12 September 2014
09 September 2014
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.
29 August 2014
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.
28 August 2014
Imagine watching the Northern Lights through the roof of a floating glass snowflake. It’s not as fantastical as you might think, with Dutch firm Waterstudio recently unveiling plans to install a floating snowflake-shaped hotel off the coast of Tromsø, Norway. The design for the Krystall Hotel visualises a simple glass building that will allow guests to receive unobstructed views of the Northern Lights from their room. According to the project’s architects, the structure’s large basis and unique shape provide adequate stability but additional technology with ‘dampers, springs and cables is used to take away any acceleration.’ What is equally impressive is that the entire building will be prefabricated in sections before being assembled on location, thereby reducing the environmental impact in what the firm calls a ‘scarless development’. Consisting of 86 rooms, the Krystall will offer the same look and feel as a luxury hotel on land, complete with a wellness centre, spa and conference rooms. While the final location won’t be revealed until a full environmental impact assessment has been completed, the developers have confirmed that the hotel will be open before the end of 2016.
28 August 2014
There are two things we love about skincare heavyweight Aesop: their trademark pharmaceutical-style products and their propensity for incredible store design. Both have enabled the Melbourne-born company to carve out a covetable brand career, but it’s their ‘no two stores are the same’ design philosophy – consistently expressed in their meticulously detailed interior schemes – that has created a somewhat cult following among design aficionados and appreciators alike. Rather than work within the confines of a standard store model, each Aesop store is a direct response to the local streetscapes and vocabulary as a way of contextualising the brand. Given that the company now operates over 70 stores world-wide, it is amazing to think of the many ways in which the brand is articulated. Behind the variations in textures, colour palettes and facades exists customer accessibility and understated minimalism, two signature elements that are realised in every store, regardless of the architect or location. From one designer to another, these are things we can certainly appreciate. As a testament to the whimsical and inspiring spaces Aesop designs, international design magazine Dezeen has developed an archive of Aesop stores for design fans. However, if you’re after a real life Aesop fix, then we recommend popping into one of their local stores and experiencing it for yourself.
31 July 2014
It seems that everywhere we look online these days there is a design or architecture website dedicating their virtual print space to a Snohetta project, and rightly so. It has nothing to do with hype and everything to do with Snohetta’s ability to design unbelieveable spaces that reflect a strong relationship between architecture and landscape. You can understand our surprise when we discovered that the soon-to-be-completed Powerhouse Brattørkaia had received relatively little press until now. Spearheaded by the Powerhouse Alliance and designed by Snohetta, Powerhouse Brattørkaia is the first office building in Norway that produces more energy than it uses, making it the world’s northern-most energy-positive building. Solar energy harvesting is the major design driver for this project which includes a variety of solar, hydro and heat technology to produce energy for the building and heating and cooling systems. The building rises from the fjord towards the north creating a unique south-facing sloping roof – an optimal condition for solar energy production. Passive design principles, including optimisation of solar cells and window locations in the façade, minimise overall energy consumption and maximise use of solar energy. Construction isn’t expected to be completed until 2015, so for now you might want to check out some of Snohetta’s other designs to tide you over including the Opera Hotel we featured in March.
31 July 2014
Arguably, the city of Melbourne is the ultimate purveyor of style – from design, and architecture to food, fashion and art. It’s no secret that we love our city for its pop-up design markets, festivals and trade events, and Melbourne Indesign further strengthens this. Melbourne Indesign forms part of the larger Indesign: The Event umbrella – a concept distinguished by the coming together of international and regional commercial design houses and leading creative figures from the architecture and design industry. Regarded as the most anticipated design event on the calendar, the event unites the design precincts of Collingwood, Fitzroy, Melbourne CBD and Richmond through a host of design workshops, seminars, showrooms, installations and pop-up spaces across the four locations. What’s better (apart from the fact that it’s free) are the Indesign shuttle buses running regularly each day, connecting the four precincts like a boutique design trail. The prospect of being driven across the city to rub shoulders with some amazing international and local design talent sounds perfectly Melbourne to us. To register for your access-all-areas pass or for more information, check out the Melbourne Indesign website.
09 July 2014
Only a few months ago we completed the first stage of a new modular classroom wing for Australian Catholic University. Now, thanks to the speed and efficiency of modular design and construction, we are excited to announce the completion of the second stage – a super-imposed, second storey modular addition featuring general learning areas and teacher facilities. Consisting of 23 modules and 1315 sqm of space, the new addition was constructed in less than 12 weeks and installed in 10 hours.
26 June 2014
As much as we love designing beautiful homes and modular spaces, it’s nice to take our design hats off from time to time and appreciate the fruits of someone else’s design labour. Luckily, Melbourne is full of design and architectural delights, and on the 26th and 27th of July over 100 buildings will open their doors during Open House Melbourne weekend. Seasoned Open House veterans and new visitors alike will have a free and rare opportunity to admire and discover some of Melbourne’s most significant buildings including the Channel 9 Studios, Circus Oz Headquarters, RMIT Design Hub, St Patrick’s Cathedral, Parliament House, Melbourne City Baths, and many not-so-famous houses and unique spaces. While the event certainly invites curiosity, it is surprisingly cultured and layered with educational opportunities for people to learn about city-based industries, Melbourne’s history and future, and the built environment. During the month of July, Open House will be celebrating architecture, design and the city by offering film screenings, talks, art installations and events in addition to the weekend tours. If you happen to be in Melbourne, have a love of design and architecture, or a combination of both, then this is something you definitely won’t want to miss. For more information including a complete building listing visit the Open House Melbourne website.
26 June 2014
June marks the beginning of the winter season, so we thought we’d heat things up a bit by featuring the One Man Sauna project by German architecture collective Modulorbeat. Situated on the site of an abandoned factory in Bochum, Germany, the sauna was created for an annual arts festival, but also forms part of a larger project called Borderlands which examines the use of spaces on the outskirts of Bochum. The firm developed the idea of a vertical shaft as an inverted representation of what is hidden below ground throughout the Bochum region. A tower of stacked concrete components — usually used for mine shafts — makes up the sauna’s structure, and pays homage to the many coal and steel mines that once occupied the region. The tower is arranged into three distinct zones or floors that can be accessed by internal and external ladders. The ground level consists of a plunge pool made from a standard waterproofed concrete shaft section, while the central level houses the electrically-heated sauna contained in a wooden shell with a transparent plastic roof. The upper level features a relaxation area that is complemented by a translucent roof which can be opened to provide views of the sky. At the end of the festival the One Man Sauna will be dismantled and moved to a new location, but you can marvel at its uniqueness any time you please by checking out the Modulorbeat website.