Volker Haug's 'Rudolph' porcelain pendant light, from his 'Antler' range
Presented during the recent London Design Festival under the auspices of the somewhat tongue-in-cheekly named group exhibition ‘Matilda’, which showcased the work of a number of Australian-based designers in the UK for the first time, Volker Haug’s highly graphic, highly architectural porcelain lighting enthralled visitors. (more…)
‘BIG ROCK JETTY’ by Edward Szewczyk & Associates Architects
The Australian architectural practice Edward Szewczyk & Associates realised this weekend home two hours drive from Sydney. A beautiful detail is the jetty/gazebo, a small structure located at the edge between the dam and forest. The jetty is suspended above the water and the gazebo is suspended toward the trees. It is larger and caters to more social activity such as swimming, fishing and picnics at sunset. The smaller gazebo is quieter: a place of reflection, watching the birds and reading a book. No part of the deck touches the water or forest emphasising respect to those natural elements. The form is essentially made of three horizontal planes: the surface of water, deck and roof.
This single family residence in Hawthorn, Victoria in Australia was designed by the Melbourne based WOOD / MARSH ARCHITECTURE. The two storeyed pavilion is composed of three volumes. One of them is the expressive and massive concrete upper level – it encases the bedrooms and appears to be floating over a glazed ground level.
'Light House' by WOOD / MARSH ARCHITECTURE
“The ground floor level houses the living spaces. In contrast to the suspended shell it is a glass pavilion that gives the upper level its identity and proudly supports it to be viewed from the street. The ground level transparency ensures the living areas are open to the surrounding landscape but remain protected from harsh weather by the cantilevered floor over. Walls on this level are located away from the perimeter envelope and service areas, such as the kitchen, are located within a central pod. This further enhances the reading and integrity of the pavilion in the tradition of Mies van der Rohe.
The structural columns that support the mass of the upper level are offset from the glazing line to emphasize the weightlessness of the principal concrete form, at the same time creating an internal colonnade that visually draws the occupants through the circulation spaces.”
'Light House' by WOOD / MARSH ARCHITECTURE
“The third glazed volume encloses the indoor pool, and slips beneath the suspended concrete shell of the first floor. This form is further articulated and differentiated by an expressed steel portal frame. The length of the pool is amplified by the low ceiling and the surrounding ivy garden walls.
Concrete was chosen as the predominate structural and expressed material to create a greater thermal mass and to allow the building to store energy over a longer period of time. The ground level windows are double glazed insulated units with a selected performance glass. The selected materials and construction type produce a quality building with outstanding longevity both in design, durability and energy efficiency.”
The Australian architectural practice McBride Charles Ryan realised this sculptural office building in the pedestrian area at the East end of Melbourne’s CBD (Central Business District).
'Monaco House', photo by Trevor Mein
“Dominant in the lane is the historic Melbourne Club wall and the gigantic plane trees emanating from the Melbourne Club Garden which arch over the diminutive lane. The site with dimensions of 6.1 m in width and 17m in depth and a foot print of 102.5 sqm is a postage stamp.
Our brief was to provide a ground level entry and café, followed by two levels of office tailored for the Proprietors Investment and Philanthropic Organisation. The top level contains a small reception area primarily for official functions associated with the client’s role as Honorary Consular of Monaco.”
'Monaco House', photo by Trevor Mein
“The process of the Aggregation of the Melbourne’s allotments is now almost universally seen as a process which diminishes urban quality and diversity. There is now an earnest attempt, even in large block developments, to reintroduce fine grain urbanism that has been lost to the city. This project is rare; despite renewed respect of fine grain urbanism there are few willing to make the significant investment that this type of building entails.
This was this client’s first foray into what may be considered contemporary architecture. Despite this inexperience, our client had a love of the design of cars, boats (particularly early 20C) and finely crafted objects. He bemoaned the loss of shape in the contemporary world. It was in the area of shape, craft and material that the architect and client found our common ground.”
Sherman Contemporary Art Foundation Bibliotheca by LAVA
A new architectural installation commissioned for the first anniversary of the Sherman Contemporary Art Foundation (SCAF) in Sydney creates a spectacular space for displaying catalogues and other publications. Designed by LAVA changing lights and effects will adapt and grow in response to each new gallery project creating an ephemeral and surreal experience.
The installation showcases LAVA’s ongoing fascination with the efficiency and beauty of geometries in nature – the potential for naturally evolving systems for new building typologies and structures.
The installation is an evolutionary display, which will adapt and grow in response to each new gallery project while creating an ephemeral and surreal experience with changing lights and effects. mHolding a selection of Sherman Contemporary Art Foundation and Art & Australia publications in honeycomb shaped cells, the installation is backlit through transparent acrylic via energy efficient LED lights.
The bookcase uses the latest digital fabrication and engineering techniques such as CNC milling and CAD CAM technology. LAVA maintained a 'digital chain' throughout the design and production process, which has established offices in Sydney, Abu Dhabi and Stuttgart over the past 12 months.
“The shape of the installation is based on a ‘voronoi’, or ‘bubble geometry’ “, Dr Gene Sherman, director of Sherman Contemporary Art Foundation who commissioned the work said, “LAVA`s installation possesses an aesthetic that resonates throughout the gallery space while being surprisingly functional.”
Ashton Raggatt McDougal (ARM) architects completed the design of the Melbourne Recital Center and the neighbouring Melbourne Theater Company helping to transform the formerly derelict Southbank area of the city to the dynamic district it has now become. The firm has been so successful in their designs of the two buildings that they have been honored with the 2009 Victorian Architecture Medal winning highest accolades in three categories for public architecture, interior design as well as urban design.
"This beautifully crafted development is one of a kind, reflecting a passion for music, theatre and design through construction,” said Daniel Grollo, National President of the Property Council of Australia.
In a country where the two largest cities compete for just about everything, is Melbourne set to de-thrown Sydney for a higher quality performance space? Granted we’re not here to critique Utzon’s Opera House, but we are prepared to say that ARM, in collaboration with Arup Acoustics, designed a dynamic and original 1000-seat performance space and 150-seat Salon. “The fusion of architectural and acoustic design throughout the development of Elisabeth Murdoch Hall has produced a visually and aurally exciting hall,” a designer from Arup explains. “Based on the proportions of the classic shoe-box shaped European concert hall, the geometry has been enhanced to provide greater acoustic intimacy and improved sightlines for the entire audience.”
A dynamic and original 1000-seat performance space
The design for the Melbourne Theater Company begins with the dramatic façade: 3D iridescent steel tubing folds and bends against black aluminum cladding – just as an actor brings performance to life against a dark backdrop. The interior is comprised of the Sumner Theater, a 500-seat hall noticeably without a balcony or mezzanine space, but still allowing exceptional site lines to the stage regardless of where your season tickets land you. The most striking element inside the main theater is the Word Wall – 70 quotes from different plays are illuminated when the stage is dark. The building also houses a full rehearsal hall that can be used as an event space or a smaller performance space, as well as a café and bar at the front of the house.
Way-finding-system in the Eureka Tower Carpark, Melbourne
With miles of concrete and cinder block as their palette, the Melbourne-based emerystudio design team decided to have some fun with graphics for the Eureka Tower parking garage in Melbourne.
The design team painted key words / directions directly on the garage walls and floors.
Inspired by the work of Swiss artist Felice Varini—whose perspective-defying installations look a lot like giant vector art superimposed on buildings or interior architectural spaces—the team designed colorful forms that are both two- and three-dimensional.
Inspired by the work of Swiss artist Felice Varini.
Using a projector technique for positioning, the design team painted key words/directions directly on the garage walls and floors Varini style. From different viewpoints, the supersized letterforms can be perceived as either abstract distortions or directional information. Using an anamorphic approach wherein the images seem distorted until the viewer’s vantage point is perfect, the words ‘In,’ ‘Out,’ ‘Up,’ and ‘Down’ snap into alignment to convey information at key decision-making points along the way. For drivers, the result is more engaging than the typical boring journey through a colorless cement cavern.’ The project won several international design awards.
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