Month: October, 2010

Westfield Wonders…

After $1.2 billion invested, ten years of planning and negotiations with almost two years of CBD traffic turmoil, the new Westfield Sydney finally welcomed punters to phase one of the gigantic development.

For those unfamiliar with the project and location, the better part of Sydney City’s primary outdoor retail strip; Pitt Street Mall, was progressively bought up by the Lowy Family’s Westfield Group and augmented into one huge branded internally focussed super centre.

While debate on the pros and cons of the Mega-Mall trend rages and the demise of “high street” retail traditions and that social impact is highlighted, these centres continue to go up…. “you cant stop progress”.

Internally, the transformation is quite impressive ranging from high-concept, the humorous, the whimsical to the brand consistent and the purely luxe aesthetic of established high-end retailers.  The securing of these high fashion labels such as Gucci, Mulberry and Armani (to name only a few) has fundamentally seen the bar set higher for the standard of fitouts.  With the various levels carefully demarcated by the quality of the goods sold, there is quite deliberately something for all budgets in the new complex, catering to a mixed demographic in the central business district sees the full swathe of tastes in decore and finishes also explored.  Surprisingly, this has worked out quite well.  In most cases very much on par with some of the international standards we have not seen in local retail ventures to date.

Having kept many of Sydney’s design studios and suppliers busy for the past few years, the gradual roll-out of the remaining stores (such as Spanish clothing giant Zara and additional eating options) over the next seven months will undoubtedly see even more striking works unveiled.  Put simply, we predict next years IDEA and Australian Interior Design Awards retail categories to be quite competitive!

If you can handle the crowds already trawling through the grand halls, we’d recommend it’s worth a look.

It looks shiny, smells new and tastes delicious.

Share on Facebook

A Cut Above…

© JellyFish PhotographyImage © Copyright Huw Lambert and Jellyfish Photography

Hot on the heels of the recent relaunch of The Argyle in Sydney’s historic “Rocks” precinct, comes the Bavarian Hospitality Group‘s newest gastro offering: The Cut Bar & Grill.

Another expert interior from the masterminds at Luchetti Krelle plays backdrop to a bistro for beef lovers and meat cut connoisseurs. The heritage location’s heavy timber accents are harnessed and the mood is built upon with gorgeous upholstered Carola‘s from Andreu World contributing to the character filled atmosphere.

James Privett, formerly of Bistro Moncur and Bennelong steers this venture with a deft touch, capitalizing on the current steak house trend and further establishing The Argyle as a culinary destination with the recent success of Sake Restaurant in the Good Food Guide Awards.  Good news too for our readers in ‘The Sunshine State’: Queensland, with Sake Restaurant Brisbane due to open this November at Eagle Street Pier!

Share on Facebook

Grand Designs Australia…

Since 1999 the commanding, measured commentary of Britain’s Kevin McCloud has been synonymous with the voyeurism of following everyday Brits embarking on their own building projects.

Quite aside from the varied approaches to design and construction that are showcased, what has reinforced the Grand Design format’s overwhelming success both in the UK and here in Australia is that at the core of the subject are very human stories.

We’d challenge anyone to watch this show without becoming invested in the process on some level: straight-up poor taste, overwhelming lack of experience or a run of bad luck, we are only able to carve out our opinions and draw conclusion on the success or failure of the builds because of the unique window Grand Designs gives us into these often drawn out transformations.

Excitingly, this week, the first Season of Grand Designs Australia kicks off and is being heralded as a more than worthy spin-off.  Having filmed for over a year already, we are given a quintessentially Australian flavour right from the first episode:

…from rebuilding a labour of love in the Victorian bush after it was burnt to the ground in the Black Saturday bush fires; to transforming a tiny corner car park into five level home in the urban jungle; and a cyclone proof, tropical tree house that is windowless and based on the shape of a 50 cent piece…

Ably taking the reins locally is Melburnian Peter Maddison of Maddison Architects.  With over 25 years experience his own projects include a huge range of award-winning residential and commercial work, Peter’s understanding of Australian architecture, climate, culture and history give the commentary and interpretative analysis a strong and insightful context.

In an era where “overnight home renovation” shows and “handy hints segments” wax lyrical on the ease of  quick-fix residential “design” and bemoan the need to invest time and planning, it is buoying to see Australian content focussed on achieving quality and substance in realistic time-frames under realistic pressures.

You can’t miss this!

It all starts at 8.30pm this Thursday, October 21st exclusive to the Lifestyle Channel.

Share on Facebook

Create-A-Date: Live…

Pop it in your diary and keep the night free: Monument Magazine’s Create-A-Date series holds its second Sydney “LIVE” event at the KE-ZU showroom in Surry Hills on October 27th.  RSVP HERE.

Pairing industry creatives from varied backgrounds then setting them a hypothetical design challenge, the collaborative process is afforded a fresh, innovational freedom.  The expertise of two polar skill sets are married to result in a truly unique, wholly designed outcome.

In this installment, Julie Paterson of Cloth Fabric and Andy MacDonald of Mac-Interactive Architects present their: “Couch Potato” indoor seating system.

When: 6-8pm Wed 27 October, 2010
Where: KE-ZU Showroom, Surry Hills click HERE for map
RSVP: Wed 20 October, 2010 click HERE to rsvp

Brought  to you by Monument Magazine, proudly supported by St Germain Elderflower Liqueurs and KE-ZU.

Share on Facebook

YOU-ZU: Phil Scott

A REAL TREAT THIS WEEK. THE SYDNEY THEATRE COMPANY‘S WHARF REVUE OPENED TO RAVE REVIEWS LAST WEEK AND WILL PLAY UNTIL MID DECEMBER, WITH A SEASON IN MELBOURNE AT THE VICTORIAN ARTS CENTRE THROUGHOUT JANUARY.  CAST MEMBER, CO-WRITER AND MUSICAL DIRECTOR PHIL SCOTT GRACES YOU-ZU WITH HIS WIT THIS WEEK!

MARCH 2011 WILL SEE PHIL HOPPING OVER TO NEW YORK TO SUPERVISE IN THE SCRIPT RE-WRITES FOR PRODUCER BETTE MIDLER IN TIME FOR THE BROADWAY PREMIER OF PRISCILLA: QUEEN OF THE DESERT, THE MUSICAL.

Share on Facebook

The Italian Way of Seating…

From October 20, 2010 the acclaimed 50 Years of Italian Chairs exhibition takes a seat in Sydney.

Currently wowing crowds at Brisbane’s QPAC, curator Alessandro Mendini, editor of Italian design magazine, DOMUS examines seating design from the second half of the 20th Century:

Mendini offers the chairs as small pieces of ‘architecture’ whose design has tested the mettle of renowned artists, architects and designers alike, all of whom have successfully married creativity and functional requirements, while addressing issues of materiality, manufacturing and technology.

Coming to Sydney as an extension of Sydney’s Art & About month, the exhibit is free and open daily.

When: 20-29 October
Hours: Showroom hours
Venue: Euroluce Showroom, 2 Hill St, Surry Hills, NSW 2010
Cost: Free

Share on Facebook

The Real Cancun…

British born artist, Jason de Caires Taylor’s La Evolución Silenciosa (The Silent Evolution) is simply breathtaking… not least because it is 9 metres below sea level!

The famed environmental artist and scuba fanatic’s response to the overuse of Cancun’s delicate reef systems by the 750,000 annual visitors was to draw some away to a new artificial reef comprised of some 400 human body casts.

Eerie, unnervingly still, but no less beautiful.  An assembly of real Mexican locals molded from environmentally sensitive concrete with low pH to encourage coral growth and attract marine life to an area otherwise uninhabited by sea flora and fauna.

For more on this ambitious project click here.

Share on Facebook

Vondom Shines…

The new ranges by Karim Rashid, Ramon Esteve and A-Cero for VONDOM were showcased in all their technicolour, illuminated glory at the recent Feria Habitat in Valencia.

Click the image above to see their remote controlled RGB LED function at work en masse, synchronized across the whole collection.  If this doesn’t get heads turning what will!?

Share on Facebook

Knock Knock…

image (c) Ross Heathcote

For the nosey parker or latent sticky beak in all of us there is a way to satiate that niggling curiosity about what lies behind the “PRIVATE” sign and beyond those barricades for “STAFF ONLY”… an event run by the Historic Houses Trust so fantastic that it opens doors across Sydney allowing you, for one day: access to sites unseen – SYDNEY OPEN 2010.

From architectural icons to secret and hidden places, award-winning contemporary designs to much-loved heritage buildings, industrial shells to creative adaptations and state-of-the-art sustainable living projects, Sydney Open will open your eyes to the past, present and future of Sydney’s built environment.

It’s all happening over the weekend of Saturday the 6th and Sunday November 7th.

Head over here to get your tickets!

Share on Facebook

Bold and Beautiful….

Black is most definitely back!  You asked for it and you got it, the perennial favourite: CU-C-ME from HIVE is now available for the first time in black!

We got so excited we wanted to showcase some of the other sleek black editions now also offered from our suppliers: bd Ediciones, VONDOM, EMU and Artifort.

Share on Facebook