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Habitus is a movement for living in design. We’re an intelligent community of original thinkers in constant search of native uniqueness in our region.


From our base in Australia, we strive to capture the best edit, curating the stories behind the stories for authentic and expressive living.


Habitusliving.com explores the best residential architecture and design in Australia and Asia Pacific.


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Remaining True To An Ashgrovian Queenslander

The brief for Jacaranda House was to convert an original 1920’s Ashgrovian Queenslander into a single level, flexible family home, with the addition of an architectural studio for the owner – and architect – Scott Petherwick. “Remaining authentic to the core of the building and the inherent elegance of the Queenslander, was critical,” explains the SP Studio director. “This meant picking up on the traditional Queenslander language of expressing the construction method and featuring beautiful timber work.” Jacaranda House Ashgrovian Queenslander SP Studio CC Christopher Frederick Jones outdoor fireplace Remarkably, in fashioning a contemporary home, Scott has left the original house relatively untouched. “Leaving the existing as is was important for both sustainability and historical reasons,” he says. “The only parts demolished were some of the [timber] poles [under the house] and a small lean-to at the back of the house. Otherwise, the house still operates the way it used to. That is, you still enter the house via the ‘L’ shaped veranda that Ashgrovian Queenslanders are famous for.”  

On the upper level, the key addition is the generously-sized family kitchen, which, as Scott explains, plays on (and in fact replaces), the Queenslander idea of a generous deck.

  The first opportunity seized was to capitalise on the vertical space available with a sloping site house design. By carving into the slope beneath the house, two planes of living have been formed, the lower level of which houses the architect’s own architectural studio and workshop, which is cooled by the thermal mass of the encasing earth and rock. Jacaranda House Ashgrovian Queenslander SP Studio CC Christopher Frederick Jones outdoor dining On the level above, “the breezy Queenslander” encompasses all the primary day-to-day living spaces, with both levels opening up onto the landscaped lawn, tiered garden and terraces, resulting in a seamless indoor-outdoor relationship. “Manipulating the existing levels allows our family to enjoy two different planes of living [bridged by the terraces],” Scott continues. On the upper level, the key addition is the generously-sized family kitchen, which, as Scott explains, plays on (and in fact replaces), the Queenslander idea of a generous deck. “From entering the house, it is the last room on this level to be revealed – something of a finale and a clear contemporary addition,” adds Scott. Oversized, retractable timber sliding doors on two sides create what feels like an open, garden pavilion. Materially, the overall effect is one of consistency from old to new, through the architect’s carefully articulated thresholds and transitions between existing and new materials (brick, timber and concrete). Jacaranda House Ashgrovian Queenslander SP Studio CC Christopher Frederick Jones open dining Contextually the house not only responds to its original construction techniques – with each timer member expressed individually ­– but to its immediate context. “The large eave over the kitchen peels up to the north towards the Jacaranda tree (almost touching it), helping to create what is almost an outdoor room,” explains Scott. “The traditional downward sloping eave is replaced with a filigree, upward-sloping, battened eave. In partnership with the giant Jacaranda that encases the garden, this achieves a beautiful filter of sunlight into the kitchen, creating a gentle, ever-changing pattern of light and shade in this ‘garden kitchen’.”  

Contextually the house not only responds to its original construction techniques but to its immediate context.

  Maintaining a sense of balance and overall proportion, the master suite enjoys a more intimate, enclosed articulation of space. By pushing its location slightly from the original floor plan, the architect has been able to create an intimate courtyard at the south end of the kitchen. “The courtyard is activated by a gestural external fireplace, that brings foreground drama to the kitchen outlook, while creating an external wall to complete the ‘garden room’,” Scott explains. Jacaranda House Ashgrovian Queenslander SP Studio CC Christopher Frederick Jones formal dining As expected, Jacaranda House has a strong environmental and sustainability focus. The majority of the house has been constructed from sustainably sourced hardwood (“so the house lasts a further 100 years – best thing an architect can do – build to last” - says Scott), has a 5kW solar system on the roof, a working kitchen garden orientated to the north, tanks installed for a garden sprinkler system and the benefit of an abundance of natural light and cross ventilation. “The cumulative result is an understated re-interpretation of the traditional Queenslander, that extracts its unique strengths and distinctiveness from its challenging site context,” says Scott. SP Studio spstudio.com.au Photography by Christopher Frederick Jones Dissection Information Escea Firebox and Flu from Aussie BBQ's and Heaters Highlight pendant light from Café Culture + Insitu Huss Round Pint Lever U Spout high rise sink mixer from Bathware Direct Chillington white bricks from Bowral Bricks Tilga Exposed polished concrete flooring from Geostone American Oak Timber and Veneer from Mivis Joinery Jacaranda House Ashgrovian Queenslander SP Studio CC Christopher Frederick JonesJacaranda House Ashgrovian Queenslander SP Studio CC Christopher Frederick Jones joinery We think you might also like Barwon Heads House by Lovell Burtonabc
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Luigi Rosselli Has A Sympathetic Approach To Residential Design

Ask Luigi Rosselli to describe his style and the word he uses is eclectic. In fact, eclecticism was the theme of his university thesis when he studied architecture in Switzerland, before moving to Australia for a year in 1980 to work on the design of Parliament House. The theory, popular in the 19th century, posits style not as a personal language, rather a common one that suggests design is for everyone to share and ultimately interpret. So while his aesthetic is distinct and it’s virtually impossible to overlook that signature Luigi Rosselli Architects curve, there’s great diversity in his portfolio because of a humanist approach that always puts clients first.

“I’m just trying to create great environments for people to live in,” reflects Milan-born Luigi, “It’s not about preserving the architect’s ego, rather trying to understand the likes and passions of the client.” When he relocated to Australia for good four years after his Parliament House contract, it was for love. He met and married his Australian wife, Juliet, in Europe and the couple moved into a terrace in Surry Hills. While they lived in the front part of the house, Luigi ran his practice – which celebrates its 35th anniversary this year – from the back. Times were different and so were the jobs. A lot of Luigi’s very first projects were commercial commissions with tiny $6000 budgets and although it was just him, the work was constant and growth was steady.

Even back then, Luigi hated conforming and his resulting signature was more an accident than a choice; a subconscious rebuke of the boxy white buildings Sydney was pumping out non-stop in the 1990s. Today, Luigi Rosselli Architects’ 18-strong team has made its mark in residential renovation and Luigi’s philosophy of working within the confines of a place’s character is arguably unmatched. His sympathy is what lends all his residential work a sensual quality, which finds its lushest expression in highly tactile materiality, elegant spatial planning and a mindful approach to setting.


“I like solving problems and I want to leave a legacy of built works that society can hopefully appreciate.”


“We’re quite soft in the sense we don’t like to confront the end-user or offend them,” he offers by way of explanation. “We like our work to be quiet and to function as a building that’s easy to live in and that doesn’t affect the streetscape or passers-by. So in that respect, we’re not as radical, say, like many other architects, but our spaces are very humane and that’s the priority.” To this end, many of the projects exhibit a seamless transition between old and new, achieving balance so the outcome is simply a better version of what it once was. It’s a characteristic clearly evident in Hill Top Cottage, where strict heritage restrictions created obstacles for the extension of the cottage’s sandstone base to incorporate a new basement level garage. And The Book House’s dramatically steep site, which has been carefully sculptured to deliver a home that’s nothing short of an elegant study in comfort and quiet retreat.

Luigi Rosselli Residential Design CC Nicholas Watt dining

Luigi and Juliet’s own house in Clovelly, where they’ve lived for the past 30 years, is a seeming contradiction to the residential designs Luigi produces for clients. It’s maximalist where his designs are minimalist, full where his commissioned work is restrained. The word eclectic comes to mind. But above all else it is a house full of history; a history of family and of ancestors past and each object, piece of furniture, and artwork has a story to tell. There is beauty and intrigue to be found in every welcoming, comfy corner and for a first-time visitor, it really is a wonderland.

Interestingly, the home revealed its own history to Luigi 27 years ago when a group of old ladies knocked on the door. One of them told Luigi she grew up in the house, which was built in the early 1920s. Her father had been a musician in a brass band and when the recession hit, he was out of a job so started collecting metals to on-sell. It was a meeting Luigi remembers fondly, not least because it answered a question that had baffled him since he moved in, as to why there was literally tonnes of steel in the basement. The old lady also told him that when they dug out the backyard they did it by putting sticks of dynamite in the sandstone and covering them with mattresses. Unsurprisingly, the neighbours complained and Luigi still chuckles at the thought.

Luigi Rosselli Residential Design CC Nicholas Watt kitchen

As far as renovating his own home, Luigi did what he would typically discourage his clients to do: build a new room every time they had another child. While Raffaello, Adriano and Giselle no longer live at the family home, their three bedrooms are still very much a part of it. Raffaello, an architect like his father, also recently collaborated with Luigi to design a new home for the practice – the incredibly beautiful and aptly nicknamed The Beehive in Surry Hills – working as the project’s lead designer, with Luigi essentially as the client. The new office’s façade really is an exquisite example of high-quality handcrafted architecture and reads more like a work of art than brise soleil. It also gives a flicker of insight into some of Luigi’s inspirations; the vernacular architecture of developing nations and the farmhouses and barns of Italy, which he particularly admires for their cleverly perforated brickwork walls.   

Raffaello is interested in a circular economy and the idea of producing something by not creating new materials, instead of recycling existing ones. Fortunately, they were able to get their hands on some terracotta tile offcuts and the resulting zig-zag pattern on the office’s façade is not only good looking, but it’s also environmentally sustainable. Luigi is likewise committed to producing environmentally sustainable design and is passionate about looking for ways to build with materials that come from the site.

Luigi Rosselli Residential Design CC Nicholas Watt stairs

Ask him what he likes most about what he does though and he’s quick to answer, “I like solving problems and I want to leave a legacy of built works that society can hopefully appreciate. So that’s why my work doesn’t confront because in some ways I’m not building for myself or even for the client. At the end of the day, we’re building within a particular culture and leaving something behind that’s well crafted and long-lasting.”

Luigi Rosselli Architects luigirosselli.com

Photography by Nicholas Watt

Luigi Rosselli Residential Design CC Nicholas Watt luigi We think you might also like The Pool House by Luigi Rosselli Architectsabc
Around The World
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How Traditional Chinese Architecture Inspires A Modern Bubble Tea Café

Within a shopping centre in an up and coming area of Shenzhen, China, 蜜葉裡 Ambrosia allows its patrons to feel fresh and free like they are about to enjoy their best of cup of tea. 蜜葉裡 Ambrosia is a new bubble tea brand that values health, balance and happiness so it was important that the design and atmosphere of its physical space mirror such an ethos. Multi-disciplinary design studio Biasol has a number of exceptional food and beverage spaces to their name. In fact, Pentolina in Melbourne’s CBD was recently shortlisted in the 2019 INDE.Awards Social Space category. The studio’s expertise and ingenuity in designing these spaces continue to present the unexpected to enthusing clients and patrons alike. Ambrosia Biasol Bubble Tea CC James Morgan For example, you might not think bubble tea and Chinese architecture have much in common ­­– but they are two almost opposing forces that have been heavily drawn on as inspiration for the interior design and branding of the space. “The minimalist form is based on the traditional Chinese courtyard houses [siheyuan] and architectural gateways [paifang] to achieve a sense of flow,” says Jean-Pierre Biasol. The wooden arches that frame the entry and border the grooved glass panels play the role of the paifang, while the long and narrow interior mirrors that of the siheyuan residences.  

The soft pink palette and use of handcrafted techniques create a calming, sensory-rich experience that recalls the simplistic yet impactful ritual of drinking tea.

Ambrosia Biasol Bubble Tea CC James Morgan Rounded corners and a tan leather upholstered banquette creates the illusion of space in a site that would otherwise be considered quite compact. Pavlova terrazzo tiles from Fibonacci Stone line the floors and seamlessly extends up to the walls before recurring again on the counter and tables. The soft pink palette and use of handcrafted techniques create a calming, sensory-rich experience that recalls the simplistic yet impactful ritual of drinking tea. Simplicity is key, not just in the design of the shop but fundamentally in the kitchen too. While the rise and rise of bubble tea has seen the sweetness factor of the cult beverage ascend an endless staircase, 蜜葉裡 Ambrosia is dedicated to the use of sensory loose-leaf teas paired with the finest natural honey for an authentic tea taste forgoing the use of refined sugar. Ambrosia Biasol Bubble Tea CC James Morgan layers “We translated the values of health, balance and happiness into the design of the venue with a material and colour palette as sweet and refreshing as bubble tea,” adds Jean-Pierre. A neon white light on the wall reads Be my best cup of tea echoes this sentiment and is repeated on takeaway cups; so even if you can’t stay to enjoy your best cup of tea, you can take a little bit of that 蜜葉裡 Ambrosia atmosphere with you anywhere. Biasol biasol.com.au Photography by James Morgan Ambrosia Biasol Bubble Tea CC James Morgan menu Ambrosia Biasol Bubble Tea CC James Morgan coasters Ambrosia Biasol Bubble Tea CC James Morgan branding package Ambrosia Biasol Bubble Tea CC James Morgan branding We think you might also like Pentolina by Biasol abc
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Sculptural And Natural From Dinosaur Designs

Pushing the boundaries of resin, Dinosaur Designs releases its first collection of playful resin handbags as part of the recent Riverstone range. Imitating the natural curves and variations found on river pebbles, the statement handbags from Dinosaur Designs follows the same notion as all other Dinosaur Design pieces; no two pieces are the same. Whether rich burgundy, deep green or white, each handbag was designed to complement the rest of the Riverstone jewellery and homewares range.   Exploring the natural beauty of rocks and formations, Creative Directors Louise Olsen and Stephen Ormandy focused on creating a rich dense palette laced with pale mineral swirls and touches of black and creamy earthy tones. Both the Mineral Drop Earrings and Long Mineral Bracelet, the new additions, features a golden rock bead that sits amongst the string of Dinosaur Designs’ signature resin pebbles. The Rock Garden Earrings, with a mismatched stud, has been inspired by a wabi-sabi aesthetic. Classic designs such as the Round Rock Bangle takes on a new dimension with a glistening surface as golden pebbles are embedded into the resin. Dinosaur Designs Riverstone Collection | Habitus Living The Riverstone Collection of jewellery, homewares and handbags are available at Dinosaur Designs’ Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane stores and online. Dinosaur Designs dinosaurdesigns.com.au Photography by Derek Henderson [gallery size="medium" ids="90974,90973,90972,90963,90961,90964,90969,90960,90968,90956,90957,90959"] We think you might also like In Conversation With Louise Olsenabc
Around The World

A Japandi Aesthetic HDB Flat By Dots N Tots

Besides factoring in a Japanese-meets-Scandinavian aesthetic, also known as Japandi, Aaron Tan from Dots N Tots Interior had to execute major space reconfiguration in the kitchen. To let in more natural light and to accommodate the homeowners’ cooking habits, the cookspace is divided into two zones – wet and dry – after the reshuffle. The dry kitchen now extends into the dining space, creating an open and airy ambience for the main communal zones. Pristine white tones highlight the inviting wood-effect textures on the homogeneous flooring and laminate surfaces. The designer deftly balanced Scandinavian flair with the elegance of Japanese minimalism. He also observed the natural light orientation of the home and amplified the light source using glass surfaces. Case in point: the study’s semi-open setup of a glass door and windows draws natural light into the corridor. HDB Flat Singapore Dots N Tots Interior Defined by a simple yet function-driven cluster of furnishings and built-in fixtures, the living room delivers practicality with a relaxed quality. The designer paired the tiled flooring with whitewashed walls for a fuss-free space, where the homeowners can lounge and entertain without worrying too much about maintenance. Most of all, it fits the Japandi theme and highlights the tatami platform, which has hidden storage to boot. Pull-out drawers line the steps leading up to this platform area and this design feature ingeniously masks the irregularity of the floor area. Filling in the recessed areas with cabinetry was a genius move by Aaron. These structural eyesores were previously wasted space and the designer successfully reclaimed them by turning them into functional storage. The new cabinetry also hides clutter and the unsightly air-conditioning trunking for a neat and easy-to-maintain master bedroom. HDB Flat Singapore Dots N Tots Interior Providing privacy and a strong Japandi aesthetic, the wardrobe-cum-divider sets the design tone of the master bedroom with its beautiful woodgrain texture. While it is a full-height fixture, it does not display visual bulkiness thanks to the seamless design touches introduced by the designer. Inset handles for the wardrobe doors bring a sleek feel to the overall fixture, while recessed lighting at the top addsto the lightweight appeal. The full-length mirror also magnifies the visual appearance of the space. Dots N Tots Interior dotsntots.com.sg HDB Flat Singapore Dots N Tots Interior HDB Flat Singapore Dots N Tots Interior HDB Flat Singapore Dots N Tots Interior HDB Flat Singapore Dots N Tots Interior HDB Flat Singapore Dots N Tots Interior We think you might also like 80ADR House by Ong&Ongabc
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What's On

Sydney’s Pop-Up Cult Curated Store

At Sydney’s Queen’s Court, the Cult Curated Edition pop-up store has arrived. Featuring a highly curated selection of designer furniture from Cult’s most iconic brands; the store is the next step in the collaboration between Cult and the interior design experts at Infinite Design. Open from today, The Cult Curated Edition is a chance for Sydney design lovers to secure a suite of designer items, curated by Infinite Design Studio’s Principal and Lead Designer, Michelle Macarounas. Located just across the courtyard from Infinite Design’s Woollahra Studio, visitors are invited to peruse a selection of furniture, lighting and accessories from international and local brands including Poltrona Frau, Carl Hansen, HAY, Gubi, &tradition, NAU, Zanotta and Cappellini. “Our showrooms across Australia and New Zealand are curated by brand, but through the Cult Curated Edition, we are able to present great design as people experience it in their homes – a Louis Poulsen floor lamp with a Cappellini sofa and a Poltrona Frau side table,” says Cult Design founder Richard Munao. “We are looking forward to being a part of this new community, and to adding to the great brands located in Woollahra’s Queens Court. We are so excited to collaborate with the Cult team and to grow the Curated Edition from its roots in Woollahra.” Running until October, the pop-up store will allow visitors to see the curated selections of furniture and accessories alongside artworks from Olsen Gallery, M Contemporary and Otomys, with fabrics from South Pacific Fabric, will be showcased and available to purchase in the pop-up store. “We are fortunate to be part of a wonderful community that has embraced our new way of bringing design ideas to the public,” says Michelle Macarounas. “We delight in enhancing people's lives through the art of engaging design.” Cult cultdesign.com.auabc
Design Hunters

The Changing Nature Of Shopping Spaces, From Past To Present

Much has been said about the nature of retail spaces. Why are they changing? Why have they changed and what factors are causing these changes? The answers to these questions not only affect the design, architecture and construction industries but also brands themselves, stakeholders and above all, consumers. Back in March 1909, Henry Gordon Selfridges opened the first – and biggest – Selfridges department store. Occupying the entire block of Oxford Street, the aim behind the design for the store can only be summarised by a quote Henry said; “Excite the mind, and the hand will reach for the pocket.” It was a principle that although emerged almost a century ago, is still evident today worldwide. Having recently transformed into a ‘social destination’, or otherwise known as a one-stop-shop, it is evident that retail spaces and shopping centres have changed parallel to urbanisation and consumer behaviours. Whether or not physical stores are no longer desired is a continuous debate. Even though traditional store formats may continue to decline, there has been a rise of innovative store types designed with a heavy focus on creating and curating a unique shopping experience. Caroma On Collins The Shopping Space Archier CC Katherine Lu | Habitus Living There is also a rapid shift towards e-commerce stores and online shopping which has rationalised the physical footprint of stores and shopping centres. Advancements in technology and automation systems have also affected this change with richer and more dynamic interactions between the consumer, brand and the product. However, many people see this battle between the bricks-and-mortar retail store typology and the online retail realm – as though there can only be one winner. In reality, the omnichannel environment we live in has proved that the physical and digital world intertwine thus revealing that when retailers invest in their physical stores their online presence also thrives. Despite this, many people still demand an experience that can only be achieved in the presence of another person – the added value of human interaction. This is because physical stores allow brands to create meaningful connections with consumers who are now more engaged and informed. It is also because the experience is not something that is layered into a physical store; it is everything a brand does to connect with its customer. Today’s retail and shopping spaces, as seen in the INDE.Awards shortlist and winner, meets the demands of consumers through convenience, service and experience. The shortlisted projects in the Shopping Space category this year underscores that the future of physical retail is far from over, and instead, highlights the way the Asia-Pacific region is embracing and adapting retail spaces according to the new digital era. Caroma On Collins The Shopping Space Archier CC Katherine Lu | Habitus Livi Caroma On Collins, designed by Archier was an Honourable Mention and this year’s INDE.Awards. Archier, A Victorian-based architecture studio, questions the point of a physical showroom in the age of Internet shopping and uses the answers to inform the design direction for Caroma on Collins. Combined with the ability to embed Caroma’s values and history, Caroma on Collins revolutionised the retail space for bathroom products. Galvanised water tanks nod to the Australian pioneer and farmer who valued water above all else while the lemon tree that sits in the bathroom within the showroom speaks of a time when bathrooms were often the last thought when designing a home. To match Archier’s philosophy of creating spaces that reach people on an emotional and instinctual level, materials such as mild steel and spotted gum were chosen based on its ability to age gracefully and develop a character over time. Conscious of the ‘paradox of choice,’ whereby too many options create anxiety, displays were designed based on a limited number of products. These ‘creative pods’ of products suggest how each product may function in different spaces, creating rows of multifunctional creative spaces instead of rows of products. Resulting in a new community space in the heart of Sydney, Caroma on Collins is a great example of how and why it is still relevant to have a physical representation of a brand. To manifest the values of Caroma into a physical space, Archier investigated how the brand invoked certain memories in the past. Having been a part of the Australian daily lifestyle for over seven decades, there were a lot of stories to tell. “This process told us that the space required a slow, causal and approachable pace where experience and exploration trumped the sale, turning the typical showroom experience into a stroll through the bush,” the architects state on their website. Caroma On Collins The Shopping Space INDE.Awards 2019 Archier CC Katherine Lu The Shopping Space for the INDE.Awards 2019 was proudly sponsored by PGH Bricks, a company that understands the shift in the category now more than ever. Over the past six decades, the company has been responsible for eye-catching spaces and offers a broad range of bricks and pavers for various applications across the industry. Congratulations to the Winner, Honourable Mention and Shortlisted projects! Archier archier.com.au PGH Bricks pghbricks.com.au INDE.Awards indeawards.com Photography by Katherine Lu Caroma On Collins The Shopping Space INDE.Awards 2019 Archier CC Katherine Lu Caroma On Collins The Shopping Space Archier CC Katherine Lu | Habitus Living Caroma On Collins The Shopping Space Archier CC Katherine Lu | Habitus Living Caroma On Collins The Shopping Space Archier CC Katherine Lu | Habitus Living We think you might also like The Rebirth Of Retail: A Look At The Shortlistabc

Elegance In A Historic Home

Just 5km southwest from Melbourne’s bustling central business district, the modern bay side suburb of Port Melbourne boasts contemporary architecture, restored workers cottages and historic landscapes. The revitalised area pays homage to the rich heritage of this inner-city suburb and its diverse community. House 184 reimagines the quintessential Victorian suburban home. Melbourne-based creative studio, Blank Canvas Architects takes on the residential project with a considered design approach to make the most of its dense urban setting and historic characteristics. Sitting on a compact 190m2 footprint of land, Blank Canvas Architects takes on the restoration of House 184’s original state and transforms it into a vibrant, contemporary home. While the façade and its archetypal Victorian details were retained, the architects sought to reimagine and reinvent some areas of the house, elevating its historic elegance. A modern reinterpretation was built at the rear, housing the open-plan living areas that work to maximise the internal space. Louvered screens and glass insertions create a seamless connection between inside and out, extending the home’s footprint as it melts into the garden and the street beyond. This connectivity is enhanced with the help of large pools of natural light and plenty of foliage, creating a tranquil sanctuary that feeds into each room. House 184 Blank Canvas Architects CC Tatjana Plitt Open Plan House 184 Blank Canvas Architects CC Tatjana Plitt Indoor Outdoor The palette and custom joinery highlights the designer’s focus on timeless materials in a humble orchestration that celebrates the past, present and future of the home. Every detail of the home is considered, making it the perfect place to entertain and relax. The Zip HydroTap in Matte Black takes pride of place on the marble bench top and offers the residents and guests the luxury of instant filtered boiling, chilled or sparkling water while enjoying relaxing atmosphere of the home. Throughout the home, he choice and composition of materials reflects the urban dialogue of Melbourne. From textured marble to oak features, each product has an inherent integrity to it, a materiality that speaks to the property’s locale and settles it into the history of works cottages more broadly. Blank Canvas Architects has ensured the project is given it’s own personality. A consistent palette of cerulean and shades of grey elevates the house and creates a succinct correlation between outside and in. Once inside, each room connect to the one before, creating a flowing experience that encourages feelings of calmness and serenity. This is added by an overall minimalism, a simplistic approach to interior decorating that prioritises quality, pragmatism and superior craftsmanship. House 184 Blank Canvas Architects CC Tatjana Plitt ZIP House 184 Blank Canvas Architects CC Tatjana Plitt Study This unique aesthetic is exemplified in the kitchen, where new-age opulence is achieved through statement marble slabs and sophisticated fittings. Opting to cut down on clutter and excess, Blank Canvas Architects selected a Zip HydroTap for the kitchen space. Offering unparalleled function and performance, the HydroTap provides the residents with instant filtered boiling, chilled and sparkling water. Chosen in a Matte Black finish, the Zip HydroTap is featured as a hero piece in the open plan room, making an impactful statement against the restrained joinery and minimalist light fittings. Exploring the balance of urban density and considerate design through tonality, texture and form, House 184 is an exemplary representation of design celebrating heritage and contemporary residential living. Blank Canvas Architects blankcanvasarchitects.com.au Photography by Tatjana Plitt House 184 Blank Canvas Architects CC Tatjana Plitt Living Space House 184 Blank Canvas Architects CC Tatjana Plitt Bedroom House 184 Blank Canvas Architects CC Tatjana Plitt Sink House 184 Blank Canvas Architects CC Tatjana Plitt Shower House 184 Blank Canvas Architects CC Tatjana Plitt Backyard We think you might also like Albert Park by Alisa and Lysandra Interiorsabc
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Christopher Beer Architects Design A House In Town

Moving home to Cambridge, New Zealand, had to have a hook for artist and teacher Grant and Karen. Swapping the city for a small rural town was risking being too quiet and conventional. Close to family, yes, but they needed an inspiring lifestyle too. They found their answer in an urban block in the business district where they have built a very unconventional house.

“They weren’t interested in buying land in a new subdivision,” says architect Christopher Beer. “Grant is an artist and stay-home dad, so he could see the possibilities of combining a small gallery and café with the house for their commercial possibilities. It also meant they could be part of the town community rather than isolated in a quiet suburb.”

Before they bought, they discussed the options for the 315-square-metre site with Christopher. Bordered on three sides by a main road and laneway, it could have two entrances, and they could build right to the boundary. This immediately led to discussions about a two-bedroom courtyard house – both for the privacy they needed and the outdoor space they desired.

House In Town Christopher Beer Architects CC Patrick Reynolds street activation

“Courtyard houses are common overseas,” says Christopher, “and they offer a solution to the internal privacy and intimacy needed for small residential sites. So we started with a boundary brick wall, defined three internal courtyards and a U-shape floor plan. To maximise the sense of space, the building is no more than one-room wide at any point with views through the site. We have created strong connections and overlaps between the layers of the house and courtyard, making it a very social house.”

Each courtyard has a specific function. The front courtyard provides a buffer to the street, forms the house and gallery entrance, and creates an area for café seating adjacent the coffee hatch. A private bedroom block screens the central courtyard, a grassed family space overlooked by the bedrooms and the living wing. And then at the rear of the site, with laneway access, is a pebbled service and parking court.

The scheme reverses the suburban model of a freestanding house surrounded by empty space. Instead, the interior spaces have been moved to the edge of the site and the open spaces moved inside making them an integral part of the house plan.

House In Town Christopher Beer Architects CC Patrick Reynolds mini cafe

In addition to bold planning, asymmetrical forms and industrial materials also eschew domestic conventions. The abstract assembly intrigues. Mistaken for a library, shipping container or power station, its function is ambiguous. “We didn’t use the language of residential architecture. The intention was to create an art object befitting the gallery function and its hard, urban surrounds,” says Christopher.

With no windows outward, large areas of raw corrugated iron and shed-like roofs, it keeps people guessing. The first hints of its domestic use happen at street level as you walk past timber slatted gates screening pebbled courtyards and potted plants. This semi-public house moves very quickly from abstract and mute to intimate and open. When you visit the café and gallery, you get a peek into family spaces – a social blending the owners enjoy.

Materials are a curation of those found in the area along with some new. Brick and corrugated iron are borrowed from nearby shop lean-tos, while the knotted cedar weatherboard signals its softer, residential function. When moving through the house, the bold, external materials and forms become progressively smaller and finer, as they layer from public to semi-public to private.

House In Town Christopher Beer Architects CC Patrick Reynolds cafe and kitchen

The brick garden wall maintains a strong presence inside the house, defining the courtyard edges and moving through the gallery and kitchen to reinforce the continuity of space. Cedar weatherboards continue inside to play a space-defining and textural role. They’re used to wrap the bedrooms and create flush, invisible doors, looking for all the world like an exterior wall from the front courtyard.

Cedar continues around the main bathroom to form a single screen with the bedrooms between the front and central courtyards. Both bathrooms are top-lit by skylights, to let sunlight flood into the cavernous spaces. They are the most private spaces of all, with self-closing, concealed doors. Walking into them feels like you have disappeared inside the wall. This sense of another world is reinforced by the lining of rustic split slate. “The uneven, cave-like surface of the slate brings a natural, primal feeling to showering,” says Christopher. “It feels like standing on a rock beneath a waterfall. Visually, slate is luxurious and humble and when used in a bathroom brings warmth to a space which can often feel overly cool and slick.”

The galley kitchen in the second wing uses gaboon plywood and white plasterboard to screen the food prep area from the dining table and sunken lounge. “Grant and Karen wanted functionality first, but also a kitchen that sat within the home as a crafted, considered object,” says Christopher. “They didn’t want a separate pantry but described a workspace with food easily reached, which we configured as a countertop with shelving above, drawers below and the fridge to the side. Washing and cooking are done on the opposite side, and the galley plan gives it a very economical footprint.”

House In Town Christopher Beer Architects CC Patrick Reynolds residence kitchen

Grant and Karen’s home and gallery is a flagship project for New Zealand and proof of concept for how to build well with less space. It describes how to elegantly increase building density, reduce urban sprawl, reduce car dependency, and enhance lifestyles. Turning its back on the isolation of the suburban model, this social, community-spirited house offers a very promising addition to local development models.

Christopher Beer Architect christopherbeerarchitect.com

Photography by Patrick Reynolds

Dissection Information Antique slate floor, wall tiles and Tundra grey marble tiles from Artedomus Plywood in Futura HPL by Plytech Weatherboards in Western Red Cedar from JSC Timber Red bricks from Monier Zincalume corrugated roofing from Dimond Aluminium doors and windows from Tasman Aluminium Sunken lounge from King Living Pelle armchairs by Lorenz+Kaz for Zeitraum Portofino table by Vincent van Duysen for Paola Lenti from ECC Palla chair from Bonacina Tio chair and table from Simon James Design Orbis pendant by Oriel Lighting Bulkhead wall lights and floodlights by Superlux Basin and WC from Vitra Tapware from M&Z Bath from Marmorin Kitchen mixer from KWC Range cooker from Belling Refrigerator and integrated dishwasher from Fisher & Paykel Espresso machine by Elektra House In Town Christopher Beer Architects CC Patrick Reynolds living space House In Town Christopher Beer Architects CC Patrick Reynolds living room outdoor space open House In Town Christopher Beer Architects CC Patrick Reynolds shower House In Town Christopher Beer Architects CC Patrick Reynolds kitchen outdoor space opening House In Town Christopher Beer Architects CC Patrick Reynolds outdoor kitchen House In Town Christopher Beer Architects CC Patrick Reynolds street front facade We think you might also like Kondo Condo by Downie Northabc
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An Architectural Refresh On Showroom Design

The Tongue n Groove flagship showroom on Danks Street in Sydney’s inner eastern suburb of Woollahra casts an impressive shadow on the rest of the retail spaces lining the street. And given the exceptionally good company it’s keeping there, that’s no easy feat. It is fitting then, that at the 2019 Good Design Awards ceremony this showroom, designed by Tobias Partners, was a Gold Winner within the Architectural Interior category. “The new Tongue n Groove Flagship Showroom reinvents the showroom experience into a playful display of engineered, solid European oak boards on the floor, walls and ceiling. The space acts as a stage to showcase the potential and design flexibility of Tongue n Groove solid oak boards in various ways,” say the jury. The flagship showroom has a stop-you-in-your-tracks street presence captivating and intriguing passers-by. During the day the depth of the space feels more like a carefully curated mis en scene that at once wants not to be disturbed but also explored. From dusk through to evening as the strip lights and back lighting illuminate the space, exaggerating the levels, interconnectedness and dynamic nature of the design. The brief from Richard Karsay, Tongue n Groove director, to architect Nick Tobias was for a space that would challenge the notion of a traditional showroom as well as appeal to a wide range of clients including architects, designers and design consumers. According to Good Design Australia, the Tongue n Groove showroom “demonstrates a progressive approach to architecture and design. This was achieved by transforming the space into a series of ‘experiences’ with a playful display of engineered, solid European oak boards on the floor, walls and ceiling. The original design pushes the boundaries of showroom design and challenges the very notion of what a showroom should look like and how it should be experienced.” “The entire shop front opens up with no visual obstructions,” says Nick. Ultimately the space showcases the Tongue n Groove product range in a completely unprecedented manner and rethinks the way a consumer then interacts and experience with such diversity. One must recognise and applaud the Tobias Partners’ team for its ingenuity, creativity, and an ability to push the limits of architecture and design, but it can also be observed that Tongue n Groove’s original brief and openness to collaboration with Tobias Partners was equally important to the success of the showroom. Tongue n Groove tngflooring.com.au Tobias Partners tobiaspartners.com tongue n groove showroom We think you might also like The Launch Of Habitus House Of The Year 2018abc
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Design Accessories

Jewellery And Homewares Inspired By Riverstones

Reflecting the Australian landscape and the nature that surrounds us, Dinosaur Designs have always created products with a raw and natural variation. The feeling, uniqueness and individualism of a river or beach pebble has inspired its latest collection, Riverstone. Creative Director, Stephen Ormandy explains, “the uniqueness of every pebble is a treasure, and you’ll never find two of the same pebbles ever.” Using this simple concept as the narrative for the collection, each product within the collection is not only beautiful; it is also amorphous and distinctive. Each Dinosaur Design collection is based on a certain natural palette, but for Riverstone, it has been elevated to suit a contemporary context. Riverstone Collection Dinosaur Designs | Habitus Living For its latest collection, Louise Olsen and Stephen Ormandy revisited their first pebble necklace from a 1980’s original Dinosaur Design, as they wanted to capture that nostalgic feeling through this collection. “We wanted to mimic the tactility of natural curves with resin in order to evoke a reminiscent feeling of a smooth pebble in your hand,” Stephen goes on to say. The tactile nature of all Dinosaur Design products is one of the reasons why it is loved throughout the industry. By manufacturing and designing locally, the brand can control its own processes. “We are not manufacturing to make money, because we work vertically. We can explore and try new things with more versatility and dynamism,” Stephen says when asked about the introduction of handbags to Dinosaur Designs’ extensive product portfolio. The rigorous process of investigating the materiality and form of handbags ensured that Louise and Stephen achieved a bag design that is unlike the rest, but still represents the brand, its philosophy and captures the essence of Riverstone. Dinosaur Designs dinosaurdesigns.com.au Riverstone Collection Dinosaur Designs | Habitus Living Riverstone Collection Dinosaur Designs | Habitus Living We think you might also like Habitus Loves... Making A Statementabc
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Sustainable Architecture To Reduce Environmental Impact

Green House by Zen Architects

Green House by Zen Architects Sustainable Architecture | Habitus Living Plants are a simple way to design more sustainable architecture, improving indoor air quality and contributing to thermal comfort by providing shade in summer and allowing for sunlight in winter. North Carlton Green House by Zen Architects is an environmentally sensitive extension to a two-bedroom Victorian terrace house. The client wanted to increase both the house and garden space, while aiming to minimise resource and energy use. Zen Architects tapped into the client’s passion for her garden as a way to increase the local ecological diversity and absorb carbon dioxide. “Wherever possible, green space has been maximised and incorporated into the home,” says architect Luke Rhodes. “Plants are integrated into the building to create a living, breathing, sustainable space that is a delight to inhabit, and the occupant has a constant and intimate connection with the immediate landscape and the broader environment.” Two plant-filled courtyards protrude into living spaces, with tillandsia air plants filtering light, and deciduous plants, such as wisteria, provide summer shading while allowing winter sun to penetrate. First-floor planter boxes double as privacy screens, and pond plants filter animated light reflected onto the ceiling. A roof garden insulates the kitchen and dining ceiling and reclaims green space that would otherwise be lost to the increased building footprint. It also provides an oasis amidst the urban environment, attracting insects and birds. [gallery size="medium" ids="90448,90446,90445,90449,90639,90442"] Photography by Emma Cross Zen Architects zenarchitects.com  

Lean-to House by WARC Studio Architects

Lean To House Warc Studio Architect Sustainable Architecture | Habitus Living Lean-to House by WARC Studio Architects is an alteration and addition to a 1960s house, providing new rear living spaces as well as some internal modifications and rectification work to the existing residence. The design program was driven by resource efficiency, with minimising the use of materials reducing cost and embodied energy. “Lean-to House has sustainable features that often fly under the radar of the more vaunted bells-and-whistles approach to sustainability,” says Andrew Wilson, director of WARC Studio Architects. The lean-to form of the addition with off-centre pitched roof enables a very low surface area to volume ratio, which means fewer materials and less exposed façade. “Rather than a standard flat ceiling at 3-plus-metres high, the ceiling starts at 2.2 metres, then extends up to a 3.6m high cathedral ceiling. While maintaining a spacious volume, this translates to less material capital consumption and less ongoing resource consumption from heating and cooling,” Andrew explains. Instead of a steel portal frame, the structural system consists of laminated timber fins that also provides structure, finished surface and sun shading. The timber has extremely low embodied energy in contrast to steel and has been sourced and harvested locally from sustainable plantations within four hours of the site, reducing the cost and environmental impact of transportation. Only minimal steel was used in the project and the roof was lined with white steel sheet lining to minimise heat gain in summer. [gallery size="medium" ids="90471,90459,90640,90460,90463,90462"] Photography by Aaron Pocock WARC Studio Architects warc.com.au  

Smart Home by Green Sheep Collective

Smart Home By Green Sheep Collective Sustainable Architecture | Habitus Living Australia has a lot of existing building stock before and after the turn of the twentieth century. While these houses often no longer provide functional spaces for contemporary living, they do provide a foundation for creating a modern, smarter home. Residents typically want to build up or out, adding more bedroom and living space and forging a stronger connection with nature. These extensions, however, entail more than just material costs and have wide-ranging environmental, spatial and fiscal costs. “Thrive Research has shown that every 12-metre-square room built in Australia creates the equivalent of 80,000 kilometres worth of car exhaust emissions, consumes 90 years’ worth of drinking water for four persons, and costs $24,000 AUD in construction and energy bills over its lifetime,” says Shae Parker, director of Green Sheep Collective. Green Sheep Collective renovated this two-bedroom Victorian cottage to create a thermally comfortable home with more living area, a new kitchen, bathroom and laundry and a better connection to the outdoors. The client also wanted to add a second storey to accommodate a third bedroom. “Our clients were unaware of the costs of “going up:” the additional space to house the staircase and circulation spaces; hidden costs for labour, scaffolding, insurances, materials, engineering, and design to accommodate overlooking legislation; heating, cooling, cleaning and maintenance requirements and ongoing costs, and so on,” says Shae. Instead of adding a second storey, Green Sheep Collective inserted a mezzanine and extended the house horizontally, adding 20 per cent more usable indoor space with only 13 square metres additional footprint. [gallery size="medium" ids="90469,90465,90467"] Photography by Emma Cross Green Sheep Collective greensheepcollective.com.au  

Recyclable House by Inquire Invent

Recyclable House by Inquire Invent Sustainable Architecture | Habitus Living Recyclable House, designed and built by Quentin Irvine of Inquire Invent, uses experimental, closed loop (“cradle-to-cradle”) design and construction methodologies to reduce waste and future landfill. It is made with recyclable materials screwed and nailed together and built using a variety of techniques to improve recyclability, thermal efficiency, building longevity and indoor air quality. “Although the components of this house are either biologically or technologically recyclable, it has been built to last and is of exceptionally high quality,” says Quentin. Inspired by the iconic Australian woolshed, it has an external façade of galvanised steel and locally milled timber that Quentin torched using Yakisugi, a traditional Japanese technique. The walls are wrapped in recyclable polypropylene breather wrap, which is vapour permeable to keep the wall cavities and the home dryer, mould free and healthier. The interior walls are fully compostable, using older-style plasterboard with natural paint, and recycled timber is used for floorboards, wall linings and joinery, finished with natural oils. All materials are screwed and nailed together, and wherever glues, paints or sealants have been used, they are natural and biodegradable in all but one or two instances. Quentin built the bathrooms using similar techniques to roof building, screwing cement sheet with recycled content to the floor structure. Stainless steel floor and shower trays act as a waterproofing layer, with floating decking boards in one bathroom, and pebbles/pavers in another. In the kitchen, he used PureBond Plywood (with formaldehyde-free soy-based glues), Plaspanel (recycled plastic panel) and re-machined recycled timber dressed with natural oils and cement sheet. “A by-product of designing a house built with natural materials and finishes for their recyclability and biodegradability is the sensational indoor air quality. Therefore, this design philosophy is also compatible for those afflicted with sick building syndrome (SBS), multiple chemical sensitivity (MCS) and people who are sensitive to environmental toxins,” says Quentin. [gallery size="medium" ids="90436,90437,90434,90441,90439,90435"] Photography by Nic Granlesse Inquire Invent inquireinvent.com.au  

Franklinford by Modscape

Franklinford by Modscape Sustainable Architecture | Habitus Living Modscape’s modular prefabricated buildings are designed to reduce site waste and minimise environmental impact for more sustainable architecture. “We view prefabrication as the ultimate means of construction for sustainable buildings because we have more control building it in one location, there are less waste and no commuting back and forth to the site,” says Jan Gyrn, managing director of Modscape. Franklinford is a modular, prefabricated home that sits in Victoria’s Central Highlands, and is designed to be responsive to its specific location and climatic conditions. Clad in Colorbond, Vitrabond and radially sawn timber board-and-batten, the house is a nod to the local agricultural buildings. It is oriented to capture the sunlight in winter, and carefully considered eaves together with thermally broken double-glazed windows minimise solar heat gain in summer. The four-bedroom off-grid house is shared between two families and nearby shed hosts the solar panel and storage system and a large 80,000-litre water tank is in use. [gallery size="medium" ids="90454,90451,90450"] Photography by John Madden Modscape modscape.com.au  abc