable and susceptible to fungi and insect attacks, limiting its usage to short-term projects in the past.
For experts like Elora, however, the plant’s opportunities far outweigh the weaknesses; leading her and her team to explore mitigating solutions in-house through research and implementation. Case in point, IBUKU’s seminal project in Bali – Green School – is a collaborative effort with Joerg Stamm, a German builder specialising in bamboo, that led to many innovations in bamboo architecture and engineering, such as the concept of creating central towers to hold up larger buildings, used by IBUKU today.
To increase the longevity and resilience of bamboo, Elora and her IBUKU team utilise boron mixture to render bamboo indigestible to insects and lab test the material to further confirm its integrity and durability. To protect bamboo from the rain and the sun, Elora resorts to designing building enclosures with dramatic overhanging roofs and tilted columns, further reinforcing structural elements with steel and concrete and securing them several metres deep into the ground. Every new project in Bali or overseas becomes an opportunity to test new engineering solutions. “One of our new projects at the moment involves engineering a 20-metre diameter dome and technical challenges focusing on how to prepare something for assembly overseas,” divulges the creative director of IBUKU. “We are always seeking to innovate and listen to the bamboo itself for unique ways it can be used.”
In projects like IBUKU’s Copper House and Moon House in Bali’s eco-resort Bambu Indah and Sokasi Cooking School at Four Seasons Sayan, intricate columns and roof support incorporate structural lessons from local structures used for shading. “For Sokasi we put the spotlight onto bambu tali (gigantochloa apus) as the structural material because this species of bamboo is crucial to every Balinese ceremony or event and is used for shade structures, as a rope material, to create satay sticks and rice baskets,” says project architect Eka Wiradana.
As bamboo construction methods and treatment techniques continue to be improved by the material’s early adaptors like IBUKU, the popularisation of bamboo usage beyond its decorative qualities is pushing the potential of its structural capabilities to new heights. Factors that have previously inhibited the use of bamboo are leading innovators to challenge the engineering limitations of the material, sending a message that the unassuming plant is well on its way to secure a firm place in building construction of a sustainable tomorrow.IBUKU ibuku.com We think you might also like Yann Follain Designing For The Peopleabc
If you’ve ever heard the saying ‘too much choice is just as bad as not enough’, don’t share it with Jean-Pierre Biasol, founder and director of his eponymous multi-disciplinary design studio, Biasol Design. It flies in the face of his newest design venture.
In the truest sense of the term ‘multi-disciplinary’, the studio’s work covers design in the residential, commercial and food and beverage sectors. It extends to graphic design and branded environments to round out a full service.
Today, that service is fuller still as Biasol Design relaunches into furniture design. Jean-Pierre has been working away – with his team in toe – on the Tre Mezzo Collection: terrazzo stone bar stools for indoor and outdoor use in residential and commercial settings alike. Originally launched in 2015, it has since evolved in conjunction with the studio.
The stools are available in three heights (for dining, counter and bar use), and are also available in almost 700 possible colour and material combinations.
“Having a furniture range that can easily adapt to indoor and outdoor use with a magnitude of colours and finishes made sense to us as designers and specifiers,” says Jean-Pierre. “We often come across a great product however production lead-times or range of colours and finishes are often limiting.”
The Tre Mezzo Collection is manufactured locally in Melbourne by people that Biasol Design has pre-existing relationships with. This cuts down on lead times, supports the local industry and economy, and facilitates a greater ability to customise.
It was also important to the team that the collection mirror their playful approach to design, love of colour and appreciation of inter-materiality in a way that was accessible to a conservative audience as much as an outlandish one.
The materials chosen for the initial release were identified and recognised for their durability and timelessness. They include natural timber, terrazzo and stone with the option to upholster in fabric, velvet and leather. If this sounds a bit safe to you don’t worry, it sounded a bit safe to Jean-Pierre, too. “The intention is to update the range with the seasons and trends we see in the industry. Limited runs on specific materials and finishes is also something we’re excited to share in the near future,” he adds, before leaving us with one parting piece of advice: “Expect the range to constantly evolve as our studio grows and draws inspiration from near and far.” We wouldn’t expect anything less.
Biasol Design biasol.com.au
Photography by James Morgan
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The entry distinctly sets the tone for the continuous “visual language of folds and ruptures” that occur elsewhere in the extension. It’s approached via an obstructed line of passage, complete with turns and level changes, creating a deliberate threshold at the front door. “Tracing the left edge of the door, a playful thread of timber noggings appear as if a continuation of the original eave line, drawing the visitor’s attention to the relocated entry,” explains Michael. “The hot-dipped galvanised door rests under a simple steel awning, anchoring it to the house with a slither of glass between its folds, allowing visitors to be seen from inside as if it were always slightly open. A welcoming gesture. (At night, the light serves as a beacon for visitors, directing them to the entrance.) Moving inside Taranaki Rift House, the concrete steps from the outside continue internally, forming a sunken, circular threshold. “Here, the sunken circular floor suggests both an embrace, and temporary quarantine before being invited into the home-proper,” explains Michael. “Stepping up into the living area, the transition from concrete to timber signals arrival into the heart of the home.”
“Making more efficient use of the front of the house meant grafting an extension onto the side.”
In addition to its bold material manipulation, the relocation of the entrance to the side of the house means that guests arrive directly into the living areas, completely bypassing the private quarters of the house to the rear, fortifying the clients’ desire for the bedrooms be a place of retreat. Economically and environmentally, Architecture Architecture has also produced a house with great environmental sensitivity. For example, by finding a way in which to fit the fourth bedroom under the existing roofline, the team was able to significantly reduce material costs and associated environmental impact. In addition, bricks from the demolition were recycled for the construction of the extension, cross ventilation through openable windows optimise cross-ventilation and the maximisation of the northern exposure has significantly reduced the need for artificial illumination during the day. Ultimately, Taranaki Rift House has both fulfilled the client brief and pushed architectural boundaries. “The client’s really wanted a house that was active and lively,” says Michael. “The unusual, dynamic geometries of the extension were a response to their desire for playful liveliness.” Architecture Architecture architecturearchitecture.com.au Photography by Tom Ross Dissection Information Recycled brickwork from the existing house Custom fabricated hot-dipped galvanised steel door Silvertop Ash timber battens from Radial Timbers Silvertop Ash shiplap cladding from Radial Timbers Galvanised sheets from Metal Cladding Systems Robe Hooks in Enudden Knob from IKEA Victorian Ash natural veneer from Fethers We think you might also like Stealth House by Teeland Architectsabc
The relocation of the entrance to the side of the house means that guests arrive directly into the living areas, completely bypassing the private quarters of the house.
There appears to be two ways to build a house on the untouched landscape; one is for it to be a natural outgrowth of its surroundings and the other is to be fortified against the land it occupies. The binary is not absolute as there are social and intellectual considerations that differentiate a native hut or the rustic weekend houses from walled examples such as Roman villas or the Chinese courtyard houses. With the latter civilisations, it is an established view of the order and hierarchy of the cosmos that determined the erection and placements of walls. The Chinese word for wall, cheng, for instance, could also stand for a city. The Chinese house could be set amidst the most gorgeous landscape and yet be barricaded, confining its rooms to a single-storey spread over re-created gardens. Similarly, the Romans enriched the English language with spatial concepts distilled into words such as an atrium, portico, peristyle, colonnade, loggia and indeed, “cloister”, which is the term Formwerkz has chosen to name their latest house built in the Leisure Farm precinct of Johor Bahru, Malaysia.
Engaged by a Malaysian financier, Alan Tay of Formwerkz explained that the design had been prompted by the client who ranked privacy and security as the top requirements. “We also had to take into account the views of the feng-shui master,” says Alan, “who would sketch out on a 2D diagram what rooms should be placed next to each other according to the cardinal points of the compass.” This led to the strategy of keeping the house entirely to a single story which realised multiple benefits: it adheres to geomancy principles, keeps the building cost low, is elderly friendly, and sets it apart from the multi-storey houses in the neighbourhood where some have been swelled by facilities such as bowling alleys and indoor badminton halls.
There is both discipline and purity to the architectural geometry. Five-metre-high concrete walls are set back approximately four metres from the property lines to the sides and back. The client also harboured a hunch that ring-fencing the compound with a five-metre high wall would be an effective deterrent against mosquitoes and as it turns out, it proved to be largely true.
The front façade is set back from the road to give the house a clean planar presence on approach, with no concession to transitional porches. A 2.4-metre high line dictates the heights of all external and internal walls, dividing like a seamline, the visual schema between white walls and wooden ceiling in equal halves. Space is pulled apart within the house, both vertically and horizontally, and this segregation allows a degree of autonomy to each room.
“The only way for such a deep plan to work in the tropics is if we had a series of courtyards,” Alan explains. For their initial design, Formwerkz built a model with the roofs assembled as pyramidal pavilions so that each peak was capped with a skylight. “But we then realised that we could flip the entire roof upside down and convert the skylights into open air-wells instead to facilitate natural ventilation.” Natural light would then stream in from the perimeter walls when their upper halves are sealed with glass clerestory. In the evening, the glow of light within the house is bounced off the inclined ceilings outward, showcasing the house with cheerful warmth.
Each air-well is rectilinear yet acquires a different character based on its size and whether it houses a water pond or a gravelled garden with different plants at the base. Some are almost wholly enclosed with brick walls while others are screened with sliding glass panels. They were all planned to be closable for the possibility that the house will need to be air-conditioned, but having lived in the house for over a year, the owners report they rarely resort to switching on the installed system.
The matrix of the 12 rectangles through the main house imprints a strong sense of governance to the design – almost like the microcosm of a city within the house. And yet, monotony is avoided by distorting the grid based on where the courtyards are positioned.
In fact, an exception is built around the enclosed entertainment room where an accessible roof terrace is created instead of a grounded courtyard. Orientation is intuitive and suggested by ceiling ridges. The private rooms are flanked at the sides while the circulation along the central zone from entry to the rear garden is choreographed as a series of meandering detours that multiply the number of interesting viewpoints along the way.
Compacting the bulk of the house over a third of the plot size also meant that the house could enjoy two frontages; a formal one to the outside world and a sociable one to its own back garden. The latter is crowned by an expansive sheltered loggia, delineated by a row of five slender columns. It is on this internal compound that another independent building is configured as an annex block, as distinct in its placement as that of an imperial palace within a walled city. This is the block for the client and his family. “As we entertain frequently for small groups of 10, and from time to time 40-50pax, the private family bedroom annex block is important to ensure we maintain family intimacy in a large plot,” he said. “It also ensures that the kids are not disturbed when the adults are entertaining.”
In contrast to the vaulted ceiling of the main house, the ceiling design in the annex block is gridded like upsized square coffer ceilings of an ancient Greek temple. And just like the Greeks etching the memory of timber beams onto the façade in the form of triglyphs on the entablature, Formwerkz has expressed the ceiling beams on the façades through glazed clerestory.
Which brings us back to the name of the project, Cloister House. The Latin root claustrum refers to a “locked, enclosed place”. It alludes to the world of a higher realm, a retreat from commercial cares to the seclusion and serenity of enclosed gardens framed over vaulted ceilings. In harking back to an older, protected world, the word could not have been more aptly chosen.Formwerkz formwerkz.com
Photography by Fabian OngDissection Information Furniture from Crate & Barrel, Oriental Living, Quattro Design, Innovation Living, Castlery, CMYK, Tropical Living Asia, Commune, and Interline Design & Furnishing Lighting from Nemo Lighting, Tom Dixon, Kartel, Marset, and Flos Hardware and fittings from Hansgrove, Arto, Duravit and Geberit We think you might also like Pavilion House by Robson Rakabc