About Habitusliving

 

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.

 

Learn more

ADVERTORIALS
Architecture
Design Products
Finishes
Homes

Martin Friedrich Architects Goes Bold On Bolton Avenue

Amidst the affluent suburb of Hampton, Melbourne, barely even a hop, skip and a jump from the beach, you’ll find Bolton Avenue. Architecturally speaking, its streetscape is a vernacular hodge-podge. Heritage cottages, barely visible behind high hedges, have neoclassical neighbours, across from McMansions, next to contemporary boxes. Each house is entirely of its own, free to be unapologetically itself. Alleviated of any pressure to alter appearances in order to fit in, Martin Friedrich Architects’ contribution to Bolton Avenue has a bold presence of contemporary grandeur. Completed in 2019, Bolton House by Martin Friedrich Architects is one of the newest kids on the block, and proud of it. Heralding the tenacity and tact of modernist architecture seemingly lost on almost every other design movement, Bolton House is progressive in design as well as character – yet not devoid of sentimental expression.  

Solid European oak floorboards from Tongue n Groove set the stage for life with a material quality and timeless aesthetic that goes unparalleled.

  There is a chivalry to Martin Friedrich Architects’ design, first noticed in the grand porte-cochere, supported by large stone columns, that gallantly greets visitors. This is a strong experience whether arriving by vehicle on the wrap around driveway or by foot admiring the double storey glazed entry beyond. An eye-catching sculptural spiral staircase further adds to the grandeur while leading the way to the four bedrooms and pool views to be enjoyed on the first floor. The sophisticated interior uses a contrasting colour palette of whites and dark grey tones mixed with coloured accents from the artworks and objects on display. Underfoot, solid engineered European oak floorboards from Tongue n Groove set the stage for life in Bolton House with a material quality and timeless aesthetic that goes unparalleled. Martin Friedrich Architects’ choice of Tongue n Groove’s Eterno Grande format floorboards in Otta with wire-brushed finish is apt, all the while refreshingly unpretentious, amidst Bolton House’s highly polished interiors. In the absence of a cohesive residential vernacular to note among them, Bolton House by Martin Friedrich Architects connects with its neighbours by seeing their proudly diverse articulations of elegance, and raising the bar with its own. Martin Friedrich Architects mf-arch.com.au Tongue n Groove tngflooring.com.au Photography by Derek Swalwell We think you might also like Magnolia House by Arent&Pyke abc
Design Products
Finishes
Primary Slider

A Collection That Captures The Romance Of The Australian Landscape

From the green tones of native coastal scrub to the unrefined timbers of the countryside, Laminex delivers a new range of surfaces that re-connect us with the environment. The Landscape Series takes us on a journey from one end of the country to the other in a collection that celebrates the soul of the natural world. As one of Australia’s leading surface manufacturers, Laminex has delivered superior surfacing products that combine extraordinary design and innovative engineering for over eight decades. By constantly pushing the boundaries, this collection reflects the vastness of the Australian land with robust and durable materiality for which Laminex is renowned. “Laminex surfaces boast a high degree of durability befitting high traffic, functional zones such as kitchens, bathrooms, robes, laundries and studies,” says Sacha Leagh-Murray, General Manger of Laminex. “These are all essential spaces that we engage with daily, so it’s crucial that they not only meet practical requirements and withstand wear and tear, but also offer visual and textural interest.” Featuring earthy hues of the woodgrains and inspired by the jewelled tones of the coastlines, the Landscape Series includes an extensive range that’s crafted into a strong, resilient laminate that balances comfort, style and function all in one. Laminex pays tribute to the abundant bushland with the Spinifex, Seed and Possum range. Inspired by the diverse Australian flora and fauna, this organic palette celebrates our connection to the outdoors in a restorative and calm theme of colours. Laminex invites the outdoors in with muted, grey-based undertones that are perfectly subtle to suit any occasion and aesthetic. The delicate hues can be combined to complement each other beautifully, or selected individually to bring a restful and refreshed tone to your space. Reminiscent of the stillness of the water by the Australian coastline, the Surf, Aquamarine and Teakwood transport you to a place of relaxation and rejuvenation. Inspired by the sea and the weathered timber decks, the textured and sun-kissed teakwood offers tactility and warmth to any space. Combined with the freshness of Aquamarine and Surf, this vibrant and energetic palette brings to mind the times spent at the shore with the sound of the crashing waves. The Outback range pays homage to the generation of storytellers of this land. The hues of Natural Walnut, Classic Oak and Fox Teakwood takes the form of the picturesque bushland that echoes the material tactility of timeworn timber and the bountiful trees across the remote plains. It offers a palette of overlayed warm tones fused with grainy neutrals, to bring a sense of comfort that welcomes you into the space. Wondrous and ancient, the bushland colour story brings a strong character with a distinct sense of place that is unique to the Landscape Series. Laminex delivers a colour range that celebrates the beauty of the cooler, grey-hued winter months. Inspired by the cold, crisp tones of the mid-year season, Winter Sky, Lava Grey and Natural Walnut is a captivating contrast of colours that echo the tonality of unsettled waters along the rocky shorelines. Influenced by the image of heavy clouds blanketing over the land and a stillness in the atmosphere; the movement of silt, sand and driftwood swim through the shallow waters by the cliffs, revealing hues of deep browns and greys – a coastal cool palette that brings us closer to nature and its transcendental characteristics. The Winter-inspired collection is a dramatic and sophisticated colour base that provides the perfect backdrop to the lightness of the other colour Landscape ranges. As a brand that is dedicated to delivering inspiring products, Laminex’s Landscape Series delves deep beneath the surface and explores the romance of our relationship with nature and the land that we live in. The Landscape Series captures the bold, charming spirit of the Australian continent and its rich tapestry of native tones and textures. Here, Laminex invites you to breathe in the Australian landscape and experience the outdoors through an extraordinary and timeless collection. Laminex laminex.com.au abc
Architecture
Around The World
Homes
Primary Slider

Ho Chi Minh On A Whole New Level

Ho Chi Minh City is known for its tropical climate and sunny disposition. In fact on average each month of the year gets over 100 hours of sunlight – approximately 150 hours for six months of the year – and the average daily temperate sits at a warm 28 degrees Celsius. A densely population city in which the humidity hovers between 60-80 per cent, it’s no wonder air conditioning is almost as common as windows and doors in an architect’s brief. But this wasn’t the case for Khuôn Studio in the brief they received for Double Roof House, in fact, it was precisely the opposite: no air conditioning. That might have been their most direct instruction because as architect Tuan Huynh Anh recalls, the brief was limited: “They trusted us and gave us full discretion of designing the form of the house.”  

“The two corrugated roofing panels reduces the heat flux into the house.”

  The client is a couple with one son, a grandmother who visits frequently, and small family food business. It was essential that Khuôn Studio considered each element in the design of the house. Behind bright yellow, semi-translucent front gates is an open courtyard and inbuilt food counter and sink structure to cater to the needs of the family business. The front courtyard flows indoors behind glass bi-fold doors to the living area that can be used as additional business space as needed. Behind the living area are the kitchen and a ground floor guest bedroom for the client’s elderly mother. An open staircase revolves around an internal tree under a large skylight. From here the plan becomes split-level, connecting the spaces visually and encouraging ventilation. On either side of the first floor landing a few steps lead either to the main bedroom or an entertainment room with more steps leading up to the son’s bedroom. On the landing out past the study is an external terrace. Given the location between two tall houses, it was a challenge for Khuôn Studio to ensure they met the client’s request for natural light and ventilation. In response they came up with the idea for a double roof system, which worked so well in the end it named the project. “The buffer gap between the two corrugated roofing panels reduces the heat flux into the house,” says Tuan. Not only is this a more pleasant way for the client to live, it reduces energy use and costs, benefitting the client financially and reducing the carbon footprint of the house. Khuôn Studio Photography by Thiet Vu We think you might also like YT House by Rear Studio  

The plan is split-level, connecting the spaces visually and encouraging ventilation.

  abc
ADVERTORIALS

Ruskin Elwood Offers Environmentally Enlightened Living

As we move towards a more conscious, environmentally enlightened way of life, embracing sustainable living principles may just be the key to better wellbeing and personal enrichment. It’s thanks to the likes of design-led developers such as HIP V. HYPE and the Swiss kitchen and laundry appliances boutique manufacturer, V-ZUG, that we’re seeing how sustainability, as a function and feature, can enhance our daily lives. Whether designing a home, or the modern conveniences within that home, these forward-thinking innovators have created design-led, environmentally conscious living solutions that deliver sophisticated functionality, enhanced aesthetics and improved personal wellbeing. A perfect partnering of mind and mission, HIP V. HYPE’s Ruskin Elwood development in Melbourne, featuring V-ZUG’s energy-efficient kitchen appliances, sets a high bar for modern sustainable living. Located upon a site that originally accommodated two energy inefficient terrace houses, HIP V. HYPE with architects Fieldwork have created four homes that are premium in amenity while also being low-impact and 100 per cent electric. Here, solar battery technology has been employed, via rooftop solar panels that link to a Tesla Powerwall, so solar power generated by day is consumed by residents at night. With an emphasis on wellbeing, comfort and high performance, the design of the homes “provides residents with consistent internal temperatures to enhance healthy living, and strong passive design principles to reduce energy required to [cool and heat] the homes,” says Liam Wallis, founder and director of HIP V. HYPE. Fieldwork with HIP V. HYPE has also taken a considered approach to materiality, selecting locally sourced bricks (from the clay pits of the Grampians in Victoria), to Australian hardwood timber cladding, and Australian manufactured fixtures. When it came to fitting out those all-important living zones, like the kitchen, HIP V. HYPE engaged long-time collaborator V-ZUG. “V-ZUG was a natural fit for Ruskin Elwood,” says Liam. “The kitchens feature a full suite of V-ZUG appliances, which are durable, high performance appliances that enhance the craft and experience of cooking and entertaining. [They also] run on green power generated from solar panels.” With an emphasis on quality, precision and reliability, V-ZUG’s appliances deliver both enjoyment and empowerment to the user. As Ruskin Elwood resident, Gabe, notes: “The understated yet high quality modern look and feel of the V-ZUG appliances really fit in beautifully at Ruskin Street.” Along with V-ZUG’s environmentally sustainable approach, Gabe has been most impressed by the quality and easy of cooking. “The V-ZUG induction stove top cooks so evenly and naturally that I have more accuracy with cooking temperatures and have lifted my kitchen ‘game’ significantly. I have never cooked so much, nor so well … so I’m told.” Sustainability is embedded into V-ZUG’s appliances in numerous ways. It begins with efficiency: for example, the steam in the Combi-Steam Oven is created in approximately 90 seconds using minimal amounts of water and energy. Meanwhile the oven’s Climate Control System uses sensors and valves to maintain optimal humidity, and cleverly seals this in – reducing water and energy use. From a food waste standpoint, V-ZUG has developed a fully automated Regeneration program to reheat pre-prepared food and leftover dishes perfectly. It is also famous for its first-to-market heat pump technology in dishwashers and washing machines, which use a heat pump to generate water temperature while simultaneously cutting down on 80 per cent of energy use in the process. From rooftop to kitchen bench, Ruskin Elwood reduces the impact of built form on the environment while also responsibly densifying Melbourne’s inner suburbs. And, through considered partnerships with world-leading brands such as V-ZUG, quality of life remains very much ‘the value’, rather than the compromise. V-ZUG vzug.com Photography courtesy of HIP V. HYPE abc
ADVERTORIALS
Design Products
Fixed & Fitted

The Generation 7000 Range From Miele Is True Innovation

Miele is a world leader in premium domestic appliances and their investment into both sustainable and innovative technologies reinforce this title time and time again. Anyone who jumps to assume a 120-year-history may suggest the company is steeped in tradition and immobilised for innovation would be sorely mistaken. In fact, it is just the opposite and the research and development team are committed to unearthing the latest, most innovative technologies that mean felt change and true spikes in convenience for their customers. For Miele, better design is in and of itself sustainable design in that is it able to better service genuine needs, circumvent extra parts and/or processes, and reduce the need for error correction or a complete redo. Nowhere would this make a bigger difference than in the kitchen. Moreover, in no range are these commitments more visible than in the Miele Generation 7000 range – the largest product launch in the history of the company. The Miele Generation 7000 range comprises of 138 appliances spanning ovens, speed ovens, built-in coffee machines, induction cooktops and powerful steam appliances and follows five years of intensive research and development. Each appliance offers users revolutionary technology for enhanced connectivity between the products and ultra-friendly and intuitive user interfaces. Miele’s Generation 7000 ovens feature an Eco Fan Heat function which is extremely energy-efficient thanks to optimal utilisation of heat. When cooking on a single shelf, this function allows you to use up to 30 per cent less energy yet the same cooking results. The induction cooktops within the range are time-saving by 50 per cent compared with electric cooktops which can result in energy savings of 25 per cent. Pan recognition technology means the cooking surface is able to recognise the size of the pan you are cooking with and likewise reduces energy output. Selected rangehood models include an energy-efficient DC motor that uses an internal array of magnets of opposing polarity and as such requires less electrical energy, translating to a 70 per cent or greater reduction in electricity consumption over a standard AC (alternating current) motor. The Miele vacuum-sealing drawer can be used to preserve food in portion-controlled batches for future consumption without fearing compromise in taste or food safety. Miele’s product range reflects the company’s ethos but so too does the calibre of the people they collaborate with. The brand has worked with Matt Stone, a sustainable food pioneer and one of Australia’s leading sustainable chefs, and Joost Bakker, a Dutch-born Australia-based designer, restaurateur and no waste advocate. Joost was the founder of Melbourne’s first zero-waste restaurant in 2012 and invented a vertical garden wall system in 2004 that is now sold under licence through Schiavello. When you hear more about their ethos, it’s clear why these sustainability champions partner with a brand like Miele. “I truly believe that we can coexist with nature, rehabilitate what we have destroyed and massively reduce the land required for food production and materials. Moving forward, I believe that re-wilding and changing the way we live by adopting zero waste systems will become mainstream,” says Joost Bakker, in a statement that seems wholly in line with the sustainably focused sentiments of Miele Miele www.miele.com/en abc
Happenings

Your Go-To Guide to the INDE.Digital Gala

Want to watch this year’s INDE.Awards but not sure how you can make it with lockdowns and travel bans? Fear not! Our team is working around the clock to ensure anyone and everyone can tune into 2020’s night of nights, with a digital event that will put you in the midst of it all. Get closer to INDE. Gold than ever before and join us on Thursday August 13th at 6:30pm AEST as we celebrate Indo-Pacific’s greatest architectural achievements for 2020.  But don’t just tune in – make a night of it by turning your home or office into your very own gala! Not convinced? Don’t take our word for it, Platinum Sponsors and watch-party experts Zenith say that “hosting watch parties are a fun way to be part of the event in a more casual atmosphere, allowing you to mingle with clients, friends and colleagues and also support the winners at the same time.” If you’re set on making a night of it but are struggling for some inspiration, we’ve rounded up the best tips from our sponsors and partners to bring you our go-to guide on going digital for the INDE.Awards. [caption id="attachment_104122" align="alignnone" width="1170"] Clovelly Apartment, James Garvan Architecture[/caption]

Study the Field

Have you got the 4-1-1 on all things INDE related? Don’t spend your evening googling shortlisters and last year’s winners – get your study in now to ensure your night is spend enjoying the festivities. As Learning Space sponsor Maxton Fox says, “Make sure to get ready and read-up on the shortlisted projects for the 2020 INDE. Gala, to find out who is in the running this year across the categories. A few of our favourites are The Link at Chadstone by Make Architects and K11 Musea by LAAB Architects in Hong Kong!”

Create a Guest-List

Where possible (Victoria, we’re looking at you!), why not make a real night of it and invite your architectural nearest and dearest over to get in on the fun. Social Space sponsor James Richardson Furniture agrees, saying: “Given our isolation over the past few months, it has solidified our feelings of the importance of human connection. Not being able to share a meal with friends, see family members or interact socially is one of the most challenging aspects of lockdown. As the sponsor of The Social Space, we encourage now more than ever to get together (in person, or online), connect with your co-workers and friends and tune and make the most of INDE’s 20 year anniversary and Digital Gala.” [caption id="attachment_104123" align="alignnone" width="1142"] PWC Experience Centre, Siren Design Group[/caption]

Stay Hydrated

Ensure you and your guests are ready to cheers our winners with some creative drinks. Swap the regular wine out for some cocktails that will set the mood and keep the good vibes going. Designated driver in your midst? Why not opt for a zesty mocktail courtesy of Wellness Space sponsor Zip Water? All you’ll need is some lime, cucumber, a handful of crushed mint and a healthy splash of sparkling water courtesy of your Zip HydroTap.

Commit to the Canapes

Now you’ve got your drinks sorted, ensure your guests are well fed by preparing a range of canapes, grazing plates or – depending on your level of commitment – a full dinner party to enjoy before, during and after the ceremony itself. Masters of the kitchen, Gaggenau, recommend tucking into a spread of truffle potatoes, pizza diavolo and a fresh asparagus salad.

Get Red Carpet Ready

Secretly, one of the things we love most about the INDE.Awards is the “black tie” dress code, with all colleagues and industry friends pulling out all the stops in their formal gowns and tuxedos. But just because you’re at home, doesn’t mean your style should take a hit. Swap the PJ’s for something red carpet appropriate and don anything that shimmers, shines and sets you up for a stellar night in. Once you’ve got you’ve your evening best on, get further into the spirit by conjuring makeshift waitstaff just like Kara from Prodigy Sponsor Luxxbox plans to: “We plan to dress for the occasion and then use the idle hands in the house to serve canapes. Provided the trays aren't too heavy, the kids can sub in for wait staff to make the night a bit of fun.” [caption id="attachment_104124" align="alignnone" width="1100"] Paspaley Pearls, Richards Stanisich[/caption]

Decorate your Space

No party (even a mini one!) is complete without a little bit of a decoration. Ensure your streaming experience isn’t just another night of the week and create a space that is as special as the INDE’s themselves! Alspec, sponsors of The Building, know a little bit about creating amazing spaces. Their advice? Get inspired and go gold with balloons, streamers and themed tableware or create your own photobooth with cut-out top-hats, faux bow ties and feather boas to take your glam-squad to the next level!

Watch at Work

If you’re working from an office and would prefer to expense your meals for the evening (we won’t tell!), why not transform your workplace into a ballroom and host your own mini gala at work. Work Space sponsor Woven Image even approve, recommending that – where distancing protocols allow – practices and studios should get the team together and get everyone cheering on their colleagues from across the region. Because who couldn’t use a little extra team bonding right about now! [caption id="attachment_104125" align="alignnone" width="1170"] Indigo Slam, Smart Design Studio[/caption]

Set the Mood

Once it actually gets down to the screening itself, setup and pre-preparation will make all the difference. Take it from Luminary Sponsors Verosol who recommending setting your home automation system to chill mode and letting your automated blinds go to work… “We recommend drawing your curtains and lowering your Verosol SilverScreen blinds to set the mood before getting your stream set up on a big screen or even a projector,” says Verosol. “Forget tiny laptops and mobile phones, going big will make you feel like you’re really there!”

Get Social

If you’re feeling a little down that we can’t all be together, never fear! Make like The Influencer sponsors AHEC and keep the connections coming by joining the virtual conversation. “We'll be joining the event from Hong Kong, London, Dubai and Singapore with our shortlisted candidates from across the region. We're excited for our first digital event as it means everyone can take part wherever they are. Join us using the #indeawards hashtag on Instagram and Twitter,” says the AHEC team.   Get involved and show us how you’re spending your INDE evening by using the #indeawards hashtag! Join us and the region's top winners at the free INDE.Awards 2020 Digital Gala this August 13, register here. #indeawardsabc
Architecture
Around The World
Homes
Primary Slider

A High-Rise Green House In Singapore

In Singapore, as with everywhere, there is a growing desire for homes that integrate nature and with that, a rise in innovative solutions for high-rise garden living. Like many HDB flats, this modestly sized, four-room resale unit does not have a balcony that can be given to a garden. Yet, the designers from Right Angle Studio have resolved it a most beautiful way – one that sees a smooth assimilation of greenery within the home. The young couple living here are nature and animal lovers. In their free time, they enjoy recreational diving to explore marine life and to reconnect with the outdoors. “The owners wanted a daring, open-plan design, with more space allocated to the communal areas where they intend to spend most of their time. They also requested a designated zone for plants and room for their rabbits to roam around,” shares Jay Liu, Account Director of Right Angle Studio. By transforming a three-bedroom unit into a one bedder, the designers have managed to enlarge the communal spaces, and ensure that they are open and seamlessly interconnected. A light and neutral colour palette also heightens the home’s calm and airy atmosphere. At the same time, this new configuration allows for the insertion of the home’s major feature – a ‘green corridor’ at the entrance comprising a row of louvre suncreens paired with planter boxes. “This design effectively ‘opens’ up the house and allows natural light to permeate the flat, as well as bring the dwellers closer to nature,” says Alex Liu, Right Angle Studio’s Design Director. In a duality of function, this feature also serves as a privacy screen, shielding off from view any activities that are going on beyond that point. The central console in the living area is another key feature. This customised design consists of the sofa, planter box, work desk, and dining table, and has been designed with consideration to the couples’ day to day lifestyle. Micro ‘garden elements’ have been added to this ‘green house’ in the form of bonsai plants. “After selecting several big planters for the clients, we realised that there was an opportunity to introduce small greenery in different pockets of the house as well. We therefore invited a local bonsai master (known as ‘根 gēn’) to curate a series of small trees for the project,” says Jay. “This has added depth to the home’s spatial quality as the couple can interact with the greenery on both a macro and micro level,” he adds. As for the kitchenette, this has been “umbrella-ed” under Right Angle Studio’s bespoke portal frame design. “It creates a more focused and conducive environment for cooking. At the same time, this design detail retains an identity for itself, while sitting amongst other interesting sections of the house,” Alex explains. The master bedroom has become a more indulgent inner sanctum with the merging of two rooms. To achieve a larger shower area, the vanity has been moved out of the bathroom where it also now functions as a subtle transition zone between the sleeping and bathing areas. Everywhere in this home, the integration of nature is thoughtful and unique. This is not a cookie-cutter answer to a garden home. It’s one of a kind. Right Angle Studio rightanglestudio.com.sg We think you might also like Homage to Oscar by Luigi Rosselli Architects  abc
Homes
Architecture
ARC - Feature

On Top Of The Hills And Down To Earth

From the moment Adam became a client, and Matthew Woodward his architect, Wallis Lake House was destined for greatness. Adam and Matthew were no strangers. The two friends had met in high school and for a time were practically neighbours living in the same beachside suburb. Though their lives had grown apart in recent years, when the opportunity arose, the site was bought and the call was made, the project’s foundations were set in firm and familiar ground. Coincidentally, the land Adam had purchased for Wallis Lake House happened to be in Pacific Palms, on the mid north coast of New South Wales, a quintessential Woodward Family summer holiday destination, so the architect had a sense of connection to the location. Surrounded by national parks and pristine beaches with surf breaks abundant, it seems apt for a postcard from where we all would much rather be. Connection to landscape was, an essential element in the brief for Wallis Lake House. To this, the architects responded with passive solar design. With a beautifully landscaped rooftop garden and floor-to-ceiling sliding glass doors that open up the ground floor living spaces to the grassy milieu, the built and natural environments are more assimilated than ever before. The kitchen – featured in Habitus #48, our 2020 Kitchen & Bathroom issue – is for once not expected to be both an amenity and the social hub of the home. Rather, Matthew Woodward Architects has given it a more purposeful lease on life. Its long and linear design of dark joinery and concrete benchtops, complemented by a glass splashback and built in herb garden, acts as a functional backdrop for the adjoining living and dining areas and a spine for the house overall. Materiality-wise the house is an exemplar for sustainable and climate-responsive design. A palette of concrete, recycled blackbutt timber cladding and Form ply joinery was coveted for the robustness, thermal qualities, recyclability and longevity of each material. Though inherently pragmatic and unpretentious, this material palette culminates in a certain effortlessly luxurious aesthetic – a luxury of strength, honesty and simplicity. In juxtaposition with the rugged materiality of the ground level, the private spaces of the upper ground level are imbued with warmth and light, thanks to an operable timber screen, timber joinery and white almost everything else. Not merely for aesthetic effect, this change of tune in materiality between the ground and upper floors also serves as an important climatic design element, sparing the naturally warmer upper volumes from the undue heat retention of high thermal mass materials such as concrete. Fenestration has been meticulously considered, inserting windows and openings, in just the right places to at once capture the northern sun, the coastal breezes and frame the expansive, breathtaking lake views, all the while shielding the residence against harsh southerly winds. Above and beyond all the highly resolved practicalities and design sensibility, Wallis Lake House by Matthew Woodward Architecture exudes a sense of serenity and oneness. For the design’s every Yin, there is a Yang, striking the perfect balance between architecture and nature; comfort and sustainability; function and finesse. Matthew Woodward Architecture matthewwoodward.com.au Photography by Brett Boardman We think you might also like Bundeena Beach House by Grove Architectsabc
What's On
Happenings
Design Hunters
Conversations

Calling For Exemplars Of Different, Better Design

According to Natasha Mulcahy, Sustainability Awards 2020 ambassador and sustainability and engagement manager for Sekisui House’s West Village project in Brisbane, this year’s awards are more important than ever. “In many ways,” says Mulcahy, who won the Women in Sustainability Award category in 2019, “this is the most important year to keep sustainability and climate change on the agenda. How government, business and society respond and refocus during the pandemic and into the recovery will influence the course of climate change for decades,” she says. To celebrate the extended deadline for Sustainability Awards 2020 entries – now closing August 7 – Branko Miletic caught up with Dick Clarke, the program’s chief juror, to gain insight into just what it is the judges are looking for in this year’s entries. Here’s what he had to say…  

2020 marks the fourteenth consecutive year of Architecture & Design’s Sustainability Awards program – how do you see it as being relevant to today’s built environment?

More than ever, our built environment needs to step up and carry the lion’s share of sustainability. The climate emergency, the need for resilience in the face of heat waves, east coast lows, bushfires, and droughts, all point very clearly to the imperative to ‘do different, do better’.  

What would you like to see more of in this year’s awards, and conversely, what would you like to see less of?

More fully energy autonomous buildings, more bio-diverse regenerative landscapes, more of those two combined. More buildings integrated into a sustainable urban context: transport, water and wastewater, micrograms, even waste management. This one’s a big ask for most of us because it involves pulling threads together across site boundaries, across institutions and across tiers of government responsibility - but it’s what we need. Less ostentation – not that we see much of that, thankfully – but not less beauty.  

The need for resilience in the face of heat waves, east coast lows, bushfires, and droughts, all point very clearly to the imperative to ‘do different, do better’."

 

As someone who has a vast body of work in sustainable design, what would you say is the most important thing when it comes to planning/designing a building?

The answer to this question is threefold:
  1. In the now: it has to meet the needs of users/occupants, or there’s really no point.
  2. In the neighbourhood: it has to contribute to a broad sense of social good.
  3. In the future: it has to not diminish the future, locally or globally.
 

As the head judge for the awards over many years, have any entries really surprised you and if so, how?

Yes, there have been some amazing ideas expressed in buildings, landscapes, materials and systems. Things like the Papyrus paper and board manufacturing system that turns waste banana tree trunks into high value end products, and even useful by-products. That one made its first public splash in the Sustainability Awards, and even though – like so many innovations – it has been a long road to commercialisation, it is one of the most amazing things I have ever seen. Another example is the Adelaide Children’s Hospital’s approach to providing a positive healing physical environment that de-institutionalises the old notion of the hospital ward, replacing it with bright daylight, healthy air, colour and pattern.  

What are you expecting the level and focus of entries will be in 2020?

I am expecting it to be better than ever – because every year it has been, more or less.

Enter the Sustainability Awards 2020 here

abc
Primary Slider
Design Hunters
Conversations

How Is Education Shaping The Architects Of The Future?

Australia has 19 universities that teach architecture and about 1300 students graduated from the five-year course in 2017 (the latest figures available); a 50 per cent increase over the previous decade. There are currently about 10,000 equivalent full time students in architecture schools across Australia; more than ever before, but the workforce they will enter is rapidly changing, even before the impact of Coronavirus is taken into account. The broader construction industry spent most of the past decade recovering from the global financial crisis in 2008, and COVID-19 has already negatively impacted the profession, according to research by the ACA. Other threats include A.I. and robotics, prefabrication and digital disruption, and the impact of climate emergency on the built environment. So how is architecture education responding to these threats? One of the main shifts is towards resiliency and diversity, and changes at senior levels are instrumental, with nine of the 19 schools now being led by a female dean or head of school. [caption id="attachment_103988" align="alignnone" width="1170"]Architecture education University of Newcastle University of Newcastle[/caption]   A concerted effort over time This growing prevalence of female leaders in architecture schools can be partly attributed to the impact of Parlour, the gender equity research and advocacy group, as well as academic programs such as Athena SWAN (the Scientific Women’s Academic Network), founded in the U.K. in 2005 before expanding across more disciplines and to Australian universities. “Parlour has definitely been a key influencer in shifting the paradigm in Architecture however, more broadly in higher education, there has also been a move to redress the gender balance at more senior levels with ambitious targets to achieve equity, in recent years,” said Professor Helen Lochhead, Dean of Built Environment at UNSW. “I was the first female Dean of a Faculty appointed at UNSW. Now there are three female Deans.” Another Dean – who wished to remain anonymous – said she’d benefitted from a concerted effort in higher education over the past twenty years to nurture women’s careers. “In my career I have not only had privileged access to paid maternity leave and part-time work, but have also been supported to develop my leadership skills,” she said. [caption id="attachment_103985" align="alignnone" width="1170"]Architecture education: University of NSW University of NSW[/caption]   New approaches to teaching and learning In most cases, these female leaders bring different qualities and approaches to architecture schools, delivering tangible and positive impacts on student experiences, and their preparedness for life after university. “A balance of women and men is good for everybody,” Prof Lochhead said. “It gives a voice to diverse views and brings different ways of working and problem solving. And for the next generation of women it is important to see that leaders can look like them, so they see possibilities – not barriers – to their own aspirations.” The presence of more students and teachers from diverse backgrounds leads to better outcomes in the profession too. “The world’s cities and environments are increasingly complex, and require diverse perspectives (cultural, gender, political etc) to ensure optimal outcomes,” another dean asserted. “Having educators that are diverse makes it easier for students to see the different ways of coming at a problem, and providing solutions to it.” “With a Faculty and student body speaking over 70 languages I am equally keen to embed equity, diversity and inclusion for all, regardless of gender or background,” Prof Lochhead added. “Universities open a door to a world of possibilities, so we need to make sure we are accessible for all those who are keen.” [caption id="attachment_103989" align="alignnone" width="1170"]Architecture education: Queensland University of Technology Queensland University of Technology[/caption]   Implications for the workplace SueAnne Ware, Head of the School of Architecture and Built Environment at the University of Newcastle, said that these shifts would help to broaden the reach and influence of architects across the wider community. “Greater equity and diversity demands that we open ourselves to otherness and plurality, which should also shift those who benefit from great design,” she said. “It also means that those making key decisions in education can change it, and radically rethink our rather conventional norms. “That’s a very long term project and well it’s not easy or perhaps popular, but it’s necessary now, as we head into a very challenging century ahead,” she said. [caption id="attachment_103992" align="alignnone" width="1170"]Melbourne School of Design Melbourne School of Design[/caption]   The female factor Prof Ware said that most of the women she’d worked with and for at universities were “been brave and fearless; they have to be because that is what the world is calling for now”. “I am a bit different to my male counterparts in that I am often moved to tears,” she said. “And I accept that emotion is an integral part of who I am. I am not afraid of joy or disappointment, and I am certainly not a terrific poker player. “Some of my colleagues find it uncomfortable to be around a very straight talking, emotional being; it means when I am passionate, I speak openly and loudly about my cause,” she continued. “It also means that I have been branded or portrayed by those less appreciative of this style as a ‘hysterical woman’. Nancy Pelosi is one of my idols, so I’ll take that one as a compliment.”  Professor Julie Willis, Dean at Melbourne School of Design, said that while she’s not keen to cast significant differences between men and women, she’s observed the effects of cultural conditioning at work. “Women often feel the need to ask for permission to be ‘at the table’, second-guess as to why they may have been invited to such, and apologise for speaking,” Prof Willis explained. “Men usually do none of this, assuming that it is their right to be there. “Women are expected to be polite, to be nice, to not be aggressive; men are not,” she added. “This plays out in leadership, where women leaders are expected to demonstrate certain kinds of behaviours.” Professor Lisa Scharoun, Head of the School of Design at QUT, also brings ‘soft-skills’ to her leadership role. “When I started my current role in September of 2018, I set out to establish a culture in the school that would eschew the values of community, collaborative culture, respect and caring,” she said. “In order to connect with my staff, I often share my personal experiences in academia and life,” she added. “I am honest about both my successes and my failures and believe that in many instances you learn more from failing than from succeeding. The greatest successes in life are often founded on the lessons learned from our failures.” [caption id="attachment_103991" align="alignnone" width="1170"]Melbourne School of Design Melbourne School of Design[/caption]   Next-generation architects Prof Scharoun believes the changes taking place inside architecture schools will provide students with a strong foundation for the changing world and workplaces they’ll soon enter. “The profession has changed, and the way we think about buildings and spaces and teams working together has changed,” she said. “If we taught students the same way their predecessors were taught, we’d be stuck in a hamster-wheel of the same experience – over and over – and we’d keep building the same built environment, that’s not necessarily working for us. “Not everyone in the architecture program will become what they set out to be,” she added. “Students might migrate to another design area, or another profession altogether, but at least they have an understanding of how to work together, which I think is one of the most important skills: how to work in a team with different disciplinary and cultural backgrounds. “If you have that ability, you’ll be able to go further than if you narrowly focussed, and didn’t open yourself up to other possibilities.” Prof Ware also notes a shift away from the ego-centric view of the architect as solo genius, towards a much more collaborative approach. “Perhaps what I see more of now – than when I started my career in Australian universities – is an openness to collaborate and releasing of rather antiquated notions of competition and single disciplinary dominance,” she said. [caption id="attachment_103990" align="alignnone" width="1170"]Queensland University of Technology Queensland University of Technology[/caption] Prof Willis – one of the original Parlour researchers – says that while significant progress towards gender equality has being made at universities, the struggle isn’t over yet. “I’ve had students deeply concerned about the high proportion of male academic staff, wanting more women,” she recalled, “but I’ve also had past students indicate that they thought university had been a pretty equitable place (with about 50% of students being women for a couple of decades), but then going out into industry and being profoundly shocked by the behaviours and discrimination they faced. “Also, I’d love to say that having made it as a senior female leader that discrimination was no longer present, but this is not true,” she said. “I’ve probably faced more outright discrimination as a leader than I did before (probably because I now have more contact with an older generation of men who’ve been somehow insulated from the social changes around them). Prof Willis said that fight was far from over, just because there are more female leaders now. “If anything, we are now getting to the more insidious, unconscious and pointy ends of gender equity, or inequity – a fight that will be much more difficult than just getting a seat at the table,” she added. “Greater diversity means greater resilience and robustness to any situation,” Prof Wills said. “For our students, they need to understand that the clients for whom they will design will be diverse and have different needs; therefore they need exposure to lots of different ways of thinking and doing.” We think you might also like Dialling in with Koichi Takadaabc
Design Hunters
People

Three-D Conceptwerke Designs With A Personal Touch

Home is a deeply personal space. Encompassing much more than a style or a look, the very best ones focus on the individuals living in them, and have the ability to evolve with them over time. This founding philosophy drives much of the work at interior design firm three-d conceptwerke, which was set up by Dess Chew, Peter Ng, Jack Loh and Terrence Soh in 2006. The industry veterans came together after many years in the business, driven by a shared passion to build homes that are timeless and sustainable, and centred around real people and their needs. Fernvale Road project: Given that the owner is an avid reader, the designers have done away with a TV in favour of large shelves for books that add a personal stamp to the otherwise blank wall.
“We decided to set up our own firm because we found that we brought complementary experiences and knowledge to the table, and were like-minded in our desire to make the client and the design the priority,” the founders of three-d conceptwerke explain. “While we make it our business to be kept informed of the latest trends in design, we believe that priority should go to understanding our clients’ habits, lifestyles and personalities. We then build a space that’s tailor-made for them, and that will grow with them over time, becoming more beautiful and charming as it ages,” they continue. Having a good listening ear and asking the right questions are integral to understanding what the client truly needs and wants, say the designers, and it also comes with experience. “Only with experience can we advise our clients on the areas that are truly a priority,” they explain.
Ang Mo Kio project: In a unique layout reversal, the designers created the open-concept kitchen the owners desired while closing off the common zones with glass sliding doors to minimise fumes. Leading a team of 13 associate designers, the design heads conscientiously take turns to mentor every designer in their team, while fostering a culture of creativity, open communication and knowledge-sharing in the studio. At three-d conceptwerke, ideas are nurtured, and out of the box thinking is encouraged, which translates to a richer offering of fresh and innovative concepts for each and every client at the end of the day. While every project at the firm is uniquely different, they all carry common threads that are grounded in the firm’s core beliefs. At the studio, the designers focus on crafting practical and timeless spaces with a long-term view of how their inhabitants will live in them both now and in the future. Waterloo Street project: With custom furniture on wheels and the absence of internal fixed structures, this three-room flat is now a flexible, open-concept space with the ability to change its configuration depending on need or preference. This approach of creating enduring designs also lends to the idea of sustainability, a fundamental concept that’s instilled in all their projects. “We want to create homes that are space efficient, and where homeowners can find long-lasting fulfilment,” say the firm’s founders. “Other ways we incorporate sustainable design into the home is to choose materials that are sustainable whenever we can, and to look for creative ways to breathe new life into old items through upcycling.” In an age of fleeting trends, three-d conceptwerke’s true appeal is that it gets down to the fundamentals of what a home should be about – the people living in them. The homes they create are not just beautiful, they are enduring and offer exciting new possibilities for living. three-d conceptwerke three-d-conceptwerke.comabc
Happenings

Your Official Invitation To The 2020 INDE.Awards Is Here

In a year of grounded flights and state-wide lockdowns, the INDE.Awards are here for an evening of connections and celebrations. Marked on calendars and diaries as one of the nights of the year, the INDE team have been working around the clock to ensure that everyone can experience INDE. Gold – no matter where you are! So, on the evening of Thursday August 13th, do as INDE.Awards Ambassador David Kauntiz says and “Get dressed up, pour a drink and put the kids to bed early” because you’ve got a front row seat to a virtual event like no other. Be there as we unveil the best projects, objects, people and firms over the last 12 months and – best of all – enjoy the celebrations from the comfort of your own home. From Sydney to Singapore and everywhere in between, this is your chance to experience the INDE.Awards like never before and reconnect to the Indo-Pacific architecture community. As INDE.Awards Ambassadors and industry heavy weights Ryan Russell and Byron George (Russell & George) note, “it is even more important this year to unite as a community in the face of the ongoing global crisis, and see some positivity despite world events.” Join us, host Peter Colquhoun, our shortlisters and partners for a night to remember. Get excited, get involved and be there as INDE.Gold is revealed! #indeawards   Here’s what you need to know: INDE.Awards Digital Gala Thursday August 13th Ceremony beings 6:30pm AEST Get your free ticket hereabc