Monthly Archives: July 2008

Open House – CH2

by Lucy Feagins

mechanical timber shutters on the facade of Council House 2 in Melbourne

Better late than never with this one… sorry, I took the Open House tour of Melbourne CH2 (Council House 2) building over a week ago (July 20th) and am only getting around to posting about it now… aaaggh. What can I say – it’s been a busy fortnight! Anyway… thought it might interest Melburnians to see some shots inside the stunning Council House building. Over 25,000 people turned out on the day to take a peek inside 9 of Melbourne’s most famous buildings… the queues around were INCREDIBLE! Many waited around 2 hrs at some locations… jeepers. It’s fantastic that so many people braved the cold to learn a little more about some of Melbourne’s architectural masterpieces… but next time I think it might be wise to allocate viewing times and tickets in advance!

Those in the know will be aware that CH2 is the first purpose built office building in Australia to achieve a 6 green star certified rating. This rating is a measure of the building’s energy and water efficiency, quality of environment and resource conservation. It seems every detail has been considered in achieving this rating – special ‘night-purge’ windows open every evening to allow the night breeze to naturally cool the interior of the building… a water-mining plant in the basement treats and recycles water for washing, cooling and watering of plants, and the striking facade of louvered timber shutters track the sun to control the temperature of the building. More detail here.

I was most impressed with the incredible rooftop garden – those lucky council employees get to eat their lunch up there everyday… aghh! Beautiful.

CH2 facade

CH2 stunning sculptural reception desk on the ground floor
CH2 rooftop garden
view from the top…. ahhhh!

interior – the ‘wave’ shaped ceiling maximises air flow and makes heating and cooling more efficient. Those ‘radiator’ looking things on the ceiling are actually chilled ceiling panels, circulating cold water to absorb radiated heat from occupants and equipment. The concrete ceilings also absorb excess heat.


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Takeaway Thonet

by Tess McCabe

18 Chairs are captured and waiting for the final verdict, which you can help decide, by visiting the exhibition which ends on Sunday.

Should you wish to purchase a chair you can visit the Thonet Showroom 237 Napier St, Fitzroy and bid on the cheque books displayed.

Alternatively you can just enjoy the varied interpretations of this brief by 18 exciting design practitioners.
For more information on any of the designers or the project visit the website!

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The Guild Project.

by Una Cruickshank

Jewellers Neil Balthasar and Ewan Tremellen, calling themselves The Guild Project, have opened their exclusive Bourke Street workshop to the public for the first time. Although the pair, who have worked together since 2000, have occupied the space for three years, they have only now installed showcases where ready-to-wear items can be viewed. The pair had previously worked almost exclusively on commission, and say they were thrilled with the opportunity to create new pieces for public viewing under the auspices of the MIDF.

Both designers specialise in large, bold pieces, many of which are set with richly coloured semi-precious stones. As Balthasar explains, the use of semi-precious stones allows for large-scale designs, which simply wouldn’t be achievable for a designer working with more conventional materials like diamonds. Semi-precious stones also come in a huge variety of unusual forms – for example, the ball of tourmalated quartz which adorns one cocktail ring in the collection almost looks man-made. Shot through with tiny needles of black tourmaline, it certainly grabs the attention.

The Guild Project is located at 2A/190 Bourke Street, Melbourne.

Phone 03 9662 9877.

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Screen Savers – Aludean

By Tess McCabe

If you ever find yourself in the position where you live in a property that is without internal walls (I wish this were a more common problem), then please don’t despair. The folk at Aludean have your privacy issues covered.

Aludean is Lu Skacej and Dean Colls, trained sculptors with a wealth of design and construction training behind them. Their aim is to create sculpture that exists outside of the gallery environment – and their folio includes commissions from retail, residential and public spaces.

As part of the Design Festival, Aludean are now releasing six new screen designs along with a “user friendly” modular concept that builds on their philosophy of involving the end-user in the design process.

You can see their beautifully designed screens in the context of an uber-hip lounge or bedroom setting at Hub Furniture Lighting Living, 63 Exhibition Street, Melbourne. 10am-5.30pm Mon-Fri, 10am-5pm Saturday (cost: free).

Now where is my sledgehammer…

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5-minute Feedback: a constructive pop-up event

by Tess McCabe

There are many, many University and TAFE design courses in a number of disciplines on offer in this city, and for that reason I was surprised at the small turnout to the DIAs 5-minute-feedback session at BMW Edge on Friday. Considering it’s July, theoretically there should be a plethora of students winding up their degrees and preparing their folios for the few entry-level graduate positions that will be on offer early in the new year. To have someone in your prospective design industry review your portfolio of student work and offer suggestions and improvements, at a time when you can implement those suggestions before getting serious about landing a job, seems like an opportunity too good to pass up.

Speaking to some of the students who did take part in the feedback sessions, their dedication to becoming better designers and their awareness of the competition within their industries for employment opportunities was clear. They also seemed to display a healthy respect for those with experience in the industry and welcomed constructive criticism from practitioners in other design strains.

When I spoke to some of the professional designers, the consensus was that they were always on the lookout for fresh new talent, and that they were ready and willing to offer those present encouragement, and constructive criticism, on student work and portfolio presentation styles. Monique McNamara from Up and Up Creative was keen to offer information as to how young designers could combine sustainability practices into their career. Many, such as Shaynna Blaze-Vaughan of Blank Canvas Interiors, were happy to engage students in discussion about what to expect as an entry-level designer within an established studio.

For more information on upcoming DIA events aimed at both students and professionals, visit their website.

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One Pair of Legs.

by Una Cruickshank

One Pair of Legs, by Sue Buchanan and Eli Giannini, is a “modern fable” told in graphic form. In keeping with their interest in what they call “urban hardware”, the story is conveyed in the form of a series of modified road signs positioned along the Riverside Walk behind Federation Square.

The text of the fable goes as follows:

One day one pair of legs – let’s call them Jane – got out of the car, started walking and:

-Smelled the roses and fresh air.

-Began talking and walking.

-Showed off her new shoes.

-Played kick-to-kick in the park.

-Found new frontiers.

-Left road rage behind.

-Relaxed and slowed down.

…and others followed…everyone was walking…and soon there were more pedestrians than car users…and the world was a better place…although tragically, one rogue car – one of the few unbelievers – ran Jane down, so she was then beatified and became St Jane the Patron Saint of Walkers.

Nearby, in the Federation Square carpark, the duo’s other festival submission, w.(web) , glistens in a rather sinister manner…

One Pair of Legs,

Riverside Walk, Federation Square.

July 17-27.

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Selected Projeckta

Pete from Really Whale and Sixto from Do Yeah create art for Bamakkos storefront window in real time.

Vida Lay and the chest of drawers that almost never was

From a broken couple of these to this attractive magazine stand… that’s Ebay on the Freeway at Design Loop.

Projeckta continues with more artists in-store this Saturday 26th July (tomorrow!), 11-4pm, at the five Projeckta 57 locations.

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