Habitus Special Issue - Kitchen & Bathroom

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special issue – kitchen & bathroom living in design

The social kitchen. Bathrooms for wellness. Design solutions for your home: create rooms to nourish and cleanse.


As well as the people that live inside, it is the products within a space that help create atmosphere and bring our home environments to life. 30. Health & wellness Whether it’s the quality of the water we drink and bathe in, or safety features that set our minds at ease, health and wellness in the kitchen and bathroom is of the utmost importance. 38. Culture Some of the most rewarding luxuries in life – experiences such as sharing a meal with loved ones or the weekly ritual of relaxing in a hot bath – take place in the kitchen and bathroom.


52. Design There are some products which serve a dual purpose. They are useful, and they also bring happiness to your everyday life, simply by being beautiful, interesting or so completely functional that it feels as if they are organic, rather than designed by man. This second emotional reason is just as important as the first. Combined, they are irresistible.

45. Efficiency Becoming more economical in energy usage and in our use of space is a key concern – not just for environmental reasons but also in terms of saving cost, which is also a major driving factor in the quest to be more efficient.

What are these spaces we call the kitchen and bathroom? What do they mean to us? We ask global industry members to share their views. 68. The psychology of wellness Studies show that physical health and emotional wellness can be created through design – particularly in these crucial spaces of the home. Leanne Amodeo delves into the research. 80. Guide to eco-living How can we really be sustainable in the rooms which are so closely tied to water and energy use? John Gertsakis navigates the greenwash.


87. Economy of space UK Editor Johanna Agerman Ross and Dr Michael Trudgeon of Crowd Productions talk to us about the growing need for space effiiency in the kitchen and in the bathroom. 98. 400 years of the home The kitchen and bathroom both play a role in our collective cultural psyche. Elizabeth Farrelly follows their history and evolution.

111. Cooking up the modern kitchen MoMA curator, Juliet Kinchin, discusses social, historical and political paradigms in the kitchen. 118. The ideal construction Take some practical steps towards creating spaces in your own home. 128. On ritual & resistance Creative consultant Marco Velardi delves into the way we talk about the kitchen and bathroom.




Getting down to business. Kitchen and bathroom projects to inspire – and the myriad design strategies that were employed to create them. 134. Kitchens Some kitchens use energy, budget, or space efficiently; some are highly social, connecting people with each other, or with the outdoors. Others are simply pure design magic. 159. Bathrooms Here is a range of bathrooms that will have you dreaming about the possibilities in your own space. Discover ways to think big on a modest budget, take the design to the next level, or create a safe-haven of wellness. 184. Art exhibition Take a look at some historical artefacts or pure flights of artistic fancy that celebrate the kitchen and bathroom.

In this Habitus special issue you will see a number of stories that are highly researched pure editorial and opinion, some sponsored pieces (shown through the ‘habitus &’ title), which explore editorial themes using a product or brand as an example, and some pure advertorials (shown through the ‘habitus promotion’) that promote a brand’s product or service. We trust you will enjoy them all.

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Health & wellness The organic element and material of the uncoated Bare Brass Ionian Kitchen Tap and Fittings – designed by Perrin & Rowe – offers the user a warm and tactile experience. In a world where cold, stainless steel and chrome is the norm, bare brass invites the celebration of ageing, applauding the natural beauty of a rich patina. The anti-microbial properties of the brass makes it the perfect material for a kitchen tap, offering peace of mind for health and hygiene. englishtapware.com.au

Designed by Benedini Associati, Drop by Agape takes on the difficult task of creating a bathtub that can be used simultaneously in different positions by more than one person. Made of Cristalplant® Biobased, the material is ideally suited to Drop’s sanitary and health-focused nature. Completing the series is a washbasin designed to sit on a shelf, as well as a freestanding pedestal version. artedomus.com

Get set for bathroom exercising. Origine has all the functionality of classic Swedish wall bars and with a rubber band, bench and mat, you have everything you need to practise most keep-fit activities. boffi.com

Promising the utmost safety in the kitchen, the new Piano Flush Cooktop by Ilve incorporates state-of- the-art technologies that prevent hazards while cooking. With the latest technology in gas cooktops, the Piano Flush utilises forward-thinking innovations such as: automatic re-ignition, protection against gas leaks and a sensor to detect the temperature of each burner. The ideal choice for skilful chefs, families with young children and novice cooks who could use some reassurance in the kitchen. ilve.com.au

3. lightbox / health & wellness

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Designed by Antonio Bullo, Clean Rim The Gap is the latest toilet launched by Roca, known for their emphasis on improving the wellbeing and comfort of people. Suitable for both commercial and domestic applications, the Clean Rim toilet has a rimless design, allowing water flow to be distributed more efficiently. A feeder supplies water to both sides of the bowl, covering the entire perimeter and guaranteeing unbeatable cleanliness and hygiene. Using Bipolar Controlled Ionisation technology, the Falmec E-Ion® Cookerhoods not only decrease unpleasant odours, but also re-establish optimum ionic balance in the living environment. The result? A significant benefit to human health. The action produced by the ions is one which neutralises all polluting airborne agents – such as bacteria, viruses, dust mites, pollen, foul odours, cigarette smoke – sanitising and optimising the air you breathe. abey.com.au


Featuring energy-efficient steam technology that offers up to 22 per cent higher vitamin content and 36 per cent less fat in the meals created, the V-Zug Combi-Steam Xsl Oven and Xslf prepare food with the aim being to retain goodness. In addition, the design incorporates ease of use with preprogrammed recipes available at the touch of a button. vzug.com/au/en

The bathroom is a haven within the home, creating the possibility of escape from daily life and allowing us to find a place of peace, balance and renewed strength. Corian® surfaces are cool, sophisticated and calm, warm to the touch and have no grout, making them easy to clean and maximising the hygienic nature of the surface. It takes minimal effort to keep Corian® Solid Surface looking like new, since it is designed for long-lasting beauty and durability. Sustainable, hygienic and elegant, Corian® has been exploring and supporting the health and wellness agenda for over 40 years – and their surfaces are the product of this ongoing dedication. casf.com.au


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The psychology of ‘wellness’ —

Where is human-centric design more important, than in the spaces that people use the most? We uncover the ways in which kitchens and bathrooms help us to live well. Text Leanne Amodeo


1. portrait/wellness


hen Eileen Gray designed the seminal E-1027 project in the late 1920s she displayed an inherent regard for the wellbeing of the occupants. Unlike its Modernist counterparts, this house was not merely a ‘machine’ in which to live, rather an extension of the human experience. As a living, breathing ‘organism’ it worked to fulfil the desires, whims and moods of the people who inhabited it and functioned to make their everyday lives all the more richer. Gray’s understanding of human behaviour and the resulting ‘wellbeing approach’ is what makes her such a pioneer. She set a benchmark for today’s designers and architects who are directly addressing pertinent issues of health and wellness – in light of the recent wellbeing movement – with innovative kitchen and bathroom designs. As the ‘heart of the home’ the kitchen is generally regarded as the primary site for gathering. The open plan trend, incorporating cooking and dining zones, enables social activity by bringing friends, family and like-minded people together. It’s a brief that designers and architects, such as Rodney Eggleston, Principal of March Studio, are commonly used to receiving; whether for small-scale apartments or large new builds. Most of March Studio’s residential designs include open plan kitchens, with the recently completed Somers House proving a particularly compelling model. “Our clients wanted a space that could contain their art collection,” says Eggleston.

“More importantly they wanted their new home to accommodate a large number of guests; it is a weekender, after all.” This psychological need for social interaction, family relations and friendship is cross-cultural, being as it is part of the human condition. But most significantly, these values are instrumental in generating or inducing happiness – a universal goal and aspiration that continues to remain relevant in our everyday lives. It is also a primary measure of subjective wellbeing, according to the United Nation’s World Happiness Report 2013. As the link between sociability and positive emotions, happiness translates into greater functionality, productivity and efficiency, as well as increased longevity. The report found Denmark to be the happiest country in the world (although a new poll conducted by Gallup and Healthways names Panama at number one, with Denmark a close third). What both countries have in common, however, is a strong tradition of gathering, with high importance placed on social connectivity. Quite simply, the happiest countries in the world actively value socialising for its positive benefits and the Danes are especially renowned for this particular quality. They even have a word to describe it: hygge, which roughly translates as ‘cosiness’, but is more accurately understood as a sense of contentment that comes from keeping company with family and friends. For Chema Bould, co-Director of Bower Architecture, this concept of hygge has informed the award-winning Hover House. “We understood the need to balance an open plan


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Guide to eco-living — Sustainability in the kitchen and bathroom is not just about using ‘eco’ products, although it certainly involves this. Sustainability expert John Gertsakis navigates the murky green waters of eco-living with a discussion on efficiency. Text John Gertsakis


ome household spaces and products play a vital role in our daily lives. In particular kitchens and bathrooms serve a multitude of functions – practical and social, as well as the ritual aspects of preparing and consuming food. They are the epicentre of activity, depending on the time of day. The environmental impacts associated with all these activities can be significant and typically relate to: • • • •

Energy consumption and associated greenhouse gas emissions Water consumption and scarcity during times of drought Detergents and toxicity of cleaning agents The raw materials used in manufacturing panel products, surfaces and coatings

Of course it is not always just about the products and their inherent eco-impact. Our lifestyles and behaviours can also directly magnify the impacts through the choices we make – for example, long showers during drought periods, or taps running constantly while we wash fruit and vegetables. It is partly about choosing greener and more efficient products but it is also about smarter ways of using them, which includes maximising their eco features, ensuring full dishwasher loads and not over-using toxic cleaning agents.

1. portrait / efficiency & sustainability


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1. portrait / culture

400 years of the home —

The kitchen and bathroom have played an important role in cultural and historical references, and thus in our collective psyche. Elizabeth Farrelly takes a look at the evolution and symbolism of these two important spaces. Text Elizabeth Farrelly


hat is a kitchen, exactly? I don’t mean what does it do, but what does it signify? And how about the bathroom? What are these once-despised utility spaces to us? In South Africa recently, I was intrigued by a public health project tasked with re-thinking the cooking fire. Throughout the ramshackle townships of Pretoria and Johannesburg, where millions still live in one-room shanties, emphysema is rampant. Brown coal is local and cheap and cooking fires fill the huts with filthy smoke. People die. So the project was designed to tap the wisdom of the grannies, or ‘gogos’, reinvent the fire in smokeless form, and disseminate this new knowledge far and wide. Why not cook outside? For much of the year, the climate would make that an obvious option. But it doesn’t happen. It is a very symbolically minded culture, which requires that the rituals of dinner take centre stage. To us too, in the contemporary West, the kitchen feels like a natural priority. Our houses, however different in scale and grandeur, are similarly kitchen-centric; the space we call ‘kitchen’ now threatens to encompass every non-private activity in the house. Bathrooms also, once hidden in some nether corner of the dwelling, are increasingly sun-drenched, viewendowed, plural and spacious. What does it signify, this extraordinary expansion? Is it just the inevitable evolution of

a prosperous democracy that has us learning to enjoy doing our own cooking? Is it gender related: has the very fact of women’s escape, and men’s engagement with cooking brought the kitchen new status? Have we, perhaps, rediscovered some deep primal truth? Or does Big Kitchen, coinciding as it does with the obesity epidemic, simply reflect Big Stomach? For there are cultures and eras where cooking is not celebrated. Indeed, in most traditions, historically, not-cooking has been one of the first freedoms of wealth. In many cultures, including Western European culture until quite recently, the distancing of eating from cooking within a domicile became itself a status symbol. Moorish palaces, Ming Dynasty manors, Italian palazzi and the great country houses of England had this in common. The kitchen might be vast and even plural, but it usually occupied some dank and even subterranean part of the house that offered little pleasure, symbolism or convenience. The kitchens of Downton Abbey, for example, occupy a vast grey steam- and smoke-filled dungeon accessed via small back entrances and dark narrow corridors. In the rest of the house, electric light has just been installed. “Cora says we should have it in the kitchen,” reflects the Earl, “but I can’t see the point.” In the large fixed tent, or bangla, that was the typical military dwelling of 19th Century Anglo-India, there was of course no kitchen.


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The ideal construction — Where to start and who to talk to? Elana Castle investigates the process of designing and constructing the kitchen and bathroom, with some practical strategies for the rooms that we desire to renovate most. Text Elana Castle


1. portrait / design process


nce considered specialist zones with very defined physical boundaries, bathrooms and kitchens are playing a more integrated role in residential design. Whilst open plan kitchens and ensuites have formed part of our design repertoire for some time, the trend is being stretched much further. “I think we’ll start to see bathrooms look less like bathrooms,” explains Don Cameron, designer of Canberra’s recent hospitality project Hotel Hotel. “This will either take the form of streamlined sanitary items or concealment of joinery fittings, which will make bathrooms feel more like another room in the interior.” Similarly, kitchens are being expressed as extensions of dining and living rooms, with cupboards and island units looking less like standard kitchen cabinetry and more like crafted pieces of furniture. Whatever aesthetic or function you aspire to, your kitchen or bathroom will be driven by your own personal parameters. Here we look at a few key design considerations to take into account when you’re about to embark on the design and construction process.

How to get started

You’re about to embark on or want a new bathroom or kitchen. But who designs it? And who builds it? Depending on your budget and preferences, there are a number of options available. Without fail, work with qualified experts who have the knowledge and experience to meet your expectations. If not, it could cost you more in the long term. Bear in mind that the bathroom and kitchen are specialist rooms. “There are a lot of architects that do these areas very well but bathroom and kitchen design studios focus on kitchen and bathrooms day in and day out,” says Darren Genner of Minosa, “so in some cases the results will be better with a specialist”. When looking for a designer and builder, research the qualifications and examples of their work and processes, rather than glossy images of the end result. A good designer or installer will be able to work harmoniously with all trades involved, including the general contractor and suppliers. Visit their previous projects to assess their attention to detail and quality control.


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3. on location / kitchens



A large island bench works as a breakfast bar day-to-day and doubles as a demonstration space for educational purposes.


ucina Colac Cookery School is located within a 1930s Art Deco home at the lake end of Colac. The project involved the upgrading of an existing residential kitchen/ dining area to accommodate a fully integrated cooking school. An important part of the brief was to consider the social needs of large groups of people while classes are taking place, but also feel comfortable on a day-to-day basis when only the clients are at home, using the space as their own kitchen. Ensuring the domestic scale was maintained, the space responds to flexibly accommodate a range of cookery classes for all culinary interests and ages. The classes are interactive and involved; meals are shared at the large dining table afterwards. A large island bench works as a breakfast bar day-to-day and doubles as a demonstration space for educational purposes. Intended to complement the existing home, proportions of the new steel windows match those typical of the Art Deco era, and the curved pergola deck allows the kitchen and dining to connect to the garden and orientate the north. The functioning kitchen garden, which spills off from the deck area, provides herbs, veggies and inspiration for recipes. Freeroaming chickens provide eggs and fertiliser for the garden, not to mention entertainment for cooking school participants. Cucina Colac Cookery School Colac, VIC

ARCHITECT MAKE Architecture PROJECT TEAM Melissa Bright, Shelley Freeman, Bruce Rowe MAKE ARCHITECTURE (61 3) 9853 4730 | makearchitecture.com.au FINISHES Kitchen flooring from Fibonacci Stone. Kitchen splashback finished in TR Nero porcelain tiles from Classic Ceramics. Other walls finished in Dulux. Kitchen island bench is Jaipur stone in Olive from Stone Italiana. All other benchtops in stainless steel. LIGHTING Coco pendant from Coco Flip. Siam pendant from Studio Italia. FIXED & FITTED Kitchen joinery is oak timber veneer. Kitchen and bathroom fittings from Reece. Duravit Happy D basin. Kitchen appliances from Fisher & Paykel, Qasair and Falcon Professional FX.

3. on location / bathrooms


Intimate luxury Photography Angus Martin

Positioned on a raised platform and alongside a window, the bath maintains a sense of verticality and drama, peeking out from underneath the mezzanine level.


efurbishment of this warehouse apartment gave Tonic design studio the opportunity to combine large open living spaces for entertaining, with the client’s request for private spaces with a sense of retreat. The notion for the master ensuite bathroom was to enhance the already strong character of the heritagelisted building and accent its many positive attributes, such as the abundance of natural light, and its beautiful cedar timber beams and columns. The awkward shape created by the sawtooth roof and varied wall lines was re-thought, placing the master bedroom, ensuite and walkin-robe at the back of the mezzanine to create a cohesive intimate space. The planning uses the available space efficiently: the vanity occupies the main entry walkway to the space, the robes are in the walk-through area leading

up to the master bedroom, and the toilet is cleverly located within an awkward nook beneath the lower mezzanine floor. The free-standing bath retains the feeling of resort-style living. Positioned on a raised platform, and alongside a window, the bath maintains a sense of verticality and drama, peeking out from beneath the mezzanine level. Long, low, elongated forms such as the planter and vanity serve to increase the sense of space. Large walls of mirrored glass also have this effect, reflecting light around the room to further heighten that open, airy feel. The resulting bathroom enhances the industrial history of the original design, creating a modern bathroom which reflects the personality of its occupants. Woolstore Apartment Teneriffe, QLD

ARCHITECT Tonic PROJECT TEAM Matt Riley, Justin Wells, Stacey Van Harn BUILDER John Cardillo Builder STRUCTURAL ENGINEER Quak & Associates TONIC (61 7) 3852 5100 | tonic.cc fixted & fitted Sliding door hardware features StarTec Mortice Sliding Lock set by Häfele.

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