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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.


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


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10 Awe-Inspiring Homes Of Modern Australian Architects

Let's face it... we’re all a little nosey at heart. There is something perennially intriguing about the domestic lives of others and the houses that contain them. Most especially, when those lives and homes belong to those in whom we perceive a certain je ne sais quoi of someone who has mastered the art of living well.

Naturally, architects own houses and the designers inside (and behind) them fall into this category. If the art of living well has been mastered by anyone, surely it's those who have made a career designing spaces for living. Not to mention, there’s the added curiosity that comes along with the notion of what might come from an architect given carte blanche.

It goes without saying that, of all the projects that have graced the pages of Habitus and Habitus Living over the years, some of the most outstanding have been those of architects own houses. Whether it be for their formidable sense of place; their elegant resolve of commonplace problems; or the new facets of their residents’ that they reveal, these ten modern Australian architects own houses are as magnificent today as the day they were designed.


Skyline Drive, FGR Architects

Skyline Drive was designed by seasoned architect and director of FGR Architects, Feras Raffoul, as a home for himself in the bustling north-west suburb of Maribyrnong. The imposing structure combines a brutalist and minimalist design philosophy; with an eye towards how the concrete and glass would develop their patinas over time. What resulted is a spacious three-storey home with a focus on the idea that ‘less is more,’ when it comes to luxury.

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Bondi Barn by clayton orzaczky for William Dangar

Bondi architecture is typically a mix of antipodean art deco, California bungalow and red brick faux baronial – a jumble on a good day; a dull, throbbing cacophony when gloomy. The Dangar family home – aka ‘the Bondi Barn’ – comes as welcome relief. With its blackened timber cladding, elegantly pitched roof and low picket fence, it feels like something of a gift to the street.

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True North, TANDEM Design Studio

Completed in 2016, this project describes the very essence of what makes architects own houses so special. For architect and owner, Tim Hill, it was a chance to create a house expressive of his design interests and intent; the opportunity to experiment with visual language; pocket gardens; passive solar design; and inviting diverse interpretations of his work. It also demonstrates how constraints spur unique home designs, as the awkward block of land gives rise to a form that evokes a variety of imaginative descriptions.

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Mental Health House, Andrew Maynard

Like a chef who never cooks at home, Andrew Maynard got used to living above the Fitzroy practice of Austin Maynard Architects in a classic double storey terrace so dark and internalised he’d check the Bureau of Meterology website to find out what kind of day it was outside. After five years, his partner said: ‘enough’. Their 13-year-old son agreed.

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The Courtyard House, Kister Architects

The Courtyard House Kister Architects The Living Space Gaggenau INDE.Awards Home The Courtyard House Kister Architects The Living Space Gaggenau INDE.Awards Home The Courtyard House Kister Architects The Living Space Gaggenau INDE.Awards Home

On a small urban backstreet on the fringe of one of Melbourne’s most creative precincts, a disused bluestone church cuts a striking profile. Only a discreet timber entry hints at the contemporary home within. Inside, a concrete path slopes upwards to an impressive courtyard, with restrained sculptural landscaping creating an almost futuristic elegance. An invitingly lengthy pool spans the boundary of the property, while curved walls and glass meet the old church’s pillar arches in a dramatic convergence of architectural styles.

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Inverdon House, Chloe Naughton

exterior Inverdon House Chloe Naughton open plan Inverdon House Chloe Naughton kitchen Inverdon House Chloe Naughton study Inverdon House Chloe Naughton alfresco dining

Almost 20-years after trading in the beloved family acreage for the abundant opportunities of city dwelling, architect Chloe Naughton’s parents returned to the site of the old family home. This move aligned incredibly well with Chloe’s own studies in architecture winding down. She was keen to gain some experience as a working architect and her parents in need of someone to materialise how they imagined their new home to function.

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Coastal Home, Topology Studio

Compact Coastal Home Photography by Paul Hermes exterior 2 Compact Coastal Home Photography by Paul Hermes deck Compact Coastal Home Photography by Paul Hermes hallway Compact Coastal Home Photography by Paul Hermes lounge

As both the client and the inhabitants of this home, Topology Studio was able to experiment with the build for this coastal home in South Melbourne. “We were in a unique position to really test our design ideas in both the unconventional spatial arrangement as well as details,” explains Amy Hallett of Topology Studio. “We are a family of four with two small children, and we have created a family home and studio within a very compact footprint of 150m2 total floor area.”

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Bardon House, bureau^proberts

Liam Proberts is a principal in the outstanding Brisbane architectural practice, bureau^proberts, and he designed this house for himself and his family. Similar to other projects by bureau^proberts, the house has modernist rigour and functionality with warmth and sensuality that derive from two contextual issues close to Liam’s heart: the rich architectural vernacular of this fringe CBD suburb and the lush tropical landscape it overlooks.

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Balmain Pair, Benn+Penna

Andrew Benn Benn+Penna | Habitus Living Andrew Benn Benn+Penna | Habitus Living Andrew Benn Benn+Penna | Habitus Living

Located in Balmain, Sydney, not too far from the edge of Sydney Harbour, Andrew lives with his wife Alice and their two young children in a house they own with his wider family. His mother is his neighbour. She downsized from their larger family home when Andrew was studying architecture, and it was understood that, when appropriate, he would work on the house. When Andrew and his family bought the neighbouring property in 2012 the time was right to begin the project.

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Clovelly House, Luigi Rosselli

Luigi Rosselli Residential Design CC Nicholas Watt kitchen Luigi Rosselli Residential Design CC Nicholas Watt dining Luigi Rosselli Residential Design CC Nicholas Watt stairs

Ask Luigi Rosselli to describe his style and the word he uses is eclectic. In fact, eclecticism was the theme of his university thesis when he studied architecture in Switzerland, before moving to Australia for a year in 1980 to work on the design of Parliament House. The theory, popular in the 19th century, posits style not as a personal language, rather a common one that suggests design is for everyone to share and ultimately interpret. So while his aesthetic is distinct and it’s virtually impossible to overlook that signature Luigi Rosselli Architects curve we know and love his client work for, when it comes to the topic of architects own houses, that of Luigi Rosselli is quite unlike the rest of his work.

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Brad Swartz Architects’ Site Sensitivity Conquers Darkness

It’s an almost immortalised brief to architect: residents of a heritage-listed terrace in an inner-city suburb – most often Sydney or Melbourne – imploring their architect to find a way to fill the house with natural light. And in response, an architect’s ingenuity and skill is tested as they face long and narrow houses with challenging site orientations, parti-walls, heritage associated restrictions, and council regulations to boot. The residents of Darlinghurst House in Sydney had lived in the former incarnation of the residence some years before engaging architect Brad Swartz. They found him through the widely acclaimed Darlinghurst Apartment (his own) that effectively launched his eponymous practice back in 2015. Unsurprisingly, to fill the house with as much natural light as possible was central to the brief, alongside updating and re-programming the 1880s-built terrace to facilitate a modern approach to living and respond to the couple’s unique way of life. Being restricted to the confines of an existing shell was nothing new for Brad – his portfolio to date shows he is more than adept in this way of thinking. “Instead of being able to build out, it was about trying to create perceptions of more space,” he says. Subtleties in design, such as emphasising the 9.5-foot ceiling heights, shifting elements to allow uninterrupted sightlines and room widths, creating a continuous line of integrated joinery, and a light colour palette have helped Brad and his team achieve this atmospheric shift. These integral yet understated design cues play supporting roles to the two main acts: a large, operable skylight and a central staircase that allows natural light to filter down.  

The kitchen located to the rear of the ground floor was plagued by a narrowing site and benchtops on either side. Mitigating the need to extend into the courtyard the architect removed the second benchtop lining the south wall.

  A steel balustrade wraps the stair like a ribbon caught mid-motion, floating down through the centre of the house. It’s a strong sculptural element reminiscent of the work of American artist Richard Serra that absolutely characterises the project. Painted in a white just a touch glossier than that of the walls, the intended effect was to bounce light streaming in from the skylight down through the levels. Moreover, the black steel mesh footing of the stair was a strategic move as much as a visual marker, increasing visual transparency and allowing light to pass through, connecting the rooms directly beneath to the skylight rather than blocking them off. The stair also offers a subtle journey as you climb and descend; on the first landing the height of the balustrade is almost exaggerated at 1300 millimetres, establishing a sense of peace and enclosure. As you reach the attic space, however, the railing height is reduced to the minimum requirement mirroring the openness of the second living space. Initially the clients had hoped for a rooftop terrace. The east-west centre axis of the house means the existing courtyard on the ground floor is shaded for much of the year. Unfortunately – though apparently not surprisingly – this wasn’t approved by council as they are careful to protect the visual and acoustic privacy of neighbours. In a conciliatory move Brad designed in the large, fully operable skylight that, when open, could trick the senses into thinking one was outside. “The fixed part gets your light in, but being able to open the whole thing up [makes] the room feel like an outdoor space,” says Brad.  

A steel balustrade wraps the stair like a ribbon caught mid-motion, floating down through the centre of the house.

  A second skylight was used in the bathroom (formerly a small study) and between the stair and bathroom a frosted glass panel allows the light from each to be shared without sacrificing privacy. “The light from the skylight over the stair brightens up the bathroom and, similarly, the skylight in the bathroom adds more light to filter down the stair,” explains Brad. At just one centimetre wide it also allowed the bathroom a little extra width, compared to a stud wall that would have been at least 110 millimetres wide. As the adage goes: a little often goes a long way. While the second living area is the only addition in terms of square metres, the layout of the residence is drastically different. Mostly so on the ground floor. To begin with, the staircase was originally situated close to the front door, which was a strange progression of entry as it led upstairs to the two private bedrooms rather than deeper into the house to the entertaining areas such as the living, dining and courtyard. It also cut the dining room almost in half. By flipping it 180 degrees, and moving it back and in line with the kitchen joinery, the dining room now feels open and spacious with clear sightlines and a generous ceiling height. The kitchen located to the rear of the ground floor was plagued by a narrowing site and ill-conceived benchtops on either side. As soon as there was more than one person in the kitchen it would feel overcrowded. This was clearly not an effective use of space. Without extending into the courtyard, which would have resulted in losing valuable outdoor space and access to natural light, Brad responded by removing the second benchtop lining the south wall. This also allowed him to increase the width of the remaining bench from the standard 600 millimetres to 700. Again, a seemingly small alteration made a sizeable impact on the performance of the space, affording extra room for food prep, serving meals, and everyday appliances. Beyond the kitchen is a carefully organised pantry and laundry that had previously housed an exceptionally small bathroom. As it was the history of the terrace that originally appealed to Brad’s clients it was necessary to update the programme without designing out the site’s past. The colour palette of the original features that have been retained and restored is mirrored in the newer materials to ensure a feeling of visual consistency throughout the residence. For example, the black mesh steel of the staircase seamlessly transitions from the original dark timber floorboards. “Throughout the whole project there are constant touches. We tried to almost integrate the new interventions with the old interventions in a way that juxtapose each other [without competing],” says Brad. It is this sensitivity to site, understanding of client, and appreciation of a clever programme, that makes this project such an interesting one. Furthermore, its adaptability allows onlookers and visitors to imagine themselves in this space. It treads the line between reflecting its owners’ way of life and appealing to that of others. Brad Swartz Architects bradswartz.com.au Photography by Tom Ross. Styling by Olivia Bossy Dissection Information Michelangelo MAXIMUM honed Marmi collection tiles from Artedomus Sometimes, We Sit Chair by Olivia Bossy Pierre Jeanneret chair from Composition by Office Elias Cork Coffee Table from The Vault Like Butter Table by Olivia Bossy Armadillo & Co rug Glass sculptures by Shelley Witters from The Vault Black vase from Spence & Lyda Joao Manardu wooden drop vessel from Studio ALM Alum dining table by Studio Henry Wilson Comedia del Arte sculpture from Studio ALM Togo sofa system by Ligne Roset from Domo Articulated Coffee Table from The Vault Additional vases from Planet Furniture Beds from Project 82 Soldier Table from Grazia & Co Artwork by Liz Alexander Architectural lighting by Erco Lighting Plafonnier 3 Bras Pivotants designed by Serge Mouille from Flos Toio floor lamp from Flos Mabeo metal light from Studio ALM Miele ovens and dishwasher Wolf cooktop from Sub-Zero + Wolf Rangehood from Qasair Integrated fridge from Liebherr Laundry appliances from Miele Titan stainless steel tapware from Caroma Falper Quattro Zero basin and bath from Rogerseller abc
What's On

Living Edge Launches A Website Refresh

Living Edge are leaders in Australian authentic furniture and the foremost design destination for architects, interior designers and design enthusiasts alike. Ever at the top of their game and the market, they have just launched a site refresh featuring a new look that is a breeze to navigate and a delight to browse. Whether you’re an industry professional specifying for your next project or a Design Hunter shopping for your own home, the updated website offers a tailored browsing experience that suits your needs. You can check out the latest in designer home or office furniture on the site as well as read up and ‘meet’ the designers for a more in-depth look at the inspiration and design evolution of the products available. The gallery layout is about as close as the digital space can come to walking through one of their showrooms, letting you scroll through their range at your pleasure. The interactive nature of the site means you can get information on prices and designers at a glance. The site has also been optimised for mobile users letting you take in the collection from anywhere you might be when the mood strikes. Visit the site any time any day to discover a unique collection of timeless designs from the world’s most established and forward-looking luxury furniture brands. Living Edge livingedge.com.au abc
Design Hunters
DH - Feature

Rive Roshan Creates Objects Of Visual Wonder

The apple didn’t fall too far from the tree for multidisciplinary designers and partners Ruben de la Rive Box and Golnar Roshan, who both grew up with fathers who were designers. Golnar in an Australian-Iranian household and Ruben in the Netherlands. Many years and two university degrees later (Golnar studied Visual Communication and International Studies at UTS and Ruben Interaction Design at the KKU University of the Arts, Utrecht) they met working for Marcel Wanders in Amsterdam. Here, they set up a graphics department with the intention to bridge the interior and product teams. “That’s where we started to develop our multidisciplinary view of design and started to apply our thinking to objects, spaces and surfaces,” says Ruben. Next came London, where Golnar began working for Tord Boontje on projects for Moroso and Swarovski, among others. Ruben joined Tom Dixon’s studio and worked closely with Tom himself. In addition to working with some of the most globally reputable designers, this period gave them the opportunity to deepen their knowledge and understanding of the entrepreneurial side of running a studio. “After working for some of the most renowned designers and clients of the industry to bring their visions to life we felt the urge to give presence to our own voices through our work,” says Golnar. Living in London at the time, amidst the cities’ inimitable creative buzz, Rive Roshan launched its first pieces in 2014. In addition to bouncing between various design disciplines, and using methods of one to inspire the design thinking of another, their work ultimately seeks to experiment in the intersection between art and design. “A great artwork is something you can experience once and it can stay with you for a lifetime,” says Golnar. “You don’t have to own it to keep it with you forever.” A great piece of design, however, she says can be great because of how easily it is incorporated into daily life and rituals: “You can choose to own it or make use of it in your daily life”. Playfully challenging the opposing notions, Golnar and Ruben create art that is functional, or, design objects that incite an emotional or contemplative response. “Why shouldn’t the objects we use and the spaces we experience make us feel or think as well? This is how we approach our work,” she adds. The idea that beauty equals vanity is similarly called in to question in the work of Rive Roshan. As Ruben notes, from the beginning a designer is taught that aesthetic is second to functionality – form follows function. “You are traditionally taught to engineer the most optimal answer to a problem,” he says. Like art, much of Rive Roshan’s work offers personal expression (theirs) as function, to be appreciated – or not. “That gradient between expression and function intrigues us,” says Ruben. Visually, as opposed to conceptually, Rive Roshan’s projects and commissions are recognised for their imaginative and playful use of colour and visual interference through material. The Colour Shift Panels and Trichroic Table are two of their most well-known pieces and have recently been adapted for an installation in the new SKP department store in Beijing for a collaboration with the Korean brand Gentle Monster. Rive Roshan has also have also collaborated on projects for Acne Studios, Rimowa and Jil Sander. Recently, Golnar and Ruben were asked to collaborate on a series of carpets for Moooi. From a series of options presented the Trichroic design was one of two selected. This came as no surprise to the duo given it is one of their most well-loved designs. But what was surprising, says Ruben, was the green light on the Fluid designs: “they were simply inspired by the water in front of our studio, photographed from the front door.” In 2019 for Dutch Design Week, Rive Roshan presented an exhibition, Stilled Life, to bring together a selection of their ideas and collaborations into the one space. “We wanted to create an immersive space that would create a stillness in people, through subtly stimulating all senses,” says Ruben. Looking towards the future, the grand plan for Rive Roshan, for Ruben and Golnar is jarringly modest in contrast to their detailed and complex designs. It is simply to build a body of work that aptly represents their interests. Furthermore to continue to build a healthy practice that provides them with the opportunity, as Golnar says, to develop and experiment, sell and distribute. Rive Roshan riveroshan.com Photography by Dunja Opalkoabc
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Dialling In With Habitus
Design Hunters

Dialling In With Tristan Wong

Tristan Wong is a director of Architecture at SJB in their Melbourne office. Having been there for nine years, and appointed as director after just five, he remembers his progression in the early days as pretty fast paced. But he also describes SJB as a fairly flat office with a strong sense of family. This makes remote working a challenge for the studio not only in the sense of team-based project work and remote access to files or software – but also in adapting to a temporary hiatus on team lunches, bring your dog to work days, and out of office social activities. Adjacent to his role at SJB and alongside Jeffa Greenway, Tristan was also appointed creative director for the Australian pavilion at the 2020 Venice Architecture Biennale that has since been post poned. Their project, In | Between, responds to the theme set by exploring the concept of neighbourhood in the Indo Pacific Region. While he acknowledges the uncertainties around how and when they can share their project with the world, he offers comfort in the fact that it’s a not a question of if but when. On this episode of Dialling In With Habitus, we chat to Tristan about navigating different methods of working, collaborating, and connecting with the industry – and leading a team while doing so. Download and listen to Dialling In With Habitus below, on Apple Podcasts, or on Spotify. Happy listening!
Around The World
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Stiletto House Is Fluent In The Future Of Form

Of all the tropical isles on earth, one boasts wealth as palpable as the humidity. Perfectly poised at the gateway to south east Asia, Singapore’s riches run deeper than simply the economic sort, evident too in the physical, cultural and societal facets of the sovereign city. The utopia of Singapore – specifically, its highly sought, waterfront District 15 – is just the place the visionary residence that is Stiletto House by EHKA Studio belongs. The client for Stiletto House is an avid collector of antiques and avant garde furniture and came to EHKA Studio with a brief not short on ideas. He envisaged a dramatic and voluminous house with curves, columns, and a facade of glass in which he could showcase his coveted furniture collection. For any designer, embarking on a project with such an extravagant and detailed client vision could forgivably bare cause for concern. If this was the case for EHKA Studio however, any such tension has been eloquently resolved in design, culminating in a fusion of sculpture, form, architecture and function.  

The client’s desire for an ostentatious building has been interpreted by EHKA Studio to form a flow of sensual, sculptural forms.

  The client’s desire for an ostentatious building has been interpreted by EHKA Studio to form a flow of sensual, sculptural forms. Stiletto House defies the boxy status quo while responding to local planning guidelines and maximising plot efficiency. “At each scale of the project, from the building form to the details, there is a pursuit of sensuality of form,” says the studio. “These curvaceous forms create a sense of drama, play well off the sunlight and add a touch of softness. Yet each curve is defined logically by the spaces it contains – bedrooms, family room etc, and is not employed in a whimsical manner.” Despite being on a 4581-square-foot plot in a strictly two-storey residential zone, with defiance and clever planning, EHKA Studio conjured four-and-a-half-storeys of house, totalling 9300-square-foot. Needless to say this was hardly the Singapore-based practise’s first rodeo making the most within local planning guidelines.  

A glass mezzanine floating in the upper regions of the ground-level volume creates extra space to exhibit prized pieces from the client’s design collection.

  Putting a bar, entertainment space, and service rooms in the basement while utilising the permitted attic area for the main bedroom suite left a full two-storey volume dedicated to the main living, dining and family spaces as well as two generous guest suites. A glass mezzanine floating in the upper regions of the ground-level volume creates extra space to exhibit prized pieces from the client’s design collection. Interestingly, the extensive use of glass throughout Stiletto House was one element of the client’s brief that EHKA Studio was initially hesitant toward, considering it somewhat counterintuitive for a house in the tropics. Using glass in conjunction with passive design strategies and strategic fenestration quintessential to tropical vernacular, comfort was found in compromise – for architect and client alike. “Coupled with the ceiling fans, large overhanging eaves to provide shade, and pool and water overflow wall along the entire boundary to cool the surroundings, these design strategies help create a comfortable living space that can be used even without air-conditioning,” says EHKA Studio, also noting that the use of low-emissive glass helps to minimise the thermal impact. Through Stiletto House, EHKA Studio defies any preconception that efficiency and ornate beauty are mutually exclusive objectives in architecture. While highly sculptural in form, the building provides occupants ample shelter, shade, light and ventilation for occupants to live in luxurious comfort. “We believe this project can redefine what tropical architecture can look like,” says the studio, a statement with which we’re inclined to agree. EHKA Studio ehkastudio.com Photography by Studio Periphery We think you might also like Qishe Courtyard by Archstudio abc
ARC - Feature

A Beach House For All Seasons

There are sites that can be either a problem or an opportunity. For architect Ian Moore, it is usually the latter – as was the case with this holiday home in Gerroa, on the coast south of Sydney. Set above a 4-5 metre sandstone cliff that drops down to a public reserve, the site overlooks not the beach, but the Crooked River and across to a dense clutch of trees which largely disguises a camping site. “We felt it was in a great position,” says Ian, “because it looked at the river, looked at the trees, but it was sloping down towards the back and it generated this opportunity rather than a problem in that we could get northern sun at one end and make the front of the house connect to a northern courtyard for all that winter sun.”  

The aim was to construct a durable beach house, resistant to the ocean climate.

  The roof follows the fall of the land, allowing winter sun to come in – further facilitated by two big pop-up skylights that, in summer, also provide natural ventilation. “It was a very simple strategy of taking a house that was facing the wrong way and using it to our advantage – and use the roof to drag that light in,” Ian continues. The house is divided in two. The upper level is the client’s private, one-bedroom holiday home. This level is entered directly off the street, which creates the impression that this is a single-storey beach house. The lower level, intended as a holiday rental, is accessed down a side path, but with its view, generous back garden and covered terrace, does not give the impression of being a lesser, basement area. This lower level consists of three bedrooms, two bathrooms (including an ensuite), an outdoor shower, and a storage room for surfboards and canoes. A lockable door connects the two levels.  

The roof follows the fall of the land, allowing winter sun to come in – further facilitated by two big pop-up skylights that also provide natural ventilation.

  Inside, the strategic orientation of the house also drives the planning where a ‘tube’ runs the length of the house on both levels and includes a long storage wall, itself containing the kitchen unit. The aim was to construct a durable beach house, resistant to the ocean climate. Hence there is no steel used in the building. Instead it is a modular, timber frame construction. It is clad in Tallowwood (also used for the decking) which will evolve into a grey finish. This neutral finish is consistent with the grey and white interior finishes which are intended to highlight the view. Because of this palette, Ian felt he needed just one “really strongly coloured element”. This, he decided, would be the kitchen. He had already suggested they use the iconic Togo lounge in orange fabric and he showed the client a photo of the original, equally iconic, advertisement for the lounge from the 1970s of a young woman in Palm Springs lying back with her legs up and talking on the telephone. “She said that looked great – so I said I want to propose that we have an orange kitchen.” They found a solid surface Staron colour that was almost the same tone as the Togo sofa and got a colour match for the polyurethane paint for the rest of the joinery. For the floor, the neutral strategy was continued with plywood covered in Comcork, an inexpensive but attractive warm and exceptionally robust cork product that gives a little when you walk on it and also brings acoustic benefits. Although this is a beach house it avoids the customary utilitarian feel. The tiling in the bathroom, for example, is Carrara marble in the form of small tiles – but sourced at a price no more than standard tiles. And the house has all the amenities of a residential house such as a clothes drying area, large barbeque, careful detailing and fine finishes. This is a house that adds to the growing stock of beach holiday houses which are destinations – rather than simply pit stops between home and the beach. It is comfortable and informal, while projecting a sense of style. Washed in light and designed to optimise sun penetration, it is a holiday house for all seasons. Ian Moore Architects ianmoorearchitects.com Photography Daniel Mayne Dissection Information Comcork Walk Easy cork sheet flooring in Steel Grey Bisanna Tiles Bianco Carrara marble slabs with honed finish Tallowwood weatherboards with oiled finish Plasterboard finished with Vivid White paint from Dulux Bisanna Tiles Bianco Carrara marble mosaic tiles with honed finish AWS. Windows aluminium framed windows and sliding doors with powder coat finish Breezway Altair 152 clip operable glass louvres Staron Solid Surface Resin kitchen benchtops Togo sofa system by Ligne Roset from Domo Anibou Artek coffee table, dining table and chairs Dedece Magis Air Folding Chair Anibou Artek beds and sidetables Zumtobel Bega wall-mounted uplights Brightgreen LED Downlights Inlite LED strip lighting Smeg oven, cooktop, rangehood, and dishwasher Fisher & Paykel fully integrated fridges Abey kitchen sinks Ilve barbecue Caroma titan stainless steel tapware Kaldewei Puro bath Studio Bagno Unit 60 basins Caroma Cube Invisi Series II toilets Stormtech stainless steel grated drains We think you might also like The Habitus Edit to Colour In The Kitchen abc
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8 Beautifully Brutalist Residential Interiors

That said, there is absolutely no denying the profound sense of tranquility that reverberates through houses with well-designed brutalist interiors. Archetypally cold, hard materials such as concrete somehow appear softer, more refined. But there's much more to brutalist interiors than just aesthetics. Rather, it is a design philosophy. As a philosophical approach to design, brutalism prides itself on honesty, simplicity, and functionality above all. In materiality, brutalist interiors are not only brutally honest, but inherently practical too - take brutalism's hallmark material, concrete, for example. Not only is concrete incredibly versatile and enduring, but thanks to its high thermal mass, it plays a core role in the context of passive solar design. The same can be said for many other brutalist-esque materials such as brick and natural stone. Using such unapologetically robust materials, of course, comes hand-in-hand with the risk of manifesting into spaces that feel cold and austere. But used wisely, they are capable of great softness and personality — just as they do in these eight beautifully brutalist interiors.

Balmain Rock by Benn+Penna

Balmain Rock by Benn+Penna featured in Beautifully Brutalist Interiors Of Houses Across Asia Pacific on habitusliving.com cc Tom FergusonFeaturing recycled bricks from The Brick Pit and Corian kitchen bench. Photography by Tom Ferguson. Behind the façade of a c.1860s sandstone cottage – one of the oldest in Balmain, Sydney – is a two-storey concrete pavilion with spaces and openings as if they have been carved out from a solid block. The kitchen and dining area of Balmain Rock by Benn+Penna looks out to the courtyard and sandstone cottage. Its brutalist interiors are lit from above through a sculpted void in the concrete ceiling, its angular form mimicking the kitchen island and basalt pavers. Light also enters down the rear garden stairs and washes along the subtly skewed brick walls, enhancing its effect. Read more  

Red Hill House by Mathieson Architects

Red Hill House by Redgen Mathieson featured in Beautifully Brutalist Interiors Of Houses Across Asia Pacific on habitusliving.com cc Romello PereiraFeaturing limestone tiles from CDK Stone. Photography by Romello Pereira. The exceptionally pared back, brutalist interiors of Red Hill House by Mathieson Architects are defined by a restrained palette of limestone, American Oak, dark stained oak and black granite and sandblasted limestone walls, reinforcing the exceptionally restrained yet luxurious nature of the build. Read more  

Coogee Castle by Renato D’Ettore Architects

Coogee Castle by Renato D'Ettorre Architects and Malvina Stone featured in Beautifully Brutalist Interiors Of Houses Across Asia Pacific on habitusliving.com cc Jody D’ArcyFeaturing Armchair 406 by Alvar Aalto from Anibou and Aran armchair by Adam Goodrum from Cult. Interior styling by Malvina Stone, photography by Jody D’Arcy. The concrete, fort-like façade of the Coogee Castle is architecturally in harmony with the dramatic cliffs and coastline native to the eastern seaboard, yet hints at architect Renato D'Ettorre’s heritage: “You can see the influence of Italian architecture and materials,” says Coogee Castle's owner, Christine. Teamed with interiors boasting marble, travertine and wooden parquetry, and interior stylist Malvina Stone could have ended up producing a cold and distant interior.  Read more   

Mermaid Beach Residence by B.E. Architecture

Bathroom of Mermaid Beach Residence by B.E. Architecture featured in Beautifully Brutalist Interiors Of Houses Across Asia Pacific on habitusliving.com cc Andy MacPhersonFeaturing Tortora tiles from Signorino and Sleek Concrete from Caesarstone. Photography by Andy MacPherson. The minimalist form and brutalist interiors of Mermaid Beach Residence by B.E. Architecture is like a well-tailored suit: everything is clean-cut and functional, with the addition of surprising and thoughtful details that simultaneously soften and elevate the experience of the wearer (or, in this case, the family that lives there). B.E Architecture chose off-form concrete as the primary material for the building; not only is it aesthetically timeless, it is also durable: capable of wearing the weathering punches of the coastal climate with resilience and grace. Read more  

Salmon Avenue by FGR Architects

The open-plan living, dining and outdoor spaces of Salmon Avenue by FGR Architects featured in Beautifully Brutalist Interiors Of Sub-Tropic Houses on habitusliving.com cc Peter BennettsFeaturing Harvest armchairs in blue leather from Jardan. Photography by Peter Bennetts. Although discreetly nestled in its streetscape, this concrete home is an unexpected find in Melbourne’s middle ring suburb Essendon, where red brick period dwellings dominate. FGR Architects not only ensured that the home is robust and family friendly but also offers many opportunities for sanctuary. Perceptions around concrete being cold to live with are dismissed here. “Visitors to the house see the concrete façade and they’re not sure what to expect, but with the windows, timber and soft furnishings it’s surprising how warm the house is,” says Ainsley. Read more   

Gordons Bay House by PopovBass

Worldstone Cesar White marble floor tiles complements the concrete ceiling of Gordons Bay House by PopovBass featured in Beautifully Brutalist Interiors Of Houses Across Asia Pacific on habitusliving.com cc Michael NicholsonFeaturing Cesar White marble floor tiles from Worldstone. Photography by Michael Nicholson. A classic exercise in refuge and prospect, this house by PopovBass on a stunning coastal site is also a celebration of concrete’s domestic potential. The beautifully detailed ceiling in the main living/dining space elegantly complements the cross-cut marble floor – cut with the grain to highlight the lines producing a lovely softness – and the polished concrete steps down from the entry. This palette is softened by the judicious use of Tallowwood detailing from the front door and frames of the vertical slot windows looking into the garage, to the stairs leading to the upper level, the kitchen cabinetry and the rear dining area wall. Read more  

Kasai Road by ipli Architects

Featuring Oda by Pulpo floor lamp, available from Hub Furniture. Photography by Studio Periphery. Kasai Road by ipli Architects has two parts: the upper and the lower. Concrete/cement is used as the single material that defines the lower part of the house. "But we needed it to feel natural and to blend in with the landscape," says architect, Tay Yew. "The walls and columns are created using board marked off-form concrete. The concrete picks up the textures and imperfections of the timber form-work beautifully.” A standout feature in the home is of course the grand staircase, which sets the tone for the curvature found throughout the space. Actually a figure-of-eight, the staircase touches various spaces throughout before finally opening up via skylights at the top. Read more  

Powell Street House by Robert Simeoni Architects

The double-height extension to Powell Street House by Robert Simeoni has a fixed zig-zag translucent glass wall and pivot door.Featuring polished concrete flooring and floating concrete island bench cast in-situ. Photography by Derek Swalwell The client for this Alts & Ads project in Melbourne was none other than esteemed architecture/design writer and Habitus' contributor, Stephen Crafti. Stephen coveted architect Robert Simeoni to give new life to his recently acquired dilapidated, c.1930s duplex, and from the get-go, they focused on ideas over finishes.  “I wanted to add something that was strong enough to connect the old with the new, almost a solitary object or a piece of sculpture,” says Robert. “There’s a certain quietness to the spaces, particularly with the muted light. I felt the new addition also needed to include that stillness.” Read moreabc
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Bringing A New Sense of Comfort To Winter 2020

With more time indoors, it’s all about finding that balance between comfort and style. The Tint winter colour trends of 2020 suggest that earthy tones, neutral coolness and energetic hues will help keep us vibrant yet cosy through this winter in isolation. Now is the time to embrace the warm, welcoming and snug feeling that winter brings by celebrating and rejuvenating the colours in your home. “In 2020 you should go with the moodiness of winter and embrace those rich tones, dable in deep greens, warm clays and broody browns,” says Alex Roberts, product development manager and Chief Tint Officer of Tint paint in reference to the Tint winter colour trends report. “In the past few years, our desire for comfort in the home and a return to natural materials has pushed us away from cooler, starker colours and moved us towards softer hues – but this transition will be subtle and gradual.” Rediscovering the home as a multi-faceted sanctuary rather than just a space to solely eat and sleep has pushed us to rethink how our lifestyles are portrayed within. Evocative of the tones of nature and the outdoors, warmer-based colours provide a sense of relief for our time spend indoors and a revitalised space to be inspired. Reminiscent of the red, brown and green tones of the Australian landscape, the integration of these hues reprieve the dullness of the colder season – transcending us to a place of clarity, calmness and ease. In seeking a space of respite, interior colour trends are imitating the shades of earth elements such as sand, clay, leaves and wood as natural sources of inspiration to give depth of colour, a welcoming visual language and a pure elegance throughout the home. “You will notice greys are becoming more greige [grey x beige], blues are a bit dustier and greens are a little dirtier and olive based,” adds Alex. “Beiges, green and clays are the new neutral. The cooler tones we have seen over the past few years are being tweaked to reflect our natural surroundings a little better.” But that doesn’t mean that the original cooler tones don’t have their place: according to the Tint winter colour trends, in 2020 we will see lots of monochrome and tonal spaces elevating the darker, bolder colours. The combination of these colour ranges can tie a space together – creating a harmonious balance and a distinct aesthetic to the home. By introducing new colours to your space and celebrating the old with the new, there is a refreshed sense of depth and coolness to the walls. “Just because colours are getting a little warmer doesn’t mean you can’t work them back with cooler hues,” says Alex. “Cool, crisp colours will bring balance and can have a great effect when juxtaposed against warm, cosy tones.” With a selection of 70 curated colours, Tint recognises the importance of our sense of place within beautifully designed and curated spaces. By providing premium, vegan, eco-friendly and low toxicity paints directly to your door, Tint is a human-centric brand focused on rejuvenating our everyday experiences. “These soft colours are easy on the eye and bring a sense of hygge to your space. The Danish term is used to describe the quality of cosiness and comfort that creates a feeling of contentment or well-being – it’s the inspiration to one of our paint names and is something everyone should seek,” says Alex. During the cooler months we are naturally drawn to warmer hues that bring brightness and comfort into our lives. The kaleidoscope of Tint winter colour trends encourage you to illuminate this year’s winter season with a warmer, bolder and electrifying new personality for your home. Tint tintpaint.com.au We think you might also like Hygge Life: The Danish Design Philosophy For Living Wellabc
ARC - Feature

A Victorian-Era House Transitions Gracefully From The 19th Century To Now

A large, Victorian-era exterior belies warm and inviting interiors and a light-filled, contemporary rear addition that a professional couple and their three young children call home. Although this was the first time the couple were clients of Molecule Studio, it was not the first time they had met: Anja de Spa and Richard Fleming had previously designed the workplace of the company the couple both worked for in 2013. So, familiarity with Molecule Studio and their work helped get things underway. However, there were existing constraints that Anja and Richard needed to address before dealing with the brief. The existing addition, says Anja and Richard, “was a monolithic, rendered mass with no articulation or connection to the heritage building…Our design challenge was to transform the approved envelope and re-design the interior without triggering the need for any planning amendments”. From the outset, Molecule constructed a careful interplay between the new and old and as one moves around from the front to the rear the architecture gracefully transitions from the Victorian era to the present day. “The light rear double-storey brick element pops forward from the bluestone shroud and is clad in a contrasted white brick, detailed with Flemish bond,” says Anja, Flemish Bond brickwork having been popular in the 19th century. Inside, the front of the house comprises the entry, a large formal room, a study and three children’s bedrooms. The rear addition provides a modern open-plan kitchen/living/dining area that spills out to the garden. Upstairs the main bedroom overlooks the same new garden and swimming pool. The existing rooms are finished in a way that evokes the 19th Century. However, the interior architecture of the new addition feels modern. However neither is so far up the spectrum that the spaces feel incompatible. Rather, transitioning through the home is somewhat of a journey. “The chronology of the two parts of the house is expressed through a clarity of detailing; in the existing front rooms the elaborate skirtings, cornices and plasterwork are retained or repaired, while contemporary shadowlines with oversized inset skirtings signals the new rooms,” says Anja. “The generous Victorian ceiling heights are continued from the front rooms into the rear extension, bringing a grandness and relaxed ease to the family spaces.” High ceilings and large windows allowed the architects to incorporate rich, dark and detailed finishes while still maintaining a light and airy interior. Richly detailed Port Laurent marble was selected for the kitchen island benchtop while beneath is dramatic dark joinery – decadent finishes on everyday elements. “The Winton House has been designed as a long-term family home,” says Anja. And while materials like stone, tiles and bricks exude a certain sense of luxury they are also extremely hardwearing and resistant to the “rigours of family life”. The clients and their children have moved in and lived here for some time now, and it seems the Winton House is not just a long-term family home, but their long-term family home. “We absolutely love it. The house is enjoyable all year round: in summer we open the north-facing sliding doors and make the most of the outdoor space. In winter we light the open fire and enjoy a glass of wine, while lounging around,” they say. Molecule Studio moleculeweb.com Photography by Derek Swalwell Dissection Information Stylist: Beck Simon Builder: Provan Built Garden Designer: Grounded Gardens We think you might also like Triangle House by Molecule Studio  abc
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Fixed & Fitted

Crème De La Domestic Kitchen

Pragmatism, cohesion, and spatial intelligence are the foundations of excellence in contemporary kitchen design – one need not look further than the pages of Habitus to see for oneself. Regardless of designer, location and client, each exemplar of kitchen design is its own articulation of modern, minimalist, open-plan living. Topologies aside, what makes a space a kitchen and not a living room – as assimilated as they have become – is its utility. A kitchen is for cooking, at the end of the day, and its greatest asset will always be its fixtures and fittings. The combi-steam oven was first domesticated by Gaggenau in 1999, resetting the bar for the culinary potential of private kitchens and cementing the brand’s position as the industry’s crème de la crème. Over the years, the combi-steam oven has gone through a number of technical, design, and performance iterations – one such being the ground-breaking addition of its fully automatic cleaning system in 2015. Gaggenau now brings the automatic cleaning system from the 400 series to the 200 series with a fixed water connection. By simply using a cleaning cartridge the combi-stem ovens’ water supply effortlessly descales and removes any heavy soiling from the cavity interior. The innovative cleaning system is able to clean the entire oven with unrivalled hygiene, leaving it effortlessly pristine in less than four hours. The introduction of fixed water connections in both the 200 and 400 series combi-steam ovens’ ensures that fresh water is constantly available – a vital feature when cooking for long periods of time using the ovens’ sous-vide functionality. Showing its commitment to creating an aesthetically beautiful product, the combi-steam ovens 200 series joins the 400 series to include a full surface grill hidden behind ceramic glass, ensuring the cavity of the oven remains sleek and minimalist. Alongside this, the addition of glare-free, emotive lighting through invisible LEDs directs light towards the back, to showcase food that deserves admiration. “We believe that having the ability to cook like a professional is a statement of luxury that those who find enjoyment in culinary require,” says Dr. Peter Goetz, global managing director for Gaggenau. With an unwavering commitment to domesticating the means of a professional kitchen, the brand maintains a regular exchange with internationally acclaimed chefs, sommeliers, interior designers and architects. This know-how is what fuels the engine of innovation. “Two decades of refinement and innovation has brought us to our new combi-steam ovens 400 and 200 series,” says Peter. Gaggenau gaggenau.com.au Feature image: the Gaggenau-fitted kitchen of C House by Design Collective Architects, 2019 Habitus House of the Year finalist, photographed by Creative Clicks.abc
Design Hunters
DH - Feature

TE-EL Creates Quiet And Tranquil Architecture As An Antidote To City Life

With TE-EL, a one-man studio, spatial designer Ethan Lin wants to work in a niche: creating houses. “There is a need to create quiet and tranquil spaces in an increasingly fast-paced and dense city,” says Ethan, who cut his teeth at the Singaporean studio Takenouchi Webb. “I want people who come into my space to feel a strong sense of comfort. That is why I am more drawn to residential work – even though I was working on hospitality projects.” To Ethan, a house is a participant in domestic life, tactile and comforting ­– it is not merely its backdrop. TE-EL’s debut project is an apartment that soothes with the beauty of natural materials. In a residential project one of Ethan’s priorities is furnishing and he apportions a significant part of the budget to furniture. “I don’t take on the project if I am not also doing the furniture,” he says. He believes the home should be made up of elements designed to be touched, used, and appreciated and, that over time, would gain a personal patina of use.  

Before starting TE-EL, the Ethan Lin took a sabbatical to meet makers, carpenters, and suppliers in the country, building a network that he now taps into for his projects.

  Before starting TE-EL, the young designer took a sabbatical to meet makers, carpenters, and suppliers in the country, building a network that he now taps into for his projects. “There is actually a group of local people who are doing very interesting things,” says Ethan, who has a personal interest in craft and enjoys sharing a collaborative process with local makers. Ethan’s passion for design details and know-how is inspired by Tadao Ando. “When you see Ando’s drawings, they tell you why he can build so well, it is because he knows exactly how to do it. He knows what actually goes into the floor, the piling work, the lighting. He indicates these on his drawings with such clarity, whereas designers these days depend a lot on different consultants. Ando might only do twenty sheets of drawings, the impact on me is that, if I have these twenty sheets of paper I would know how to build the building as well.” Ethan has also been engaged as a design consultant for Singapore’s Lo & Behold Group, and is now applying the finishing touches for the house of a product designer in Singapore. He muses, “In each project I push myself to achieve and capture that feeling of comfort. I think very subtle things make a huge difference. I am trying to explore that direction.” TE-EL te-el.org We think you might also like to read How To Rejuvenate Your House And Sanityabc