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1 Bligh Barcode Office Pettit + Sevitt Dinh Q. Lê Helios Residences State Theatre Centre


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letter from the editor issue 48, 2012

In this issue of Indesign a group of projects – coming on the heels of the exemplary One40William development in Perth – suggest a welcome trend in the evolution of our cities. I am thinking of the way all of these projects – including the State Theatre Centre in Perth (p.105), and 1 Bligh (p.72) and Red Cross (p.95) in Sydney – each in their own way integrates with their city context. Not only are they permeable – inviting people to enter into and move through them – but they also respond to and respect their established neighbours in terms of scale, texture and formal language. At the same time, each of them contributes a fresh new element to a long-established and sometimes rather frayed neighbourhood. If this is indeed a trend, then it is a welcome reversal of a long-standing preference in our cities for buildings to turn their back on the street, close their doors to the public and pay no respect to the existing cityscape. Before we become too sanguine, however, we should consider some other developments going on at the moment. Perth has the opportunity to become the most liveable city in Australia. But it is poised to move ahead with the re-development of the Swan River foreshore. This project will change the character of Perth irremediably. Why do this? But it is a program which has developed its own momentum to the point where no one is asking: ‘Why?’ In our next issue of Indesign Sasha Ivanovich will look at the proposal in detail – the history of it and the issues that need to be debated but which – in the great Australian tradition of bureaucratic arrogance – are currently being brushed aside. These include the scale of the built form, the credibility of the connection with the CBD, the threat to CBD property values and the senseless diversions of Riverside Drive, a major east-west arterial road bypassing the city. Meanwhile in Sydney, the Barangaroo development proceeds. This over-scaled development contradicts the sensitive scale and urban intelligence of the neighbouring precinct (which includes the Macquarie Bank building and the new Commonwealth Bank building) and, like the Perth Foreshore project, advertises itself as creating connection with the CBD when it does nothing of the kind. What both these projects fail to do is grab the opportunity to create a grand public space rich in amenity in favour of selling off the farm. Take your pick: Be an optimist or a pessimist. paul mcgillick – editor Above Editor, Paul McGillick with Deputy Editor, Mandi Keighran

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mar–may, 2012

Issue 48 regulars

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027 EVOLVE Bite-sized portions from the latest people, places, products, events

COMMERCIAL

060 INDESIGN LUMINARY Philip Cox is an architect, artist, architectural historian and founding Principal of one of Australia’s largest architecture practices

072 1 Bligh and Clayton Utz, Sydney, by Architectus, Ingenhoven Architects, and Bates Smart 095 Red Cross, Sydney, by BVN Architecture

068 ART Dinh Q. Lê explores memory and the immigration experience

100 ASIC, Sydney, by HBO+EMTB

199 PULSE New Zealand jeweller Warwick Freeman talks about the importance of found objects in his work

105 State Theatre Centre, Perth, by Kerry Hill Architects

Swiss architect and designer Daniel Korb on his new brand, XChange Craig Bassam and Scott Fellows on craftsmanship and luxury 209 ZONE Caia Hagel talks to architect Peer Teglgaard Jeppesen and artist Olafur Eliasson about their collaboration on the Harpa Concert Hall Paul McGillick and Shashi Caan discuss her new design practice 217 SUSTAIN The rebirth of Pettit + Sevitt, builders of sustainable project homes Candle maker Jonathan Ward is a leader in sustainability New Zealand university students win third place at the Solar Decathlon 224 PS Light sculptures at The Star by Leo Villareal and Urban Art Projects

Perth Special

116 DLA Piper, Perth, by Woods Bagot 122 Rodrigues Bodycoat Studio, Perth, by Rodrigues Bodycoat Architects Civic 128 Museum of Old and New Art (MONA), Hobart, by Fender Katsalidis Architects 138 Mount Eden Streetscape, Auckland, by Billy Apple 142 Ormond Anglican Church, Melbourne, by Atelier Wagner 144 Milson Island Indoor Sports Stadium, Hawkesbury, by Allen Jack + Cottier Residential 148 Helios Residences, Singapore, by Guida Moseley Brown Architects Retail 156 Picket, Melbourne, by Clare Cousins Architecture Hospitality 160 The Star, Sydney, by Fitzpatrick + Partners, Paul Kelly Design, Luigi Rosselli Architects and Luchetti Krelle 174 Shortgrain, Sydney, by May & Swan Architects and George Livissianis Interior / Architecture 178 Tank, Brisbane, by Donovan Hill Studio 182 Barcode Office, Singapore, by Ministry of Design landscape

Cover Looking up through the 130-metrehigh atrium at 1 Bligh to the skylight above (see pp.72–91) Photo: Hamilton Lund

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190 Seven17 Bourke Street, Melbourne, by ASPECT Studios and METIER3 192 York Park North Oak Plantation, Canberra, by Redbox Design Group, Romaldo Giurgola, and Pamille Berg Consulting


ad Feel Good Available in over 50 colours, the Tiki stool by Derlot brightens any setting. Manufactured in Australia from recyclable polyethylene and with GECA certification it is also good for the environment. At Stylecraft we promote good design with a conscience. We’re passionate about furniture of original and sustainable design, let us share that passion with you. Featured | Tiki Stool by Alexander Lotersztain Australia | www.stylecraft.com.au | 1300 306 960 Singapore | www.stylecraft.asia | +65 6511 9328


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people places PRODUCTS events

Garden of light Emerging Australian designer Alexander Fitzpatrick first designed his ‘Wall Garden’ light for Big River Group’s Timber to Tokyo design competition. The lighting concept, the simple forms of which have been realised using Big River ‘Armourfloor’, won the competition. Since then, the striking light has also been a finalist in the prestigious Bombay Sapphire Design Discovery Awards. Fitzpatrick first envisioned ‘Wall Garden’ several years ago, when he had the idea to create a modular wall-mounted light using LEDs as its light source. Further inspiration came from “natural forms and poetic beauty” and the way sunlight filters through trees to create patterns of shadow and light. “I enjoy the idea of nature creeping into our busy lives, seemingly unacknowledged,” Fitzpatrick says of his design. (Photography: Sue Stubbs) [Text: Mandi Keighran] Alexander Fitzpatrick (61) 410 127 296 alexanderfitzpatrick.com.au Big River Group (61 2) 8822 5555 bigrivergroup.com.au Bombay Sapphire Design Discovery Awards bombaysapphire.com/designdiscoveryaward

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Federation square transformed Croatian/Austrian design collective, Numen/For Use was recently in Melbourne fighting blustering gusts of winds with long reams of sticky tape. The result was an amorphous structure, built entirely from masking tape located at Melbourne’s iconic Federation Square. “What’s interesting is you make a new material. In German, you call it fleece, an interconnection,” says Christoph Katzler, one of Numen’s three founding designers. And, as he says, the multiple layers of tape creates a tight, leathery skin. Numen’s background in theatre set design has segued naturally into designing transformative temporary structures, which they find fascinating for the social effects they have – people shed their shoes, let down their hair and jump in. Numen is currently experimenting with fabric, developing a three-dimensional carpet structure with the weft facing outwards and the soft underfoot surface walling the new romping ground. (Photography: Tony Gorsevski) [Text: Alice Blackwood]

small things

Numen/For Use (43) 664 260 7447 numen.eu

‘Aspetta’ is a new casual lounge chair from German furniture brand, Dauphin, that proves good things come in small packages. It features a semi-circular, recessed seat and is available on either glides or a swivel base. And, its compact nature is perfect for public areas where space is a concern, such as reception or waiting rooms. To complement the ‘Aspetta’ chair, Dauphin offers an ottoman, occasional table and a mobile writing tablet with rotating acrylic top. This, along with the wide variety of upholstery choices available makes ‘Aspetta’ a highly versatile solution for a range of interiors. [Text: MK]

Dauphin Human Design (61 2) 8006 2850 dauphin-group.com.au

Hiding nothing UK-based designer Benjamin Hubert has recently designed a collection of five new products for De La Espada that were inspired by production techniques. ‘Gabion’ is a dining table created from Ash, powder-coated steel and granite. The concept behind the pedestal table is a playful subversion of the tradition of hiding ballast in the pedestal for stability. Instead of hiding it, however, ‘Gabion’ makes the individual granite spheres that act as the ballast a feature. ‘Gabion’ is representative of the new range, which does not respond to trends or fashion, but rather relies on usability analysis, materiality and simplicity. [Text: AS]

Benjamin Hubert (44 207) 561 3658 benjaminhubert.co.uk De La Espada (1 212) 625 1039 delaespada.com


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Leaps and bounds Ross Didier’s new ‘Voy’ range is a collection of tables and chairs custom-designed for the Vue de Monde restaurant in Melbourne’s iconic Rialto building. It is leaps and bounds beyond your average restaurant furniture. “My aim was to create truly Australiandesigned furniture that was sophisticated and embodied strong personality without being kitsch or clichéd,” Didier says. Through the use of kangaroo pelts, the resulting range references Melbourne’s pre-European history of wildlife-rich wetlands to add a sophisticated, tactile element to the dining experience. The environmentally friendly furniture is produced using plantation-sourced Oaks and is upholstered with kangaroo leather and furs sourced sustainably from government-controlled culls. “Furniture adds uniqueness and identity to a space,” Didier says. “Original pieces with a story and soul, breathe life into spaces by the most subtle of detailing.” Although designed for Vue de Monde, ‘Voy’ can also be acquired directly through Ross Didier. [Text: AS]

Ross Didier (61 3) 9383 3444 rossdidier.com

Building the future With side effects ranging from drought and rising temperatures to floods and other extreme weather conditions, it is no wonder that climate change is one of the most pressing issues affecting society today. As a result, our future demands a greener option for everything, especially building materials such as cement. ‘Novacem’, a completely carbon-negative cement, is revolutionising the construction industry. Founded in 2007 as a result of research conducted at Imperial College, London, ‘Novacem’ is formulated using magnesium silicate, a non-carbonate raw material, and uses a relatively low-temperature production process. In addition, ‘Novacem’ actually absorbs more CO2 during production than is produced. ‘Novacem’ is the solution to reducing the carbon emissions of existing cement products, many of which are around a high five per cent. This innovative, carbon-negative building product not only offers a sustainable building solution for projects, but also the same performance features of regular concrete, and it is costeffective. ‘Novacem’ was awarded Material of the Year by Material ConneXion this year. [Text: AS] Novacem (44 20) 7594 3580 novacem.com Material ConneXion (1 212) 842 2050 materialconnexion.com indesignlive.com

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Simone Leamon recent workING trips, to both Malaysia and Adelaide, have me rethinking manufacturing and what it is to be ‘Australian-made’ portrait James Geer illustration Collage by Frances Yeoland

Recently, I have had cause to re-think manufacturing and the whole process of transforming material into a tangible product. As we know, Australia’s factories are falling ominously quiet, and analysts are speculating nervously about what this might mean. Does local manufacturing have a future, or will its decline turn out to be terminal? Is it possible we can nurse our ailing industry to health, or will job losses and flow-on effects harm Australia’s continued socio-economic well-being? For a country that once thrived on manufacturing – it accounted for 25 per cent of Australia’s gross domestic product in the 1960s – the current circumstances are cause for alarm. The mining boom, a strong dollar, high labour and input costs, and abolition of import tariffs make local manufacture an expensive exercise. It is far cheaper to make things offshore, especially in deregulated economies where factory workers often earn a pittance. So, while manufacturing is a great ‘value-adder’ – the key to generating profits – Australia now ships most of its intellectual property and raw materials overseas and buys them back as finished products, thereby losing great wealth in the process. For example, we export iron ore for $180 a tonne and import it back in the form of cars for $20,000 a tonne! The concept of ‘value-adding’, which is essentially what manufacturing comprises, is a wealth strategy that Asian economies understand. In light of this predicament at home, perhaps it is time to ask: how else might we ‘add value’, and work with the Australian manufacturing sector to achieve this? My visit to Malaysia came at the invitation of the head of a large Chinese-Malay consortium which has factories in the manufacturing hubs of Johor and Penang. To my amusement, I found myself touring its extensive

factories and corporate suites in a chauffeured limousine, like some kind of rock star. As a chance to build rapport and dialogue, this trip involved much cultural exchange. I gave multiple presentations to management, sharing insights into the design-manufacturing culture to which I belong, and in return they spoke candidly of their enterprise. From the get-go, I noted my opposite numbers’ different approach to manufacturing and business practice. I have always taken the value of design for granted, but realise this is not shared universally. Instead of the ‘R&D’ model that dominates creative economies, theirs followed that of ‘researchcopy-design’ – reworking, replicating or taking inspiration from products developed by other manufacturers. To be fair, this is not a covert practice, but rather the accepted norm. Evidently, they don’t have the same ethical relationship to copying as I do; the culture of developing original design barely registered. But, as I discovered, things are slowly changing. Malaysian enterprises are finding they are no longer leading the ‘race to the bottom’ for low labour costs, but that neighbouring countries are now cheaper places to set up factories. For now, my Malaysian colleagues can make generic products cheaply, but they know that if they want to expand into new markets and grow, that’s not enough – their products need a distinct point of difference. This is where design steps in, and that is why I was invited to visit. I told them about an Australian manufacturer that had, for many years, created products for the interior design industry. Clients would simply point to an object in a magazine, and the company would copy it. While this remains commonplace in Australia, I pointed out that it reduces enterprises to competing solely on

price. When their capabilities and capacities mirror their competitors’, it leaves price as the only distinguishing feature. This business also sought to grow in a competitive market, without abandoning its underlying business model, so in a bold move it decided to develop its own designs, and is enlisting local designers to help. But, perhaps the relationship between Australian designers and local manufacturers is not as rosy as I had portrayed to my Malaysian colleagues. Before my trip, I’d undertaken a residency at Adelaide’s inspirational JamFactory, an institution truly worthy of designation as a ‘national treasure’. High-quality products are designed and made on its site, successfully combining tradition and innovation. The JamFactory’s business model may not translate directly to the scale of national economies, but is nevertheless, an inspiring example of what is possible when creative capacity is matched by high-level execution. Wherever the manufacturer might be based, the industry’s future demands a re-think. Retailers, consumers, design and manufacturing belong to the same ecology. The manufacture of goods is not in itself a reason to run facilities, employ and train people: the endgame is trade. The key here is to be competitive. The questions we should be asking are, in what areas are we to compete, and what should we be producing? We must take more interest in what Australian design-makers do. We need

to harness better the advantage of our creative intelligence – our designers – and implement their smarts across all business activities; not only in the design of things, but also in the formulation of organisational strategy. With local manufacturing in dire straits, perhaps we can design our way out; perhaps we can make an effort to link Australian designers with manufacturers to ‘value-add’ creativity into their business models. Niche production – designing and making specialised items that no one else produces – is one field where ‘valueadding’ can indeed be viable here in Australia. We need to recognise that design is a value proposition, and one we should be mining if we wish to reap the rewards.

Simone LeAmon is a designer, artist and the director of O.S INITIATIVE design and creative strategy studio.

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philip cox architect, artist, architectural historian and principal of one of australia’s largest commercial architecture practices, philip cox’s hand has made its mark not just in australia, but also internationally


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words Jan Howlin portrait Anthony Browell

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words MANDI KEIGHRAN photography HANS-GEORG ESCH, Richard GLOVER, HAMILTON LUND architects Architectus and Ingenhoven Architects INTERIORS BATES SMART location SYDNEY | AUS PROJECT 1 BLIGH Anchor TENANT CLAYTON UTZ

dialogue This landmark building in Sydney engages in a conversation with its surrounds indesignlive.com


ydney’s CBD has never been renowned for its public spaces or social amenity, but a recent addition to the city skyline has set a precedent for the way high-rise buildings should engage with their surrounds. Located in the centre of what used to be a dead and lifeless valley created by the Macquarie Street ridge and the tall buildings along George Street, 1 Bligh has reactivated Farrer Place on Bent Street and created a lively, open thoroughfare between Bligh and O’Connell Streets. Within days of 1 Bligh opening in July 2011, the difference was palpable. The café beneath the vibrant ellipsoidal sculpture by James Angus was bustling, and city workers were lunching in the winter sun on the wide steps that look over Bent Street to Farrer Place. In 2006, building owner DEXUS set a very specific competition brief for 1 Bligh, with a focus on amenity for tenants and sustainability – there had never been a Six-Star Green Star high-rise in Sydney before. And, the competition winners, Architectus in collaboration with Germany’s Ingenhoven Architects, designed a building that perfectly fulfils the competition brief. It also meets an additional brief that the architects set for themselves, one that focused as much on social and cultural amenity and city planning. The result is a fully integrated building that engages in a conversation with its wider context. “With a competition, you can get a break-out solution,” says Ray Brown, Director at Architectus. “You probably wouldn’t have got this result working every day with a client.”

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Each of the building’s many innovations – its doubleskin façade, Six-Star Green Star rating, gas generators, automated blinds, chilled beams – is inherent to the base building. “The building,” Ingenhoven Architects’ Christoph Ingenhoven says, “solves all the issues with one answer.” The active public space on the ground plane, for example, results from the architects’ solution to a twist in the city grid at the site of 1 Bligh. The normal grid in this area of Sydney faces the Harbour, aligning with the ferry wharves at Circular Quay. The two street blocks either side of the 1 Bligh site, however, create a grid at 45 degrees. If 1 Bligh were an orthodox rectangular building built to this grid, there would have been a corner facing the Harbour and Farrer Place would have been boxed in further. By making it elliptical in shape, the architects twisted it around as far as possible, addressing the view to the Harbour, and resolving the complex geometries of the two grids meeting, with the benefit of creating public space. One of the key concerns in the design of 1 Bligh is view, both external and internal. The floor plates sit between two structural cores – one that faces the closest neighbour, blocking that view, and the other that faces the tallest neighbour – and the majority of the office space is thus opened up to spectacular views of the Harbour Bridge and the city. Meanwhile, the central full-height, curved glass atrium creates internal lines of sight that facilitate a sense of community throughout 1 Bligh. “There is a

“ When you look at the way people use the building, it all flows and works” Ray Brown, Architectus

Previous Pages View

across Circular Quay showing how 1 Bligh fits into Sydney’s skyline Far Left James Angus’ artwork, Day In Day Out Left Reception and café Right The atrium


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“ The main challenge... was the number of innovations in one building� Bruce Jones, Grocon

Clockwise from top left Typical floor plan;

Level 15 plan; roof plan showing skylight and solar panels; Level 28 plan Opposite The elliptical shape of 1 Bligh rotates away from its neighbours


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In discussion The 1 Bligh project is the result of many years of innovation and collaboration. mandi keighran talks to some of the key players involved.

think it was not foreseen in the brief that 1 Bligh was an elliptical building. They had written the brief with the idea in the back of their minds that it was a rectangular building. So, we tried to fulfil the brief, but maybe not with the expected method. The brief was to create a sustainable high-rise building, but the focus of the project when we started was at least as much on social, cultural, and city planning issues. Talking about the green building aspects, many people were expecting that to be mainly a technical issue, like adding something to the building – like photovoltaic or solar thermal equipment – to make it better performing. But, the building is synergistically or integrally designed.

It’s also a building that doesn’t hide anything. You can’t take anything away. That’s a challenge in itself, for everyone, as everything within the core had to be open and visible, and not something that is closed, hidden, or uncontrolled. I think that is one of the most important things in sustainable architecture. It’s not just about the technique of new building, it is also about accessibility and visibility. Things you don’t see, you don’t feel responsible for. It’s very simple. If it is in the background, nobody takes care to see it is clean, or properly maintained. But, if you see that, or if you expose that, the next step is that the machines themselves are properly designed, and properly maintained, and so on. I think it’s a good idea. It’s like an open kitchen in a restaurant. There are two effects of this, it vitalises the space and it gives you a kind of trust in the cooks. They can’t hide what they are doing. It’s good to give the ground floor back to the public – to have an informal space and access to the building, to have a way through the building from Bligh to Farrer Place, to extend Farrer Place by providing those open stairs. It also brings fresh air into the atrium at the same time. It’s also about building a sense of community for the people. But there’s another aspect in it, a commercial aspect. By raising the building, we lift it into the view, into the higher ends. And, that is all done by the same thing. The one idea – raising the building by 20 metres – causes all these good effects, not just one of them. I am most proud of the wholly integrated design.

The benefit of the competition is that it provides space for the architects to say ‘This is the answer’. You need that time to say you’ve given us your brief, here’s our response. Many buildings have dark glass and a blind you have to pull down when the sun is in your eyes, cutting off the view. The sun-shading system we have means that even when it’s employed, you can still see the view. It makes a beautiful and changing environment inside. I think this project really adds to that story of the office building. It’s taking the campus and making it vertical. You can go into the atrium, and it is naturally ventilated, it provides plenty of light, so you can get out of the air-conditioned environment on any floor and get some fresh air and find something different.

I think the big thing about office buildings, or any work environment, is providing variety, getting away from the standardised approach on every floor. I’ve been asked what I’m most proud of with the project, and I think it is that we have managed to resolve all of these conflicting issues – for the tenant, the owner, and the city – quite well. And, it manages to create civic value. If you look at the building in the street, most people say ‘It looks like it’s always been there’. I think that’s a really good thing. And, when you look at the way people use it, it all flows and works. The whole collaboration has been a great experience, and, we’ve learnt a lot collectively. It’s been a challenging but very enjoyable project for us all, which is a good thing to be able to say in the end.

Christoph Ingenhoven is Principal of German architecture practice Ingenhoven Architects. He talks about designing a fully integrated building.

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Ray Brown is Director and Design Principal at Architectus. He talks about collaborating with Ingenhoven Architects.

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e did a stage-one approval and then they asked for a competition. That’s when I contacted Christoph to see if he would be interested in working with us. We hadn’t worked together before, but I was aware of his work, particularly the RWE AG Tower in Essen, as an environmental high-rise building, and his use of double-skin façades and dealing with environmental issues. Christoph was the only international architect in the competition. I think it’s really useful having that outside view. He saw different things as important, such as how does it look when you stand on the other side of the Harbour. Of course, that’s important, but I think it’s more important to someone coming from outside.

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Commercial, residential and urban lighting. Quality in forms, materials, technology and performance.


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city visions In this second instalment of our focus on the city of Perth, we investigate three very different projects, each highlighting the quality of work being undertaken in this booming metropolis.

P106. STATE THEATRE CENTRE P116. DLA PIPER P123. RODRIGUES BODYCOAT ARCHITECTS STUDIO indesignlive.com


DRAMATIC CONNECTIONS The State Theatre Centre complex is bringing a new sophistication to the heart of Perth


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words JONATHAN LAKE photography ACORN PHOTO (ROBERT FRITH, ADRIAN LAMBERT) architect KERRY HILL ARCHITECTS location PERTH | AUS PROJECT STATE THEATRE CENTRE OF WESTERN AUSTRALIA

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n the past, pure architectural design quality appears rarely to have been a primary consideration in the creation of commercial and public buildings in Western Australia, but this looks set to change. The new State Theatre Centre designed by Kerry Hill Architects is one such remarkable new contribution to Perth’s rapidly changing central business district. Along with the recently completed One40William office complex designed by Hassell (featured in part one of the Perth special in Indesign #47) and the soon to be completed Indoor Stadium, it is one of three projects which triangulate a newly invigorated heart to the city, and which signify a shift away from big, boring buildings where bang for buck seems to be the only consideration. These buildings also represent three vastly different positions in contemporary architecture. One40William marks a new direction for commercial architecture with its emphasis on sustainability, and the Indoor Stadium will be a tour de force of formal and spatial manipulation devoted to the creation of spectacle.

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Previous pages Simple rectilinear forms each have a different materiality Right Brass tubes of varying lengths suspended from the entry ceiling Above Right The timber stair in the entry foyer Far Right The Heath Ledger Theatre

Of the three, the new State Theatre Centre is the most reserved. However, the distinctive manner in which the project has been created makes it arguably the most provocative. The State Theatre Centre is a new contribution to the ageing Cultural Centre located on ‘the other side of the tracks’ to the Perth CBD. Up until now, the location proved symbolic of the lack of importance that Perth has placed on the cultural experience, privileging mining royalties and commercial ventures over community and cultural development. This was emphasised by the three levels of car parking surrounding the Cultural Centre (Art Gallery, Library and Museum) which created a physical separation from the street and pedestrian networks. The new State Theatre Centre nestles against this car parking and behind some of the existing twostorey shop fronts. Simple rectilinear forms project out above these buildings, including the fly tower clad in off-white polycarbonate that glows warmly at night. One of the first moves the architects made was to rectify the lack of connection to the street by locating the main entry at street level facing the city


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WORDS JOHN NEWTON

Architect Fitzpatrick + Partners DESIGNERS PAUL KELLY DESIGN, LUIGI ROSSELLI ARCHITECTS, LUCHETTI KRELLE LOCATION SYDNEY | AUS PROJECT BLACK BY EZARD, Balla, MOMOFUKU

sensory appeal the casino formerly known as Sydney’s Star City has been reborn as an exciting new entertainment and dining destination

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In discussion John newton talks to key players involved in these three restaurants at The Star Luigi Rosselli of Luigi Rosselli Architects was responsible for the design of Balla. He talks about working with Stefano Manfredi and their mutual nostalgia for Milan.

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ulie Manfredi-Hughes and Stefano Manfredi always had in mind a link with Milan, and its futurists – Giacomo Balla was a futurist artist – and the industrial Milan of yesterday, not the fashionable Milan of today. They said they wanted a link with the canals and industry, and I immediately connected. Milan was a very pragmatic town, more pragmatic than the rest of Italy, so they had engineers designing bridges across the canal system, which was the way of transport for industry. The truss design along the bar and the kitchen relates back to the bridges, and the illuminated glass blocks as you walk in are a remote connection to the canals. Many things in the restaurant have these industrial elements. Along the outside wall are wheels and cogs, giant spanners and a photograph of the bridge from which we took the truss motif. The restaurant is raised half a metre above floor level, and you can see the

kitchen staff working from outside. It’s a remnant of the theatrical effect you had in bel mondo [another Manfredi restaurant designed by Rosselli]. And, by raising the restaurant and having it on two levels stepping down, everyone gets a view across to Pyrmont Bay and the Harbour. We call the area along the windows at the front The Avenue. It’s a luminous room with views of trees and water, and that’s why we decided the columns should be tiled with a design by the Japanese architects SANAA based upon a Japanese 18th Century mural pattern that picks up the colours of the leaves and the sea. The ceiling has a geometric triangulation design reminiscent of the pale colours of the artwork of Giacomo Balla and the Futurists. Balla is a little song to my origins. I have quite a lot of nostalgia for Milan, as I grew up there. And, I think Stefano has the same thing, as he grew up nearby.

Paul Kelly of Paul Kelly Design designed the fit-out for BLACK by Ezard. He talks about designing for a casino and creating an entertaining eating experience.

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have a fascination with Las Vegas. I do a trip there every two years, and that’s one reason I’ve been trying to get into casinos for years. These places can really take you away. Our concept for the design of BLACK by Ezard is that we want it to exude the tastes and sensory appeal of the food. We want people to come here, drink wine, eat lots of food and come back. It’s a restaurant and it has to make money. What we set out to create was an international benchmark with international appeal: amped-down Vegas, amped-up Melbourne (because chef and owner Teag Ezard is from Melbourne) and a bit Sydney because of the beautiful views outside. That’s why we’ve incorporated all the warmer tones, and the sophistication in the floor. Coming in from the outside, we wanted to tell

people what we were. The first thing you see is the wall of wine racks, and at night there’s a warm glow through a curved wall of wine. Past the entrance, the kitchen is exposed through windows. Below the windows are handmade white stone bull’s heads, and, at the end, cuts of beef aging behind glass. A geometrically patterned grid runs right through the restaurant. It works to separate the central dining section from the boundary dining along the windows. It’s designed to ‘feminise’ the steakhouse feeling. The design is about a series of experiences. You come in and there’s the bar on the right, the hearth fire behind glass flickering, a long table carved from a solid slab of Sydney Blue Gum, and you turn the corner to see a corridor and the

view across to the harbour. At the end of the corridor there is a shimmer of stainless steel mesh curtain surrounding the semi-circular private dining room. That’s one of the things about Vegas design: it’s about focal points and nodes, it’s not about architecture.

Stuart Krelle of Luchetti Krelle worked with partner Rachel Luchetti on Momofuku Sei bo’s design. He talks about working closely with the Momofuku team and The Star.

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e had two masters for this project – The Star and the Momofuku team. By the time we were appointed, we wanted to make sure we were looking after Momofuku and their brand and their style. So, we started from that point. There are Luchetti Krelle touches, but it is a very selfless design from that point of view. We were dealing with a brand and an identity that we had to respect, so you check in your design ego at the door. There were things that were no-goes, things that were locked in from the beginning and we worked with that. Examples of locked-in were the peach logo (momofuku means ‘lucky peach’ in Japanese), the slate floor and the kappo-style dining bar. We brought a level of moodiness – the façade being a big thing. We call it ‘the blades of steel’ but it ended up being called ‘the gate’. It’s a 50 per cent opening, where the gap is as wide as each blade – or square column of steel – over a glass front. They had to operate so you can clean the glass. The overall Momofuku concept is to have a welcoming casual feel, like you’ve come into someone’s house. They don’t like things just for show, so everything you see on the shelves is going to be used. The honesty of the materials and the design matches the food and the honesty in that. The design we have ended up with is not exactly what we put forward, but we have got to a point where we’re really pleased. Our design philosophy? Nothing is ever the same; it depends on the client.


portfolioindesign 169 This Page The Star has been designed as

an entertainment destination (Photography: Murray Fredericks)

Sid Vaikunta is Managing Director at The Star. He talks about how Star City became The Star and its creation of an entertainment hub.

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he fundamental premise of this entire development rests on the simple notion that we believed that Star City (as it was previously called) was not realising the fullest potential of the site, of the asset, and of its location in the City of Sydney and the larger Australian landscape. There was an opportunity to take it to a new place that would recognise that full potential, and our efforts were directed to capture the essence of what that meant.

It became very clear to us, as we spent time with consumers as well as spending a lot of time in the city and with some of our competitors, that merely renovating the Star City casino was not the job at hand. Instead, we needed to transform what had been a casino into an entertainment hub for those who live in and visit Sydney. What had been a one-dimensional proposition with Star City needed to become multi-dimensional with The Star, creating lots of reasons for people to come in the first place, and creating many reasons for them then to come back. It needed to have a ‘larger than casino’ persona. When we began to explore the opportunities, we made the decision

that dining and nightlife would play a key part in the transformation of the previous venue, Star City, into what we now call The Star. How were we going to do it? We were determined not to adopt a ‘cookie cutter’ approach. In other words, it wasn’t going to have the seventh version of this restaurant or the 25 th version of that restaurant. We wanted to partner with restaurateurs and designers who had established a pedigree, who were not over-extended and who still had the hunger and the passion to create fresh concepts. The dining offer we’ve assembled at The Star feels bespoke, and it feels very much us. That was the critical part of our transformation story. indesignlive.com


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profiling the life and work of creators around the globe 199 Warwick Freeman 202 Daniel Korb 204 Bassamfellows

New Zealand contemporary jeweller, Warwick Freeman, on making meaning from ‘found’ objects

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arwick Freeman’s latest work for the Auckland Art Fair, in lapis lazuli and jet, is a deliberate departure from his usual studies in New Zealand’s native materials. He has worked non-indigenous matter into simple geometric forms – spheres, cubes, cylinders and discs – and added the quirky figure Miki, a ‘found’ shape and oblique reference to primitivism. “Style-wise, they all sing from a Modernistic songbook,” says Freeman. “Modernist ‘found objects’ – re-issued tunes, but without ironic treatment, just affection.” While the materials may be foreign, Freeman’s approach is certainly not. In these ‘souvenirs’ from art history, he displays the kind of thinking at the heart of his practice: autobiographical journeys through physical and conceptual terrain, through which objects and ideas are put to new use. “I deal a lot with the history of the found object,” he explains, “and the definition of the ‘found’ can wander across cultural and social concepts as much as it can something found on the road and reinvented. I found one of my recent pieces on the Internet, and that’s fair game. Those appropriations are already loaded. There’s a decision behind what you take, what you appropriate in that manner.” He constructs meaning through a vocabulary of materials, symbols and motif. Sometimes he is quite literal, but more often he plays with ambiguity

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and interpretation, inviting different readings. Even an apparently simple piece like Leaf fits within a larger statement and body of work. “To me, materials operate as a language. It’s almost like the ideas don’t really exist until they have the words to describe them, so the materials become the words in that process – you finally put a name to them.” And Freeman is highly articulate, not just in his jewellery, but also through his writing and seminars. We see his plays on ‘language’ in some obvious examples – his 26 Alphabet Rings and series of Sentences from 2002 to 2003. More subtly, his ‘travel diary’, North Cape to Bluff, is written with a series of rings made from stones he collected journeying from New Zealand’s tip to its tail. Throughout his work, there is a deliberate loop of dialogue between maker and wearer, and maker and observer. His travels have taken him through contested territory. In the early 1980s, he was a prominent member of a group which began exploring the use of local materials in contemporary jewellery. Their work reflected a changing New Zealand cultural and political environment. “We were caught up in a historical moment triggered by the new Labour government,” he says. “They declared us nuclear-free, and started developing a foreign policy that was about living in the South Pacific, as opposed to being an adjunct of Europe,” says Freeman. “Our work

got swept up in it and adopted as ‘emblematic’ in the way jewellery can.” This wasn’t a deliberate strategy. As Freeman notes, “We didn’t set out to adorn the decade.” But, it did highlight to him how he could calculate his role as a maker. “I started to see how it worked. I started to unpick the ways which jewellery related to time and place, and to make decisions around what things would trigger a response.” In addition to the political potential and ‘voice’ of the work, he developed techniques with ‘found’ materials during this period and combined the two ideas. One of his best-known works is Whistle (1993). Through its koru-shaped pendant, he joined the debate about the cultural misappropriation by contemporary artists of this Maori motif – the shape of an unfurling fern. Scholar, Damian Skinner said the piece was, “a rape-whistle for cultural violation, and a referee’s whistle for anyone wanting to join an increasingly acrimonious debate.” In the New Zealand of the 1990s, public discussion of cultural identity was vigorous, and Freeman’s was an influential voice in the arts. Since, he has continued to work with local materials and motifs, and extended his collecting to the found objects of industrialism – tool remnants and discarded engine parts. In the 2011 exhibition, SHED, he remade a collection of industrial objects for display as a shadow board. Out of context – the ‘gallery’ is a shed on the South Island’s Nelson wharves – the objects look like remnants from a previous inhabitant, although each is quite wearable. A plastic gasket and a flattened matchbox are remade in blackened silver, and a piece of flattened exhaust is made in fine gold. “The reason I’ll pick up this piece of exhaust pipe from the road,” he says, “is that it’s already loaded, it’s a piece of 20th Century Modernism. It has Henry Moore and primitive qualities. It’s all about finding the ‘found’.”

Andrea Stevens is Indesign’s Contributing Editor in New Zealand, based in Auckland.


pulseindesign 201

Previous Page Warwick

Freeman in his studio Left SHED installation (2011) Right Miki pendant (2011) Middle Whistle pendant (1993) uses the koru motif of an unfurling fern Far Right Black Ball in Blue Box pendant (2011)

words ANDREA STEVENS Portrait SIMON DEVITT

Warwick Freeman

“ To me, materials always operate as a language� Warwick Freeman

Lives Auckland, New Zealand Works as a jeweller Education Largely self-taught, with no

formal art training beyond secondary school Represented by Fingers, Auckland; Bowen Galleries, Wellington; Gallery Funaki, Melbourne; Galerie Ra, Amsterdam

fingers.co.nz indesignlive.com


209

ISSUES AND IDEAS AROUND DESIGN AND ARCHITECTURE 209 Iceland through another lens? 214 Shashi Caan’s renewal?

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Iceland Through Another Lens?

Thoughtful and engaging art that leads audiences towards contemplating the mystical has been Olafur Eliasson’s business since emerging on the art scene in the early 1990s, while Henning Larsen Architects has been orchestrating a vision of democratic architecture for more than half a century. They recently came together to bring the motifs of art to the language of the built environment. Harpa, the stunning new concert hall and conference centre, which opened in Reykjavík, Iceland in August 2011, is the result. Light and perspective, nature and space, geometry and proportion, and the place of the individual within them, are profoundly at play in this magical building. While Eliasson’s role was to devise an outer façade to join the conference and concert halls, and create a language between them that also speaks to the city, Henning Larsen Architects, overseen by Design Director Peer Teglgaard Jeppesen, devised the inner building, a

serene black monolith that holds light and heat, and echoes the volcanic surrounds. Here they speak to Indesign’s Caia Hagel about their aspirations with the building. Olafur Eliasson I think good art has the ability to disrupt our standardised ways of perceiving the world. What matters is that the work engages us and evokes our awareness of the fact that our experience of it – and of the world – is singular, that it depends on a number of internal and external factors, that it is temporal and relative. When designing Harpa, I had to take a plethora of functional aspects into consideration; aspects on which Henning Larsen Architects and Artec, who designed the acoustics, are experts. I have made what I would term a work of art – the south façade – and based on the language of this façade I, with the architects, developed the principle for the entire skin, enveloping the hall and various facilities. My vision was to dematerialise the building, to make it not appear as a static entity. Instead, it is receptive to the changes in its surroundings, the weather in particular. For this reason, transparency and natural light are key elements in Harpa. I spent long periods of my childhood in Iceland, and it is no coincidence that the pattern of the façades is reminiscent of the crystallised basalt columns that one often encounters when traveling in the country. The façades consist of a simple form that I call the ‘quasi-brick’ – a stackable, twelve-sided module in steel and glass, based on fivefold-symmetry. Where ordinary bricks prescribe standard building principles and dimensions, the quasi-brick, due to its form, opens up new ways of conceiving space and construction. Serving as inspiration, the special Icelandic light conditions have, however, also proved to be a great challenge: how does one create a building that works both when concerts are played in full daylight on a summer night and in total darkness on a winter afternoon? In order to respond

to this natural variety, I decided to fit a number of the quasi-bricks with a special dichromatic glass, each reflecting hues of green, yellow or orange and their complementary colours. At night, strips of red, green and blue LED lights integrated into the bricks illuminate the façades. Depending on the weather and on position of the sun, the colours, reflectivity and transparency of the façade alter and make explicit the performance of the light at different times of the day and in the different seasons. I hope the building will allow for different readings when seen from various angles and by different people. I like to think of the façades as a skin or a membrane between inside and outside: the dividing or connecting point between the monolithic interior of the building, with its concert halls, conference centre and meeting rooms, and the city and surrounding landscape. This encounter is very exciting, and in order to make it present, make it felt by the visitors, the foyer plays a very important role in the overall design of the building. Here, you look at the city through the building, and at the same time the colours of the façade project kaleidoscopic shadows onto the walls and floor, bringing the outside inside, creating an almost crystalline space. Buildings crystallise the time in which they are made by giving content a language. I am interested in this kind of ideologically driven architecture. Henning Larsen Architects work from within a Nordic tradition in which the culture and community centre has a central position. To build a house for the community also means exercising social ambitions. I share this holistic view. By building in public spheres, architects can produce conditions that arouse a sense of collectivity and social responsibility. I am curious and confident that new types of collectivity will develop in public spaces. I guess it is rare for architectural offices to let go of a signature part of their building, allowing an artist to take over. To my knowledge, an artistic intervention at this scale hasn’t taken such prominence before. Henning Larsen Architects have been very generous


zoneindesign 211

words Caia Hagel PHOTOGRAPHY Tim Georgeson, Nic Lehoux

Previous Harpa’s interior

(Tim Georgeson)

Opposite Olafur Eliasson

(Tim Georgeson) and Peer Teglgaard Jeppesen (Agnete Schlichtkrull) Clockwise from left

The concert hall (Nic Lehoux); Shadows through the façade (Tim Georgeson); The artwork is integrated into the façade of the building (Nic Lehoux); The façade reacts to the changing light conditions (Nic Lehoux) indesignlive.com


217

sustainable practices indesign 217 Ahead of their time 221 Crafting Sustainability 222 At first light

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AHEAD OF THEIR TIME Pettit + Sevitt’s project houses were ahead of their time in the Sixties and Seventies. Recently, they have launched a series of updated designs by Ken Woolley eople living in our houses email me all the time,” says Val Sevitt, inheritor of the Australian spec-builder, Pettit + Sevitt’s legacy. “They are often downsizing, but they tell me how they’re going to miss the exposed beams, the attractive spaces and the way we brought the outside in.” The reason why the now-widowed wife of Ron Sevitt is in recall mode is that Pettit + Sevitt – builders of about 3500 architect-designed homes, mostly on urban bushland sites in Sydney and Canberra from 1961 on – is being revived. Inspired by both a nostalgia that sprang from Bob Carr asking a symposium, “Where is today’s Pettit + Sevitt?”, and by the ebb and flow of demographic demand, Val Sevitt has again turned to the 78-year-old Ken Woolley to revive the “logical, simple designs” that made him the most popular of the young ‘Sydney School’ architects involved in the Pettit + Sevitt projects. The ebb and flow has gone like this according to Woolley: the earliest Pettit + Sevitt developments in the 1960s were on the edges of urban development, starting at an exhibition village at Richmond Avenue, St Ives, a suburb on Sydney’s upper north shore. By 1975, the Pettit + Sevitt developments had reached

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the limits of urban development, ironically ending up within two kilometres of the current prototype house – an updated ‘Lowline’ design – which appears lean among the fatted ranks of McMansions on the no-longer green fields of Kellyville. By this time, the academics and professionals who had bought Pettit + Sevitt homes in the Sixties and Seventies were heading to Glebe and Paddington. From there, they have spread back out to the federation suburbs, often into “disregarded twenties and thirties bungalows, choosing location before style,” says Woolley. These houses are now ripe for ‘knock down and rebuild’ (KDR). Recent research by the Housing Industry Association says that the KDR numbers are running at 5000 a year in Sydney – that’s 10 per cent of a residential building outlay of $20 billion across NSW. Pettit + Sevitt predict that those interested in KDR will be the major market for their very flexible and updated ‘Lowline’ model. A standard ‘Lowline’ design is aimed at a 30 by 18 metres site, but it can slim down to become a row house, or fatten up – as in Kellyville, where there’s a Council area minimum covenant – to five bedrooms, a double garage, a garden room and underground water tank.

What was the brief to Ken Woolley, a man whose name has become better associated over intervening years with public buildings than with the domestic? “Did I want him to change the look?” asks Sevitt. “Of course not. We were so far ahead in 1960, there was no need to change that simple, elegant Modernism. Just some tweaking for BASIX, bigger bedrooms and a slightly elevated roofline to accommodate ducted wiring and reverse cycle heating. Good design never goes out of date.” Ken Woolley doesn’t disagree. “I was surprised when I knuckled down seriously,” he says. “Most of the things we used to do still make sense – economical for the owner, ease for the builder, a conventional building language. But technology has moved on to allow visible gutters, corrugated steel roofing and lightweight walls for the ‘Hillside’ model. It means we can keep the roof pitch quite low – 10 to 25 per cent – and 10 per cent wasn’t possible in the Sixties.” More trend-driven is the size of rooms, which did need to change slightly to reflect modern tastes. Woolley says that his potential customers’ experience in four-star hotels has dictated the size of the furniture they buy and, therefore, the size of the rooms they demand. Bedrooms, especially with the


sustainindesign 219

words JEREMY ECCLES photography DES HARRIS (THE PICTURE DESK) architects KEN WOOLLEY location SYDNEY | AUS PROJECT PETTIT + SEVITT

Previous Original ‘Lowline’ (Photography: Max Dupain) Left Exterior of the updated ‘Lowline’ design Above Section of new ‘Hillside’ design by Woolley Right Double washbasins in the updated ‘Lowline’ Below Interior of updated ‘Lowline’ design

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