About Habitusliving


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


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


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


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Habitus Loves

Habitus Loves… Illusive Reflections

Spicchio mirror from Antonio Lupi

The Spicchio mirror collection brings elegance and energy to the theatrical scene of the bathroom space. Magical play on the reflecting surface and ambiguity created by the perspective effect and on the relationship between geometry and dimensions. Antonio Lupi  

Agape Revolving Moon Mirror by Studiopepe from Artedomus

Designed by Studiopepe, The Revolving Moon Mirror is inspired by the movements of the moon phases. The larger round wall mirror is 700-milimetres and includes a smaller 200-milimetre magnifying mirror mounted on an adjustable metal bar. Artedomus  

Siff Dining Table from Domo

The Siff dining table is transparent, smart and full of modernity in the future. The table and leg structure is in the form of a semi-circle with wings. The glass table top with extensional sense, the lightness of the wooden column and the gray glass, is full and false. Domo  

Tacchini Pi-Dou Vase from Stylecraft

The Pi-Dou vase is a re-edition of the eponymous vase created by Florentine artisan Alvino Bagni. Inspired by the exterior of the Pompidou Centre in Paris, the vase is formed by two intersecting elements based on the tubes that run along the façade of the museum. A sophisticated object, the Pi-Dou vase is available in two shapes and hand-glazed metallic finishes of platinum or copper. Stylecraft  

Everything Is Golden mirror from VELA

Made in Australia by the renowned Hava Studio, these curved forms unite with silver, gold and champagne mirrored steel to create a graphic piece to adorn any wall. VELA  

Taccia table lamp from Euroluce

The Taccia table lamp designed in 1962 by Achille & Pier Giacomo Castiglioni for FLOS, comprises of a matt black, anodised bronze or anodised silver base. The aluminium reflector is painted gloss white on the outside, matt white on the inside. The directional diffuser is made from transparent mouth blown glass. Euroluce  

Dekton Stonika from Cosentino

Dekton Stonika is a range of surfaces with ultra-realistic beauty and appeal of natural stone. The collection has striking veined patterns and textures and draws inspiration from the most coveted natural stone materials. Cosentino  

Ross Gardam Polar Desk Lamp from Stylecraft

The Polar desk lamp by Ross Gardam features a unique, minimalistic design that plays on reflection, light and shadow. An innovative, magnetically attached arm allows the disc of the Polar lamp to be manipulated to provide direct light or an ambient glow. Stylecraftabc
What's On
HAP - Feature

Were You As Busy As We Were In 2019?

2019 was busy for everyone there's no doubt about it. But as the year draws to an end and the Habitus team wraps up we made an effort to pause, appreciate and celebrate all that we, and the wider team at Indesign Media Asia Pacific, have accomplished in the past 12 months. Close to our little Habitus hearts is of course Habitus House of the Year, now entering its third year (can you believe it!) the programme this year had undoubtedly matured and all involved, including editors, writers, photographers and the jury eased back into to a familiar flow from September when the special edition was released to late October when we celebrated the House of the Year Winner – Bivvy House in New Zealand by Vaughn Mcquarrie Architect – at StylecraftHOME in Sydney. Of course there was Saturday Indesign which after many years and almost as many iterations returned to its roots as a 1-day design marathon in Melbourne and then later in Singapore. The 2019 INDE.Awards were celebrated in the height of style at the Melbourne Museum and FRONT made an unexpected but fantastically recieved appearance at Barangaroo, Sydney. We might be signing off for now but next year marks 20 years for Indesign Media Asia Pacific and you better believe we have some major events in the works. See you in 2020!  

Habitus House of the Year

Habitus House of the Year is a carefully considered selection of 20 recently completed architecturally designed houses. They are recognised in their ability to showcase what it means to live through design across our unique Region. Out of all the projects that cross our desks to be one of 20 is no small feat and we congratulate you all. However, we like to check out work. So again we engaged an independent jury of industry grandées to reflect on our final selection and give us their mutually agreed upon Habitus House of the Year. In addition, there were two awards for Interior And Exterior Connection and Architecture And Landscape; two commendations and a People's Choice Award voted for by the public See the winners here  

Habitus House of the Year TV

The inaugural Habitus House of the Year 2018 was a great success – so much so that in 2019 it transitioned into a TV show airing on Channel 7 as a joint partnership with MWC Media. It broke new ground with the editors’ pick of the best homes from across our region, from S-E Asia to New Zealand and Australia and is set to return early 2020 with a second season. Landscape designer and well-known television presenter, Jamie Durie, hosts the series alongside presenters architect Peter Colquhoun, television personality Erika Heynatz, and Asia co-editor of Habitus Narelle Yabuka. The houses are re-visited by the team while a peer review panel from Industry Leaders at CDK Stone, Fielders, Gaggenau, Living Edge, Zip Water and Habitus discuss and debate on air the merits of every project. Watch season 1 here  

Saturday Indesign

Post Saturday Indesign 2019 | Habitus Living Opening closely on the heels of the grand INDE.Awards Gala, the 15th edition of Saturday Indesign was a resounding success. Running in 16 stunning showrooms across Melbourne with 27 exhibitors, the day-long series of events, installations, talks and workshops was the ultimate celebration of all things design. As the day progressed, crowds of architects, interior designers, specifiers and design enthusiasts made their way into each of our participating showrooms, lending buzz, energy and dynamism to the event. Read more about it here  

The INDE.Awards

INDE.Awards 2019 Gala | Habitus Living The INDE.Awards is also the only awards programme that works to unite the architecture and design community within the Indo Pacific Region. The awards gala, on the 22 June 2019, was a night to remember. Set against a dramatic backdrop within the iconic Melbourne Museum, the glittering evening witnessed the coming together of some of the best and brightest minds in architecture and design. There were over 500 guests, participants, and jury members from Thailand, Malaysia, Hong Kong, Singapore, Sri Lanka and Australia in attendance to honour 2019’s most progressive projects, products and professionals from the region. See the winners here  

Saturday Indesign (Singapore)

Saturday 12 October 2019 was a full day of design immersion in Singapore, and a resounding success. The 1,380 people who pre-registered to attend Saturday Indesign Singapore 2019 knew it would be a day well spent. There were Design Conversation panels on must-know issues; impressive installations and showcases by 25 product exhibitors; plenty of networking and hospitality; prizes and workshops aplenty; serious debating of the cultural and industry developments affecting practice; but also laughs and good times. Read more about it here  


Knowledge sharing and networking were on everyone’s lips at FRONT.design. Spread across floors two and four in International Towers, Barangaroo, the showcase included 60 brands, three theatres and two bars – all set up with the purpose of bringing all players in the supply chain together. And it delivered, as attendee Marg Hearn says: “[FRONT] was thoroughly enjoyable and a very creative way of bringing customers and product suppliers together with great value adds.” Read more about it hereabc
Design Hunters
Design Products

Buster + Punch Is Music For Your Eyes

Buster + Punch are likely to be unlike anything else you’ve seen. Founded in 2012 by Massimo Minale, the trained architect and industrial designer has worked for some of the most globally successful architecture practices revered for innovative, unique, and purpose-driven design. Despite the world-class projects and architects one would imagine he would have been exposed to, he didn’t much care for the corporate lifestyle. Nor did he feel it personally conducive to creativity. So like many creatives, he set out on his own. But unlike many creatives – and not for lack of trying – he created a brand that to this day enjoys a completely unique visual identity and brand offering. At its core, Buster + Punch is most well know for lighting, hardware, and electricity though it extends into homewares and accessories – plus the odd motorbike. The result of musings by a true design-preneur by any stretch of the imagination, today Buster + Punch is available in 78 countries including Australia through Living Edge. But the brand’s uniqueness isn’t found just in its design aesthetic – which could be described as edgy, out there, and very much tied to the music industry – but also in the unique structure of the business and the somewhat unconventional way in which it is run. While Massimo’s connections, indeed friendships, with people in the music industry saw to early and organic success for the company, by 2014 it was still very much in an embryonic state despite being two years old. This is when the current CEO, Martin Preen, got a call that was to result in his joining the company. And from 2015, a very clear strategy was put in place. In order for this to happen, they needed everyone involved to fully understand what the company and its products stood for. Since establishment this has been to turn ordinary, everyday products into the extra ordinary. Following this, a market analysis was necessary: where to focus; how to work the market; and how to learn from it. That last point is crucial. The customer base for Buster + Punch is extremely knowledgeable: they know design, they know what they like, and they’re willing to pay for great design. Their strong social media presence seems to suggest they’ve also captured the interest of a younger generation. While this audience might not be able to afford the product yet, they’re aspiring to it and that’s the key. A clear and consistent visual identity runs through the stable of products that ties one design to any other. Between all the major product silos the individual pieces are nonetheless connected by design cues and brand signatures such as cross knurling and penny buttons. Buster + Punch’s attention to detail in the design stage is upheld during manufacture due to their unwavering personal and financial investment in quality control. There have been times when third parties have, with the best intentions, suggested ways to cut costs but Buster + Punch are strong willed and not looking to cut costs to increase profits, “That’s when you loose credibility,” cautions Martin. The team is just as dedicated to maintaining a singe-focus approach to projects at all times. Rather than risk spreading itself selves too thin, in the pursuit if widening its reach, the company insist on fully completing one project to its high standards before moving on to the next. For example, it spent time strategizing its position in the market and grew a strong following in the U.K., it’s home. Following that, the team set their sights on the U.S. – now their second biggest market. And now? Now it’s Australia’s turn… so watch this space. Buster + Punch busterandpunch.com abc
ARC - Feature

Biasol Plays With Tone And Texture To Create A Tranquil Abode

The Italian word chiaroscuro translates to mean “light-dark”; the artistic technique of juxtaposing light and shade to produce dramatic and emotional impact. It is from this notion that Casa Chiaroscuro gets its name and design language. Melbourne-based multi-desciplinary design studio, Biasol, was engaged by the owners of Casa Chiaroscuro to design a comfortable new home that would accommodate the needs of their young family now and into the future. Their brief was clear, yet open. Spatially, they wanted places for being together, for independence, and for hosting large gatherings. Aesthetically, they wanted something modern, minimalist, and beautiful. For Biasol, this granted a level of carte blanche in the use of colours and materials that it hadn’t encountered before. Taking inspiration from the notion of chiaroscuro, Biasol played with scale, tone and texture to create a timeless and tranquil home. Upon entering Casa Chiaroscuro, one is met by a vast, sunlit entrance space. This voluminous entrance supports the transition from the outside-in and flows on to the rest of the house. The shared living spaces of the ground floor – comprising of a study, entertainment room, and open-plan kitchen, dining, and living area – spill outdoors to include an alfresco dining space and swimming pool. Expansive glass windows and doors demarcate outdoors from in, while seamless connecting the two and embracing parkland views.  

Spatially, the clients wanted places for being together, for independence, and for hosting large gatherings.

  Bold compositions of black oak joinery provide depth in these light-filled spaces, denoting the places in which the family can come together. Characteristic of a contemporary family residence, the dining table acts as the central gathering point; the darkness of its oak is offset by the white veined marble of the kitchen benchtop and walls behind it and the light-grey upholstery of the sofa in front. Custom black joinery continues in the study, while a black outdoor kitchen recedes in the alfresco entertaining area. Upstairs, the dark materiality is continued – even amplified – to form immersive and comforting private spaces. In the master ensuite, a black bathtub sits in cave of black terrazzo, complemented by a black vanity and fittings to create a luxurious retreat for the adults of Casa Chiaroscuro. Meanwhile, the children’s bathroom is finished in grey terrazzo to create a lighter, brighter space. The contrasting tones and textures of Casa Chiaroscuro’s interior are extended to the external materiality of the residence. The concrete rendered upper storey floats atop the black timber-clad lower storey that grounds the house to its site. Biasol biasol.com.au Photography by Derek Swalwell  

Characteristic of a contemporary family residence, the dining table acts as the central gathering point.

  We think you might also like Vodka Palace by Marcus Brown Architectabc
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What’s In A Name?

Bruce Stafford’s early career is littered with times he threw himself out of his comfort zone and into the deep end. And while innate talent and drive inarguably counts for so much, Bruce attributes much of his success to surrounding himself with talented people: consultants and staff alike. Three months after Bruce completed his architecture degree – still in South Africa at this point – he entered and won a design competition under the then recently established Bruce Stafford Architects. Part of the prize was to design a large town house. Straight out of university without a lot of real world experience, this is when Bruce first understood the value of surrounding himself by the best. This would become a habit that stuck with him right through to present day. Butterfly House The studio fast garnered a reputation for its unique approach to luxury, predominantly in residential and hotel spaces. This reputation traversed the Indian Ocean all the way to Sydney where Bruce was getting consistent work.  His first trip to Australia was in the 1980s as part of a surf tour – another habit that stuck with Bruce for life – so he was not completely unfamiliar with the climate, culture and lifestyle. In 2001, at a time when he had two waterfront projects running simultaneously in Sydney’s Eastern Suburbs, he made the choice to pack up his family and relocate his practice to Sydney permanently. Australia provided a very stark contrast in its working environment compared to South Africa. While Australia is known to be highly regulated, South Africa, according to Bruce, operates with a more relaxed attitude in the sense that architects, builders and designers have relative freedom in finding a way to meet a brief – as opposed to finding a way to fill a brief within a certain set of externally imposed restraints. Having said that, Bruce loves a challenge and self-describes an adventurous nature and can-do attitude. He also poignantly notes that within the framework of Development Applications, Development Control Plans, Local Environmental Plans and the like, architects are still more than capable of achieving clever, innovative and beautiful work. “The standard of architecture in Australia is world class,” he says. He attributes this in equal parts to having a beautiful city to design within; the cross pollination of ideas that international cities are known for; and his judgement that young people are given a lot of wings here. In the time between establishment and now, Bruce Stafford Architects has been producing consistently outstanding work as the internal team grows from strength to strength. Some of his most celebrated residential works include Cove House and Butterfly House. Despite so much to talk about – more than 180 completed projects – the practice has never invested heavily in marketing itself. Rather, it exists by the principles that great work attracts more great work and had enjoyed organic growth over the years. [gallery type="rectangular" size="medium" ids="96658,96660,96661"] Cove House Understated and modest in methods of self-promotion, yet well known amongst peers in the industry and architecture enthusiasts, his practice isn’t one that regularly causes a stir, creates a fuss or reinvents itself. Until now. Bruce Stafford Architects and the team that name represents has adhered to the principles that surrounding oneself internally and externally by the best will achieve for one’s clients the best possible results. By re-phrasing the language around the practice to Stafford Architecture the intention is that it denotes equal ownership of the work produced and a flat structure amongst a close-knit, highly collaborative internal team. A studio that is nearing its 40th birthday is suddenly less than a year old. It’s reborn but also not. The internal structure remains as it always was, but the external understanding of that structure, one hopes, has evolved. Stafford Architecture staffordarchitecture.com.au abc
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An Eclectic Balinese Escape For The Cultured Traveller

In the ancient Hindi language of Sanskrit, the word arsana means flowing. It’s a fitting name for this decadent 2-hectare estate, with its generous living and sleep pavilions cascading past lotus ponds, down the terraced hillside, toward the river that ripples along the boundary. A destination in itself, Arsana Estate has an atmosphere akin to that of a temple; the air is calm and quiet, seasoned with the fresh scent of jasmine. The property is as grandiose as the landscape that encompasses it. From the entrance courtyard and staff quarters, an avenue of lush tropical greenery leads to a grand stairway that descends to an expansive u-shaped living and dining pavilion. This immense, open-plan space is the social soul of the estate. Boasting a main living area, indoor and outdoor dining areas, media room, games room, and a concealed service kitchen, the social pavilion is designed for easy entertaining on a lavish scale; the space radiates a profound sense of casual luxury. Channelling the essence of its namesake, Arsana Estate has numerous spaces flowing seamlessly between indoors and out, private and common. Bi-folding, floor-to-ceiling glass doors and windows open the living and dining pavilion up to become one with its surrounds, adding a nineteen-metre swimming pool, sundeck, massage room, yoga / gym room, and poolside bar to the lavish list of amenities. Four self-contained sleeping pavilions sit just a short retreat away from the main entertaining pavilion and pool area. Each of the spaces that comprise Arsana Estate has been eloquently orientated to create coves of privacy and sanctuary amidst the magnificent, open-plan social spaces the estate has to offer. French-born, Shanghai-based interior designer, Baptiste Bohu, has brought Arsana Estate to life with a curated collection of worldly treasures. Javanese coffee tables sit atop of Iranian rugs; locally sourced Balinese antiques sit alongside Chinese objets d’art. Every piece has been thoughtfully selected and every room romantically styled to share stories of a life well travelled. Antique ceramics and elaborately carved mirrors coexist in harmony alongside contemporary art, furniture, and hi-tech capabilities. It is eclecticism, refined. Against the charming backdrop of Tabanan’s rolling rice fields and tropical flora and fauna, Arsana Estate is a luxurious destination, immersed in natural beauty, equipped with all the creature comforts one could wish for, and more. Baptiste Bohu Interiors baptistebohu.net Arsana Estate arsanavillaestate.com   We think you might also like to check out these top boutique hotels across the Indo-Pacific regionabc

Here’s To 10 Years Of Armadillo & Co., And Many More To Come

Armadillo & Co. is a company worth celebrating on many counts – perhaps most notably its dedication to ethics, as well as aesthetics. Since 2009, founders Jodie Fried and Sally Pottharst have made it their life’s work to produce beautifully designed, hand-crafted artisan rugs that lie lightly on the earth. With consciousness at its core, Armadillo & Co’s success has been earned not by preaching about sustainability and social responsibility, but rather by focussing on these issues in practice. The opening of Armadillo & Co’s Sydney Flagship Showroom on Thursday November 14, presented the perfect opportunity for Sydney’s design community to celebrate the past, present, and future of the brand. Mere hours after receiving its finishing touches, the new showroom, located on Chalmers Street, Surry Hills, was host to a crowd alive with excitement about the new space, and a unanimous sense of admiration for Armadillo & Co; its ethos; and its product. Guests who had been curious about the event’s barefoot luxury theme since being asked for their shoe size while RSVPing at last had their answer. Clad in the handcrafted espadrilles that were gifted on arrival, guests were invited to slip off their shoes and experience the Armadillo & Co. rug collection underfoot. Looking as fabulous as ever, Jodie and Sally took to the stairs to share a brief address. Their message was as humble as it was inspiring; a quiet acknowledgement of what they’ve accomplished, with an emphasis on their continued commitment to sustainability and ethical practices for the decade that lies ahead. As the evening progressed, guests kicked off their shoes and celebrated on the night away, dancing to the eclectic tunes of LA-based Aussie DJ Oli Benz. Armadillo & Co. armadillo-co.com Photography by Esteban La Tessa [gallery columns="5" ids="96795,96827,96826,96825,96824,96823,96822,96821,96820,96819,96818,96817,96816,96815,96814,96813,96812,96811,96810,96809,96808,96807,96806,96805,96804,96803,96802,96801,96800,96799,96798,96797,96796,96794,96792,96790" orderby="rand"]abc
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5 Outstanding Sustainable Residences

These residential projects caught our attention – and held it through the year – for their dedication to responsibly addressing the land on which they sit; the surrounds in which they are encased; and the service they provide their residents. As we revisit the highlights of these 5 sustainable buildings across Australian and the wider region, we encourage you to click through to enjoy the full story of any you may have missed.  

Elemental House by Ben Callery Architects

Elemental House Ben Callery Architects cc Jack Lovel exterior In practical terms living off-grid means living without public utilities, such as electricity, gas and water. But there is also a spirit of living off-grid: a self-sufficiency, freedom and autonomy, and a romantic notion of living in harmony with nature. Elemental House designed by Ben Callery Architects captures both aspects of what it can mean to live off-grid. Perched on the precipice of a steep hill in High Camp, Victoria, Elemental House is designed for its climate and landscape, with a desire for simplicity and to weather the forces of nature. “We wanted to pursue an architecture that feels elementally of this country,” says Ben. The clients, Jim, recently retired from the Bureau of Meteorology, and Sue, a travel writer, wanted an off-grid retreat to escape the city for long weekends. “They wanted it to be modest in scale and finishes and provide only the essentials – as is a traveller’s way,” says Ben. “They also wanted it to engage with the elements, reflecting their deep affinity with the landscape and the broader environment.” [gallery size="medium" ids="91638,91646,91645"] Photography by Jack Lovel and Dave Kulesza. Read the full story here  

Silver Street House by EHDO Architecture

Silver Street House EHDO Architecture CC Dion Robeson outdoor dining The building design of Silver Street House had to cater for a semi-retired couple and the comings and goings of their adult children. The result is a unique floor plan that has a strong relationship with the outdoors, with the ground level dining, kitchen and living areas designed to open onto a landscaped courtyard, allowing a seamless connection to the outdoors. A holistic design approach was taken to limit the impact on the environment and create a functional and lasting home that embodies a pared-back simplicity. Selected materials are authentic and durable, with off-form concrete, brickwork and Australian Cypress, chosen for their organic aging abilities. [gallery size="medium" ids="84879,84873,84874"] Photography by Dion Robeson. Read the full story here  

Stepping Park House by Vo Trong Nghia Architects

Stepping Park House Vo Trong Nghia Architects | Habitus Living 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. 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. [gallery columns="2" size="large" ids="85841,85833"] Photography by Hiroyuki Oki. Read the full story here  

Iron Maiden House By CplusC Architectural Workshop

Iron Maiden House CplusC cc Murray Fredericks front facade Iron Maiden House is designed and oriented for sunlight and outdoor connections. The house comprises two elongated forms (one longer than the other), with a pond stretching down the central axis, and upper and lower walkways to connect the two volumes. “Conceptually, the privacy and beauty of a natural gorge, in which water cuts through rock to form secluded spaces, was replicated with overscale walls to generate the final form,” says ClintonCole of CplusC Architectural Workshop. The pitched roof profile at the front of the house is a modern reinterpretation of the nearby gable houses, and the galvanised metal cladding is a nod to the iconic Australian vernacular. [gallery size="large" ids="78288,78289,78301"] Photography by Michael Lassman & Murray Fredericks. Read the full story here  

Rammed Earth House by Steffen Welsch Architects

Rammed Down To Earth House Steffen Welsch Architects CC Rhiannon Slater The clients here engaged Steffen Welsch Architects to design an extension to their California bungalow, wanting to create a more sustainable, energy-efficient and comfortable home for their young family. They wanted functional, flexible spaces for everyday life. The design team selected rammed earth not only as a reminder of the client’s childhood home but also for the sense of shelter and privacy and insulating qualities. Rammed earth absorbs sound to provide pleasant acoustics and also absorbs heat to moderate internal temperatures, keeping the house cool in summer and warm in winter. The natural texture and colour of the rammed earth are complemented with concrete floors and timber joinery, window and door frames. Joinery is designed to accommodate everyday living and activities with storage for everything from clothes and schoolbags to sports gear and electronic devices. [gallery size="medium" ids="90910,90909,90915"] Photography by Rhiannon Slatter. Read the full story hereabc
ARC - Feature

Robust In Nature, Refined In Detail

Exoskeleton House’s owners – a creatively inclined couple with a sizable guitar collection, a love for cooking and entertaining, and two curious young children – purchased the generous property on the south coast of New South Wales a number of years ago. With the intention of adapting it to suit their needs as a young family, they sought a local practice that would understand the site conditions, and resulting requirements: enter Studio Takt. In their initial brief, the clients approached the regional New South Wales-based practice, with a need for a strategic plan for the site. The scope for that strategic plan was a very broad alterations and additions brief, complete with the addition of a studio space; car parking space; an additional bedroom; a reconfigured living room; and better circulation throughout the house. The possibility of an entirely new build even got a mention. Studio Takt’s intuitive response however was not to demolish and rebuild, but rather to seek an inherently more sustainable solution to adapting the existing building to suit new ways of living. “Very early on it was decided that although the existing house lacked northern light and felt dark and cramped, it still had great bones that should be retained and revived,” say Brent Dunn and Katharina Hendel of Studio Takt.  

“Very early on it was decided that the existing house should be retained and revived.”

  From there, the original brief was turned on its head. Scratching the concept of adding a bedroom, and instead reimagining the existing brick structure as a private retreat housing the residence’s intimate spaces, and proposing a new living pavilion extending out to face north. The new addition effectively (and cost efficiently) opens Exoskeleton House up to embrace the northern light, connecting it to the serene surrounds of the Illawarra escarpment. The robust structure of the new pavilion comprises of timber enclosed with steel; tough on the exterior, yet warmer closer to its core. Exoskeletal steel members protrude up and out, reminiscent of iconic Australian modernist architect Glenn Murcutt’s Simpson-Lee House, to support an expansive roof, lifted to address the escarpment. Beneath the steel exoskeleton of the house sits a more refined timber frame, enclosing internal spaces and offsetting the otherwise industrial aesthetic. Posts and beams form a grid, augmented to accommodate living functions. The new timber pavilion is structurally independent from its cranked exoskeleton roof, relying unusually on the extended jambs of the door system for its lateral stiffness. The gap between allows for a direct infill of unframed glazing, inviting plentiful views of the sky. Set amidst the Illawarra landscape, Exoskeleton House’s materiality is inherently considerate of its local context. Once dotted with modest cottages and bungalows built from the surplus materials of local steel mills and brick works, the recent uptake in the dense development of larger dwellings has bred discontent for some. In opting to reuse over rebuild, Studio Takt sets an example for sustainable development that keeps pace with changing was of living, while being sensitive to a place’s surrounds. Rather than replacing everything, Exoskeleton House intentionally adds only the missing pieces of the puzzle; an open living space; connection to the landscape; and integration of passive design principles. Having lived in their new home for just over a year, Exoskeleton House’s young family have settled in with the rhythm of nature. During the winter, the fireplace and the sun-drenched concrete floors make for a cosy, warm atmosphere. Come summertime, cool north-easterly breezes flow organically through the residence. Holidays have seen inter-generational family gatherings spill across the kitchen, over the deck, and into the garden. Exoskeleton House is a true celebration of the life within its walls, and the life outdoors. Studio Takt takt.net.au Photography by Shantanu Starick Dissection Information Engineering by Geoffrey Pryke Construction by Jason Miles Windows and doors by AHJ Kitchen and joinery by Jason Miles Bathroom joinery by Forest Furniture Tiles from Kalafrana Ceramics Leichhardt Living room pendants from The Lobster Shack, Wombarra Saturn Pendant in Aged Brass from Anaesthetic for hall pendants Wall sconce from One Forty Three Bowl basin in mid-tone grey from Nood Co. We think you might also like Skyline House by Lachlan Sheperdabc
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HAP - Feature

INDE.Awards 2020: Everything You Need To Know

In 2019 the INDEs brought together a melting pot of creativity from all fields of architecture and design. An incredibly high calibre of entrants, shortlisters and winners revealed the progressive nature and influential power of our region’s designs. Watch last year’s highlights here. The INDEs returns in 2020 with all the categories you’ve come to love, plus more. Fourteen core categories honour the past 12 months of progressive architecture and design across typologies including buildings, spaces, objects, and also people.

The Categories

The Building The Multi-Residential Building The Living Space The Work Space The Social Space The Shopping Space The Learning Space The Wellness Space The Design Studio The Influencer The Object The Prodigy The Luminary

Presenting Best of the Decade

Taking INDEs gold to a whole new level in 2020, event organiser Indesign Media Asia Pacific is thrilled to present Best of the Decade – two new era-defining accolades that honour the lasting impact of a single, influential piece of architecture or design in the Indo-Pacific. Open to entrants across the region, Best of the Decade | The Living Space and Best of the Decade | The Work Space recognises the exceptional execution of and lasting impact made by a single, influential piece of architecture or design. Best of the Decade is Jury-decided and will also be open to a People’s Choice Award. Read the full category criteria here.

Key Dates

For those of you already planning out your 2020 awards entries, lock the following key INDE.Awards dates into your diaries. Entries open: 2 December 2019 Entries close: 21 February 2020 Shortlist announced: 19 May 2020 Winners will be announced at a special INDE.Awards Gala evening in Sydney: 14 August 2020. INDE.Awards indeawards.comabc
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Design Accessories

From Outhouse To Inner Sanctuary: The Changing Nature Of Bathroom Design

Throughout history, bathrooms have been first and foremost associated with hygiene; purely practical, far from glamorous, and often an after-thought in residential design. Most households – even those more affluent – throughout much of the twentieth century, bathrooms remained somewhat clinical by design – sparse, white spaces. In the 1960s however, something changed. Rising prosperity in developed countries and a pop culture increasingly focussed on pleasure saw bathrooms become an opportunity to showcase luxury in the home. Today, contemporary residential bathrooms have come to resemble those of opulent hotels. Once a space disconnected from the rest of the house, the bathroom has evolved into something more like a private day spa; a place not just about personal hygiene, but about ritual and rejuvenation. The humble bathroom has transformed from outhouse status to become a valued extension of our living spaces – a safe haven of luxury and refined self-expression. In tending to this higher purpose, bathrooms have gained priority in the holistic residential design conversation – not only in terms of aesthetic, but in terms of how they fit into the flow of daily life, and (by extension) the spatial flow of the house. Ospace Architects’ House with Terrazzo is an example of a residence in which a beautiful sense of consistency is achieved through materiality and an open approach to space. [gallery size="medium" columns="2" ids="96031,96029"]   Flowing openly from the bedroom, House with Terrazzo’s main bathroom is finished almost entirely with terrazzo. A free-standing bath with an overhead rain shower is positioned centre stage, enclosed by a curved capsule of transparent glass. A number of partitions were removed from the apartment to enhance the flow of natural light and create a sense of openness. The result is a private relaxation zone that is separate from, yet (thanks to material consistency and spatial character) feels one with the living, dining and working spaces. While Opace Architect’s House with Terrazzo is an example of a bathroom designed to look, feel, and flow as an extension of the rest of the house, its minimalist aesthetic doesn’t come across as an exercise in self-expression. In contrast, the bathrooms of Woollahra Residence by Decus Interiors use texture, pattern, and colour as a means of individual expression and creativity. Each of the home’s four bathrooms has been adorned with its own unique design personality. [gallery type="rectangular" size="medium" ids="96034,96033,96032"]   Above and beyond simply creating beautiful spaces, Woollahra Residence’s bathrooms have been designed to reflect the personalities of its residents – a professional couple who are living, breathing proof that opposites attract. Each space is rich in tone and tactility, yet different from the last, designed to both complement and contrast the others. The result is a home that reflects and celebrates the playful, lavish and dramatic. As bathrooms are increasingly seen as spaces of sanctuary rather than simple sanitation, the notion of biophilia is permeating their design. Founded on the belief that connections to nature can enhance human health and well-being, biophilic design seeks to guide the behaviours associated with finding, using and enjoying natural resources. By this token, our ordinary and functional daily rituals can be seamlessly woven with biophilic resources to create luxurious nature inspired bathrooms, with relaxation and rejuvenation at their core. [gallery type="rectangular" size="medium" ids="96028,96027,96025,96026"]   Forever at the forefront of bathroom design innovation, iconic Australian brand Caroma has embraced the concept of biophilia in the bathroom whole-heartedly. Carefully crafted to bring the experience of Australian nature into the home Caroma’s latest collection, Elvire, is the pinnacle of contemporary, sustainable bathroom design. Enamelled steel basins and sophisticated gunmetal finishes combine with accents of Tasmanian timber exude natural beauty while inviting touch and interaction. A true testament to Caroma’s human-centric approach to design, the Elvire collection acknowledges the intrinsic human need to experience and connect with nature, and tactfully addresses that need with masterful attention to materiality. In combining an appreciation for sustainability and artisanship with their technologically advanced bathroom solutions, Elvire by Caroma reflects contemporary values, pays tribute to the age-old rituals of traditional bathhouses, and upholds a mindfulness for the future. Caroma caroma.com.auabc
Design Hunters

When Kitchen Joinery Becomes Part of the Furniture

As kitchens continue to become the social hub of the home and an integrated part of living and dining areas, the joinery is being designed to look like it’s part of the furniture. This is becoming especially true in apartments and smaller homes where the kitchen serves multiple purposes beyond just food preparation and cooking. We spoke to five architects and designers about their approach to increasingly popular kitchen furniture design.  

Francis Apartment by Studio Weave Architects

The owner of this two-bedroom apartment in Bondi loves to cook and wanted to create a space for entertaining guests. With limited room to work with, Studio Weave Architects integrated the kitchen and lounge area, and designed the joinery to not only look like furniture, but to actually be furniture. Curved corners on the kitchen island invite people to congregate around it, and benchtop joinery in the kitchen morphs into a bench seat in the lounge area. The local Bondi area inspired the materials, forms and colours, with Studio Weave referencing its pastel hues, art deco architecture and coastal vibe. The plywood joinery has brass handles and legs, and pink fabric upholstery with channel-back stitching is on the bench seat and front face of the island. “Kitchen joinery is moving more towards furniture because clients and designers want to express themselves in a more unique way, especially as kitchens become such a focal point as a place to congregate and entertain,” says Davin Turner of Studio Weave Architects. [gallery type="rectangular" size="medium" ids="96333,96335,96331"] Studio Weave Architects sweave.net Photography by Tom Ferguson  

Riverview House by Nobbs Radford Architects

Well-designed storage is key in a home with young children, and this kitchen by Nobbs Radford Architects offers plenty of it. By cleverly integrating storage into joinery, the kitchen has a multi-purpose peninsula bench designed like a credenza unit. “The bench needed to accommodate simultaneous activities of cooking, eating and a place for children to do their homework,” says Alison Nobbs of Nobbs Radford Architects. The peninsula bench is a visible part of the open-plan kitchen, dining and living area. The dark-grey joinery has drawers both sides and is raised off the floor on bespoke copper legs, allowing the herringbone flooring to flow underneath. “For each project we like to define its palette of materials and explore the different ways it can be expressed,” says Alison. “The ceiling of the kitchen and dining area are painted a very dark grey, which links these spaces and the joinery together, and we used copper in the legs, tapware, bespoke fittings, lighting elements and sculptural rangehood.” [gallery type="rectangular" size="medium" ids="96343,96342,96341"] Nobbs Radford Architects nobbsradford.com.au Photography by Kat Lu  

A+H Apartment by Buck&Simple

A+H Apartment is home to a young family who engaged Buck&Simple to do a minimalist transformation, maximising space and creating adaptable spaces for their lifestyle. “As housing and the spaces we live in get smaller, the planning needs to work harder and joinery often needs to fulfil multiple roles,” says Kurt Crisp of Buck&Simple. In A+H Apartment, an expandable dining table is integrated into the kitchen island to provide versatility for casual family meals and entertaining friends. The table slides out from the front of the island and extends to both sides. Joinery above the kitchen sink elevates the design of the humble drying rack. “Working with such a compact floor plan we looked at every surface for opportunities. It became a practical solution to wall mount the drying rack, but was essential to keep the design refined,” Kurt says. It is crafted with timber and brass, like other joinery pieces throughout the apartment, to maintain a consistent and cohesive material palette. “We see a changing dynamic as people place focus on their experience and interaction with objects. The function and feel of a bespoke product, tailored to a client’s needs, results in more enjoyment with items of higher quality materials and design,” says Kurt. [gallery type="rectangular" size="medium" ids="96321,96320,96319"] Buck&Simple buckandsimple.com Photography by Simon Whitbread  

Port Willunga Beach House by Fabrikate

Port Willunga Beach House is a holiday home in a semi-rural beachside suburb south of Adelaide. The architecture, designed by Mountford Williamson Architecture, references the traditional Australian homestead with a high, pitched ceiling and exposed rafters, while the interior joinery, designed by Fabrikate, is a modern interpretation of the classic country house. “We live more casually now, so there is less formality in the kitchen. By creating a kitchen that is engaging, that looks and feels more like furniture and has a connection with other areas of the house, the kitchen becomes a nice space for people to spend time in,” says Kate Harry of Fabrikate. The kitchen island faces the dining and living area, and the kitchen bench looks out to bamboo along the side of the house. Fabrikate looked to the old Australian meat safe for inspiration for the joinery, raising cabinetry on legs, and inserting mesh panels into the overhead cupboards. Drawers have simple dowel handles that are also playful details in the bathroom joinery, and the timber continues into the living and dining area built-in sideboard. [gallery type="rectangular" size="medium" ids="96339,96338,96337"] Mountford Williamson Architecture mountfordwilliamson.com.au Fabrikate fabrikate.com.au Photography by Jacqui Way  

Chamfer House by Ha

Built-in kitchen furniture design in Chamfer House by Ha Architecture The kitchen is at the centre of this two-storey Victorian terrace renovated and extended by architecture studio Ha. Home to a young family, it needed lots of storage and typical of inner-city house, every square metre had to be functional. While Ha Architecture didn’t design the joinery like furniture, it extends through the hallway, kitchen, and into the living area with one beautifully crafted design. “It is an expensive investment when you are integrating a fridge, pantry, laundry and broom cupboard into one action-packed row of storage. We go the extra mile to make it a beautiful surface to frame the functional spaces,” says Nick Harding of Ha Architecture. The Tasmanian oak joinery is a cohesive unit across the wall of the hall and kitchen, before extending along the wall of the living space where it functions as shelf, storage and hearth. The long joinery pull is a standard Ha detail developed over a number of projects and slightly differently each time. In the kitchen, the pull it is horizontal along the top of the drawers. “The subtly expressed pull acknowledges the functional means to operate a cupboard or drawer but allows us to be creative with patterning and repetition within the joinery,” says Nick. “This is important when function is designed to be concealed in spaces that need to be agile in confined inner-city living.” [gallery size="medium" ids="96329,96326,96325"] Ha h-a.com.au Photography by Dave Kulesza and Bea Lambos Kitchen furniture design in Chamfer House by Ha Architecture We think you might also like Kitchens That Connect To The Outdoorsabc