BacHong House is an exemplar of architecture for inter-generational living and context-sensitive design. Or as Dianne so aptly said: "a life-affirming concept that could be adopted in disability and retirement living." Here's what Dianne received for her eloquent and valued contribution to the Habitus House of the Year conversation...
"A life-affirming concept that could be adopted in disability and retirement living,"
The initial idea for Sundae was to create a lounge collection that was modular, dynamic and comfortable. Curved and organic in form, the aesthetic of the Sundae-range opens itself up naturally – expanding into the perfect form to relax. A steel skeletal substructure forms the Sundae range with a plywood base structure and together, it gives the lounge strength and longevity for years and years. A spring system is integrated within the seat to provide maximum comfort and support for the individual. The minimal steel structure successfully keeps the voluminous shape through advanced foam layering techniques and specific layers, densities and craftsmanship. From this, the construction of the Sundae range is unique and intelligent – transforming the traditional lounge chair into a feat of exquisite craftsmanship and creative thinking. The material palette extends to hand-picked fabrics from Kvadrat Maharam, including Colline in white to perfectly display the product’s detailed and delicate boucle features. The neutral colour speaks to a sense of sophistication and tranquillity – a notable feat of the Sundae collection. By combining this with Kvadrat’s Coda 2 fabric in a warm, earthy and homey tone, Jason and the team at DesignByThem were able to bring in another layer of texture and vibrancy to balance out the hero pieces. Designed with sustainability in mind, all the products across the collection are made from high quality, low VOC commercial grade green-star rated foam, ready to be recycled after use.
Curved and organic in form, the aesthetic of the Sundae-range opens itself up naturally – expanding into the perfect form to relax.
[gallery type="rectangular" columns="2" size="medium" ids="101108,101110"] “Being able to design alongside the DesignByThem team has to be my favourite thing about the Sundae Range,” says Jason. “I think the biggest thing that stands out is the scalability of the design. The range can be scaled from an armchair to as many seaters as you want without a heavy usage of materials.” With a design philosophy that focuses on detailing and refining aesthetics, Jason was passionate about designing a product that is refined and inspiring all the way through – something that is embodied across the DesignByThem collections. “I wanted the individual to have an instant connection with lounge visually,” he says. “Whether in a residential or commercial setting, the Sundae is designed to be a statement piece as well as an invitation to relax. To fit in the DesignByThem range, it had to have personality.” Featuring an armchair, lounge and ottoman, the Sundae collection from DesignByThem is the complete package – ready to welcome you home in its comforting embrace. DesignByThem designbythem.com.au abc
A steel skeletal substructure forms the Sundae range with a plywood base structure and together, it gives the lounge strength and longevity for years and years.
“Our design concept was a compact house in a large garden. We wanted the house to capture the spirit of the place,” says Stuart Vokes, co-director of Vokes & Peters. All of the living spaces are arranged on the ground level; existing on the same horizontal plane as the surrounding garden city. Meanwhile, a roofless, double-height volume in the center of the floor plan acts as a repository for sunlight, rain, moonlight, ocean sounds, as well as a window to the stars, and a lung for the interior. “When it storms, it feels like it is raining inside the center of the house, as the dining room and living rooms flank either side of the central void,” says Stuart. Upstairs, the bedrooms and private quarters of Casuarina House are shielded from the perils of the outside world by a delicately crafted screen of timber battens painted a rusty shade of red. The striking façade of the upper floor is offset by the humble brickwork of the lower, the soft, matte surface of which absorbs light in a way that expresses depth and monumentality.
A roofless, double-height volume in the center of the floor plan acts as a repository for sunlight, rain, moonlight and ocean sounds.
“Brickwork was selected not as suburban motif, but as a perfect material for making walls in the garden,” says Stuart. “A pale white brick was chosen as an expression of modernity – pure, unaffected – and its colour does not carry the burden of suburban house or cottage stigma.” Having now lived in Casuarina House for 18 months, the occupants have taken a shining to their budding garden city. Thanks to meticulous research, planting and nurturance, the garden is coming into its own. As it continues to flourish, the garden will grow to become an integral cooling device as the micro-climate of Casuarina House. Vokes and Peters vokesandpeters.com Photography by Christopher Frederick Jones Dissection Information Bowral 76 Chillingham White bricks from Austral Bricks Super Blanc floor tiles by Winckelmans Kitchen sink by Franke Rangehood by Qasair Solar Bath in Wild Moss by apaiser Pendants by Artek Title Bed by Mast Furniture Louis Table by Tom Fereday for Mast Furniture Sia Chair by Tom Fereday Banquette fabric by Marimekko We think you might also like Teneriffe House by Vokes and Peters abc
“Our design concept was a compact house in a large garden. We wanted the house to capture the spirit of the place.”
Photography courtesy of DOMO Australia.We think you might also like the SOL Collection by Sarah Ellison. abc
Imperfect Residence by NC Design & ArchitectureTactile sofa by Vincenzo de Cotiis for Baxter. Photography by Harold De Puymorin The Japanese notion of wabi sabi may have been NCDA’s guiding principles in designing Imperfect Residence, but the end result has an interior design aesthetic aptly described as hygge. The soothing tonality of plaster cement rendered walls and ceiling become one with hard paneled timber flooring as if to cocoon anyone who enters the living room. Natural light pours in through an aperture that renders almost an entire wall opaque. Inhabitants are free to let the world in or retreat from it as they please, thanks to a generous run of muted, sage green Kvadrat fabric curtains that cascades, from a deep recess at the edge of the ceiling, down to the floor. And then there’s the Tactile sofa. Designed by Vincenzo de Cotiis for Baxter, the low form, soft leather and embracing curves of the Tactile sofa make for a piece of furniture that is truly immersive in experience.
Lantern House by Timmins+WhyteBowral 76 in Chillingham White from Austral Bricks. Photography by Peter Bennetts Timmins+Whyte Architects’ modest extension to a Victorian terrace in North Melbourne is characterized by a prevalent sense of calm; akin to the tranquility of a day spa. Though its surface materials are, by nature, hard and dense, an enlightened tonal palette makes them feel soft and unfussy. The choice of Chillingham White finish for the quintessential Bowral 76 brick from Austral Bricks is an apt example of Timmins+Whyte’s propensity to create an uplifting space from dense materials. This interplay of solid and soft materiality resonates with the balance of safety, security, and spontaneity so key to realising the Danish design philosophy of hygge.
Bivvy House by Vaughn McQuarrie ArchitectsRadiante 692 woodburner, from Cheminees Philippe. Photography by Simon Devitt Set in the Southern Alps of New Zealand, Bivvy House by Vaughn McQuarrie Architects is the architectural epitome of hygge. Though the Danish design philosophy was never mentioned or discussed by name, from its beginning brief, Bivvy House was always intended to cultivate a sense of contentment. “A space to eat, a space to sleep, a space to wash, a space to play, a space to read and to share with friends,” was the client’s request. With concrete for its high thermal mass, the house's social spaces feel solid, hunkered down and reverberate with a slight echo. Stepping down into the lounge, a panoramic lake view opens up via a wrap-around ribbon of window, positioned perfectly for seating height. The space is anchored by a Radiante 692 woodburner, from Cheminees Philippe, creating a cosy atmosphere sure to send anyone into a trance of stillness and content. Bivvy House
Rammed Earth Retreat by Thais Pupio DesignStabilised earth for walls from Rammed Earth National. Photography by Michael Nicholson When the owners’ of this Byron Bay retreat briefed architect Thais Pupio on their design aspirations, their specific words were, “something inviting, earthy and modern.” The resulting abode is every bit an example of a hygge house; comfortable, carefree and nurturing. Made of stabilised earth, sourced locally from Rammed Earth National, the promotion of wellbeing – that of both environment and occupants – is built in to its very walls. Inhabitants are able to feel as if they could be in a hidden villa in Mexico, a weekend getaway in Brazil or a retreat in Thailand, such is the design’s highly evocative nature. Rammed Earth Retreat
Huru House by WireDog ArchitecturePhotography by Strike Photography With Japanese modernism central to its design inspiration, it’s no surprise that Huru House by WireDog Architecture is resonant of Danish design philosophy. A hygge-like atmosphere however is most profoundly felt in the living room of Huru House. Furnished by a modest yet eclectic collection of coveted antiques, the interior design conveys an evergreen soul. At one with its picturesque landscape, Huru House provides all the key ingredients for hygge living: togetherness, relaxation, indulgence, presence, and comfort. Huru House
Seed House by Fitzpatrick+PartnersNatural stone bathtub in travertine from StoneBase NZ. Photography by John Gollings Designed by Fitzpatrick+Partners, Seed House is a splendid example of hygge in the context of residential design. At any point, one feels part of a whole while still enjoying private spaces. In the main bathroom, this is achieved by means of a monumental natural stone bathtub, carved from Greek travertine by StoneBase NZ, surrounded by stone and timber – walls, floor and ceiling. The resulting cavernous space has an almost sedative atmosphere, repellent of any potential cause of discontent. Seed House abc
In spite of its unconventional site – described by Robbie as “truly hodge podge and wedge-shaped” – Trio of Townhouses presents a series of three contemporary family residences designed with liveability and longevity front of mind. From the street it is evident that one of these buildings is not like the others. Flanked on either side by cookie-cutter suburban dwellings, Trio of Townhouses boasts a proudly distinctive Australian design vernacular. In a sea of brick and rendered McMansions, there is no mistaking the timber panelling and corrugated iron façade of Robbie’s design. Hints of foliage spill over the first-floor rooftop, where the timber stops and iron starts, providing the neighbourhood with its first taste of biophilic and sustainable design. Being the first and foremost to break free of the McMansion mould however was not entirely easy. “The council approvals and planning phases took close to a year,” says Robbie. “They hadn’t seen anything like this in the area before. I think [Trio of Townhouses was] even the first to have a rooftop.”
Trio of Townhouses presents a series of three contemporary family residences designed with liveability and longevity front of mind.
Light and a connection to the outdoors are foregrounded in the design, with living spaces opening out onto terraces. Internal stairs have been designed without risers, allowing light to filter across multiple levels. “Every design decision came back to making sure that the project would be durable. We also used cost effective materials and products in clever ways and worked in high end details to bring a level of finesse,” says Robbie. Inside as well as out, the materiality speaks to contemporary Australian design vernacular, all the while being mindful of budget. Besa block concrete walls are softened by polished concrete flooring, timber floorboards, and white joinery. With his robust yet refined design for Trio of Townhouses, designer builder Robbie J Walker evokes visions of a suburban utopia – in which liveability, longevity and sustainability are the guiding light of every design. Robbie J Walker robbiejwalker.com We think you might also like Pine Ave by Cera Stribley Architects and The Stella Collective abc
Light and a connection to the outdoors are foregrounded in the design, with living spaces opening out onto terraces.
“I think we both learned a lot from that firm and it also educated us on some things we thought we could do differently.” From day dot they sought projects that they felt could offer opportunities for creating homes that demanded “beautiful resolution”. “Overall, we look for clients that appreciate the quality in a bespoke, crafted outcome, tailored to their needs and that are excited about the process.” Peter talks candidly about the fact that projects of this nature can require generous budgets, given buck&simple is committed to exploring detail and customised resolutions. “Throughout the design process we explore how an element can be simplified, a space refined, a material expressed,” continues Peter. They use this philosophy as their guiding principle, constantly critiquing the brief and the site, and how a building will respond to – and impact – the environment.
“We look for clients that appreciate the quality in a bespoke, crafted outcome, tailored to their needs and that are excited about the process.”
Since 2013, buck&simple has produced a number of standout residential and hospitality projects, all of which attest to their crafted and highly considered approach. Rhodes Apartment is a prime example, a minimalist and intricate apartment renovation. Asked about their proudest moment to date, Peter references the buck&simple brand itself. “It is truly ours, built from the ground up,” he says. “The culture and approach we are developing within the firm, using it as a springboard for ideas and nurturing creativity. Seeing those principles and approach come to fruition in different aspects of each project is the most rewarding.” Based on buck&simple’s rich – and rapidly growing – portfolio, it’s evident that the pair are set to push even more boundaries in their combined effort to produce ever more refined and detailed projects. “We are constantly looking for new areas and new challenges; the unknown,” says Peter. “We are also currently focusing on assessing and trying to strengthen what we have built. I like to think that we have left enough freedom in the direction of the company that the future of buck&simple can be quite organic. The Doers of Stuff. I want to keep nothing off the table.” buck&simple buckandsimple.com A+H Apartment photography by Simon Whitbread We think you might also like When Kitchen Joinery Becomes Part of the Furniture abc
“Throughout the design process we explore how an element can be simplified, a space refined, a material expressed.”