November 30, 2012

As the summer break looms nigh, I’ve been spending quite some time checking out what those poor Europeans in the northern winter have got planned for the next months. I’m certainly not shedding a tear for the fine folk of London (and its visitors) – the Royal Institute of British Architects has a ZAP! POW! BAM! programme of exhibitions and lectures lined up to welcome the architecture and design cognoscenti in from the cold. First, there’s their annual exhibition titled, simply enough, Emerging Architecture. Now in its 14th year, the show highlights stellar work from architects and designers under 45 and receives more than 500 entries from around the world and the immense diversity of award-winning projects covers buildings, interiors, product design, engineering structures, urbanism and landscape design. Then there’s the Chromazone exhibition, in partnership with the Victoria and Albert Museum which explores the use of colour in contemporary architecture. This one is clearly intended …

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November 28, 2012

The new issue of Houses magazine has just arrived at Tobias Partners Studio, featuring our recently completed Double Bay terrace house conversion on its cover and in its features section. Thanks to Houses for a wonderful spread, and to writer Lucy Moloney for an astute interpretation of this keynote project. Ms Molonely observes, “Despite its narrow proportions, the home achieves a highly successful blend of open space, comfort and practicality. Above all, circulation, connection and views all become key elements in the design as light is effectively suffused from one level to another.”

We couldn’t have said it better ourselves!

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November 21, 2012

Me, I’ve done my list, checked it twice. Have I been naughty or nice? Over to you…


1. Sound Decision

With two speakers in each can, and lush colours worthy of a Stateside sedan, these Beats Solo HD headphones get the stamp of approval from none other than Dr Dre. Yo ho, ho!


2. Slim Pickings

The fourth volume in Slim Aarons’ tireless recording of the good life in Europe and North America in the 1950s and 60s, is a visual homage to timeless chic. Marcello Mastroianni, Ursula Andress, Tyrone Power all play bit parts in the Aarons own Divine Comedy. Lush.


3. Neo Geo

For the inner armchair tourist in each of us. Award-winning photography, never-before-seen vistas, all the magic of our planet Earth. Since 1888 this impeccable periodical has been “inspiring people who care about the planet”. And who doesn’t do that?


4. Beach Blanket Babylon

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November 19, 2012

Alain de Botton’s been very much on my mind of late. I first got to know the Swiss philosopher’s work by reading his seminal The Architecture of Happiness (1966) and since he set up the School of Life Institute in London and inaugurated the series of books of the same name, I’ve been a total devotee. I mean, who doesn’t need a bit more education in the life department?

De Botton’s goal is to “get ideas to impact on the way we actually live”, so instead of dealing in abstract concepts, he and his colleagues at the School of Life tackle the hard stuff that really concerns most of us: careers, relationships, politics, travel, families… His writing is clear and sympathetic without stumbling into the dead zone of low-brow.

I’ve finished How to Think More about Sex, How to Stay Sane and How to Thrive in a Digital Age, and each provided a clear and sympathetic insight into what, unarmed, can appear quite daunting conundrums. De …

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November 7, 2012

Edmund Spencer, one of our architects and the guy in charge of interiors here at Tobias Partners, has been working really intensely on an office project for Partridge, one of the country’s most innovative structural engineering firms. When Ed comes back from Partridge he is always stoked by the collaboration. You see, Partridge aren’t your everyday structural engineers, they have also done unique work on film sets like Mad Max and Wolverine, installations for Sculpture by the Sea and a truckload of other inspiring projects. Actually, Ed, this is your post. Take it away…

“Thanks Nick. Okay, so the office we completed for Partridge was very much part of their branding strategy; it was about creating a dynamic, collaborative studio workspace. Actually we took a lot of cues from our own office here in Paddington and adapted them to a suit a multi-storey office space. One of the great moments during the project was …

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November 6, 2012

We want to talk about concrete. “Oh,” I hear you cry, “that’s about as exciting as watching paint dry.” But, gentle reader, we beg to differ. As does Pina Petricone, the editor of the very excellent Concrete Ideas, recently published by Thames & Hudson. Petricone is determined to place concrete back on the architectural pedestal Le Corbusier had elevated it to, but from which it had so clunkily dropped from the 1970s onwards when less visionary architects and less skilled technicians drove its value through the floor. This collection of essays – including the fascinating ‘Current Concrete Nano-technologies’ by genius theorist and practitioner Jürgen Mayer H really struck a chord here at Tobias Partners as we tackle what, we think, will be one of our benchmark projects, in North Bondi.

Difficulty of access to the Ramsgate Avenue site, as well as the fact that it is in a Salt Zone 1 environment, bolstered our decision to …

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November 2, 2012

Wow! I was flicking through this month’s issue of The Australian newspaper’s monthly colour supplement, WISH magazine and was surprised and delighted to find a four-page story on Tobias Partners. Of course, I knew Wish magazine’s super chic editor-in-chief David Meagher had commissioned culture critic Luke Slattery to write a piece on me and the practice for this month’s Design issue of WISH, but I wasn’t expecting such a strong presence in the mag. Other architects featured in the issue include Jean Nouvel, Frank Gehry and RIchard Rogers, so I’m thrilled to be in such esteemed company. Also, there’s a terrific story on Dior Homme designer, Kris Van Assche. What more could I wish for?

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