The Coogee Pavilion rooftop and ground level famously opened six years ago and has enjoyed unwavering success. What was it like to design a venue in the same building? Have you designed the three venues in the middle level to align or exist independently? We had the privilege of working within the iconic Coogee Pavilion building. As the building venue gained success the mid-level attracted suspense and curiosity from visitors as it lay dormant for three years. This challenged and shaped our design strategy. Vertically connected via the central atrium dome, each of the three levels have their own distinct identity accessed independently from street level. Spatially connected at mid-level, the trio of Una Más, will’s and mimi’s each have their own personality and offering. With Justin and Bettina Hemmes and Amanda Talbot on the design team, was this a collaborative effort or did you have individual departments you were responsible for? The project was a design collaboration of ACME working together with the Merivale team, Snoop and executive chef Jordan Toft.
“As [Coogee Pavilion] gained success the mid-level attracted suspense and curiosity from visitors as it lay dormant for three years.”
You’ve worked with Merivale previously, how does this venue differ from Fred’s or J&M Whisky Bar? Each of our projects is a response to a client brief, place and time. Coogee Pavilion’s ethos was its connection to the coastal environs and the offering. The material palette is rich and luxurious: marble, linen and beautiful upholstery making an immediate impression. Yet the colour palette pares it back with whites and neutrals. What was the design thinking here and what was the process like finalising colours and materials? The material palette and tonality has been inspired by the coastal landscape. Its paired back nature offers a sense of serenity, a calmness reflecting the beachside lifestyle. Sophisticated materiality has been overlaid in a restrained and unpretentious manner. Details highlight the materials natural properties allowing them to be sculpted into tectonic forms.
“The material palette and tonality has been inspired by the coastal landscape.”
What did you personally find some of the more interesting or unique design elements of this project? This project is a narrative of form and material gestures. Through analysis of the existing pavilion architecture and its environment, we undertook an exploration of seamlessness, sculpting, forming, casting and extruding materials. Their details imbue calmness, warmth and tactility whilst allowing the location and offering take centre stage. Vaulted, arched windows frame the ocean views; bi-folding apertures create connection; and open-plan kitchens and bars curate the experience. What do you hope will be memorable among patrons? This elevated seaside pavilion is one of Sydney’s most immersive dining experiences. mimi’s merivale.com ACME acme-co.com.au We think you might also like our take on the Leading Australian Interior Designers abc
“Vaulted, arched windows frame the ocean views; bi-folding apertures create connection; and open-plan kitchens and bars curate the experience.”
Architect Peter Ireland, principal of Allen Jack + Cottier, who had designed the couple’s previous house in Wamberal, visited their Queensland property to observe the horses. “The idea for the pavilion came from watching how the herd would congregate under a fig tree. They were sheltered but free to move, and to adapt to the weather and personality disputes within the herd,” says Peter. This provided the inspiration for the horse pavilion, with the functional elements centred in the core (the tree trunk), and the broad cantilevered roof (the tree canopy) sheltering the horses as they freely move around. “No fences, gates or corrals that typical farm buildings use to control the movement of animals,” Peter says. This gives the horses free movement and living, and the choice to wander up to the hill to interact with Lynn. “Our herd congregate regularly at the verandah waiting for me, and if I’m not up in the morning they’ll wake me. One of the greatest joys is having coffee with my horses on the verandah and steps of our home,” says Lynn.
At 90 square metres, the one-bedroom house is compact but spacious, with every room enjoying a view and a connection to the outdoors.
The form and materials of the house respond to the landscape and reference Australian rural vernacular architecture. Sitting along the contours of the hill, the house has a high roof gable framing a view of Mt Cooroy, and the structure is corrugated steel and timber, with a west-facing timber screen made of rough-edged planks. At 90 square metres, the one-bedroom house is compact but spacious, with every room enjoying a view and a connection to the outdoors. The use of space is highly considered, as are the interior finishes and furnishings, reflecting Ron and Lynn’s love for design. “Everything we’ve chosen is really unique and beautiful from a design point of view,” says Ron. Their enjoyment of art and design also extends beyond their home, as they support young up-and-coming artists, sculptors and designers, in the Noosa community. This year they worked sculptor Nick Warfield for an installation project that will be unveiled at the launch of the Noosa Art Trail. Eumundi House by Allen Jack + Cottier provides a free and unconstrained lifestyle for the Scotts and the wild brumbies. “The design has given the gift of freedom and choice in the essential structures needed for living. It’s a place where plants, animals, horses and humans have free rein to express their wildness,” says Lynn. Allen Jack + Cottier architectsajc.com Photography by Robin Riddle We think you might also like Edgar's Creek House by Breathe abc
The horses enjoy free movement and living, and the choice to wander up to the hill to interact with Lynn.
“The South Coast of New South Wales is, in my view,” says architect Peter Stutchbury, “the romantic coast. It is still largely nature-orientated compared to the north coast, and Guerilla Bay still has that raw or untouched quality.”
Guerilla Bay – or Bay Guarella to use its indigenous name – is a wind-weathered world of its own fringed by woodland coastal forest of stunted Ironbark and Scribbly Gum. The client wanted a retreat from her busy professional life. “She wanted a simple house which would nurture her soul; a house that would connect her to where she is; she wanted privacy; and to be able to shut the front door when she went back to Canberra and not worry about the house,” says Peter.
The client also wanted a house to share with others and that respected its place. Hence, the house is modest in scale (90 square metres)and sits humbly within its forested site just 30metres from the shoreline and aligned withBlack Rock, an isolated sacred rock in the bay. It rests on a sloping contour that runs the length of the house. Just one tree was removed during construction and it was milled on site and the timber used for decking.
“This building is a re-visit of the model of a beach house with all the finesse that architecture can bring,” says Peter. “I am exceptionally proud of it because it is a really wise little building. It has a purity and a clarity. A lot of people call it a temple. It has that sort of quality.”
Utilising the slope has, with just a little excavation, enabled two levels. The lower level is the bunkhouse. Accessed separately from upstairs, it can sleep eight people and has the easy flexibility and informality of the traditional beach house. Furthermore it is self-contained with a kitchen/living/dining space, laundry, bathroom and an outdoor shower.
Entry to the upper level is along a short timber bridge. Once inside, one is immediately faced with a three-way fireplace that can be opened to warm the entry, the living area, or one of the bedrooms. For Peter, the fireplace acts as a sign of the traditional beach house where the fire would be going all day in winter and sometimes late at night in summer.
There are two bedrooms, separated spatially by the living/dining/kitchen area. Peter refers to them respectively as the sky bedroom and the earth bedroom because, once again, the slope offered an opportunity to generate character in the house. So, one bedroom is elevated with access to a verandah, the other is at ground level and opens on to an internal courtyard.
With skylights and fibre-cement shutters all round, the house opens up completely to the landscape and is filled with light, making it “emotionally twice as big”. With the shutters closed, it is fire-resistant. On the outside, the structure is expressed by 1200 millimetres, which not only contributes to the sense of beachside informality, but also helps the building merge with the landscape. “It’s like a rock sitting in the landscape,” says Peter, “with a series of trees planted around it. It doesn’t play any tricks or games with its architecture.”
Like the traditional beach hut, this house is entirely flexible and fully relaxed. But, unlike the beach shack of old, there is great refinement and Peter is quick to praise his local builders who are, he says, master craftsmen. So, it is a case of enjoying the beach hut in a civilised way.
“The principle of the beach hut is adequate shelter and a sense of community and freedom, and enough independence you can read a book by yourself,” says Peter. Accordingly, with this house the community is the central area that expands on to the deck, into the courtyard, and the whole wall of the kitchen opens on to the courtyard that has a fire and a barbeque. On the other hand, the bedrooms provide privacy, each seemingly a world of its own.
Peter Stutchbury feels that we have lost a lot by “shelving the beach house tradition”. This house re-visits the traditional typology and aims to be a new model of the beach house.
Peter Stutchbury Architecture peterstutchbury.com.au
Photography by Michael Nicholson
Dissection Information Paired hardwood post-and-beam with steelplates Blackbutt hardwood Compressed fibrecement cladding Hoop-pine plywood linings Galvanised steel Stainless steel mesh
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With academic origins in the fields of history and archaeology, it seems fitting that his design work is deeply concerned with human experience: for himself as creator/maker and for others as end-user. “My practice is informed by a passion for materials and material process,” says Gidon, “and a drive to create works that are understated, simple, and deeply connected to us through tradition [or] nature.” That is to say, the process is as much a source of inspiration as other work. Amidst his exposure to antiquity and primitive artefacts, he counts practices such as bronze casting, mold-making, foundry work, and woodbending – or Magewappa as it is known in Japanese culture – as such inspirations. Describing his approach to design as reductive, the Gidon Bing Ceramics pieces you see dotted throughout the home are visually stunning in their simplicity, exude subtle elegance, and avoid the superfluous. Just as importantly, each piece has a clear function. In fact all his designs, be they object, sculpture or interior, are designed to be utilitarian and “invulnerable to the transience of fashion”. In essence, it is hoped that each piece becomes deeply meaningful to its user, and gradually a part of their daily routine. Under the hat of his interiors practice, design in the kitchen morphs from objects that adorn the space to designing the space as a whole. For Gidon, his interest lies in kitchens that are sensitively modulated, compressing or decompressing flexibly and creatively: “Spaces that take into consideration the human experience – not just how it will look,” he adds. Access to natural light, a balance between privacy and connection, a connection to nature, and creating intimacy are key elements Gidon seeks out when planning a kitchen or bathroom – in residential and commercial projects alike. “These are very traditional principles,” he says, “but they are just as relevant now if not more so.” A comprehensive practice across multiple design disciplines, one thing remains notably consistent, and that is Gidon Bing’s honour of craft and respect for materials. Creating objects, art or interiors, design decisions are made with intent and a clear purpose is always paramount. The forms are uncomplicated, the functions are clear, and the final pieces are ready for a long future with their new owners. Gidon Bing Ceramics gidonbingceramics.com Photography by Greta Van Der Star and Larnie Nicholson We think you might also like the sense and sensitivity of designer Thomas Coward abc
Describing his approach to design as reductive, the Gidon Bing pieces you see dotted throughout the home are visually stunning in their simplicity.