December 18, 2013

This just landed on my desk – and instantly my holiday reading is sorted! Almost 450 pages of interviews with some of the world’s stellar architects and other related creatives: Rem Koolhaas, Jacques Herzog, Hedi Slimane, Zaha Hadid, Simon Fuljiwara, Ettore Sottsass, Shigeru Ban… Fifty-six international identities in all. Pin-Up magazine is a biannual compendium tagging itself ‘Architectural Entertainment for Adults’ – and since its launch in New York in 2006 it’s never failed to deliver on its promise of irreverent, insider insight into the worlds of architecture and design. Helmed by wunderkind Felix Burrichter (with a Masters in Architecture from Columbia, Felix cut his editorial teeth at the likes of Numéro and Fantastic Man magazines), the contributor list is also peppered with luminaries from the cultural sector. (I note my friend Stephen Todd has scribed a rather juicy looking profile on the Paris home of Rik Owens and Michelle Lamy…) All this, and not one …

read more


December 11, 2013

The annual Tobias Partners staff Christmas lunch is always a fun filled, casual-chic affair – and a great opportunity to sit back, relax and simply chat as a team. And what is more quintessentially a Sydney Noël, than a long leisurely lunch on a classic wooden craft? Nothing really – except perhaps catering by Guillaume Brahini, the former chef of the Opera House restaurant that traded under his first name. (Guillaume will open his new restaurant, in Paddington in April next year.)It was Guillaume and is partners who lent us their extremely elegant 1960s Rybovich fishing trawler – and kept the festive fare circulating; so a big Thank You to Guillaume! Boarding at Rose Bay jetties, we ambled up the Paramatta River then out towards the Heads, passing (purely by coincidence, promise!) cruised past Tobias Partners houses at Double Bay, Rose Bay, Vaucluse… and of course, the landmark Altona property, where we shall break ground early next …

read more


December 5, 2013

To be commissioned to refurbish and extend the Woolhara Chevra Kadisha is an extraordinary honour. In the Jewish tradition, what could be loosely translated as the ‘funeral home’ is a key site and symbol of the faith, the place where the human body gives up the ghost and the spirit ascends to its rightful place. Architecturally speaking, the red brick monolith sitting opposite Centennial Park is impressive, if somewhat time-worn. We will extend the lofty, Classical chapel through it tri-archway into a pared down volume that will echo the original in a tone of monastic simplicity. Here, the Shomer will sit Shiva in a space for reflection on eternal truths. The administrative functions will be rehoused in new digs, and the basement preparation chambers will be given a streamlined allure. As for that imposing exterior, we will in all humility add a cube brick volume along the Oxford Street axis, a loose knitting of …

read more