Saturday, November 14, 2009

CAMPAIGN TO SAVE FALLINGWATER


Who could not be inspired by Frank Lloyd Wright's masterpiece Fallingwater? This iconic building is in need of constant upkeep and repair - and now you have the opportunity to "own" part of Fallingwater while contributing to its future survival.

A new campaign for Fallingwater announced this week, seeks to replace the house’s failing window glass while offering donors a rare opportunity to “own” a piece of the Frank Lloyd Wright masterwork.

The new Fallingwater Window Legacy Fund seeks the support of individual donors to permanently endow the windows of the house that has been called the the “Best all-time work of American architecture” by the American Institute of Architects.



Fallingwater’s windows seamlessly connect its interior with the outside world, creating a sense of harmony with nature that makes an experience of the house unforgettable. However, the existing laminate window glass has begun to fail and must be replaced to protect the house, its furnishings and art collections from heat, sunlight and UV radiation. The Fallingwater Window Legacy Fund offers opportunities, ranging from $500 to $10,000 and up, to endow Fallingwater’s windows – enabling replacement of current window glass as well as supporting future replacements. Endowment gifts may be made in the names of donors and/or their loved ones.

“We have been thrilled with the early response to the Fallingwater Window Legacy Fund,” said Lynda Waggoner, director of Fallingwater and vice president of the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy. “I think it is a testament to the power of this remarkable place that people from across the nation and around the world want to participate in its preservation in a very real and tangible way.”

Donors may select the specific window, skylight, glass door, or set of windows that they wish to endow. In return, they will receive a commemorative piece of the old Fallingwater glass, framed along with a drawing of the house. In addition, donors who endow a window at $1,000 or more will be recognized on a donor wall in the Fallingwater Visitor’s Pavilion.

A new section of the Fallingwater website (fallingwater.org/113) enables visitors to browse all windows available for endowment within specific giving levels and make their selections. Interested donors may also contact the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy’s Development department at 1-866-564-6972 or development@paconserve.org.

Now 74 years old and open to the public since 1963, Fallingwater remains an icon of the modernist architectural movement and a preeminent example of Frank Lloyd Wright’s concept of “organic architecture.” Public regard for the house – which was recently named to the U.S. Tentative List, a prelude to becoming a UNESCO World Heritage site – only grows with time.

About the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy

The Western Pennsylvania Conservancy (WPC) enhances the region’s quality of life by protecting and restoring exceptional places. A nonprofit conservation organization founded in 1932, WPC established six state parks and has conserved more than 228,000 acres of natural lands and waterways. The Conservancy owns and operates Fallingwater, the Frank Lloyd Wright house in Mill Run, Pa. that symbolizes people living in harmony with nature. In addition, WPC enriches our region’s cities and towns through 140 community gardens and greenspaces that are planted with the help of 8,300 volunteers. The work of the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy is accomplished through the support of more than 9,000 members.

For more information, visit WaterLandLife.org.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Australian Institute of Architects 2009 National Architecture Awards

Australia’s major new arts, theatre and ‘culture palaces’ from Canberra to Melbourne to New York, and the architects who designed them, are among major winners at this year’s top architecture awards.

The Australian Institute of Architects’ National Architecture Awards are the country’s most prestigious annual architecture prizes. The 2009 awards were presented to the nation’s most inspiring recent architectural projects and architects, at a special ceremony in Melbourne on Thursday. A total of 32 awards and commendations across 12 categories were awarded to projects in Queensland, Victoria, Tasmania, the ACT, NSW, Western Australia, South Australia, the United Arab Emirates and the United States.

Presenting the awards and commenting on this year’s winners, Jury Chair and award-winning architect Howard Tanner said: “2009 represented a strong year for architecture, with new benchmarks set in a number of key categories – such as commercial architecture. In public architecture, educational projects spanning primary to tertiary facilities were also outstanding, with many Australian universities now comprehending the need for world class facilities to attract students.”

LEFT: The National Portrait Gallery - Johnson Pilton Walker. Photography: Brett Boardman

Topping the list of winners, is the recipient of Australia’s top annual national architecture award - the 2009 Sir Zelman Cowen Award for Public Architecture, awarded this year to the National Portrait Gallery in the ACT by Sydney-based practice Johnson Pilton Walker (JPW). In a double win for the firm, the gallery also received a National Architecture Award for Interior Architecture. The gallery is the most recent in a long list of major arts facilities designed by JPW, including the New Asian Galleries at the AGNSW and the Museum of Sydney, and is their first Sir Zelman Cowen Award.


Mr Tanner said: “The monumental concrete edifices of the National Gallery and the High Court dominate this precinct, to which the National Portrait Gallery is the new family member. Smaller, more precious, it seeks to resolve a public presence and public gallery with the intimate, often domestic-scaled nature of portraiture. He added: “The building, while a triumph in cultural terms and popular appreciation, is clearly too small for its public role and purpose – a reflection of contemporary governments’ aspirations and budgets. Government probably never foresaw that this would be an attraction to rival the National Gallery and the War Memorial.” Accordingly, the architects have designed the building for extension to the west in a series of pavilions.

National Awards for Public Architecture were also presented to educational facilities in Sydney and Melbourne - the All Saints Primary School at Belmore in NSW by Angelo Candalepas Associates and the Monash Centre for Electron Microscopy by Architectus Melbourne.












Melbourne Recital Centre - Ashton Raggatt McDougall
Photography: John Gollings

Melbourne’s newest and iconic centre for the performing arts – the Melbourne Recital Centre and MTC Theatre Project by ARM – was awarded the Emil Sodersten Award for Interior Architecture, with the jury saying “all three performing arts venues achieve a very high standard of architecture in terms of excellent functionality within distinctive and memorable interiors”. They said the complex contains the most significant new performing arts venues in Melbourne, with easy access and effective egress being givens, along with sizeable lobbies and public areas, and a functional back of house. “The most important aspect of the development is the performing arts spaces, their adequacy, sightlines and acoustics. All three are effectively boxes within boxes, isolated from the outside world and the ground to minimise noise and vibration transfer.”


TKTS Booth/Redevelopment of DuffySquare, New York
Choi Ropiha, with Perkins Eastman, PKSB
Photography: John Saeyong Ra

Australia’s top award for international architecture, the Jorn Utzøn Award for International Architecture, was awarded to a small project in one of the ‘largest’, most iconic theatre locations in the world, New York’s Times Square – being awarded to the ‘red steps’ TKTS Booth/Redevelopment of Duffy Square, New York by young Sydney firm Choi Ropiha, with Perkins Eastman, PKSB.







The jury noted the particular strength of this year’s Commercial Architecture, which set new benchmarks in terms of providing exemplary ‘social’ spaces, adaptive re-use, regional architecture and staff accommodation where ‘happiness’ is acknowledged as a business asset.




Ivy | Woods Bagot with Merivale Group and
Hecker Phelan & Guthrie
Photography: Trevor Mein












The Harry Seidler Award for Commercial Architecture was presented to ivy on Sydney’s busy George Street by Woods Bagot, in collaboration with Merivale Group and Hecker Phelan & Guthrie. In a double win, the project also received a National Award for Urban Design, with the jury saying: “The popular palaces of culture – the cinemas, stadia, and pubs and clubs – have, in recent years, rarely presented themselves as high architecture. ivy is a remarkable exception. Part Roman baths, part smart restaurants, part urbane gathering place, it has been fused into the city’s fabric in a presentable and ingenious way.” They added: “Ash Street and Palings Lane (now relocated to advantage) have become vibrant pedestrian thoroughfares, lined with shops, bars and cafes.”

National Awards for Commercial Architecture were also presented to Headquarter Sussan Sportsgirl in Melbourne’s Cremorne by Sydney practice Durbach Block Architects and Bendigo Bank Headquarters in regional Victoria by BVN Architecture + Gray Puksand – with the jury noting that both achieved new benchmarks. Sussan Sportsgirl set new precedents for workplaces, being designed to provide “one place for the client’s family of businesses, her art collection and her love of gardens, where happiness is a business asset, gained through a combination of light, openness, views, art and gardens”.

For the first time in four years, Australia’s most prestigious residential award returned to the nation’s biggest housing market – with the Robin Boyd Award for Residential Architecture - Houses, going to an innovative house on Sydney’s northern beaches – the Freshwater House by young Sydney husband and wife team Tony Chenchow and Stephanie Little of Chenchow Little Architects. In describing the project, a four-bedroom home for a young family of five on a small 332 sq m site, the jury said: “The design provides an outstanding solution for an elevated site, and achieves a private compound, screened from the neighbours, yet open and expansive towards an outdoor lawn terrace, the beach and sea.”




Above left and right: Freshwater House by Chenchow Little
Photography: JohnGollings


In a second major win for the couple, Chenchow Little Architects shared the National Award for Small Project Architecture for the Ang House in Sydney’s Mosman, with young Victorian firm Bellemo & Cat for their Polygreen House in the Melbourne suburb of Northcote.


In a double scoop for fellow young Sydney-based husband and wife team Rachel Neeson and Nick Murcutt of Neeson Murcutt Architecture, the couple received National Awards for Residential Architecture for two strikingly unique houses in NSW and Victoria - the Whale Beach House at Whale Beach in Sydney and Zac’s House at Sorrento on the Mornington Peninsular.





Left and right: Whale Beach House -
Neesun Murcutt Architects
Photography: Brett Boardman











The Frederick Romberg Award for Residential Architecture - Multiple Housing was presented to Melbourne-based practice Wood Marsh for the 22-storey Balencia Apartments on St Kilda Road in Melbourne. The jury said: “St Kilda Road, conceived as Melbourne’s grand boulevarde, was once lined by imposing houses, now largely replaced by dull high rise buildings. Balencea counters this trend, recognising the importance of its position on a corner site, and the opportunity to achieve intrigue through its fluted form and slenderness, when viewed from certain positions. The architects have demonstrated sensitivity, skill and experience in negotiating an impressive balance between the commercial interests of the client, the comfort and amenity of the occupants and architecture’s responsibility to the public domain. They have created an exemplary model for sophisticated multiple housing in an urban setting.”

The prestigious Lachlan Macquarie Award for Heritage was this year awarded to the St.Paul’s Cathedral, Conservation of the Fabric, by Falkinger and Andronas, Architects, Heritage Consultants. The jury said: “Gothic cathedrals are complex structures and constructions, requiring careful management and maintenance if they are to survive in good order and serve changing patterns of use. Falkinger and Andronas have been responsible for the conservation of both of Melbourne’s major cathedrals, and at St Paul’s have been involved for over nine years. The decay of the building has been slowed, stormwater failures have been addressed and the building surfaces cleansed, so that we can more readily appreciate the visual qualities of the cathedral as its designers intended.”

An iconic venue in Melbourne, The Sidney Myer Music Bowl by Yuncken, Freeman Brothers, Griffiths and Simpson, received the National 25 Year Award for Enduring Architecture, being described by the jury as “one of the great tent-like suspension structures of the world”, and “a clear indicator of the vibrant creative forces active in Australia circa 1960, that were allowed realisation to great acclaim”. Conserved and upgraded in 2000 by Gregory Burgess Architects, the venue is a “much-loved icon, and part of the social fabric of Melbourne and the nation”.

The Walter Burley Griffin Award for Urban Design has been awarded to the Armory Wharf Precinct at Sydney Olympic Park by Hargreaves Associates, Lahz Nimmo Architects and Lacoste + Stevenson Architects. “The Armory Wharf Precinct is a remarkably attractive park precinct with much-enjoyed, well-designed public facilities. It is a most agreeable place to visit, uncluttered, well resolved, and in harmony with the natural and man-modified landscape.”

The new headquarters for a state water agency in Adelaide - VS1/SA Water Head Office by HASSELL – has received the National Award for Sustainable Architecture. “VS1/SA Water is the first building in South Australia to achieve a GBCA 6 Star Green Star design rating, delivered at competitive market rental. It sets a new benchmark in ESD, promoting best practice for a healthy office environment, with reduced energy usage, waste, and harmful emissions.”

The Colorbond® Award for Steel Architecture was presented to young Sydney-based architect James Stockwell for the Snowy Mountains House overlooking Lake Jindabyne. “James Stockwell’s commission to create a robust, economical house for an extended family carefully addresses issues of climatic extremes, simple maintenance, and sustainable objectives. It has its origins in alpine huts and ski lodges, but here delivered with a straightforward finesse. The house combines autonomy with reasonable construction cost, minimum maintenance, and good longevity, achieving excellent sustainable credentials.”

Complete list of winners
A record 893 projects vied for Australian Institute of Architects state and territory Architecture Awards, with 144 rewarded. Of these, 32 projects and practices have been awarded 2009 National Architecture Awards or Commendations. This year’s winners are:
Public Architecture
The Sir Zelman Cowen Award for Public Architecture
National Portrait Gallery, Canberra, ACT - Johnson Pilton Walker
National Award for Public Architecture
All Saints Primary School, Belmore, NSW - Candalepas Associates
National Award for Public Architecture
Monash Centre for Electron Microscopy, Monash Uni, VIC – Architectus Melbourne
National Commendation for Public Architecture
Faculty of Law, Library and Teaching Complex, University of Sydney, NSW - Francis-Jones Morehen Thorp (fjmt)

Residential Architecture - Houses
The Robin Boyd Award for Residential Architecture - Houses
Freshwater House, Harbord, NSW - Chenchow Little Architects
National Architecture Award for Residential Architecture – Houses
Zac’s House, Sorrento, Victoria - Neeson Murcutt Architects
National Architecture Award for Residential Architecture – Houses
Whale Beach House, Whale Beach, NSW - Neeson Murcutt Architects
National Commendation for Residential Architecture – Houses
Arm End House, Opossum Bay, Tasmania - Stuart Tanner Architects

Residential Architecture – Multiple Housing
The Frederick Romberg Award for Residential Architecture - Multiple Housing
Balencea Apartments, St Kilda Road, Melbourne, Victoria - Wood Marsh Architecture in association with Sunland Design
National Architecture Award for Residential Architecture – Multiple Housing
Pindari, Kensington, NSW - Candalepas Associates
National Commendation for Residential Architecture – Multiple Housing
Apartments in Cottesloe, Cottesloe, Western Australia - Blane Brackenridge

Commercial Architecture
The Harry Seidler Award for Commercial Architecture
ivy, George Street, Sydney, NSW - Woods Bagot, in collaboration with Merivale Group and Hecker Phelan & Guthrie
National Award for Commercial Architecture
Headquarter Sussan Sportsgirl, Cremorne, Victoria - Durbach Block Architects
National Award for Commercial Architecture
Bendigo Bank Headquarters, Bendigo, Victoria - BVN Architecture + Gray Puksand
National Commendation for Commercial Architecture
HASSELL Warry Street Studio, Fortitude Valley, Queensland - HASSELL

International Architecture
The Jorn Utzøn Award for International Architecture
TKTS Booth/Redevelopment of Duffy Square, New York - Choi Ropiha, Perkins Eastman, PKSB
Award for International Architecture
Qatar Science and Technology Park, Qatar, United Arab Emirates - Woods Bagot
Sustainable Architecture
National Award for Sustainable Architecture
VS1/SA Water Head Office, Adelaide, South Australia - HASSELL
National Commendation for Sustainable Architecture
Bendigo Bank Headquarters, Bendigo, Victoria - BVN Architecture + Gray Puksand
National Commendation for Sustainable Architecture
Australasian Performing Rights Association (APRA) Headquarters, Ultimo, NSW - Smart Design Studio

Heritage Architecture
The Lachlan Macquarie Award for Heritage
St Paul’s Cathedral, Conservation of the Fabric, Melbourne, VIC - Falkinger Andronas Architects Heritage Consultants
National Award for Heritage
Wiston Gardens House, Double Bay, NSW - Luigi Rosselli

Urban Design
The Walter Burley Griffin Award for Urban Design
Armory Wharf Precinct, Sydney Olympic Park, NSW – Hargreaves Associates, Lahz Nimmo Architects and Lacoste + Stevenson Architects
National Architecture Award for Urban Design
ivy, Sydney - Woods Bagot in collaboration with Merivale Group and Hecker Phelan & Guthrie
National Commendation for Urban Design
Rundle Lantern, Adelaide, South Australia - BB Architects

Small Project Architecture
National Award for Small Project Architecture
Polygreen, Northcote, Victoria - Bellemo & Cat
National Award for Small Project Architecture
Ang House, Mosman, NSW - Chenchow Little Architects

Interior Architecture
The Emil Sodersten Award for Interior Architecture
Melbourne Recital Centre and MTC Theatre Project, Southbank, Victoria - ARM
National Award for Interior Architecture
National Portrait Gallery, Canberra, ACT - Johnson Pilton Walker
National Commendation for Interior Architecture
Jane Foss Russell Building, University of Sydney, NSW - John Wardle Architects in association with Wilson Architects and GHD

National 25 Year Award for Enduring Architecture
Sidney Myer Music Bowl, Melbourne, Victoria - Yuncken, Freeman Brothers, Griffiths and Simpson

Colorbond Award for Steel Architecture
Snowy Mountains House, Snowy Mountains, NSW - James Stockwell Architect:



For more information visit www.architecture.com.au

Monday, October 26, 2009

‘When’ Venice calls for Australian cities of the future



Creative Directors 2010 John Gollings & Ivan Rijavec
Photographer: David Pidgeon

A national design competition by Australia’s Creative Directors for the 2010 Venice Architecture Biennale opens tomorrow, and invites architects to unleash their imaginations in addressing issues of Australian Urbanism.

Australia’s two-part ‘NOW + WHEN Australian Urbanism’ exhibition in Venice next year will highlight three Australian urban regions as they are ‘now’, before dramatically representing futuristic urban settings as they may be ‘when’ we reach 2050 and beyond.




Profiling Sydney, Melbourne and Surfers Paradise through stereoscopic visuals, the NOW component will show contrasting views of these cities from macro-scapes at 20,000 feet to ‘helicoptering’ views of urban and architectural icons at close range.



Name: Interior walls
Photographer: Floodslicer


WHEN is daring to imagine Australian urban spaces in 40 years’ and beyond, with the intent of ‘catapulting urban debate into eye-popping visceral entertainment set in a soundscape’.

Liberating architects from current planning and design constraints and encouraging speculative, futuristic visions, the Designs for Australia’s cities 2050+ competition is being held to source material for the WHEN part of Australia’s exhibition.

The creative team behind NOW+WHEN, John Gollings and Ivan Rijavec, see urban transformation in Australia 2050 and beyond being driven as much by political and economic imperatives as they will be by technology and design. Rijavec and Gollings are keen to see designs which reflect these circumstances.

“We’re especially interested in really imaginative designs with a strong theoretical basis which both integrate cultural influences and exploit the creative potential of architecture,” said Mr Rijavec.

The directors will be looking for designs which apply to the city as a whole rather than infill or minor precincts, and address fundamental issues of Australian Urbanism such as density, sustainability and the effects of global warming.


Name: Explanatory Diagram
Photographer: Floodslicer



“Ultimately we want participants to show us what we are likely to become and how our cities will accommodate us as they develop in the matrix of world urbanism and what will be the nature of our inevitable cultural transformation,” Mr Rijavec said.



A shortlist of entrants will be selected to develop their designs further, from which a group of finalists will be announced and whose work will be exhibited at the Australian Pavilion in Venice next year.



Name: Melbourne aerial
Photographer: John Gollings

The Australian Exhibition at the Venice Architecture Biennale is a major project of the Australian Institute of Architects. The Institute thanks its sponsors Austral Bricks, Virgin Atlantic Airways, Zip Industries, Autodesk and Architecture Media. The Institute also recognises the significant contribution of Network Venice practices and donors, and gratefully acknowledges the help and support given by the Australia Council for the Arts, including the use of the Pavilion for this exhibition.

All competition information is available at www.architecture.com.au/nowandwhen

For more information visit www.architecture.com.au

Sunday, October 25, 2009

WORLD 350 DAY - PITTWATER

Organised by Pittwater climate action group our local event took place on Mona Vale beach. This was part of two other events on the northern beaches of Sydney. The other two events organised by Manly Warringah Climate Action Group took place on The Steyne and Dee Why beaches. While across the world there were another 4000 events taking place, all in a protest to bring atmospheric carbon dioxide levels back to below 350 parts per million; currently 387ppm and rising.



350 Day Mona Vale Beach









There were climate action events from the bottom of the Great Barrier Reef to the summit of Mount Everest. At each event - at rallies and parties and deep-sea dives - people have taken thousands of photos that somehow depict the number 350. The crew at 350.org have taken these thousands of photos, projecting them onto the giant screens in New York's Times Square, and delivering them directly to hundreds of world leaders and politicians in the coming weeks.



350 Day - Dee Why Beach

New Zealand - Parliament 350 has been getting some serious air time with New Zealand politicians in the last few days. On Tuesday, more than 20 Members of Parliament from the National, Green and Labour parties joined about 40 school students in reading out a statement declaring that they will work together on climate change now and for our children's children.




350 Day - North Steyne Beach

To see more 350 events around the world visit www.350.org and www.aboutpeople.com.au

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

ARTIST IN PROFILE



One of Australia’s most collectable abstract landscape artists, Gemma Lynch-Memory, celebrates her 21st solo exhibition titled Big Country exclusively with Luxury Home Design

Inside Gemma’s studio is a quiet reverence broken only by the sound of the careful application to her creative process. Spanning almost two decades and 20 solo exhibitions, it’s a process as introspective and individual as the artist herself. Her actions are purposeful and convey a sense of urgency as she seeks to capture the essence of ephemeral inspiration. There is a constant referencing to an open journal of sketched ideas and musings that form the seeds of creative conception. But it is only during the actual application of paint on canvas that her subconscious concepts emerge and bloom.
Several pieces are worked on simultaneously so as to best manage the various stages of drying and curing paints. Warm, luminous liquid varnishes are honey-poured over surfaces to create mirror-like finishes. The studio atmosphere is occasionally disturbed by the sound of a powered sander or dremel drill as they’re used to create fine abstract marks and details. As each work nears completion, they are moved to her studio gallery to “let rest” before any final fine-tuning is made and the painting can be considered complete. From initial canvas priming to the signing of the work, the entire process absorbs several months.

Her works are abstract landscape compositions that feature rich and vivid colours. The iconographic markings and segregated space entice an emotive response and long, lonely horizons where “heaven meets earth” speak to our country yearnings. Organic debris made up of small sticks, soil, rocks and dried vegetation give the work a “living” quality and occasional hand-painted text introduce further depth and meaning. Perhaps it is Gemma’s country childhood and the use of debris and soil pigments that give her work such an uncanny sense of place. From our oceans to our outback and our rivers to our deserts, Gemma Lynch-Memory’s paintings capture the spirit and character that live in the heart of every Australian.

In 2007, after finding a copy of a diary in a second-hand bookshop, Gemma became the first person to retrace the outback journey of Australia’s first female explorer, Emily Caroline Creaghe. Inspired by the diary, the expedition was research for her “emily:explorer” national touring exhibition that celebrated the incredible achievements of this little-known Australian woman. The expedition was featured on the ABC 7:30 Report and Gemma was recognised by the International Society of Female Explorers based in New York. The touring exhibition received critical acclaim and was also featured in Australian Art Review magazine.


For 2009 Gemma has created an exciting new collection of works that will become her celebrated 21st solo exhibition, titled Big Country. The exhibition features her trademark colour chords and expressive horizons and the works are large, bold and confident. Her RMB 1026 (Roadside Mail Box) is reminiscent of a drive-by snapshot of the quintessential country letter box. Painted with pallet knife in thick impasto chunks, the letter boxes stand boldly within the stark landscape. The “River” series has deep brooding rivers stretching along dense tree-lined river banks as they make their way to the coast. The “Muddy Waterholes” glisten with the offering of a cool oasis in harsh red brown lands and her “Waterlilies” and “Wildflower” works have proven irresistible to the buying public.

Gemma has already achieved much in her career. With a constant demand for work from collectors both in Australia and overseas she has had little respite. Prices for her work have increased greatly in the last decade and this demand and a slower output of work will continue to drive prices higher. Those looking to invest and purchase significant artwork for their home would do well to take note of this current exhibition.

To achieve a 21st solo exhibition for any artist is a true milestone and a testament to creative strength. Gemma Lynch-Memory’s Big Country exhibition marks the exciting beginning of the second chapter of this remarkable career.




www.gemmalynch-memory.com

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

ZAHA HADID WINS ARCHITECTURE AWARD







London based Architect, Zaha Hadid known for her unique and futuristic designs was recently awarded Praemium Imperiale for Architecture by the Japan Art Association.

“It is indeed an honour to receive this recognition from the Japan Art Association.” said Hadid. “Working in Japan has been critical to the development of my work around the world. I will always be grateful for this support early in my career. My Japanese clients shared a passion for architecture - allowing us to investigate many things and design very powerful projects, interesting in their complexity and essential in developing our repertoire of work. Through our architecture, we can enthuse people and make them excited about new ideas.”

The other Praemium Imperiale Laureates for 2009 are: Painting - Hiroshi Sugimoto; Sculpture - Richard Long; Music - Alfred Brendel; Theatre/Film: Tom Stoppard.





On October 22nd the Laureates will travel to Japan to attend the Awards Ceremony, presided over by the honorary patron of the Japan Art Association, Prince Hitachi, younger brother of the present Emperor of Japan.

Previous Laureates include David Hockney, James Stirling, Anthony Caro, Andrew Lloyd Webber, Richard Attenborough, John Gielgud, Peter Brook, Richard Rogers, Tony Cragg, Norman Foster, Bridget Riley and Richard Hamilton.

For more information on Zaha Hadid visit: www.zaha-hadid.com

Thursday, September 24, 2009

THINGS I'VE SEEN AND LOVE...




ENNEZERO In arte Valentina
“Il falso Kandinsky”
Design by Giuseppe Canevese









This piece of furniture with two doors and four drawers was designed by industrial designer, Giuseppe Canevese and features the artwork of graphic artist Guido Crepax (1933-2003), who was influential in the development of European comic art in the second half of the 20th century. His most famous storyline, featuring the character “Valentina“, was created in 1965.

The collection "Valentina, la donna è mobile" stems from the theories of the Artistic Movement called Radical Design, which began in the Sixties in Tuscany (Italy) before spreading to other parts of the world. At that time, the way of doing architecture and in general of design, changed radically.

Objects and products were no longer designed just for their mere function, but were transformed into "emotional media" in which to encapsulate ideas, thoughts and yearnings that were, in particular, those of an entire generation.

Thus for the first time design became "radical" in the experience of the pioneers of this new movement of thought such as Archizoom and Superstudio, Alessandro Mendini, Gaetano Pesce and Ettore Sottsass (Memphis) and other designers that joined them as the years went by.

Influences from the world of art and philosophy contributed to the creation of innovative objects and pieces of furniture, projects and prototypes permeated by a new sense of critique on the function of things, which became critical with regards to a specific epoch.







This series was very much in the spirit of the 60s, incorporating eroticism, and psychedelic, and dream-like storylines. In Crepax’s work, many references are made to the works of 20th century ‘Avant-Garde’ artists, such as Magritte, Marcel Duchamp, Man Ray, Piet Mondrian, Roy Liechenstain, and Andy Warhol.


If you are into the comic book genre, then you will absolutely love this piece of furniture.

www.ennezero.it

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

NEW SOUTH WALES DESIGN AWARDS

On the weekend I traveled to Coffs Harbour to attend the Building Designers Association of NSW design awards night at Opal Cove.

Having been a judge over many years for the BDA at both a State and National Level, I am always pleased to be at the awards to congratulate and present awards to the worthy winners. This year was no exception.

When judging, we are not aware of the people behind the entries, so it is always a surprise and a pleasure to discover who the winners are; many of them are well known to me having published their work in past issues of Luxury Home Design or Contemporary Home Design magazines.


Winner: Premier Award for Design Excellence
Winner New Residential Buildings 351-450 sqm
Darren Evans - Solar Solutions Design and Drafting









Members of the BDANSW design literally hundreds of millions of dollars worth of building projects each year. These include commercial, industrial and residential projects, alterations and additions, multi-story and interior design. Many designers specialise in energy efficient building design and sustainable development practices moving towards a more environmentally sustainable future.


Winner: Paul Dass Memorial Award
Commendation: New residential buildings 351-450sqm
Michael O'Sullivan - Vibe Design Group Pty Ltd










Designing and building a new home or commercial development should not be a hit-and-miss affair. Our environment is too important to consider not only how a building will look but also how it will perform and hopefully, enhance the environment. Professional designers are trained to understand the relationship between a structure and it's surroundings and the more that we use the services of professionals in the design and construction of buildings the more we can look forward to a better built environment.





Here I am presenting the Premier Award
for Design Excellence to Darren Evans
from Solar Solutions Design and Drafting.
















Join with me in congratulating the winners and enjoy a selection of images from the night.










For more information on the Building Designers Association of NSW, contact: www.bdansw.com.au















For more information on the Building Designers Association of Australia, contact: www.bdaa.com.au

Sunday, September 13, 2009

On Thursday members of the media and design industry were invited to the launch in Australia of Visionnaire at Style Factory International, Byron Bay. The location was a surprise for such a high-end range of Italian furniture, however, those who attended found the experience enchanting.

We were met at the Gold Coast airport for transfer to our accommodation at the Byron at Byron (another resort not to be missed) and then on to the venue where we were greeted by Maxine Monroe-Deubel and Joachim Deubel.

The property, which is the Visionnaire showroom in Australia, is set on a beautiful site just outside of Byron Bay and is home to Maxine and Joachim. Their home is of course completely fitted out in the Visionnaire brand; from the complete gourmet kitchen to the individual bathrooms, which look more like living rooms than purely functional areas.

Maxine and Joachim decided to bring the Visionnaire range to Australia after a trip to Milan introduced them to the brand, which I remember seeing when I was also at the Milan Fair. Joachim's industry experience and contacts are based in Europe and gained over many years of working closely with high-end producers of interior collections. Maxine's 20 plus years experience in senior management sales and marketing roles with blue chip organisations such as LVMH see her specialising in the area of brand management.

This luxury designer range, which has been leading international trends for the last four years and already produced and sold in over sixty countries, is a pre-eminent and significant entry for Australia as the brand is regarded as a benchmark in the international interior design industry for innovative, stylish and glamorous collections.

Launching Visionnaire in Byron Bay was also owner of IPE Cavalli and Visionnaire, Luigi Cavalli - who flew in for just 24 hours - who said that every Visionnaire showroom is the fashion statement of the company. "Visionnaire is a mix of many materials and various styles but also offers new sensations and responds to a need for a different system of furnishing compared to the past - everything you've seen up to now will seem old and dated."

The range was designed by internationally acclaimed designers Samuele Mazza and Alessandro la Spada. Samuele is also a well known media figure today due to his prolific and highly successful career in fashion. La Spada has provided counselling services as Professor at IDI, Interior Design Institute - Milan and has worked as a project leader at the Domus Academy in Milan.

The style can best be described as neo-Gothic: "It happened one day by accident after having read a novel inspired by far-off worlds" explained Samuele Mazza.

The Visionnaire approach is to offer a total concept solution including state-of-the-art luxury kitchens complete with the latest in European appliances from Miele and Gaggenau, bathrooms and Wellness Rooms as well as living rooms, bedrooms, studies, bed linen, lighting and accessories. Every piece has been carefully selected to complete a picture that is both beautiful and functional.


The range includes a mix of luxury materials, styles and sizes which can be tailored to individual tastes and requirements. It is available to leading architectural and interior design practices as well as developers of luxury hotels, hospitality, residential and retail projects. This total solution approach ensures that the finest details are considered resulting in an environment that will definitely surprise.

Whether your taste is pared-back and minimal or glamorous and exotic, there are pieces that will appeal to all tastes; the question is do you dare?!



LEFT: Here I am with Luigi Cavalli
RIGHT: The gorgeous Maxine Monroe-Deubel

Sunday, September 6, 2009

GLENN MURCUTT BUS TOUR - BLUE MOUNTAINS


Next Saturday 12th September, experience a day in the Blue Mountains looking at three of the most significant houses designed by world reknowned Australian architect Glenn Murcutt recipient of the Pritzker Architecture Prize and many other Australian and International Awards. The tour will be led by Glenn Murcutt who will give a commentary on each of the houses visited.




The tour includes lunch, all day bus travel and commentary.

For more information and bookings visit www.architecture.org.au

SUSTAINABLE HOUSE DAY


Remember Sustainable House Day on Sunday 13th September. This is a national event, which will include 180 + houses around the country. Each house will be open to the public to show how you can build or retrofit a dwelling to be more sustainable.


I will be at the Clarke residence 19 Foxall Street, Elanora Heights on the northern beaches of Sydney.

This is an important event to promote sustainability in building design.

www.sustainablehouseday.com

Saturday, August 29, 2009

SYDNEY CITY WALK







Image Left: Australia Square designed by Harry Seidler


Image Right: Sydney Conservatorium of Music



Today I started my training as a volunteer guide for the Australian Architecture Association. I joined my group at the Customs House building at Circular Quay and despite inclement weather, was really looking forward to the following two hours.

We visited ten buildings, including several by architect, Harry Seidler and I looked at Sydney in a completely different way from the way I have done before; usually not looking up! Many of the buildings I was familiar with (QANTAS, GPO, Australia Square, Conservatorium of Music) but many I had never really "seen" before, which is amazing considering I've lived in Sydney for three decades (not consecutively)!

Uncovering some of Sydney's history was a fascinating look into this city's beginnings and although I'd heard of the "tank stream" wasn't really sure what, or where, it was. Now I know!

I hadn't even been inside the renovated GPO Building - and that work was carried out in the 1990s. How could that be? I just don't go into the city that often to be honest, or if I do it's not for a casual walk around; rather it's to go to a specific destination.

I have now discovered places that I'll be going back to and hopefully, taking friends and visitors to.



Left: the City Mutual Life Building is a beautiful example of Art Deco - my favourite period style.













Right: QANTAS House. Designed by Rudder, Littlemore & Rudder and completed in 1957, this is a classic early example of a curtain wall design that still takes the breath away. Photograph by Michael Miller.



One tour I am looking forward to is the Bar Tour! Discovering some of the City's watering holes will be most enlightening I'm sure and I hear that the tour of Justin Hemmes' Ivy is not to be missed.

During the summer the AAA runs Twilight Tours. On a balmy Sydney evening that would be a fabulous experience followed by dinner or drinks in one of the many fine establishments that make Sydney such a popular destination with both locals and visitors.

I do hope you take the time to enjoy one of these tours and discover a side of Sydney you may never have seen before; you might even join me on one.

For more information: www.architecture.org.au

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

FUN IN THE SUN


On the weekend I was on Hamilton Island enjoying not only viewing the latest addition to the Island's architecure but also many of the festivities including the Yacht Club official opening, the Audi Hamilton Island Yacht Race and the Collette Dinnigan fashion parade.




Among those enjoying the festivities on Hamilton Island were the Queensland Premier, the Hon. Anna Bligh who opened the Yacht Club and Kerrie-Anne Kennelly who was with her husband John celebrating their 25th wedding anniversary. Kerrie looking gorgeous in her colourful full length dress.




Ben -"the best job in the world" Southall was in fine form as were Commodore of the Club, famed yachtsman Iain Murray and Hamilton Island owner, Sandy Oatley.





Collette Dinnigan celebrated the launch of her Resort Collection 2010 "Santorini Sands" with friends and members of the press, while Island Group Public Relations Manager, Jill Collins ensured everything went smoothly; seen here with journalist Ute and Ian Oatley.



And here's me at the Collette Dinnigan fashion show with one of the new Audi A5 Cabriolets that was on the Island for the celebrations.