Designed by Renzo Piano, one of the most important architects of the 20th century, behind projects like the Centre Pompidou in Paris, San Nicaola Stadium in Bari and Kansai International Airport in Osaka. He is responsible for the main layout of the Potsdamer Platz and eight of its buildings in Berlin. Over the years, he has received a range of prestigious prizes and awards such as the Compasso d’Oro and the Pritzker Prize. He collaborated with Iittala to produce designs on a smaller scale. His stainless steel cutlery service is like an extension of the hand, fitting naturally into the diner’s grip. With extreme attention to detail, Piano has soft, rounded and balanced handles, appropriate proportions, and thoughtfully considered shapes. The Piano cutlery service is made of highly-polished 18/10 stainless steel, and the salad servers come dressed with wooden handles.
Piano Cutlery, by Piano Design
The commission to design a new family home for clients posed a number of challenges and possibilities. The site was unusually large for the area having never been subdivided like its neighbours, but came with a run down worker’s cottage, that had to remain due to Council Heritage Controls despite plastic weatherboard cladding and an assortment of aluminium windows.
The brief was for an adaptable family home that had to create intrigue and a little drama for clients who entertain regularly. The final design utilized the falling topography of the site to make a substantial, and overtly modern addition recede behind the rebuilt cottage that addressed the street. The contrasts between the structures were aesthetic, and material, with the new addition being constructed from concrete, glazed black brickwork, and steel.
Circulation through the house meanders with the site, courtyards separating the cottage from the new addition, and around an existing Jacaranda tree allow varied sight lines and play up the luxury of space afforded by the large site size, and frames wider views into the surrounding district.
The drama and hardness of the concrete, brick, steel, and glass found in the main living and entertaining spaces softens considerably upstairs where the private spaces play up the warmth of limed oak and more playful colours particularly in the children’s rooms. Privacy, and energy efficiency are provided by the external adjustable louvres on the building exterior, which also provide an aesthetic link back to the horizontal weatherboards of the original cottage.
A beautifully curved deadwood of Sabina chinesis is attached to java moss resembling leaves. Different trunk and leaves are combined to form Bonsai, which now rests in a new environment with water.
Within a fully glazed aquarium eliminated any excrescences, we catch a glimpse of Bonsai in its true light, from its foliage, nervure to breath. The aquarium’s internal environment follows a natural cycle, by stimulating photosynthesis with LED lights and CO2 emissions, which are reversed day and night. A filtration system runs constantly to keep clean water.
Bonsai transforms its shape through ages, now finds a life in water and continues to be alive. We can, continuously, admire its new appearance with plants from land and water within clear water.
Water and Bonsai, by Azuma Makoto
A massive intense Illuminated Mandala sculpture inspired by Islamic patterns which have been translated into three dimensions through the extrusion of the complex interlocking geometry. Made from lasercut stainless steel frames, chrome plated or lacqured solid brass components, ballchain in several optional finishes. Illuminated by a combination of surface mounted and suspended G4 Halogen lamps.
Mandala No. 1, by Willowlamp
Shadowboxx responds to a desire to facilitate an intimate understanding of this special place and explores the tradition of gathering around a fire. Tucked between a thicket of trees and a rising bank, the house sits in a natural clearing created by the strong winds that force back the trees from the rocky bank. The building purposely confuses the traditional boundaries between a built structure and its surroundings. Its masses are modeled by winds off the water, exterior cladding is allowed to weather and rust, and shifting doors, shutters, walls and roofs constantly modulate the threshold between inside and outside.
Inside the home, a gallery runs the length of the house with rooms spilling off of it. Two 15’ by 10’ steel clad doors slide open to reveal the main living space, named the cloud room for its ever-changing atmospherics. A glass-walled bunkroom, it contains six custom-designed rolling platforms that serve both as sofas and beds and enable the room to morph and accommodate different functions. Exterior awning shutters facing the water can be closed for protection from the elements or for security when the owner is away.
A guest room sits at one end of the house, and the bathhouse at the other. The bathhouse is topped by a 16×20’ roof that opens the room like a cigar box at the push of a button. Materials with a strong tactility are used throughout the house, including rammed earth floors, reclaimed oak floorplanks, unpainted gypsum board and steel walls, corrugated steel siding and roofing, and reclaimed scaffolding planks for the ceiling.
Shadowboxx, San Juan Islands, Washington, USA, by Olson Kundig Architects, Photography © Olson Kundig Architects, Jason Schmidt, Tim Bies
The lamp stems from the studio’s ‘Materials driven, process led, industrial design approach’ researching the typologies and language associated with ceramic products. Container looks at utilising the ceramic to both contain the electronic lighting
components and producing a soft reflected illumination output from the interior glazed surface to light the table or desk beneath. The forms are driven by a sympathetic design language and construction in tune with earthenware production. The lamp comprises two large ceramic components held together under the tension of an injection moulded Silicon band eradicating the need for any glue or screws.
This project involved the design of alterations and addition to an existing Edwardian house of some historical significance which is located in an area with a Heritage overlay. The brief for the house revolved around accommodating a family, including 3 children. The proposal included 3 new bedrooms and activity space to the new first floor at the rear and a large family /kitchen area directly below. The existing house included a new master bedroom / ensuite, study and the maintenance of the original grand dining room and lounge areas. The idea of the house was organised around finding a compatible but distinctive relationship between the existing interior and the new addition and the existing external form and the new addition. This was achieved through the use of a common materiality contrasting black brick for the new against red brick in the old. The pitched external roof forms, a requirement of stringent Heritage guidelines, were expressed as “twin peaked” gable ends that aligned directly with the with the double valley hip roof of the existing house. The external timber clad rainscreen is defined as a one third proportion that aligns directly with the existing slate tiled roof of the existing house. While compatible in terms of proportion and alignment the reductive abstraction of the new exterior and interior, suggests a new relationship to both the immediate garden and the greater surrounding context. Internally the new addition uses white painted timber lining boards and exposed internal black work to define a new family living space. The use of materials normally associated with the exterior of a Heritage house suggests an inversion of our normal reading of an interior that is both surprising and yet reassuring in terms of its familiarity.
Twin Peaks House, by Jackson Clements Burrows, Photography by Shannon McGrath
The sites, around 5000 m2 each and mostly surrounded by golf fields and green areas, have the constant presence of the Andes, high temperatures during summer time and winds from the south. The project seeks to incorporate the landscape in the household daily life, following the client’s request who wanted to spend a long time throughout the year in the exterior spaces. The site has a park towards the north, a street on the west side and another one on the south side, where the main access is located. The house is placed towards the corner of the two streets with the intention of freeing the garden, creating continuity with the park and clearing the views towards the east mountain range.
All the interior spaces are organized around an 8 x 8 m central patio that gathers part of the terrain and incorporates it inside the house. Delimited by the ceiling slab, this patio opens its north face to project the view towards the garden. A water mirror runs across a third of its surface reinforcing this perspective through a porch. The public areas constantly participate of the patio, from the main access to the family room, articulating the service areas towards the west. On the east side, a double-height wall lightly closes the private area without losing its participation of the patio and accompanies the ascension to the master bedroom. From there, it is possible to go out into a vast porch that dominates the landscape, where the barbecue area and the swimming pool are placed at a certain distance using the site in all of its extension. Some peripheral walls are prolonged to direct the views and close the house against the winds and nearby streets. In addition, the slabs extend as eaves to protect tall windows from the sun and to cover the terraces. These architectonic elements radicalize the opening of the interior spaces, deepening their presence from the outside.
Kübler House, Santiago, Chile, by 57STUDIO
“Pétrifications is a project which has been on my mind for some years and which allows me to reconcile my interest in design with the one for literature I had the opportunity to develop while studying it at university. It was inspired by my own experience as a reader who, when interrupted in his reading, too often left his book opened at the page he was reading, on a table or on the floor. It is a collection of five triangular geometrical forms of several different dimensions, made of various kinds of stones, and destined to be used as bookmarks.”
- Krzysztof J. Lukasik
Pétrifications”, ECAL/Krzysztof J. Lukasik
A carefully considered response to a very steep site with understated ‘mute’, gently sloping, roughly rendered walls and a curved concrete roof. Celebrating modern Australian family life, a generosity of space without ostentation that is practical and serviceable.
Yarra House, by Leeton Pointon Architects, in association with Susi Leeton Architects, Photography © Peter Bennets