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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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Six Residences That Harmoniously Coexist With Nature

Isolation has been a long journey of adapting to new lifestyles, finding spurts of creativity and having time to reconnect with our surroundings, whether it be inside or outside. With the unprecedented changes to our lifestyles today, our relationship with nature and the outdoors has never been more prominent. For some, experiencing the true essence of the Australian landscape has been difficult, where the only substitutes are open windows and an extravagant collection of plants. To others, it’s just outside their front door. In the last few years, we’ve seen an abundance of residential architecture coexisting with their natural landscape and contexts. To be fully immersed in nature and its elements is a revitalised way of living; one that many homes in Australia celebrate on a daily basis. Through considered and intelligent design; raw, textural materiality; and a new and slow livelihood, isolating in and amongst nature’s elements has never been more peaceful. Balancing contemporary residential living with the land is one that requires a sensitive and considered design approach. Each of the following residences embodies this beautifully and when that balance is achieved, the resulting relationship between architecture and the natural world provides an inimitable living experience that captivates the soul – bringing a moment of restfulness and calm to this chaotic new world.

Elemental House by Ben Callery Architects 

Elemental House Ben Callery Architects cc Dave Kulesza open planFeaturing Spotted Gum timber cladding and decking from Hurford. Photography by Jack Lovel and Dave Kulesza.  Ben Callery Architects celebrates the breadth of the Australian landscape with this picturesque off-grid home. Perched on the top of a steep hill in High Camp, Victoria is Elemental House – the ultimate retreat that lets you breathe in the outdoors and immerse yourself in the elements. This 100metre footprint home invites the land in with its raw, earthy materiality and dark interiors to create a sense of shelter and intimacy indoors. Completely exposed, the residence is designed with superior functionality – allowing passive solar gain in winter, and natural ventilation throughout the whole home in the warmer months. The clients, Jim and Sue, craved an isolated haven built to endure the country's seasonal changes and finding a sense of freedom in escaping the lifestyles of a crowded, fast-paced city. Elemental House is design simplicity at its best; with its form beautifully complementing the landscape and its interiors embodying a sense of adventure and comfort. Read more.

Blackwood Rest by Bijl Architecture

Featuring Nectre N50 wood burning fireplace. Photography by Adam Gibson.  Looking to transform the modest “Aussie bush shack,” into a revitalised piece of contemporary architecture, Bijl Architecture breathed new life into Blackwood Rest. After being partially destroyed due to freak flooding in 2016, this quintessential North West Tasmanian oasis was ready for a new chapter. The result of the flood had altered the landscape of the riverbank, inspiring the interior renovation of the bushland dwelling. To capitalise on the natural views, the bedroom was enlarged with a new deck and the living area extended with a fire-side dining area – maximising the time spent at taking in the scenery outside. Bijl Architecture incorporated a robust and material palette with local timber and stone chimney to celebrate the simplicity and ease to life in the Tasmanian bushland. The residents were adamant on not designing a space for entertaining, rather a place to escape and bask in an uncomplicated, relaxed and slow lifestyle and ultimately, a home that captures the spirit of the bushland dwelling. Read more.

An Architect's Home by Max Pritchard Gunner Architects

Galvanised steel cladding by Revolution Roofing and Blackbutt engineered flooring by Parmate. Photography by Sam Noonan.  It is always impressive to see an architect's own home; to step inside the daily space of a creative mind; and to see that they do indeed practice what they preach. Co-director of Max Pritchard Gunner, Tess Pritchard shows us her environmentally responsive, architecturally self-designed home in the Adelaide Hills. Situated high in the treetops, Tess kept the home’s footprint small by building up, integrating folded planes for the roof and extending the corners to capitalise on the location for the two-storey volume. The stretched out floor plan paired with a clean, comfortable colour palette and modest materiality in the galvanised steel exterior allowed Tess and her partner to be fully connected to nature as much as possible with minimal disruption to the natural settings. The home is generous, inviting and beautifully textural, while allowing the treetop home to coexist peacefully with the surrounding landscape. Read more.

Exoskeleton House by Studio Takt

Kitchen and joinery by Jason Miles. Photography by Shantanu Starick. 
Nestled within the Illawarra landscape in the south coast of New South Wales, Exoskeleton House by Studio Takt is a refined, considered and restored 1950s brick bungalow that creates a unique relationship to its local context. The owners wanted a home that celebrated their love for cooking and entertaining and their two curious young children, while adapting to the natural surroundings of the site. Instead of demolishing and starting anew, Studio Takt chose to champion their lifestyle with a strategic and sustainable solution to transform the existing building and revive it to support a contemporary way of living. The new north-facing living area and pavilion extends and reaches out to embrace the sweeping surrounds of the Illawarra escarpment – removing any barrier between the residents and the treetops. From the outside in, the materiality of Exoskeleton House plays on the natural hues and textures of the landscape, creating a harmonious balance of concrete, steel and timber to accommodate the living functions, while being sensitive to the outdoor scenery. Read more.

Dandenong Ranges House by BENT Architecture 

Featuring ACS bathrooms Chloe Freestanding Bath. Photography by Tatjana Plitt.  To live in harmony with nature is a pleasure that many of us in Australia are lucky enough to experience from time to time. For homeowners Matt and Leanne, this is their everyday reality in the bushy and scenic Dandenong Ranges in regional Victoria. As avid green thumbs and gardeners, Matt and Leanne wanted a piece of architecture that peacefully cohabitates with the landscape in a mutually beneficial relationship. BENT Architecture delivered a long, narrow house that optimises passive solar design to create an efficient and liveable interior throughout the warm and cooler months. The open, split-level interior is sheltered with captivating views of the outside, ultimately enveloping the residents in an abundance of greenery.  “It is impossible to visit this site without being overcome by its natural beauty. The key challenge was to design a house that would limit site disturbance whilst also working in harmony with its natural setting and employing efficient passive solar design principles,” says director of BENT Architecture, Paul Projazoski. Read more.

Paddington Courtyard House by Aileen Sage Architects

Featuring Recycled Brick from The Brick Pit. Photography by Tom Ferguson.  For city dwellers, there isn’t much room for sweeping bushland landscapes and treetop views. Especially in Sydney, where space is sacred, finding hidden pockets of nature is something to be celebrated and Paddington Courtyard House does just this and more. Designed by Aileen Sage Architects for architect Amelia Holliday, this Eastern suburbs gem reinvents the Victorian terrace with a secret internal courtyard. This multi-levelled retreat ultimately invites the surrounding environment into the home as the residence wraps around a large internal void of greenery to bring a sense of relief from the extended time indoors. Each of the living spaces have a distinct relationship to the garden, as rooms interweave into the next without compromising on the views to the “outdoors.” Aileen Sage Architects maximised the suburbian-sized footprint by avoiding redundant spaces through innovative design and re-connecting the residents with the outside world in the comfort of their own home. Read more.abc
Design Hunters

Design For Liveability: What COVID Has Taught Us

As part of the Habitus’ Webinar Series, on Wednesday 20 May, Brent Calow, Michelle Orszackzy, Rob Mills and Shannon Peach put their heads together, for a virtual pow-wow on the topic of design for liveability in this day and age, moderated by Habitus’ own editor, Holly Cunneen. For anyone who’s memory might need jogging, these names represent, in order of mention, manager of strategic accounts across Asia Pacific for Havwood International, and directors for the design practises; Clayton Orszackzy; Rob Mills Architecture & Interiors; and Milieu. Suffice it to say that this esteemed panel of regional architecture and design industry professionals is well versed on contemporary lessons in liveability. While the only way to do due justice to all the insights and thought-provoking stipulations shared by Brent, Michelle, Rob and Shannon is with the full webinar recording, there are three key outtakes from their conversation that we found particularly resonant: our lives no longer suit open-plan living; spaces can be defined without a dictated use; and the relationship between nature, health and liveability.  

Open Floorplans Are Flawed

The open-plan living programme has been the epitome of modern residential design for almost as long as the mortal memory of current generations can remember. About as long as the kitchen has been favoured as the heart of the modern home, in fact. This was all well and good while families spent the majority of their days living busy lives out and about – at work, school, socialising and the like – reconvening at home in the evenings only to debrief and rest. Open-plan living areas lent themselves aptly to this way of life. With kitchen, living and dining programmes melded into one, cohesive space, the shift toward such a layout enabled families to make the most of the precious little time spent with one another at home – cooking, eating, working, studying, and unwinding together, all at once. How times have changed. “Different aspects of my house have suddenly become so much more important,” Shannon Peach says, echoing what many of us have been thinking. Shannon was dialling into the Habitus Webinar from his dining room – a room in his home he notes was previously devoid of purpose and rarely entered. These days it has a new lease on life as a mini-Milieu operating from within the home of Shannon and his young family.  The sudden relocation of our outside lives unto our home environments has highlighted several flaws in open-plan arrangements, and the general consensus amongst the experts was that a renaissance of traditional spatial arrangements is on the cards for residential design.  

Distinct Spaces With Diverse Uses

Rob Mills’ prediction is that residential layouts will evolve into a hybrid of open-plan and traditional arrangements – and he says so with the conviction of an architect who is already encountering such notions in practice. With the populous heralding a newfound appreciation for acoustic and visual boundaries within a space, fellow panel members, Brent, Michelle and Shannon echoed signs of a shift in the direction of more defined spaces. In fact, open-plan living was showing signs of going out of vogue even pre-pandemic, as astutely acknowledged by Michelle. "Living in open-plan layouts has already seen us reconsider the design of service spaces out of desire to tuck them away," she says, referencing the rise of the butler's pantry seen in recent years as a case in point. However, there is an important twist: “spaces don’t need to be assigned a programme – they can be assigned properties,” says Michelle. Flexible use spaces have already become increasingly pertinent in modern houses and apartments, however they are typically synonymous with packing maximum plausible functionality into small footprint spaces. That said, Michelle raises a strong point: “Homes are places to live, not just places to function,” proposing that, as houses move away from open-plan layouts, newly integrated defined spaces ought not to be designed for specific use cases per se, rather according to attributes that transcend function, such as seasonality and mood.  

Liveability And The Nature Of Healthy Homes

Programme is not the only facet of modern residential design to have come under the microscope thanks to the events of COVID-19. Experiencing such prolonged time within the confines of our houses is bringing to public attention the health properties of the environments we call home – an awareness only magnified in the current social climate of global pandemic. Not only are we considering the health properties of building materials and the cleanliness of surfaces in a new light, we are also noticing how the liveability of residential spaces is at the whim of solar energy as it ebb and flows throughout the day and in tune with the seasons, Shannon highlights. Evidently this is not the first-time such insight into design for liveability has been derived from a global-scale health crisis. We have the tuberculosis epidemic of the early twentieth century to thank for the biophilic design sensibilities of modernist residences, as Michelle brought to the attention of the panel. A century on from their ideological debut, socialised by way of the modernist movement, notions such as biophilia, passive solar design and climate-responsive design have only recently become embedded in the collective conscience as priorities for the residential design and construction. Now, their impact on the liveability of our built environment is more relatable than ever. Familiar theorems aside, what new enhancements might COVID-19 inspire for the design of healthy habitats? Rob and Michelle both intuit a heightened concern surrounding the mitigation of pollutants in the home – coming from both without and within. Rob envisages the adoption of Japanese-esque rituals in which we more mindfully transition between home and the world outdoors, implementing time and space to shed outwear before interacting with the home. Meanwhile, a rise in awareness of and concern about electromagnetic radiation within our homes is Michelle’s projection, highlighting a need to embed diverse opportunities to ‘switch off’ in residential design. Featured image: A U-Shaped Room, Atelier tao+c. Photography by Tian Fangfang. We think you might also like to read Virtual Collaboration, In Realityabc
What's On

Did Someone Say Online CPD Education… For Free?

Remember the days when it seemed as if our community was perennially double, if not triple, booked with design industry events almost every night of the working work (bar Mondays, of course)? These days, our calendars are decidedly lacking such quality time amongst industry. Thankfully, CPD Live can change that. It may not be a social event as such, but with two full days of free, CPD-accredited online seminars for architecture and design professionals on the agenda, CPD Live is sure leave you well-and-truly brushed up on all that you need to know about the industry-leading topics of today. This free online experience will connect you to iconic brands such as Zip, American Hardwood Export Council (AHEC), Havwoods, Alspec and Stormtech through a real time digital event that will occur over two days. CPD live will have your continued learning covered, made available anywhere you have an internet connection. Hosted by Indesign Media, CPD live will offer free CPD content exploring the leading topics and areas to inform specification CPD-Live will commence on June 25 with talks and an interactive Q&A that promises to offer pertinent and detailed information. This is the time to increase your knowledge AND add to your CPD points before the new year for CPD commences in July. We’ve made it easier than ever. Our first session on 25 June will run in a simple digital format offering 5 sessions times to choose from, or a total of 20 points should you wish to get on board with them all. Leading brands such as AHEC, Zip, Havwoods, Alspec and Stormtech will be presenting in depth analysis pertaining to their products, that includes background, codes, sustainability initiatives, material and application to help architects make informed choices. From the comfort of your home or office these CPD accredited sessions meet the National Standard of Competency for architects and also offer the opportunity to earn multiple CPD points in a day. All sessions are FREE to attend but best of all CPD-Live will inform and provide next level information invaluable in your day-to-day work. Despite the digital format, CPD-Live will offer opportunities for you and other attendees to ask questions and engage to ensure you receive the maximum benefits and knowledge though the experience. Indesign Media is committed to offering specifiers meaningful CPD content and have done so for 20 years. Part of the AIA Refuel program. Given our changing environment, we believe it is more important than ever for our industry to share knowledge and ideas and are looking forward to CPD-Live to be an ongoing staple in the way we learn in future.

Pre-register your interest in CPD Live below

Indesign Live indesignlive.com/cpd-live
Featured image: Australian Unity by Bates Smart, photographed by Peter Clarke.abc
What's On
HAP - Feature

Enjoy The Quarterly Edition Of Habitus, Digitally

This issue, the Design Culture issue, we’re asking ourselves and our industry some heavy questions; and celebrating some pretty amazing people and projects. Does culture cultivate design? And why are we drawn to the designs that we are? What is it about certain patterns, forms or an overall aesthetic that gets my head nodding in appreciation and not yours? A lot can be said for culture cultivating design (religious or national). The very mission of Habitus is and has always been to unearth architecture, design, and its creators that respond to our very unique way of life across the Indo Pacific Region. This time we took the opposite approach. We were interested to look at architecture and design that creates culture around it. In some articles it is a culture of appreciators, in others a culture of inclusivity, or of end-users. In light of current circumstances and a reduced desire to venture outside and to the newsagents, Habitus is offering our audience of loyal Design Hunters the ability to enjoy our quarterly magazine in a new digital format. Until the end of 2020, this will be free of charge, simply fill out the form below. If, however, you prefer the tactility of a printed mag and the convenience of home delivery, you can check out our amazing subscriptions offer here. Happy reading! Holly Cunneen Editorabc
Around The World
ARC - Feature

Fabian Tan Designs A Suburban Cave In Kuala Lumpur

Residential alts and ads projects don’t come much more amiable than that of Bewboc House by Malaysian architect Fabian Tan. The suburban terrace in Kuala Lumpur was spacious to begin with, occupying a sizable (albeit slightly askew) corner block in a neighbourhood boasting abundant greenery and open space. Add to that a level of comradery between architect and client – since they were schoolfellows – making it all the easier for client to grant architect carte blanche. “Originally the clients didn’t want to alter the house too much, but they were very open to ideas after seeing my previous projects,” says Fabian, “they wanted something unique, functional and simple, and thus I was given free rein.” Fabian channeled all that creative freedom into reconfiguring the ground floor living spaces and reimagining the form befitting a corner house.  

Two monumental wooden doors open the living spaces up to the garden.

    Taking cues from the site’s unique shape, Fabian projected the new volume of Bewboc House parallel to the oblique boundary, resulting in a distinguished break between old and new – in more ways than one. Best described as a modern-day suburban cave, the concrete addition to Bewboc House takes the shape of a vaulted annex. Cavernous in both appearance and atmosphere, the floor to ceiling concrete finish brings a sense of calm and continuity to the living spaces within. Meanwhile, two monumental wooden doors open the living spaces up to the garden, granting the kind of uninterrupted perspective that immediately connects indoors with out. The upper floor spaces have been layered to form a hierarchy, allowing views in-between floors and straight through the vaulted space; the study overlooks the living spaces and a step-up lounging platform adjacent, while a bedroom overlooks the study and beyond.  

Best described as a modern-day suburban cave, the concrete addition to Bewboc House takes the shape of a vaulted annex.

  Domed apertures take the edge of the concrete building form and welcome natural light deep into the dwelling. “The clients say that what they love is the subtle and interesting ways in which light comes through the openings,” says Fabian. “The annex faces south, so the morning sun streams into the living spaces, but the corner garden is cool in the evenings so they enjoy lounging at the patio opposite the kitchen and enjoying the view toward the garden.” In the wake of Bewboc House’s completion, Fabian has happened across revelations of his own. “While I selected the vaulted annex form for functional purposes, it occurred to me later that I may have been trying to unconsciously design the space as a cave,” he muses, “a primal form that we can relate to but revised in a modern interpretation.” Fabian Tan Architect fabian-tan.com Photography by Ceavs Chua We think you might also like Knikno House by Fabian Tan  

“The clients say they love the subtle and interesting ways in which light comes through the openings.”

Design Products
Fixed & Fitted

The Revival Of Traditional Twentieth-Century Tapware

Today, our changing lifestyles have forced us to look beyond the notes of mundane practicalities within our wet spaces. And now more than ever, individuals seek a space of repose and privacy within the home. Since 1973, Agape has consistently championed the bathroom as one of the most cherished rooms within a residence. Through modern interpretations and superior craftsmanship, the Italian brand has positioned itself at the heart of residential living, offering complete and timeless solutions to revitalise your bathing experience.  This year, Agape continues to lead the way in inspiring bathware with the new Memory Collection for Artedomus. Founded on the basis of quality and innovation, Memory is reminiscent of bygone eras and seeks to reinterpret our understanding of the modern-day bathroom. This new collection revives the models of twentieth-century design and pays homage to the curved, undulating forms of traditional tapware – imbuing them with clean, sharp and modern lines.  Designed by Bendini Associati, Memory invites you to unwind and relax. Embedded in its Italian roots, this fresh take on the modern bathroom includes tapware and accessories available in a variety of finishes, including chrome, brushed burnished, polished brass, black, white and natural brass.  The tapware for basins, baths and showers lends itself to a variety of counter and wall-mounted mixers, wall floor-standing spouts and shower heads. Available in various sizes, the individual is spoilt for choice with single or double controls to take your cleansing ritual to the next level. Beautifully robust, this tapware line is a contemporary rendition of the traditional four-spoke tap with its distinctly shaped spout and sleek structure to match.  A progressive single-handle mixer is the newest addition to Memory and the extended tapware market. Unique to its kind, this mixer allows precise control of the temperature from cold to hot without affecting the flow rate of water, ensuring comfort throughout the wash.  To complement the superior functional qualities expressed throughout the tapware range, the Memory accessories continue the conversation and offer you a complete collection. A range of matching mirrors are available, framed or non-framed, in rectangular, square and circular forms to suit your own personal style. Built for purpose, the framed mirror have the option of a concealed LED lighting, bringing a subtle softness and a relaxing ambiance into the bathroom. The Memory collection also includes a soap holder, toothbrush holder, toilet roll holder, freestanding heated towel rack, cistern button, mirror and clothes hanger for a complete bathroom suite offering. The new Memory collection by Agape is available through Artedomus – Australia’s pioneer in truly exceptional bathware, tiles, stone, architectural surfaces and furniture pieces for the contemporary home.  Artedomus Artedomus.com.au abc
Design Products
Fixed & Fitted

These Stylish Bathroom Vanities Are The Latest Trend In Italy

Bathrooms and fashion are two things not commonly associated with each other. Fundamentally, they represent quite disparate facets of the human psyche – one is for facing the world as our most fabulous selves; the other is for moments of solitude and reprieve from it. Even so, bathroom design has come a long way in recent years. Since stepping up to the valued role of personal sanctuary within the home, the design of bathroom spaces has come to bear a new kind of significance. The clinical austerity upon which these once-hygiene dedicated spaces were typically designed will no longer do. Contemporary bathroom design is measured against new ideals – the pinnacle of which is a harmonious marriage of your personal fashion-flair and the tranquil atmosphere of a day-spa. Always hot on the pulse of brewing bathroom design trends, antoniolupi, is renowned for its consistently innovative, unique and fascinatingly beautiful bathroomwares. And with the recent releases of Binario, a formidably stylish bathroom vanity; and Gessati, an equally modish Carrara marble basin, the Tuscan brand has done it once again. Drawing inspiration directly from the fashion trend that never fades – the pinstripe –Binario and Gessati by antoniolupi are symbolic of timeless elegance and Italian craftsmanship.  


Binario is the collection of furniture, designed by Nevio Tellatin, with an essential image and clean lines, as is the style of antoniolupi. An important graphic sign that becomes a geometric decoration to enhance the materiality of the surfaces and enhance the volume of the containers. Parallel lines like rails engrave the fronts of and the sides, giving three-dimensionality to the surface and dressing the piece of furniture with a "pleating" that visually lightens it.  


Round, oval or square, Gessati brings energy and personality to the bathroom, thanks to the parallel lines that run on curved surfaces to define new perspectives and directions.  A soft and sinuous volume with enveloping lines obtained by combining 1 or 2 cm of Carrara marble sheets glued together by means of a colored resin. The extraordinary personality of marble and its infinite chromatic variations make each sink unique and unrepeatable. antoniolupi Enquire via email or visit www.antoniolupi.it We think you might also like the Vortice basin by antoniolupi   abc
Design Hunters
DH - Feature
Dialling In With Habitus

Dialling In With Koichi Takada

Koichi Takada is a Sydney-based architect with built work all over the world. He has numerous globally recognized projects such as the interior design for One Central Park, East Village Urban Marketplace, the National Museum of Qatar in Doha, and Arc by Crown Group which received an honourable mention in the 2019 INDE.Awards. As a recipient of so many national and international awards, it’s easy to assume his practice, Koichi Takada Architects, has been around far longer than it has. In fact, it was founded in 2008 and in this short time, just more than a decade, he has established himself as a world leader in architecture. Today on Dialling In With Habitus we chat to Koichi about how his frequent international work has meant that the transition to work from home was surprising streamlined and how working remotely whether you’re travelling or in isolation allows a greater ability to focus on the tasks at hand. We also speak about greening cities by designing much greener architecture, what it means for us a society and what it looks like. Download and listen to Dialling In With Habitus below, on Apple Podcasts, or on Spotify. Happy listening!
ARC - Feature

An Enduring House For Endurance Athletes

Surfbox House is home to an active family of four, with two sporty teenaged boys and two parents who regularly compete in Iron Man competitions. As long-distance athletes they understand the meaning of endurance and wanted a house that would be long-lasting: withstanding wear and tear and providing a relaxing space for their active lifestyle. “The design focused on simple and robust materials, forms and detailing that would provide a soothing and calm backdrop to their busy lives,” says Catherine Downie of Downie North Architects. The clients engaged Downie North Architects to create an addition to their semi-detached house in Maroubra, Sydney. They wanted to enlarge the house for a total of five bedrooms, three bathrooms, a new kitchen, dining, living area and laundry. They also wanted to rectify damp issues by maximising natural light and air flow.  

Downie North retained the original bedrooms in the front, added to the rear, and separated the old and new with a small courtyard that is pivotal to the design.

  Downie North retained the original bedrooms in the front, added to the rear, and separated the old and new with a small courtyard that is pivotal to the design. “The courtyard is a key design manoeuvre that elegantly solves a number of design issues,” says Catherine. “It provides breathing between the old and new with a thin throat connecting the two. It brings natural light and ventilation into the front and rear interiors, enabling passive cooling and illumination.” It also eliminates the need for large openings to the south, which would compromise privacy and promote heat loss in winter. The stairwell provides a double-height space next to the courtyard, with east-facing glass louvres opening to prevailing breezes and drenching the kitchen and dining area with morning light. The living area is stepped down from the kitchen and dining area, where it flows out to the west-facing backyard.  

“The courtyard brings natural light and ventilation into the front and rear interiors, enabling passive cooling and illumination.”

  Downie North streamlined the interior to enhance the sense of space on the narrow site. The kitchen joinery extends along one wall with the kitchen island and dining table in the centre of the room, and the simple, neutral and robust palette provides a calm and soothing backdrop for the family’s active, busy lives. “We used inexpensive materials, simple construction detailing and expressed certain elements to create depth and texture,” Catherine explains. The painted LVLs give greater height above the kitchen and dining area, and lighter filtering through the timber battens of the stairwell create a play of shadow and light. Skylights bring natural light into the bathrooms while maintaining privacy, which is not always afforded in tight urban settings. There is also an element of playfulness throughout, with the bathroom floors and walls clad in surf-coloured tiles, which give the house its Surfbox name. Downie North Architects downienorth.com Photography by Katherine Lu Dissection Information  130mm Blackbutt Solid timber flooring Vogue tiles by Classic Ceramics Caesarstone Fresh Concrete benchtop Custom blackbutt batten balustrade PH5 pendant by Louis Poulsen Caroma Liano Nexus bathroom range We think you might also like Woollahra House by Nobbs Radford Architects abc
Around The World
Primary Slider

This Composed Apartment Is The Debut Project Of TE-EL

Visiting this home in Singapore’s Ang Mo Kio suburb with its designer is a lesson in craft and in crafting a mood. Ethan Lin, principal of TE-EL, has put textures and patterns, both natural and designed, to work with controlled proportions, achieving composed, tactile and intimate mise en scènes throughout the 1576-square-foot apartment. The apartment is in a low-rise condominium block and belongs to two working professionals who have just become first-time parents. Ethan worked to make the apartment an antidote to the helter-skelter of the young family’s life. “When you come home you should feel comfortable – this is the most important. There should be subtlety, a muted palette… very easy on the eye,” says the designer.  

A trio of Lenticchia from Viabizzuno suspend as luminous discs over the grain of the dining table, which is framed by six Ton 30 chairs.

  The strategy sounds simple enough, but at work behind this relaxed, comfortable atmosphere is a set of precise specifications – an optimal 30-centimetre rise of the coffee table top measured from the seat on the floor, a 35-centimetre profile in the door frames, a 90-centimetre distance for people sitting across at dinner. Ethan even noted how the houseplants on the terrace were picked to match the foliage of the treescape outside. Every inch of the home has its raison d’être. Of the Grandemare sofa from Flexform, Ethan says, “The sofa is 1.1-metres-deep and it is quite unusual, but it aligns with the idea of the house the clients want. This is not a big landed house where you have guest areas and a home theatre room so we want this space to have quite a strong loungey feel to it. That’s why I chose a deep sofa.  

Behind this relaxed, comfortable atmosphere is a set of precise specifications.

  “Friends can sit around, have a potluck here, or a child can do homework,” he adds. The low coffee table, made out of solid ash by local artisan Maker and Wolves, was sanded and torched in traditional Yakisugi technique. Grains appear and are carbonised to deep black, with the most wonderful blue-purple undertones that contrast the paler shades in immediate neighbours of sofa and braided rug. Ethan also selected design classics, masterpieces by Philipp Mainzer, Isamu Noguchi, Charlotte Perriand, and Peter Zumthor that each offer themselves quietly around the house. A trio of Lenticchia from light maker Viabizzuno suspend as luminous discs over the grain of the dining table, which is framed by six Ton no 30 Armchairs. The entire composition, back dropped by the monolithic stone island of the kitchen, is set at an angle, following the slant of the wall.  

TE-EL has put textures and patterns, both natural and designed, to work with controlled proportions, achieving composed, tactile and intimate mise en scenes.

  Ethan has a keen understanding of every weave, grain, and striation in the home. Of the light-diffusing glass pendants created by Zumthor, he tells me, “He frosted it both inside and outside so they have quite a soft glow.” Such insights make the fact that this is the debut project of a studio with a young designer at helm all the more impressive. TE-EL te-el.org Photography by Studio Periphery We think you might also like this Design Hunter profile on Ethan Lin of TE-EL abc
Design Products

This Just In! Living Edge Is Offering The Eames Lounge and Ottoman At An Exclusive Price

A showcase of authenticity and a timeless quality, there was nothing quite like it. To this day, its unique character, bold form and inimitable charm remains unparalleled to anything else. Charles and Ray Eames’ modern take of a 19th century chair has endured for over six decades, becoming one of the most significant furniture designs of the 20th century. Instantly recognisable and enduringly fresh, the Eames Chair defines an era of designers with a fresh perspective that looked towards the future. Although some may argue that the word “icon” has been oversaturated when describing the piece; nothing else can equal its impact when describing the Eames Lounge Chair and Ottoman. Charles and Ray wanted to tell a story of exceptional craftsmanship and manufacturing throughout each detail within the chair – resulting in a product that is refined and genuinely authentic. Its design legacy dates back to the conceptualisation stage, where Charles stated that the chair needed the “warm, receptive look of a well-used first baseman’s mitt.” Using the English club chair as inspiration, Charles was determined to breathe new life into its design and bring it forward into the 20th century with a contemporary interpretation. Working closely with renowned furniture brand, Herman Miller, the Eames chair set’s configuration has been deemed as a registered trademark with its sculptural form, materiality and the unique experience that the set delivers. From the innovative hardware of fastening the cushions to the shells, the sensitive approach to the wood’s integrity and the remarkable workmanship, the chair’s combination of craft and design ingenuity provide a welcoming relaxation to every individual. Sitting at an angle that is permanently tilted, this design is crafted to properly distribute your weight to the back of the chair with a lower cushion piece for lower back support, inviting you to completely unwind and relax. The luxurious comfort and support built into the Eames Lounge Chair and Ottoman help explain their enduring popularity. Like all classics, this set gets better with age – paying homage to the processes in how they are made. The cushions have been meticulously integrated for design longevity, in that they will not flatten or clump throughout its life span. The natural attributes in leather allow it to age and transform over time, giving each chair its own unique personality. “The leather cushions do have built-in wrinkles to start with, but that is a clue that spells comfort to come, like the warm, receptive look of a well-used first baseman’s mitt,” as Charles described them. The Eames Lounge Chair and Ottoman is available nation-wide through leading furniture destination, Living Edge. Committed to authentic design with the world’s most established; forward-looking products and brands, Living Edge is offering the Eames Lounge Chair and Ottoman at a special price of $8,500 for a limited time only. Throughout Australia, our love for 20th century design icons is endless. Our love for this classic, timeless design is no different. Crafted to elevate any space, the Eames Lounge Chair & Ottoman provide “a special refuge from the strains of modern living,” and continues to provide a welcoming comfort in a relaxing embrace that is beyond compare.
Shop the Eames Lounge Chair and Ottoman by Herman Miller at Living Edge today. livingedge.com.au

A Home By Any Other Name

“Single unit per floor developments,” says Brisbane architect, Liam Proberts, “have almost become a movement in Brisbane.” He is reflecting on his latest multi-residential development, Walan Brisbane, which has already won the Queensland Chapter Job and Froud Award for Residential Architecture, Multiple Housing and which follows on the heels of the highly regarded SILT development (2014). Both are in the Kangaroo Point precinct on the river and both driven by the same developer who, says Liam, is a long-time resident of the area with “quite a connection to it and wanted to move the built-language along”.  

Walan Brisbane takes its name from the nearby ferry stop and much of its character from the colours and fissures of the cliffs that line the river.

  Walan Brisbane takes its name from the nearby ferry stop and much of its character from the colours and fissures of the cliffs that line the river at this point. “It led to an almost abstract way in which the building expresses itself. We drew directly from the colour and the pattern of the cliff faces to inform the skin,” syas Liam. The character of the cliffs also drove the multi-coloured aluminium screens (or brise soleil) that form a second skin to the building. Walan is a fully glass-skinned building oriented towards the west. So, in Brisbane’s sub-tropical climate and with a brief to optimise the views west over the river to the city, the screens serve to mediate the heat of the western sun while maintaining views and at the same time ensuring privacy. The screens also suggested the idea of “Queenslanders in the sky” because like those characteristic Brisbane houses raised up from the ground with their verandahs and patterned timber screens, these apartments are layered with the interstitial space between the interiors and the façade screens forming a genuine verandah rather than a mere terrace.

Exterior screens serve to mediate the heat of the western sun while maintaining views and at the same time ensuring privacy.

  The 14-storey building has just one apartment per floor, each serviced by a secure lift that opens on to a lobby providing an additional layer of security. Two hallways run down either side the lift core creating internal connectivity, but also drawing light and views into the whole apartment both down the length of the plan and across the plan. The master bedroom enjoys the prime location for views and this, says Liam, drove the internal planning. The apartments run out at 300-square-metres and are pitched towards people who are downsizing from houses. So, it is an option, says Liam, “to move from your house into a housing development that happens to be apartments”. It is not just about storage and size, but also about identity and quality of life. And quality, says Liam, means “the quality of your environment – the site that you are living on and the location – but also the quality of the space that you are living in”. While these apartments may be high-end, this is an issue that goes to the heart of matters in this era of densification because, if people are being asked to make an apartment their home (as distinct from a quarter acre block with front and back gardens), then it needs somehow to offer the amenity of a home. Part of that amenity is a sense of community and one of the intriguing aspects of Walan Brisbane is the incorporation of the Scott Street Flats (c.1925), one of only two surviving buildings by Elina Mottram, Queensland’s first registered female architect. This building now serves as a common facility (pool, gym, library) for the Walan residents, but is also – like the screening – a gesture towards continuity and the historic character of the area. bureau^proberts bureauproberts.com.au Photography by Christopher Frederick Jones We think you might also like this expose on emerging housing typologies abc