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Mark Magazine


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

Modscape_Mitcham Private_24Oct20141943


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


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.


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


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



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.
















Building a new Lego experience



Fans of toy brand Lego will be pleased to know that construction of the proposed LEGO House – an experience centre that will show the past, present and future of the LEGO idea — has recently broken ground in Billund, Denmark. Six foundation blocks embodying the toy brand’s values were laid to commemorate construction last month, which is due for completion in 2016. Designed by Danish architecture firm Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG), the centre is a true visualization of the systematic creativity that is at the core of LEGO and is expected to attract over 250,000 devotees annually. Composed as an arrangement of stacked rectangular volumes reminiscent of the famous plastic bricks, the LEGO House will feature exhibition areas, a café, a public square and a unique LEGO store — offering future visitors hours of active fun while at the same time engaging in an educational and inspirational experience. With an interior floor plan of 12,000 square metres, the house features a giant LEGO-shaped apex at the top of the building which, according to BIG founder Bjarke Ingels, will be seen from Google Earth when lit. For an animation of the LEGO house and how it all comes together check out BIG’s Vimeo channel.

Things we love: Roomscan


Image via Apple

If you’ve ever had the need to measure a room or draw an entire floor plan, you’ll know that the good old-fashioned way is a tedious task that involves using a tape measure to calculate the total area. For those of you with an iPhone, you might want to ditch the the tape measure all together and try Roomscan. While not a new app, Roomscan has been gaining some serious online traction lately for it’s simple albeit impressive ability to draw floorplans in minutes. What’s great about it is that the app draws the floorplan itself – all you need to do is tap your device to the walls and let it do the rest. The iPhone’s internal sensors recognises a sequence of flat vertical surfaces, measuring the distance in between. Claiming that measurements are accurate within 10cm, this app will deliver a basic floorplan which you can fine-tune before adding it to your design plans. You can also export the drawing as either a PDF or DXF for AutoCAD or SketchUp. We’ve tried it and, while it won’t be replacing our AutoCAD software, we think it’s a quick and handy alternative to the tape measure. Roomscan is available in a free standard version or a Pro version for a small app fee.

Cliff House by Modscape Concept

© Modscape

A five storey modular home clings to the side of a cliff in this conceptual design by Modscape. Entitled the Cliff House, the design is a theoretical response to clients who have approached Modscape to explore design options for extreme parcels of coastal land in Australia. Inspired by the way barnacles cling to the hull of a ship, a concept was developed for a modular home to hang off the side of a cliff as opposed to sitting on top of it. The home is visualised as a natural extension of the cliff face rather than an addition to the landscape, creating an absolute connection with the ocean. As the design itself would make conventional construction prohibitive, the concept utilises Modscape’s modular design and prefabrication technologies to deliver a series of stacked modules that are anchored into the cliff face using engineered steel pins. Entry to the home is through a carport on the top floor, where a lift vertically connects the user through each of the descending living spaces. Internally, the living spaces feature minimalistic furnishings to ensure that the transcendent views of the ocean and the unique spatial experience of the location remain the integral focal point of the design.


© Modscape


© Modscape

© Modscape






Project Wantirna


The Wantirna Education Precinct is a collaborative partnership between Eastern Health and Deakin and Monash universities that aims to create a supportive and inspirational learning environment for medical, nursing and allied health professionals in Melbourne’s east.

Modscape worked closely with Eastern Health to deliver a new education facility that provides expanded teaching and training spaces to meet the growing requirements of Wantirna Health’s current operations.

With a combined module space of 418 sqm, the design comprises a 7-module building that connects to the hospital via a central corridor.

As the precinct is sited at the front entry of the hospital and connects internally with the existing training facilities, the façade of the new modular building utilises a series of Alucobond boxes to create a heavily articulated, three-dimensional reinterpretation of the existing precast façade, which has been used as one wall of the corridor to visually consolidate the hospital and the precinct.

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