Each year The Australian Interior Design Awards "recognise and celebrate interior design excellence via a credible, industry-based program, which is backed by the Design Institute of Australia, the professional body representing Australian designers". The awards are open to any design professional within Australia and can include projects from all over the world.
I've always appreciated the architecture of James Russell for their attention to detail and infinitely fine craftsmanship, as well as for their oft ingenious approach to the contemporary way of living. With an underlying focus on genuinely considering what one does and doesn't really need from a Queenslander, the firm produce some wonderful examples of the contemporary verandah houses - those which Glenn Murcutt opened the world to back in the early days of world-class Australian Architecture. "A shelter can be as simple as a roof to shield the summer sun or a wall to protect from winter winds. The experiences derived from a building which allows you to interact with the environment, outweigh the occasional discomforts that may occur by not having “complete control” of the environment." Of course, in designing houses which are at once inside and out, threshold spaces begin to take on a crucial role, and this is where James Russell Architect consistently prove themselves to be considerate, aware, and highly diligent designers.
This Thursday I will be doing a brief talk at The Architecture Foundation's Annual Sponsor Event. The Architecture Foundation run the Parker Fellowship (previously the Eric Parker Travelling Scholarship, as it was known when I received the prize) and year after year go to the huge and wonderful effort of funding a travelling scholarship for one Newcastle University architecture student who shows great potential, interest and dedication. This award is about seeing, thinking and drawing, and literally changes lives. It is the most beautiful initiative, created in memory of Eric Parker, once a great influence in the Architecture Faculty of Newcastle University.
This month's room of the week is the upper landing and hall of John B Murray's Hudson Residence. This hall has an inherently subtle nature, relying on natural materials and views to the garden to enliven and decorate the space. The dappled light cast in shadows upon the floor describes the passing of the day, and in a more historical sense, the passage of time is conveyed by the aged timber furnishings within.
This April 1st at the Hotel Delany in Cooks Hill, Newcastle I will be doing a design talk to the public, [re]presenting my Final Year project. I will be followed by a bound to be revealing talk by EJE of Newcastle, who collaborated with Lyons Architects to design the winning entry for the proposed Newcastle City University campus. It should be a great night, so feel free to come along!
This month I have the pleasure of exploring the many and varied effects of Le Corbusier's Ombre Naturelle. It is an immense, deep grey with warm undertones.
Ombre Naturelle embodies several characters, and is therefore an amazingly flexible colour choice. By it's nature, it exudes opulence, and in formal living areas will provide a fabulous sense of old world sophistication. Along side crisp whites, neat geometric forms and modernist fittings it shifts to exuding confident masculinity. Yet up against rustic elements it begins to look more natural, evoking memories of Scandinavian woodlands, at once wild, cosy and crisp.