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Habitus is a movement for living in design. We’re an intelligent community of original thinkers in constant search of native uniqueness in our region.


From our base in Australia, we strive to capture the best edit, curating the stories behind the stories for authentic and expressive living.


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


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The Brilliant New Zenith Perth Showroom

From humble beginnings as an office partition company in the 1950s, to the opening of the first showroom in Melbourne in 1990, Zenith Interiors has helped shape and define the particulars of the Asia Pacific design scene. After ten years in its old location the Zenith Perth showroom has now relocated to a stunning new locale on Queen Street. The new Zenith Perth showroom’s fit out began in early March, and despite the added complications of the COVID pandemic, the result is a stunning and inspired place to showcase the variety of Zenith’s huge range to Perth designers and design lovers. The original building that houses the new Zenith Perth showroom was built in 1906 that has allowed the Base Build Architects TRCB Architects, Interior Architect Davina Bester of Milieu Creative and fit-out builders OPRA Projects to create a stunning warehouse style space for Zenith. As a 3-level standalone character brick building, the new showroom features many of the original architectural flourishes that make the space so unique and charming. The original pressed tin ceiling on Level 1 has been kept intact, with its intricate patterns painted white to modernise the space, complimenting the white washed brickwork. Oversized and exposed industrial beams allow for larger openings while exposed timber ceilings portray the history of the building and create additional charm to the setting. Timber sliding doors on barn runners also fuse the mix of traditional and modern design. The showroom’s façade features large framed windows to entice passers-by with a selection of Zenith’s stunning furniture range, some of which is highlighted through steel framed casing that showcases a range of seating available. Juxtaposed against the heritage features is an architecturally designed black steel staircase and contemporary glass lift which enable natural light to filter through all three levels. An entertainment area on Level 1 hosts an eye-catching 3 metre long marble stone benchtop, surrounded by Zenith furniture. “It’s been an exciting 2 year journey,” says Jane Millington, Zenith’s State Manager for Western Australia “The Zenith Perth showroom moving into Raine Square has assisted creating a Design Precinct as we’re nestled among other likeminded companies.” “The CBD location makes it easier for all our clients to visit our space. The positive response to our new location and showroom has been overwhelming.” This new location for Zenith’s Perth showroom is a statement for the brand’s commitment to the state of Western Australia, and to the cutting edge and modern designs for the corporate and commercial world the team specialises in. Zenith’s designers, manufactures and distributors are driven by a design philosophy that businesses and organisations should inspire people and lead to work that that everyone can be proud of. The new showroom is the perfect place for Perth design lovers to see just what Zenith means by this design ethos. Contact the showroom to book an appointment and view Zenith’s new Perth space here. Zenith Interiors zenithinteriors.com Photography by Douglas Mark Black abc
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7 Of Our Favourite Coastal Houses From 2020

Characterised by generous and clever fenestration systems coupled with an aesthetic purity and lack of ornament, these residences are an architectural celebration of their place – and amongst the most stand-out coastal houses we covered in 2020.

Auchenflower House, DAHA

Auchenflower House by DAH Architecture is a playfully modern take on the traditional Queenslander Auchenflower House by DAH Architecture is a playfully modern take on the traditional Queenslander Auchenflower House by DAH Architecture is a playfully modern take on the traditional Queenslander Auchenflower House by DAH Architecture is the definition of contemporary Australian outdoor living Auchenflower House by DAH Architecture is a playfully modern take on the traditional Queenslander Designing within an acute site and planning restrictions is an unenviable task. In designing this house in the Auchenflower suburb of Brisbane, David Hansford of DAHA has overcome the complexities associated with designing on a steep, small and narrow site with tight setbacks. “The house attempts to tame a difficult steep terrain to provide a liveable and expansive [family-centric] lifestyle,” says David. “The plan is a perfect split level configuration that minimises journeys and separation while ascending through the steep site. Connectivity to the guest suite, kids bedrooms and master suite all sit within 1.5 storeys from the main living area.” In addition, the split-level configuration also meant that the architects were able to avoid the regulatory complications of a three-storey house. Read more  

Brighton House, Rob Kennon Architects

Indoor-outdoor flow of Brighton House by Rob Kennon Architects Brighton House by Rob Kennon Architects is a tidy, neutrally-toned extension to an Edwardian terrace. Brighton House by Rob Kennon Architects is a tidy, neutrally-toned extension to an Edwardian terrace. Brighton House by Rob Kennon Architects is a tidy, neutrally-toned extension to an Edwardian terrace. Brighton House by Rob Kennon Architects is a tidy, neutrally-toned extension to an Edwardian terrace. “In a coastal environment, you have access to natural light and the feeling of vastness in the landscape,” says Rob Kennon, director of Rob Kennon Architects. “In this house we didn’t want to make a stylistic impression of a coastal environment, so there are no tricks or knick knacks. We wanted to replicate the openness, starkness and softness of the landscape and create a light bright, robust and solid home.” Brighton House certainly demonstrates the studio’s commitment to designing well-crafted homes that achieve a strong connection to place whilst respecting the permanency of built form. Read more  

Bundeena Beach House, Grove Architects

The passive solar design of Bundeena Beach House by Grove Architects is enhanced by the rooftop garden, which reduces heat absorption, increases insulation and collects rainwater for irrigation. The Corten-clad and timber-clad structures of Bundeena Beach House by Grove Architects form a durable house, well-connected with its environment. “The location of Bundeena Beach House demanded a high level of sensitivity and good citizenship,” says Sky Grove, director of Grove Architects. “It demanded a house that was socially and environmentally responsible. That was as much about what it gives to the community, as what it gives to its occupants.” Bundeena is a picturesque town at the northeast tip of Royal National Park, where it has views across the Port Hacking estuary. The clients – a family of four – wanted a beach house for weekends and school holidays. They wanted a durable house connected with its environment, and with simple, flexible rooms. Read more  

Clovelly House, Smart Design Studio

For more than ten years the residents of Clovelly House lived in this Federation bungalow situated on a headland offering views down to Clovelly Beach and the uninterrupted blue beyond. The couple first bought the residence, adorned by an 80s-era second storey addition, in the knowledge that some things would need to change. However, with two young children priorities were elsewhere. It wasn’t until more recently that they engaged Smart Design Studio to bring the house into the modern era. Read more  

Kawau Island Bach, Crosson Architects

Not too long ago when architect, Sam Caradus, had recently joined Crosson Architects, the residents of the Kawau Island House had also recently bought the block of land on which the house now sits. Sam knew the clients, having coached their children in swimming, and before long he was to become their project architect, too. The clients wanted to build a bach, but they wanted something unique to their tastes and different to what one might find in other areas of New Zealand – such as the distinct look and feel to the South Island, or the very modern aesthetic common around Auckland. More practically, they needed the bach to be robust and durable, not just because of the exposed location, but to withstand three energetic teenage boys and at times their friends. Read more  

Mosman House, Alexander & Co.

Mosman House by Alexander and Co. is a contemporary garden pavilion addition to a quaint cottage house. Mosman House by Alexander & Co has a contemporary coastal aesthetic Mosman House by Alexander & Co has a contemporary coastal aesthetic Mosman House by Alexander & Co has a contemporary coastal kitchen Mosman House by Alexander & Co has a contemporary coastal aesthetic The client’s brief to Alexander and Co. for this alts and ads project in Mosman, Sydney, was not too prescriptive, but pointed enough. It requested a residence – part cottage, part garden pavilion – with a swimming pool and ample freedom and capacity to accommodate the ever-changing needs of a growing family. The original cottage that Alexander and Co. had to work with was quaint yet plagued by the traditional spatial limitations. On the bright side, there was at least one thing for the original property to boast: its large plot and expansive lawn had plenty of potential. Read more  

Palm Beach Blue, Benn+Penna

For Palm Beach Blue, the owners were no strangers to the site. In fact, their family had a long history with the area and this new four-bedroom holiday house replaces a cabin, typical of the post-war era, built by the client’s previous generation. The brief was for a contemporary and comfortable holiday home that anyone within the client’s large, intergenerational family would be able to use. Of equal importance was a desire for architecture that didn’t compete with, or detract from, the beauty of the site and its views. Though spacious and open, the resulting design from architect and director of Benn+Penna, Andrew Benn, is restrained in form and represents a modest built imprint on the surrounding landscape. Read more    abc
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Minimal Yet Oh So Monumental

From the outset it’s evident that Bay House is designed to be at one with its surrounds. To forge a powerful connection been the new build and its natural habitat was a key tenet of the clients’ brief to Studio Prineas – and with captivating, quintessentially Australian views across a milieu of mature gums, punctuated by glimpses of Georges River, in regional NSW, it’s no wonder why. In response, the Sydney-based architecture practice produced a multi-generational family house that is passive in nature, minimalist in style and monumental in presence. Inspired by the rugged and rocky topology on which it sits, Bay House boasts a robust materiality. Stacked blockwork, breeze block and concrete embed the architecture in the rugged landscape, while maintaining an unassuming and elegantly proportioned street profile, reminiscent of an iconic mid-century style house façade. The interior forms a continuation of the minimalist architectural palette. Exposed blockwork walls and honed concrete floors establish a refined, utilitarian aesthetic that draws focus to the wide-ranging views and interior accents. Floating over the stairwell, a series of pendant lights offer a delicate counterbalance; fine suspension cables and spherical forms appearing as a sculptural work suspended in space. A central spine and void anchors the internal layout, capturing stunning landscape vistas and creating a lofty spatial quality. The light-filled kitchen and dining area form the hub of the home; an active centre around which daily activities can intuitively occur. Beyond, a wide deck extends the footprint of the home, encouraging outdoor dwelling within the landscape. This arrangement allows for seamless indoor/outdoor entertaining, easy living and little maintenance. An intimate lounge presents a welcoming environment characterised by comfort and ease. A suspended steel fireplace presents a sculpted anchor point, while subtle plywood accents add warmth and tactility, forming a high-level ribbon datum and mellow ceiling plane. An adjacent joinery wall provides ample storage, while thoughtfully masking the television from sight. The bedrooms benefit from the quiet repose of the upper level, with considered openings directing tailored views to the landscape. The master suite opens to a generous terrace, presenting soothing tree-top vistas and inviting gentle breezes. Finished with warm timber flooring, stacked blockwork and mirrored accents, the openings create atmospheric light play across the interior palette. The synergies between volumes are revealed through thoughtful and authentic visual connections, creating an approachable atmosphere and a meaningful dialogue between architecture, inhabitants and nature. In designing Bay House, Studio Prineas has traversed scales with great tact – from placemaking and spatial sequencing to consideration of human engagement at an intimate level. The result is a calming yet vibrant home, mediating qualities of privacy, comfort and warm inclusivity. Studio Prineas studioprineas.com.au Photography by Chris Warnes We think you might also like River House by KA Design Studio abc
HAP - Feature

Celebrating Habitus House Of The Year 2020 In Style

While the events of 2020 meant the presentation for this year’s Habitus House of the Year had to follow a different format than usual, there was no less excitement and anticipation. On Thursday 3 December, a selection of guests lounged at StylecraftHOME where the awards were presented to the audience, while being filmed and streamed out to hundreds of viewers online. The format allowed us to cross live around the Indo Pacific to several of the winners – Ling Hao Architect in Singapore, ODDO Architects in Vietnam, and Paul Butterworth Architects in Brisbane, while the Habitus House of the Year award went to Alexander Symes Architect who joined us on the evening to accept the award in Sydney. The independent jury had tough decisions to make as every single one of the 20 projects featured in issue #49 of Habitus are worthy of recognition. And it’s worth reiterating that we see each of the editorially selected projects as the Habitus Houses of the Year. We would like to thank our jury for their input and ongoing support of the program, lending their knowledge and expertise to guide the selection – David Clark, Howard Tanner, Neil Burley, Karen McCartney and convenor of the jury Paul McGillick. Habitus would like to acknowledge the support of our Major Partners for 2020: Gaggenau, StylecraftHOME and Zip; and our Supporting Partner: Rocks On. Our Trophy Partner, Axolotl, and our Design Hunter Partners: About Space, Didier, Euroluce, Phoenix Tapware, The Green Room, Savage Design, Stylecraft and Top3 By Design. Watch the full presentation now [gallery type="rectangular" ids="107903,107904,107905,107906,107907,107909,107910,107911,107912,107913,107914,107915,107916,107918,107919,107920,107921,107922,107923,107924,107925,107926,107927,107928,107929,107930,107931,107932,107933,107934,107935"]abc
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Design Hunters

Discover Scandinavian Design

Through the years, Scandinavian design has remained a constant influence of global design narratives. Built around an appreciation for simplicity, minimalism and the collision of beauty and functionality, the Scandianvian aesthetic continues to inspire and inform us to this day. However, the geographic distance between our two regions means we don’t always get to delve into the stories behind the design, that we miss out on learning the techniques, craftsmanship and stories behind the design. Now, thanks to Super Design and Great Dane Furniture, we’re bringing you an exclusive behind-the-scenes tour into the universe of Scandinavian craftsmanship, featuring the makers and designers as they share insights into their ideals.  You’ll see inside the oldest furniture factory in Denmark, Gemla with founder, Benny Hermansson; hear Sofie Refer from Nuura and designer Antrei Hartikainen speak about their connection with Nordic nature and how it influences their design process; learn the complexities of what’s involved in pleating a Le Klint lampshade; and explore a showroom tour by Inoda + Sveje from their design studio in the heart of Milano. Experience a true showcase of the talent and skill that goes into every piece that is lovingly handmade. In between the video tours, hear from Great Dane founder Anton Assaad as he shares anecdotes and insights alongside Habitus editor Aleesha Callahan. This content is available for a limited time only. View the tour now.

Meet the speakers 

Antrei Hartikainen Antrei Hartikainen (b. 1991) is a master cabinet maker and designer from Finland known for his exquisite works in wood. The award- winning pieces, including functional products and pure art works, achieve heights of sensuality, elegance and craftsmanship that place them with finest examples of modern Nordic carpentry. I have worked extensively with wood design. My aim is to create products and unique pieces which answer to the imperatives of practicality, craftsmanship and the medium itself; a desire to reveal the myriad possibilities of wood provides an enduring impetus to my work.”   Kyoko + Nils Inoda + Sveje is a design duo comprising Kyoko Inoda, born in Osaka in 1971, and Nils Sveje, born in Denmark in 1969. Inoda studied architectural design at ISAD in Milan. Sveje graduated from the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts, School of Architecture. Sveje later moved to Italy where he worked under Stefano Giovannoni, and then returned to Denmark. While working at the Institute of Product Development (IPU) Sveje joined forces with Inoda and formed Inoda + Sveje in Copenhagen in 2000, before returning their base of operations to Milan in 2003. In addition to furniture and product design, Inoda + Sveje is involved in other fields, such as medical devices and speakers. Inoda + Sveje designed the DC09 chair in 2011, a solid wood chair with a minimalist and sculptural essence, that won them the International Furniture (IF) Gold Award for Furniture Design.   Jacob Plejdrup A multicultural life in Denmark, England, Germany and Switzerland has had a decisive influence on Jacob Plejdrup’s design philosophy, since he began his career in the furniture and interior business back in 1991. The culmination came in 2009, when Jacob Plejdrup and his wife Ann Plejdrup founded dk3 to place undivided focus on creating design furniture under the dk3 brand, combining nature’s aesthetic elements with pure and timeless design. With his designs, Jacob Plejdrup wishes to move the beauty of nature indoor in a minimalistic way, and this design vision was embodied in the dk3_3 table, which was launched in 2009 as one of the first plank tables on the Scandinavian market. The table played a major role in the birth and establishment of dk3, and the design heritage has been maintained and passed on to several other dk3 products since then.   Sofie Refer Sofie Refer is an internationally awarded Danish lighting designer and rooted in the Scandinavian design tradition she considers respect for nature and the beauty of simplicity as two of the most valuable qualities in her designs. With esteem for the tradition, Sofie likes to challenge the perception and with curiosity and eagerness to explore the riches, generosity and extravagance of environment interprets these in her lighting designs. “I am truly inspired by light in the Nordic. I strive to balance simplicity and grandeur, and create light that has a pure yet sensuous expression.”   Anton Mannervik + Benny Hermansson Passing through the beech forests and the small village of Diö by the river Helgeå, you will find Sweden’s oldest furniture manufacturer, Gemla Fabrikers, founded in 1861. You will also encounter a curiously rich history, characterized by inventiveness as well as stubbornness, said to be typical of the region of Småland. Craftsmen from Bohemia arrived in Diö in the 19th century, bringing their know-how and experience from Thonet’s factories with them. They were the first in Sweden to introduce the art of shaping wood and laid the foundation of this art, which has been developed by Gemla ever since. Represented in several award-winning interiors, Gemla Furniture is appreciated both for its lightness and comfort. The solid bentwood design, durable construction and quality materials produce a unique and sustainable craft, built to last for generations.   Want more great design stories? Catch up on 2 weeks of exclusive design content with Super Design’s on-demand library.abc
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Kelly Hoppen Surrounds Us In Style With Two New Collections

The inimitable Kelly Hoppen CBE has just released two new collections that add to the plethora of products under the Hoppen brand. The first range, with Italian rug and carpet specialist Loloey, showcases the Hoppen style of East meets West through hand-tufted and textured rugs. The second collection presents the designers creativity through wallpapers and is a collaboration with English wallpaper, fabric and porcelain company, de Gournay. The range with Loloey combines luxurious materials and textures such as silk, linen, merino wool and metallic yarn with expert Italian workmanship and manufacturing. The rugs have been created with a neutral palette and dynamic textures and the result is 20 unique designs inspired by Asia, nature, geometric and linear shapes. “This collection is exquisite and I am so proud of what Loloey and I have created together," Kelly comments on the collection. "Each of the designs balance colour, texture and materials so beautifully. I’m excited for people to discover that rugs can be more than something lying underfoot and can make a real design statement, bringing a touch of luxury to a space.” With more than half a century of experience in the industry, Loloey is a leader in its field, known for technical creativity and with a multitude of outstanding materials at its disposal. As an Italian family business with a global reach, Loloey brings unparalleled expertise in the manufacture of rugs and carpets to this range. “It has been a pleasure to develop this collection with Kelly. Ours was a true collaboration, a fruitful exchange of ideas," says William Loloey. "We have pushed our technical boundaries developing techniques that bring to life Kelly’s conceptional ideas, resulting in an original and unexpected collection in pure Kelly Hoppen style.” The collection of wallpapers designed for de Gourney comprises of seven designs that explore traditional Asian iconography and motifs in the East meets West aesthetic that Hoppen has made her own. de Gournay was established in 1986 and since then has forged an unparalleled reputation for artisanal products. The collection with Hoppen employs the latest embroidery techniques using metallic thread, beading, relief-effect decoupage and hand painting to make each design and colourway a work of art. Hannah Cecil Gurney of de Gournay explained, “de Gournay is famed for rich colour and ornate motifs. Kelly has taken us in a dramatically different direction with a focus on texture and materiality depicted in tonal colour palettes. The result is bold and contemporary. It has been exciting to use our historic techniques of hand painting and hand embroidery to create something so innovative and intrepid” Kelly Hoppen’s talent knows no bounds and again she makes her mark creating two more fabulous accessory ranges for the home and collaborating with two exceptional manufacturers. Kelly Hoppen Interiors kellyhoppeninteriors.com Loloey loloey.com de Gournay degournay.com We think you might also like the Doodles collection by cc-tapis x Faye Toogood abc
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Designing The Complete Bathroom Experience, Without Compromise

Throughout history, the bathroom space has evolved from a simple, functional room into a haven of uninterrupted luxury. Within the contemporary residence, the bathroom is seen as a valued extension of our living spaces and a reflection of how we live, work and relax during our daily lifestyles. For many, the perfect bathroom all comes down to a functional, timeless and beautiful design with a power to enrich our lifestyles and wellbeing. With this in mind, the process of achieving this can be slightly overwhelming and sometimes, quite expensive. Whether you’re a first-time renovator or an experienced builder, understanding which products best suit your style and budget can be a strenuous experience. With so many products on offer in today’s market; collections that range from every price point and every design style; the possibilities are endless. That’s where Australian brand, Caroma comes in. As a leading bathroom destination, Caroma has refined their full product offering to help you create, deliver and achieve the sanctuary of your dreams. With over 78 years of experience, the Australian-owned brand has proven themselves as the experts of inspiring bathrooms spaces time and time again. By combining expert engineering, innovation and an inimitable design vision, Caroma’s offerings balance form, function and aesthetics in a complete, holistic bathroom experience. With their wide range of classic to artisanal collections, customers are offered the luxury experience of being able to personalise their new, contemporary bathroom with a customised collection of Caroma products. For those that want the cohesive and expertly styled look, Caroma’s offerings extend to full bathroom collections that are easily accessible and beautifully designed, without compromising on quality and function. Elegant and luxurious all in one, the Luna Collection is the complete package and more. This contemporary range is part of Caroma’s Classic Collection, making it truly a one of a kind. Specially designed with practicality and luxury in mind, Luna is the brand’s most popular and affordable range loved and celebrated by Australians. Luna’s proven reputation of high-quality construction, durability and longevity has become a classic in homes across the country, where every product enables the consumer to enjoy bathroom experiences that both complement and elevate the daily routine. From a refreshing, fast-paced morning start to a slow moment to unwind at night, Luna offers pockets of everyday luxury throughout the day. With classic styles and exceptional functionality, this collection is ideal for people seeking a DIY experience with luxurious, contemporary and good value bathroom products. Designed with Australian ingenuity, the Luna series features soft curves and minimal profiles, adding a timeless finish to complement a range of bathroom styles, budgets and floor space. From transforming your style inspirations on a mood board into reality, the Luna Collection allows you to relax, rejuvenation and refresh without compromise. At the heart and soul of Luna is the Caroma philosophy. Backed by the industry, each product is designed with reliability, longevity and versatility that offer the ultimate experience without the complications. From toilets, basins, tapware, baths, shower heads and all the way through to towel rails, The Luna Collection by Caroma the luxury bathroom experience that puts quality, elegance and design simplicity at the forefront. Explore the Luna Collection today.abc

To Melbourne, From Biasol: “Let The Good Times Roll”

Billie Buoy is a new community- and family-friendly eatery located in Essendon, a suburb in the north-west of Melbourne. For the design, interior designer and Biasol Principal, Jean-Pierre Biasol, has drawn on the feel-good vibes of the 1980s and channelled Billie Buoy, a made-up character of his time who was radical, hip and a little offbeat. The building occupies a corner location with glazing at the front and a graffiti-like slogan splashed on the side that says ‘Wake Me Up When I’m Famous’! While the internal floor plate is just 60 square metres, every centimetre has been fully utilised. Banquette seating has been included near the front entrance and in the rear dining room. A counter area with stools allows free-flowing circulation between areas. An arch motif has been employed throughout and creates interest while delineating spaces and softening the juncture between ceiling and wall. The colour palette is bold and eye-catching with hot pink highlights and cobalt blue in abundance. Materials are textured with a combination of terrazzo, mosaic tiles, rendered walls and felt upholstery that creates depth and variation within the blue hue. An authentic brick floor unifies the interior while a stainless steel bar and arched shelving adds a touch of pizzazz. Hot pink neon weaves its way throughout wall artwork to create Instagram opportunities for customers. The interiors and branding were developed simultaneously so that they complement one another and combine to form a strong and definitive design. Signage and coffee cups, packaging and apparel all have the signature appeal; Rick Astley’s lyrics are printed on the takeaway bags. Every detail has been attended to and the total design is an homage to the 1980s in a way that is young, fresh and unforgettable. Billy Buoy is the place to be and is the design statement that makes retro cool again. Biasol biasol.com.au Photography by Timothy Kaye  We think you might also like Bicycle Thieves by Pierce Widera abc
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Flowing Spaces Born From Functionality

There is a tried and tested formula that developers subscribe to when launching new condominiums in Singapore—as many rooms as you can reasonably pack into the given floor area, minimal storage and vanilla interiors that, while not particularly eye-catching, are tasteful enough to appeal to a broad base of buyers. When a young family of three first moved into their apartment a decade ago, what the condominium developer had provided ticked enough boxes such that no renovation was needed. Ten years on and with the changing needs of the family, this was no longer the case. “Things were starting to break down and there was a lot of clutter with no shelves to hold our things,” the owners share. “We needed a lot of storage.” They turned to EHKA Studio to rethink how the apartment could present itself both functionally and aesthetically. While the crux of the brief was to include more storage, the challenge for EHKA Studio was to include cupboards in a way that didn’t distract or add bulk to the modestly sized space. “We wanted it to add to the overall experience of the space,” the design studio shares. The unlikely catalyst for the easy, flowing spaces that mark this home were the handle-less, full-height cabinets that were introduced in the living area. EHKA Studio had rounded the corner of the cabinet wall to allow as much light into the adjacent dining space. It was also a gesture that mitigated what would have been an obtrusive corner in the middle of the living space. From here on out, the curved corner became a leitmotif that sculpts its way throughout the rest of the apartment—partitions, wardrobe corners, ceiling details and built-in furniture. EHKA Studio shares, “We didn’t knock down any rooms, but still wanted the space to feel very connected, and a lot of these curved corners help the space feel more fluid.” A key example is the newly introduced curved glass panel that provides a seamless view from the cooking area into the rest of the home and vice versa. This goes a long way in making the core of the home feel substantially more spacious. Adding another dimension to the apartment’s design expression, the private lift lobby, which was originally encased in glass, is now wrapped by the steady rhythm of timber screens that bring greater privacy. Desiring to maintain a lightness to the interior, the design team used a combination of see-through and mirror-backed screens to avoid anything too solid and heavy looking. In the same vein, a calming palette of light timber and white was chosen for the entire apartment and is a veritable balm to the senses. Details factor heavily in the resulting space, with the design team taking great pains to delve into intricacies—a slight chamfer of a cabinet edge to create as slim a profile as possible; a recessed frame to purely express the verticality of a screen; the attenuation of gaps between cabinet doors to avoid unnecessary distractions. “We wanted everything to be very elegant, very trim,” shares the design team. “It’s a design preference for our studio. We like things simple, not overly done.” EHKA Studio ehkastudio.com Photography by Studio Periphery We think you might also like Grand Small Apartment by Tsai Design abc
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Is This The Most Prolific House In Sydney’s Surry Hills?

When Renato D’Ettorre Architects took on this substantial alterations and additions project, the Sydney-based practice inherited an eclectic composition of existing volumes. The ‘before’ picture looked something like this: a three storey, c.1890s, Italianate-style terrace house in inner Sydney, accompanied by an even older (c.1860s) sandstone stable — which had together undergone an office fit-out sometime during the nineties. With this patchwork of a property as its starting point, the project envisioned four fundamental outcomes. The three storey Victorian terrace was to be renovated and modified to suit the lifestyles and needs of the modern family. The historic sandstone stables were to be converted into guest quarters, with a look to eventually accommodate ageing parents. At the same time, the rear stone fences were in need of repair and the client desired a new concrete carport, complete with landscaped roof terrace and swimming pool. As is the case for many of inner Sydney’s heritage listed terrace houses, the historical significance of the original dwelling is almost entirely due to its grand Victorian-era, Italianate-style facade, leaving the rear volumes in the architects’ capable hands with complete carte blanche. Fittingly, this is where Renato D’Ettorre Architects’ most dramatic intervention for Italianate House takes place. An impressively engineered, double height brick arch — a nod to the terrace’s original Italianate style — has been introduced to the rear of the main residence. Containing a new family room and dining space the annexed addition is a seamless continuation of the ground floor public program, following on from the main living room and kitchen area housed within the existing structure. Above that, however, the extension adds space to the already generously sized terrace, far beyond the clients’ needs or expectations. Not wanting for any space to go to waste, Renato D’Ettorre Architects incorporated a light-drenched mezzanine with study area in the upper-middle regions of the vaulted extension and a multi-use conservatory to top it all off. Sharing the topmost floor a kitchenette, secondary living room, laundry facilities, and a third bedroom with ensuite, the conservatory is treated as an outdoor living area. The nonchalant addition of the conservatory – finished with double glazed roofing, durable furniture and potted plants – brings the benefits of biophilic and passive solar design to the very pinnacle of Italianate House. “The expansive double glazed roof acts as a heat bank to disperse hot air through the upper levels of the house in the cooler months and can also act as a drying area during wetter periods,” explains Renato D’Ettorre. Other alterations and restorations to Italianate House appear in far subtler strokes than the grand gesture of the arched extension. Positioned along the property’s southern boundary, the simple sandstone structure that was once the horses’ stables has been granted a new lease on life — this time as a self-contained guest apartment/pool house. The original building’s main historical features — ornate marble fireplaces, grand staircase, and glass panelled entrance door — were tactfully revived, down to the finest details. Italianate House is a modern family residence endowed with generous spaces and a sense of character that is entirely its own. Through design, Renato D’Ettorre Architects has reconciled the patchwork of design typology and era that once was and arrived, with considered resolve, at an enormous yet cohesive and thoughtfully connected family residence. New and improved, Italianate House pays homage to its heritage, but in a decidedly bold and contemporary way. Renato D’Ettorre Architects dettorrearchitects.com.au Photography by Justin Alexander We think you might also like GB House by Renato D'Ettorre Architects abc
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Complexity Transformed Into Beauty With The Butterfly Table

Since the 90s, the Northern Italian nucleo+ collective has been impressing and changing the face of the furniture and fashion worlds. Combining creative professionals and design experts, the team has channelled their shared creativity into a wealth of products and creations. The Butterfly table is the first nucleo+ collaboration with Cattelan Italia. A true Italian collaboration between the Friuli based nucleo+ and Vicenza’s Cattelan Italia, The Butterfly table is a stunning debut collaboration between these design teams – a beautiful table where functional form and mathematical complexity find a synthesis in harmony, practicality, and beauty. Immediately eye-catching is the Butterfly table’s looping painted steel base. A timeless and complex, yet elegantly restrained base, the interconnected loops support a generous glass top with a reverse bevelled edge, exemplifying both the prestige associated with the Cattelan brand, and the effortless creativity of the nucleo+ team. The design is distinctly modern, suited to contemporary designer spaces of virtually any aesthetic. The elegance and refinement of the Butterfly table have no period, while its curves encourage engagement from passers-by in a playful yet reserved way. The range includes two surface options, one in a 15mm glass with the reverse bevelled edges, and another topped with Marmi ceramic, available in 12 incredible finishes. [gallery type="rectangular" ids="107710,107711"] The team at nucleo+ are led by Irene Sara, an artist and painter with an academic backing in in Scenography and Applied Arts. Her creativity is the soul of the group, and she and her team’s collaboration with Cattelan Italia could not have resulted in a more beautiful table. Cattelan Italia was established in 1979 from an idea of husband and wife team Giorgio and Silvia Cattelan, initially focussing on marble elements, such as tables, surfaces, and coffee tables. Today Cattelan Italia has expanded to a broad selection of designer products across dozens of sectors, all designed with the principles of industrialisation, style and functionality, all based on craftsmanship. An investigation of form and a creative spirit, the Butterfly table is the proof of the power and beauty of collaboration. Uniquely Italian, timeless, and suited to any contemporary designer space, the table is the epitome of how design, aesthetics, art and function can work together. Cattelan Italia cattelanitalia.comabc
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“Robust But Elegant” Wins Habitus House Of The Year 2020

For more than a decade, Habitus has been unwavering in its mission to seek out the very best in architecture and design from across the Indo-Pacific Region and communicate to our readership how it both serves and expresses our unique way of life. With this intent ever front of mind, Habitus House of the Year was born in 2018 as a way of distinguishing the best from the rest. In 2020, Habitus #49 marked the third annual Habitus House of the Year special edition, showcasing a shortlist of 20 of the most impressive residential design examples recently completed across the Indo Pacific – but only one can be named Habitus House of the Year 2020. Culminating with an intimate cocktail event hosted by StylecraftHOME, Sydney, on Thursday 3rd of December and streamed live to Design Hunters far and wide, the programme saw six outstanding houses – from a shortlist of 20 – receive special commendations from the jury. Just weeks prior, Convenor of the Jury, Paul McGillick, Founding Editor of Habitus presided over an esteemed, hand-selected panel of architecture connoisseurs – Neil Burley, Founder of Burley Katon Halliday and Anibou; David Clark, Design Editor / Commentator / Curator and Publisher; Karen McCartney, Architecture Editor / Author / Curator; and Howard Tanner, Consultant Architect – to separate and identify the winning projects. Multi-generational living, mixed-use typologies and connection to nature surfaced as increasingly prevalent themes defining our region's modern and uniquely Indo-Pacific way of life. Project similarities, however, do not help to determine a winner. “The outstanding jury panel worked together to form a consensus on each of the categories,” says Paul McGillick. Without further ado, here are your 2020 winners.  


Upside Down Akubra House by Alexander Symes Architect

Nundle, Australia From the jury: Howard Tanner summed it up by saying that this house’s response to its location was “robust but elegant”. Set on a remote rural property, the house responds to the panoramic landscape and the outback climate in a creative, but fully functional way. The bold and quirky roof form is echoed inside by idiosyncratic detailing, an elegant plan and an imaginative use of diverse but familiar materials. The massive roof overhangs ensure 360º views and uninterrupted connection with the imposing landscape. At the same time, the roof ensures excellent internal thermal performance, interacting with the patterned concrete floor to moderate internal temperatures in summer while capturing solar warmth in winter.  


CH House by ODDO Architects

Hanoi, Vietnam From the jury: This house is a highly inventive response to re-purposing a narrow-fronted, traditional shophouse. Consisting of five levels, including a roof terrace and a street level commercial space, the house features a play of connected spaces leavened by generous greenery to make the house seem like one continuous space. It does this through differing ceiling heights, split levels, voids, an artful use of light and shadow and a sophisticated façade connecting it to its urban environment.  


Bowden House by Belinda George Architect

Tutukaka, New Zealand From the jury: Described by the jury as “an evocative response to a beautiful landscape”, this house really becomes one with its topography and dramatic landscape. Taking advantage of a natural amphitheatre, the north-facing house also exploits a sensational view. The house nestles into the hill and the bush. While the house becomes part of the landscape, the landscape also embraces and protects the house.  


Compound House by Ling Hao Architect

Singapore From the jury: Jury member, David Clark, described this house as having “a Zen quality”, not in the customary minimalist sense, but in the way it supports a form of holistic living. A makeover of a 1950s single level row house, it is now two stories and, inspired by the traditional Malay kampung house, it is almost entirely open resulting in the interior and exterior becoming a single, green landscape, obviating the need for air-conditioning. While provision is made for privacy, the family is able to live as one in a home where interior and exterior form a single landscape.  


J&J Residence by Hogg & Lamb 

Brisbane, Australia From the jury: The jury was impressed by the “exemplary use of rammed earth” in this house. Inside, the rammed earth walls are elegant and quite grand, but deft planning gives the house a very comfortable feel with a fluid circulation, and excellent connection to the outside with a mix of captured views and generous openings.  


House at Otago Bay by Topology Studio

Tasmania, Australia From the jury: This house responds very imaginatively to its setting. This starts with the way it sits so comfortably on its site as part of the bush with dramatic views across the River Derwent. The roof is artfully dipped in the middle which, along with the way the house exploits the fall of the land to generate an extra level, minimises its impact on the landscape.  


Corymbia Beach House by Paul Butterworth Architect

Stradbroke Island, Australia  

Until next year...

Habitus House of the Year wouldn’t exist without the support of our friends, colleagues and regular collaborators in the industry. We would like to extend our sincerest thanks to our Major Partners Gaggenau, StylecraftHOME and Zip; Supporting Partner Rocks On; Design Hunter Partners About Space, Didier, Euroluce, Phoenix Tapware, The Green Room, Top3 By Design; and our Trophy Partner Axolotl.  abc