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Myer Flagship Rotor The Botanical Hotel PHOOEY Architects Pieces of Eight Diageo ISSUE 46. 2011 AUSTRALIA $16.50 NEW ZEALAND $17.50 SINGAPORE $12.95 HONG KONG $155 USA $21.99

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letter from the editor issue 46, 2011

In this issue we celebrate the make-over of that ultimate Melbourne icon, the Myer department store. The fact that it is iconic raises some interesting issues about how mid- to high-end clothing, personal accessories and homewares get to market in an era of rapidly expanding online retail. I recently gave a talk on this subject that took me back to Walter Benjamin’s classic, The Arcades Project. In this panoramic, fragmentary and ultimately unfinished magnum opus, Benjamin saw the department store and, especially, the arcades as metaphors for contemporary society and its values. We learn here that the first department store, Pygmalion, opened in Paris in 1793. It was quickly followed by other magasins de nouveautés – department stores specialising in innovative, quality products. The first Paris arcade (or passage) opened in 1822, and Benjamin likened it to a “miniature city”, a kind of world within a world. Indeed, the arcade was a refuge – from the weather, and the noise and bustle of the streets – and a meeting place. This aspect was adopted by Victor Gruen when he designed his first shopping malls in the U.S. in the early 1950s. But Gruen wanted to balance the consumerist agenda with a social democratic one, making the mall a social hub. Needless to say, he returned to Austria embittered at how his ideal had been “bastardised”. In Australia, we adopted the American model without regard to our own cultural and climatic context, resulting in those horrific fortress-like structures which, far from creating community, actually destroy it. In recent years, this has begun to change with context-responsive projects such as Erina Fair near Gosford, Rouse Hill on Sydney’s western edge and Robina Town Centre in Queensland. But with department stores, Sydney and Melbourne followed the European model, building beautiful arcades and department stores that, for many years, were the locus of the latest in fashion, homewares, and even art. Sydney bulldozed most of its retail heritage, but Melbourne kept it, with the result that Melbourne is now the shopping mecca of Australia. How will the shop, the mall, the department store and the arcade respond to the online onslaught, given that cities in Australia are becoming more and more dysfunctional and less desirable as destinations? One response may be the growth of precincts – clusters of smaller retailers forming design hubs – which become destinations, combining, as they do, shopping with recreation. Stay tuned for further instalments. PAUl MCGIllICk – EdITOR

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SEP–NOV, 2011



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


060 INDESIGN LUMINARY Architect Col Madigan has designed two of the finest buildings in Australia – the National Gallery of Australia and the High Court 068 ART Chinese-Australian artist, Shen Shaomin’s studio and home 189 PULSE Brisbane designer Kent Gration on his sustainable design ethos

074 Myer Flagship, Melbourne, by NHArchitecture, The Buchan Group, RED Design, Parker Design, Peddle Thorpe Architects, Lovell Chen COMMERCIAL 090 IBM, Sydney, by Davenport Campbell 100 APNIC, Brisbane, by Arkhefield 106 CASIA Innovation Laboratory, Melbourne, by CH Architects

Sigrid Strömgren, founder of Quiet Design, on the importance of silence

110 American Express, Singapore, by Geyer

Lionel Devlieger of Belgian collective, Rotor, on material flows and waste

118 Nine Entertainment Co, Melbourne, by METIER 3

199 ZONE Linda Cheng discusses a new exhibition on the Vienna Secession

126 Apia, Port Macquarie, by Anna Drummond Design in collaboration with Best Group

Mandi Keighran looks at the role of the design industry in aid work

130 Diageo, Sydney, by hamiltonthomson

Melonie Bayl-Smith calls for a reality check in design education


209 SUSTAIN Peter Ho of PHOOEY Architects talks to Kirsty Máté about re-use

138 The Optometrist, Sydney, by Greg Natale Design

American ergonomist, Alan Hedge, discusses green ergonomics Judy Friedlander tracks the progress of the Eco Challenge project 216 PS The Other Hemisphere exhibition showcases Australian design in Milan

142 Pieces of Eight Gallery, Melbourne, by Nonda Katsalidis 148 Modus Lighting Showroom, Auckland, by Wingate + Farquhar RESIDENTIAL 152 Green Street House, Melbourne, by Nixon Tulloch Fortey Architecture 158 Deepdene Penthouse Parasite, Sydney, by Richard Goodwin EDUCATION 164 Deakin University Waurn Ponds Library, Geelong, by Six Degrees CIVIC 170 Botswana High Commission, Canberra, by Guida Moseley Brown Architects HOSPITALITY 178 The Botanical Hotel, Melbourne, by WEBB+

COVER Anish Kapoor’s Leviathan installation at MONUMENTA 2011, the Grand Palais, Paris (see p.29) Photo: Didier Plowy

182 Belluci’s Manuka, Canberra, by SJB Interiors 184 The Restaurant at the Royal Academy of Arts, London, by Design Research Studio


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Air born. The very first Saab was an aircraft. So it’s not surprising that the all new Saab 9-5 offers a wide range of intelligent, aircraft-inspired innovations. The cockpit-style interior is built around the driver, with controls within easy reach. You’ll appreciate the Pilot Head-Up Display and Night Panel for safer eyes-on-the-road driving. The all new Saab 9-5 is different from any other car you’ve seen or driven. The wraparound windscreen and sleek, aerodynamic exterior give a clear sense of its genes. While turbocharging and an impressive range of advanced electronic systems provide a sharp edge for those seeking a driving experience that is anything but ordinary.

The all new Saab 9-5. Anything but ordinary.

Find out more at And to arrange a test drive, call 1800 50 7222 SAAB060/IN

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people places pRoDUcTs evenTs

A BreAth of fresh Air for the Milan Design Week, Czech lighting company Lasvit challenged three designers, under the art direction of fabio Novembre, to create installations that would showcase the artistry and skill involved in Czech Bohemian glass blowing. Japanese design studio Nendo were one of the invited participants. “We were assigned the abstract theme ‘cocoon’, and asked to create work that would directly convey the quixotic appeal of glass as something that is impractical and incomplete, but provides a breath of fresh air, opening up new possibilities,” says Nendo. the resulting handblown glass lights, titled ‘Growing Vases’, turn the idea of a flower blooming in a vase on its head, instead presenting the idea of a vase-like bulb growing from a flower. the ‘flower’ is the metal pipe used by glassblowers to create the glass piece. this not only playfully introduces the idea of a ‘breath of fresh air’ and gives a sense of the incomplete, but also highlights the process behind each piece. (Photography: Daici Ano) [text: Mandi Keighran] Nendo (81 3) 6661 3750 Lasvit (42) 3255 16330

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Decorative Delight We see what the brain tells us to see, which probably explains why the Pre-raphaelites produced work which seemingly has little to do with the early italian renaissance painting they claim as inspiration. Where we see abstract geometrical forms, they picked up on decorative elements. and, this probably explains the continuing appeal of this english school of painters whose greatest legacy turned out to be the arts and crafts movement, William Morris, and liberty prints. Kitsch as they were, the Pre-raphaelites had a seductive sensuality and a delight in the decorative which was a laxative to the costiveness of english art. So, this new exhibition of drawings and watercolours – titled The Poetry of Drawing – at the art gallery of NSW until 4 September 2011, will be a great opportunity to look behind the carefully wrought final products and glimpse into the process of this protean school of english artists. [ text: Paul Mcgillick] Art Gallery of New South Wales 1800 679 278

man on The moon If you have ever wanted to walk (or rather, sit) on the moon, now is your chance. Justin Lamont, of Melbourne design studio LifeSpaceJourney, has recently created the playful ‘Full Moon’ chair. With its circular cut-out, which provides the most obvious reference to its name, and light blue finish, the ‘Full Moon’ chair’s design is a highly nuanced expression of its name. The chair consists of a bent sheet of powdercoated steel supported by just three turned timber legs. The ‘Hybrid’ chair is the striking cousin of the ‘Full Moon’ chair, sharing a similar language in its angular form and folded metal sheeting with small circular cut-outs. The ‘Hybrid Chair’, with it’s graphic number ‘2’ base, was designed as an addition to LifeSpaceJourney’s whimsical ‘Alphabet’ stool range. [Text: MF]

LifeSpaceJourney (61) 438 524 505

The power of symmeTry Gemma Land is a photographer who is re-imagining London’s suburbia. Her work focuses on geometry, structure and the power of symmetry. In 2010, Land was selected for the Creative Archives Award, which enabled her Bourgeois Utopias series to reach a new audience in the form of silk scarves. The collection of scarves, which was launched at the London and Paris fashion weeks, are printed with Land’s hauntingly beautiful images. Most recently, Land has been developing a project in conjunction with Strawberry Hill House – author Horace Walpole’s ‘little Gothic castle’ – which will result in exhibitions, publications and more of the covetable scarves. [Text: MK]

Gemma Land (44 75) 3092 7769

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The legacy lives on It was a mind- and material-bending collaboration between Corian® (by DuPont™) and Disney ® which saw the sets of TRON: Legacy brought back to real and tangible life. On show in Zona Tortona as part of the Milan Design Week, the exhibition, entitled TRON designs Corian®, allowed fair-goers to experience the hypertechnological scenography of TRON: Legacy first-hand. “[The exhibition] focuses on three main scenes: Flynn’s Arcade, the Light Cycle and the Safehouse,” says Vice President, Fashion and Home, Europe at The Walt Disney Company, Marc Low. “Each of them has been interpreted in a modern design style, exploiting the properties, the beauty and the sensorial qualities of Corian ®,” he says. Companies including Altha, Capo d’Opera, Cappellini and Jacuzzi worked alongside architects and designers to create interior design solutions for the exhibition, fabricating Corian ® pieces such as the white backlit walls, a large black furnishing unit, two Light Cycles, outdoor furnishings and more. Corian® is a available in Australia through CASF. [Text: Alice Blackwood]

CASF 1300 795 044

In your dreams British-born, new Zealand-based designer david Trubridge has taken his trademark minimal aesthetic to a new architectural scale with this recently realised gazebo titled ‘dream space’. The beautifully organic, domed structure has been built in six sections, which can be taken apart for transportation. so, although ‘dream space’ has an impressive height of 2.5 metres and a diameter of 4.3 metres, it can be easily transported in a suitcase. The delicate timber pieces are only 5mm thick, yet the result is a remarkably strong and stable structure. environmentally sound, the timber is thermally modified, plantationgrown Pine, heated for durability, and the junctions are aluminum plates. The ‘dream space’ dome has an oiled finish and has been waterproofed, making it suitable for indoor or outdoor use. a timber floor, made from the same timber as the structure, is also available, and a fabric cover is currently under development. The dome has varied functions, from an outdoor gazebo to a break-out meeting or quiet space in a commercial interior. ‘dream space’ was on show at Zona Tortona during this year’s milan design Week. [Text: mK] David Trubridge (64 6) 650 0204

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words Jan Howlin porTraiT anTHony Browell pHoToGrapHy MaX dUpain

COL MADIGAN the high Court and the national gallery of australia in Canberra are two of the finest buildings in australia – both were designed by Col Madigan


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words michael Young photographY courtesY of shen shaomin

domestic prActice Chinese-AustrAliAn Artist, shen shAomin, hAs used more thAn 50 tonnes of ConCrete to CreAte An inspired studio And home s a fresh-faced 19-year-old, drawing movie posters at the end of the Cultural Revolution in Harbin in north-eastern China, Shen Shaomin knew he would one day realise his dream to design and build his own studio. Fast forward 30 years and the now-internationally acclaimed Chinese-Australian installation artist – who lived in Australia from 1990 to 2002 and was fêted in Australia last year when two of his works achieved critical attention at the Bienniale of Sydney – has realised his dream. In 2004, 29 kilometres north of Beijing, amid semi-agricultural flatlands, Shaomin and 19 other artists formed themselves into a loose collective and took a 60-year lease on 50 acres of land that became known as the Qiaozi Art Commune. Each artist designed their own studio and one construction company was invited to build them all. Two years later, Shaomin’s studio was complete. Fifty tonnes of concrete had been poured, creating a 2,000m2 concrete box over several floors with distinct


domestic and work spaces. By the time the project was finished, Shaomin was 20 million yuan (around AUD$2.9 million) poorer. Because the studio sits on a slope, Shaomin was able to exploit local height regulations. The front of the building, pierced only by a monumental smoked glass door, is at the maximum height of 10 metres, while at the back, where the land drops away, he has achieved a height of 14 metres. The rear wall of the building has vast aluminium-framed windows and an angular glass conservatory that continues the severity of the design, and through which most visitors enter into the main gallery space. It would be all too easy to say that Shaomin’s studio is inspired by Brutalist architecture, with its excess of concrete and harsh angular geometry. But that would ignore the fact that he was trained neither as an architect nor as an artist. There are no artists or architects that he acknowledges as having influenced him, yet he has achieved a series of remarkable spaces created by and enclosed within the most brutal of construction mediums – concrete – some of which have been left raw inside, some of which are smooth and painted white. He loves the strength of the building medium and it is this strength that appeals to him still. The internal spaces are of differing dimensions, yet all are angular and hard-edged – there are no curves to be seen anywhere. A partially subterranean gallery space, where Shaomin displays earlier works much as they would be if shown in a commercial gallery, occupies the entire ground floor. But this gallery space is closed to all but personal friends and collectors. Massive concrete stairs rise up from the floor and pierce the ceiling to reveal a huge, surreal, suspended concave screen that is used for video projections.

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TradiTion and conTemporary edge come TogeTher

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words marg hearn PhotograPhY John gollings, dianna snaPe, tonY miller architects nharchitectUre (PrinciPal architect), the BUchan groUP (retail fit-oUt architect), red design, ParKer design, Peddle thorP architects (interior design), lovell chen (heritage architects) location melBoUrne | aUs ProJect mYer BoUrKe street

icon reborn to create a unique experience at Melbourne’s Made-over Myer flagship store

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with them intimately to evolve the brief and arrive at a solution. Operationally, the store then needs to make that work on the floor.” So, from that point of view, how does Myer stack up? Ashleigh Parker, Principal Director at Parker Design, says Myer’s use of different designers effectively creates the change of texture needed in such a large retail volume to keep people moving through the space. “Irrespective of which market segment the store occupies, the customer experience is the number one concern,” he says. “The objective must always be to provide an interesting journey through the store, creating surprises and changes in rhythm and mood, through good lighting, detailing, merchandising systems and visual merchandising.” “I had no doubt the fashion aficionados would be drawn by the brands,” says Lourey. “But, we wanted to make sure that we attracted the older customers.” And, the return of Myer’s early customers – ones who remember the experience of shopping in the original stores – makes Lourey and the rest of the team who worked on the project confident their target of reinvigorating a Melbourne icon has been met. ABOVE Lovell Chen did the design for restoration of Mural Hall (Photo: Sarah Anderson Photography) BELOW The incline of the atrium makes top floors appear closer (Photo: John Gollings) RIGHT Design sketch by Peddle Thorp Architects

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Myer won the Sir Osborn McCutcheon Award for Commercial Architecture at the 2011 Australian Institute of Architects Awards (Victorian Chapter). Marg Hearn is a freelance writer based in Melbourne.

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IN DISCUSSION A HIGHLY COLLABORATIVE PROCESS UNDERPINNED THE MYER REDEVELOPMENT. KEY STAKEHOLDERS TALK TO MARG HEARN ABOUT THE THINKING BEHIND THE PROJECT Megan Foster, Group General Manager of Marketing and Brand Development at Myer, led the project for Myer. She speaks about how design consistency was achieved.


s Project Director of the Myer re-development, my role involved contract negotiation and management, design development and implementation, and construction and financial management, in addition to the marketing and launch of the store. We took inspiration from around the globe. NHArchitecture was awarded base build design after winning the pitch in conjunction with the owners Colonial First State, Myer Family Trust and GIC (Singaporean Government) to build a new flagship store for Myer.

Their design combined the heritage of the Bourke Street façade and the iconic Mural Hall with the introduction of a dramatic modern atrium through seven floors that culminated in a skylight, which opened up the entire store to natural light. A modern façade in Little Bourke Street was offset by the refurbishment of the Bourke Street façade, re-activating all windows back into the mall. The Buchan Group worked with the Myer team for over three-and-a-half years on the project between the base build design team and the fit-out design team to ensure consistency in delivery. Because we wanted to create a signature for each department, alongside the ‘Myer’ framework that was designed for the entire store, we opened up each department for submission from a wide array of Australian design firms. Myer had a very definite vision for each floor and each department – each category was required to have a different look and feel to differentiate the offers on each level. So, we chose firms that could best articulate our vision. Absolute design control and vision across the entire process was held by Myer and was managed by the Myer design and project team. The Buchan Group was also instrumental in managing the various parties to ensure a seamless delivery. As the Project Director, I signed off every detail to ensure absolute consistency for the Myer Brand. The collaborative design between each floor designer, Myer, The Buchan Group and NHArchitects was key to the project’s success.

Roger Nelson is Principal of NHArchitecture, the lead architect for the developer, Colonial First State Global Asset Management. He discusses the links between urban and retail design in the Myer flagship store.


f you build a new building you want it to be better than what it was before, so we decided to go for the doctor basically. We felt that we had to do something that was really going to change the business and help provide a physical forum for the business to be really changed. Our three-part strategy for Myer comprised: reconstruction of the back and renovation of the Bourke Street façade and Mural Hall; the creation of an atrium space that connected the seven levels of floor space; and the roofscape and loft space. In our approach you could substitute ‘retail design’ with ‘urban design’. We’ve used the same principles that we use to encourage people to move around a city – legibility, clarity, simple plans, leading people from one place to another, opening up vistas, closing and compressing vistas, and sequencing a space. Urban design and retail planning are actually very closely aligned because you’re encouraging people of their own free will to go from one place to another. You make the space accessible and easy to map and people know what their interest is and they can go satisfy that interest. With the atrium located in the centre of the building, the vistas into each floor are very clear as you go up. As architects, we let the city have an

impact on what this site is about. Where does it sit? Where is it being looked down on from? What are the views out? The architecture is doing a lot that traditional retail design would have told you never to do, such as letting in natural light, but a quality has been added that other civic buildings enjoy. The building needs to be parallel with the branding and market position of the brand. In the case of Myer, it’s managed to achieve a quality of design without being expensive, it’s accessible and it has a public attitude, while also looking like it’s architecturally challenging. Myer has used architecture and being part of Melbourne to place it back in the marketplace in a much more forthright and bespoke manner. The city and Myer are working together.


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This new innovaTion laboraTory for air-Traffic managemenT Takes off from The momenT of arrival

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icture a group of foreign government officials arriving in the foyer of Thales’ Melbourne office. They’re here to review air-traffic management systems and new technologies being developed by CASIA, the Centre for Advanced Studies in Air Traffic Management. They walk through the office: it’s pleasant (in a conservative, corporate way) but doesn’t do much to evoke the kinds of brand characteristics that presumably help win air-traffic management contracts: ‘innovation’, ‘precision’, ‘high tech’. No matter – technical details and dollar figures are top of mind. And then they arrive at The Door, a silver cavity slider with a neat radius at the corners that recalls classic retro-futuristic science fiction films. For something so simple, it arouses an incredible sense of anticipation. It’s obviously a threshold to a special space (and it’s only mildly disappointing that it opens with a swipe card, not voice activation!). Instantly, the visitors have an emotional investment in this place. And, when the door skids open, they’re not disappointed. CH Architects’ fit-out of the Thales CASIA Innovation Laboratory is immediately intriguing. The entry area is narrow, with a low ceiling, but the walls fan out as the visitors move forward, and the ceiling flows upward in a seemingly exponential curve modelled on the take-off trajectory of a plane. The sense of compression and expansion is palpable – like something Frank Lloyd Wright might’ve designed if he had a wind tunnel. Every detail delivers maximum emotional impact and optimum functionality: a custom Corian console in the centre of the space has curves and colours reminiscent of moulded aircraft furniture, but also conceals a duct system that draws cool air in over hidden CPUs and then out through the floor; at the stroke of a master control pad, a drop-down projection wall hides extra workstations, and windows to the adjacent Innovation Workspace turn from clear to opaque; LED light fittings in the ceilings recall aeroplane floor lighting, and fittings in the floor are mini runway lights; the pattern in the carpet is


Melbourne Airport’s flight path map; even the chairs were specified for their aesthetic link to aircraft seats. The central console leads the eye to what many of CASIA’s visitors would consider the mother-lode: the server room. Even here, the architects have had fun, with mirrored walls and ceilings, and wire cables that reflect infinitely and geometrically into darkness. It must be a dream to give a presentation in this space – no need for a warm-up act – but it must also be an inspiring place to work. And this is a vital point. Like so many commercial fit-outs, there are external (brand) objectives and internal (workplace) objectives, and the design of the Innovation Laboratory nails both aspects. The only pity is that it’s such an exclusive space and most people will never see it (oh, and the voice activation thing, of course).

words mArK scrUBY photogrAphY shAnnon mcgrAth Architect ch Architects locAtion melBoUrne | AUs proJect thAles cAsiA innovAtion lABorAtorY

leFt A linear pattern in the

Mark Scruby is a freelance writer based in Melbourne.

carpet is actually Melbourne Airport’s flight path Below Almost every aspect of the fit-out recalls some element of aviation

thAles cAsiA innovAtion lABorAtorY Architect CH Architects proJect teAm David Carabott (Project Director), Adele Bates (Senior Interior Designer), Adam Emerson (Project Architect), Davide Vigano, Philippa Johnson, Chantelle Merlo, Amelia Attrill (Interior Designers), Chivonne Hollis (Contract Administrator) BUilder Fynnan Construction coriAn FABricAtor Deadwood BUdget $1,226,000 time to complete 7 months totAl Floor AreA approx. 403m2

ch Architects (61 3) 9417 1944

Generally throughout fit-out, CPU holders from Centra Interiors.

FUrnitUre In Innovation Lab and Innovation Workspace, ‘Sitz’ mesh task chairs from Insitu Furniture. In Innovation Lab, custom star-base coffee tables from Insitu Furniture. In Training Rooms, ‘Summit’ training task chairs also from Insitu Furniture, and ‘Incognito’ folding tables from Chairbiz. In Innovation Lab, ‘Catifa 70’ meeting chairs from Stylecraft. In Innovation Workspace, ‘Delta’ workstation legs from Centra Interiors.

lighting In Innovation Lab, wall lights from JSB Lighting, custom-made suspended light from LPA. Generally throughout, lighting from UGE Lighting. Finishes In Innovation Lab, Innovation Workshop and Server Room, fixed smart glass panels from iGlass. In Innovation Lab, joinery from Corian, and 2 Pac finish from Halifax Vogel Group. In Server Room, mirror panel from Mitchell Plastics. In Training Room,

EchoPanel from Woven Image. Generally throughout, paint from Dulux. Projector paint from Livingstone Audio. Carpet tiles from Rugs Carpet & Design. Laminates from Laminex. Upholstery on display walls and speakers from Warwick Fabrics. FiXed & Fitted In Innovation Lab, visual merchandising hardware from mei+picchi, and metal ceiling system from Hunter Douglas. In Innovation Workshop and Server Room, operable wall from Hufcor. Generally throughout, door hardware and duct joinery from Designer Doorware.

Centra Interiors (61 3) 9650 7744 Chairbiz (61 3) 9429 3388 Corian 1300 795 044 Designer Doorware (61 3) 9300 8888 Dulux 13 23 77 Halifax Vogel Group (61 3) 9394 3100 Hufcor (61 3) 9338 7400 Hunter Douglas (61 2) 9638 8000 iGlass (61 3) 5330 3025 Insitu Furniture (61 3) 9428 9622 JSB Lighting (61 3) 9827 9888 Laminex 13 21 36 Livingstone Audio (61) 403 317 846 LPA (61 3) 8416 1500 mei+picchi (61 3) 9900 4222 Mitchell Plastics (61 3) 9646 7877 Rugs Carpet & Design (61 3) 9428 6223 Stylecraft (61 3) 9666 4300 UGE Lighting (61 3) 9415 7992 Warwick Fabrics (61 3) 9419 7544 Woven Image (61 2) 9913 8668

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SETTING THE STAGE NiNe eNtertaiNmeNt Co.’s New workplaCe is a great story, Complete with CoNCealmeNt, aNtiCipatioN, iNtrigue aNd drama

hen parent company, Nine Entertainment Co., consolidated their four business entities (Channel Nine, ACP Magazines, ninemsn and Ticketek) under the one roof at 717 Bourke Street in Melbourne’s Docklands in December 2010, it was a move that constituted major cultural change, says Michael Hrysomallis, Director of Interior Design at METIER3, who was responsible for the fitout. In fact, METIER3 has a complete association with the 717 Bourke Street building – they designed it, created fit-outs for several tenancies within, and re-located their own practice to the address. Prior to the re-location to 717 Bourke Street, each business under the Nine Entertainment Co. umbrella came from different work environments in various locations and had different modi operandi. So, the first step for the architects was to conduct workshops to establish who the client was, the context, history, core business, and operational needs. They then took on the task of translating those findings “to move the business forward in an interesting, strong and effective way”, says Hrysomallis. “We saw the group as almost theatre-like… where an audience goes for performance, inspiration, information, reaction. They are a multi-media business trying to catch a large audience with different techniques.” It is a varied group housed at 717 Bourke Street with Nine Entertainment Co.. Channel Nine has a programs component with sets for panel-based, non-audience shows on-site and studios that go live with news and current affairs, while audience-based programs are


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words marg hearn PhotograPhy shannon mcgrath architect metier3 location melBoUrne | aUs ProJect nine entertainment co.

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artistic industry Wingate + Farquhar haS deSigned an artFul neW ShoWroom and WarehouSe in a neighbourhood gradually coming oF age

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Words andrea stevens PhotograPhy simon devitt architect Wingate + FarQUhar location aUcKland | nZ ProJect modUs lighting shoWroom

n the face of it, Canada Street is part of a fairly non-descript inner-city precinct. The area has general commercial use and is difficult to inhabit – land falls south from the Karangahape Road ridge, is marooned by the motorway and two busy roads, and after dark some of Auckland’s more brassy and bare-legged ply their trade below its street lamps. This backstreet status has seen it eek out an existence in varied guises. Residential gave way to industrial in the 1950s, K Road’s booms and busts have left their legacy in old theatre buildings and warehouses, and a large car park fills its centre. Two new buildings, however, are changing the character of the neighbourhood: Ironbank (Indesign #45) – a seven-storey office building designed by RTA Studio – and this showroom and warehouse by architects Wingate + Farquhar. Built by the same client – niche property investment firm Samson Corporation – each building responds to the hard urban environment, but also to the community and urban renewal of Newton, the suburb immediately south. Creative industries are some of the more obvious businesses in the district, drawn to its proximity to the CBD and the energy and historical character of K Road. Modus Lighting has taken up residence in the new building by Wingate + Farquhar. It is a good fit for the architectural lighting company, which required warehouse, assembly space, and offices close to clients.


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A Melbourne dining estAblishMent hAs been refurbished And opened up to nAture

f you perch on one of the outdoor tables at the Botanical Hotel, you’ll notice a gap in the graceful trees that line the other side of the road. The tree that filled that gap is now a sleek dining table, and it’s one of the bold highlights of the newly re-designed South Yarra restaurant in Melbourne. The ‘Bot’ – as it’s known – has been serving well-heeled locals for decades. However, its Scandinavian look was tired and in need of a revamp. Enter WEBB+, a Melbourne-based design company. The studio managed the building’s former fit-out and was brought back by new owner, Colonial Leisure Group, to re-invent, modernise and create a standout all-day dining venue with some serious pub credentials. “The intention was for a timeless piece of design that was neither funky nor fashionable,” says WEBB+ Design Director, Adrian Downes. It wasn’t easy though, with problems such as a leaky roof, tricky floor plan, rigid council and internal noise issues, plus the added pressure of a tight timeframe. Adrian’s primary design response was to open up the 700m2 building. “From the front door there is a clear line of sight through to the rear fireplace and conservatory area,” he says. Other spaces that were


Above A wine display leads the way from the front café to the bar at the rear Right The green wall in the Archer Room references the Royal Botanic Gardens

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part of the refurbishment include the alfresco dining area at the entry, a café, bar and wine store to the front, and the lounge bar, conservatory and fine dining room to the rear. Upon entry, the front café, bar and wine store is reminiscent of a traditional French café. There is still plenty of space outside to people-watch, and inside, the Tolix chairs, deep Oak herringbone floors, existing skylight and buttoned leather banquettes by Ashwood Design create a classic, sophisticated feel. The front area also sets the tone for the other bars and lounge spaces in The Botanical Hotel, which follow suit using a similar palette. “It’s supposed to be a kind of monochromatic palette, but with little pops of rich colour,” says Downes. An example is the bold splash of red that re-appears throughout in four artworks by Janenne Eaton. Just beyond the front area, the rear bar and lounge is geared towards the more serious drinker. Lighting the way is a full-height wine display cabinet, which focuses the view to the long bar, clad in Pietra Grigio marble, and iconic wingback chairs by Tom Dixon. At the very rear, the Archer Room is a bright conservatory with a whimsical feel. It features a large

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Words annie reid PhotograPhy george aPostolidis architect WeBB+ location melBoUrne | aUs ProJect the Botanical hotel

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7/06/11 10:28 AM

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2/06/11 5:00 PM


profiling the life and work of creators around the globe 189 193 194

Kent gration sigrid strรถmgren lionel devlieger, rotor

Brisbane designer, Kent Gration, on the sustainable ethos behind his bamboo furniture and lighting range

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7/06/11 10:29 AM

LIonEL DEvLIEGER of Belgian collective, Rotor, on the group’s interest in the material flows in industry and construction

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ast year, a book was published on Belgian collective, Rotor. Coproduction begins with a presentation of materials the group finds interesting: mustard, bitumen, and hot water. It’s an unusual selection, but then Rotor is an unusual collective. “For us, it’s a way to talk about co-product,” says architect Lionel Devlieger, who has been a member of the group since 2006. “We have a natural inclination towards co-production.” A co-product is a product or material manufactured together with another because of product or process similarities. Much of what Rotor considers co-product doesn’t fall exactly within this definition, as it’s often unintentionally produced – what most would class as waste material. For example, empty mustard containers can be used as decorative glassware; warm water (a by-product of producing electricity) can be used for fish farming; and bitumen (a by-product of crude oil refinement) is used to create asphalt. And, there is a multitude of other examples – from below-grade cotton to disqualified rubber boots and off-colour polypropylene goods – all catalogued by Rotor. Enter their office in Brussels, and the first thing you notice is a collection of industrial waste samples displayed in small, sealed, neatly labelled bags. This inclination for extensive documentation and research is central to the group’s work. Founded in 2005 by Maarten Gielen and Tristan Boniver, Rotor was conceived to document and map waste materials – they were, if you like, cartographers of by-product. In the waste containers and bins of industrial manufacturers around


Brussels, they discovered a treasure trove of uncontaminated waste, and began to investigate the possibilities for designers. In the preface to a catalogue for an exhibition of these materials in Germany, the group’s work is described as seeming to belong to “the complex ecosystem of actions aimed at understanding the poetics of production and the syntax of materials”. The idea – similar to 2012 Architects’ ‘harvest mapping’ – was about research rather than practice. With the materials they collected, Rotor set up a kind of shop, selling materials to “people working in the ‘social artistic’ field… doing amateur theatre and things like that”. In 2006, they organised a two-week workshop called Looplab, in which 12 young designers participated with access to Rotor’s extensive database of materials. “Although there was some interesting work,” says Devlieger, “we had the impression we could do better.” From this point forward, Rotor turned to design practice, challenging themselves to use the interesting, often high-tech waste materials in intelligent ways. And, to do so, they needed a studio – which became their first project. RDF181 was a temporary space that existed from 2007 to 2008. Built for less than €3,000 against a 19th Century façade on an empty lot in central Brussels, it was constructed almost entirely from re-used and waste materials. It garnered considerable attention and was widely published. “We conceived it as an architectural provocation,” says Devlieger. “So, to end up in publications was surprising.” It was the group’s first foray into practice, after a start based firmly in

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words mandi keighran

“Wearisapproached...asan inevitableandpotentially creativeprocess”  RotoR

oPPosiTe ToP usus/usures at the 12th Venice Architecture Biennale This Page Worn carpet and a bench seat at usus/usures leFT At Milan 2011, Rotor used waste materials from Prada’s past catwalk shows to create Ex Limbo

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9/06/11 11:31 AM

The Paris Collection. Rich greens and browns define a resilient yet romantic character. Style meets substance in the new Smartstone range, the only affordable way to enjoy the beauty and prestige of stone and marble looks with all the benefits of engineered quartz’s superior durability, such as high resistance to heat, staining, chipping and cracking. To find out more, call 1300 888 607. Visit to view the four new collections. Smartstone is a subsidiary of HVG (Halifax Vogel Group).

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Art for our time? Design As A bAsic neeD? reAlity check for Design eDucAtion?

Ferdinand ANDRI (designer), Austria 1871–1956 Albert BERGER (lithographer and printer), Austria 1863–1931 Poster for the 26th Secession Exhibition 1906 (detail) colour lithograph, 95.0 x 63.0 cm Wien Museum, Vienna Purchased, Albert Berger Collection, 1928

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sustainable practices indesign 209 212 215

The phooey approach green ergonomics meeTing a challenge

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7/06/11 10:35 AM

Marina Fold Table Australia New Zealand Singapore Japan Middle East UK

telephone 1300 366 236

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9/05/11 2:47 PM

Indesign 46 Edition  

In this issue we celebrate the make-over of that ultimateMelbourne icon, the Myer department store. The fact that itis iconic raises some in...

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