HIGHLINE, NYC

September 29, 2011

It’s amazing how much urban space is neglected, even wasted, in our post-industrial cities. Back lanes, roof tops, even the upper floors of all those 1930s pubs spread around town! It’s all grist to the smart architect’s mill: and one of the best, recent examples has to be New York’s Highline project. The focus of an intense local lobby-group, spearheaded by urbane figures like Nadine Johnston and Stella Schnabel, the result is an immaculate revitalization of Tenth Avenue (previously aka Death Avenue.) Last Weeks’ Sydney Sussex lane party was a hoot – so let’s think laterally, horizontally, vertically and big in terms of using our urban spaces! And what if we relooked the monorail?

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WATCH THIS SPACE – RACHEL GILBERT STORE

A bijoux of a shop for a jewel of a designer. We’re orchestrating a showcase for her true-chic creations. Opening party oblige.

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ART FRIDAY – 23/09/11

September 23, 2011

A few months ago, our Managing Associate Director, Jason Gibney, inspired by his friend Justin Nagorcka, came up with the idea of Tobias Partners curating a monthly Art Friday event. (Yes, we know there are four fridays a month, but this way, at least one of them would be truly high on our cultural agendas.) The idea was for two or three of us to create a piece from objets trouvé within the studio space.

This Art Friday, we were excited to see…

Matthew Krusin’s Red Tape creation, upstairs in the maquette bureau, just before the kitchen..

Marielle Tiggeler’s Cloth & Paper assemblage took pride of place in the conference room…

And Jason’s own Post-it note Space Invader greeted clients as they walked into reception. Next step, Venice!

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A BOYD IN THE HAND

September 14, 2011

While I was in Canberra last week, doing a presentation to the Australian Institute of Architects, I managed to wangle some free time to stroll around one of the world’s most thought-out towns.

Now, of course, Walter Burley Griffin’s master plan is impressive in its Brasilia-like seamlessness, but the building that touched me the most, viscerally, was Robin Boyd‘s Churchill House, completed the year of his death, in 1971. An articulate expression of the Brutalist period, despite it’s external monumentality, when moving around inside the building I felt an incredible sense of airiness, and calm. The quality of light created internally by the pre-cast concrete external elements is soft, and so comfortable. Although a commercial building, Boyd used a very human, and nearly domestic scale in all the spaces – again contributing to the overall comfort of the place. When can we move in?

 

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MONDAY MORNING THOUGHT

September 12, 2011

“Culture is not a luxury! It is the basis for the development of the society.”

– Alexander Sokurov, accepting the Lion d’Or at the Venice Film Festival, for his adaptation of Faust.

 

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PARIS, MON AMOUR

September 9, 2011

Hermès. What’s not to like? Established in 1837 and still going strong, actually stronger! As for oozing class, style and authenticity – it’s the favourite, hands down. But at the same time, they can have fun, be edgy, urbane and cool and in doing so, connect with a broader, more current, hipper market. Like at last night’s event, orchestrated by the indomptable Karin Upton-Baker. What a brand!

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HATS OFF TO ‘TOP DESIGN’ WINNER, ROBERT DAVIDOV

So, it’s over. Channel 9’s Top Design has come to an end and a victor has emerged. Robert may have grappled with the first few episodes, and to be sure, his personality grated some nerves. But at the end of the day, he’s intelligent, sensitive, well-travelled and open-minded… qualities essential to rise to the challenges at hand. He can think at a highly conceptual level, but also has strong executional skills and an acute attention to detail. He viscerally had adaptation issues at the very beginning, but then I saw him, almost literally, redress himself, straighten his jacket, and say: This is a competition. I’m a professional. I’m here to win. A top architect/designer is born. All hail!

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SPEAKING NOW – NGA, CANBERRA

September 7, 2011

Walking into the National Gallery in Canberra, for the Australian Institute of Architects presentation. Stay tuned…

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