ISSUE 08 JULY – SEPTEMBER 2010
AUD $13.95 NZ $14.95 USD $15.95
CDN $16.95 GBP £8.50 SGD $10.95
Alternative urban living in Thailand SEVENTIES album art inspires Adelaide illustrator Lighting, the new classics The Rise and Rise of Singapore Design BBQs heat up Danish icons at home in Melbourne Easton Pearson tour Brisbane Inspiring additions in Sydney The new Indian architecture
LIVING WITH ART
contents 1. HABITUS PRODUCTS WELCOME TO A WORLD WHERE DESIGN CAN INSPIRE YOU TO DO EVERYDAY
2. HABITUS PEOPLE & PLACES
How does a tropical climate inspire a unique way of living? Tempe Macgowan talks to landscape architect, Andrew Prowse, in Cairns.
EXPLORING THE MINDS, SPACES AND
THINGS IN NEW WAYS, RECALL
WORK OF CREATIVES AROUND THE
MEMORIES OF TIMES GONE BY &
REGION – AN ARRAY OF FASCINATING
PROVIDE DELIGHT AND HUMOUR.
IMAGES AND IDEAS TO ENJOY.
Products crafted with colour and creativity. Don’t miss our product in ‘Focus’, where we get up close and personal with the Habitus Pick.
Iconic Australian fasion duo, Easton Pearson, show Margie Fraser their favourite things and places around their hometown of Brisbane.
77 close up
The architecture of Kanika Ratanapidakul seamlessly combines relationships, context and culture. Tonkao Panin reports.
3. HABITUS HOMES IMPRESSIVE AND INTUITIVE, ON THE CITY AND THE COAST, HABITUS HOMES
Barbecues, grills and braziers that invite social interaction and gastronomic satisfaction.
ACROSS THE REGION EXPLORE THE WAYS IN WHICH LIFE CAN BE ENRICHED BY
THE SPACES WE CREATE FOR OURSELVES.
Maddie Tumkur meets Chris Lee, a Singapore creative crossing design boundaries and firing up a new generation of design renegades.
Kath Dolan meets Adelaide illustrator, Dan McPharlin and discovers his inspiration – 1970s design collective, Hipgnosis, who created groundbreaking album covers for Pink Floyd.
114 SCENARIO: BLAIR ROAD
Residential architecture The traditional front of this Singapore shophouse belies a sleek and contemporary interior designed by Ong & Ong. Darlene Smyth visits a home that shows you can’t judge a home by its façade.
35 in camera
Bring light into your life with lamps of all description, whether tall, short, practical or beautiful.
65 AT HOME
Inside the home of Anton Assaad in Melbourne, Stephen Crafti finds a treasure trove of Danish moderns.
What happens when young designers from Singapore, Argentina and Spain get a taste of each other’s creative personalities? They bind together to form international design collective, Outofstock.
SCENARIO: BANGKOK HOUSE
DIRECTOR’S CUT: N85
Residential architecture Communal and private living are combined in this four-storey house by Kanoon Studio in Bangkok. Tonkao Panin discovers spaces that adapt to changing needs.
Architects and designers designing for themselves Pivotal to the burgeoning Indian creative scene, the couple behind Morphogenesis architecture studio invite Jagan Shah into their own home, which exemplifies their approach to living in contemporary Indian society.
157 CROSS FADE: WAGSTAFFE HOUSE
Alterations and additions Architect, Michael Dysart, has retained the charm of this 1950s compact holiday cottage on the NSW Central Coast. Peter Salhani explores the sensitive addition that frames a bygone era along with the picture-perfect water view.
4. HABITUS SIGN-OFF WE DISCOVER THE RICH ART, ARCHITECTURE AND CULTURE OF SICILY, AND SPARK A CREATIVE DEBATE.
214 SNAPSHOT: SICILY
Jane Burton-Taylor takes us through the history of Sicily while traipsing through Palermo and surrounding towns, meeting some colourful characters and, of course, sampling local fare along the way.
133 SCENARIO: KRIMMER HOUSE
Residential architecture Margie Fraser visits a home on the Sunshine Coast by Sparks Architects, with a nautical theme inspired by a love of Japanese minimalism.
200 DIRECTOR’S CUT: GESUALDI HOUSE
165 DIRECTOR’S CUT: wiston gardens
145 SCENARIO: ontario HOUSE
Residential architecture Ministry of Design, renowned for pushing the boundaries, subvert the typology of a Singapore bungalow to create a private, yet spacious home in a somewhat uninspiring urban landscape. Patricia Nelson reports.
Alterations and additions A Leslie Wilkinson-designed house in Sydney’s Double Bay benefits from an addition by Luigi Rosselli, complementing the original vision and evoking a journey through a Mediterranean hillside town.
Architects and designers designing for themselves An austere 1930s drill hall in Melbourne becomes an impressive, living shrine to art in the hands of architect, fashion importer and restaurateur, Piero Gesualdi. Stephen Crafti reports.
Some recent books on styling and decorating makes Nicky Lobo question whether they, like design and architecture, have a place in intellectual discussions of culture and creativity.
181 DIRECTOR’S CUT: MIM HOUSE
Architects and designers designing for themselves Alice Blackwood visits the home of interior designer, Miriam Fanning, in Melbourne, which combines a passion for art with a practical approach to family living.
Correction In Habitus 07 in the article on K2LD’s Cambridge Terrace house we failed to credit Patrick Bingham-Hall for the use of his images on pages 114, 116 and 119. We apologise for this oversight.
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editor’s letter paul mcgillick
For...our the design appreciation hunter,oflife space is not an is accident, shaped because by the way an accidental light is by ashadow... lifemodulated is... well, not life at all.
I recently came across Japanese novelist, Junichiro Tanizaki’s enchanting essay, In Praise of Shadows – a reverie on the Japanese sense of beauty. The eminent American architectural historian, Charles Moore has written a brief introduction to the book in which he says: “One of the basic human requirements is the need to dwell, and one of the central human acts is the act of inhabiting, of connecting ourselves, however temporarily with a place on the planet which belongs to us, and to which we belong.” Moore goes on to say that we need ‘allies’ in this quest because the modern world is a constant threat to our sense of inhabitation. Our greatest ally, he says, is light and he quotes Louis Kahn as saying: “The sun never knew how wonderful it was until it fell on the wall of a building.” But Tanizaki reminds us that light is defined by its opposite – darkness – and that our appreciation of space is shaped by the way light is modulated by shadow, or the way light is obstructed, deflected and filtered by what stands between us and the sun. Given Habitus’ agenda of context and connection, it should be no surprise that the treatment of light is a constant in the homes we visit. So, from that point of view, this issue of Habitus is no different from the first seven. But I encourage you to read this issue with a special eye – as it were. First, check out our In Camera focus on lighting for ideas on how to be creative with light in the home. But also look at how our featured architects deal with light and how they use it to create and shape space, how they use it to moderate our relationship with the world outside, and how they manipulate it to temper our sense of well-being, of feeling at home. There is the rare and precious occasion when I can sit at home on my deck which faces due north and where I can easily sit for an entire day simply watching the changing light in the rain forest opposite. The day has a rhythm to which our bodies are naturally attuned – except that modern urban living is largely oblivious to it. In a similar way, the play of light and shadow on and inside a building creates a rhythm which both complements its formal composition and helps connect us to our internal rhythms. In other words, there is a meditative quality to the play of light in and around a building which helps us re-discover who we are. We are used to thinking about how form creates space, but our perception of space is really shaped by light. The effects of light on our well-being are often under-estimated – just compare how you feel in a dark room compared to one filled with light. But it is never just light and dark – it is equally about the play of light and the tonal shifts which can have the same effect as music as it shapes our moods. Paul McGillick, Editor
Casamilano Made in Italy
MOWGLI Table, Edward Van Vliet WOODY Chair, Roberto Lazzeroni BEA Pendant Light, Edward Van Vliet
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design desire, heat up the grill
feel the glow of
design news living 07
GOODBYE DETERGENT! This environmentally friendly range of cleaning products made from recycled corn cobs, peach pits and walnut shells makes it easy to clean without chemicals, goodbyedetergent.com
faro A cast iron bathtub finished in enamel, and available with optional acrylic panels to assist in integrating into any modern bathroom, roca.com
large macramĂŠ pot hanging MacramĂŠ is rescued from the Sixties and brought into the present by Melbourne-
rotor The upper and lower parts of this Italian-
based designers Smalltown. This 2.5 metre, hand-knotted pot hanging is made from double-braid polyester and is
designed table are fixed, with three central surfaces that
available in black, white or custom colours, smalltown.net.au
rotate 360o for various configurations, fanuli.com.au
flask set An sophisticated glass flask set on a timber base by d.lab, a design research facility at the Department of Architecture at the National University of Singapore, designincubationcentre.com
reichenbeispiel Endless storage opportunities are presented with this hanging system from Nils Holger Moormann,
ferro e fuoco A hand-forged fireplace set designed
new to Australia through SMOW. Along with coats and hats, practical units, such as keyholder, mirror and memo board,
by Milan-based architect and designer, Marco Ferreri,
can also be hung from the magnetically fixed, individually removable hooks, smow.com.au
for Dimensione Disegno, kfive.com.au
nimbus Sophie, the latest range of wallpaper from
drop A contemporary interpretation of a transformable seat. With a simple movement, Drop transforms from a seat to
Tres Tintas is inspired by German aristocrat and traveller
a day-bed, with the drop-like shape of the head pillow working to hold the seat into position without need for a locking
Sophie von F端rstenberg, testintas.com / funkis.com
device. The outdoor version is perfect for lounging around the pool, cerrutibaleri.com
in camera lighting
Lighting revolution An irresistible mix of utilitarian function and covetable design, lighting has the power to smarten up every room and illuminate the beauty of your favourite books...
Big brother Floor lamp Go XT by Tobias-Grau in white and chrome, $2,699, from ECC. Desk lamp vintage, courtesy Junktique. Books stylistâ€™s own.
Photography Dieu Tan
Production Andrea Millar
Styling Paul Hopper
Styling Assistants Emma Lucas Ashleigh Megan
in camera lighting
Tall and glamourous Wallpaper Genuine Fake Bookshelf by Deborah Bowness, $420, from Empire Vintage. Armchair Up 2 by B&B Italia, $1,015, from Space Furniture. Floor light Twiggy by Foscarini, $2,725, from Space Furniture. Book as before.
on location easton pearson â€” QLD, australia
Text Margie Fraser
Production Andrea Millar
Photography Jared Fowler
Easton Easton Pearson: Brisbane calling For revered Australian fashion design duo, Lydia Pearson and Pamela Easton, a busy schedule means airports and international fashion shows are commonplace. But it’s in Brisbane that the two women work, live and play. Here Margie Fraser learns what these two locals find so captivating about their home town. Donning an Easton Pearson garment is as much about the experience as the look. More, perhaps. The designs are born of a process of careful attention to hand-cutting, stitching and embroidering, informed by historical understanding and artful originality. The finest of details in buttoning, clippings and fastenings all pay homage to vintage forms and make for a delicate and graceful gesture of embrace. Art is often an inspirational source for fabric design, taken from friends’ works or favourite historical periods. Fabrics are ethically sourced, fibres are natural and organic. Despite their hectic schedule and peripatetic lifestyle, Pamela and Lydia seem to manage their empire with an unruffled grace and humility. It is not surprising that their favourite things are on the whole, not things at all, but experiences and rituals which enrich everyday life. In their hometown of Brisbane, the two find some joyous places for both mind and body.
A curvaceous teapot, hand-painted in St Petersburg and purchased in Paris, is a well-used and much-loved object in Pamela and Lydia’s private studio. The voluptuously bulbous piece has the capacity to water them throughout the day. “We drink gallons of tea,” says Pamela. “We’re constantly boiling the kettle.” Their favourite brew, also retrieved during regular jaunts to Paris, is Thè des Mandarins, a white jasmine concoction. But it is the beautiful, Klimt-like patterns on the teapot’s surface that they rejoice in. Stylised horses and riders gallop around the belly of the pot, interspersed with decorative panels rendered in bright gold and crimson. “We love the figurative work,” says Lydia. “The gold is so gold, and there’s a 70’s look to the design.” For those in the know, Paladar Fumior Salon is a hole-in-the-wall bar for coffee drinkers and Cuban cigar smokers, if you’re that way inclined. Lydia and Pamela are not (inclined
to puff on cigars that is) but love the way the place evokes “a little Cuban world in the middle of West End”. The eccentrically decorated space sits on the corner of historic Fish Lane, in a precinct which bridges the tourist strip of South Bank and the state’s art institutions with the ethnically diverse and laid back suburb of West End. Art and eccentricity both find a home in Paladar’s décor, where the walls are festooned with postcards sent from South America by loyal clientele. Sofas, raw timbers and pot plants make the miniscule courtyard homely, while a rooftop terrace with bench seats and deck chairs gives views into laneway happenings. When the mood takes him, owner Filip Pilioras, who knows most his patron’s names, will break into a bit of Cuban jazz. Early morning walks around the city streets and riverside boardwalks reveal some surprising and rewarding vistas for the pair, who are conversant in Brisbane’s architectural
creation outofstock â€” singapore, argentina, spain
cultural stock Truly cross-cultural, Outofstock brings together creatives from Singapore, Argentina and Spain. One member, Gabriel Tan, offers an insight into this international melting pot of minds.
Text Nicky Lobo
Photography Courtesy of Outofstock
creation outofstock — singapore, argentina, spain A fortuitous Stockholm event brought them together and eventually provided the inspiration for their moniker. Gabriel Tan, Wendy Chua (both from Singapore), Sebastián Alberdi (Spain) and Gustavo Maggio (Argentina) all participated in the annual design competition and workshop, Electrolux Design Lab in 2005. Here, they worked closely together and, enjoying the experience, kept in touch when they returned to their respective homelands. “Despite being based in our own cities, we communicate on a regular basis,” says Gabriel. “It was interesting. Whenever we shared our views, we found strange similarities toward some things and stark differences in others.” This dynamic relationship inspired them to work together creatively for a second time, presenting a collection of furniture at Salone Satellite 2007 in Milan under the name Outofstock. Once this was successfully completed, they decided to register the company in Singapore, with plans to collaborate long term – for the annual Milan fair, as well as other interior design projects, commissioned product designs and educational workshops. In some ways, their methodology could be conceived as unusual, but in other ways, a
cross-cultural design collective makes complete fiscal and creative sense. Gabriel describes the logistics and what advantages they offer – from where they can best achieve cost-effective, quality prototypes, to their decision to store these in Spain following exhibitions to enable efficient transportation between interested European manufacturers. As well, an international office means a 24hour output. “When we work on interior projects or commissioned work for clients in Singapore, Spain or Argentina, being in different time zones actually enables us to turn around things pretty quickly for clients,” Gabriel explains. “Especially when we have tight deadlines, because at any one time at least one of us will be in normal working hours.” The creative advantages are even more forthcoming, with a depth and diversity of inspiration and experiences for the group to draw from. Gabriel gives an example of designing a tea trolley: “We can talk about the different ways we make and enjoy tea in our respective countries. We often take pictures... and this sort of allows us to take a peek into each other’s cultural backdrop.” This consideration is something that gives their products a wide
slow dissolve andrew prowse â€” QLD, australia
The tropical oases of landscape architect Andrew Prowse are defined by local climate, culture and site, and shaped by his distinct creative hand. Tempe Macgowan discovers the gardens of this Far North Queenslander. Text Tempe Macgowan
Photography David Campbell & Trevor Mein
P l at e a u By Erik Magnussen For Engelbrechts Now has a home at Interstudio
29/3/10 1:16:56 PM
PA R I S
106 HAB08_Eighthotels.indd 1
25/3/10 9:29:20 AM
slow dissolve andrew prowse — QLD, australia
Andrew Prowse’s love of the exotic was evident early on, when he was a landscape architectural student at Canberra University (formerly College of Advanced Education). Now based in Cairns, Queensland, he’s found his niche, and the residential gardens, resorts and public projects that he works on befit his exuberant imagination. This characteristic has always been tempered, though, by a strong sensitivity towards culture and place and a pragmatic, down-to-earth, country sensibility. Author Michael Ondaatje, writes that “gardens, as we know, must follow all the rules of local climate and site and the visionary hand of the gardener and ‘the needs of life at the time’”. Ondaatje was writing about Sri Lankan landscape architect Geoffrey Bawa here, but the observation is just as applicable to the work of Andrew, who visited Bawa’s home in the early 1980s, on travels throughout India and Sri Lanka. Andrew grew up amongst big landscapes on a property at Quirindi, NSW, and his mother’s background in the fashion and design industry was also influential. He recalls visiting Florence Broadhurst’s studio in Paddington when he was young and the silver foil wallpaper she selected for their country home. After College, Andrew’s design ethic was refined whilst working at Sydney City Council with Leonard Lynch (now with landscape architects, Clouston Associates in Sydney) who he says, “encouraged a sense of place and how it is important to be comfortable in an environment”. In the 1990s, Andrew moved to Cairns in Far North Queensland with Andrew Pawsey, who he met at Sydney City Council. Together they formed landscape design firm Pawsey & Prowse. Whilst Pawsey has since moved on, Andrew has stayed with the practice. As the northernmost city on the east coast, the tropical climate of Cairns contrasts with the rest
slow dissolve andrew prowse — QLD, australia
of Australia, with only two real seasons. Here, the flora is more similar to that in Papua New Guinea, where Andrews also works (he also has projects further north, into China). Andrew’s own house, at Holloways Beach in Cairns, is a vernacular Queenslander with a difference designed by architect, David LangstonJones. The house is especially compact and efficient, with a central stairwell around which rooms pivot out at different levels. “It was built well before ‘green’ houses and sustainable design became the fashion,” says Andrew. “It was built as an example of a low energy house when I was working on a manual for appropriate design in the wet tropics.” As such, no air-conditioning is necessary, and the house takes advantage of local sea breezes and utilises louvres and vents throughout. In his tropical garden, Andrew can name and describe each individual plant and has a fond story or personal connection with each species. “The tree in the backyard is the Sausage Tree from tropical Africa which I’ve seen growing in the wild in the Serengeti where leopards lie in the branches,” he says. “There’s the yellowish sword-shaped plants which are a Bromeliad from Colombia and Brazil – I love the glowing translucent foliage. There are lots of bamboos in the garden too, for the contrast of fine foliage seen against the broad leaves of the Heliconias, Gingers and Elephant Ears.”
In much of Andrew’s work, this play of contrasts between minimalist architecture and the garden itself is more measured. He collaborates closely on many projects with award-winning local architect, Roger Mainwood, Architect and Principal Director of Total Project Group. “He involves us early in the design process, in the design of pools and the landscape, to create flowing indoor/outdoor spaces,” explains Andrew. Two such projects by Roger and Andrew are the Gilbert and Struthers residences – neighbouring, award-winning vacation homes in Port Douglas that were designed and built consecutively. Andrew describes Roger’s brief for the two projects as “two homes distinct in personality but of complementary prestige and architectural interest. Each home had to respond to and embrace the tropical climate of hot, wet summers and warm, dry winters. Environmental sustainability was a key component with the homes to be comfortable year round without reliance on air-conditioning.” Each residence is starkly different, yet the same hand is evident in both designs. In the Gilbert residence, the experience is that of entering an oasis within an oasis and there is an overall sense of light, whiteness and space that flows outside to the terrace and pool. The scale of the doors onto the terrace, the Vietnamese white marble and the seamless transition with the pool is dream-like.
scenario blair road — singapore
ONG & ONG
behind Behind the ornate façade of a traditional Singapore shop house lies an interior by Ong & Ong that purely defines its vertical and horizontal axes. Darlene Smyth experienced the subtle and delicate contrast between interior and exterior.
the Façade 114
Text Darlene Smyth
Photography Derek Swalwell
scenario blair road — singapore
ONG & ONG
The centrally positioned sculptural spiral staircase is open on the lower level. 02
A Frangipani tree rises up through the deck to frame the view into the kitchen. 03
View through the courtyard into the living room.
The narrow winding streets of the Blair Plains conservation zone in Singapore are lined with highly decorative and colourful façades that characterise the historic shop houses in the area. Dating back to pre-War times, these slender and long terrace houses with their shallow forecourts and common covered passageway (called the ‘five-foot way’) are one of the older housing types in Singapore. The experiential quality of this indigenous housing typology is partly a result of its symmetrical and ornate façade, as well as the mystery of its narrow interior and internal courtyards. No 55 Blair Road shares the same ornate façade details and mouldings as its neighbours. Designed by the husband and wife team of Diego Molina and Maria Arango from Ong & Ong of Singapore, the secrets hidden behind this façade reflect an unusual mixture of influences. The crafting of the internal spaces is not only a transformation of the existing building, but takes into account the desires of an expatriate owner as well as the expatriate designers’ interpretation of the internal experience of the shop house. From the outside – which is largely characterised by the conserved detailing and proportions of the shop house – subtle clues are given as to the nature of the internal spaces. Firstly, a simple grey-on-white colour scheme
ONE REPLICA CAN TURN BEAUTY INTO RUINS
Replicas, ripoffs, copies, fakes. They can turn your design into disaster and hurt those who create the originals. Support the industry that supports you: join the ADA today at authenticdesign.com.au
sicilyâ€™s historical TOWNS
landscapes, & PHILOSOPHIES ON
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