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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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What's On

More Than Just A Party

Valentines Day may have been and gone but that is no reason to stop celebrating with love. On Thursday 20 February you’d do well to find yourself at Bondi Bowling Club for the Bowled Over: Love Fest 2020
. Unlike last Friday, this Thursday we will be celebrating the industry: our love for our profession, our love and pride of the projects we create, and of course, our love for each other. Hosted by Polytec, Milliken-Ontera, CSM, James Richardson Furniture, Talostone and Diverse Products Agency while the weather is still warm, Bowled Over 2020 is a chance to catch up with colleagues and acquaintances in the industry now that the dust of beginning a new year, a new decade rather, has settled. With more than 200 RSVPs for this Thursday’s event already, and a capacity of 400, if you and your team are interested in going it would be well worth the RSVP to confirm your places. With live music from the jazz trio Steve Morrison Jazz and a wet weather contingency (bowls would be canceled but the party continues indoors), coupled with a rare chance to team build amidst friendly competition in fresh, coastal air – here’s an industry event we’d love to see you at. Bondi Bowling Club 1 Warners Ave, Bondi Thursday 20th February 2020 6- 10 pm RSVP invite@bowledover-lovefest.com Polytec polytec.com.au abc
Design Hunters
Design Stories

Without Empathy, There Is No Good Design

Ilse Crawford is a designer, academic, and creative director with a simple mission: to put humanistic needs at the heart of her life’s work. As founder of multidisciplinary design practice, Studioilse, she works with her talented team to bring this vision to life, having designed spaces for the likes of Soho House Group and Aēsop, as well as sustainable furniture collections for Ikea. Fundamental to Ilse’s practice is to approach every project or problem with empathy and humility. “Good design is more than the way something looks,” she stresses, “it’s about wellbeing and making life better – not just for us, but for others and the environment.” This holistic notion of design for wellbeing is one that is permeating each and every facet of contemporary design, yet one that is particularly critical in built environment fields.

“We spend 87% of our lives inside buildings,” Ilse states, “how they’re designed really affects how we feel and how we live.” This attention to wellness and wellbeing in design is exemplified in Studioilse’s project Ett Hem, a hotel in Stockholm, Sweden, that truly embodies the native meaning of its name, ‘a home’.

Originally designed by architect Fredrik Dahlberg and built in 1910, this architectural gem from the Arts & Crafts era was once upon a time the residence of a government official and his wife who were avid art and design lovers. In reimagining the residence as a hotel, Studioilse worked with great sensitivity to preserve the personal quality of Ett Hem and embed it in the hotel. This meant going above and beyond simply designing a hotel with a homey aesthetic to continuing the story of the home that already existed. As such, Ett Hem’s design revolved not around how a hotel can be made to look and feel like a home, but rather around how people might be made to feel cared for and valued. “Hotels often offer a lot of services on the surface but the only actual interaction taking place is putting in an order and receiving it on your bill,” says Ilse, “We based the concept on the idea of warm and intelligent human contact throughout and designed into that. The kitchen is shared by guests and the chefs who use local produce and ingredients and are able to talk about that. We carefully selected sustainable brands and producers. We wanted to create a system where the money you spend goes back into good companies.” [gallery type="rectangular" size="medium" ids="98982,98980,98979,98977,98975"]   Studioilse’s work is testament to the fact that wellness and wellbeing goes further than just an ideal tagged onto an end result. To design for wellbeing is to think in ecosystems – taking into consideration where things come from, who they sustain, where they go and how its crafted and how it can change the way we live. Watch the complete short film Wellness and Wellbeing presented by Ilse Crawford for VOLA below: https://player.vimeo.com/video/375356448?dnt=1 On design is a digital platform created by Vola to shine a spotlight on elegantly resolved architectural projects from across the globe and share the insightful and inspiring perspectives of pioneering industry professionals. Wellness and Wellbeing is On design's third film feature, so there's even more juice where this came from. For instance, a personal account of the intrinsic relationship between Danish culture and design from Jonas Bjerre-Poulsen, founding partner of Norm Architects. VOLA vola.com/on-design We think you might also like vaatsu shastra and design for wellbeingabc
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Auchenflower House By DAHA Shows It’s Okay To Play

Designing within an acute site and planning restrictions is an unenviable task. In designing this house in the Auchenflower suburb of Brisbane, David Hansford of DAHA has overcome the complexities associated with designing on a steep, small and narrow site with tight setbacks. “The house attempts to tame a difficult steep terrain to provide a liveable and expansive [family-centric] lifestyle,” says David. “The plan is a perfect split level configuration that minimises journeys and separation while ascending through the steep site. Connectivity to the guest suite, kids bedrooms and master suite all sit within 1.5 storeys from the main living area.” In addition, the split-level configuration also meant that the architects were able to avoid the regulatory complications of a three-storey house. Then, there are those front and rear elevations ­– delicate, filigree-esque screening elements that address the street and create a playful setting to the rear garden. “Working with the small lot building envelope and common Paddington/Auchenflower tight side setbacks, you’re mainly presented with the rear and front elevations for an identity,” David explains. “The surrounding houses are built out to the front boundary so we decided on our property to incorporate some transparency in screening while speaking to the form of the surrounding buildings.”  

“The surrounding houses are built out to the front boundary so we decided on our property to incorporate some transparency in screening while speaking to the form of the surrounding buildings.”

  The screens, which provide privacy and protection from the elements, were also conceived with a playful spirit. “We used the architecture in this case as a bit of fun to tie the building together,” adds David. “The rear screening element was used to blend the storeys together to appear as a double-storey residence when it really was addressing a 3-storey element (the courtyard/void/roof terrace). The cutout arch to the northeast corner just gives some play with light and breeze and some interest to a flat elevation.” From a planning perspective, the house provides “ground floor living”, a private parents’ retreat on the upper level, and city views. “The use of levels also meant with some excavation to the rear we could extend the main living area into the back yard disguising level changes with bench seating and landscaping to create a 200-metre-squared north-facing internal/external area with screening, voids and landscaping,” adds David. The palette is appropriately understated, referencing the vernacular Queenslander, yet in a contemporary context. “Given the main living spaces are quite long and open, an understated palette was implemented with subtle textures and undulating surfaces providing the impact without overpowering the space,” explains David. For example, the Paloma tile in the kitchen, provides interest and texture in an otherwise muted and edited interior. DAH Architecture daharchitecture.com.au Photography by Scott Burrows Dissection Information Provence French Oak floorboards by Queensland Timber Flooring Avante 20mm honed marble slabs from SNB stone Paloma kitchen tiles from National Tiles Evenex Desert Gum kitchen cabinetry from ETON Group Appliances by Designer Appliances We think you might also like Glamorgan House by DAHA abc
What's On
HAP - Feature

Habitus Is Heading To Salone Del Mobile 2020 – Are You?

As Salone del Mobile.Milano draws nearer, the team at Indesign Media are busy preparing a very busy schedule of running up and down the showground halls; showroom visits in and around the city; exclusive interviews with the global design industry’s finest; and – of course – exclusive industry parties. It’s a chaotic week working across two time zones absorbing the latest releases and theories in architecture and design during the day and updating our readers over night. But there is the air of excitement and possibility in the atmosphere and it’s absolutely infectious. This year, as it is every second year, is EuroCucina. The biennial International Kitchen Furniture Exhibition and its collateral event FTK (Technology For the Kitchen) is the leading showcase for high-end kitchens. So, are you exhibiting or attending Salone del Mobile.Milano 2020? If so let us know – we can conquer the mammoth that is Milan Fair in tandem.

Drop us a line at dana@indesign.com.au, holly@indesign.com.au or narelle@indesign.com.sg

Some of our favourite moments from Salone 2019
Around The World
Design Hunters
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These Venues Are Turning Hospitality Design Inside Out

Humans have an inherent need to seek connections with nature and other forms of life, according to the biophilia hypothesis. This connection is vital for our health and wellbeing, yet in modern life, we spend about 90 per cent of our time indoors. The importance of being outside and in close contact with nature is seeing a shift in the design of hospitality venues. Designers are blurring the lines between interior and exterior space, whether it’s a picturesque landscape or suburban location. By eliminating walls, framing views, using translucent materials and drawing on nature’s palette, these venues promote time spent outdoors, in the open air and amidst nature.  

Designers are blurring the lines between interior and exterior space.

  One such venue is Cornerstone Stores located between Currumbin and Tugun on the Gold Coast. Developed by a local family, Cornerstone Stores is a one-stop destination for the community and visitors with a curated mix of lifestyle-focused retailers, including a café, wine cellar and wellness boutique. Richards & Spence designed Cornerstone Stores with all boutiques facing a central courtyard, and dining and social spaces spilling out to a lawn with views to Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary. “Dining and circulation are externalised beneath a deep awning, and the northern edge is ambiguous allowing the development to borrow from the neighbouring creek and nature reserve,” says Ingrid Richards, co-founder of Richards & Spence. Biophilia takes over hospitality design at Cornerstone Stores by Richards & Spence Biophilia takes over hospitality design at Cornerstone Stores by Richards & Spence
Biophilia takes over hospitality design at Cornerstone Stores by Richards & Spence Cornerstone Stores, Gold Coast, by Richards & Spence, photography by Andy Macpherson
Red brick continues inside and outside; across walls, floors and arches. Ivy creeps up the walls, greenery trails down from the awning, and a large pandunus palm occupies a void as if the building is becoming enveloped by nature. This submersion in nature is likewise the case at Garden Hotpot Restaurant in Southwest China, where MUDA-Architects has designed a free-flowing structure that mimics the ecological conditions. Hidden in a eucalyptus forest ten kilometres from Chengdu, Garden Hotpot Restaurant’s organic shape mimics the lotus pond and evokes the steam and smoke from boiling hotpots. “We used only pillars and boards to hide the building in the woods. This lets the building gently integrate with the site and delineates the shape of the lake in a light and peaceful way,” says Lu Yun, founder of MUDA-Architects.
Garden Hotpot Restaurant, China, by MUDA-Architects
No plants were removed from the site for construction and the thin steel columns supporting the roof blend with the tree trunks to disappear into nature. As mist from the pond permeates the space, it creates a romantic, faraway atmosphere. In Vietnam, Sahi W&D House is only four kilometres from the centre of Huě, but it too feels a world away with minimal walls and translucent materials dissolving the barriers between in- and outdoors. SILAA Architects designed Sahi W&D as a homestay to encourage engagement between people and their setting. The timber structure blocks views of the neighbours, focusing instead on the trees to feel part of the natural world rather than the suburban streetscape. “Guests have the experience of living in a garden atmosphere, while also having more enclosed, private spaces,” explains Nguyen Huu Son Duong of SILAA Architects.  

As urban development puts the squeeze on outdoor green space, these new public environments seek to break down the barriers between interior and exterior.

  Sahi W&D by SILAA Architects is a homestay for tourists visiting Vietnam. It is designed to break down the barriers between people and nature. Sahi W&D by SILAA Architects is a homestay for tourists visiting Vietnam. It is designed to break down the barriers between people and nature.
Sahi W&D by SILAA Architects is a homestay for tourists visiting Vietnam. It is designed to break down the barriers between people and nature. Sahi W&D House, Vietnam, by SILAA Architects
SILAA reduced the timber structure to its essential framework and incorporated voids and terraces and used polycarbonate panels to blur the boundaries of the hut and garden. Light and colour filters through the opaque panels and communal spaces encourage interaction between people and connection with nature. Melbourne based design studio Biasol looked to the site’s landscape for the material palette of Bankvale Run bar at Marnong Estate, which sits on more than 100,000 acres north of Melbourne. While the terrace offers an open-air setting, the interior draws the outdoors in with earthy colours and natural textures inspired by the undulating farmland, vineyard and the Macedon Ranges in the distance. “The warmth and authenticity of the palette brings the beauty of nature into the space, complementing the views and unifying inside and out,” says Jean-Pierre Biasol, founder of Biasol. Biophilia takes over hospitality design at Marong Estate by Biasol Biophilia takes over hospitality design at Marong Estate by Biasol
Biophilia takes over hospitality design at Marong Estate by Biasol Marnong Estate, regional Victoria, by Biasol. Photography by Sharyn Cairns
Terrazzo floor tiles are speckled with warm orange, amber and olive-green; rendered walls have a textured surface; and timber ceilings radiate warmth. The banquettes and chairs are upholstered in rich brown and green leathers, and glass windows and panels ensure unobstructed views. As urban development puts the squeeze on outdoor green space and urban living sees us become more estranged from nature, these new public environments seek to break down the barriers between interior and exterior, satisfying our need for open air and nature in the modern built environment. We think you might also like these Five Australian Kitchen Designs That Connect To The Outdoorsabc
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Design Products
Fixed & Fitted

The Serenity Is Surreal At Artedomus Brisbane

One moment in the ethereal reception of Il Bosco is enough to send anyone into a trance. In reality it may be the new Artedomus Brisbane showroom, but as long as you’re there, that tropical haven is yours, and yours alone. Designed by Artedomus creative director, Thomas Coward, and Hana Hakim, founder of The Stella Collective, Il Bosco is the epitome of 1980s Miami glamour meets contemporary antipodean aspirations. For a space spanning 300-square-meters in floor area and boasting 6-metre-high ceilings, decked out almost entirely in stone and ceramics, Thomas and Hana have achieved a captivating sense of intimacy. On the journey from the garden courtyard through which one enters, into the dramatic reception, through the kitchen, dining, living, and bathroom spaces of Il Bosco, and on to the selection library, one is able to fully experience the awe-inspiring beauty of Artedomus’ extensive collection of finishes, furniture, and products. White screens define spaces throughout the showroom, while plantation shutters and ceiling fans evoke familiar scenes of Miami in its heyday. Curved catwalks, crystal chandeliers and marble-clad columns reference the iconic work of architects Morris Lapidus and Sir Terence Conran, and Artedomus materials are integrated throughout the displays in timeless, neutral colours and soft pink and deep desert hues. The products are presented in context, such as bathroom settings and living spaces. This includes Artedomus’ New Volumes Collection 01 and Agape bathware, as well as custom-designed interchangeable screens and plinths that allow clients to experiment with stones and tiles. A hotel-bedroom-style lounge has beautiful Cotto Manetti terracotta flooring, along with stunning furniture from Cult. The customer journey concludes in the selection library at the showroom. It accommodates Artedomus’ extensive range of tiles, mosaics and architectural ceramics, and is a meeting place for designers and clients. Since opening its doors in November 2019, the new Artedomus Brisbane showroom has been warmly received by the architecture and design community. “Customers are staying much longer and gaining a better understanding of the full range of Artedomus products,” says Artedomus managing director, Phil Brenton, “their feedback has been incredible, and they are just as thrilled as we are.” Artedomus artedomus.com We think you might also like Casa Chiroscuro by Biasolabc
Around The World

A Love Of Art And Nature Guide The Architectural Plan Of This Home

A piece of paradise moored off the coast of Africa in the Indian Ocean, Mauritius is surrounded by 150 kilometres of white sandy beaches and the world’s third-largest coral reef. To reside in such rare, unspoiled natural haven is not more than a dream for most, but for a couple of art aficionados and their two young children – aged four and six – House in a Garden by Studio Lotus has made that dream a reality. Situated at the northern tip of mainland Mauritius, on the outskirts of one of the island’s most densely populated neighbourhoods, House in a Garden is nestled quietly amongst protected forestland. In a place where the climes are tropical and summer cyclones frequent, establishing a harmonious co-existence between built and natural environments is not a mere desirable; it is an absolute necessity. As such, Studio Lotus has been particularly thoughtful of orientation, fenestration, and spatial planning in designing House in a Garden. The built structure of the residence presents as a linear, rectangular, double-height block, characterised by timber-shuttered concrete walls folding inwards to create various niches and courts. On the ground-floor, a streamlined corridor manifests as a central spine, off of which all living spaces are arranged. A series of porticos along the spine forges the sequential nature of the living spaces, with varying degrees of privacy accorded to each zone. Public spaces, for instance, open directly into the forecourt, whereas the relatively private family zone, adjoining the kitchen, is situated towards the back of the house. Staircases on either end of House in a Garden’s spine connect the ground floor to the upper. Here, the parents’ bedroom suite comprises the southern wing, while the children’s bedrooms are located in the northern wing. A mezzanine library above the living room connects the adjacent sleeping quarters and allows for visual connections between public and private zones.  

House in a Garden’s minimalist aesthetic provides the perfect milieu to showcase the clients’ extensive art collection.


A mezzanine library above the living room allows for visual connections between public and private zones.

  Strategic arrangement of windows and openings ensure House in a Garden abides by the climactic conditions of Mauritius. The large openings of the living area are glazed and flanked by narrow slit windows with fly mesh on the outside and operable timber louvers, allowing for cross-ventilation throughout the house. The expansive opening of the conservatory structure that frames the dining room has been fitted with doors of mild steel, custom-designed to withstand the summer cyclones. With summer winds typically coming from the north-eastern front, this fenestration arrangement means residents are able to bask in the natural breeze, without the worry of mosquitoes invading their space. In regards to materiality, House in a Garden’s minimalist aesthetic of concrete walls and ceiling, and floors of reclaimed teak provides the perfect milieu to showcase the clients’ extensive art collection. Likewise, reclaimed architectural elements such as the crimson spiral staircase that connects the children’s suite to the kitchen, the South Indian columns along the entrance forecourt, and the Rajasthani columns in the poolside verandah are elegantly integrated into the design.   The culmination of Studio Lotus’ design for House in a Garden is one that champions a strong sense of connectivity. Be it in incorporating materials from the site’s previous structure; visually linking the site’s manicured lawns to the neighbouring wilderness; or blurring the boundaries between inside and out, this is a house designed to forge connections between its residents, their artistic pursuits, and the nature of their surrounds. Studio Lotus studiolotus.in Photography by Karl Ahnee We think you might also like Taipei House by Valerie Rostaingabc
Design Hunters
DH - Feature

Championing The Design Prowess Of The Antipodes

Anna Fahey and Bailey Meredith might be recent business partners but they’re old friends. Their respective career trajectories have seen them fan out and come together much like a 2D double helix. Last year, the duo finally realised old plans to create something together launching a small collection of high-quality towels under the guise of Baina: a design-led Antipodean brand bringing a little bit of luxury to the every day. “We want people to hear the name Baina and know that we make the best design-led contemporary towels,” says Bailey. Anna and Bailey first met at a high school in Hamilton, New Zealand, and later rekindled their friendship working together for Kate Sylvester in Auckland. Six years on they had, independently of each other, moved to Melbourne. Bailey was the National Sales Manager for Jardan and Anna was working in wholesale retail for a New Zealand-based fashion label before joining Jardan in its Richmond showroom. Baina Champions The Design Prowess Of The Antipodes cc Daniel Walker Baina Champions The Design Prowess Of The Antipodes cc Daniel Walker The time spent working amongst furniture and object design saw the duo deeply immersed in a whole new world of architecture and interior design. Moreover, working for a design-led company with a strong moral compass and sense of purpose, inspired a new understanding of design and its impact on the human experience – and its impact on the earth. For two years, Anna and Bailey worked together before the conversation of collaboration became too loud to ignore any longer. From the early days of friendship they had often spoken about someday creating a brand, though they’d always imagined it would be strongly tied to fashion. But as is often the case with life and experience their plans evolved. “Because we’d been exposed to Jardan and this different industry, the conversation shifted and it was no longer around fashion,” says Bailey. “It was completely immersed in this new design discipline we were having a love affair with at that moment.” Baina was created drawing inspiration from various disciplines within design; from fashion to product and furniture to art, architecture, sculpture and colour theory. But it is also a company created in reverse, establishing first the pillars of the brand: inclusivity, timelessness, and traceability. From there, they began devising something that could sit within those principles. Neither Anna nor Bailey wanted to contribute meaninglessly to an already oversaturated consumer market so just as much thought went into designing a product that was equal parts useful and beautiful. Baina Champions The Design Prowess Of The Antipodes cc Daniel Walker Soon after, from a passing thought spoken out loud – “I love taking a bath”, the idea of designing towels took hold. At a time when success and free time are seemingly diametrically opposed, bathing rituals can be a lone opportunity to give a gift to oneself. “[It’s] the only time in our day whether we bathe or shower when we’re completely alone,” says Bailey, appreciating the time as an opportunity to reconnect and ground oneself. Moreover, they were able to design towels that are age-, size- and gender identity-inclusive. They spent time researching suppliers and manufactures. The towels are 600 GSM and made from organic cotton. The factory in which they are made has certification to the Global Organic Textile Standard, which means there is full traceability over the cotton from when it is farmed to when it is woven into the towel. With just three bath towels, three hand towels and a single pool towel, the intention was to keep the collection as tight and considered as possible. The brand philosophy is to grow by layering the pieces up, rather than releasing new collections that intentionally or not may infer older collections are lesser. “The idea is that they will continue to complement the existing range,” says Bailey, likening the concept to a slow drip feed. “We don’t want anything to become redundant,” adds Anna, “we want everything to have a purpose and to be thoughtful on how we build on it.” A strong launch with a clear brand message sees Baina already available at some of the most desirable retail spaces. Sitting alongside beautiful Lee Matthews pieces in select stores, and online at My Chameleon, Anna and Bailey have consciously aligned with like-minded design-led companies and brought the fashion experience into the bathroom Baina shopbaina.com We think you might also like this Design Hunter profile on GOLDEN Baina Champions The Design Prowess Of The Antipodes cc Greta Van Der Star Baina Champions The Design Prowess Of The Antipodes cc Greta Van Der Star Baina Champions The Design Prowess Of The Antipodes cc Greta Van Der Star abc
ARC - Feature

A New Lease On Life For Iconic Geelong Arts Centre

For over 35 years, the Geelong Arts Centre has earned its illustrious reputation as the region’s cultural icon. As the only state-owned arts centre in Victoria outside of Melbourne CBD, it has been a long-lasting symbol of the city’s thriving creative and artistic community. Award-winning multi-disciplinary design studio, Hassell, saw an inimitable opportunity for the UNESCO Creative City – a well-deserved title for Geelong recieved in 2017. Determined to rejuvenate the well-loved community space, the new Geelong Arts Centre redefines its growing reputation as a revolutionary and enriching artistic hub into the new decade. Hassell’s $38.5 million development put the community at its core. Opened to the public at the end of last year, an enticing translucent form crowns over a heritage Church façade. Clean, minimal and elegant – this contemporary design reconnects the old and the new in a confident and vibrant new identity. Colossal in size, the Geelong Arts Centre establishes a strong civic presence as a landmark that wants to be seen across the regional city. “Geelong Arts Centre will not only be a reinvigorated destination, it will also help service the needs of the growing creative and cultural community,” states Hassell principal Mark Loughnan. The new structure provides a unique visitor experience of the performing arts through a modernised range of communal and creative spaces. Inside the revitalised soul of the arts hub, the design carves out two new levels of foyer, a dynamic bar area, state-of-the-art rehearsal studios and dynamic co-working spaces for collaborative work across the art community. A striking, sculptural staircase connects the renovated ground floor and balcony foyers. A space like no other, this zone services The Playhouse theatre, studios and future Church Theatre – acting as the heart of the arts centre. “Growing up in Geelong and now seeing Geelong Arts Centre’s Ryrie Street building come to fruition has given me an immense amount of pride,” expresses Mark. A platform for the local community, Geelong Arts Centre represents the stunning architectural, cultural and arts movement that the city has seen in the last decade. Captivating, immersive and sophisticated – the redevelopment ushers in a new era for the Geelong Arts Centre. “Geelong Arts Centre has long been at the heart of Geelong’s creative community,” Martin Foley MP, Ministers for Creative Industries adds. “Thirty-eight years later, the community has grown and so has Geelong Arts Centre. We’re proud to have supported this latest chapter and the growth of the region as a creative hub.” A city that’s well-loved and famously known for its passion for the arts, dedication to its community, and energetic livelihoods, Geelong’s future amongst the creative community has just begun once again. Hassell Studio hassellstudio.com Geelong Arts Centre geelongartscentre.org.au Photography by Rory Gardiner abc
Around The World

A House And Kitchen Fit For A Michelin-Star Chef

In early 2018, the iconic Taiwanese chef, André Chiang, decided to close his eponymous flagship Restaurant André in Singapore and relocate to his birth country. As the owner of six restaurants around the globe – including the no. 2 title on Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants list and no. 14 on the World’s Best Restaurants list – André has never been one to rest on his laurels. When he hung up his professional chef’s apron and moved back to the countryside of Yilan, Taiwan, it was only fitting that he would design the future home for himself, his wife, Sudarampai, his mother, Tina Lin, and the family’s golden retriever, Lucky.  

André envisioned a brutalist structure of concrete and glass, protruding from the centre of fifteen-hectares of flat, lustrous rice field.

  Having purchased a vast, untarnished plot of land in Yilan – about an hour drive from Taipei – in 2016, André envisioned a brutalist structure of concrete and glass, protruding from the centre of fifteen-hectares of flat, lustrous rice field. To realise his vision, André enlisted the help of architecture practice Lee Design Studio. The result is a bold building of 370-square-metres with a modern, graphic silhouette of three concrete pillars varying in height connected by glazing and black steel cubes. A spectacular eight-metre tall glass walkway connects the two floors with a custom-made glass staircase. The kitchen, living room, dining room and Taiwanese tearoom are located on the ground floor, while the first-floor houses two bedrooms and a study room. The roof is exploited as a grand terrace with view to green fields and mountains. As one of the world’s best chefs, the kitchen occupies a central spot in André’s heart as well as in his home. The chef opted for a captivating kitchen in black steel from Vipp comprised of a series of tall and lower cabinets and a big island module used as workbench. André once saw this kitchen in a magazine and knew he wanted it for his next home.  

The chef opted for a captivating kitchen in black steel from Vipp.

  Andre Chiang House by Lee Design Studio “I chose the Vipp kitchen because I do very heavy cooking,” he explains, noting an appreciation for the sturdiness of the stainless-steel work top. “My favourite detail of the kitchen is the gas stove design made with solid gas knobs. “My mother taught me how to cook and now it’s a family thing, a shared passion between my mother, myself and my wife. So, we spend many hours together in this kitchen,” adds André. Cult Design  cultdesign.com.au Lee Design Studio leedesign.studio Vipp Kitchens are available exclusively in Australia through Cult Design Nic-nacs on shelves at Andre Chiang House We think you might also like Armadale House by Chris Connell Design abc
Design Products

The Timeless Charm Of French Lighting

With over 50 years’ experience in designing the finest in French lighting, CVL Luminaires is well known in the design community the world over for their unique, eye-catching and conversation starting lamps, pedestal lights, sculptural lighting and more. Thanks to the Misura, the entirely French made collection of wall-lamps, floor lamps, suspension lighting and pendant lamps is available for Australian design lovers. The entire CVL range of fine French lighting is undeniably inspired, but here are a few HabitusLiving favourites…


Composed of an assembly of designs, the Calé(e) collection offers a range of geometric patterns, where a sense of imbalance gives way to simple, linear and sophisticated designs. The Calé(e) pendant lamps can be hung as a single canopy, arranged either rectangular or circular formations, with the rectangular arrangements being able to be custom-designed for any size to suit every environment. The Calé(e) floor lamp brings the same sense of geometric design and playfulness with balance to a handsome standing lamp. The offset cylinder at its base creates a sense of strength against the slim stand of the lamp.

Cercle et Trait

As light as it looks, the design of the Cercle & Trait light is surprisingly sturdy. Thanks to perfectly balanced separate pieces, the eye-catching light will remain in place as it shines, held together by one small wire.


Asymmetric and appearing to be multiplying, Constellation offers an endless of arrangement and placing possibilities, auditing every space and style. Working as either a wall unit or a ceiling fixture, the individual lights can be positioned in any desired pattern, all working from one electrical outlet.


“Bringing something ancient back to fashion”, this is what designer Pauline Deltour was thinking in designing the Signal suspension lights. Again, a playful sense of balance is alluded to here, resulting in an asymmetrical light source that can be suited to hang at any position.


From interplanetary inspiration to the home, the Saturne brings a vision of the cosmos wherever it is hung. Striking on its own or clustered together with multiple pendants, Saturne’s diffuse lighting shines out above and below the rotating brass ring that surrounds it.


A reinterpretation of stormy weather, Storm is a simple and elegant table lamp for contemporary aesthetics. The design of the lamp shows off delicate and refined design choices, exemplifying the elegance of French lighting design.


Suited to be hung on its own or as part of an arrangement, the triangular Tétra light can help shape the space of the wall it is placed on. A simple object that can be multiplied endlessly, the triangular design of Tétra allows for endless, geometric configurations and patterns within a space. All these and more are available to Australian design lover thanks to Misura. Misura misura.com.auabc
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A Wellington Hillside House Not To Be Faulted

Wellington’s cleaved landscape is based on a visible fault line cutting north-east through the North Island before pitching into the Pacific Ocean. While this geography limits the size of the city, it certainly hasn’t constrained its architects or builders. They have responded with small, tall and interesting houses perched on ridges and clinging to impossibly steep hillsides. 10x10 House by Patchwork Architecture is a talented example. To be a Wellington architect, therefore, is to be an expert in foundation design and resigned to the fact that large parts of a budget can get buried underground. This small Kilbirnie site is no exception. As well as having a steep contour and awkward triangular shape, it has also been cut and retained for a bend in a busy arterial road. Not a site for the fainthearted, it was tellingly purchased off an architect by a builder. And at only 260 square metres, it’s had several schemes dreamed up but never realised.  

The structure is purposely devoid of recognisable house signs – no eaves, no pitched roof, no window reveals.

  Its new owners Adam (the builder) and Alicia Pierson commissioned Ben Mitchell-Anyon of Patchwork Architecture to develop a fresh scheme. “This was never going to be a conventional hillside house,” says Ben. “It would burn too much budget on excavation and waterproofing – money better spent on the house itself. "We also had a busy road to deal with, so we lifted the house high above the traffic for privacy and to capture killer views of the harbour and surrounding suburbs.” This meant breaking the height-to-boundary controls by up to four metres on the road and public reserve boundary. However, the council wisely approved the scheme so this innovative design would create something unique from a seemingly uninhabitable site. Ben has designed a 10x10 House – exactly 100 square metres – set three storeys above the site entry. Simple geometry has allowed him to rationalise the site and create a highly efficient plan. “The brief was for a three-bedroom family home,” he says. “They had no preconceptions about the design and gave us full creative freedom. Having worked with Adam on several houses now, our starting point was the level of detail and perfectionism we’ve seen in his work. A simple square offered an incredibly crisp form – not only relating to Adam’s building interests but also leaving us more budget to apply to the detailing and materials.” 10x10 House is supported by a concrete block core – enclosing a small office, laundry, entry and stairwell – and ten steel poles. The main floor cantilevers past these foundations to not only present a dramatic composition to the road, but also pitch the house out toward the view. Reminiscent of the L.A. Case Study Houses of last century, the industrial panelised materials and minimal form challenges the stereotype of a home. From the outside, the structure is purposely devoid of recognisable house signs – no eaves, no pitched roof, no window reveals, no shutters, no traditional porch. Enigmatic and as un-house-like as you can get, it could be mistaken for a watchtower or small commercial building. Silver anodised cladding, flashings, joinery, downpipes and gutters – even a full metal underside – create a singular form broken only by vertical panel joints. “I love it when you get a strange site and it produces an unusual outcome. You wouldn’t look at the site and think a perfect square would be the logical response,” says Ben. “The clients were willing to take a risk with the sketch design and they trusted us to design them a great house. We knew Adam could build it, so we weren’t afraid to try unusual details. He knows what he likes, but also trusts us to do our thing and gave us input for how he wanted to put it together.”  

It’s the elevation above everyone else that gives that privacy.

  To explore the 10x10 House, you climb seven and a half metres up two sets of external concrete stairs to arrive at the entry deck protected below the house proper. A glass door leads into a timber-lined lobby and stairwell, where the warmth of the interior is immediately revealed by the oiled Tasmanian blackwood. Winding up another level, you arrive in a small lobby leading onto the main living space. Timber is used throughout the main floor, with a solid oak floor perfectly mirrored in a solid oak ceiling. This luxury is continued in two walls of blackwood cabinetry – the one-wall kitchen and living room unit. Dark grey matt ceramic tiles complete the dark palette. From this warm containment are two areas of floor-to-ceiling glass revealing an outside deck and a long view of Evans Bay from the corner window. “The main living room is strangely peaceful despite the traffic and wind,” says Ben. “Quiet and warm; it’s the elevation above everyone else that gives that privacy. It is a house to sit and watch a storm.” Bedrooms are distributed on the other three corners of the square with two bathrooms set back-to-back on the hillside. While it’s essentially a single-storey house, the architects have created useful outdoor spaces at three levels – below, centrally and overhead. The entry deck to 10x10 House provides a covered outdoor area and adjacent garden made private by new planting and with external access up to the main deck above. At the very top, a flat roof forms an open deck with a quirky ‘bus stop’ in the centre. Referencing the arterial road below, it provides a protected room from Wellington’s fierce winds – and fixed furniture that won’t blow away. Access is via a freestanding concrete stair – the fourth flight of stairs! – and across a bright yellow steel gangway. “These spaces above and below make it very dynamic,” says Ben. “They provide views around the building, up and down – indoor–outdoor rooms that are inexpensive to create and add a lot of interest. The roof deck is a fairly unusual feature in a city known for its wind. But on a good day, there is no better place to be with its panoramic views of the harbour and city.” This young and emerging design practice run by Ben and business partner Sally Ogle – colleagues from architecture school – is gaining a reputation for striking and innovative buildings. A small and adventurous practice challenging the status quo to find high-quality living solutions. Patchwork Architecture patchworkarchitecture.co.nz Photography by Simon Wilson  Dissection Information Fiberglass clad white-coated steel for ‘Bus Stop’ Garapa hardwood decking European Oak from VidaSpace for floor and ceiling Tasmanian Blackwood wall paneling and joinery Wall and floor tiles from Winckelmans In-situ concrete stairs Adelaide barstools, Amsterdam sofa, Veneto chair, Elba outdoor lounge chair, all from BoConcept Custom-made dining table/island by Dazam Wood Design Arnold Circus stools by Martino Gamper from Everyday Needs Moth Lighting throughout Pyroclassic Mini fireplace on recycled marble hearth Tapware from Methven  

"It is a house to sit and watch a storm.”

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