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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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A New Era Of Design For Lladró

Lladró’s story begins in 1953 with three brothers from the village of Almàssera, Spain, who heralded a passion for the decorative design delicacy of porcelain. Over 65 years on, and Lladró has certainly made its way into our hearts and our homes – and not just those of our grandmother’s. Since the early 2000s, Lladró has developed a penchant for collaborating with some of the most esteemed design contemporaries, bringing a sense of edge and intrigue to the brand’s highly refined collection. From sculpture to lighting, home accessories and jewellery, Lladró pieces are characterised by a unique mix of talent, audacity, and meticulousness in the quest for excellence. Among the brand’s revered list of international collaborators is the acclaimed Dutch designer Marcel Wanders. In 2019, Marcel Wanders’ Nightbloom collection for Lladró took home the Platinum Prize at the annual European Product Design Awards – a prestigious event that celebrates and acknowledges Europe’s most exquisite product designs. One of Lladró’s pioneering contemporary collaborations was with the one and only Spanish artist-designer, Jaime Hayon. In addition to the whimsical Fantasy Collection designed by Jaime for Lladró, the artist is behind the creation of Lladró’s now iconic The Guest. Created by Jaime for Lladró Atelier, the brand's ideas lab, The Guest collection invites leading artists from around the world to customise this unique character. The series includes collaborations by Paul Smith, Devilrobots, Gary Baseman, Tim Biskup, Rolito and most recently, Ricardo Cavolo. Collaborations with some of the world's most revered designers, alongside the inimitable work of its in-house design team, prove Lladró to be a true Design Hunter in every sense of the term: creating, supporting, and providing exceptional design to design lovers across the globe. For those located in Australia, FormFluent is the exclusive distributor of Lladró, currently celebrating the opening of a dedicated retail space in Sydney's CBD. Formfluent formfluent.com [gallery type="rectangular" size="medium" ids="97864,97866,97867"]abc
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Bundeena Beach House Is Designed For One And All

“The location of Bundeena Beach House demanded a high level of sensitivity and good citizenship,” says Sky Grove, director of Grove Architects. “It demanded a house that was socially and environmentally responsible. That was as much about what it gives to the community, as what it gives to its occupants.” Bundeena is a picturesque town at the northeast tip of Royal National Park, where it has views across the Port Hacking estuary. The clients – a family of four – wanted a beach house for weekends and school holidays. They wanted a durable house connected with its environment, and with simple, flexible rooms. The house is perched on a rocky headland where it adjoins public access to the beach. Set low in the sloping, triangular, west-facing site, the two-storey house provides passers-by with a view of the native roof garden, sculptural skylight and timber sliding garage doors. The native garden spills down the wall to dissolve the boundaries between architecture and landscape, and similarly the lack of fence around the property dissolves the boundaries between the private and public realms. “It improves the environment of both the reserve and the house,” Sky says. Grove Architects conceived the Bundeena Beach House as an object embedded in the landscape. A Corten-clad box houses the bedrooms upstairs, and floats above a glass box with living spaces downstairs. A timber-clad box intersects these two volumes and has a multipurpose space with a music area and pottery wheel. The singular, durable materials articulate each volume and respond to the coastal location. Corten is solid and protective, to create a sense of safety and cocooning, while glass is open and transparent to connect with the garden and views. The skylight and void connect both levels and bring light into the house throughout the day. “The butterfly shape restricts solar penetration to strategically oriented, vertical triangular panes. This prevents overheating, while encouraging a playful interaction with the sun’s movement,” Sky describes. The passive solar design of the house is enhanced by the green roof, which reduces heat absorption, increases insulation and collects rainwater for irrigation. A 16-panel 5.7kW photovoltaic system (with Tesla battery) is envisioned as a linear reflection pond alongside the roof garden, and it provides all the owner’s electricity needs. “We put a lot of effort into ensuring the PV panels contributed positively to the design, integrating them into the roof garden rather than stuck on as an afterthought,” says Sky. Taking the occupants, local residents and setting into account, Bundeena Beach House is socially and environmentally responsible, expressing sensitivity and good citizenship, as Grove Architects set out to achieve. Grove Architects grovearchitects.com.au Photography by Michael Nicholson Dissection Information Corten cladding by Archclad Glass louvres by Breezeway Sliding doors by AWS Stone benchtops – ‘Super White’ by CDK Kitchen benchtop and splashback – Maximum tile in Pepper by Artedomus Ardesia bathroom tiles by Surface Gallery Track lighting by Trend Lighting Rakumba Highline pendant in Kitchen by Archier Nude T5 pendant in bathroom by Giffin Design Wood burning fireplace by Chiminee Philippe Tapware by Brodware Emporio kitchen mixer from Abey Oven by Gaggenau Induction cooktop from Siemens Fridge from Liebherr We think you might also like Lucky House by Kuzman Architectureabc
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What Do You Do After Working For Australia’s Biggest Hospitality Giant?

In 2017 Rebecca Gibbs began Example, a brand, marketing and PR agency, as a joint venture with business partner Andy El-Bayeh. In 2019 the duo opened Example House in Rushcutters Bay. Formerly a mechanic’s workshop, the space is not just the headquarters for Rebecca, Andy and their team of 17, but a flexible co-working space offering a range of membership options for freelancers, contractors and small-medium business teams. Having worked alongside each other numerous times previously, Caroline Choker and Vince Alafaci of Acme designed the unconventional office space off an open brief and sincere understanding of Rebecca, Andy and the values of Example. Yet like many of us, Rebecca’s intentions while studying envisioned a very different career path to that which she has now found. Studying a Bachelor of Arts in Media and Communications and working part-time at café, fashion journalism is what she had in mind. Early in her studies the café owner’s wife, Sally Burleigh, offered her a week’s internship at her PR office – one week turned into four years studying and working full time for clients across the entertainment, lifestyle, travel, and fashion and beauty industries. “It strengthened what I was learning at university because I was getting to practice every day,” says Rebecca. In addition, two full-time commitments taught her vital life skills in time management, personal discipline, and the ability to prioritise. After university Rebecca moved to London and found a job with LD Communications. Here she stayed for three years between 2010 and 2013 and worked across some of the United Kingdom’s most momentous events in recent history: The royal wedding (2011), The London Olympics (2012), and a milestone for Rebecca personally, the Rolling Stones 50th anniversary (2012-2013). Not really planning to come home anytime soon, Rebecca was met with an offer to become Merivale’s in-house publicist: too promising to refuse. From the very beginning, Merivale has been known for its collaborative efforts with some of the most celebrated local interior designers and architects. One of its first hospitality venues, The Establishment Hotel (2000), was famously designed by SJB Interiors. “One thing that comes through at every stage of a Merivale project is this idea of collaboration, of being able to bring together experts in their field to create these incredible properties, and how closely all these elements work together to create Justin’s vision,” says Rebecca. The Coogee Pavilion (2014) is a very significant venue for Rebecca, one that spans her first months with Merivale up until the present, still managing the venue’s PR externally as Example. Three months in to her new role Merivale acquired what was then known as The Beach Palace to renovate, rebrand and reopen it putting Coogee Beach on the map in the way that Bondi is. Now, six years later, Example announces the opening of three new venues on the middle levels in late January 2020. Which brings us back to Example and why, when you’ve got one of the most sought after jobs for one of the most innovative and successful hospitality giants in Australia, one decides to leave. Put simply, progress in the company is difficult when you’re the head of your department, and for someone like Rebecca, who before she even fully began her career she was exceeding, growth is important. A difficult decision that turned out very much to be the right one, saw Rebecca pursue contract jobs while she tested out next steps and potential directions. Andy El-Bayeh, who she had worked with and alongside at various points in their careers, became a regular collaborator on these jobs until they eventually decided to make things “slightly more official” – establishing Example. Expecting this to be a fairly small operation for a fairly large amount of time, when Jamie Oliver began buying back his restaurants in Sydney and Melbourne, he signed on with Rebecca and Andy. And so followed other major companies such as Merivale and later Diageo. At its most refined, the ultimate goal for Example was to create something that offered an intimate understanding of the hospitality industry. “We wanted to create and offer something that had a really intimate understanding of the hospitality business.” Says Rebecca. “Not just from a brand point of view but the actual operations and inner workings. It’s a complex industry and there are a lot of things that you need to consider when you’re marketing these companies.” As a key business practice they also pay particular attention to the constantly evolving nature of marketing and PR, making sure the existing team is always learning and up-skilling – and motivated to do so – and hiring for emerging specialties when that is what’s required. In fact, recruitment has been an emphasis for the business, making sure that it’s finding the right people and creating a culture one would want to be a part of. And Example House is the perfect example of that. Between them, Rebecca and Andy have worked in a number of different offices including WeWork when they first started out. Fast growth encouraged them to find an office in Darlinghurst that could accommodate ten people, but it was a tight ten and although they didn’t expect to grow beyond that, they soon did. Happening upon this former mechanics’ site, they were immediately drawn to the building and its history. Bigger than they needed, they decided to open the space up to the wider community of creatives by way of a co-working office that catered to a variety of working habits and styles. This also gives the company the flexibility to be buoyant with staff number without concern of paying for empty space, or perhaps more likely, running out of space. There are currently 17 people in Example’s team and capacity in the space for approximately a third more, yet a calm energy reigns. Something Rebecca generously attributes to the finesse of Acme. “We knew that it had to be Acme. We’d worked with them very closely on lots of new venue launches over the years,” says Rebecca. An informal brief ensued, though it was important that there were plenty of loose spaces for people to break away to: “We didn’t want it to be that traditional office set up”. Both client and architect wanted to showcase the bones and history of the building, to celebrate the past rather than design over it. Example House is uncanny as a reflection of Rebecca’s career path so far: unexpected turns that once made, feel just right. Example example.com.au Rebecca Gibbs Andy El-Bayeh Example House Rebecca Gibbs Example House meeting room Rebecca Gibbs Example House Co Working Office Rebecca Gibbs Example House rainbow wall Rebecca Gibbs Example House kitchen Rebecca Gibbs Example House Bar Rebecca Gibbs Example House lounge Rebecca Gibbs Example House Boardroom Rebecca Gibbs Example House exterior We think you might also like 5 Minutes With Acmeabc
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Co-Living Brand Hmlet Designs For The Digital Nomad

Launched in 2016 in Singapore by entrepreneurs Yoan Kamalski and Zenos Schmickrath, Hmlet operates more than 90 locations in Singapore, Hong Kong, Australia, and Japan. The co-living brand aims to provide affordable and flexible housing solutions with a built-in community for the increasingly mobile workforce who are constantly on the move. The 76,000 square-foot premise offers 150 rooms spread across two blocks and three levels, each custom-designed by Hmlet’s in-house design team. “The biggest constraints in turning the building into a co-living facility is definitely the regulation,” shares Amelia Koo, Hmlet’s in-house interior design who helmed the renovation project. The building has been designated as a heritage building and the address zoned for residential purposes by the URA. The Hmlet team built the 150 rooms on the building’s original structure. And instead of trying to hide it, they let traces of the building’s history be the highlight of the design. Co-living in Singapore at Hmlet, Cantonment Walls were removed and the existing structural grid, which had divided the interior neatly into compact classrooms, was creatively re-partitioned into larger apartment units. Thanks to this, no two rooms have the same exact footprint and furniture layout. Here and there, the building’s colourful history pops up like delightful surprises. The original balcony railing becomes a feature on apartment walls; ’50s terrazzo and pebble wash staircase provide a romantic contrast against contemporary lighting fixtures and whitewash walls; original brick walls were partially exposed to add texture to the room; and vintage artefacts from the building’s previous tenures were displayed as decor. The result is a layered and inviting look. “We put emphasis on flexibility, multi-functionality and comfort,” says Koo of Hmlet Cantonment’s interior design. The material colour palette comprises pastels and neutrals with pops of green courtesy of plants (both real and artificial) curated by local botanical studio This Humid House. Co-living in Singapore at Hmlet, Cantonment Most of the furniture pieces are custom-designed by the in-house team to either suit a specific room – think of elements kitchen island with a hidden compartment that contains the washing machine, or a counter that takes care of an awkward angle in the room – or to provide maximum flexibility. In the premise’s largest common area (dubbed The Canteen) for example, all the furniture elements, save the bar, are loose, allowing the room to be easily rearranged to suit accommodate different events. There is a community manager, whose job is identical to those hired by the coworking brands – connecting people and build community. Communal activities like yoga classes and walking tours are provided, but engagement is totally optional. Hmlet tenants (‘members’ in the Hmlet brand lexicon) can choose to use the communal facilities and mingle with staff and fellow tenants, or spend their days without talking to anybody else if they so desired. Co-living in Singapore at Hmlet, Cantonment Members are also granted a degree of freedom to bring their own furniture to their living space, depending on the length of their stay. Hmlet Cantonment offers both long- and short-term stays, which starts from a minimum of six nights, a considerably shorter term than the other Hmlet locations in Singapore. This is thanks to URA’s zoning, which does not allow hotels in the area but allows for service apartments license. Asked if Hmlet will expand to full-fledged hotel business in the future, Hmlet Cantonment’s General Manager Nicolas Westen didn’t rule out the possibility, “should the right property with the right zoning and the right people come together at the right time.” Hmlet Cantonment, in the meantime, can serve as a hybrid testing ground. HMLET hmlet.com Co-living in Singapore at Hmlet, Cantonment Co-living in Singapore at Hmlet, Cantonment Co-living in Singapore at Hmlet, Cantonment Co-living in Singapore | Yoga and wellness studio at Hmlet, Cantonment Co-living in Singapore | Yoga and wellness studio at Hmlet, Cantonmentabc
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Coastal Comfort In Brighton House

“In a coastal environment, you have access to natural light and the feeling of vastness in the landscape,” says Rob Kennon, director of Rob Kennon Architects. “In this house we didn’t want to make a stylistic impression of a coastal environment, so there are no tricks or knick knacks. We wanted to replicate the openness, starkness and softness of the landscape and create a light bright, robust and solid home.” Brighton House certainly demonstrates the studio’s commitment to designing well-crafted homes that achieve a strong connection to place whilst respecting the permanency of built form. The clients, a young couple with sons, requested a tidy, neutrally-toned extension to their Edwardian terrace, that would support the practical requirements of raising young children. As a result, the extension is robust in materiality and thermal mass, providing a practical indoor and outdoor playground for the family, but also acting as a “counterbalance” to the lightweight nature of the original terrace. Brighton House by Rob Kennon Architects is a tidy, neutrally-toned extension to an Edwardian terrace. In response to the clients’ desire for a neat solution, the architects have ensured that there is nothing superfluous in the layout or interior fitout through a thoughtful integration of all key elements into the overall design. “For example we tucked the barbecue at the side of the house,” says Rob, “and fully integrated all the storage and shading so that nothing looked tacked on.” Given the modest budget, the architects also leveraged the affordability, texture and embodied energy of recycled brickwork, which also offers a textural offset to the smooth, sleek finishes in the kitchen and bathrooms. “When you’re dealing with white, you need different textures, otherwise it feels flat,” explains Rob. Hence, all the materials cumulatively create resonance and interest in an otherwise neutral palette. For example, painted plantation (tongue n groove) ceiling boards add additional surface interest and draw a connection to the character of the existing terrace.

Brighton House certainly demonstrates the studio’s commitment to designing well-crafted homes that achieve a strong connection to place.

  Brighton House by Rob Kennon Architects is a tidy, neutrally-toned extension to an Edwardian terrace. In addition, the outdoors have been drawn into the home through a number of careful initiatives. The kitchen splashback for one, a long window in place of the typical, tiled surface and grand, floor-to-ceiling windows bring even more of the outdoors into the interior. Full-height, glazed sliding doors stack cannily against the kitchen island, creating a “full bleed opening” with the garden. “We really focussed on what the clients need, no more, no less,” adds Rob. His approach and response is evident in every aspect of the home, which answers the client brief with both precision and warmth. Rob Kennon Architects robkennon.com Photography by Derek Swalwell Dissection Information Artek Bar stool 64 Ethnicraft Oak straight table Thonet No. 18 dining chairs Artek Stool 60 Rydell modular sofa from Molmic Alby round floor cushion from Jardan Sierra rug from Armadillo & Co Lean floor light from Örsjö Akari 55A pendant by Vitra Ultra X down-up wall light from Delta Louis Poulsen PH5 pendant Note Design Studio Vinge table lamp Archier Highline pendant Cooktop and Wall oven from Smeg Universal inserts fireplace from Jetmaster  

“When you’re dealing with white, you need different textures, otherwise it feels flat.”

  Brighton House by Rob Kennon Architects is a tidy, neutrally-toned extension to an Edwardian terrace. Brighton House by Rob Kennon Architects is a tidy, neutrally-toned extension to an Edwardian terrace. Brighton House by Rob Kennon Architects is a tidy, neutrally-toned extension to an Edwardian terrace. Indoor-outdoor flow of Brighton House by Rob Kennon Architects We think you might also like GB House by Renato Dettore Architectsabc
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First Appearances Are Deceptive In This Japanese Row House

House in Ohasu may present a spare, one-dimensional façade to the street, but inside a series of arched openings and windows create a layered, three-dimensional effect for this modern Japanese row house. The house, designed by Arbol, is located outside the centre of Higashi-Osaka city, in a dense residential area of Japanese row houses. The client wanted a house with Singaporean peranakan architectural features. “In other words, extraordinary atmosphere for the house,” as Yousaku Tsutsumi of Arbol describes. House in Ohasu by Arbol features timber floorboards, rendered concrete walls, a central courtyard, high ceilings and architectural arches. Peranakan architecture is derived from a hybrid of Western and Eastern styles and traditions. The eclectic architecture has effusive decoration, with colourful glazed ceramic tiles, classical-inspired elements, bas reliefs and decorative plasterwork. “Peranakan architecture also features a landscape as an arcade, by connecting the front porch of a building and the side-wall arches together in a row,” says Yousaku. Arbol incorporated these elements of peranakan architecture into a contemporary interpretation of a Japanese row house to create a home that synthesises cultural influences. Like a peranakan townhouse, House in Ohasu is longer than its façade suggests. All indoor and outdoor spaces and contained within the exterior walls, which are raised above the ground, allowing the breeze to blow underneath. The side walls gradually increase in height from one storey at the front to two storeys at the rear, and arches of various sizes partition rooms and openings to create a sense of rhythm and overlapping space. “The arches cast shadows along the walls, adding depth to the whole house,” Yousaku explains.  

Like a peranakan townhouse, House in Ohasu is longer than its façade suggests.

  House in Ohasu by Arbol features timber floorboards, rendered concrete walls, a central courtyard, high ceilings and architectural arches. The arched timber door in the façade provides the entrance to the front porch and garden that are open to the sky. A large, asymmetrical arch frames a view of the kitchen, dining and living area at the front of the house, and a larger arch sweeps across the opening to the courtyard and side passage. The floor of the passage is tiled with decorative ceramic tiles, reminiscent of peranakan architecture, and the staircase leads up to the first-floor bedroom, where a half-arch provides a sense of enclosure while still allowing a view through the house. With a natural textured finish, the walls and ceiling reflect the light and brings more dimension to the space. Sunlight filters through the courtyard into the middle of the house, and reflects the passing of time throughout the day and seasons, as is typical in traditional Japanese architecture. “The front yard and courtyard connect the indoor and outdoor spaces, and the natural sunlight and daily and seasonal changes creates openness and a sense of movement,” Yousaku says. From the outside House in Ohasu appears as a closed, flat form, but appearances can be deceptive as once inside, the interior is open and layered, filled with sunlight and fresh air. Arbol arbol-design.com Photography by Yasunori Shimomura  

Sunlight filters through the courtyard into the middle of the house, and reflects the passing of time throughout the day and seasons, as is typical in traditional Japanese architecture.

  We think you might also like House in Konohana by FujiwaraMuro Architectsabc
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Sydney XXXL Book Review: What’s The Problem With Sydney?

Ed Lippmann is a highly regarded Sydney-based architect with a portfolio extending from residential to major commercial projects such as 8 Chifley Square in Sydney’s CBD, done in partnership with Rogers Stirk Harbour and Partners. Indeed, Richard Rogers contributes a foreword to this book. For those of us who live in Sydney the city is a source of endless discussion ranging from delight at its natural beauty to despair at the seemingly relentless compromises engendered by commercial greed, bureaucratic incompetence and a general lack of vision. But as a previous book (Philip Thalis and Peter-John Cantrill’s Public Sydney: Drawing the City, 2013) points out, it is easy to overlook the many qualities of the city’s built environment – both colonial and modern – by focusing on the missteps. Lippmann does not make this mistake. Moreover, he is concerned with Greater Sydney, not just the city itself. While he is happy to highlight irreparable blunders such as building the Cahill Expressway through the middle of Circular Quay (ruining forever the delightful and spacious piazza in front of Customs House) and the dismantling of the world’s most extensive tramway system in the 1950s/60s (now being partially, painfully and expensively restored with a new light rail and metro network), he is more concerned with emphasising the qualities of the city, from its natural beauty to its climate and multi-cultural population – as well as casting an eye over some outstanding examples of residential, commercial, retail and educational design in the city. Lippmann’s main concern is with planning and how, with exponential population growth within a topographically constrained basin, Sydney can be sustained. The questions he asks are: how sustainable is Sydney and, if it is, how do we do it? The critical issues are, he says: population, water, geography and topography, transportation and infrastructure, the harbour and waterfront. He begins as you would expect with some context, looking first at global urbanism before moving on to some historical background for Sydney in particular. He looks at the early years of settlement, then at the plague epidemic of 1900 which triggered a slow but significant review of planning regulations. He looks at early initiatives, often informed by the Garden City movement in Britain, resulting in examples such as Daceyville, “hailed as the first city beautification scheme in Australia, as well as the country’s first suburb devoted to public housing for workers”. Then he deals with the post-War Cumberland Plan, “the most definitive expression of a public policy on the form and context of an Australian metropolitan area ever attempted”. Like every other plan for Sydney, this became more honoured in the breach than in the observance and, in this respect, Lippmann has some interesting things to say about East Darling Harbour or what is now known as Barangaroo. The Bicentennial and Olympic Games provided further impetus to review just where Sydney was heading along with growing environmental consciousness and renewed anxiety about the quality and reach of public transport. Moving up to the present day, Lippmann then reviews current thinking about urban planning – as well as providing instructive examples of sustainable (and usually smaller) cities elsewhere in Europe and the U,S. – and looks in particular at developments in Sydney such as polycentric planning as promoted by the Greater Sydney Commission with its Three Cities concept (Eastern Sydney, Greater Parramatta and Western Sydney Aerotropolis) together with satellite hubs aiming at a maximum 30 minute commute. Lippmann’s vision is for a sustainable and liveable city. To achieve this he advocates a stop to the city’s expansion and a cap on population, along with other (widely advocated) initiatives such as polycentric planning, higher densities, improved circulation (the 30 minute commute), equitable housing, access to nature (protecting existing green space, such as the national parks) and continued improvements to design excellence provisions. To be honest there is nothing particularly new in this book – at least, for those who take a professional interest in these matters. But it is a well-organised and very readable account of Sydney, its planning history and its planning challenges. Lippmann pulls together the relevant information and ideas and puts them between the covers of the one book. Moreover, it is a beautifully produced book. Its scale (23x23 cms) is ideal and it is splendidly designed with generous illustrations (photographs, maps, tables etc.). In short, it is an excellent snapshot of where we’re at in Sydney – namely, at a crossroads. Or perhaps we have already passed the crossroads without realising it. Can Sydney be saved? Altrim Publishers altrim.net Sydney XXXL has been published online and is available to all, at no cost, here.   We think you might also like this extract from Atlas of Mid-Century Modern Houses.abc
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Cheeky Chairs From Adam Nathaniel Furman

Colourful. Creative. Cheeky. These are three words that quite aptly sum up the life and works of Adam Nathaniel Furman. Born to Argentine, Japanese, and Israeli heritage, the London-based artist and designer is formally trained in both architecture and fine art, yet his body of work spans beyond these areas into product design, interior design, writing, and teaching. But no matter the subject or object of his work, Adam seeks to bring equal parts pleasure, colour and joy, as well as critical consideration, reflection and depth to everything he touches. “My designs are always approachable, usually adorable, often cheeky, and take inspiration from a passionate and lifelong exploration of the themes of queerness, colour, and ornament as a political-aesthetic project,” says Adam. And these chairs are no exception. Imbued with a sense of sweetness and light, the minimalist and contemporary design of the PHaB chairs is underscored by a jubilant celebration of the human body and an exploration of the sense of attachment that comes from the subtle anthropomorphising of inanimate objects. Their name is an acronym of all the things that their shapes reference, with some letters representing more than one word. Made from painted ply and powder-coated steel, the chairs are stackable, robust, and designed to be suitable for the home as well as for more high-intensity hospitality environments. As comfortable as they are cute, the PHaB chairs have flexible backrests that serve to treat the occupant’s body with as much love as they treat the imagination with their suggestive form. [gallery type="rectangular" size="medium" ids="97937,97935"]   Part of Adam’s venerable investigations of the use and power of colour (he is co-director of the Saturated Space research group on the subject at London’s Architectural Association); queer aesthetics in public and domestic environments; and the ability of cuteness to engender a sense of empathy and attachment to inanimate objects, the chairs are quirky, character-rich pieces that will be as adorable and welcome in any space as the most adorable pet or the cheekiest of children. Adam Nathaniel Furman adamnathanielfurman.com Photography by Yeshen Venema We think you might also like the Formae Roommate collectionabc
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Folk Architects Designs A Playful Yet Pragmatic Extension

Storybook House by Folk Architects is a study of inner city living, optimising the existing building footprint to create a functional family home with a series of multi-use spaces. The site itself is typical of a Victorian-period, single-fronted terrace: a small house on a compact lot flanked by linear party walls. As such, an extension to the original building had to be carefully organised, Christie Petsinis and Tim Wilson of Folk likened the configuration process to piecing together a puzzle. Their clients had lived in the house for some years before deciding to extend rather than relocate. Initial discussions were a simple exercise in weighing up the clients’ goals against what Folk thought would be possible. Programmatically, the clients wanted an extra bedroom, open plan living spaces, and a few anecdotal additions such as a sunken lounge, fireplace, laundry chute and a double shower. Functionally, they wanted better access to natural light and airflow. They also wanted to feel connected to the environment outside, even when they were inside.  

The extended layout captures as much natural light as possible.

  Folk Architects asked their clients to put together a compendium of how they liked to live; what is important to them as a family and as individual people. In response, the clients made note of activities they enjoyed such as singing and shopping at farmers’ markets. This information provided insight into the residents’ personalities as well as needs, subsequently influencing the architects’ design decisions. “Statements like, ‘I like singing at all hours without anyone hearing me’ suggested a need for distinctive zoning in the house,” says Tim. “We provided hidden nooks for concealed storage and utility to free up planning and create flexible and functional space.” Likewise, the clients’ penchant for shopping at farmers’ markets and preference for natural cleaning products suggested the use of healthy building materials would be paramount. The implementation of passive design principles was also crucial. Consistent with the residents’ wishes, the extended layout captures as much natural light as possible, reducing the need for artificial lighting. It also maximises natural ventilation, this atmospherically enhances the interiors and encourages hot summer air to move through the house. “White / beige roofs and glazed terracotta tiles reduce urban heat sink and heat transfer internally,” adds Christie. There are solar panels with micro-inverters on the new roof and a large water tank in the garden. Having moved in now more than 12 months ago, the residents have experienced a full cycle in their updated home, and are well acquainted with the new addition. The biting cold for which Melbourne winters are infamous is no match for the extension’s thermal performance and central fireplace. Furthermore, the residents are learning how to heat and cool the house passively. Like many terraces, the bedrooms (in this case two) formed the front of the house running the length of the hallway. Between the bedrooms and the new open plan living/kitchen/dining zone that spills out to the courtyard and rear access, there is a shared bathroom adjacent to an internal courtyard. Upstairs is the parent’s main bedroom linked to a small terrace, private ensuite and study. “The functional planning is tight however the ceiling heights, mezzanine levels, [and] active circulation spaces that conceal laundry, services, kitchen and storage under an in-built sofa help to create the perception of a larger volume that is efficient and pragmatic,” says Christie. And yet, despite this ultra utilitarian approach, there are architectural elements throughout that are as whimsical as they are functional. Hidden vestibules, for example, are both pragmatic and playful note the architects. Through Storybook House, Folk Architects reference an ongoing interest in international models of small footprint living. Here, they were inspired by the Japanese methodology of not wasting any space or surface. And yet there is a distinctively Australian casualness, desire for flexibility, and aversion to being boxed in. The new addition is compact and clever yet not prescriptive. “While there are efficiencies and very deliberate spaces for utilities, [the residents] have commented that is it still flexible, allowing them to personalise details and adapt spaces and uses to suit [their needs],” concludes Christie. Folk Architects folkarchitects.com Photography by Tom Blachford  

Despite an ultra utilitarian approach, there are architectural elements throughout that are as whimsical as they are functional.

  We think you might also like Caufield House by Pipkorn & Kilpatrickabc
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Who Is Patchwork Architecture Anyway?

Sally Ogle and Ben Mitchell-Anyon bring an understated yet sophisticated approach to their practice, Patchwork Architecture, creating a fascinating portfolio of houses in the process. Hailing from small towns on the west coast of the North Island, they met at architecture school in Wellington. “Between us, we've got a mixture of architectural experience,” says Ben, “with Sally first working for a large firm on commercial projects, while I worked for Melling Morse Architects on efficient and beautiful houses.” The idea to start a joint practice grew out of the Dog Box project – a house they designed and physically built in Whanganui in 2012 with uni colleagues Tim Gittos and Caroline Roberston, now of Spacecraft Architects.  

“The magic trick of being able to do more with less is becoming increasingly important.”

  “The Dog Box let us increase our understanding of architecture by building a house we designed,” says Sally. “It was a finalist in Home of the Year 2013 and the publicity helped us find our first jobs, which eventually led us to start our practice.” 10x10 House, 2019 Like many early-career practitioners, they have gained a reputation from their small house projects. But the project types have been expanding lately ranging from the single-family house to mixed-use development to fit-out work. “We like a challenge, and we like working for clients that we can have fun with!” They have found a niche in dealing with tricky, steep and small Wellington sites. Driven to design efficient and interesting spaces, they like to employ economical, industrial or standard materials in interesting ways, which has led to some very innovative house types. Their 10x10 house (featured in Habitus #46) is clad in aluminum sheet and glass, and could easily be mistaken for a small commercial building. On a seemingly impossible site for a builder client, they’ve created a very beautiful family home using unconventional forms and construction. Dog Box Project Patchwork ArchitectureDog Box Project, 2012 Some of their favourite projects include the Hawke Ridge Cabin designed by Ben in 2018, and a small studio and guest room tower that's currently on the drawing board for Sally. They have worked with a few of the same builders on multiple projects now – like Adam of Dorset Construction – leading to an easier and more rewarding process on each build. When asked what is non-negotiable in the future of local architecture and design, they cite the impacts of the cost of building and the imperative to reduce environmental footprints. “Most of our projects are in some way about designing small and smart spaces that perform well and feel generous to the people who use them. The magic trick of being able to do more with less is becoming increasingly important.” Patchwork Architecture patchworkarchitecture.co.nz Hawke Ridge Cabin, 2018 We think you might also like to see what else is in Habitus #46abc
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In Line With The Spirit Of Chinese Traditional Gardens

The Garden Island Courtyard Renewal takes shape as an unfurling of space that curves and slips beneath grassy bridges, connecting the garden without compromising on lush green zones. Redesigned by epos architecture, the designers believe in imparting poetic narratives onto modern design, borrowing from traditional Chinese architecture, or ancient Greek philosophies. From within the grounds of the Chengdu Garden Hotel, epos architecture has respected the original layout and structures of the historic site, reinventing them for modern times – for a shared office that surrounds the gardens. “The design aims to retain its original characteristics without disrupting the traces of its evolution over the years by applying strategies of modification rather than demolishment,” the architect shares. The Garden Island Courtyard creates areas of reflection and relaxing for the workers, with individual zones that blend into one due to the winding verandah that connects the landscape.  

epos architecture believes in imparting poetic narratives onto modern design, borrowing from traditional Chinese architecture, or ancient Greek philosophies.

Garden Island Courtyard, Chengdu Garden Hotel by epos architecture blends the traditional Chinese garden with modern working spaces. To do this, the architects have extended the communal working space of the building into separate, functioning areas that follow an eco-philosophy of “minimum intervention” that also worked for the clients’ limited budget. epos architecture followed the existing typography of the site with the original hotel lobby becoming the centre point to the contemporary garden, transformed into a communal tea house to be shared. The verandah uses thin, delicate steel columns, painted in dark grey fluorocarbon paint as the frameworks, with the outdoor spaces flowing seamlessly into the landscape of rockery and plants. Enlarged in some spots, the verandah hosts flexible viewing platforms, providing “in-motion viewing” and “in-position viewing” in the courtyard. “It also turns an ornamental courtyard into a place where people can share, communicate and even love,” the architects add.  

The outdoor spaces flow seamlessly into the landscape of rockery and plants.

  These platforms highlight the garden with large circular windows, immersing the sitter within the framework of the site. The verandah twists and turns throughout the garden island, applying the various views of the delicate landscape, with the former canopies replaced and extended into a closed loop, finishing and beginning with the teahouse. The deliberate extension between the outdoor spaces and open plan tea house and verandah nooks, creates an easy transfer, overlapping into the natural environment. “The original design intent is not to design a garden, but to create an environment overlapping daily life and poetic scenes,” the architects explain, “which is exactly in line with the spirit of Chinese traditional gardens.” epos architecture Photography by ARCH-EXIST Garden Island Courtyard, Chengdu Garden Hotel by epos architecture blends the traditional Chinese garden with modern working spaces. We think you might also like Cloister House by Formwerkzabc
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A House That Opens On Three Sides

When architect Shigeru Tsuda, director of T Square Design Associates, saw the site where he would build his family home, he envisioned a house without air-conditioning. “This is extremely rare with the climate now in Japan, as it is changing every year and becoming more like the south east Asian countries,” says Shigeru. However, located between two rivers it would receive the prevailing breeze that comes down from the mountain and across the two rivers, and the surrounding trees would help modulate sunlight and temperatures throughout the year, blocking the summer sun and cooling the air.  

The contrast with the sliding timber doors accentuates the form and massing of the concrete.

  Shigeru designed Fuseika House with three façades that open and a “neutral zone” between the interior and exterior perimeter. Timber louvre doors slide around the outside edge to open and close the house, and timber-framed glass doors slide around the interior edge. “These doors control light, wind and the privacy of the house, as we move them according to the daily weather or the time of the day,” Shigeru describes. These wide openings are possible because of the cantilevered reinforced-concrete structure that is visible inside and out. “It gives a strong image of the massing, and the frame and interior finish are thought of as one and the same,” says Shigeru. The contrast with the sliding timber doors accentuates the form and massing of the concrete, and the exposed board-formed concrete interior is raw, honest and textured.  

Located between two rivers it would receive the prevailing breeze that comes down from the mountain and across the two rivers.

  The bedroom is on the ground floor where the concrete walls and ceiling give it an almost subterranean feel. The living, dining and kitchen are on the first floor, surrounded by a timber platform that provides a close-up connection to the trees. “They are an integral part of the house as well as obscuring the direct view of private living areas when the sliding doors are open,” Shigeru explains. The roof provides a deep eave and minimises the distinction between inside and outside. A concrete bath abuts the edge of the deck, creating the feeling of an outdoor bathroom. The sitting room on the second floor has a view into the tree canopy, and windows at the ends of the pitched roof bring light deeper into the first-floor plan. Open and closely connected to its environment, Fuseika House is enlivened by the breeze, sunlight and rain. It is naturally cooled by the wind, the trees filter sunlight and cast shadows across the interior, and the house comes alive with the sight and sound of rainfall. T Square Design Associates t2designassociates.com Photography by Shigeo Ogawa Fuseika House by T-Square Design Associates | The bedroom is on the ground floor where the concrete walls and ceiling give it an almost subterranean feel. We think you might also like IH House by Andra Martinabc