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Project Brunswick West

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This home makes a dramatic statement on a low-key street in the inner Melbourne suburb of Brunswick West.

Our clients had lived in an old house on the site for a number of years and found themselves at the point where they needed to either move or demolish and rebuild, as renovating the existing house was not feasible. They wanted a sustainable home that functioned efficiently for their young family – during the design development phase they were adamant that “everything has a place” – while also making an impact on the modest streetscape.

Our objective was to maximise the available envelope by positioning the house close to the front boundary of the site, taking full advantage of the northern aspect and garden space at the rear. The open-plan kitchen, dining and living areas on the ground floor look out across the back garden and a timber deck, sheltered by the cantilevered first floor module, provides generous indoor-outdoor space.

The first floor features the three bedrooms, bathroom and en-suite in a railroad layout, while a study and viewing platform occupies the top of the tower module and offers spectacular views of the city and surrounds.

The ground floor of this visually stunning element also serves as the entry portal and a storage area for toys and equipment. A great deal of time and detail went into designing the tower to add a touch of drama to the otherwise simple layout of the home. Its cantilevered steel-tread spiral staircase forms the spine of the house, integrating the three floors via a bright, ply-lined vertical hallway. The youngest members of the family have put the tower to use as an extra play area, complete with a homemade bucket and pulley system for the efficient distribution of toys across all three levels.

Things we love: HOME public art project

Home house in focus

“Everyone has a story about what home means to them. What’s yours?” That was the question the Art Centre’s ambitious Home public art project posed to the community groups earlier this month. Their responses were represented in the form of 7,000 individually decorated little houses exhibited in the “Big House”, situation on the Art Centre’s main lawn. The public were then invited to take one of the small houses from the exhibition, photograph it in its new destination and share their images on an online portal. The Modscape team became the proud temporary owner of house #185 and fell in love with this project for so many reasons. We love our little house for its bold colour palette, polka-dot large red ‘M’ façade and roof-mounted helicopter and plane – perfect for a clifftop location! We loved seeing all of the distinctive house designs and the process that went into creating them on the Home website. We loved following the journeys of the houses via the hashtag #homemelb – journeys just like our Modscape homes take all around Australia. And we loved reading people’s ideas about what home means to them, a concept we explore with our clients in detail as we help them create their ideal home. There are many ways to describe what home means to Modscape – innovative, sustainable, custom designed – but we couldn’t put it better than one young Home project participant:  “Home is where my family is, where the heart is and where it is warm and safe”.

Project Mirvac Display Suite

Modscape Modular Building at Docklands Victoria

Idyllically situated on the southern banks of the Yarra River in Melbourne’s Docklands, the Wharf’s Entrance residential development project is the final instalment of the comprehensive Yarra’s Edge community by Mirvac, offering luxury waterfront living inspired by international design and culture.

Modscape collaborated with Mirvac’s marketing, design and construction teams to deliver an iconic sales and marketing suite that will facilitate the sale of their residences, and encapsulate the look and feel of the development and the site’s wharfside heritage.

Unlike more traditional sales suite designs, the building demonstrates an ambitious architectural style through an ellipsoid-shaped modular form and a bespoke curtain wall glazing system that symbolises the wharf’s entrance and delivers unobstructed waterfront views.

Consisting of four modular quadrants delivering 210 sqm of space, the interior flows between open-plan zones dedicated to 3D display models, simulated kitchen and bathroom areas, a reception, a multimedia room, and staff amenities.

The building’s interior is finely detailed and well-considered, embracing the lifestyle of waterfront living. Metallic elements including a copper-clad media room and folded plate steel entrance are blended with a grey pallete of leather and stone that gives reference to the residential aesthetic, while the inclusion of recycled wharf timber in the reception desk and external landscape totems pays homage to the wharf and its riverfront surrounds.

Tape Paris by Numen/For Use

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IMAGE VIA NUMEN/FOR USE

When was the last time you looked at a roll of sticky tape and imagined creative potential beyond its humble uses? The guys at Numen/For Use, a euro design collective, obviously saw something in that little roll of stickiness that most of us didn’t, and created Tape Paris — their latest installation that uses sticky tape as its structural basis. It took 12 pairs of hands, a ladder, and ten days to transform the Palais de Tokyo gallery into a biomorphic playground. Some 44km of sticky tape (yes, 44!) was used to create a labyrinth of gossamer-like inhabitable tunnels that precariously hang 6m above the gallery foyer. However, Tape Paris is anything but unstable, with the structure possessing enough tensile strength to support the weight of five humans at any one time. Once inside, visitors can navigate their way through a 50m stretch of tortuous passageways — lined with elastic film and flexing to interior movements while retaining its shape —as bemused onlookers play witness to the activity from below. According to the creators, Tape Paris delves into the murky territory of both physical and psychological interiority, thematising immersion, introspection and probing of the depths of self. It fuses architecture and sculpture into a corporeal concept that creates new meaning for dead overhead space. Curious folk might like to know that this is not the first time Numen/For Use has displayed its artistic tape flair. The team also produced a tape installation not that dissimilar in Federation Square in Melbourne a few years ago entitled, you guessed it, Tape Melbourne.

Things we love: The Design Files Open House

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As far as holy grails are concerned, The Design Files is to design junkies as Koko Black is to chocoholics. Named by The Times (UK) as one of the world’s Top 50 design blogs in 2009, TDF is dedicated to uncovering the freshest and most creative talent our country has to offer. Those who are familiar with TDF will probably be avid followers of its daily news and feature stories on all forms of Australian design. But for those who aren’t, The Design Files Open House is the perfect way to get a taste before design devotion unwittingly creeps up on you. This year’s Open House takes the event up a notch from previous years by being custom designed and built inside a 400 square metre Collingwood warehouse. It represents the ultimate Australian home, with the added bonus that everything is for sale and can be purchased on the spot. Over 70 Australian designers, artists and makers will be showcasing their wares — from furniture, homewares and lighting, to artwork, books and accessories. Whether you’re a designer, a curious wanderer, or a TDF fan, you’ll find something at The Design Files Open House to satisfy your creative streak. For event details including dates and location check out The Design Files Open House website.

Mark Magazine

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When visual imagination, intelligence and a hunger for all things architecture come together, it creates something of a design declaration, and Mark magazine is exactly that.

Established in 2005 as a spin-off to FRAME — an interior design magazine produced by the same Amsterdam-based publisher — Mark is a stark yet unapologetically contemporary architecture magazine by architects, featuring architects, for architects.

A regular fixture on the desks of the Modscape design team, each bi-monthly edition features over 200 pages of portraits, interviews, case studies and travel stories on the most unconventional, innovative and emerging architectural talent from around the world.

But it’s not just the overseas ‘starchitects’ that get all the hype, with many issues also featuring a bit of Australian home grown talent.

It’s been five years since the Black Saturday bushfires caused devastation in Victoria, and the upcoming #52 October/November 2014 issue of Mark looks back at what has been achieved by the Bushfires Home Service — an initiative for coordinating the efforts of volunteer architects who have offered help.

You don’t have to be an architect to appreciate the stunning photography and critically sophisticated articles that Mark has to offer. It’s an accessible magazine with a broad appeal that proves satisfying reading to anyone with an interest in architecture.

Project Mitcham Private Hospital

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THE MITCHAM PRIVATE HOSPITAL EXPANSION PROJECT IN MITCHAM, VICTORIA INCLUDED THE ADDITION OF A MATERNITY AND MENTAL HEALTH FACILITY WHICH COMPLEMENTS THE EXISTING HOSPITAL FACILITIES WHICH ARE OPERATED BY RAMSAY HEALTH CARE LIMITED.

Modscape worked closely with Ramsay Health, ISIS (head contractor) and Team 2 Architects to deliver a state-of-the-art modular facility that increases the number of ward rooms and associated facilities within the unit. Comprising 14 modules and 746 sqm of space, the facility was installed above a car park in order to maximise the footprint of the site and forms part of a larger expansion plan that includes theatre rooms, a patient gymnasium and dining facilities.

Given the holistic and rehabilitative service the hospital provides, the design needed to create a nurturing environment that departs from the institutional archetype of many hospitals. A skylit central corridor filters daylight throughout the main passageway of the ward and into its surrounding areas which includes 21 private patient rooms, patient lounge, nurse’s station, office and staff amenities.

Each ward room is designed for single occupancy and features an open-plan layout equipped with an ensuite, modern furnishings and a concealed air-conditioning system that enables room temperatures to be individually adjusted to patient comfort.

As the building runs adjacent to a neighbouring house, triangular bay windows were incorporated along the eastern wall to prevent overlooking and at the same time give the facility a protruding, angular shape.

In keeping with the standards of modern health care design, the building features low maintenance yet high quality materials including an Architrim composite timber cladding system from Germany, double glazed windows, LED lighting, carpet tiles and custom designed bedheads.

Things we love: Hendo hoverboard

1989, BACK TO THE FUTURE PART II

Because who needs wheels anyway? It might not resemble the Mattel-pink inspired hoverboard of the 1989 classic Back to the Future Part II, but fans can nonetheless rejoice at technology start-up Hendo’s recently unveiled Kickstarter campaign to build the world’s first real hoverboard.

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Hendo hoverboard

Created by owners Jill and Greg Henderson — a Californian couple with backgrounds in architecture, design and engineering — the hoverboard is currently in its eighteenth prototype phase despite its public launch, and will continue to be developed until it is just right. According to Hendo, the magic behind the hoverboard lies in its four disc-shaped hover engines. These create a special magnetic field that literally pushes against itself, generating the lift which levitates the board off the ground. A significant drawback of this electromagnetic technology is that it can only operate over a non-ferrous surface like a copper sheet, so hard core skate fans can’t exactly shred a half pipe with one of these. Nevertheless, we love this concept for its ingenuity and clever use of technology, as do the 2,266 backers it has attracted to date on Kickstarter. For more information or to find out how you can get some hover technology into your hands, visit the Hendo hoverboard Kickstarter website.

 

RAW:almond pop-up restaurant by OS31

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image via dezeen

As those of us in the southern hemisphere prepare for balmy outdoor dinners and summer degustation, we must spare a thought for guests of the RAW:almond pop-up restaurant in Winnipeg, Canada who will be having their food served on ice — literally. While RAW:almond is not new, having been around for the last two winters, this year’s incarnation — designed by UK architects OS31 — is the first ever outdoor dining restaurant on a frozen body of water. The design features a lightweight yet durable prefabricated steel structure that is shaped in the form of a cross to symbolise the crossing of the Assiniboine and Red rivers on which it sits. Inside the exterior frame, a milk-coloured membrane creates an internal skin that references the shade of its surroundings, yet creates a dining experience that is separate to the exterior. The restaurant offers multi-course meals from local and world-renowned chefs and has sold out both years — seeing thousands brave the cold for a chance to experience a five-course meal in a place that rarely reaches temperatures above –25C. But despite the chill, the food is guaranteed to arrive warm when it hits the tables for the 60+ diners per sitting that the restaurant will play host to between January and March next year.

Getting better with age

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MERRICKS BEACH

Part of our design philosophy is designing contemporary spaces that not only look beautiful and are functional, but also possess a long architectural lifespan and continue to adapt and grow with their surrounding contexts. This month, we revisit two Modscape favourites which were installed many years ago — the Merricks Beach and Point Leo holiday houses — as an exercise in demonstrating how the implementation of passive design principles, the utilisation of modular construction, and the practice of quality material selection improves the longevity of our buildings over time, with little maintenance required. If you are interested in a comparative study, the original images of the Merricks Beach and Point Leo houses can be viewed on their respective project pages on our website.

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MERRICKS BEACH

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MERRICKS BEACH

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MERRICKS BEACH

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POINT LEO

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POINT LEO

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POINT LEO

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POINT LEO

 

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