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Torbreck is in print! 

Our Torbreck apartment renovation is featured in Brisbane news this week!

“Iconic Highgate Hill apartment tower Torbreck, built in 1960, deserves special consideration when it comes to renovation. Apartment owners and mid-century design enthusiasts Mat and Steph were keen to honour the buildings architectural heritage along with architects Leah Gallagher and Marjorie Dixon , whose intentions were to balance the fun with the functional…..”
Read the full article by local writer Michelle Bailey here

Jungle + Nightclub = Office 

We have been busy designing a new workplace for a social media marketing company. Our client is relocating their office to the Hi-Fi, a former music venue in West End. We are transforming the dark nightclub into a bright and dynamic office - not an easy task!  The design will be flexible for day-to-day work and for events hosting 500+ people, as our client plans to have conferences within the space. Hit play on our video to see our large amphitheatre stair referencing the old Hi-Fi venue and indoor gardens.

Dissh It Up!

Dissh Boutiques new headquarters is finished and fabulous! This office fit out was a collaboration with our creative client Dissh, a Brisbane-based fashion company, to transform a dark and tired office space on George Street to a workplace visitors say ‘feels like something out of Vogue’...

KIN Welcomes Elena!

KIN welcomes Elena Ihl to the team! Elena recently completed her Masters of Corporate Architecture from TH Köln University in Cologne, Germany. Elena has gained experience working on a variety of residential and workplace projects in Australia and Germany and recently won a workplace design competition at her university! You can see an example of her strong 3D visualisation skills in the video above.

LONDON: Quirky homes and cutting edge offices

KIN Director, Leah Gallagher’s summary of the London leg of the Dulux Study Tour Prize - 

The study tour presents an amazing opportunity to enter the offices of world-renowned architects, visit their projects and tour the city with local architects. The architecture offices we visited in London were an astonishing collection of workplaces. Architects working at AL_A walked around barefoot on plush, pink carpet. Zaha Hadid Architects’ office entry was a sculptural art gallery, with a sweat-shop of architects beavering away on the floors above.  A chess set designed by Zaha can be purchased from the gallery for $18,000AUD - so you can have Zaha’s style at home (for a price)!

Zaha’s office continues her legacy, where the focus is on sculptural towers and futuristic thinking for our cities. It was fascinating (and alarming) to hear how the office envisages future housing where you will be profile matched to enjoy the company of your neighbour, kitchen and living areas will be communal and you can return to your cell for sleeping.

The office of Pritzker Prize Laureate, Sir Norman Foster functions almost like a university campus with libraries, workshops, and material testing facilities. There are specialized teams, even including a department of musicians who compose music for videos of 3D renders.

Back to exploring London. Our city tour guide was David Garrard who is an academic and architectural conservation specialist. David has a great ability (possibly it’s just being English) to provide a polite critique of London and the mixture of buildings it houses.

We started our tour west of the city centre in Shepard’s Bush to visit the Tin House by Henning Stummel Architects – which was a delight to see. From the street, the house is hidden and we were presented with a double height brick arch, which was entered through a mini barn door. It’s a playful way to enter into a home – an idea which continues as you move through the site.

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Arranged as a series of individual pavilions, the home allows the living areas to connect around a courtyard pool. The home feels quiet and comfortable; the rooms are akin to small galleries with skylights adding a sense of volume. Henning also showed us custom furniture he has made, which is simple and rich in texture – much like the rest of the home.

We visited the family home and studio of distinguished artist Richard Woods, The WoodBlock house by dRMM. The house is entirely constructed out of glass and prefabricated timber panels (CLT cross laminated timber). Richard Woods is famous for his painted plywood works and he collaborated with the architects on the cladding and staircase. The home is split over 4 levels and there are surprise pockets of space around every corner that feel ad-hoc, relaxed and creative.

We also talked to David more about his work and interest in conservation. We all had local examples of controversial heritage projects and discussed with David what he thinks the future of conservation is – what is worthy of being kept in a modern city and will politics change in the future to favor more commercial outcomes?

I’ve been thinking about this conversation further since I’ve been home. Brisbane has a style responding to our ‘timber and tin’ tradition and the Brisbane City Council character overlays. I think it might be holding us back and possibly creating a local style that is not as innovative as it could be.

Only one stop out of three and I was full of ideas!

Picture credits: Joseph O'Meara, Alex de Rijke and Jim Stephenson.

Marjorie talks to Kevin Turner on 4bc about ‘The Mistakes Renovators Make’ - Listen here:

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