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    Luchetti Krelle fashions playful interiors for RAFI restaurant in Sydney

    Vivid abstract paintings meet patterned floors and oversized lighting fixtures inside this restaurant in Sydney designed by local studio Luchetti Krelle.

    Celebrating the produce available on Sydney’s coastline, RAFI serves a seasonal array of seafood small plates. The restaurant’s name is an acronym for Raffaella, Aurora, Frankie and Indio – the children of owners Ben Carroll and Hamish Watts.
    Large paper lanterns dominate the interior of Sydney’s RAFI restaurantThe duo already run a number of successful dining venues across the city, all of which were designed by Luchetti Krelle.
    When called to devise the interiors for RAFI, the studio set out to create a scheme that would “ignite a child-like awe and wonder” in keeping with the restaurant’s name.
    Neon-orange cargo straps help to secure wine bottles in placeThis theme is picked up in a number of playful decor elements throughout the restaurant including a trio of huge paper lanterns and mosaic flooring.

    To one side of the dining area is an open kitchen, where a chunky red mantelpiece was built around the ovens.
    Chequered tiles give the interior a playful feelA drinks bar lies on the other side of the space, nestled beside a tall wine rack that uses neon-orange cargo straps to hold bottles in place.
    RAFI’s plan opens up to a couple of larger dining spaces – one covered in chequered tiles and another dressed with blue banquettes, colourful abstract paintings and woven-back chairs.

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    The latter features wooden parquetry flooring arranged in concentric squares. This pattern is replicated on a set of cork doors at the rear of the space, which can be slid back to reveal an intimate private dining room.
    This area is centred by a hexagonal wooden table and a branch-like chandelier with light-up “leaves”.
    Abstract art and a branch-like chandelier feature in the private dining roomBlack box-frame windows that previously appeared throughout the restaurant were swapped for slender galvanised-steel casings, which offer better views out to the terrace.
    Here, the studio has introduced outdoor seating and “Aperol-toned” sun umbrellas, as well as a greenhouse-style dining room called The Arbor.
    Loosely inspired by childhood camping trips, this space features fold-out chairs and a canopy formed of white camouflage netting.
    More dining space is offered in a greenhouse-style structureLuchetti Krelle was established in 2008 by Rachel Luchetti and Stuart Krelle, with headquarters in Sydney’s Surry Hills neighbourhood.
    The studio recently completed another eatery in the city called Jane, which occupies a former butcher shop. Its eclectic interior draws on everything from seventies decor to french bistros and indigenous flowers.
    The photography is by Steve Woodburn.

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    Alexander & Co carves out spaces for calm and play inside Pacific House

    Australian architecture practice Alexander & Co has overhauled this oceanside home in Sydney to make it more suitable for family life.

    Before its renovation, the five-bedroom house had a disjointed floor plan that was proving inefficient for its two young owners and their three children. Many of the rooms were also cut off from views of the garden and the ocean beyond.
    Pacific House’s kitchen is decked out with oakwood and different types of marble”[Pacific House] was substantial in structure but devoid of spirit and certainly absent of any operational utility,” said Alexander & Co’s principal architect Jeremy Bull.
    Tasked with making the home a “functional engineer of family life”, the practice decided to carve out areas for activity and play, alongside spaces with a calmer, more contemplative ambience for the adults.
    The cosy breakfast nook backs onto a curved windowAt the heart of the plan now sits an expansive kitchen. All of the cabinetry is made from warm-hued American oak, while panels of a paler European oak were laid across the ceiling.

    Jagged-edged pieces of Grigio Firma, Grigio Lana and Carrara marble were set into the kitchen floor.
    Arched doorways open onto the gardenInhabitants can eat at the central island or take a seat at the breakfast nook, which is tucked against a huge concave window.
    Its form nods to the architectural style of P&O – an offshoot of modernism that was popular in 1930s Sydney and drew on the streamlined curves of Pacific and Orient-line cruise ships.
    Neutral hues were applied throughout the formal dining areaTwo arched doors at the front of the kitchen grant access to the garden, where there’s an alfresco seating area.
    A new swimming pool was added in an excavation pit that had previously been created in the home’s driveway.

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    The rest of Pacific House’s ground floor includes a rumpus room for games, parties and recreation, plus a sophisticated dining area decked out in neutral hues.
    There’s also a spacious living area with Mario Bellini’s Camaleonda sofa for B&B Italia, which looks out across the ocean waves.
    An Afghan rug printed with abstract shapes and a couple of triangular marble coffee tables add to the more fun, graphic look that the practice sought to establish in this room.
    The living area is arranged to prioritise ocean vistasSpaces become slightly more muted on the floor above, which is accessed via an oakwood staircase.
    In the principal bedroom – which features another P&O-style curved window – walls are rendered in concrete.
    Grey terrazzo and marble was used to cover surfaces in the bathroom, clashing against the pattern of the grey mosaic flooring.
    The primary bedroom has a curved window and a greyscale en-suiteAlexander & Co has completed a number of other projects in Sydney including an Italian trattoria and most recently its own studio, which is housed in a converted Victorian-era residence.
    Formal workstations are built into the building’s basement, but the remaining residential-style floors accommodate a kitchen, living room and library where staff can brainstorm ideas.
    The photography is by Anson Smart.

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    Studio Tate creates “textural earthiness” for Relinque wellness spa

    Melbourne-based Studio Tate has used raw and tactile materials to create “a soothing urban oasis” for the Relinque spa in Melbourne.

    Located in north east Melbourne, the 800 square-metre space includes a day-spa, spinal clinic, pilates and yoga studios.
    The interiors are informed by local parks and waterwaysLocal practice Studio Tate was informed by nearby parklands and waterways to create “a soothing urban oasis”.
    “It was important to create a textural earthiness that evokes the senses, while striking a balance between sophistication and approachability,” explained Studio Tate senior associate Emily Addison.
    A deep rust tone in the treatment rooms was selected to be gender neutralThe treatments rooms were located on either side of a central reception area, with the spa and yoga studio located on one side and the spinal clinic and pilates studio on the other.

    Studio Tate used green marble, honed granite and hand-glazed Japanese tiles in the reception area, where visitors are encouraged to relax and browse the retail products before stepping into treatments.
    Curved corridors encourage visitors to explore the spaceThe yoga studio was intentionally positioned close to the entrance facing the street, which allows plenty of natural light. A timber floor and ceiling were desigend to create a sense of warmth in the room.
    Moving further into the spa area, the tones get darker to provide privacy. Spaces were arranged in a circular configuration, which “encourages a continuous experience of the venue”.

    The design aimed to have “textural earthines”A curved corridor finished in polished plaster leads visitors to the spa area. Five individually-contained treatment rooms feature a deep rust tone, steam showers with sage green tiles and a granite shower bench.
    Above the treatment bench, a backlit ceiling creates a halo around a circular acoustic fabric panel. The gently diffused light helps calm the mind throughout treatments.

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    The rounded steam room is lined with mosaic tiles, facing directly onto an ice room centred around an ice well covered in Japanese ceramic tiles.
    “Luxurious accents are balanced with raw and tactile materials, ensuring the space feels welcoming to all,”added Addison.
    Steam showers are lined with sage green tiles and a granite shower benchA palette of greens, greys, burgundy and earth tones were used throughout the space in response to the nature-themed design narrative, according to Addison.
    Studio Tate is led by interior designer Alex Hopkins and Carley Nicholls. The studios previous work includes an open office design for Burnet Institute and a day-spa with calming interiors in Melbourne.
    The Photography is by Lillie Thompson.

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    Nickolas Gurtler brings 1970s Italian glamour to Youth Lab clinic in Perth

    Australian designer Nickolas Gurtler has drawn from the nightclubs of 1970s Milan and Florence to create the interior for a cosmetic clinic in Perth, Australia.

    It is the third interior that Gurtler has created for Youth Lab, a clinic that offers a range of non-surgical cosmetic treatments that include anti-ageing procedures, hair removal and skin rejuvenation.
    The waiting area features a mirror wall, gold lights and a green silk carpetLocated in Joondalup, Youth Lab 3.0 is the brand’s most experimental space so far.
    While the two other locations – in Claremont and West Perth – occupy heritage buildings, this one is set inside a commercial block from the 1990s. This meant Gurtler could be more daring in his approach.
    A Dina Broadhurst artwork provides a focal pointWhile the design was partly informed by the brand’s minimalist identity, it also features playful details that include mirror walls and a grand geometric reception desk.

    “There were some really outrageous and glamorous concepts that I really responded to and had filed away for the right project,” said Gurtler.
    “When Youth Lab approached us again for their third clinic, I knew that this was the right time to bring them to life.”
    The reception desk is formed of Arabescato marble and Venetian plasterThe starting point was the palette of forms and materials that Gurtler has worked with previously for the brand, which includes decorative marble, plush velvet and metal cabinetry.
    While the Claremont space that Gurtler designed for the brand has a New York loft vibe, here these elements are paired with shades of olive green and gold to create a more retro Italian feel.
    “This language is a kind of style guide for us on each project,” said Gurtler.
    “Common elements such as mixed metals, monolithic forms, plush textures and rich colour are used in each of the clinics, but we translate these elements completely differently each time.”
    The colour palette centres around olive green and goldArabescato marble is combined with Venetian plaster and polished aluminium to create the cuboidal forms of the reception desk, which sits beneath a custom glass and brass lighting pendant by designer Lost Profile Studio.
    A large gridded mirror installation provides the backdrop to a waiting area furnished with a green silk carpet, a blocky marble coffee table and sculptural white armchairs.
    A sculpture by American potter Jonathan Adler sits in front of a second mirror wallRows of golden-hued ceiling lights are reflected in the mirrors, doubling their visual impact, and an artwork by Dina Broadhurst creates another focal point.
    As customers are led through for treatment, they also encounter a second mirror wall, a ceramic by American potter Jonathan Adler, custom wall lights and brass door numbers.
    Custom lighting scones embellish the wallsYouth Lab 3.0 was longlisted for Dezeen Awards 2022 in the leisure and wellness interior category, along another of Gurtler’s designs, the Cole Hair Studio.
    The designer hopes the space offers “an immersive and sensorial experience which is as much invigorating as it is calming”.
    “The Youth Lab experience is a luxury and the interior reflects that,” he added.
    The photography is by Timothy Kaye.

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    Brave New Eco applies cosy colours and materials to Melbourne “forever home”

    Timber, terracotta and rich jewel tones feature throughout this home in Melbourne that Australian studio Brave New Eco has designed for a family of five.

    Occupied by a couple and their three teenage children, West Bend House sits on a leafy plot overlooking the greenery-lined banks of Melbourne’s Merri Creek.
    The building itself was designed by local studio MRTN Architects but Brave New Eco was brought on board to do the interiors for the “forever home”, having already worked with the studio twice before on other projects.
    West Bend House is a Melbourne residence by Brave New Eco”The owners of the house were well known to us,” Brave New Eco explained.
    “They had been clients in the early days of the studio, so the mutual trust and respect levels were high, allowing us to create a highly responsive and intimately resolved outcome that the dynamic family will inhabit for many years to come,” the studio added.

    “Our challenge was to configure the interior elements so that each space feels settled and cohesive, with a sense of discovery to the distinct spaces as you move through the home.”
    A khaki-green sofa contrasts the blue carpet in the living roomCustom wooden cabinetry was installed in the home’s galley kitchen and kept handleless so that it “reads like a piece of furniture”, according to Brave New Eco.
    A wooden screen was also added behind the sink area to keep the washing-up out of view.
    Custom timber shelving was created for the studySlender green tiles that pick up on the home’s verdant surroundings line the island counter, as well as a strip of wall behind the stove.
    Above, a handy timber shelf for storing cooking paraphernalia is fronted with sliding brass-mesh screens.
    To the side of the kitchen lies an expansive picture window, beneath which the studio built a “bedroom repatriation drawer” where family members can store any belongings that stray from their sleeping quarters.
    The principal bedroom was rendered calming shades of greyThe colour green pops up again in the home’s laundry room, where the cupboards are coated with emerald-coloured Marmoleum.
    An L-shaped khaki-green sofa dominates one corner of the living room, contrasting with the plush teal carpet.

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    At the centre of the home’s ground floor is a sunken courtyard with a study housed on the other side. This was finished with full-height timber bookshelves, a lengthy desk and a pinboard panel where the owners can tack up anything from reminders to artwork by the kids.
    The floor, like much of the rest of the home, was inlaid with red bricks.
    Sapphire-coloured tiles clad the main bedroom’s ensuiteSoothing grey shades were applied in the principal bedroom upstairs, which adjoins a moody ensuite bathroom almost entirely clad in sapphire-blue tiles.
    Two types of terracotta tile – one plain, one grooved – were used to create textured walls in the bathroom shared by the owners’ daughters.
    Terracotta tiling creates textural interest in the daughters’ bathroomWest Bend House is one of five projects shortlisted in the house interior category of this year’s Dezeen Awards.
    It will go up against residences such as Twentieth by Wood + Dangaran, which is arranged around a decades-old olive tree, and Barwon Heads House by Adam Kane Architects, which adjoins a barn-like extension.
    The photography is by Peter Bennetts.

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    Alexander & Co maintains residential feel inside self-designed Sydney office

    Australian architecture practice Alexander & Co has created its own office inside a Victorian-era property in Sydney.

    Situated a stone’s throw from Bondi Beach, Alexander House acts as a “design laboratory” where Alexander & Co’s team can meet, collaborate and find space to work independently.
    Alexander & Co’s self-designed office has a double-height kitchenThe homely office occupies a semi-detached property that dates back to the Victorian period. Though the practice decided to preserve the building’s original facade, its interior was completely remodelled to function as a modern workspace.
    Staff enter the office via a ground-level vestibule with rammed-earth walls before climbing a flight of stairs to reach the open-plan living and dining area on the first floor.
    A “cafe-style” area provides seating for staffOne half of the space is dressed with an angular olive-green sofa, a glossy coffee table and a puffy grape-coloured armchair.

    The other half of the room is occupied by a double-height kitchen. At its centre is a chunky breakfast island crafted from pink-hued concrete, around which the team can congregate for meals, client catch-ups or company events.
    Construction waste was used to make furnishings in the courtyardAdditional seating is provided in a “cafe-style” area at the edge of the room, which features a custom leather seating banquette, cane chairs and a couple of tables.
    Concertina glass doors at the rear of the kitchen open up onto a courtyard. This houses a pool and an ice bath alongside a collection of mottled stools and side tables that were custom-made out of waste generated from the building’s renovation.
    A cosy library can be found on the building’s mezzanine level”Beauty can be found in the irregularities and developing patinas that have resulted from incorporating handmade and natural materials throughout our new space,” explained the practice.
    “Blemishes, cracks and connections – they are all magic and inform our storytelling through scale and detail.”

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    Directly above the ground floor is a generous mezzanine level that accommodates a cosy library space where Alexander & Co can host more intimate meetings.
    The room’s bookshelves and kidney-shaped table are crafted from walnut wood, while chocolatey leather curtains are suspended in front of the doorway.
    Visiting team members from other offices can stay over in the bedroom suiteThe narrower end of the mezzanine was turned into a quiet work area for up to five people, finished with a thickset concrete ledge for laptops.
    The upper floor of the building was made into a bright loft-esque space. Here there’s an events room and a bedroom suite, where visiting team members from other offices can stay.
    Down in the basement is the practice’s materials libraryTraditional workstations can be found down in the basement along with Alexander & Co’s materials library.
    From this level of the building, you can also access the landscaped back garden, which will be used during the summer for alfresco gatherings.
    A concrete staircase runs through all four levels of the buildingAll four levels of the building are connected by a concrete staircase with brass balustrading and a dramatic seven-metre-long pendant light dangling through its central void.
    Alexander House is one of six projects shortlisted in the small workspace interior category of this year’s Dezeen Awards.
    Others in the running include F.Forest Office by Atelier Boter, which sits within a glass-fronted building in a Tawainese fishing village, and Samsen Atelier by Note Design Studio, which also serves as a wine bar.
    The photography is by Anson Smart.

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    Weathered-steel staircase wraps plant-filled atrium at Midtown Workplace

    Weathered-steel balconies with cascading plants wrap the skylit atrium at the centre of this office in Brisbane, refurbished by Australian studio Cox Architecture.

    Named Midtown Workplace, the office occupies the top nine floors of a development that has been created by merging two separate towers in the Australian capital into a single building.
    The project has been shortlisted in the large workspace interior category of Dezeen Awards 2022.
    Cox Architecture has refurbished the Midtown Workplace in BrisbaneUsing the idea of connectivity between the two towers as a starting point, Cox Architecture created a stepped concrete auditorium at the base of the office called “The Pit”, with bridge links above based on the idea of an internal high street.
    “The tower is a story of two halves, two existing towers connected as one, old structures connected with new,” said the studio.

    It features an atrium with cascading plants”Our approach to the workplace celebrated this, with the void and bridge links positioned as the connecting piece between two existing towers,” it continued.
    At either side of Midtown Workplace’s central, skylit atrium, the cores of the existing towers have been used to house circulation and smaller meeting rooms, surrounded by areas of flexible workspace.
    A stepped concrete auditorium sits at the baseBanks of desks and booths are complemented by more informal seating areas at different points along the office’s “high street”, such as benches installed alongside planters and stools overlooking the atrium.
    “The new workplace explores an alternative to standard workspaces, creating a diverse and blended model that is supported by a high proportion of hackable, collaborative areas,” said Cox Architecture.

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    “Thirty per cent of the primary work points are moveable, affording teams complete autonomy and control over their workspace,” it continued.
    In The Pit, curved concrete amphitheatre-style seating dotted with planters faces a presentation space with views of the city as its backdrop. It is overlooked by all of the atrium’s balconies, creating a “magnet for cultural exchange.”
    Cox Architecture used a material palette with earthy tonesMidtown Workplace’s material palette adopts earthy tones drawn from the exposed concrete and orangey-brown weathered steel.
    The bare concrete is complemented by exposed metalwork and services across the office ceilings.
    The ceilings have exposed metalwork and servicesOther projects that have been shortlisted in the large workspace interior category of Dezeen Awards 2022 include the Design District Bureau Club in London by Roz Barr Architects, and the Dyson Global HQ in Singapore by M Moser Associates.
    Elsewhere, Cox Architecture is currently developing an airport in Sydney with Zaha Hadid Architects and recently completed The National Maritime Museum of China, which features a cluster of hull-like roofs.

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    Material and spatial contrasts define Barwon Heads House by Adam Kane Architects

    Australian studio Adam Kane Architects has renovated a cottage on a quiet coastal street in Barwon Heads and connected it to a barn-like extension by a glazed link.

    Named Barwon Heads House, the project was designed by Melbourne studio Adam Kane Architects as a contemporary dwelling that embodied a “relaxed, coastal lifestyle”.
    Adam Kane Architects extended and renovated a cottage in Barwon HeadsPrior to Adam Kane Architects’ renovation and extension, the neglected weatherboarded cottage was known locally as “the dump”.
    Its transformation led it to be shortlisted house interior of the year in the Dezeen Awards 2022 and win the public vote for the same category.
    Barwon Heads House is clad in woodAdopting a minimal palette of monochrome contrasts, the studio painted the existing cottage’s exterior entirely black, pairing it with a lighter extension clad in silvery-grey weathered wooden planks.

    Beneath steeply pitched black metal roofs, this play of contrasts continues to the interiors, creating a spatial journey of “compression and release” that begins in the more compartmentalised cottage containing three bedrooms and a bathroom.
    Contrasting colours and materials feature throughoutMoving through the existing cottage into the small glazed link and a dark corridor, Barwon Heads House’s extension opens up into a large living and dining space, overlooked by the main bedroom on a mezzanine above.
    Full-height windows look out to Barwon Heads House’s garden to the north, while a narrow clerestory-level window opposite draws in light above its kitchen.

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    “Access to the extension is via an enclosed corridor, lined with black mottled joinery panels on walls and ceilings, and is used to conceal doorways into the rumpus, laundry and storage areas,” said Adam Kane Architects.
    “The ‘journey’ through this dark corridor with a lower ceiling creates a sense of compression before a sense of release when walking towards the living room, where the gable opens up into the main space,” it continued.
    The extension has a deliberately simple finishExisting features were retained in the cottage, while the extension has a deliberately simple interior finished with oak panelling and exposed concrete. Slabs of travertine marble are used as countertops, coffee tables and a large dining table.
    “Heritage features are maintained through the use of the original lining board ceilings, as well as period skirting and architraves, which fit perfectly with the renewed tones,” said the studio.
    “The timber lining helps blur the threshold between inside and out, delineating zones, making spaces feel more generous and contributing to the relaxed feel of the home.”
    It is designed as a spatial journey of “compression and release”Adam Kane Architects was founded in 2015, and its previous projects include a bridal boutique in Melbourne with minimal finishes of concrete and marble.
    Alongside Barwon Heads House, other projects shortlisted in the house interior category of Dezeen Awards 2022 include a home in Melbourne with a palette of “organic” materials by Brave New Eco and the renovation of a 120-year-old townhouse in Kyoto by Td-Atelier and Endo Shojiro Design.
    The photography is by Timothy Kaye.

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