August 30, 2012

Shaun Gladwell is an artist I have been following since I was shown some paintings he did at art school. These were traditional looking oils of knights in armour – holding their own heads in their hands! So when Sydney art doyenne, Amanda Love threw a party to mark Shaun’s show at the Art Gallery of New South Wales last week, I was there – with bells (and head) on.

Over the years, I have watched Amanda build collections of contemporary art for various clients and friends. Her ability to listen, gently guide, but at the end of the day give clear direction, is phenomenal. Her parties are always just as successfully curated. Her Woollhara home is built for art, and entertaining. For this event, the permanently-installed Tracey Emin neon piece, ‘Love Happens – Like Lightning’ was upstaged, but only just, by a video projection of a new piece by Shaun Gladwell. Love Art, indeed.


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August 28, 2012

This project was all about a brave, trusting, contributing client. The brief – to maximize natural light and ventilation and to optimize the magnificent views – was clear. But, to be frank, we’ve heard that before. What was extraordinary with this particular client was the level of buy-in, across the board; from initial proposition, to mid-way evaluation, to finished deliverables: the client was there with us, all the way. And that made this project such an incredible pleasure – collaboration being a catch-cry at Tobias Partners, though we’ve rarely felt it quite this intrinsically.

To speak technically, a single-storey pavilion is set perpendicular to a two-storey element separating the public and private outdoor spaces and creating an independent backyard. Interior living areas are oriented towards a horizon-edge swimming pool that traces the edge of the site, visually connecting it to the ocean. Dramatic contrast between solid and void and changes in volume and height are explored in …

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August 22, 2012

A project involving a building as visible as this was always going to draw a lot of attention, and of course a lot of opinions! However everyone’s common ground has always been – despite its size, the existing building is far from attractive, deteriorating badly, and iconic for all the wrong reasons. The question is what is a viable and sustainable way to do that? We studied two options. The first, incremental improvements to the building over time, done at the rate at which the body corporate could raise the funds. This would necessarily result in a piecemeal job. The second was a master plan approach, via which we could deal with all issues once, quickly, sustainably, and cohesively. This would require financing through funds raised from owners and funds raised through the sale of some new assets achieved through a modest increase in floor space on site that doesn’t pose a significant impact …

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August 21, 2012

Tongue n Groove is one of those rare local companies that keeps pushing the envelope, over and over again. Ostensibly, these specialists in engineered timber are opening a Melbourne wing of their Sydney-based business. In actuality, they’re marking a moment in showroom aesthetics. Our brief was to devise a multi-dimensional display for their (hard) wares, and we responded with a puzzle-esque floorplan that is intended to not just entice, but intrigue. The planar surfaces have been composed in such a way that each customer will be led through a luxish labyrinth, all dressed in the un-paralleled range of Tongue n Groove’s European Oak boards.

Not surprisingly, the new Tongue n Groove showroom was a huge hit at last weekend’s Saturday InDesign, in Melbourne.

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