Merry Christmas and Happy New Year

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The Australian Architecture Association would like to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

We have had another eventful year and remain committed to increasing the public’s awareness and appreciation of architecture.  In 2018 we added 2 new walks to our tour programme, one in Ultimo and one in Chippendale. Look out for these tours in 2019. 

The AAA would like to thank our financial supporters, Natspec and Universal Publications, as well as the architects, designers and clients who have kindly opened their homes this year.  To everyone who donated to our annual fundraising campaign, your support ensures that we can continue to help people understand the value of architecture and how it shapes our cities.

A very big thank you to our AAA volunteers, who are the backbone of the Australian Architecture Association and committed to sharing architecture with the general public.

Best wishes and look forward to seeing you on one of our tours in 2019.

Memorable AAA Residential Tour

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What a memorable and wonderful last residential bus tour held on 8th December, an amazing finish to 2018.  We visited four very different residential projects from Balmain to Manly and attendees were given the opportunity to see and hear first-hand about the design process from the architects and designers.  Of course, the day wouldn’t be as successful without the delicious lunch at Marthas where we share good food, stories with like-minded people and the architects.

Thanks to MM + J Architects, Carter Williamson Architects, Anderson Architecture and Ben Gerstel Architecture for participating and adding to the success of the day.  

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  • Article: Annette Dearing
  • Photographer: Vanessa Couzens

 

Join the Last AAA Residential Bus Tour for 2018

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Don't miss out on our final residential bus tour for 2018, taking place on Saturday 8 December. Enjoy visiting some of the Sydneys most interesting new and renovated contemporary architecture.

Inside the houses you will hear about the design process from the architects and see firsthand the value of good design.

Experience homes by the following architects:

The day includes a delicious sit down lunch, itinerary, commentary by architects at the houses and coach travel. There will also be the opportunity to talk to some of the architects at the luncheon.

TOUR DETAILS:

Location: Meet Loftus Street, beside Customs House, Circular Quay NSW 2000
Date: Saturday 8 December 2018
Time: 9.30am - 5.30pm
Tickets: $205 (public) / $190 (AAA Members)

Hurry tickets will sell out fast, so book now!

Click here to secure your place on the tour.

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  • Article: Annette Dearing and Vanessa Couzens
  • Image 1: 'The Shed', designed by Anderson Architecture (Image Source: Anderson Architecture)
  • Image 2: 'Peakaboo House' designed by Carter Williamson (Photographer: Brett Boardman)

 

At Home With The Architect Visits Castle Cove

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On Sunday 18 November the last At Home With the Architect for 2018 visits Castle Cove House, designed by Terroir.

The history of the single-family house in Sydney during the last century is a record of changing conditions in regard to our relationship with the landscape.

Castle Cove is a classic Sydney context, landscape and geology - a steep, rocky ravine with tributaries connecting to Sydney Harbour featuring large areas of remnant bushland below which sandstone escarpments define the waterways. The sandstone geology appears at multiple scales from large cliff faces to small ruptures throughout the groundplane.

The geometry of this Castle Cove house is deliberately indeterminate, working in and around existing stone escarpments as a "third element" that over time and with patination will slip more and more from the new to pre-existing.

The concrete interior is lined with a series of timber elements that enable the occupation of this concrete landscape with a spirit and glamour reminiscent of the California houses from the 50s and 60s by John Lautner and others.

ABOUT TERROIR

TERROIR was established in 1999 by Founding Directors Gerard Reinmuth, Scott Balmforth and Richard Blythe. In 2016 TERROIR broadened its ownership to include four Principals: Scott Balmforth, Tamara Donnellan, Professor Gerard Reinmuth and Chris Rogers.

The practice has offices located in Sydney, Hobart and Copenhagen. They undertake a range of design activities encompassing architecture, urban design and creative research.

Dedicated to the realisation of projects that insist on the invention of new possibilities out of each unique condition, the quality of Terroir's work has been recognized through numerous industry awards and commendations.

TOUR DETAILS

Location: Castle Cove NSW
Please note that the address and meeting point will only be forwarded to ticket holders in the days immediately before the tour.
Time: 11.00am - 12.00pm
Date: Sunday 18 November 2018
Tickets: $35 (Early Bird) / $45 (Public) / $30 (AAA Members)

Don't miss your opportunity to experience the final At Home With the Architect for 2018, numbers are limited. Book your place on the tour, click here.

 

  • Article: Annette Dearing & Vanessa Couzens
  • Images: Castle Cove House, Castle Cove NSW designed by Terroir
  • Photographer: Brett Boardman

Discover the Story Behind Little Albion Guesthouse

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Recently featured in Augusts AAA Short Black: Architects In Their Space tour, Little Albion Guesthouse is one of Surry Hills newest offerings for the modern luxury traveller. Writer and AAA volunteer - Deborah Singerman, reports on on her conversation about the project with space planner and interior designer Connie Alessi, who was instrumental to the projects development and realisation.

Boutique inner-city guest house plucks at the heart strings

The Little Albion calls itself a guest house, not a hotel. This is entirely appropriate for a 35-room, pet friendly boutique place, a gratifying example of adaptive/reuse that both belies and yet builds on its chequered history including as a convent and a hospice. 

The transformation takes what one of the project’s mainsprings, interior designer and space planner Connie Alessi, remembers as being an architecturally “very run-down” building into a new realm of exquisite, bespoke comfort. 

I missed the AAA tour on August 18, 2018. The Sydney transport meltdown on that day meant I only travelled from my home in Ashfield as far as Petersham. However, I heard that the visit was a rip-roaring success, with a big group enjoying long chats with Alessi, architect Terence Yong and hotel manager Wendy Morris. My subsequent visits and the rave reviews from design websites confirmed this enthusiasm was justified.

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Paul Fischmann of 8Hotels brought together a unique mix of creatives, including Terence Yong (Terence Yong Architecture) and Chris Haughton (SHED) on the architecture, with Connie Alessi (Archemy) and Cressida Kennedy (Space Control) for the interiors.  Fischmann also wanted Wendy Morris, with whom he has worked before, in what became a tight-knit group.  

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Morris chose the Molton Brown handwashes, with their subtle fragrances, for the bathrooms, up from the lobby, and directed the range of Australian goodies for the Honour Bar. A rarity in Australia, its honesty-based system has guests write down the breakfast, nibbles and drinks that they have and only pay at the end of their stay. This typifies the level of trust, detail and intimacy that distinguishes this peaceful Surry Hills hideaway.

It also required imagination, research, exactitude and, yes that word, passion,

“The old building was gutted, leaving only the perimeter walls, and various heritage elements such as the fireplaces and the arches in the corridors,” says Alessi. “When you walk through on ground level that was a chapel, with two stories and beautiful stained-glass windows. These were removed. On level 3, the windows are new but do not look new because we dressed them in architraves.”
Everyone wanted brick as the main structural material, for its romance, helping to create the mood that filters through from the pathway up to the hotel, lined with variegated pot plants with a delicate Japanese maple in the corner, up to the fifth-floor roof garden. Getting the additional floors led to “a lot of ups and downs with council”, Alessi remembers, but the roof and the glass-sided lift to it afford an unlikely view of rooftops reminiscent of a historic European city. 

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In between, there are brass room numbers with their own Art Deco-related font, sumptuous leather armchairs in the sunken lounge, which was inspired by the Olivetti showroom in Italy, and a stylish pink banquette in the Honour Bar – pink and emerald feature throughout in upholstery, curtains and walls (even the dishwasher in the Bar is green). There are also marble bathrooms, polished concrete floors, and fabrics and other products from bespoke, specialist suppliers many with long histories in Sydney.

A wall of romantic poetry books, printed to look old with doodles for an appealing personal touch, is ingenious. It is part of an art program from Nick Samartis, that also covers stairwells and individual rooms with multifarious pictures including of historic Surry Hills identifies. Illustrations from Alexandra Nea on the website and the Surry Hills Neighbourhood Guide, pinpoint “culture, coffee/breakfast/light eats, dinner, drinks (and) shop”, in anticipation of urbane Australian, European and American guests.
“We all absolutely love it,” Alessi says.

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ABOUT DEBORAH SINGERMAN

AAA Volunteer Deborah Singerman is a writer and editor, with extensive experience interviewing people, researching stories, finding angles and then disseminating the information for different readerships.

She offer professional writing and editing services for articles with content that can be adapted for websites, blogs, magazines and university journals.

Check out her website at: https://www.deborahsingerman.com.au/

  • Article: Deborah Singerman
  • Image1: An exterior view of the new extension to original hospice building
  • Image 2: Connie Alessi principal of the design firm Archemy
  • Image 3: Terence Yong principal of Terence Yong Architecture (formerly project architect at Shed Design Studio) and Connie Alessi discuss the guest houses design with AAA Short Black attendees
  • Image 4: A view from the interior of the ground floor entry
  • Image 5: A view of an upper level lift lobby
  • Photographer: Vanessa Couzens