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Issue 60 - The Kitchen and Bathroom Issue

Issue 60

The Kitchen and Bathroom Issue

HABITUS has always stood ahead of the rest with a dedicated Kitchen and Bathroom issue of exemplar standards. For issue 60 we have taken it up a notch with our Guest Editor the extraordinary, queen of kitchen design, Sarah-Jane Pyke of Arent&Pyke, speaking directly to Kitchen and Bathroom design with some increadable insights.

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Four stories to fire your imagination about gardens
Design StoriesSaskia Neacsu

Four stories to fire your imagination about gardens

Including insightful conversations with designers such as Phillip Withers and Koichi Takada, these stories ignite the imagination and deepen our connection to nature in the pursuit of co-existence between humans and the environment.


From the vast wilderness to the serene sanctuaries of our gardens, nature has an inadvertent ability to evoke tranquillity that is unparalleled and untenable elsewhere. Mario Pei’s insight, “Good architecture lets nature in,” reminds us of the intrinsic harmony between human design and the natural environment. So, grab a seat outdoors and prepare to be inspired as we uncover four stories that will reignite your imagination and deepen your connection to the world of gardens.

Flip through the pages of The Avant Gardens

In garden literature, The Avant Gardens stands out as both an inspiration and a challenge, reshaping perceptions about the essence and potential of these green spaces within our lives. Published by gestalten, this ground-breaking book speaks to the interplay between the natural and the constructed, showcasing gardens that transcend conventional boundaries. From urban oases designed to reintroduce verdant splendour to concrete jungles to wilderness-inspired landscapes that blur the lines between cultivation and untamed wilderness, The Avant Gardens presents a global array of case studies that push the boundaries of traditional garden design.

Through its pages, readers are invited to reconsider their preconceived notions about what a garden can be and how it can enrich our homes and communities. As John Tebbs eloquently states in the introduction, “A garden is never finished, it is never static, and it is always in conversation with nature.” Within these pages lies not just inspiration, but a profound reminder of our connection to something greater, urging us to embrace the ever-evolving beauty of the garden.

Great Dixter, The Avant Gardens, gestalten 2023, photograph by Jo Metson Scott.

Insights from Phillip Withers

In the pursuit of redefining our relationship with the environment, Phillip Withers, director of the eponymous landscape architecture and horticulture studio, offers a refreshing perspective rooted in holistic principles.

With a recent book shedding light on natural Australian gardens, Withers advocates for a comprehensive approach that transcends conventional boundaries. Despite an unconventional journey into landscape design – initially studying fashion design and screen printing – Withers discovered his true calling while immersed in rural Victoria’s natural beauty. His work reflects a profound connection to the landscape, manifesting in projects that seamlessly integrate sustainability and aesthetic appeal even at a domestic scale.

This holistic mindset, deeply intertwined with the fabric of nature, is essential for fostering meaningful sustainability initiatives. Withers’ approach challenges historical notions of gardens as mere controlled spaces detached from their surroundings, urging us to embrace a regenerative landscape architecture that harmonizes with and celebrates the richness of the natural world.

Photograph by Amelia Stanwix.

Designing a liveable world with Koichi Takada

In a world where architecture often serves as more than just an aesthetic enhancement, Koichi Takada advocates for a conscious and ambitious approach that prioritises performance and sustainability. Through projects like Urban Forest and Sunflower House, Takada invites architects to embrace and surpass these principles.

In a dialogue with Alice Blackwood as part of the V-ZUG Sustainability Chronicles, Takada elaborates on his design philosophy, emphasising the urgent need to address climate change through innovative technological solutions. For Takada, beauty is not the sole criterion for judging architecture; rather, it’s about functionality and performance. He underscores the importance of nature-based design, highlighting the trend towards plant-based living as a cornerstone for creating more conscious and sustainable environments.

With his visionary approach, Takada challenges the industry to reimagine architecture as a catalyst for positive change, inspiring a shift towards a more sustainable and harmonious existence.

Reimagining space with ipli Architects

In the intricate tapestry of architecture, stories are woven, each narrative unfolding through the lens of design and environment. Such is the tale of Kasai Road by Ipli Architects, a remarkable testament to ingenuity and adaptation nestled in the tropical embrace of Singapore. Facing the challenge of limited land amidst abundant of heat and humidity, Ipli Architects embarked on a quest to craft a sanctuary that seamlessly integrates with its surroundings.

The homeowners, yearning for a place of their own where they could revel in the tropical splendour and welcome friends from near and far, collaborated closely with Tay Yew of Ipli Architects to breathe life into their vision. In a stroke of architectural brilliance, the design not only provided a coveted connection to the outdoors but also granted the homeowners the space they desired for hosting and entertaining.

From the lush tropical vegetation to the seamless indoor-outdoor flow, every element of Kasai Road reflects a harmonious synthesis of nature and design, offering a sanctuary where stories of connection and conviviality unfold amidst the verdant embrace of the tropics.

Related: Seven statement kitchen islands for the heart of the home


About the Author

Saskia Neacsu

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ArchitectureasiaAustraliaBookgardenGARDENSgestaltenHome ArchitectureInterior Designipli Architects


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Issue 60 - The Kitchen and Bathroom Issue

Issue 60

The Kitchen and Bathroom Issue

HABITUS has always stood ahead of the rest with a dedicated Kitchen and Bathroom issue of exemplar standards. For issue 60 we have taken it up a notch with our Guest Editor the extraordinary, queen of kitchen design, Sarah-Jane Pyke of Arent&Pyke, speaking directly to Kitchen and Bathroom design with some increadable insights.

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