Of the trade

Belle - - Cloth -

WHAT HAS IN­FORMED AND IN­SPIRED YOUR DE­SIGN AES­THETIC? It’s al­ways chang­ing and adapt­ing. I’m a big be­liever in be­ing in­spired and look­ing at things dif­fer­ently, and we like to change our aes­thetic from project to project. Ob­vi­ously our clients are the most im­por­tant as­pect, but the abil­ity to cre­ate some­thing new is al­ways ex­cit­ing. IS THERE A COM­MON EL­E­MENT THAT RUNS THROUGH YOUR WORK? Yes – we seek pur­pose and rea­son to all as­pects of de­sign. Some de­sign can be friv­o­lous, but there is al­ways a rea­son for it. WHAT INI­TIALLY AP­PEALED TO YOU ABOUT THE SITE OF YOUR STU­DIO AND WHAT DID THE AL­TER­ATIONS EN­TAIL? What ap­pealed was the abun­dance of nat­u­ral day­light, the abil­ity to open all the win­dows and the fact that the space did not look like a cor­po­rate of ce. When we moved in we had half the oor with a de­cent-sized li­brary, which we use a lot. That was ve years ago. Early this year, we de­cided to ex­pand to take the whole oor, which is 358 square me­tres. This en­abled us to com­pletely re­design the space to in­clude a new board­room, a sep­a­rate meet­ing room, a new li­brary zone, new fur­ni­ture, kitchen and bath­room. We wanted a space that the staff felt com­fort­able in and en­abled our clients to come into the full stu­dio, whether for a meet­ing in the li­brary or cof­fee in the kitchen. WHAT WERE THE RE­QUIRE­MENTS FOR YOUR STU­DIO AND HOW ARE TH­ESE RE­FLECTED IN YOUR DE­SIGN? Our re­quire­ments were for good light, ease of com­mu­ni­ca­tion, great lay­out, so­cial in­ter­ac­tion, as well as a re­laxed work en­vi­ron­ment. Mind you, dead­lines of­ten coun­ter­act that. The de­sign of the stu­dio con­sists of qual­ity ma­te­ri­als, nishes and fur­ni­ture. As we work in the res­i­den­tial sec­tor, this was para­mount. The open plan en­cour­ages team com­mu­ni­ca­tion, a key ob­jec­tive within our stu­dio.

WERE THERE AS­PECTS OF YOUR RES­I­DEN­TIAL DE­SIGN PRAC­TICE THAT YOU AP­PLIED TO YOUR OFFICE SPACE? We have used a lot of nishes that we would con­sider for a res­i­den­tial project. At the en­try is pol­ished con­crete with ex­posed ag­gre­gate oors, with tim­ber lin­ing boards on all cor­ri­dors and meet­ing room walls. Our board ta­ble is a cus­tom ta­ble in stone, and the car­pet is a hardy wo­ven one from RC+D. Our of ce is so­phis­ti­cated, yet pared back. We have a lot of pin­board space for projects and con­cepts in progress. We have a few ‘green thumbs’ so we have an abun­dance of plant life too. HOW WOULD YOU DE­SCRIBE THE COM­PLETED IN­TE­RIOR? It’s a true work­ing stu­dio that is light, airy and re­fresh­ing. WHAT ARE SOME FAVOURITE DE­SIGN EL­E­MENTS? My per­sonal pin­board. As an avid art lover, I have cov­ered the wall with my favourites. WHAT IS THE PHI­LOS­O­PHY BE­HIND YOUR WORK AND HOW IS THIS RE­FLECTED IN THE DE­SIGN OF YOUR SPACE? We de­sign in­di­vid­u­ally for each client and each project. We like to cre­atively chal­lenge each project by de­liv­er­ing some­thing dif­fer­ent. It’s also im­por­tant our de­sign re­sponds with rea­son. Our stu­dio is de­signed to feel good, be func­tional and help de­liver in­spi­ra­tion ev­ery day. IS THERE A PAR­TIC­U­LAR DE­SIGN ERA OR STYLE THAT RES­ONATES WITH YOU? So many – from Euro­pean mod­ernism and art deco, to mod­ern Aus­tralian de­sign. I love mid-cen­tury mod­ern; af­ter a trip to Palm Springs I be­came com­pletely ad­dicted to the ar­chi­tec­ture. WHICH AR­CHI­TECTS OR IN­TE­RIOR DE­SIGN­ERS DO YOU AD­MIRE? Mex­i­can ar­chi­tect Ri­cardo Le­gor­reta for his bold, pow­er­ful and some­times colour­ful build­ings; Richard Neu­tra – par­tic­u­larly the Kauf­mann and Lovell houses. Pa­tri­cia Urquiola is my all-time favourite; her work with Moroso is in­spi­ra­tional. WHAT PROJECTS ARE YOU WORK­ING ON? We have bou­tique de­vel­op­ments in Syd­ney, Mel­bourne and Perth, we are re­fur­bish­ing a pent­house apart­ment in a Harry Sei­dler build­ing in Dar­linghurst, and we have our rst project in Hong Kong – a pent­house apart­ment. Also bou­tique cor­po­rate work, ho­tel re­fur­bish­ments, and some cus­tom-de­signed fur­ni­ture. mimde­

This page, clock­wise from left Cus­tom ‘Stamp’ mar­ble-topped ta­ble from Grazia&co, with Style­craft ‘Cat­ifa’ chairs. Cus­tom ‘Pole Light’ pen­dant by Mim De­sign. Sculp­tures by Michael Anas­tas­si­ades and Anna Varen­dor‘ from Hub. Con­crete sculp­ture by David Umem

This page, from top A David Umem­oto sculp­ture stands out amid the well-or­dered shelves. Plant life is an im­por­tant part of the stu­dio t-out. Cassina ‘LC7’ chair from Space.

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