QUARTERLY FITOUT – ARCHITECTURE – DESIGN
2013 MADE IN CHINA China’s first winery becomes an architectural masterpiece 9 tips to improve cash flow Fabulous fitout projects from Australia and overseas DESIGN GURU Kris Torma talks about his new venture Anomaly
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The Duke of Wellington Hotel combines the best of a contemporary pub with the venue's rich history
Anomaly is a new joint venture between Axolotl and Evostyle representing innovative Australian design
The Dulux 2014 colour forecast pushes the boundaries of traditional interior aesthetics
Leon Lopata completes his first retail design project after establishing his own practice earlier this year
UK design firm MoreySmith has completed the newly expanded headquarters for online fashion retailer ASOS
A networked TV distribution and audio system forms an integral part of the Royal Randwick Grandstand
Cover: Emporio Armani, fitout by Crosbie Projects
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EDITORS NOTE Welcome to the first ever issue of FAD Quarterly, which was formerly known as Interior Fitout magazine. Why the name change? We needed to broaden our focus and go beyond shopfitting. So now FAD Quarterly covers everything you need to know about retail fitouts, architecture and design, hence the name FAD. We have also gone digital, making FAD Quarterly only available as a digital magazine. Why digital? Simple really, most of us are now mobile, owning at least a smartphone and/or iPad. With FAD Quarterly being digital you can read it anytime, anywhere on a mobile or tablet. Sharing tools are built right into the viewer so that readers can share content through Facebook, Twitter, email and over 300 other social sharing networks. So what can you read in the new magazine? Each issue will include a broad range of topics covering fitout, architecture and design and our inaugural launch edition is packed with great features. In Design Guru we talk to Kris Torma about the partnership between his company Axolotl and Evostyle, to form Anomaly. Anomaly stands for ‘deviation from the norm’ and represents only the most innovative Australian design through a showcase of unique furniture, homewares and lighting. Read more about this venture on page 20. Colour is an important part of design and fitouts. On page 22 we focus on four colour palettes that will dominate next year’s trends. In our architectural focus we feature Australian architect, Edward Billson, who has created architecture and interiors for China’s first winery dedicated
to the production of premium sparkling wine in the Ningxia Hui region. Go to page 28 to read how he overcame many challenges to finish this architectural masterpiece. We also spoke to architect Leon Lopata, who established his own practice earlier this year and recently completed his first retail design project. Read more about this project and how Lopata plans to grow his retail design practice on page 30. Study tour features the best of the best in fitout and design from abroad and starting on page 36 you can read about how UK retail design specialist KVB Design has created a new showroom concept for German home furniture group Rolf Benz’s freistil range. We also feature architectural design firm MoreySmith that has completed the newly expanded headquarters for online fashion retailer ASOS at Greater London House. On page 42 you can read all about hotel specialist Richmond International’s completed The Veranda Restaurant, an all-day dining room set within the world-renowned Grand Hôtel in Stockholm. Cash is king is a phrase used over and over again and in our finance article on page 48 we discuss nine ways to improve cash flow in small businesses. Plus we have all the latest industry news and products. I hope you enjoy reading the first issue of FAD Quarterly and I would love to hear what you think, so drop me a line when you have the chance.
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Ceasarstone Australia opens new ﬂagship premises Ceasarstone Australia has moved into a new purpose-built, state of the art facility in Sydney’s west. The new complex consolidates the company’s office, showroom and warehouse operations. Caesarstone’s quartz surfaces feature throughout, from the entrance foyer which uses floor to ceiling Frosty Carrina wall panels to the kitchen area, which has been tiled using Piatra Grey surfaces for a nearly seamless finish. Beyond the reception area, the bottom office level has been dedicated almost entirely to a new consumer showroom, showcasing Ceasarstone’s four product collections in large wall panels along with a working kitchen in London Grey and concept bathroom space. Showroom is open Monday to Friday from 9am to 5pm. Ceasarstone has also added seven new designs to its Classico collection, including four Supernatural designs which feature, for the first time, the exclusive wider veins made
using Ceasarstone’s proprietary technology. The new designs include Vanilla Noir, Alpine Mist, Bianco Drift, Calacatta Classic, Raw Concrete, Clamshell and Summer Rye. “The Supernatural designs have had an incredible response from consumers and professional designers alike,” says Andrew Dixon, general manager marketing. “This
combination of high quality nature inspired designs with the benefits of quartz is enabling great design freedom. “From a design development perspective we are constantly evaluating new directions and opportunities, focusing on the most relevant new designs for Australia. Our focus is always on designs that have relevance to both residential and commercial interiors.” ◗
UK architect attends opening of his first Australian building Renowned UK architect Lord Richard Rogers recently opened 8 Chifley by Mirvac, his first completed Australian building, a striking new office tower on Elizabeth Street, Sydney. Mirvac Group CEO and managing director, Susan Lloyd-Hurwitz says the collaboration between Mirvac, Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners (RSH) and Australian architects Lippmann Partnership has delivered in every aspect of this project to provide Sydney with an internationally significant asset. “8 Chiﬂey embodies the evolution of modern workplace design by creating collaborative, connected communities of a type not seen before in Australia,” she says. “The delivery of this landmark building by Mirvac clearly demonstrates the power of our integrated delivery model.” RSH architect Ivan Harbour adds “8 Chifley is a unique building for 21st century Sydney. Its emphasis on community, both indoors and out, from ground to roof, celebrates Australia’s passion for a balanced quality of life and the great outdoors. The building forms a focus to Chifley Square, drawing the public plaza up to its front door and forming a great loggia for all Sydneysiders to enjoy.” The 34-storey office tower embraces Rogers’ famous design philosophy, with its distinctive red braces and other exterior elements revealing the structural function of the building whilst creating dramatic design features. The building is hugely efficient both environmentally and in functional space, made up of two stacked modules creating connected ‘village’ floor plates with outdoor terraces half way up and on top of the building. 8 Chifley has been designed to make the most of its prominent, north-facing site, bounded by Elizabeth, Hunter and Phillip Street. Its highly transparent façade, high ceilings and legible structure ensure the building enjoys open and unobstructed views out over the city and a sense of space and light within. A defining feature of the project is the six-storey open space at street level that not only forms a grand entrance to the building but creates a new, significant area of public space which addresses and completes Chifley Square. ◗
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Best of the best recognised at Eat-DrinkDesign awards Over 300 architects, designers and their hospitality clients from Australia and New Zealand gathered for the 2013 Eat-Drink-Design Awards. Eighty-one projects were selected as finalists across six categories, with an additional ‘Hall of Fame’ award presented to recognise the enduring innovation and excellence in the design of a hospitality venue for 20 years or more standing. This award was presented to Cafe di Stasio, based in St Kilda. The jury recognised projects in six categories including best bar design, best restaurant design, best café design, best temporary design, best retail design and best visual identity design. Best bar design had two joint winners, Hihou and Prahran Hotel, while best restaurant design went to Farmhouse. Best cafe design was awarded to Top Paddock Café, best temporary design went to Kitchen by Mike on Wheels. Spring Street Grocer won the best retail design category, and the winner of best visual identity design is Bar Di Stasio. ◗
Top & centre: Best Bar Prahran; 82 High St, Prahran VIC. Left: Best Bar Hihou; 1 Flinders Lane Melbourne, VIC. Right: Best Temporary Kitchen By Mike on Wheels; 1/85 Dunning Avenue Rosebery, NSW.
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Social media not priority for design, architecture and building industry One third of businesses in the design, architecture, building and construction industries are still not on social media, according to a 2013 survey conducted by Infolink.com.au. “Social media and online channels are an essential part of a marketing and communication strategy and if businesses don’t jump on board now they will get left behind,” says sales manager Adrian Wilson. “These businesses may be reluctant to join social media because they are unsure how to use it to build their brand, attract new customers and grow their business.”
The survey reveals 36 per cent of businesses are unsure how to use social media to engage their market with two thirds saying more social media training would help. “Social media is an excellent tool to build relationships with existing and potential customers as it allows you to communicate and engage with them directly. Through this relationship you may have a better chance of improving sales leads and customer loyalty.” For businesses already using social media, 43 per cent are seeing tangible results, with 70 per cent saying a strategy is important for social media success.
“An online marketing strategy can help businesses to define and achieve their goals for social media and target the right audience, with the right messages at the right time. Businesses will then be able to achieve the most benefit,” he explains. When asked what social media channels they use, 42 per cent of businesses said they have a Facebook page and 41 per cent have a LinkedIn company page. Additionally, nearly all businesses surveyed agreed having a website is important for businesses in their industry, yet one fifth still don’t have a website. ◗
Modo Mio designer wins international award Design firm Michael Fiebrich Design has won the 2013 International Design and Architecture Award—Best Restaurant Asia Pacific for its work on Crown Perth’s premium Italian restaurant, Modo Mio. The company was recognised for its outstanding work on the venue’s interior, which features hand painted frescoes, custom mosaic walls and blown glass chandeliers all working together in concert with a pale, sparkling palette of finishes, materials and fabrics. “The 2013 International Design and Architecture Awards celebrate the best in outstanding architecture, interior design and product design and Michael Fiebrich Design is honoured to be have been recognised by industry peers for our work on Modo Mio,” says Michael Fiebrich. COO hotels and entertainment at Crown Perth, Andrew Hill, says they are incredibly proud of the design of Modo Mio and the venue plays an important role in its premium dining portfolio. “Crown Perth would like to extend its congratulations to Michael Fiebrich Design on this prestigious accolade, which provides well deserved recognition and acknowledgement for the team,” he says. “Michael Fiebrich is also responsible for the design of a number of world-class venues at Crown Perth, including our newest premier Chinese eatery, Silks restaurant, as well as the world-famous Japanese restaurant Nobu, sophisticated ISIKA Day Spa and the two-storey VVIP Crown Mansions.” ◗
Formica adds new colours to its commercial range Formica has introduced 29 new decors, with nine now forming part of the Commercial Colour Range, which includes versatile woodgrains, modern patterns and flexible solid colours. Formica marketing manager Chris Knight says this latest update is integrated across the Formica range of laminate, decorated board and componentry products, and is the biggest revamp to the Formica Colour Range in recent history. “The Commercial Colour Range was shaped with the specifiers’ needs in mind,” says Knight. “Factoring in the latest interior trends and customer research, we
developed a harmonised portfolio of decorative surfaces. “The updated range is on-trend, versatile and timeless, used to create modern commercial offices, retail fitouts, relevant schemes for healthcare and furniture in schools and classrooms. “It takes the hard work out of colour schemes, offering design professionals a comprehensive choice of decorated board products for a wide range of commercial applications.” New solids Malibu and Baikal extend the relevance and usability of the Commercial Colour Range in warm grey subtle neutrals available,
offering greater choice to create functional commercial projects. Woodgrains continue to be a firm favourite in commercial spaces, used in horizontal and vertical applications. The introduction of midtoned woodgrains—Ash Woodline, Cinnamon Ash, and Charred Woodline—add an extra dimension, perfect for creating durable timber looks for less in hotels, retail fitouts and commercial spaces. Finesse Sand and Finesse Stone are subtle patterned greys that can be partnered with new solid Sarum Grey for a modern look, while Brushed Nickel adds a new moody metallic element to the range. ◗
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Mirvac buys Harbourside Shopping Centre for $252M Mirvac Group has bought Harbourside Shopping Centre located in Sydney’s Darling Harbour for $252 million. The 21,039 square metre CBD retail centre spans across three levels with a focus on food, restaurant and entertainment categories. “Harbourside presents an opportunity to gain greater market share in the Sydney CBD area by acquiring a key retail asset with exposure to
the strongly performed food, catering and entertainment categories," says Mirvac CEO and managing director Susan Lloyd-Hurwitz. “The acquisition provides us a repositioning opportunity and gives Mirvac a dominant position in the catchment together with our existing Broadway Shopping Centres.” Mirvac says reposition opportunities will be focused on re-mixing existing tenancies by up-scaling the food and fashion
offerings and supporting the entertainment focus. It also plans to capture the increased international trade that will result from the $3 billion urban regeneration project of the adjoining Sydney International Convention, Exhibition and Entertainment Centre, and new hotel. At the moment, the site currently attracts approximately 13.7 million visitors a year. The sale is expected to be completed in January 2014. ◗
Innovative Nike project wins top design award Good Design Australia recently announced the 2013 Victorian Premier’s Design Award winner at a gala event in Melbourne. The award was won by Melbourne-based brand communications agency, Local Peoples, for their innovative Nike+Nine project. The judges selected the project for its “seamless integration of physical and digital interactive technologies that resulted in a truly innovative retail experience”. Open for the duration of the 2012 Olympics Games in London, Nike+Nine allowed people to see the latest Nike products and innovations being used by athletes during the games while adhering to the strict International Olympic Committee’s (IOC) media blackout rule. “This was a very clever design solution and provided customers with an exciting retail experience,” says Dr Brandon Gien, CEO of Good Design Australia which runs the Premier’s
Design Awards on behalf of the Victorian Government. “The design team transformed an empty shell into an interactive display by day, and a fully functional physical and digital retail space by night. All this was done under very tight IOC media
constraints adding an extra design dimension to the project,” he adds. Average sales at the pop-up store were up 52 per cent on the national average—an extremely positive result that directly reflected the success of the innovative design strategy. ◗
Commercial design companies team up for Brisbane design event Shaw Contract Group Australia teamed up with Corporate Culture, ZIP Industries, Artedomus and Bang & Olufsen to host over 200 of Brisbane’s leading architects and interior designers at the inaugural Design Is Inspiring event. Staged at Corporate Culture’s showroom in Fortitude Valley the event showcased new local and international designs from a collective of designer brands. According to Shaw Contract Group national sales manager, Blair Coventry, the evening delivered an opportunity for architects and interior designers to see the latest and most inspiring design trends across a range of categories.
“Our clients are often invited to events showcasing products by one brand and we thought we would take a different approach with Design Is Inspiring,” he says. “Working with our event partners we wanted to create a unique event where clients had the opportunity to interact with everything from flooring, furniture and lighting to accessories, audio and visual products in one place at one time. “The platform for Design Is Inspiring was well received with the event being a great success and we look forward to hosting the event again next year,” he adds. Shaw Contract Group showcased the much anticipated
Hexagon carpet tile collection among other flooring installations in conjunction with a wide collection of furniture, lighting and accessories from Corporate Culture’s brand partners. Zip’s Industries highly innovative instant boiling water systems were on display and contributed to the evening’s refreshments while Artedomus showcased tiles and architectural ceramics from INAX Japan, an exclusive collection of European natural stone, and the iconic Agape bathware range from Italy. Bang & Olufsen previewed its new Beo Vision 12 65 inch motorised floor TV as well as the BeoSound A9 and Beolit 12 sound systems. ◗
HISTORY IN THE MAKING THE REDEVELOPMENT OF THIS ICONIC BUILDING NEEDED TO BALANCE THE MIX BETWEEN THE NEW AND OLD STRUCTURE, BRINGING THE TWO TOGETHER COHESIVELY.
| fitout | When Ramvek was contracted to work on the rebuild of the Duke of Wellington Hotel, the client emphasised its desire to maintain heritage features while adhering to a minimalist design. Structural modifications were to be worked within the heritage building and highlight internal arch structures, and there was careful use of colour with exposed brick feature walls and polished render. “The vision is to create a destination where people can gather, dine and socialise in a venue that combines the best of a contemporary pub with the rich history of an existing venue,” says Michael Thiele, Open Door Pub Co. Base build works for stage one included internal demolition and structural modifications to accommodate the new feature staircase, and goods and passenger lifts. A complete fitout of ground floor bars and public areas was needed, including private dining external terrace, façade and window repair works. First floor kitchen and amenities were installed to service ground floor occupants. Stage one also included works to the basement, where the existing underfloor store was converted into a refrigerated cool room with concealed hatch under the Russell Street entry. The ground floor takes patrons into the hub of the Duke, boasting two stainless steel/solid oak timber bar tops with mosaic tiled fronts and a backdrop of heritage brickwork walls. The new two-flight oak feature stair case leads to the expansive gourmet kitchens and future function rooms, and is encased by original brickwork. The structural work which included new lifts and stairs had to be carefully executed to ensure the existing heritage structure was preserved. The 550 square metre first floor features a wine room with banquette seating and a wine box clad feature ceiling; lounge area with veneer backed upholstered seating; kitchen with cool room; central audio control throughout seven zones; feature arched doors; an internal passenger lift and a timber arch door from wine room through to external decking with recycled timber dry bar. Recycled timber feature is used throughout the first floor. Architect Jon Mikulic, owner of Newline Design, complimented the heritage appeal and features of the Duke with modern functionality. Ramvek worked closely with him to transform the building into a warm and inviting establishment. ◗
SNAP SHOT Location: Melbourne CBD Client: Open Door Pub Co, The Duke of Wellington Hotel Fitout: Ramvek Design: Newline Design Builder: Ramvek Size of project: Basement 65 square metres (sqm); ground floor 550sqm; first floor 550sqm
| fitout | A RECENT FACELIFT TO THE NAPOLEON PERDIS MELBOURNE TRAINING ACADEMY AND RETAIL OUTLET FORMED PART OF A NATIONAL STORE REFRESH.
SNAP SHOT Project: Napoleon Perdis make up outlet and training academy, Toorak, Melbourne Shopfitter: TrenCo Projects Installer: Trump Floors Melbourne Flooring: Tarkett ID Excellence 50 Click luxury vinyl planks; ‘Mountain Ash’
Shopfitter Terry Walters from TrenCo Projects worked directly with the Napoleon Perdis interior design team to decide the right flooring product for the job as they needed something that could handle all the foot traffic, and the wear and tear that comes with it. Past maintenance issues with a competitive LVT product were a concern for the team. Ease of installation and make good were also key, as the stores are refreshed regularly to maintain the image Napoleon Perdis wants to project. ID Excellence 50 Click was chosen for the job as it is quick and easy to install and take up, and equally as easy to maintain. The ID Excellence 50 Click range of colours met the colour scheme the Napoleon Perdis interior design team was looking for, to achieve a stylish, inviting yet modern floor as the end result. Trump Floors Melbourne were commissioned to undertake the flooring installation and worked with Tarkett ID Excellence 50 Click to get the best result. “The Tarkett ID Excellence 50 Click is a great product to work with as the installation is uncomplicated and the end result is second to none,” flooring installer Mark Baratta says. “Our installers enjoy working with ID Excellence 50 Click as it is fast to install with minimal waste. This meant our installers finished the job well within the timeframe and achieved a great looking floor.” Napoleon Perdis is an internationally recognised brand and the revamp project is to be rolled out to the network of stores. ◗
| design guru |
Pushing the boundaries A PASSION FOR AUSTRALIAN DESIGN AND MANUFACTURING FORMED THE BASIS FOR ANOMALY, A NEW FURNITURE, HOMEWARES AND LIGHTING BRAND.
Words by Marion Gerritsen Anomaly is ‘a deviation from the norm’ which is exactly what Axolotl and Evostyle were trying to do when they partnered up for their new venture. Hailed as a new era in furniture design, Anomaly represents only the most innovative Australian design through a showcase of unique furniture, homewares and lighting. Top: Kris Torma Below: Luke and Louise Ommundson
“When the suggestion of a joint venture was put on the table, both companies jumped at the idea,” says co-owner and managing director of Axolotl, Kris Torma. “Axolotl and Evostyle had a strong respect for each other’s capabilities and the quality of the work they produced. Evostyle’s expertise in timber seemed to fit hand in glove with Axolotl’s expertise in concrete, metal and glass finishes. Both companies were keen to support Australian designers and to keep manufacturing in Australia. One of the ways they could see this working was to come up with cutting edge designs that could be produced using unique manufacturing techniques that had not yet been developed, and thus would be difficult and time consuming to be replicated in China.” Anomaly’s pieces combine the unique skills of Axolotl, which specialises in concrete, metal and glass work, and Evostyle, which concentrates on fine furniture design and high quality manufacture in Australia. Both companies could see an opportunity existed for them to break away from custom made projects that made up the bulk of their work, and were keen to start producing furniture and homewares products that showcased their expertise and abilities on a national and global level. “We could see a hole in the market for new and innovative manufacturing techniques, and we were jointly passionate about supporting Australian designers and offering them a new palette of materials to work with,” adds Louise Ommundson, who runs Evostyle with her husband Luke. Select Australian architects and designers have rendered raw materials of concrete, timber and metal into original and exciting designs not previously available in the local market. All pieces are intentionally, and proudly, Australian designed and manufactured. What they have created has only been made possible through the unique technologies offered by both Axolotl and Evostyle. “Anomaly is the perfect name to portray the ethos behind the brand. We have encouraged the designers to deviate from the norm in terms of the materials and the construction techniques they use in their designs,” says Torma.
Designers are asked to develop a range for the Anomaly brand. They are not employed directly by the company, but are brought in from time to time to keep the ranges fresh. The designers selected to launch the brand include David Caon, Matthew Sheargold, Philip Chia, Adam Cornish, David Knott, Facet Studio and Ben Wahrlich. New designs by emerging and established designers in a range of design fields will follow throughout the next 12 months and beyond. “The designers for the first collection were selected because we had worked with them before on other projects, and could see that they were clear leaders in the design industry. We wanted to use Australian designers in particular, and when we discussed the idea of Anomaly with them, they were all extremely excited and keen to be involved with the brand from the outset,” says Torma. “Each piece in the range includes handcrafted elements, which by its very nature means that there are anomalies. However, we are proud of these anomalies and view this as a positive thing and show our customers that they have not purchased a product that has been mass produced,” adds Luke Ommundson. For example, part of a bullet remains in a timber door front of Ben Wahrlich’s Zig Credenza, as the American oak used in the production was sourced from a private
property in America, and was obviously hit during a hunting expedition. It is the story and anomalies behind each piece that make the product unique. Other brands in the market represent designers as well, however, what sets Anomaly apart from these other brands is that it manufactures locally in Sydney—keeping manufacturing skills in Australia—and encourages a close symbiotic relationship between the designer and maker. “We view the process as a joint collaboration from initial conception right through to prototype development and then full production,” says Luke. By bringing together the experience and capability of both Evostyle and Axolotl, there is a cross-pollination of ideas and manufacturing techniques. This offers customers a new choice of designs, materials and finishes for each piece. The business model for Anomaly is to keep costs low by selling direct, rather than going through a retailer. “This way we can offer people the product they want, at a price they can afford. People are increasingly wary of retailers whose big mark-up means that they can only afford to sell imported products, and are becoming more confident of buying from a company where they can talk directly to the makers themselves. It is a win-win situation for the end user, maker and designer,” says Louise. ◗
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Limitless WHILE THE COLOURS AND VISUAL EFFECTS THEY CREATE COULD NOT BE MORE DIFFERENT FROM PALETTE TO PALETTE, THE FUNDAMENTALS FOR THIS YEAR’S FORECAST ARE MUCH THE SAME—ENCOURAGING EXPLORATION WHILE EMBRACING THE SUBLIME FEELING OF BEING AT HOME. Pushing the boundaries of traditional interior aesthetics is the theme behind the Dulux 2014 colour forecast. Entitled Future Tribes, the four colour palettes will inspire architects, designers and specifiers across Australia to introduce new ideas into their creative repertoire. With a strong European influence, the four distinct Future Tribe’s trends represent ideologies associated with the rising integration of global communities and cultures. With a renewed focus on openness, sharing and collaboration, The Digital Nomad, The Retro Visionaries, The Precious Elementals and The Romantic Spirits are representative of future directions. Andrea Lucena-Orr, Dulux colour planning and communications manager notes that the 2014 colour forecast will inspire industry professionals to explore the changing perspective of colour and the endless combinations. “Boundaries are limitless today with using colour,” she says. “We have so many choices and without the hindrance of traditional rules of how we can use colour, creativity is shining through. We are seeing some truly inspirational interiors.”
The Digital Nomad Travelling the world without leaving home, The Digital Nomad is inspired by cultures that place emphasis on energetic colour and vibrant pattern. This aesthetic creates an ambience of being immersed in the life of an Aztec tribe or caught up in the energy of a Spanish marketplace.
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Styled by Wilhelmina McCarroll, head designer and director of Zuster, and interior stylists Bree Leech and Heather Nette King, The Digital Nomad features juxtaposed colours that form digital patterns and eclectic interiors. “The Digital Nomad demonstrates that bold colour can be used against softer tones to create an eclectic feel with a fun global influence,” says Leech.
The Retro Visionaries It is often said that to move forward, we must look back. The Retro Visionaries encapsulate this sentiment with its strong influences taken from the late 20th century when digital culture was first emerging. Quirky, colourful and energetic, this palette relies heavily on the progressive trend of colour blocking. Styled by abstract expressionist, Rowena Martinich, together with Leech and Nette King, The Retro Visionaries makes a stand against traditional monochrome and proves that brighter can be better. “The style of The Retro Visionaries looks towards the future but at the same time is reminiscent of the digital culture of the 70s, 80s and 90s,” says Martinich. “The playful trend is also reflective of 1950s style icons within its aesthetic.”
The Precious Elementals Grounded and conscious of the earth’s natural resources, The Precious Elementals innately respect and revere these elements and their geometric forms. Enhanced, natural materials are used to represent the human influence on the natural landscape.
Styled again by McCarroll, Leech and Nette King, mineral and metal colours modernise pastels and soft greys, while patinas and raw finishes reflect the weathering effects of nature. “I am inspired by the light and dark shades of changing weather patterns and the shadows they cast on the landscape,” says McCarroll. “I also love the idea of muted tones with bright colours. There are no rules anymore as to what colours should go together; if it works, it works.”
The Romantic Spirits Seductive, sultry and rich in colour, The Romantic Spirits incorporate nostalgia and antiquities into their technologically-dominated world. The modern design reveals elements of romance from simple embellishments and flourishes resembling calligraphy strokes, to skilfully turned timber forms. Styled by Melbourne artist, Geoffrey Carran, Leech and Nette King, The Romantic Spirits capture history with patina finishes and worn looks which are contrasted against moody colours. “I wanted to create a space that echoes that same warm, enveloping sense that being caught up in a romance elicits,” says Carran. “Drawing inspiration from the deep colours contrasted against lighter pastels and metallics, the Dutch Masters Still Life’s and Momento Mori were reinterpreted.” The four palettes of Future Tribes represent a strong balance of bold and muted colour trends for 2014. The stylists have demonstrated the use of dramatic colour and how it can be used to define the look of an interior space. ◗
| design | CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE AGENCY E2 HAS PARTNERED WITH BUPA ON THE DESIGN ELEMENTS OF THE RECENTLY LAUNCHED BUPA PERTH HEALTH EXPERIENCE CENTRE.
In his element
Moving away from the traditional health insurance retail services model of tellers and queues, the e2 designed Bupa store is more inviting, interactive and experiencedriven to fully engage customers. The new layout reflects Bupa’s wider commitment to being a healthcare partner to its members. “Our brief to e2 was to create a branded environment that would set new industry standards and create an interactive customer experience,” says Gael Filippini, Bupa’s head of retail.
“Beyond an innovative and intuitive design, we really wanted the new store environment to enable our consultants to provide our members and non-members with tailored advice to suit their healthcare needs.” e2 conducted a comprehensive audit on the current health insurance experience in Australia and overseas, and then looking beyond the category for best practice customer experiences. Key components of the phased project included ideation of store
design, customer journey mapping and development of a zoning strategy that delivers purpose and function to the customer and business. “We were delighted to work in partnership with Bupa to help bring its health partner strategy to life through a collaborative and interactive store environment,” says Robbie Robertson, managing director, e2. Bupa has also recently launched new retailing environments at Sydney’s Bondi Junction store and Melbourne’s Knox store. ◗
| architecture |
MADE IN CHINA ARCHITECT EDWARD BILLSON OVERCOMES WEATHER, LOCATION AND LANDSCAPE CHALLENGES TO DESIGN CHINA’S FIRST SPARKLING WINERY.
Taking inspiration from the dramatic Ningxia landscape and buried vines in the winter fields, Australian architect, Edward Billson, has created architecture and interiors for China’s first winery dedicated to the production of premium sparkling wine in the Ningxia Hui region. Ningxia’s climate is perfectly suited to growing Chardonnay and Pinot Noir grapes. His striking modern design is in stark contrast to the other faux European looking wineries in this expanding wine growing region, most of which look out of place in the arid landscape. The project comprised developing the winery’s masterplan along with the architecture and interior design for the wine production and technical areas, office space and the public tasting areas and dining rooms. “The location, weather and landscape provided many design challenges”, says Billson, founder of Hong Kong’s MAP Architecture and Planning, about the project. “Wine is traditionally stored underground however, with the harsh Ningxia winters and floodprone summers, we had to come up with some alternate solutions for the fermentation and cellaring.” Billson’s key focus was to present a design to encapsulate the client’s prestigious brand. A modernist aesthetic was taken using exaggerated horizontality to integrate the building with the flat desert floor and the
He Lan (Wild Horse) mountain backdrop. A faux pisé de terre wall provides a bold and striking first impression. It is offset (90°) by the wall of the fermentation cellar which has a corrugation effect in imitation of the vineyards it overlooks. He placed the Sur Latte (second fermentation cellar) above ground and then buried in hundreds of tons of the same earth that protects and nourishes the vines. The interiors have been designed to reflect the brand, incorporating a sumptuous palate of materials and textures with colours chosen to match the hues of the wines. A grand staircase takes visitors to a roof terrace offering 180° views across the vineyards, dessert oasis and mountains. As the fermentation cellar wall and the sur latte cellar berm shields the heart of the working winery, a simple extension of both walls will provide for growth without losing aesthetic. The project plays an important role in the wine growing region, bringing a prominent wine brand to China—one of the world’s most lucrative wine buying markets. While the winery was officially opened in June 2013, the first bottles cannot be quaffed until 2014. According to International Wine and Spirit Research, China has become the world's fifth largest consumer of wine and by 2015 it is predicted to become the secondlargest importer of liquor. ◗
| architecture | A RECOMMENDATION BY A FRIEND LED TO ARCHITECT LEON LOPATA’S FIRST RETAIL PROJECT AFTER ESTABLISHING HIS OWN PRACTICE EARLIER THIS YEAR.
With a little help from my friends Words by Marion Gerritsen Throughout his career, Leon Lopata has always had a soft spot for residential projects, with his main market currently being 50 per cent residential, 20 per cent commercial and 30 per cent retail. “Residential projects have always been of interest to me, mainly because the work is very different to that of a standard retail project, due to the enduring nature of residential projects,” he explains. “Retail projects have a tendency to be more ephemeral with an average life span of five to 10 years." However, when an old client introduced Leon Lopata to the owners of Po’s Kitchen he knew he could help them achieve their goals, as well as provide them with a fresh design to launch their new brand and small business. “We communicated very well and soon I could see the potential for procuring a very interesting and innovative project, which would utilise my interior and retail design skills.” Leon Lopata Architects was involved in the design and documentation of the project. “On behalf of the clients I managed the tender of the project, I assisted in the negotiations with the successful tender and finally the administration of building contract to completion. In collaboration with Photodisplay we designed the logos, signage and menu panels.” Po’s Kitchen is run by a husband and wife team—Po is the chief and Kim runs front of house. “The project was about creating a small intimate space that makes you feel that you are in the kitchen with Kim and Po. The feel is classic contemporary with a touch of traditional such as hanging bird cages and
George Nelson light fittings. It is about pattern and colour, but overall it is about simplicity and having a clear focus and impact colour (red),” says Lopata. The client wanted to create a short order Macau style Chinese café and takeaway. This involved a fully functioning Chinese kitchen, prep, storage and washup areas. It was important to them to provide as many seats as possible. The challenge was to find the right balance of seating area to functional kitchen in a very small 64 square meter tenancy. The tenancy was also located on a truncated corner with one very small shopfront to the mall and one very long shopfront facing an outdoor laneway. The problem that needed to be resolved was how to plan the shop to both maximise customer engagement and activation of the shopfront facing the laneway. “It was expected that the seating areas would feel very communal and tightly packed, so the challenge was to also allow for a degree of moveability and flow in front of the service area and not to create too many dead ends. In addition to this we wanted the customer to experience the theatre Chinese cooking but not so much to reveal the secrets contained in Po’s busy kitchen.” The shop took eight weeks to complete construction and the main challenge was for the red tiled feature wall to follow the pattern Lopata designed as closely as possible and for all angles and finishing points to work correctly. “The main feature wall is made up of square and rectangular format tiles in a bold tomato red. The pattern was inspired by ancient traditional Chinese design and reinterpreted to relate to the scale of the
wall and angle established by the service counter. The idea was to create as much impact as possible in the simplest possible way. I think the wall creates a powerful statement that can be seen on approach and appreciated from most aspects within the space.” The menu panels which are cast iron Chinese frying pans hang via a kitchen hook over a blackened steel rail. Holding each pan in position is a high powered magnet which allows the pan to be easily removed, so that the menu can be simply updated without too much fuss. The aesthetic intent of the service area is to evoke a street kitchen. Keeping with this theme the furniture is basic and rustic with a touch of elegance. The communal table (made by Tait) and the stools (sourced from Asian Tide) have a rustic feel without being rough. “The finishes are all very robust and the background pallet of the shop was kept simple so that the red tiles remain the hero. It was very exciting to incorporate five classic George Nelson light fittings that act as a beacon and are both reminiscent of traditional Chinese lanterns as well as of mid-century modern design, which is an interest of my practice,” he adds. While Lopata is currently working on two medium sized residential projects and has recently begun work on the designs for the refurbishment of a ground floor foyer and lift lobby in a CBD building, retail won’t be left behind. “I intend to grow my retail design practice to focus on innovation and new ways to develop interesting retail design solutions.” ◗
| concept board | www.desseinfurniture.com
www.intergrain.com.au www.ismobjects.com.au www.anomaly.com.au www.engelbrechts.com
| finishes board | www.gunnersen.com.au
| study tour |
WALK THIS WAY KVB DESIGN HAS CREATED A NEW SHOWROOM CONCEPT FOR GERMAN HOME FURNITURE GROUP ROLF BENZ’S FREISTIL RANGE WITH A CENTRAL WALKWAY STRUCTURE THE KEY ELEMENT OF THE DESIGN.
Rolf Benz commissioned UK based retail design specialist KVB Design with a brief to create a retail design to both reflect its established corporate identity and create a platform for the launch of its new freistil brand. The KVB design team liaised with Rolf Benz to develop a showroom concept, which perfectly mirrored the essence of the premium German brand yet created a vibrant new atmosphere in keeping with freistil’s younger audience. “We are thrilled to work with such a prestigious brand as Rolf Benz,” Kevin Beard, managing director of KVB Design says. “Following a detailed study of both the Rolf Benz and freistil brand values we created a retail environment, which not only supported the product presentation
and communicated the brand’s premium position, but also created a new way of furniture retail design.” The initial showroom occupies 850 square metres at the Rolf Benz head office facility in Nagold Germany and is accessed through a totally newly constructed reception area. The freistil concept features several distinctly different retail areas, separated by a fashion style central ‘catwalk’ walkway with ceiling rafts above. The central walkway structure forms the key element of the concept design. The catwalk’s position within the main central area of the showroom assists in creating the perfect customer journey and turns the store visit into a total experience. This structure is designed to allow for the many varied store layouts and different retail footprints. Breaking away from the trends of traditional furniture showrooms the central walkway also offers a totally unique and intuitive look and feel to the showroom, adding a fashion ambience to the furniture ranges. Together with the new Freistil furniture range the showroom design ensures that the complete product portfolio is portrayed in a new fresh, youthful and invigorating style. “Working together with KVB Design on building an innovative and inspiring ‘home base’ for our new brand freistil was a very creative and professional process,” says Andreas Lechner, director of communications at Rolf Benz.
“The team from KVB Design came up with a showroom concept that brought our brand values to life and created the perfect space for our customers to get the full product and brand experience. The final result definitely exceeded our expectations and has proved us right to work with KVB Design. We are looking forward to working together on future projects.” The walkway, ceiling raft and individual product areas work together to add the required intimacy. Detailed lighting planning with a distinctive light colour palette and directional spotlighting assists in guiding and moving the visitor into and through the total retail space. Lighting is in-set into the ceiling raft to create a clean, sharp, and futuristic look and feel. Suspended lighting rafts, crafted from galvanised metalwork, add intimacy to the large volume showroom areas. The combined look and feel of the lighting elements offer a contrast of refinement and a more urban look and feel, blending the products into a true multi-home environment. The centre of the showroom features a timber slatted box construction to create a defined room environment featuring meeting tables, a kitchen and a café style area whilst retaining a transparent look and feel to the overall showroom. ◗
n o d n o L in e s u o h t s e b The
Photography: Jamie McGregor Smith
ARCHITECTURAL DESIGN FIRM MOREYSMITH HAS COMPLETED THE NEWLY EXPANDED HEADQUARTERS FOR ONLINE FASHION RETAILER ASOS AT GREATER LONDON HOUSE.
MoreySmith’s new design includes a flexible events space, a showcase/ press area, fashion-themed meeting rooms, open plan offices and a tour route for visitors where they can follow the full journey of a garment from inception to completion, showcasing the innovative fashion and technology-led business. New staircases connect three floors at the heart of the office space including a reception, café, meeting rooms and coffee bar. This central hub brings a dynamic and dramatic impact to the ASOS brand identity and gives a creative and welcoming space for more than 1,200 people, to collaborate and break out from the open plan workspace. MoreySmith has created a space which acts as a window to the ASOS brand, taking inspiration from ASOS’
values and commitment to maintaining a high calibre of employees. “ASOS had a very clear vision which was to create the next chapter in the ASOS success story, designing a space where people want to be, where they can innovate together and continue to build the story," says director Linda Morey Smith. The extensive 100,000 square feet refurbishment has more than doubled the space ASOS currently occupies in the building. Home to a variety of companies, the former Black Cat cigarette factory was reinstated in the late 1990s to its original art deco grandeur. ASOS’ expansion reflects the company’s significant growth in the last year, where its active customer base rose 35 per cent to 5.4 million across 160 countries. ◗
| study tour |
d i n e with me
HOTEL SPECIALIST RICHMOND INTERNATIONAL HAS COMPLETED THE VERANDA RESTAURANT, AN ALL-DAY DINING ROOM SET WITHIN THE WORLDRENOWNED GRAND HÔTEL IN STOCKHOLM. Richmond’s commission follows the 2006 completion, in the same hotel, of the Cadier Bar, an international cocktail bar named after founder Régis Cadier. The London-based practice has refurbished a sequence of spaces including the Grand Buffet, 110-cover restaurant and adjacent lounge. The overall design concept for the Veranda Restaurant draws inspiration from traditional Swedish craft including lace and embroidery. Vintage textiles and mönsterblad archive patterns have been referenced throughout and provide a strong identity and coherence across the various spaces. The Veranda Lounge, adjacent to the hotel’s reception, sets the tone for the dining spaces within. On entering the restaurant, diners are struck by the light and airy atmosphere created by large windows that frame and maximise views of Stockholm’s waterfront location. Intricate inset mosaic panels and restored wall friezes and cornices punctuate the elongated room. Vernacular influences include the use of pattern and colour, from the chairs to the decorative bronze screen, all of which have been designed specifically for the restaurant and add to the feeling of a sense of place. The Grand Buffet—famous for serving Smörgåsbord, a traditional cold selection of seasonal produce and recipes—is accessed from the dining area via one of three, original central archways. These arches have been opened up and lined with bronze-framed wine cabinets filled with a selection of the Grand Hôtel’s famous cellar. The focus of the voluminous and aesthetically crisp Grand Buffet is the white stone-top central display table lit by a large, ethereal, crystal chandelier. A backlit, perforated feature wall captures the delicacy of traditional lace craft with white washed oak. A more relaxed dining experience is signalled by soft, comfortable upholstery and cocktail height dining tables. ◗
| technology |
THE NETWRK A NETWORKED TV DISTRIBUTION AND AUDIO SYSTEM WAS GOING TO BE AN INTEGRAL PART OF THE NEW GRANDSTAND AT ROYAL RANDWICK.
The Australian Turf Club (ATC) had a vision to create a new paradigm in on-course facilities when it was building its new Grandstand at Royal Randwick. The club knew that a central part of that vision would be the technology employed throughout the new venue. The ATC engaged leading consultant Norman Disney & Young to capture that vision as a performance specification, and builder Brookfield Multiplex chose Sydney based firm the PA People to deliver the new networked television distribution and audio systems. Coincidentally, the Randwick project falls neatly 15 years after the PA People delivered the networked audio systems for another Multiplex project, the Olympic Stadium (now ANZ Stadium) at Homebush. “The ATC wanted to set a benchmark nationally and internationally for its grandstand, both from a race day and nonrace day events perspective,” Mark Flanagan, executive general manager property development of the ATC notes. “In addition, we wanted to ensure that punters attending the races were receiving all the information, and more—they could receive it either at home or at a pub. A cen-
tralised system which allowed us to be flexible with our offering—as trends changed and as the masterplan for the spectator precinct developed was also at the forefront of our thinking. The PA People combined with NDY have delivered everything we were hoping in the system, which is also easy to use and manage. We believe we now have the pre-eminent audio visual systems in the world to service our clients and use as a base for future expansion of the system.” At the time the tenders were let, little was known about the ATC’s fitout requirements. The performance specification called up a number of TV channels that would be required, and an indicative number of TV screens that were proposed. On the audio side, required acoustic performance criteria for each space and an indicative number of zones were nominated, along with an overview of functional requirements and environmental constraints. The third element of the puzzle that formed part of the contract was a 1,000 port Ethernet network specifically designed to support both the IPTV and networked audio systems. From that point forward, the PA People worked together with the
A networked TV distribution and audio system has been installed at the new Royal Randwick Grandstand.
services team from Brookfield, the consultants from NDY, two teams of architects and the ATC to design and develop the systems that feature in the finished project. “Norman Disney & Young considered the PA People the leading choice for this project, with the requisite skills, knowledge and flexibility to deliver in a demanding environment, with the added benefit of having previously delivered projects utilising similar systems to those proposed for this development,” says David Kyle from Norman Disney & Young. “Having the PA People on board and their ability to bring
first-hand experience to the table was imperative in maximising the outcome for the ATC.” There are around 800 screens attached to the IPTV network over the entire site, with over 60 channels and 30 signage pages able to be displayed. The system deployed is from Scottish specialist supplier Exterity. “This is the fourth major IPTV system we have deployed from Exterity,” says Josh Jones, senior project manager for the PA People. “This is easily our largest system. It has settled down without any significant issues.”
The majority of the networked audio system comprises products from US group Harman. Over 1,000 individual JBL loudspeakers across 10 different models, 80 Crown amplifiers and 12 BSS networked digital signal processing engines form the backbone of the system. Operating on its own dedicated HP Procurve Ethernet network, the PA People believe the facilities in the new Royal Randwick Grandstand represent the largest integrated networked AV system in Australia, a short 15 years after they delivered the world’s first networked audio system in a stadium venue. ◗
| technology |
LIGHT IT UP A LARGE LED LIGHT BOX WAS INSTALLED TO ENSURE THIS FLAGSHIP STORE WOULD LIGHT UP THE STREET IN MAYFAIR.
High end ladies clothing brand, Whistles, has recently opened a new flagship store on Dover Street in Mayfair, London and W&Co was selected for the project to supply a large fabric face light box. The brief was to produce an ultra slim (4cm) unit at 80x300cm without compromising on quality, with bright and even LED illumination. The FabriLite Slim light box with a changeable tension fabric face was supplied with a high quality full colour dye-sublimation textile print to catch the eye of shoppers and passers-by. The slim design and even cool white illumination suit the brandâ€™s sleek and minimalist style, complimenting the white walls and large windows featured in this store. The light box has an aluminium profile at only 4cm deep. Illumination can be by either LED light panel or LED stripe technology and the light box can be made in custom dimensions of virtually any size. The graphic is printed using dye sublimation onto 110gsm backlit fabric material with a sewn-on silicone rubber strip at the edges which pushes into the sides of the light box profile. This front loading application makes the units ideal for recesses or other areas where space is an issue. W&Co was able to deliver the unit to site within three weeks ensuring that it was installed in plenty of time for the opening of the store. The firm continues to work with Whistles on exciting new store projects throughout the UK. â——
| finance |
to improve cashflow GROWTH CAN BE A BIG CHALLENGE TO SMALL BUSINESS’ CASHFLOW.
You would probably expect cashflow to improve when your business grows and profit increases. The reality, however, is that it is one of the biggest small business challenges and growth can cause cash flow problems. This is because each sale you make needs to be funded by what is commonly known as ‘working capital’. You can see in the diagram below that when a sale is made, it can be as much as 171 days that the money isn’t in your bank account.
Explanation: On day 1 you buy stock to sell On day 46 you pay your supplier for the stock On day 101 you sell the stock On day 217 you get paid for the stock by your customer Between day 46 and 217 your money is with your supplier and your customer.
Cashﬂow cycle 171 days negative cashflow
Pay for Stock
You get Paid
Whilst this example shows a business selling stock, a business selling services or jobs has the same issue, due to costs associated with labour and materials purchased to complete a job. We’ve illustrated here that funds are required to make a sale… when sales increase, it follows that more funds will be required for business growth. The burning question is ‘where is the money going to come from to fund your sales growth'?
Here are some tips for improving business cash ﬂow: 1 Bank overdraft facility—lenders require financials and often security. 2 Invoice finance—you get paid by financier within days of invoicing and pay them back when your customer pays. Costs have an impact on profit, especially if low gross margin business. 3 Owners’ equity/loan—shareholders inject cash into the business. Need to monitor return on investment for shareholders, to ensure it compensates for other investment opportunities. 4 Trade finance—for importers and exporters. Some providers have great portals that ‘smooth out’ the whole process of transacting overseas. 5 Leasing of equipment to reduce impact on cash. Interest applies, but good rates can be achieved. 6 Reduce time customers take to pay—implement systems to chase and track payments. Systems can be very cost effective and once it’s up and running it becomes ‘business as usual’ and less of a hassle to collect payment. 7 Extend credit terms with suppliers—analyse how much business you do with them and negotiate better terms or find alternatives. Very cheap form of finance, as suppliers normally don’t charge anything for it. 8 Reduce time stock sits in store—implement ‘just in time’ stock management system. Think of stock as dollars piled up on the stockroom floor. A good system can do much more than just maximise stock turnover i.e. analysis on margins by product, customer, division, branch, etc. 9 Reduce time jobs are in progress prior to invoicing implement a job management system. A good system can help with quoting, delivering, invoicing, scheduling, materials management and profit analysis. In the case of stock and job management systems— once implemented they can be very easy to maintain and have a big impact on profit, cashflow, productivity, customer satisfaction, etc. These tips could be the difference between sustainable business growth or growth with cashflow problems and lots of headaches for business owners. ◗ For more detailed information on how you can improve your business cashﬂow download ebook ‘How to Improve Your Business Cash Flow… and Keep Some For Yourself’ at www.CFOonCall.com.au
| ASOFIA |
By the time you read this, I suspect all our sleeps will have passed and we will be at the conference. Therefore I won’t pitch to an exercise in academics and mention the conference, other than a lot of candles will have been sacrificed in the name of de-furring my back in readiness for the pool and beach. Ponder and savour that mental picture if you will. A federal election has been run and won and a new government installed. The result was hardly surprising, although for those interested in things political, the minutiae of this parliament is bizarre and unprecedented. It seems we move ever closer to our American cousins. We enjoy a parliament now representative of partisan interest groups. Although both major parties ran on a platform of strong, unified leadership and direction, it will be interesting to witness the manner and effect that sectarian politics has on this government and social policy. Irrespective of your political bent, our country needs decisive, clear and consistent government, so we can only trust and hope for this outcome. What is not in doubt, however, is the positive effect of ASOFIA’s involvement in the FCJA alliance. ASOFIA is a key stakeholder in this broad industry representative body. Successful representation was made to the Liberal opposition prior to and throughout the election campaign. It is testament to the good relationship forged, that the Liberal party’s manufacturing policy media release was almost word verbatim that of the FCJA submission paper. With our FCJA partners, we look forward to continuing this good work, with the intention that strong and broadly representative policies are delivered in support of Australian manufacturing. I would encourage any ASOFIA member to submit ideas to your state division or pursue their local MPs in support of this initiative. Another development is the pending transition from the printed form of our celebrated Interior Fitout magazine to an Emag. The transformation is made complete with a name change to FAD Quarterly which stands for fitout, architecture and design. As a dedicated luddite, I confess little knowledge of the intricacies of the technical medium, otherwise known as the computer and the internet, however, we are blessed that the guys from Intermedia are willing to drag us into the future. Shortly you will no longer receive the paper version of the magazine, but in its place an electronic publication. The exciting part of this, as I am reliably told, is that it will enable our mag to be more relevant, broader in content, more content flexible and interactive, and with a far greater reach. You’ll also be able to access it on any tool with an internet connection and it will be linked to all the social things like Facelift and Twaddle. ◗ Cheerio. Darren Doggett ASOFIA national president
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| ASOFIA |
As good as it gets THE ASOFIA CONFERENCE SAW MEMBERS COME TOGETHER FOR THREE DAYS OF LEARNING, SHARING AND CELEBRATING EXCELLENCE IN THE SHOP AND OFFICE FITOUT INDUSTRY. ASOFIA’s 18th National Conference was held at the Reef View Hotel on Hamilton Island from 25 to 28 October 2013. It got underway with a casual welcome function where delegates gathered at the picturesque Hamilton Island Yacht Club. As a gateway to the Great Barrier Reef, the club offers world-class facilities and services on the most beautiful island of the Great Barrier Reef. This unique venue is an architectural masterpiece, a contemporary and luxurious structure overlooking the Hamilton Island Marina and Dent Passage. It was a great networking and social opportunity in a fantastic location, sipping on a cold drink and enjoying fine food as the sun went down. The conference’s theme this year was ‘Opportunity through adversity' and former Socceroo captain Paul Wade’s extraordinary life story formed the keynote presentation. He ‘kicked off’ with valuable insights into how to deal with challenging times, in life and business—he captained the Socceroos 84 times whilst living with epilepsy, had life changing brain surgery and dedicated his life to educating people about the illness. It was an inspirational presentation with members learning how to turn individual
skills into team skills, create team power and share leadership. Jason Clarke, a sought after creative mind, also shared his insights at the conference, gleaned from working with some of Australia’s biggest companies and institutions on the themes of leadership and innovation. During his presentation, Minds at work, Clarke actually made sure members used their minds and made them participate in several exercises by collaborating together in teams and come up with innovative ideas, look at other possibilities and create new opportunities. Gerard Ryan, CEO of ASOFIA, says this conference was an important avenue for busy businesspeople working in the fitout industry to take the time to step back and gain fresh insights. “Our conference theme this year [Opportunity through adversity] focused on providing ways for us all to look differently at our current environment to bring about opportunity through
a change of approach, mindset and practice,” he says. “We’ve chosen the destination to help us shape new ideas, open minded thinking and feel refreshed for the year ahead.” The conference’s location definitely helped make it another successful one with glorious weather, crystal clear waters, brilliant beaches, and fine food and wines. Thirteen shopfitters from around Australia were recognised for their outstanding work at the 2012-2013 The Laminex Group/ ASOFIA Interior Fitout Awards during a beachside dinner party. Ryan witnessed a distinct shift from the ‘standard’ shop and
office fitout, to more elaborate fitouts in the health, fitness, leisure and high end fashion industries in this year’s entries. “We have seen greater levels of creativity and innovation from our members showcasing their award-winning talents. “The industry has come through tough times stronger. It is refreshing to see members not simply achieving the ‘same old thing’, but rather challenging themselves and the industry by venturing into new directions. “Every company who walked away with an Interior Fitout Award this year presented judges with a stand out project deserving of recognition.”
For the first time the awards program featured The Australian Made Awards category, created to encourage members to use Australian materials, promote Australian manufacturing, and support local skills and resources. Stag Shopfitters took out the Retail Australian Made Award with their work at Paspaley at the Crown Complex, while Crosbie Projects walked away with the Commercial Australian Made Award for their work on their own office. “The 2013 Interior Fitout Awards created a new benchmark in the standard of fitouts that is set to only move higher with each ensuing year. “This elevated benchmark has been driven by a number of
factors such as client expectations, new technologies and the evolution of shopping centres into experiential environments. “It is certainly a welcome shift for the profile of our industry. The ASOFIA members have done the industry proud,” says Ryan. The conference was concluded with a beautiful undersea garden party, alight with twinkling lights, candles, moss twigs and scattered lanterns. A ripple light effect on the roof gave the impression that you were underwater. Tables were decorated with crisp white linen, bronze table runners and vases overflowing with assorted flowers. The next day it was time to fly home, back to reality… ◗
Brendan Clarke wins apprentice of the year The ASOFIA/Thomas Brown Shopfitting Industry Apprentice of the Year Award was presented at the recent ASOFIA conference held on Hamilton Island. Brendan Clarke, a fourth year apprentice at Ryder Shop and Office Fitting in NSW, was named NSW Apprentice of the Year and from there was chosen as the National Apprentice of the Year for his outstanding contribution and dedication to his employer as well as the greater industry. “It has been a great skill learning experience,” says Clarke. “I did not know much at the beginning of my apprenticeship, but with the great help from my TAFE teachers and the people at Ryder, they have taught me a lot of skills that have helped me excel at my job.” Gerard Ryan, CEO of ASOFIA, was very impressed at the calibre of candidates put forward for this year’s award program. “Brendan Clarke really stood out from the crowd. He is a smart
From L to R: ASOFIA president Darren Doggett, winner Brendan Clarke and award sponsor Thomas Brown.
and enthusiastic young man that has a willingness to learn, listens intently to instruction and demonstrates a keen interest in career progression. “The state winners of the awards also demonstrated that they were not only committed employees, but also true assets to the industry. “They are the next generation of shop and office fitters in Australia; it is therefore vital that we provide them with incentives
and rewards for their contribution towards the industry, so as to ensure we create a future of highly-skilled and motivated professionals,” adds Ryan. Clarke’s employer, Glenn Ryder, believes the future is bright for Clarke at Ryder Shop and Office Fitting. “We expect Brendan will continue with our company beyond his apprenticeship and will be given opportunities to be a leader in the near future.” ◗
O.M.A. Shopfitting Systems Pty. Ltd. 16 Kearney Street Bayswater Victoria 3153 T: (03) 9720 2488 | F: (03) 9720 2499 Web: www.omasystems.com.au
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