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ISSUE 94 | NOV 2016 + FEB 2017 AUD$15.95



IDEA 2016



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A R T.

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I T.

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1LF*UDKDPČ'LUHFWRU1LF*UDKDP $VVRFLDWHV When designing the lobby for Melbourne’s QT Hotel, Nic Graham also created a bespoke range of furniture with Stellar Works. Fashioned to evoke a memory or a sensation, the luxurious interior creates the perfect environment for guests to steal a private moment while still being part of the action.

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Contents #94



Smart Design Studio Dr Morris suites


s:lab 10 Enfin by James Won


KPDO Melbourne penthouse


Amber Road Inside-Out house


Williams Burton Leopardi Project Base 64

Studio News

#21 #24 #27 #30

Profile: Bernie de Le Cuona Practice: Axolotl In-house: Sydney Dance Company Discourse: environa studio


Sydney Dance Company. Image Peter Grieg. Page 27


Christopher Boots’ Nepenthes pendant light. Page 35


Inside-Out house by Amber Road. Image Prue Ruscoe. Page 72

#35 #41 #42 #46 #48

Insight: Lighting Objects: Antonia Syme Folio: Show Spotlight: Thonet Spotlight: Zenith

Winners of the 2016 IDEA Awards

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Tufty-time, seat system designed by Patricia Urquiola.

Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane Singapore, Kuala Lumpur

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s the year draws to a close the last inside for 2016 is an extraordinary issue. We are bringing you not just one magazine, but two, with a broadsheet addition. We have decided to highlight IDEA (Interior Design Excellence Awards) and present a new iteration of what a magazine can be, pushing the boundaries of the norm and we hope that you enjoy this new presentation. It is always with great pleasure that we announce the annual IDEA winners in the final magazine of the year and, continuing the tradition of excellence, the winners and highly commended projects, objects and practices are a formidable group. Australian design is bursting with innovation and extraordinary design that heralds our country’s designers and architects as among the very best in the world. The category winners and special award recipients are to be congratulated for their outstanding contribution to the design landscape of our country and we applaud them all. That said, the shortlisted projects were all exceptional and judging just keeps getting tougher! The IDEA announcements are contained in one fine gold magazine to add to the collection in the library or on the coffee table, while extra reading is contained in the usual issue of inside where we present interviews and profiles, products and fabulous new projects as a separate entity that will be enjoyable reading over the summer months. For this special issue we have included a broadsheet ‘paper’ with news and reviews, books and small projects that will add another dimension to your reading experience. We thank you all for being a part of the inside family and value your contributions and participation that makes inside sing and IDEA the event of all events on the Australian design calendar. We’ll see you next year and hope that you all have a safe and happy Christmas and a relaxing new year.


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Melbourne 145 Brunswick Street Fitzroy VIC 3065 03 9417 0077

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Sydney 21 Boundary Street Darlinghurst NSW 2010 02 9332 1600

Adelaide 1000 Chairs 0421 073 732 Brisbane Innerspace 07 3252 1461

Perth Innerspace 08 9322 6664

Suppliers of original European products

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Chris Rennie

EDITORIAL DESIGN Marcus Piper @inside_magazine insideinteriordesignreview

EDITORIAL PRODUCTION CO-EDITORS Jan Henderson +61 412 198 156 Gillian Serisier +61 416 025 195


Indigo Slam by Smart Design Studio. Overall winner 2016 IDEA Awards. Image David Roche

SUB-EDITOR Madeleine Swain CORRESPONDENTS BRISBANE Michelle Bailey ASIA Elizabeth Chu NORTH AMERICA David Sokol EUROPE Joy Weideman


PHOTOGRAPHERS John Gollings Ross Honeysett Christopher Morrison Richard Powers Prue Ruscoe David Yeow




SUBSCRIPTIONS Freecall 1800 804 160 Tel: +61 3 9948 4900


Notice: Statements and opinions expressed are not necessarily those of the publisher. All material is copyright. No responsibility is accepted by the publishers for the accuracy of the information contained in the text, illustrations or advertisements.

inside ISSN 1326 9631 © 2016 Niche Media PTY LTD. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, internet, or otherwise, without the prior written permission of the publishers. While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information in this publication, the publishers accept no responsibility or liability for any errors, omissions or resultant consequences including any loss or damage arising from reliance on information in this publication. the views expressed in this publication are not necessarily endorsed by the editor, publisher or Niche Media PTY LTD.

Architecture and Design Division: Linking Design and Business inside Interior Design Review is a publication of Niche Media Pty Ltd ABN 13 064 613 529 1 Queens Road, Melbourne, VIC 3004, Tel 03 9948 4900 Fax 03 9948 4999

NICHE MEDIA PRIVACY POLICY This issue of inside Interior Design Review may contain offers, competitions, surveys, subscription offers and premiums that, if you choose to participate, require you to provide information about yourself. if you provide information about yourself to Niche Media, Niche Media will use the information to provide you with the products or services you have requested (such as subscriptions). We may also provide this information to contractors who provide the products and services on our behalf (such as mail houses and suppliers of subscriber premiums and promotional prizes). We do not sell your information to third parties under any circumstances, however the suppliers of some of these products and services may retain the information we provide for future activities of their own, including direct marketing. Niche Media will also retain your information and use it to inform you of other Niche Media promotions and publications from time to time. If you would like to know what information niche media holds about you please contact the privacy officer, Niche Media PTY LTD, 1 Queens Road Melbourne VIC 3004. IDEA 16 TERMS AND CONDITIONS 1. Niche Media and its partners will not be held responsible for any loss, damage or non-receipt of entries however so caused. 2. Entries will not be returned. 3. Each category has specific criteria for entry with which you must comply. Items deemed by the shortlisting judges not to meet these criteria will be deemed invalid. 4. Submissions in all categories must be projects completed between January 2015 and June 2016. 5. All entries must be completed works at the point of entry. They must not be items created specifically for the awards, speculative works, client pitches, mock-ups or other works not taken to final execution for whatever reason. 6. By signing the entry form all entrants warrant that they have permission from all parties including

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clients, copyright holders and collaborators allowing inside and its partners to publish their work in the shortlist categories, the inside IDEA 2016 Special Edition and any associated promotional material, posters etc. including the IDEA 2016 website, without limitation. 7. By signing the entry form you indemnify Niche Media, inside IDEA 2016, its employees and agents and supporting partners from any liability for wrongful use or misrepresentation of the works submitted. You assert that you are the author of the work and own the intellectual and moral rights to the work under the Copyright Act. Wrongful assertion of such rights will render the entry invalid and the entrant accepts all liability for any claim for damages or loss resulting from such wrongful assertion. 8. By signing the entry you assert the truthfulness of this information and assign copyright in this text to Niche Media, further authorising the editing and publication of this synopsis by inside and its partners in the shortlist categories, the inside IDEA 2016 Special Edition and any associated promotional material, posters etc. including the inside IDEA 2016 website, without limitation. 9. All entrants must provide details of the commissioning client and obtain their permission to enter the project into the awards. 10. In the event that an entry is subsequently found to breach any of the terms and conditions of entry it will be ruled invalid and withdrawn from consideration for an award. 11. In the event that an award winner is subsequently found to breach the terms and conditions of entry their work may be ruled invalid and the award deemed null and void. The entrant will be liable for any costs incurred and must return the prize(s) received. 12. Judges reserve the right at all times to determine whether an entry qualifi es as an acceptable work within the category for which it is submitted. Works the judges deem not acceptable will be ruled invalid. 13. Terms and conditions may be amended, deleted or added from time to time at our discretion and we will publish the revised terms and conditions on the website. By checking the box on the entry form you agree to the full terms and conditions so read them carefully. 14. All judges’ decisions are final and no correspondence will be entered into relating to the judging process or the outcome. 15. Privacy Information. inside, Niche & IDEA 2016 maintain a database of registered details. We may send you promotional material or pass your information to other companies that support inside IDEA 2016.

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SARAH HETHERINGTON WRITER Sarah Hetherington moonlights as an arts writer based in Sydney, Australia. She has contributed to a range of arts magazines including Vault, Art World, The Art Market Report, Eyeline and Artlink as well as museum publications, including Heide Museum of Modern Art’s Cubism and Australian Art. Having previously held roles as a curator and then commercial art gallery manager, she now works in private philanthropy for the Biennale of Sydney. Hetherington is also a member of the International Association of Art Critics (AICA). She has been known to make art pilgrimages to remote locations including the Chinati and Judd Foundations in Marfa, Texas and Dia:Beacon, New York. She has also recently discovered a passion for indoor plants.

JOANNE CYS WRITER Joanne Cys is Associate Professor in Interior Architecture and Dean: Teaching and Learning at the University of South Australia’s Division of Education, Arts and Social Sciences. She is a design ambassador of the Design Institute of Australia (DIA), a past national president of the DIA (2008-2010) and a past executive board member of the International Federation of Interior Architects/Designers (2011-2014). She is co-chair of the Organising Committee for the Asia Pacific Space Designers Alliance 2016 Conference to be held in Adelaide, Australia.

CHRISTOPHER MORRISON PHOTOGRAPHER Based in Adelaide, Christopher Morrison is a freelance photographer specialising in architectural, commercial and wedding photography. After making the switch from interior architect to photographer, Morrison has been fortunate enough to work with many wonderful people, businesses, brands and magazines.

RICHARD POWERS PHOTOGRAPHER British photographer Richard Powers specialises in interiors, architecture and the built environment. Working worldwide, he has been based in the south of France for several years. Today his editorial client list includes such publications as the US and European editions of Architectural Digest, Elle Décor, World of Interiors and Vogue. He also works directly with architects, interior designers, hotels and publishing houses such as Thames & Hudson, Penguin, Random House and Octopus. With 15 coffee table books to his name and 20 years of experience, Powers is a true force in his field, bringing equal amounts of enthusiasm, attention to detail and Zen calm to his work.

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Meet the family. Introducing the Park Avenue collection by Gareth Ashton. Providing a complete look for your bathroom, designed with style and budget in mind. Visit an Abey Australia Selection Gallery to meet the extended Gareth Ashton family, a collection of toilets, baths, basins, showers, tapware and accessories. VICTORIA Selection Gallery 335 Ferrars St Albert Park Ph: 03 8696 4000

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THE MINDS Bernie de Le Cuona has built a fabric empire of products that touch most countries in the world. Her passion for linen ignited a desire to create and interpret textile design in a new way and the proof of her work is in the quality and beauty of every de Le Cuona collection. From South Africa to London and beyond, her vision is a testament to the creativity and far-sightedness that ensures that the de Le Cuona fabric house remains unique in the world of fabrics.

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text - Jan Henderson


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Today, linen is the fabric of choice, specified extensively for interior projects by designers and architects throughout the world.

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ood taste and style are, for the most part, inherited traits. Many things can be taught, but these attributes are not learned. When it comes to Bernie de Le Cuona, good taste and style are her trademarks and these are evident when first meeting the woman who presides over the de Le Cuona fabric house. From the outset, her demeanour is exemplary, her personality sparkling, but then there are the fabrics and, in particular, the much loved linens, which are pure luxury and sophistication in every metre. Bernie de Le Cuona is the powerhouse, creative director and owner of the de Le Cuona fabric house based in London. The story of her journey from lover of design to doyenne of a worldclass fabric business began in South Africa where she was born and spent her childhood. In her early years she studied architectural design and, through this, developed her love of interiors and the objects within the home. Initially de Le Cuona established a business importing modern furniture into South Africa, selling to architects and designers, but fortuitously she moved to Brussels and discovered the special beauty of fabric, particularly linen. Her fascination for the textile grew and she began to see the fabric’s possibilities in design and applications. Relocating to the UK with her family in the mid 1990s, de Le Cuona found that the time was right to establish her own textile company, with linen as the star, and so the de Le Cuona fabric house was born. Today, linen is the fabric of choice, specified extensively for interior projects by designers and architects throughout the world. In the late 1990s, however, the textile, made from flaxseed, was only available in patterns. De Le Cuona changed that by creating a range of plains in soft and sophisticated colours that included taupes, creams and soft hues of pinks and blues. The first range was a success and plain linens have since become the norm. Building on her initial success, de Le Cuona’s creativity expanded and she began to reimagine linen, creating fabrics of differing weights and textures, combining the linen with other

textiles such as ribbon or wool. Expanding the de Le Cuona offering, wool and paisley ranges were developed and have since become an important part of the business. Today de Le Cuona has some 400 skus, in a variety of textiles, patterns and colourways. De Le Cuona fabrics are available in most countries around the world, but it is interesting that colour sets demand apart. It seems that in France a variety of colour is keenly sought after with a predominance of yellow, Italy loves chocolate brown, London and New York demand grey and cream, and Russia is in love with pink! And so the de Le Cuona ranges are designed to cater to the diversity of the company’s clients, their desires and requirements within the colour spectrum. Each January a new collection is released, building on the collection from the year before and the year before that. The ranges work with each other and the colourways and patterns are designed to complement and accessorise each other; however, this year there was a special launch in September of a new fabric range to celebrate paisley. Paisley is a special fabric manufactured through a unique weaving technique; however, it is often overshadowed by the collections of linen and wool. This year two very different ranges were launched, one pale the other a riot of colour, and again there is something for everyone in every country. The de Le Cuona head office is situated in Windsor, just over the road from Windsor Castle, with two warehouses that stock kilometres of fabric, and there are two showrooms in London and another in New York. The company itself is 40-strong, but growing fast and de Le Cuona is always on the move personally visiting her distributors and helping to celebrate new openings and collections. From a small idea and a passion for fabric, Bernie de Le Cuona has created a business but, more than this, she has helped change the face and perception of one textile, linen. What a fine idea and an even better result.

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Portrait Bernie de Le Cuona


A selection of paisley designs


Rich and textural, the linens, paisleys and wools from de Le Cuona are luxurious and add sophistication to every room

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practice - Axolotl text - Gillian Serisier

AXOLOTL The brainchild of brothers Kris and Kim Torma, Axolotl or, as it was originally known, Axolotl Metal Finishes, has come a long way since it first started transforming surfaces with lustrous layers of semi-precious metal in 1995.

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ow in its 21st year Axolotl has burgeoned into an international practice with factories operating in the UK, China, Hong Kong and India. Closer to home a 1100-square metre factory and showroom provides the company headquarters in Matraville Sydney. Not bad for a couple of brothers mucking around with metal finishes! Interestingly, while a robust program of research and development went into Axolotl before the brothers started their business, neither saw it as their primary career path. (Kris was a highly regarded and successful art director working in film and television, while Kim was equally well-regarded in his field of horticulture, when not hand-building a mudbrick house in Broke.) “The launch of Axolotl itself ended up being a pivotal moment in our business lives. It began almost as an experiment and we thought it would just be part-time alongside our existing careers. However, the reaction received for our metals was quite phenomenal and, ultimately, we had to make the choice between pursuing separate careers or pursuing Axolotl,” says Kris. But then they are no everyday dabblers; rather, they are possibly the most driven and innovative pair working with surface technology today. And it is this aspect that has seen them steadily expand their offering from the original metal finishes to concrete, glass and a recently launched paint range. From an architectural perspective, their collaborative approach is highly solution driven, as architect Dale Jones-Evans notes. “I’ve always enjoyed working with Axolotl because the commitment to excellence and innovation was understood, they liked being pushed and I did push them with the projects we shared!” he says. What makes the duo exceptional is a rare combination of a curious mind, excellent business sense and fearless experimentation. “Each product since inception has centred on using common materials and manufacturing processes in ways that really push the limits and haven’t been seen before. Our business is based on experimentation and not every venture eventuates – but the successes are truly bespoke,” says Kris. This, coupled with an inherent ability to design, manifests as a unique formula of layered expertise. Where most would conquer a material simply by creating it, the brothers see this as the starting point for evolution and innovation. The fact that they have the ability to work artistically with their own materials works in two ways, in that they are able to show application

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possibilities immediately, while having the requisite skills to deliver their client’s vision. Take their glass range, for example, which they started manufacturing in 2005. “Glass was a key turning point for the business and seemed a natural progression of the Axolotl offer. Working with two materials gave us the opportunity to target the same clientele with a broader scope of materials and infinitely more design possibilities,” says Kris. Not resting on their laurels, Kris and Kim have spent the intervening years innovating and developing glass processes that are recognised as unique in the world. In 2012, for example, Axolotl Concrete and LINK were voted ‘Material of Excellence’ and selected for inclusion into the material archive by New York’s prestigious ‘Material ConneXion Resource Library’. And while each of their products is consistently recognised with awards, their most recent accolades include the 2015 ADEX (Awards for Design Excellence) Platinum Award for Axolotl Concrete and the Gold Award for Axolotl Terracotta. Key to the success of the product is the small amount of material needed to create a surface. Axolotl Concrete, for example, as a surface finish uses 1.5 percent of the raw materials needed for a square metre of solid concrete (they are currently creating concrete blocks for a luxury yacht interior!). Metal finishes also use far less material and have the bonus of being 100 percent recycled. As such, while art projects have always been part of the Axolotl portfolio, it was not until the practice was invited to tender for a 520-square metre feature wall for Hong Kong Airport in 2013 that the pair recognised both their talent and expertise to create and manage large-scale public art projects. Required to present a sixby six-metre section of art wall in Hong Kong as part of a competitive pitch against two other designs, they used custom-designed Axolotl Glass and for the first time computer synchronised lighting.


Rust inlaid glass ‘Poppies’ for architect Keith Pike. Image Keith Pike


Texture and applied metal finish in copper with a Cayman texture used on a Marblo bath. Image courtesy of Marblo

“While it was disappointing that we didn’t win, as the art piece was truly beautiful, it gave us the impetus to start Axolotl Art Projects. AAP now accounts for a large proportion of our work and really complements our core business,” says Kris, adding that the piece they created for lighting designer Don Salisbury was recently awarded the 2015 Luminaire Design Award of Excellence for Light Sculpture and Installation. At 20-plus years they could be forgiven for taking a rest, but in true Axolotl form the showroom is brimming with new ideas and challenges to the way they use materials. Furniture, ceramics, artworks, a motor cycle restoration, paint, concrete, glass and terracotta sit and merge with the original metal finishes in myriad incarnations, which, if the Tormas can find a way to do it (i.e. if it’s at all possible), will include paper by the end of the year. They are, in fact, an amazing Australian design manufacturing story and truly deserve all accolades.


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When lighting is everything, it pays to get it right and a trip to the theatre certainly brings this home. The latest production from the Sydney Dance Company, the double bill Untamed, comprising Wildebeest and Anima, mostly delivers perfection.

text - Gillian Serisier photography - Peter Grieg




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Clemens Habicht’s video projection provides a background of movement and colour for Rafael Bonachela’s Anima


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Benjamin Cisterne’s impeccable lighting reiterates the drama, dynamism and energy of Gabrielle Nankivell’s Wildebeest

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he first of the pair, Wildebeest, is exceptional. Gabrielle Nankivell’s choreography is without compare, as are the shifts and dynamism of the dancers’ delivery. Containing the whole is a sparse black stage with no props or staging beyond the black vertical blades of side staging and a sheer black wall at the rear. What makes it exceptional from a staging perspective is Benjamin Cisterne’s lighting design. Rather than flood and spot, flood and spot ad nauseam, the lighting is delivered through a number of quite distinct channels. The most stunning delivery is as though the light is shining from high narrow horizontal apertures. The result is John Pawson-esque in its slightly monastic feel of God’s hand penetrating the void. This particular method creates very clear areas of illuminated activity and, while directing the audience’s gaze to the performers, it has the additional effect of suggesting both their strength (as demonstrated by their taut physical alacrity) and vulnerability (in a universal sense). What makes this lighting design so good is the designer’s ability to continuously evolve it to support the work’s physical presence and conceptual mores. The shuttering strobe, for example, is only fleetingly used, rather than becoming a motif. Similarly, a large central spot that fans outwards to create a cone of light is only used when necessary. It is this versatility and assortment that make the moments

of backlit stage smoke downstage so utterly composed and relevant. The second piece, Anima, is similarly sparsely staged, with, this time, a white floor and backdrop. The lighting, also by Benjamin Cisterne, is here more about mood and function than a design element of the virtuoso scale delivered in Wildebeest. Which is not to say it’s bad. There are just other things going on. The main staging visual is delivered via the entire back wall delivery of video. This is the work of visual designer, Clemens Habicht, who says: “We glimpse these apparitions as a spirit-like echo extending beyond and outside the physical bodies of dancers, as Rafael [Bonachela] might say, as souls in flight.” Translated to video, this means blobs of light and colour bobbing in parallel with the dancers, escalating and subsiding at slight odds with the real-time performance. To some extent, it’s a distraction that feels weighed down by intention. That is, until the second half, when it stops being tricky and starts being a piece of design. “Directly echoing the dance onstage, the visual projection is a reactive accompaniment that translates the expressive forms and gestures of the dancers into abstractions of motion” says Habicht. At this point it changes to rolling blobs of colour that morph and mutate at speed, interposed with full colour washes that transform the entire stage. The electric peacock green is particularly impressive. It is, however, the sharp shards of light penetrating the space and holding the dancers that makes Wildebeest the more successful piece. Moreover, Cisterne’s lighting engages fully with Nankivell’s conceptual directive: “The work is a world where instinct and knowledge meets. It is an assemblage of the dancers’ fascination for physicality, their power as individuals and strength en masse, their wildebeests within… from animal through human to machine and beyond, Wildebeest traces evolution as wild as the animal’s path.”

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Pillows feature fabrics Canopy 67, Plank 67 and Relax 95 from JF Fabrics.

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THE SUSTAIN PEDAL JAN O’CONNOR Jan O’Connor of environa studio, an expert in the world of sustainability, discusses the intangible new parameters qualifying sustainability.

Gillian Serisier: Five years ago sustainability meant solar panels. But now we’re at a very different place in the world of architecture and interior design and what sustainability means. Jan O’Connor: Previously it was about the installation of green bling and addon technology, such as water tanks, PV panels and solar power, energy and water elements. Now it’s more about the materials, the footprint, future-proofing existing ecosystems and the sociological impact. Within our architectural practice green credentials are assumed, with additional consideration for the issues of flexibility, adaptability and modularity, which are becoming critical. We design with an eye to the future, guided by the ‘three Ls’ – long life, loose fit and low impact. What changes are you seeing with the footprint? In Sydney and Melbourne, where affordability is low and land value is high, by default many are forced to buy more compact properties and literally scale back expectations. There is also a confluence of many world trends that indirectly affect house sizes: the phenomenon of Marie Kondo the (de-clutter master), the tiny house movement, and the growing interest in zero waste and long-term sustainability. Additionally, we have recently completed projects in suburban areas like Parramatta, where clients have purchased two adjoining properties that can be redeveloped with a house on each, that can be replaced by five or six townhouses, substantially increasing the density. How does that manifest? This is when the ability to maximise internal space is critical, to do more with less, to include multifunctional, flexible spaces. For instance, we may design a house as a duplex or a multi-generation home, to accommodate parents, children and grandparents, considering the age of the occupants and stage of life. A separate entry, granny flat, studio or pavilion could be modified or altered as the family grows or contracts.

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Coogee House. High thermal mass concrete floor and ceiling allows for absorption and storage of heat energy. Image wheeler studios

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Is there a macro response? With density, social issues need design solutions. That’s one of the successful things about The Commons [Breathe Architecture’s award-winning housing development in the inner Melbourne suburb of Brunswick]. It engages with the share economy, not just cars, but spaces where the community can put their tools, bike or laundry facilities. Priority is given to individual living spaces and the more functional spaces can be combined, reduced in size and shared. How can design changes to infrastructure facilitate a future with share economy thinking? Infrastructure is critical. When you look at a city like New York, which is very dense, with a population of eight million, it has a very high sustainability factor. Seven million people use the subway daily, 82 percent of residents travel to work by public transport. Whereas, here in Australia, there are large expanses between towns and cities, hence that infrastructure is a very costly exercise. Do we need to create new centres that are further out? That is happening in Sydney. Parramatta, North Sydney, Chatswood, Hurstville and Liverpool are all undergoing urban renewal. The rejuvenation of these commercial hubs – with expanded facilities, new residential and office towers – is decentralising the city. These locations are no longer just business districts. For instance, going to Chatswood any night, it’s lively. Cafés are open until late, with constant activity in the mall, all of which assists to keep a city active and sustainable.

We have community gardens, a return to worm farms, fruit trees, bees and chickens in urban backyards.

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Is technology keeping pace? Technology is evident everywhere in buildings, in the design, structure, materials, product development and the long-term maintenance. The use of drones, autonomous construction equipment, three-dimensional printing and robotic technology is disrupting and transforming the construction industry. By combining multiple technologies, structures can be built with precision, greater accuracy and speed. We may soon be able to grow building materials following the recent development of textiles and threads from bioengineered bacteria, yeast and fungi.

Does energy use counterbalance… Less and less. People are conscious of everything relating to the life cycle of a product. People are looking at a more holistic approach now. Concrete was traditionally manufactured with excessive amounts of energy and water, now low-carbon content concretes are in production. Are those new technology products thermally better, with an improved life length? Sustainable materials are no longer just low-VOC (volatile organic compound) paints. Now there is very high-tech capability, products made from phasechange materials that can increase thermal capability. There are self-healing materials – concrete and asphalt to date – that can repair themselves and significantly increase the lifespan of a building. Solar activated façade cladding systems can reduce the heating and cooling costs in a building. Cradle to grave… More like ‘cradle to cradle’, as the saying goes. Conscientious companies are transforming supply chains, reducing environmental impact and designing a better product life cycle. Interesting things are being done with waste; for instance, [the UK company] bio-bean, which recycles waste coffee grounds into advanced biofuels displacing fossil fuels. The ideal aim is to recycle, to get an additional life from a material, rather than down cycle and potentially lose quality. Making bricks out of recycled plastic bags… Exactly, or wood plastic composites being used for furniture and decking.


Smith house. Optimum orientation and solar access achieves passive design reducing the need for auxiliary heating and cooling. Image environa studio


McCarthy Maisonettes. A new generation inner city boarding house providing affordable accommodation studios and communal spaces. Image environa studio

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And the other technologies like wind farms or things that our houses had 100 years ago? What’s old is new again. Old ideas are being reintroduced or rethought. We have community gardens, a return to worm farms, fruit trees, bees and chickens in urban backyards. Together with craft beverages, paddock to plate, the handmade element has returned. People are interested in the origin of things; they want to know where their products and food come from. When my partner, Tone Wheeler, was involved with the ‘sustainable house’ at Sydney University in the early ’70s, he and his peers were considered lefty hippies. He’s been preaching about sustainability for 40 years, promoting composting toilets, harnessing power from the sun and windmills. Technologies that were alternative then are resurfacing, we are re-evaluating them and they are now mainstream. We also need to consider the triple bottom line: people, planet and profit (equity, environment and economy). So people are really the equity, the most important thing, what everything is built around. The planet, just look at what we are doing to it… And profit, which until now has been a dirty word. Fiscal sustainability? Exactly. It’s something that’s got to be considered, but in a way that more people can profit from it.

What do you think the next 15-year leap is going see? The next wave? I think size is going to become even more critical. We are seeing a social change in the way we’re living. Micro apartments and boarding houses in major cities will become more commonplace, as banks realise they must fund alternative housing types. More shop-top housing, common in Asia, to accommodate the required increase in density. We may see a change in the way we blend our work and home life, which may change the spaces we use. The impact of generations who cannot afford to move away from the family home will necessitate that we design habitats that can adapt and be easily modified. The population of Australia is still relatively small; we are only beginning to use sophisticated systems like geothermal, which has been used in Europe for a long time. The development of technology, transportation, robotics and energy systems will have a big impact. A year ago the big news was Tesla, but it’s like solar, you do the equation (with a warranty for 10 years) it’s not going to be cost-effective… That leads me to our design approach I mentioned: the three Ls – long life (making the building last), loose fit and low impact. The loose fit is the ‘add-ons’ like technology; that is upgrading fast, for instance PVs (photovoltaics), which may only have a 10-year lifespan. They need to be a loose fit, sufficiently so that they can be removed, recycled and the new technology placed on. Use a spanner not a hammer.


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So do you think we will have technology, like batteries, that are cost-effective? Totally. In four to five years, the technology will be cheaper, the production costs will have dropped and the payback time will be reasonable. In 2002, we installed a five-kilowatt hour lead-acid battery storage system at a remote rural residence, the cost was about $20,000. Today, a similar, but more sophisticated, unit can be purchased for approximately $14,000. Just look at the innovation in home monitoring systems. Lighting, temperature, audio, television and security can all be tracked by a phone app. Many houses are fitted with smart meters, with inhome displays to monitor your energy consumption. These can be purchased for under $100. Are we transitioning to sustainable change successfully? Forty percent of carbon dioxide emissions in the developed world come from heating, cooling and powering buildings. In Australia, most of our major cities and towns are managing waste smarter, improving water efficiency, reducing carbon emissions and the environmental impact, building energy efficient buildings, increasing environmental performance and boosting renewable energy; therefore, reducing our reliance on fossil fuel. On a micro level, we are doing well, building green walls and rooftops and collecting rainwater for reuse. As communities, we are sharing cars, producing rooftop honey and growing food together locally. What could we do better? Improve city master planning and adopt a ‘good design’ code policy for everything, increase funding for more reliable, convenient mass transportation, mandate more ambitious energy reduction targets and engage in more effective government and community collaboration.

Timbah Glebe. A local wine bar with a small footprint; reorganised, reworked, reused and recycled. Image Owen Zhu

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Introducing the super mini family





ies wINNER (2016)

Super Mini EDGE

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Super Mini SKIRT

Super Mini GRAZER

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THE PRODUCTS Today’s designers are busy with tomorrow’s next lighting collections, and there’s plenty on offer for all things bright and sparkly. Annie Reid rounds up lighting’s best and brightest. text - Annie Reid

Ross Gardam’s Polar desk lamp

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ne thing’s for sure: glamorous pendants for residential applications are now equally at home within commercial environments, with clients investing in a range of custom statement lighting to make a big impact. At local lighting design and manufacturing studio Satelight Design, the team specialises in customisation. They work closely with interior designers and architects where they can alter elements of products to suit specific spaces. “Generally, our clients want unique environments and customising lighting adds to the overall effect,” says Satelight’s design director, Duncan Ward. A highlight is its Hanging Garden pendant light, comprising a wire form and shelf for small objects or plants. Inspired by the Hanging Gardens of Babylon, it can be personalised with various light fittings and features either an electroplated brass or textured black powder coat. “It’s perfect for retail spaces too where products can easily be displayed and highlighted,” he says. LIGHTING IN SCULPTURE Customisation also plays a part in Tesla Electric Portrait, a collaboration and creative sculptural installation

from Ambience Lighting and graphic artist Duro Cubrilo for Ambience’s gallery space in the Melbourne suburb of Fairfield. Traditional technology – light globes – was modified to produce the interactive portrait, where 759 LED globes were mounted on a grid and illuminated to create an iconic image of electrical pioneer, Nikola Tesla. David Justice, Ambience’s managing director, says, “Since its completion we’ve been inundated with requests from people from all over the world wanting us to create something similar for high-end residential and commercial spaces.” Zaffero’s managing director, Jason Kenah says lighting as sculpture is also popular across his collections: “If you look around you can see that trend quite clearly. These are interpreted in authentic materials like copper, brass, hand-blown glass and natural fibres like silk, jute and linen.” Zaffero’s new Riva Brass pendant is a case in point – a handcrafted perforated pendant light with an antique gold appearance, also available in copper and grey zinc. Taking the concept a little further, the Domenica pendant range from Italian designer, Karman, features a delicate white plaster base that seemingly snaps off to reveal a band of gold brown wire netting. It’s newly available from Koda Lighting. And another striking design is the Talete metal pendant by Lucente, from Radiant Lighting. Ideal over a kitchen or dining table, beside beds or in a cluster to a larger void space, the pendants are available in white, gold, copper and black with a fabric cable. LIGHTING IN TECHNOLOGY While decorative trends are set at Euroluce, held last year in April, the Frankfurt Fair offers a more technical approach to lighting innovation. Studio Italia’s director, Mark Gower, headed there earlier this year. “LED is increasingly being used in a combination of technical and decora-

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Koda Lighting’s Domenica Bianco pendant lights designed by Karman


Talete metal pendants by Lucente from Radiant Lighting


Christopher Boots’ Nepenthes pendant light


Nemo’s In the Wind vertical pendant light by Arihiro Miyake from Studio Italia

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“LED is increasingly being used in a combination of technical and decorative fittings to produce a practical but interesting outcome.� Mark Gower, director Studio Italia

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“Other designers have made attempts to cool LEDs. But it’s not enough. The vast potential of this technology remained unrealised. We knew there had to be a better way.” Jake Dyson


Dyson’s CSYS task light


Darkon’s Super Mini Grazer


Designed by Gabriele Florian, Florian Free from Italstyle Lighting Design


Articolo’s Melt wall sconce


Tesla Electric Portrait from Ambience Lighting and graphic artist Duro Cubrilo


Hanging Garden pendant light from Satelight Design

OPPOSITE FAR RIGHT Zaffero’s Riva Brass

pendant lights

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tive fittings to produce a practical but interesting outcome,” he says. He points to Nemo’s In the Wind vertical pendant light by Arihiro Miyake, available in Australia from Studio Italia. Long, sleek and contemporary, the pendant features twisting aluminium bars that create a warm and widespread emission of LED light. It’s available in either a floor or pendant setting, with a matte white or black finish. Innovation in LED is also driving Dyson’s new CSYS task lights, which were launched in Australia earlier this year. The task lights use heat pipe technology to direct heat away from their LEDS, to sustain brightness and colour, and to avoid damaging the LEDs’ phosphorous coatings. “Other designers have made attempts to cool LEDs. But it’s not enough. The vast potential of this technology remained unrealised. We knew there had to be a better way,” says designer Jake Dyson. Wood also combines with technology in the 2by4 Timber LED Profile pendant, available from About Space. Locally designed from Tasmanian oak, the 2by4 design offers a rectangular or round profile in lengths up to 2400 millimetres. Dean Phillips from Darkon has created some of the most iconic lights in Australia. His new product, the Super Mini series, is technologically a first. It’s small and functional and can be tailored for aesthetic individuality. Phillips explains, “The original design Super Mini Grazer was born out of adversity. There was a project I delivered that went incredibly wrong. It was all exposed LED and cove lighting applications and then the built environment came along and plaster dust and paint covered the LED. I said I’d never ever supply an exposed light source again and worked to come up

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with a little package to put [the light] in. The approach was to create a lens that wasn’t a snap fit lens but a tube, the light source slid inside and the end caps were like corks. So it was this little protected tubular envelope. At 15 by 15 millimetres, the size has been designed so that it can be routed and set into an 18 millimetre shelf for joinery and the output is 800 exit lumins for 14 watts.” LIGHTING IN SHAPE Melbourne-based furniture and lighting designer Ross Gardam launched his new lighting collection at Milan’s Furniture Fair in April, featuring the Polar and Ora desk lamps. Both explore the articulation of light. Polar features a circular reference with a magnetically attached arm that rotates to direct or shade light. The face side of the disc is available in white, midnight and musk pink, plus a gold mirror finish. “The gold mirror finish allows Polar to expand its functionality, creating a lit place for reflection,” says Gardam. Italstyle Lighting Design also offers new designs that herald a circular and oval shape. Designed by Gabriele Florian, the Florian Free and O’Free pendants feature rings of light made by a structure in MDF, matte metal and glass, with specific detail that absorbs and protects the LED light. They are suited to both large and small commercial spaces, with LED energy savings and an assortment of colours and ring measurements. LIGHTING IN GLASS Articolo Architectural Lighting’s founder and designer, Nicci Green says that the current lighting trend is for exotic, playful and dramatic statement pieces – with no neutrals in sight. “When deep, rich colours – or ‘drunken colours’ as I like to call them – are translated into glass, it provides a new depth and dimension, and evokes a sense of yesteryear glamour,” she says. Articolo’s new Melt wall sconce is available in the old-world Hollywood glamour tones of rich emerald green and peacock blue, with a design featuring mouth-blown glass. “I’ve just returned from overseas and, while I haven’t seen the deep, rich colours in lighting designs, I innately feel that this is the direction we will be seeing,” Green says. “And this will naturally flow on.” Finally, glass also informs Christopher Boots’ sculptural Nepenthes fixture, made from solid brass links and delicate hand-blown glass orbs. Inspired by a genus of carnivorous plants, Nepenthes is commonly specified for hotel lobbies and grand entrances, but is also easily at home as ornamentation for a room.

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Subscribe today and enter the draw to WIN


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A collaboration between Conde House and Nendo, the Splinter shell chair draws inspiration from splintered wood by dividing pieces of wood and peeling them away. A wooden masterpiece, it combines the familiar minimalistic aesthetic of Nendo with outstanding seating comfort.


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ANTONIA SYME: DIRECTOR, AUSTRALIAN TAPESTRY WORKSHOP Antonia Syme is a woman who has lived her life surrounded by art and beautiful objects. Throughout a career that spans decades within the cultural sector she has worked with Australia’s pre-eminent artists at such establishments as Artbank, where she was director for 10 years. As director of the Australian Tapestry Workshop she continues to work with artists, coordinating and sourcing the perfect works that can translate into extraordinary tapestries for a hungry local and world market. Her selection of favourite objects is eclectic, but all have the same unique quality, that of beauty, authenticity and great design.

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01 | FINK + CO BOWL This beautiful bowl was designed by leading Australian designer Robert Foster, who established FINK + Co. He was extremely talented, innovative and a great mentor and teacher. This bowl was given to me by Katherine Kalaf, herself a very talented jeweller and promoter of Australian designers, who gave Robert his first solo show in Sydney. The bowl has special meaning for me. Image John Gollings

02 | PHILIP WOLFHAGEN, FIRST ILLUSORY FIELD 1991. This painting was one of five from his first solo exhibition in Sydney at Syme Dodson Gallery in Surry Hills. The exhibition sold out to major collectors, then a few years later I was offered a chance to buy it. As I was renovating my apartment, I asked architect Sam Marshall to accommodate this huge, glorious painting in his design and, of course, my mortgage increased substantially. It is a very beautiful foggy, wild, abstract Tasmanian landscape that brings joy to everyone who sees it. Image John Gollings 03 | ROGER MCLAY, KONE CHAIR MANUFACTURED IN 1948 BY DESCON IN BROOKVALE SYDNEY I found a pair in a second-hand shop in Darlinghurst, Sydney decades ago with their labels still attached. A great Australian design, a simple concept and beautifully executed in ply. Timelessly elegant innovative design, and comfortable! Image John Gollings

04 | BROOCH BY CARLIER MAKIGAWA I love this very sculptural brooch by Carlier Makigawa. Her use of materials, form and scale is intriguing, and I acquired it in Sydney in the 1980s. It is very precious. Image John Gollings 05 | CATCHING BREATH 2014, TAPESTRY BY THE AUSTRALIAN TAPESTRY WORKSHOP, ARTIST BROOK ANDREW Catching Breath 2014 is an exquisite tapestry that is an extraordinary collaboration between Brook Andrew and the weavers of the Australian Tapestry Workshop. It is on display at in the Australian High Commissioner’s residence in Singapore. The tapestry has been woven with only the eyes visible through an attached woven veil that can be lifted back to show the powerful portrait beneath. It is an artwork that touches me deeply. Image Jeremy Weihrauch

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FOLIO SHOW ANDI-CO AUSTRALIA PTY LTD FALCON NEXUS RANGE COOKER The Nexus 110cm and 90cm range cookers feature a stunning contemporary design for which the heritage Falcon is known worldwide. The range is available in dual fuel or induction, in stainless steel, black, white or slate. The new Nexus range boasts features including an improved separate dual circuit grill and a new wire rack insert with four height options, while the Nexus 110cm includes a bread proving drawer, unique to the range cooker market. This drawer provides a controlled, warm environment with vents in the base, allowing warm airflow in to prove dough perfectly. A baker’s delight in your very own kitchen.

HALLIDAY + BAILLIE PIVOT/HINGED DOOR LATCHING SET The new Halliday + Baillie 250mm Pivot/Hinged door latching set allows for flush mounting on your pivot or hinged door in the place of the standard lever set when seeking that seamless flush aesthetic. Handed left or right, the finger gripped design allows you to pull and push on a pivot or hinged door and, if needed, latch the door in a privacy function or just plain latching (snib both sides). Minimum door thickness is 45mm. Available in over six finishes (image Brushed Nickel). For more information email or visit the website.


CULT DESIGN LIGHTYEARS RELEASES THREE NEW DESIGNS Danish lighting powerhouse, Lightyears, is pleased to present three new lighting designs: Suspence and Suspence Nomad by GamFratesi, and Night Owl by Nicholai Wiig Hansen. Showcasing Lightyears’ trademark approach to robust materials, functionality and minimalism, each new design sits seamlessly alongside Lightyears’ unique collection of lighting.

Released at Orgatec in October, an easy chair and ottoman extend the Nest Collection for +Halle. Designed by Form Us With Love, the easy chair is a high back chair and is available with an ottoman. It’s ideal for workplace breakout areas, receptions and foyers, and is available with a solid oak timber base or black powder-coat base. The new additions fit ideally with the Nest Low and High ranges released earlier this year.

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KARTELL BY LAUFEN The perfect emotion in the bathroom… Kartell, the iconic Italian company that transformed plastic into a desirable design material has partnered up with leading Swiss sanitary ware specialist Laufen, renowned for its innovation and expertise in high-end ceramics, to create a complete bathroom project: Kartell by Laufen. Designed by Ludovica + Roberto Palomba, the stunning new collection combines innovative ceramic fixtures with a series of translucent accessories and furniture embracing the DNA of both companies. The Kartell by Laufen collection includes the use of SaphirKeramik, a new lightweight and revolutionary material that is twice as strong, more ecological and thinner than ceramics. The collection features a unified ecosystem where washbasins, tapware, vanities, bathtubs, shelving, furniture and accessories coexist with maximum flexibility.

HUMANSCALE MCONNECT “The traditional office has been changing. People are coming and going, plugging in who-knowshow-many devices into a preset workstation, and expecting everything to work seamlessly. That’s the requirement.” – Robert Volek, designer. The Humanscale Design Team have reimagined the impractical, stand-alone USB docking station that induces cable clutter with a sleek, efficient and more accessible docking solution, which eliminates cable clutter. M/Connect, like all Humanscale products, was designed with a focus on purpose, function and ergonomics. The result is a unique, all-in-one monitor arm base and USB 3.0 dual-video docking station designed to support workers in an active, adaptive workspace. The M/Connect USB 3.0 dual-video docking station is a unique innovation that merges ergonomics and technology. Available with Humanscale’s M2, M8, and M/Flex monitor arms, M/Connect gives easy access to user ports and conceals IT ports to eliminate cable clutter. M/Connect is a total workspace solution that enhances the computing experience. M/Connect improves comfort, health and productivity, while offering instant use of all devices through DisplayLink’s universal Plug and Display connection. M/Connect is at the heart of the effortlessly connected, active workspace.

LIVING EDGE MING COLLECTION The Ming Collection is the result of a cultural investigation – an exploration of ancient forgotten typologies, crafts and ornamentation from China. The Ming Collection is fresh in look and offers an eclectic mix of Asian decorative art and Western functionality. The Collection features a variety of pieces that promise to be the jewel of any environment, whether as standalone objects or in curated groups.

MAXIMUM ULTIMATE BENCHTOP AT VIVE COOKING SCHOOL Beautiful, resilient and all natural, extraordinary MAXIMUM pressed porcelain panels were the clear choice for Jean-Luc Tan from Vive when selecting the benchtop surfaces for his cooking school in Sydney. “It was the wisest decision we made,” he says. “MAXIMUM offers the perfect combination of quality, aesthetic and practicality and the result is just outstanding.” The sophisticated markings of the large, precision bookmatched 3000 by 1500 by 6mm MAXIMUM Statuario porcelain panels create an outstanding design feature, while providing a technically advanced, durable, non-porous, 100 percent natural professional work surface that withstands heat, scratching and etching.

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SUNBRELLA SHIFT COLLECTION Designed to be mixed and matched, the new Sunbrella Shift Collection debuts with classic designs interpreted in a contemporary fashion. The Collection comprises six patterns that cleverly layer texture, colour and pattern, fusing traditional patterns with modern styling. Fabrics in the Shift Collection meet ACT standards for use in high traffic areas, which means they are suitable not only for residential indoor and outdoor applications, but also for hospitality. For more information on Sunbrella, including inspiration, fabric collections and where to buy, visit the website.



The Lunar range, designed by Marcel Sigel, is the latest addition to the Go Home offering. It’s a versatile seating solution designed for a variety of commercial, domestic and hospitality environments. The chair’s defining feature is the arcing lumbar scoop, an ergonomic detail providing both comfort and character. Available in three base options including timber, four-way castor and sled, the shell may be upholstered in Mainline Flax fabric in four house colours or standard fabric or leather to client’s specification. Available exclusively to Stylecraft in Australian and Singapore.

With its slightly ‘retro’ look, Babah is elegant and full of personality. This is a collection of chairs characterised by graceful proportions and compelling lines, making Babah both classic and contemporary. Featuring a precise and essential design that conveys a strong personality, Babah is solid, ergonomic, comfortable and versatile. Sled style and four leg frames in standard white and black finish are available, as is a four-leg timber frame in standard stain finishes. We can even organise custom shell colours for larger projects. Babah is also available in a matching stool version.

SCHIAVELLO AIRE Realised by Spanish designer Mario Ruiz and made in Australia by Schiavello, the Aire collection of tables and workbenches is a light and adaptable series that provides an elegant aesthetic for meeting, training and work settings. Supporting change in the workplace and flexibility in purpose, Aire’s ability to adapt to new working requirements is synonymous with its design. Thoughtfully considered, Aire couples a light finish with strong performance through the use of high-quality aluminium and engineering. For Mario Ruiz, unity played a part in the development of three distinct pieces: Aire Fold, Aire Workbench and Aire Meeting.

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WORKSPACE COMMERCIAL FURNITURE ALLURE CHAIR Designed by Lievore Altherr Molina, developed by Forma 5 and exclusive to Workspace, Allure is designed for executive, organisational and decision-making environments. The work chairs stand out for their soft lines and focus applied to the distribution of pressure to ensure optimal comfort during use. Regardless of the option you choose, swivel pivot middle backrest or conference, Allure offers the same aesthetic and ergonomic benefits for executive boardrooms, conferences or corporate meetings.

SUB-ZERO NEW INTEGRATED REFRIGERATION FROM SUB-ZERO Sub-Zero, the leader in luxury refrigeration and wine storage, continues to set the standard for beautiful, intelligently designed kitchen appliances. The introduction of a new integrated slim freezer column (46cm width) and spacious refrigerator column (91cm width), provides even more customisation options and design flexibility. Sub-Zero’s integrated refrigeration can be fitted with custom panels to virtually disappear into surrounding kitchen cabinetry or with optional stainless steel panels and handles to make a design statement. Combined with outstanding food preservation technology, Sub-Zero’s integrated refrigeration line keeps food fresher longer, while blending seamlessly into any kitchen design. ZENITH INTERIORS A-CHAIR BY BRUNNER Elegant yet unique... Regarded from the side, the silhouette is reminiscent of the letter ‘A’, hence its name. An essential component of the design concept is the slim legs. Available with a plastic shell in a choice of seven colours, the seat shells and frames of this all-purpose chair can be combined in many variations thanks to its modular construction. The die-cast aluminium or plastic frames can be configured with seat shells in various materials and colours. In addition A-Chair is available with a seat pad and can stack to 15 chairs high, saving lots of space. It’s available with armrests and different upholstery variants can also be chosen.

SONOS PLAY:5 The ultimate smart speaker with the purest, deepest, most vibrant sound. Step up to the Sonos play:5, the powerful smart speaker that fine-tunes its sound to bring you all the energy and emotion the artist packed into the original recording. Music that’s pure, ferocious, tasty and true. play:5 is Sonos’ flagship smart speaker in the Sonos home sound system family, and uses your Wi-Fi to stream the music you love throughout your home. One easy-to-use app gives you complete control of your entire home listening experience – access all your music, pick any room or every room, and immerse yourself in pure, richly detailed sound. RRP $749

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Say ‘Thonet’ and the refined elegance of the bentwood chair springs instantly to mind. Lauded for a simplicity of form that belies its strength, the Thonet Bentwood chair is as robust as it is graceful, classic and unabashedly a champion for the tactility and warmth of wood. It is not surprising then, that when Thonet secures exclusive representation of an international design house, as it has recently done with Stolab, the brand reflects the attributes for which Thonet is so very highly regarded. New to Australia, these unique designs from Sweden continue the tradition of fine Scandinavian craftsmanship, environmental responsibility and a love of timber that is truly expressed in each piece. Similarly, the aesthetic of Scandinavian design is beautifully explored through minimal design principles that celebrate materiality and overall form. “A conscious simplicity is something of a signature for our furniture that makes them timeless,” says Stolab.

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Key to the initial offering are three ranges of exceptional design acumen: Arka, Lilla Åland and Miss Holly. And it is here that we see the calibre of Thonet reaching across generations, eras and the aesthetic zeitgeist as it continues to deliver furniture of perfection. The Arka lounge chair by architect Yngve Ekström, for example, is a classically proportioned spindle back chair of considerable beauty. Designed for Stolab in 1955, the Arka lounge chair is a low-backed exemplar of the blonde Scandinavian design language. As such, Stolab’s decision to put this classic design back into production is a well-considered response to contemporary interior design. “We have brought the chair back to life and are proud to present it fully intact in its stately and unique form. Just as beautiful and more right than ever,” says Stolab. Carl Malmsten’s Lilla Åland range of 1942 has long held a place in the heart of all interior designers and architects. Presenting a perfect marriage of practical and aesthetic wants, the

instantly recognised Lilla Åland form remains a paradigm of Swedish design principles and indeed has represented Swedish design in many forums. Miss Holly, while the youngest of the designs, takes its cue from Windsor chairs. Indeed, architect Jonas Lindvall’s design of 2011 reinterprets this classic chair within a contemporary vernacular. Recognised as one of Sweden’s most celebrated architects and furniture designers, Lindvall has produced a design that strips away egregious decorative details and brings the focus back to the swelling form and simplified silhouette. That Miss Holly is also scaled to suit dining similarly speaks of its contemporary application. Effectively expanding the Thonet range, the inclusion of Stolab within its stable exponentially broadens Thonet’s reach in terms of application, while galvanising its reputation for beautiful, handcrafted timber furniture of exceptional quality.


Miss Holly by Jonas Lindvall, available exclusively through Thonet


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Introducing.. ALPHA

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Finasoft chairs with Finaconference table


Finasoft chair


As a company Zenith has been supplying the Australasian architecture and design market with excellent products for many years. Its offering has always included the very best in interior and commercial products that push the boundaries of style and innovation; however, with the inclusion of a new brand to its portfolio the myriad furniture options have been expanded to an unprecedented level. The new brand is Brunner, a German furniture manufacturer with decades of experience supplying high quality office, hospitality and healthcare furniture to the European market. Brunner is a family-owned company, with a head office and a manufacturing plant located in Rheinau, Baden in Germany. The ethos of Brunner is in step with that of Zenith; both companies have a deep respect for their business, coupled with a passion for designing, manufacturing and distributing quality product. With the addition of the Brunner collections, Zenith now has the ability to offer the complete package in style and quality for the growing areas of healthcare, education, public institution, hospitality and office design. Brunner provides furniture that makes a statement without detracting from the effects of the surrounding architecture and its products embody the Brunner philosophy – that design only makes sense when functions are perfectly integrated into forms. The first of the Brunner products now available at Zenith is the Fina collection and at the vanguard is the Finasoft conference chair. Created by the award-winning designer, Wolfgang C R Mezger, the Finasoft is slim and refined with a variety of custom options that range from assorted back heights and arm details to numerous base variations from swivel and castors to cantilever. The design is a modern take on the conference chair of old and that is the point of difference with all of Brunner’s products. The brand adds a sophisticated and contemporary touch to all of its furniture and embraces the best in German technology and quality through its manufacture and design. Within the Fina collection, and complementing Finasoft, are a multitude of products. The Fina collection incorporates Fina, Finasoft, Finalounge, Finaclub, Finabar, Finaconference and Finawood, which provide the same level of style and design, quality and comfort within the one family. There are, of course, many other products and collections such as Crona. The fully upholstered Crona

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chair offers comfort plus and is an eye-catcher upholstered in two colours of fabric. With a selection of matching wood side tables, bar stools, settees and armchairs, the Crona collection is perfect for many interiors, in particular hospitality venues and commercial projects. And this is just the beginning. There are many more Brunner products on offer to the Australian market through this new Australian/ German alliance. Commenting on Brunner and its extensive product range Barbara Schmidt, director at Zenith, explains, “We began our conversation with Brunner in 2013 focusing on the Fina collection. We soon realised that Brunner has much more to offer. In fact, the Brunner collection is extraordinarily extensive and an asset to our existing brands.” Zenith can now offer the total furniture solution for all areas of interior design, and the future has never looked brighter, as Schmidt adds. “We think it is a timely partnership for Zenith and Brunner. Brunner is entering its 40th year in 2017. Zenith will be the vehicle for Brunner to reach the Asia Pacific marketplace and we now have 12 showrooms in Australia, New Zealand, Hong Kong and Singapore, and we are about to open number 13 in Shanghai.” What a fine collaboration, with Fina taking the lead.



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PAINT HAS A NEW FORMULA We blended science with tradition to create an architectural paint that delivers stronger opacity, fuller colour and better paintability.

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WoodWall shown here in Blackbutt and Figured Spotted Gum

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David Yeow. EnямБn by James Won

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OF AGE practice - Smart Design Studio project - Dr Morris suites: BMA House location - Sydney, Australia text - Gillian Serisier photography - Ross Honeysett

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ver the past 14 years, William Smart has been engaged to restore and bring back to life suites on three floors as Dr Morris has taken ownership. The most recent set of suites to benefit from Smart’s touch are those on level 1, which Morris purchased with the express purpose of ensuring their return to glory. An historic landmark in its own right, at 12 storeys BMA was a veritable skyscraper of its late 1920s era, winning the (UK) RIBA Award for Street Architecture in 1935 and the inaugural Australian awarding of the (UK) RIBA Bronze Medal. Nestled into the rise of Sydney’s Macquarie Street with views across the Botanic Garden, BMA’s façade of sandstone is rather fabulously decorated with giant medieval knights complete with shields to ward off evil. Further decorated with beautiful tiles, terrazzo and gargoyles, the building’s only shortcoming was insufficient funds, which saw the finer detailing petering out as the floors ascended. Some of Smart’s earliest work on the building has addressed this shortcoming with the complete re-flooring of the ninth floor suites with French oak in a chevron herringbone pattern. These suites also benefited from the deep lustrous finish of organic powder paints, which, as Smart describes, was mixed, painted on, then closed up for at least a week to dry. Effectively, the large areas of single materiality and tone simplified the form of the rooms, which Smart has opened and brought back to the original architecture. Importantly, he allowed the foibles of the original architecture to remain despite disparate ceiling heights and the oddity of a gusset corner fold. Smart’s approach was simply to visually clean and tidy to bring a sense of calm to the space. “In an old building like this you have haphazard columns and beams. Our job as architects is to try and let all of that be the way it is, but bring order to the rooms,” says Smart. Part of creating that order was the decoration of the rooms with Florence Knoll furniture, a decision that has continued as each set of suites has been addressed.

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The way the doctors’ individual suites have been treated, that is, as unique iterations of pared back opulence, has also been a continuous exploration. Central to the aesthetic is sparseness, made rich by detail. In one room a Persian rug in shades of gold is paired with a large contemporary painting and mid-century furnishings of the Danish ilk. In another, a slim horizontal Aboriginal painting runs the entire length of the wall, while a large, but simple desk acts like the lower frame to a magnificent view. In other rooms, art, rugs and lamps play similar roles and it is here that Smart’s feel for lighting is exceptional. Rather than light the rooms per se, Smart has chosen to light the art. The result is a slightly rarefied environment, that is, while not domestic, a far cry from the sterility of most medical suites. So, to the most recent exploration of these concerns... The first and obvious thing to note is the beauty these rooms convey. And not just for medical suites. They are beautiful, rich, textural, serene, harmonious and extraordinarily elegant, no matter what their occupation. Working with Victoria Judge and Kirstin Lynam, Smart has sympathetically returned the rooms to a level of luxury commensurate with the 1920s heritage, while adding the amenity of modernity with discreet and considered grace. The whole comprises five structural bays, the central three of which had been divided and partitioned to create a set of small rooms. In opening the entire central space, the reception area is now generously sized and has regained its connection with the park views. The skill of the design is such that elements like fire doors have been concealed within expanded doorframes, where architrave details give the sense of a continuous form. Similarly, air-conditioning has been hidden behind panelling that visually continues the appearance of the cupboards. “In these jobs it’s a crying shame to put in linear bar grilles and things that are very obvious. We try to really work it into the design, and our job is to get the right proportion and make sure it works with the windows and other details,” says Smart.


Restored Queensland maple sets the tone of understated luxury made sumptuous by the muted jewel tones of Florence Knoll sofas in teal


Maxalto Fulgens chairs by Antonio Citterio are paired with an antique desk in a room where lighting can shift from the ambient glow seen here to be entirely focused on the walls when art is hung


A very cool rethinking of the walkin-safes sees them transformed into storage with fresh Hammertone paint in muted shades of bronze and Hunter green

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“In an old building like this you have haphazard columns and beams. Our job as architects is to try and let all of that be the way it is, but bring order to the rooms.� William Smart

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“As an architect, hanging out with interior designers, I’ve noticed that they talk about what creates the mood of a room, whereas architects talk about the walls, ceilings, windows and doors that build the room.” William Smart

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Continuing this theme, the desk is both a loving restoration and a means of concealing technology. Built of Queensland maple, the desk and wall of cabinetry has been restored, but not overly so, as Smart explains: “The look we always go for is to show the patina and show the age and not make it look overly restored. We want it to look like it’s been loved, but not renovated.” As such, areas deemed in need of repair have been seen to, but age alone has not been seen as a fault. The result has similarities to the contemporary museum restoration practice regarding vases, where fragments are held together for an overall effect, but the newly inserted pieces, while marrying with the original don’t pretend to be originals themselves. That said, the level of detail is extraordinary, with each piece of brass, for example, removed, numbered, restored and replaced, so that every key lock works. The reception desks are gloriously covered in bitter-chocolate leather to give a soft, tactile and non-reflective surface that effectively disappears technology such as fax machines, EFTPOS and the other paraphernalia of a contemporary medical practice. The original floors of tallowwood have been restored with organic oxide that has been mixed as a powder, applied and sanded before being finished with Whittle Wax. “It’s as matt as you can use on a floor and it shows all the scratches and marks, but, like leather, you can add more wax and it just gets better and better,” says Smart, who also points out that the floor showed signs of age. “Water damage, I don’t mind, it adds to the layering,” he explains. And the layering here is superb. Above the narrow runs of tallow, a large and luxurious mustard rug (in reality, a robust carpet) delineates the


Lined in mother of pearl tiles, lilac cabinetry (with matching china) and long luxurious expanses of Corian, the tearoom for the mothers’ room is a treat of girly perfection


Channelling Joe Colombo the cabinet concealing the air-conditioning is fabulously seventies and makes a strong statement in partnership with the client’s art collection

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waiting area, while Florence Knoll sofas in deep teal leather are paired with Maxalto Fulgens chairs by Antonio Citterio and Classicon’s Bell coffee tables by Sebastian Herkner. The slightly carriage-style lamps (Vaughan, Walter Herman Interiors) are the perfect finishing touch. Three doctors’ suites occupy the remainder of the space and each is unique in the above-mentioned aesthetic language. These rooms also boast a walk-in safe. Again restored to show age, but not damage, they have been finished in Hammertone paints and reappointed as storerooms. Completing this floor is an exquisite little kitchen and the gloriously French, apothecarian aesthetic of tightly abutted white cut-glass tiles that clad the sample dish room. “As an architect, hanging out with interior designers, I’ve noticed that they talk about what creates the mood of a room, whereas architects talk about the walls, ceilings, windows and doors that build the room,” says Smart of the project, and mood inducing it is. Here, the sumptuous colours of mustard, teal, deep sea green and rich chocolate are worked as a sophisticated harmony with the sympathetic restoration of a century-old interior. Moreover, it is the form and variety of furniture that provides coherence with the bay windows, while the structural clarity of the whole allows French doors to frame the interior towards an aperture view of the gardens.

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practice - S:lab10 project - EnямБn by James Won location - Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia text - Elizabeth Chu photography - David Yeow

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I To equal Won’s reputation, global prominence and the quality of the food, the interior of this new restaurant had to be something special.


The dramatic entrance to Enfin by James Won that features polished copper with copperplated steel bands that are folded around the walls and ceiling


The material palette of the interior is rich and layered with a spectacular marble bar at the restaurant entry


Dining is an intimate experience with individual lighting and generous space between tables

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n a city such as Kuala Lumpur (KL) food is central to life and living. Street food is everywhere – delicious rendangs, chicken curries and so much more, with stalls, cafés and restaurants crowding the streets and shopping malls. But the opening of a new fine dining restaurant still gives cause for celebration, as Enfin by James Won, steps on to the KL food stage to woo, not only the locals, but the international foodie elite as well. Enfin by James Won is the new iteration of Enfin Brasserie, Won’s former establishment, but takes the dining experience to another level, raising the bar on fine dining in the Malaysian capital. Chef James Won has garnered accolades for his creative and inspirational food throughout the world and so his reputation precedes him with the opening of this latest restaurant. To equal Won’s reputation, global prominence and the quality of the food, the interior of this new restaurant had to be something special. To achieve this, Won engaged local architecture and design practice S:lab10 to create an interior that encapsulated his style and would complement his creative vision. S:lab10 is a collective of three architects who founded their practice in KL in 2010. The practice is making quite a name for itself with ongoing projects in Australia, Taiwan and Malaysia, presenting design that is an exciting interpretation of material and space and embracing art and technology in all of its commissions.

The restaurant is located on Menara Hap Seng and situated in a shopping centre, just north of Bukit Bintang, an area known for its luxury boutiques and upmarket apartments. The entrance to Enfin by James Won is on the second level of the centre and is discretion itself. A geometric sliding screen of slim iron conceals the restaurant lobby and from here patrons walk through an elevated walkway of polished copper with copper-plated steel bands that are folded around the walls and ceiling to emulate ‘fine ribs’. This theatrical catwalk-like entrance provides drama and fuels anticipation of what is to come until patrons arrive at the entrance proper to the bar and restaurant. The main section of the restaurant sits on a spatial footprint of some 336 square metres within a two-storey void. To the side is a terrace that provides an outdoor dining area complete with luxuriant landscaped garden and a small private dining room known as the Hennessy Salon. This intimate private dining space accommodates 10 diners and, as the name suggests, is the place to savour fine cognacs and the occasional cigar. Towards the back of the main restaurant area a spectacular custom-built spiral staircase has been installed for access to the dining suite on the mezzanine level. Continuing the materiality of the entrance, copper bands encircle the stair and provide a rose gold metallic hanging ‘curtain’ that is both glamorous and visually impressive. Upstairs on the mezzanine level the Krug Chef’s Table can be found, named in honour of the excellent French champagne house and one of only six in the world. This intimate dining room presents luxury and comfort with wood panelled walls and backlit display cabinets that feature the eponymous champagne bottle as statuary, and the visuals are stunning. Large glass panels display the Krug logo at one end of the space and at the other there are glimpses of the restaurant below. This allows guests to enjoy their dining experience in seclusion, but still connect to the ‘outside’ through the bird’s-eye view of the other diners. The Krug Chef’s Table

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Enfin by James Won is all that a fine dining restaurant should be, an experience that teases the palate, excites the senses and pleases the eye.

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Private dining at the Krug Chef’s Table that aords views of the restaurant below


The spectacular custom-built spiral staircase that leads to the private dining areas above

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accommodates 20 people and with the addition of a powder room is a totally inclusive space that offers total amenity for the guests. The variety of materials used throughout adds a layered richness to the interior with timber-clad floors and walls, a spectacular marble bar and accents of copper that, juxtaposed with each other, both delineate areas and provide a continuity of texture. The colour palette is soft and warm with earthy tones of brown from the timber, rose gold copper highlights, plush burgundy carpet and heavy taupe draperies. Throughout, lighting has been strategically placed to create drama and promote intimacy for the diners, wherever they are situated. The atmosphere is indeed opulent and tables are set with bespoke Luzerne fine china tableware that adds another dimension to the culinary experience. Enfin by James Won is all that a fine dining restaurant should be, an experience that teases the palate, excites the senses and pleases the eye. S:lab10 has created a destination for diners who understand that food is theatre and that design is integral to the total dining experience. This is the epitome of KL style and design at its best.

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MEMPHIS practice - KPDO project - Melbourne penthouse location - Melbourne, Australia text - Gillian Serisier photography - Richard Powers

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elbourne penthouse is such a construction: a beautiful, lofty, exploration of colour shifting through space. It is then highly appropriate that the apartment is home to an avid art collector. More importantly still, it belongs to an art collector who wanted his home to be as remarkable as the objects he collects and not a passive gallery-esque expanse of white. As Phelan explains, “He didn’t want the usual suspects, he didn’t want it Scandinavian, he didn’t want it mid-century. To be frank, he said, ‘Kerry, I want this apartment to be f@#$*d up,’ he wanted something new.” Add to this “a beautiful ever-expanding collection of artworks that make you think” and you have an extraordinary brief. “I think it’s quite wonderful to get a brief like that – one has to stop and think,” says Phelan. Moreover, it allows the designer to engage with the project and client from a unique aesthetic position, unique set of goals and unique contextualisation of the client/home relationship, where nothing mimics past projects. “Often potential clients like a certain look, or ‘house style’ if you like, so this can be tricky for some designers.” Where Phelan’s signature lies then is in her sense of an interior as a frame for living. Her father was a joiner and interior designer through the 60s, 70s and 80s with many a Caulfield and Toorak home to his name and, while few remain, the legacy is a particular approach to creating a home. “I love doing joinery – obviously one has a linear way of detailing and designing things and, for me, my spiritual home is the 70s, as they say in the fashion world, it’s the era that won’t go away,” says Phelan. How this translates to Melbourne Penthouse is in the blocks of colour, expanses of materiality and sense of insouciance that never falters into frivolity. These are delightful rooms full of wonderful moments and quirky compositions. A lovely deep blue powder room, an all red laundry (Corian, Pirelli, lacquer – everything), luscious felt drapes, a mirror ball and so much more. The client’s collection of Memphis art, expanded during the project, runs throughout the apartment as zigzagging, striped and spotted objects of wonder. It is also clearly referenced in the kitchen where bright blue cabinetry, conical table legs, a lozenge-shaped bench of layered marble and the smashed Azul Bahia marble door handles imbue the project with the essence of this art movement. Incidentally, when the builder asked for drawings of the door handles, Phelan took some stone tiles outside and smashed them up herself! One of the challenges of creating an interior unlike anything else was the sourcing of furniture. “You don’t get things that are off the floor. We really took a lot of time to make sure every-

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Entrance foyer with grey, white and pink chair – Edra Cipria, Perspex side table – Glas Italia XXX and Memphis light by Michele De Lucchi (1981) Oceanic. Valentina Palonen - ‘Visionary’ sculpture on joinery


A site specific graffiti artwork by Anthony Lister has been executed on panels and elevator doors for an impressive entrance


Steel table circa 1960-70. Isaac Julien photograph ‘True North’ with artworks by Troy Emery (left) Kate Rohde (right) on console

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Zebrino stone, mirrored cabinets and the very beautiful and richly hued coloured glass, which effectively bring Phelan’s obsessions together. “I love stone and I’ve always been slightly obsessed with mirror.”

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A floor of Honed Dove Grey Terrazzo by Fibonacci supports the beautiful expanse of white Zebrino. Freestanding D Shaped bath by Kaldewei, Taps – Icon + Range from Astra Walker, sinks and mirrors – KPDO Custom


In the master bedroom chair and ottoman – Maurizio Galante Blow-up chair and foot stool, Ciatti Graal side table and Shogun Tavolo Memphis light by Artemide

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thing was just right,” she says. As such, Phelan and her team started searching for unique objects early. The gorgeous Cipria chair by Edra, for example, in pink, white and grey fluffy fabric, was the last before a change of material for that line. It was placed beside a large picture window with a bright orange and yellow Glas Italia XXX side table and a pink table lamp by Michele De Lucchi, Oceanic, from 1981. No one could ask for a more beautiful tableau. And it is in such tableaux that Phelan’s ability to juggle and balance comes to the fore. “It was really about the colour combinations as well; for instance, the sofa (Arflex, Marechairo XIII) is a sofa anybody could buy, but not anybody is going to put a huge Dior houndstooth velvet fabric on it. You have to be quite adventurous, and then to add the yellow, orange and pink…” says Phelan, of both herself and her client’s ability to push boundaries, adding, “Sometimes he thought I wasn’t going far enough!” says Phelan. The result is, in fact, the antithesis of restrained, with all sorts of goodies elaborating the bold statement of the sofa: Max Lamb Rainbow Poly coffee table, Arflex Pecorelle armchairs, a Moroso Shanghai Tip side table, Moooi Chess table and a Yellow Gulvvase by Otto Brauer for Holmegaard. The commissioned and site-specific Anthony Lister artwork in the entrance foyer and elevator access is, of course, the most noticeable, but it is the works hung in the interior that create the flowing engagement of the whole. A large photographic work by Isaac Julien, True North, for example, is coolly serene, while a fandango of coloured

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sculptures by Troy Emery, Valentina Palonen and Kate Rohde each present the disparity of being visually whimsical and conceptually layered. Holding the combination in place is the elegant sculptural form of a stainless steel table circa 1960s/70s that Phelan sourced early in the project. “[The client] saw it, loved it, bought it, stored it and immediately knew he wanted True North above it. He loved the process. I find him challenging and extremely generous and a very thoughtful client,” says Phelan. The bathrooms are exceptional: striped Zebrino stone, mirrored cabinets and the very beautiful and richly hued coloured glass, which effectively bring Phelan’s obsessions together. “I love stone and I’ve always been slightly obsessed with mirror.” Again, the room is composed like an artwork with form and colour creating movement within the space that creates both a visual impact and sense of intimacy as you move into the room. Key to this shift is the beautiful coloured glass cabinetry that opens to reveal silvered mirror, which effectively cocoons the viewer with the effect of the stone. Projects as good as this are rare, and not just because there are a lot of singularly fabulous objects such as the Moroso Memory chair or the Blowup chair and footstool by Maurizio Galante that were sourced from 1stdibs as a prototype that never went into production. What makes it rare is the ability to locate each piece within the environment organically. Nothing looks staged; each flows naturally and beautifully together.


Bespoke Kitchen cabinetry by KPDO featuring Alessandro Mendini (2001) Imposing (yellow vase), Ettore Sottsass (1983) Tigris (white vase), Kate Rohde Garden (green and red vase), Knoll Four Seasons bar stool and custom handle by KPDO in Azul Bahia marble

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Sitting room sofa, Arflex Marechairo XIII, Max Lamb Rainbow Poly coffee table, twin Arflex Pecorelle armchairs, Moroso Shanghai Tip side tables, Moooi Chess table and Yellow Gulvvase by Otto Brauer, Holmegaard

“It was really about the colour combinations as well; for instance, the sofa (Arflex Marechairo XIII) is a sofa anybody could buy, but not anybody is going to put a huge Dior houndstooth velvet fabric on it. You have to be quite adventurous, and then to add the yellow, orange and pink…” Kerry Phelan

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practice - Amber Road project - Inside-Out house location - Sydney, Australia text - Gillian Serisier photography - Prue Ruscoe

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Elements bind together as a visually continuous aesthetic, without suffering the tedium of repetition.

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The striped rhythm of Patricia Urquiola’s Tropicalia Cocoon swing chair (Moroso, HUB) echoes colour and form used throughout the house


Striped upholstery on custom built forms provides a connection to interior details while adding colour and a lively mood to the courtyard and pool area


Brightly coloured panels of glass create luminous expanses of colour through the white on white of the entrance foyer as the sun streams in from a large skylight

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ervading Inside-Out house is a design maturity born of rhythm and layered nuance that is usually reserved for far older and far larger practices. Rethinking, clarifying and reconceiving the house as a home, furnishings, lighting and an abundance of customisation are all considered and wholly fitting to the project. But, perhaps what makes it so exceptional is the unique and singular solutions created for each of the transformation’s needs. That these elements bind together as a visually continuous aesthetic, without suffering the tedium of repetition, gives the project a rich undercurrent while delivering a calm ambience. Very nicely done. Leveraging the dual expertise of the practice’s principals (interior architecture: Yasmine Ghoniem, and landscape architecture: Katy Svalbe), Amber Road has addressed the renovation holistically from inception. And while this may be nothing new, what makes it pertinent to the project’s success is the blurring of lines and sense of completion the whole conveys. Indeed, the home is aptly named the Inside-Out house, with visual and physical connectivity a mainstay. As Ghoniem explains, the home was a bit Mission style, a bit renovated and a lot of bits and pieces that didn’t work, didn’t fit and were consequently unutilised. The task then was to create a retreat that was conducive to relaxation and expanded use. The owners also wanted a balcony from the master suite, instead of the sliding doors that opened to air and a full storey drop! From an interiors perspective, the key was a simplification of everything. The elaborate balustrade detail, for example, was removed, as were walls, rooms and anything superfluous to a clear flowing arrangement. Similarly, the landscape was addressed with new boundary walls, custom entrance gates, clarification of areas and an integrated seating area with a roll-out striped awning, upholstered elements and matching butterfly chairs. Small areas were removed to facilitate flow, while seating nooks create a new set of options and visual consistency. Going

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against norms, the sandstone and render were resurfaced or replaced only where deemed appropriate, while other areas were stained charcoal, almost a blasphemy in real estate speak, where sandstone is among the holy cows of architectural gravitas. The result, however, is fabulous. Providing the visual key to the design is a large, multicoloured woven artwork that the clients acquired in Mexico. Rather than thematically exploring this device, the artwork’s qualities – including colour, circular motif, physical layering and perforations – inform the details and textures of the project. Perhaps this is most directly so in the graphic stripes of Patricia Urquiola’s Tropicalia Cocoon swing chair (Moroso, HUB) and the PET ES set of six pendants (Spence & Lyda). More subtly, the balcony return has been perforated to negate any sense of containment, while linear elements of the weaving are explored in the regular repetition of the fine verticals of the external balcony upper rails. The circular motif is similarly nuanced and makes its appearance gently in the custom gate and entranceway mirror. With a huge amount of Mission render to visually negate, the entrance foyer has had containing walls removed and been clarified as an expanse of pure white (Bianca, Resene), where details have been rendered to a smooth surface. Effectively, this creates a feature of the remaining Mission render, while

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excising it from its previous dominance. Instead, it is the coloured panels of glass in deep oranges and pinks that catch and hold the eye. Drawn from the artworks in this zone, each panel of glass replaces a section of decorative ironwork. A large skylight, which sends shards of light through the coloured glass, has been made more dominant with radiused corners and a coat of pale pink paint applied to the deep reveal. It is, however, the fusing of the inside with the outside that makes this project sing. Rather than extend interior flooring and finishes outwards, the designers have extended exterior finishes inwards. The upper balcony, for example, is realised as a two-metre wide expanse of charcoal slate tile (Onsite). Rather than end at the sliding window, this treatment has been extended into the interior for a further metre. Visually, this shifts the param-

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eter inwards, while creating a horizontal version of a dado line. In another unusual move, from the metre point inwards, the floor has been carpeted (Cinder and Pumice from Galet range, Cavalier Bremworth). In the choice of a carpet rather than rug, the design allows the casual nature of the inside-outside melded living space, while also providing warmth and luxury, which is reiterated in furnishing choices such as Eero Saarinen’s Womb chair (Knoll, De De Ce) and Mags Soft sofa (HAY, Cult) The addition of the dense tactility of the carpet further references the artwork, and works exceptionally well with the Missoni fabrics (Spence & Lyda) used throughout. Bespoke cabinetry stained in unusual combinations, such as mulberry and silver grey, provides strong boundaries, as does the carpet, which anchors and centralises each of the living areas. It is, in fact, a very clever way of balancing the free flow of an indoor-outdoor periphery, and a solution that has been used externally with bifold cedar shutters that create a movable external screen. On the ground floor this device allows a portion of the balcony to have an exterior role, while on the first floor a partial wall is created. The result is an exterior world that visually breaks into the internal, while the lower levels of paving delineate the outdoor spaces. The most remarkable element of this project, however, is that, despite all these various layers and colours and textures, the whole is remarkably calm. The design has delivered an exceedingly liveable house with swathes of outdoor relaxation, lovely breezeways, generous proportions and a nice combination of clearly delineated and multi-use zones. It is also sufficiently clear to be eclectic, personality infused and entirely fabulous.


Cabinetry stained in rich tones of mulberry and silver grey adds depth and luxury without detracting from the overall sense of calm. Noc lighting by Wrong for Hay (Cult)


The artwork from Mexico that informs much of the home’s detail including the choice of Missoni bed linen (Spence & Lyda)

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The artwork’s qualities – including colour, circular motif, physical layering and perforations – inform the details and textures of the project.

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ase 64 is the result of a unique creative collaboration between technology entrepreneur and environmentalist Simon Hackett and specialist residential design practice Williams Burton Leopardi. The site, on the inner eastern extension of Adelaide’s cultural boulevard, North Terrace, has been transformed from a cluster of disparate and disconnected buildings and additions into a mini innovation precinct for commercial tenants. The original buildings comprise an 1865 Victorian mansion and stables. Various additional buildings and extensions have been added over the years, serving as the residence of a former South Australian premier (1900s), a theological college (1920s), a visual effects studio (1980s) and corporate office premises (early 2010s). Williams Burton Leopardi was initially commissioned to design Hackett’s own residence, but was asked to redirect its creative focus when he acquired the 64 North Terrace property. Hackett had been struck by the auspicious parallel of the street number with the binary coding system Base64, and so the concept of the site as an innovation hub was formed. Linked by a central, common courtyard, the cityside ‘West Wing’ provides the base for Hackett’s own business, Hackett Corp, while the remaining areas comprise the combination of privately leased and publicly accessible zones of Base 64. Originally proposed as a temporary incubator-style hub for business startups, Base 64 has proven to be such a desirable location that all available tenancy areas have been permanently leased. Williams Burton Leopardi employed its signature design methodologies to address the challenge of uniting the disparate styles and spatial volumes that characterised the various building components on the site. As a residentially-focused practice, Williams Burton Leopardi has become expert at translating the memories, meanings, loves and lives of its clients through the design planning, spatial function and detail of interior elements. Base 64 provided Williams Burton Leopardi

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with the opportunity to extend these design processes and techniques into a commercial project. Determined to maintain the principles that distinguish its practice, Williams Burton Leopardi drew upon the values and characteristics of its client – an entrepreneurial enthusiasm for technological innovation and a deeply held commitment to environmental sustainability – to inspire and inform its approach to this commercial project. In doing so, these values became manifest in the design resolution of three-dimensional volume, spatial connection, material strategy and detailing. A common courtyard forms the heart of the tenancy complex, connecting an outdoor deck to the shared reception and kitchen, and providing the entry point to the publicly bookable seminar space and meeting room. The stair to upper-level tenancies leads from this common zone. Known as the ‘Chapel’ due to its past theological function, the seminar room walls have been stripped and sealed to expose the original sandstone. A second layer of glazing inserted around the Heritage windows for soundproofing purposes

Originally proposed as a temporary incubator-style hub for business start-ups, Base 64 has proven to be such a desirable location that all available tenancy areas have been permanently leased.


The conference room celebrates materiality with the walls taken back to the original sandstone while the Heritage windows have been double-glazed to provide soundproofing


The common courtyard is the heart of the complex and provides an outdoor space to meet and relax


Work areas are contemporary and fresh and detail in joinery accents the design

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In this project, Williams Burton Leopardi has successfully translated the qualities that underpin its award-winning domestic practice to the resolution of a challenging commercial project.

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doubles as a series of display boxes. A larger display case has been incorporated in the staircase design and the server room, normally concealed from view, is exposed and celebrated as a ‘jewel’ element. Hackett’s remarkable collection of technology treasures is enclosed within the cabinets, simultaneously displayed for public viewing while embedded into the interior detailing. The objects include a first generation Mac and various circuit boards of historical significance. Legendary artefacts of contemporary geek culture are also on display, including a working flux capacitor in the server room, a three-quarter size Stargate in the meeting room and a full-size Dalek in the entrance. The designer’s expert control and manipulation of existing and new materials generates a connective flow between spaces. Drawing upon the client’s ecological sensibilities, Williams Burton Leopardi has carefully retained and emphasised a selected range of existing elements representative of all eras of the site’s varied building stock. In the loft tenancy above the Chapel, original dark roof timbers and reproduction walnut bookcases are complemented by perforated ply infill panels and a large-scale commissioned work by Adelaide graffiti artist Kab101. In the reception, an existing highly polished concrete desk and screen have been stripped back and further softened by the addition of an oak trestle to the desk and batons that wrap the screen. A new copper ‘circuit board’ clock

installation designed by Ben Dickson and fabricated by electricians provides a backdrop to the reception desk and overflows to embed itself into the adjacent greenwall. Copper detailing, timber trestles and recycled Oregon batons, and high-quality, soft leather upholstery recur throughout Base 64, infusing the spaces with an unexpected residential quality that defies the conventions of commercial interior design. Built-in seating nooks and playful cushion pits further challenge the expectations of a commercial fitout. In this project, Williams Burton Leopardi has successfully translated the qualities that underpin its award-winning domestic practice to the resolution of a challenging commercial project. In doing so, the designers have amplified the values of their client without compromising their own.


The reception area features a bespoke ‘circuit board’ clock with copper detailing designed by Ben Dickson


The kitchen has easy access to the outside and other areas within Base 64

3/11/16 8:03 AM

It’s your time.

07 : 16

Living Systems, Kitchens & Bathrooms for every moment of the day.

Time to rise.

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27/10/16 9:06 AM


melbourne | sydney 1300 785 199 |

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3/11/16 10:30 am 3/11/16 1:59 PM

inside – Interior Design Review: Issue 94  
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