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    Mim Design conceives Melbourne's Au79 cafe as “greenhouse sanctuary”

    Australian studio Mim Design has demarcated the Au79 cafe and bar in Melbourne’s Chadstone shopping centre from the surrounding stores using an arched framework instead of solid walls.

    Set in a corridor between shopfronts, Au79 was designed as a “greenhouse sanctuary” that could offer shoppers a slice of serenity and respite within the bustling retail complex.
    Melbourne’s Au79 cafe is set in a corridor between shopfrontsMim Design, which was also responsible for creating Au79’s first outpost in the nearby city of Abbotsford, wanted the space to fit into its surroundings while also bearing resemblance to the company’s original cafe.
    The Chadstone mall has a vaulted glass ceiling, which the studio decided to mirror by encasing the cafe in an arched framework topped with a gridded metal canopy and cascading plants.
    One side of the pill-shaped plan is taken over by a cafeThis frame surrounds a pill-shaped plan, which is divided into two distinct zones by a central servery.

    On one side is a neutral-toned cafe and on the other a bar organised around a curved counter made of figured stone and flanked by brass-edged display cabinets.
    The other side houses a bar”The cafe addresses the main retail thoroughfare while the bar offers a more intimate and exclusive experience facing the luxury retailers,” said Kieren Guerrero, Mim Design’s lead designer on the project.
    “The resulting open floor plate sensitively maintains visibility across the cafe to the shopfronts beyond while the arched outlines produce a theatrical colonnade effect and subtle sense of privacy.”
    Huge spherical pendants hang along the centreThe sense of formality and grandeur created by the framework is enhanced by the overall symmetry of the space.
    A row of huge custom-made spherical pendant lights is hung along the length of the plan, fitting neatly into the central arches.

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    “At night, we wanted to create the atmosphere of sitting under the glow of the moon,” said Guerrero. “The gentle illumination allows the space to transition and hold presence from day to night, bringing a new dimension to Au79’s organic forms and natural materials.”
    Mim Design employed a tonal palette of brick, terrazzo, natural leather and stone within the interior. Brass details, lush scalloped profiles and tactile finishes echo Au79’s Abbotsford cafe.
    Banquette seating runs along the perimeter of the cafeFixed banquette seating runs along the perimeter of the cafe to maintain a sense of spaciousness while seating as many people as possible.
    Loose furniture settings enable flexibility and moveable joinery on the cafe’s frontage allows the space to transform in order to accommodate different events.
    Tiles and terrazzo are contrasted against flesh-coloured leather”The project crafts a textural, gilded oasis in the Chadstone shopping complex,” said Miriam Fanning, founder and principal of Mim Design.
    “We sought to create a destination that redefined the expectation of what a kiosk is, a place considered to be built form that held ideas of permanence and presence.”
    Other projects by the Melbourne studio include a delicatessen with a counter that looks like sliced salami and an office filled with perforated metal screens.
    The photography is by Timothy Kaye.

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    Sibling creates pop-up creative hub in Melbourne's soon-to-be-demolished Hanover House

    Australian studio Sibling Architecture has used repurposed materials and mobile furniture to revamp Hanover House in Melbourne, allowing creatives to occupy the building before it is demolished.

    The studio created a variety of spaces within the seven-storey building, which is set to be torn down to make way for STH BNK by Beulah – a 356-metre tower that is set to become Australia’s tallest building.
    Three floors of Hanover House are being used for a creative programmeIn the two-year before demolition, developer Beulah initiated a creative programme called BETA by STH BNK and asked Melbourne-based Sibling to develop an interior design strategy to make this possible.
    Sibling’s approach was developed around the ambition of minimising waste. This meant reusing as much of the existing interior elements as possibvle and only introducing new materials if they could easily repurposed in the future.
    Reused glazing panels frame designer ateliers on the fourth floor”Over a third of waste in Australia goes to landfill, while nearly half of waste worldwide comes from construction and demolition,” explained Timothy Moore, one of Sibling’s four founding directors.

    “So we were really in this idea of a project where there was a lot of stuff to strip out,” he told Dezeen. “We saw it as an opportunity to explore the process of making in architecture.”
    Thanks to mirrored film, the ateliers are only visible when lights are on insideSibling’s project extends to three storeys of Hanover House – the ground, fourth and fifth floors. Here, the architecture studio stripped back all the materials available and sorted them.
    Old ceiling tiles were transformed into mobile benches, while the glazed panels of former office cubicles were rescued to divide the fourth floor into a series of designer ateliers.
    The ateliers are hosting a series of designers in residenceMirrored film was applied to the glass; when the lights are on you can see the ateliers inside, but when they’re off the space becomes private.
    Other recycled elements include office furniture, lighting, carpets and gypsum walls.

    Revival Projects’ Zero Footprint Repurposing hub saves construction waste from landfill

    Moore said the approach is similar to that of the Zero Footprint Repurposing hub that launched at the recent Melbourne Design Week, an event that the architect is the curator of.
    “We stripped back everything and kept it on site, then reused as much as we could,” he said.
    Sibling created mobile furniture using prefabricated steelTo support BETA by STH BNK’s varied programme, Sibling also designed a series of mobile furniture elements that could be made from sheets of pre-fabricated steel.
    These pieces, known as Taxonomy of Furniture, include a bar, tables, seats, planters and storage elements.
    Mounted on castors, they can be easily moved around the building for different events and uses. They just as easily wheeled into the lifts and moved out ahead of the building’s demolition.
    “The design intent of the taxonomy was to provide a family of joinery that allow for a variety of uses, including unforeseen uses,” said Moore.
    The ground floor features retail concepts, including The Future From Waste LabIn its new form, Hanover House is hosting a series of creative individuals and organisations.
    The ground floor has been reimagined as a platform for innovative retail concepts. Highlights include The Future From Waste Lab, curated by designer Kit Willow, which is testing a more sustainable approach to fashion production.
    The fifth floor previously hosted a restaurant pop-up called Higher OrderThe fourth-floor ateliers are hosting designers in residence, including algae expert Jessie French, Ella Saddington of craft studio Cordon Salon, and DNJ Paper, which makes clothing from traditional Japanese paper.
    The fifth floor is being used for a range of events. The first was a restaurant pop-up called Higher Order, hosted by chef Scott Pickett. Upcoming events include a holistic health experience called The Future of Wellness.
    The Taxonomy of Furniture includes flexible seats and tablesBeulah executive director Adelene Teh said the aim was to “go beyond the expected and give new meaning to the future of retail”.
    “The dynamic BETA By STH BNK hub of innovation and experimentation promises to ignite Melbourne, and indeed Australia’s, curiosity and imagination of what has become possible,” she said.
    Before the building is demolished, these elements can be easily wheeled outSibling Architecture is led by Moore along with Amelia Borg, Nicholas Braun and Qianyi Lim.
    Previous projects include a collaboration with Adam Nathanial Furman at the NGV Triennial, Squint/Opera’s Melbourne office and the interior of Kloke’s Melbourne store.
    For Moore, BETA By STH BNK resonates strongly with his recent PHD thesis, which explores the topic of temporary use and “meanwhile strategies”.
    “I’m quite supportive of developers who are interested in interim use, because you can test out design moves,” he said.
    “There is a rhetoric that we have to be careful of,” he added, “but it can add value, creating affordable workspace and places for people to come together.”

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    Luke Fry squeezes extension behind bungalow in Melbourne

    At the back of a narrow Edwardian bungalow in Melbourne, the studio of Australian architect Luke Fry has added a contemporary extension with greyscale interiors.

    The semi-detached bungalow, called Ripponlea House, is set down a tree-lined street in the titular Melbourne suburb and belongs to a young family.
    The owners initially wanted to turn their home into a two-storey property. But, undeterred by the bungalow’s small footprint, Fry instead opted for establishing better quality living spaces at ground level.
    Luke Fry’s Ripponlea extension features an open living and dining areaThe studio knocked down the entire rear of the house, preserving only a couple of rooms at the front of the plan.
    In its place now stands a lengthy volume that accommodates a dining-cum-living area, kitchen, bedroom and bathroom.

    A grey linen sofa and a couple of boucle armchairs lie at the heart of the lounge, accompanied by a wood burner and low-lying bench.
    The kitchen and dining area adjoin a smaller internal courtyardThe space is fronted by expansive three-by-three-metre glass doors that had to be lifted onto the site by crane.
    These can be slid back to grant the owners access to a paved garden with an L-shaped concrete seat in its corner, which is inset with a greenery-filled planter.
    To further amplify the home’s connection with the outdoors, Fry created a couple of smaller internal courtyards including one adjoining the kitchen.
    Durable materials like oak and stone can be seen throughout the interior”We focused on maximising the tight single-fronted site as best we could by carving courtyards into the building to enhance natural light and its connection to the landscape,” Fry explained.
    “The design, both internally and externally, is one that creates a sense of calm.”

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    The kitchen features oak cabinetry and a stone-topped island – materials that the studio says are timeless and durable. Oakwood also lines sections of the floor, while most of the brick walls were simply washed with plaster and sealed with wax.
    A corridor punctuated with a circular skylight leads through to the extension’s moody bedroom, which is decked out exclusively in grey tones.
    Grey tones permeate the bedroomIn the adjacent bathroom, an oak-framed washstand sits across from a deep-set concrete tub.
    “It’s hard for me to look past the concrete rendered bath as my favourite element,” Fry explained. “It was experimental for us and something which we are truly proud of.”
    A concrete tub features in the bathroomLuke Fry founded his eponymous studio in 2014.
    Ripponlea House joins a number of other design-focused homes in Melbourne including the Grange Residence by Conrad Architects, which is clad in acid-etched marble, and Pony by Wowowa, which features a scalloped metal roof.
    The photography is by Timothy Kaye.
    Project credits:
    Architecture: Luke Fry Architecture and Interior DesignBuilder: Cote Constructions

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    Revival Projects' Zero Footprint Repurposing hub saves construction waste from landfill

    Australian building company Revival Projects has turned a warehouse that is set for redevelopment into a hub for repurposing construction and demolition waste, which is open to the public during Melbourne Design Week.

    Melbourne Design Week describes the Zero Footprint Repurposing hub as one of the world’s first free hubs dedicated to the storage and reuse of demolished material.
    Revival Projects aims to save these materials from landfill by making them more accessible to architects, designers, builders and manufacturers.
    The Zero Waste Repurposing hub is located in Collingwood, Melbourne on the site of a future developmentThe Zero Footprint Repurposing hub stores materials from projects around Melbourne, with Revival Projects facilitating large-scale repurposing initiatives from various sites.
    “For repurposing of existing materials to be a fundamental element of new design, storage of a large amount of demolished materials is necessary, often for many months or several years, while the project comes to life,” Revival Projects founder Robbie Neville told Dezeen.

    “The idea of this costly storage is often a prohibitive issue, so we have offered the industry free storage of materials in our Collingwood space, if they are going to repurpose those materials back into their project.”
    The hub provides free materials storage space for architects and developers working on sites around Melbourne”We present this dramatic commercial offer with zero obligation to engage us for any of our services – which include structural engineering, commercial and domestic building, and joinery and furniture making – so we are effectively removing that prohibitive issue of space, with no strings attached,” he continued.
    The Zero Footprint Repurposing hub is located in Collingwood, in a 100-year-old, 1,500-square-metre warehouse that Revival Projects will occupy until its slated demolition in 2024.
    Revival Projects is working with the architects of the future development, Grimshaw, to repurpose the existing materials from the warehouse into the new buildings.
    The space is decorated with murals and artworks that communicate the company’s missionThe hub also currently stores material from architects and developers including FJMT, Edition Office, BAR Studio, Hip V. Hype, Kerstin Thompson Architects, ANPlus Developments and Bayley Ward Architects.
    The interior of the space is decorated with murals, art, quotes, installations and materials that communicate the project’s vision.

    Construction industry “doesn’t know where it stands when it comes to carbon emissions”

    “Our mission here is to revolutionise the way our industry approaches existing materials,” said Revival Projects founder Robbie Neville. “We are disrupting centuries of traditions based on reckless consumption of natural resources.”
    According to RMIT, 20.4 million tons of waste were generated from construction and demolition in Australia in 2017, including through works such as road and rail maintenance and land excavation, and about one-third of this ended up in landfill.
    The construction and demolition waste at the hub comes from sites around MelbourneThe waste from these activities include bricks, concrete, metal, timber, plasterboard, asphalt, rock and soil.
    A registered builder, Neville founded Revival Projects in 2016, after four years of running his own salvage missions but becoming frustrated that the construction industry was not geared for reuse.
    The company has since channelled salvaged waste into interiors and architecture projects such as RM Williams stores around Australia and the Industry Beans cafe in Fitzroy, Melbourne.
    Architects and developers are able to store materials from demolition at the hub free of chargeThe practice also worked with Hip V. Hype on a 2020 demolition and salvage for a block of 22 apartments the property developer is building in South Melbourne. For that project, Revival Projects established an earlier iteration of the Zero Footprint Repurposing hub beside that site.
    Additionally, the practice runs workshops out of its hubs, focusing on different sectors of the community that are underrepresented in the construction industry, such as women.
    The current Zero Footprint Repurposing hub at Islington Street, Collingwood is part of the programme at Melbourne Design Week, with an open day happening on Friday 25 March and a panel discussion at 5pm.
    Revival Projects also runs workshops out of the hubThe hub was awarded the 2022 Melbourne Design Week Award, with National Gallery of Victoria director Tony Ellwood calling it “a project of ambitious scale with global importance”.
    The construction industry accounts for 38 per cent of global greenhouse gas emissions, partly because of the cost of creating new materials.
    According to a 2021 report published by the World Business Council for Sustainable Development, buildings equivalent to a city the size of Paris are being built every week, but less than one per cent of them are even assessed to determine their carbon footprint.
    The photography is by Sean Fennessy.
    Melbourne Design Week is on from 17 to 27 March 2022. See Dezeen Events Guide for an up-to-date list of architecture and design events taking place around the world.

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    Theatrical curtains drape around Dame bar by Bergman & Co

    A “rather fabulous” fictitious muse influenced the design of this richly decorated bar and restaurant in Melbourne by local interiors studio Bergman & Co.

    Dame recently opened in the IM Pei-designed Collins Place, a mixed-use complex in the East End of the city.
    Dame is located in IM Pei’s Collins Place complexThe concrete development was completed in 1981, so Bergman & Co looked to this decade for inspiration when devising a concept for the bar’s interior.
    “The narrative of Dame is centred around a fictitious 1980s muse; a powerful, well connected and rather fabulous woman,” said the team, led by director Wendy Bergman.
    A curvaceous pink marble bar counter sits in the centre of the spaceThe fictional character’s power and femininity are reflected in elements like the curved bar counter, made from blush-toned marble.

    Her portrait, painted by local Melbourne artist Stacey Rees, hangs behind the bar to tie the concept together.
    Blush curtains provide a backdrop for communal diningPale pink curtains divide the space from the building lobby and are draped dramatically to create an entryway.
    Diners are presented with multiple seating options around the restaurant’s glazed periphery.
    Glass block table legs nod to the building’s gridded architectureCommunal tables feature dark wooden tops and glass block supports, nodding to the gridded architecture of the setting.
    Above, pendant lights created in collaboration with Melbourne design studio Please Please Please are delicately suspended like pieces of jewellery.

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    Banquette seating wrapped in dark textured fabric creates cosy booths, while more casual round tables are paired with wicker-backed chairs.
    “A sumptuous banquette setting finished in rich, earthen tones creates a subtle sense of nostalgia, warming the building’s otherwise restrained palette of architectural finishes,” said Bergman & Co.
    Upholstery for banquettes was chosen to create a “sense of nostalgia””Quilted upholstery and 1980s-inspired furniture complete the aesthetic tableau, offering an elevated, all-day dining space,” the studio added.
    Glossy red table lamps and pendants are also scattered through the space, uniting a palette that feels rich and warm against the building’s grey terrazzo flooring.
    Pink marble tables are accompanied by wicker-backed chairsPink marble is similarly used at Melbourne’s Pentolina restaurant, designed by Biasol.
    Other dining and drinking establishments with notable interiors around Australia’s second-largest city include Studio Esteta’s Via Porta and Three Blue Ducks by Pattern.
    The photography is by Eve Wilson.

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    Danielle Brustman creates yellow highlights in sunny Melbourne hair salon

    Yellow-tinted glass partitions and droplet-shaped mirrors give a unique personality to Australian hair salon Mitch Studio, renovated by interior designer Danielle Brustman.

    Mitch Studio is located in a double-storey 1950s building in the Melbourne suburb of Ashburton, in a shopfront that had already operated as a hairdressers for a number of years.
    Danielle Brustman wanted to use Mitch Studio’s brand colour, yellow, in the interior designBrustman’s client wanted to update the space to reflect their brand, which uses yellow as its signature colour. The designer set out to give the space a fresh and modern feel while using the sunny hue as a key part of the colour palette.
    The designer started by gutting the space entirely, leaving only the original concrete floor, which has been polished to achieve its final look.
    The reception area includes a custom-built retail display shelf and a six-globe chandelier by EntlerShe reconfigured the layout across two floors: on the ground floor is the reception and waiting area along with hair washing and cutting stations – the latter separated with the distinctive yellow glass partitions.

    The partitions create privacy and personal space while also, Brustman points out, proving useful when social distancing is required.
    The ground floor area includes hair washing and cutting stationsThe droplet-shaped mirrors at these stations were chosen to give the salon a bespoke touch, while referencing ideas of water and washing.
    “There is something lovely about the way the droplet mirrors create an infinity effect in the space, adding to the spaciousness,” Brustman told Dezeen.
    The space is designed to facilitate an easy flow of movement for the stylists throughout the dayAll the joinery on the ground floor is bespoke, including a reception desk clad in mustard-yellow glass mosaic tiles and a retail display shelf with similar white tiles.
    Most of the surfaces and finishes are in white, as is the sculptural six-arm chandelier by US design studio Entler.

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    Upstairs, there are additional haircutting stations along with bathrooms, a kitchen and a small worktable – meant for customers who want to pull out their laptops while waiting for their hair treatments to take effect.
    The haircutting stations here have a different configuration, facing each other but divided by mirrors. Completed with pale moulded plywood chairs, they give the space an almost cafe-like appearance.
    The upstairs haircutting stations have a different configuration”We wanted to keep the spaces light and airy with a great deal of airflow and enough room for the clients and staff to feel spacious and comfortable in their surrounds,” Brustman said.
    She also paid attention to the employees’ workflow and aimed to design the space to be intuitive and relaxing for them. For instance, there are hair-recycling bins integrated into the joinery, so that stylists can dispose of waste on the spot.
    There is also a worktable that customers can use while they wait for their hair dye to takeBrustman is a Melbourne-based interior designer whose previous work has included the Brighton Street Early Learning Centre – a childcare centre with a different bright colour palette in every room.
    The photography is by Nicole England.

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