TAG: Melbourne

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November 25 2008

Aesop continues to serve up award winning design with its new store in "The Strand Arcade" in Sydney. Each Aesop store has its own signature look defying the carbon copy stores that were so popular in the 90's and early 2000's. Respecting the store's neighbouring environment is important to Aesop and integration within the area is emphasised. March Studio's, Rodney Eggleston has again been offered the role to find the "store's soul" and bring it to life. He has made one of Aesop's highlight materials "Porcelain" the hero in this store by using the timeless, precious material for the tiles, small furnishings and floor.   

As always with Aesop, clean lines and only the necessary pieces of furniture and interiors are used allowing optimum space and movement. The complete range of skin, hair and body products are available in this store, so maximising the wall space was essential. The finishing results are a sublime gallery like offering that continues to push the retail boundaries. — Kate Vandermeer.


January 22 2009

It seems as though a wooden boat washed up on shore amidst a neighbourhood of typical Aussie beach houses just south of Melbourne on the Mornington Peninsula. From the street the house’s irregular form reveals nothing of what unfolds once within the property.

At a closer look, the façade consists solely of a postbox. According to the design team at McBride Charles Ryan the openness of a holiday house in a beach community renders the front door arbitrary. You stop in for the weekend – your mates stop over for a Sunday afternoon drink.


The architects valued the existing scale of Blairgowrie – the house is certainly not an obstruction built within the community. Instead, it’s modest irregularity opens up into an impressive four-bedroom beach verandah.  Bold blacks and whites sit on top of the stained timber floors, which run the length of the house.

A dramatic red support structure, the most striking interior feature, draws the divide between inside and out. According to the architects, the support shelves are where beach memories will be stored – a place where all the stuff you see every day will sit as you and your family grow. - Andrew J Wiener

Photography: John Gollings



May 29 2009

Stockholm-based Sommarnöjen (Summer Enjoyment - or Entertainment - in English) has just unveiled the designs for five new beautiful 15-square-meter second houses. Sommarnöjen houses are  designed by Sweden's top-tier architectural offices Kjellander + Sjöberg Arkitektkontor, Sandellsandberg Arkitekter and Tham & Videgard Hansson Arkitekter.

Sommarnöjen provides the houses ready-built on site. Some are suitable for year-round use as well. The mini-houses are also great as additions to a larger dwelling - as guest houses, studios, workshops, separate bedrooms and of course, saunas. For those of us with Scandinavian backgrounds, these cottages look like home. They look perfectly suited to join the thousands of tiny cottages that dot the small islands, rocky seashores and lakesides of Scandinavia where people take July off and also spend every weekend from April till September (or more) at the cottage, rain or shine. Sommaren har kommit! - Tuija Seipell


November 30 2010

We are cautiously nursing a glimmer of hope that even the most corporate of the corporate world could start taking design seriously. And that they could really start understanding and taking advantage of the effects that great head-office design has on staff creativity, productivity and comfort; which, in turn, leads to either staff loyalty or revolving doors. And, most important, that all of this inevitably filters down to how the customers experience the company.

Some banks in Australia are giving us reason for this hope. We observed Macquarie investment bank’s new harbourside office building in Sydney some time ago.

We are now looking at the ANZ Centre in Melbourne’s Docklands and our hopes rise up further. Designed by Melbourne-based HASSELL,  the massive “urban campus” occupies 130,000 square metres and is the location of the daily grind for 6,500 people.

The design centers around a common hub that on the ground level includes cafes, a visitor centre and public art. Throughout the campus, 44 individual hub spaces connect to quiet working zones.

The floor plan maximizes flexibility and daylight penetration, and fosters collaboration and varying work styles. About 55 percent of the work area is collaborative space and the remaining area is dedicated desk space.

HASSELL won the 2010 World Architecture Festival’s Interiors and Fitout of the Year award for ANZ Centre. The World Architecture Festival is an annual three-day event held in Barcelona where the Awards this year attracted a record 500 entries from 61 countries. - Tuija Seipell


October 10 2009

A fluidity of surfaces is witnessed in the Yarra House designed by Leeton Pointon architects and Susi Leeton architects. Floors become walls; walls become ceilings; and ceiling opens up to sky. 

On approach, the entrance looks like a cave formed by rendered concrete walls. Only the slight and irregular black window frame insertions appear to allow light into the house. But within, light falls through the double-story void from above in all directions.

Light cascades down oak and white plastered surfaces. It washes over limestone and marble, illuminating art, furniture and every handcrafted and natural surface throughout the house. 

The focal point and central pivot of the house is a sculptural circular stair. This transitional element divides the entire double-storey space as it stretches out under a steep exterior site.

Curved surfaces play against rigid lines in a style that the architects describe as ‘archaic’ – an effortless blend of both the primitive and artistic. Materiality was the primary factor in the selection of timbers, stone and every other interior feature.

The house is sited south of the Yarra River in one of Melbourne’s many beautiful neighbourhoods. The team of architects won an Architecture Award for Interior Architecture at the 2009 Victorian Chapter Awards. - Andrew J Wiener

Painting on wall on image 3 is from artist Song Ling.


July 13 2009

Cities grow organically, and while some areas thrive and prosper, others parts undoubtedly deteriorate over time as industry evolves, social dynamics shift and economies fluctuate.  Many accomplished urban designers look at the multi-dimensionality of any city within which they work regardless of where a project is sited. 

Ashton Raggatt McDougal (ARM) architects completed the design of the Melbourne Recital Center and the neighbouring Melbourne Theater Company helping to transform the formerly derelict Southbank area of the city to the dynamic district it has now become. The firm has been so successful in their designs of the two buildings that they have been honored with the 2009 Victorian Architecture Medal winning highest accolades in three categories for public architecture, interior design as well as urban design.

In a country where the two largest cities compete for just about everything, is Melbourne set to de-thrown Sydney for a higher quality performance space?  Granted we’re not here to critique Utzon’s Opera House, but we are prepared to say that ARM, in collaboration with Arup Acoustics, designed a dynamic and original 1000-seat performance space and 150-seat Salon.  “The fusion of architectural and acoustic design throughout the development of Elisabeth Murdoch Hall has produced a visually and aurally exciting hall,” a designer from Arup explains. “Based on the proportions of the classic shoe-box shaped European concert hall, the geometry has been enhanced to provide greater acoustic intimacy and improved sightlines for the entire audience.”

The design for the Melbourne Theater Company begins with the dramatic façade: 3D iridescent steel tubing folds and bends against black aluminum cladding – just as an actor brings performance to life against a dark backdrop. The interior is comprised of the Sumner Theater, a 500-seat hall noticeably without a balcony or mezzanine space, but still allowing exceptional site lines to the stage regardless of where your season tickets land you. The most striking element inside the main theater is the Word Wall – 70 quotes from different plays are illuminated when the stage is dark. The building also houses a full rehearsal hall that can be used as an event space or a smaller performance space, as well as a café and bar at the front of the house. - Andrew j Wiener


July 26 2009

Boutique beauty brand Aesop has launched another collaboration with inspiring Melbourne design firm, March Studio. After designing award winning stores in Adelaide (remember that amazing ceiling constructed from recycled bottles?), Melbourne (those product displays crafted almost entirely out of recycled cardboard), Studio March was charged with the task of designing a temporary installation doubling as a bar at Melbourne's recent State of Design Festival.

A partnership with Absolut Vodka and the British Design Council, the installation, called "After Dark" was brought to life with 1400 meters of tracing paper, forming the cocoon-like ceiling and walls. We can't wait to see what they do next. - Lisa Evans



September 26 2009

Self-described as a former frustrated David Carson wannabe, Melbourne-based Amy Moss has realized that her happiness – and her potential for design rockstardom – are dependent on her NOT being a graphic designer but her obsession about beautiful colors and beautiful things in general. She figured out she’s a stylist rather than a graphic designer, and her blog EatDrinkChic may well be her ticket to filmstardom, too, in the same way that Julie Powell’s obsession with Julia Child’s recipes, and her blog about them, took her in six years from relative obscurity to being a topic for the film Julie & Julia.

EatDrinkChic has a crafty, girly vibe but there are no crocheted polyester-yarn throw cushions or quilted tea cozies here. The blog is about interiors, parties, weddings and food and Amy Moss offers readers DIY ideas which she styles, designs and photographs and offers it all for free to her followers. It won't be long before book publishers come knocking. - Tuija Seipell


August 8 2009

Nearly 25 years ago, the world tuned into Melbourne for the ultimate in sporting events, the Olympic Games. Even long before that, Aussies were renowned as being among the world’s greatest sport fans. From grand-slam tennis to cricket’s oldest and greatest rivalry between Australia and England, Ozzie sports are part of its culture.

Opening in 2010, the Melbourne Rectangular Stadium, designed by COX Architects with engineering assistance from Arup, and from Norman Disney & Young — is a $200-million boutique rugby and soccer stadium with a capacity of 31,000.

Pride in sporting venues is also part of the very culture that supports sports so proactively. To stand on the same level as the Bird’s Nest, the Water Cube, Wimbledon, Coliseum and all sports architecture icons, new and old, great sporting venues support and enhance the cities in which they stand.

Melbourne expects its new Rectangular Stadium to not only contribute to the city’s sporting life, but also to be a focal point of the city’s Olympic Sports Park and Entertainment Precinct — only a short walk from the city center.

Fractured architecture is slowly becoming synonymous with 21st-century architecture in Melbourne. From the honeycomb concrete façade of Federation Square, to the steel tubing we recently wrote about on the city’s new recital centre, the bio-frame roof of the Rectangular Stadium already looks like it belongs. The roof will be covered with thousands of LED lights that can shine in many colors. They will be programmed to follow patterns that mimic the crowd’s energy during a match — soccer with Victory or rugby with Storm — or any other game or event. - Andrew J Wiener


March 1 2010

There’s gotta be something in the water, right? First it was Jonathan Boulet and his gift for Technicolour indie, closely followed by fellow Australians Tim & Jean who blew our minds with their perfectly realized synth-pop splendor. And now we’ve got Melbourne-dwelling twosome Gypsy & The Cat who despite their young age have already got a firm mastery of classic pop.

Yes, we know that’s a big wrap for these relative unknowns, but the proof is in the pudding,  or in this case the luscious pop gold of Gypsy & The Cat’s breakout tune Jona Vark, which distills their love of electronic tweaks, Fleetwood Mac-tutored songcraft and soaring hooks into three perfect minutes. - Dave Ruby Howe

Listen also to Thieves of Aon


May 26 2010

Fitzroy High School has a long history in Melbourne, Australia. The government school closed in 1992 but it re-opened in 2004, after an 11-year campaign by parents and residents. In 2009, its senior students gained an exciting new building, designed by Melbourne-based McBride Charles Ryan who we have featured previously.

The school’s philosophy of innovation in education is reflected in the striking new building that connects with a cluster of older school buildings, some more than 100 years old. The new building’s exterior walls are deliciously wavy and painted in stripes of secondary colors, all of which helps the building both blend in and stand out.

Inside, the studio spaces had to remain extremely flexible and their configurations had to be easy to change by staff. The solution is deceptively simple: Bright-colored drapes and splashes of color that define a space. The school brought McBride Charles Ryan the 2010 Grand Prix at the Dulux Color Awards while the interior won in the Commercial Interior category. - Tuija Seipell

For a comprehensive visual presentation of schools/universities with thousands of visuals to excite you, contact TCH Platinum. Schools wanting to see ideas and concepts in how to design super cool educational environments effectively, contact our marketing agency, ACCESS AGENCY.


May 26 2010

Shop by Zuster

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Shop by Zuster

Shop by Zuster - All handmade in Melbourne. You want furniture that will last decades, not a season and Zuster deliver on all counts. It doesn't get any better than this

Shop by Zuster                                                                              Shop by Zuster


September 27 2012

It seems that every day we come across yet another beautiful example of elegant use of wood and, more often than not, the architects and designers turn out to be Aussies! Watch out Scandinavians and Japanese!

Stephen O’Connor and Annick Houle, partners at O’Connor and Houle Architecture, are responsible for designing this stunning residence in Blairgowrie on the Mornington Peninsula in Melbourne, Australia. The Pirates Bay House is an L-shaped, one-storey, 200 square-meter (2152 sq. ft.) home for the two architects themselves and their twins.

Because this is an assignment they can fully control, the partners were able to indulge in all of their favorite features, They value slow life and harmony with nature. They also emphasize the various ways in which the residents interact with their living environment – the play of light on the walls and through windows and doorways, the feel of materials and textures, the breezes and airflow throughout the building, and of course, the views and vistas at different times of the day and during different seasons.

The optimal use of sunlight, rainwater and other natural resources, and the selection of landscaping features and native plants that require minimal maintenance or watering, are all part of the owners’ quest for sustainable living. Non-toxic materials, low-energy appliances, recycled timbers were also selected for the same reason.

The result is an elegant, minimalist house that makes us think of self-sufficient Finnish summer houses with no running water, no electricity, no indoor plumbing, yet with all the pleasure. - Bill Tikos


May 14 2012

We think Rokeby studios in Melbourne's Collingwood could be a portent of things to come: the designer photographer's space. Photographer Mariija Ivkovic wasn't happy with the spaces she shot in. They didn't reflect the creative spirit she wanted her work to imbue. So she created the space herself.

Joining forces with photographer Lachlan Moore she dug out a warehouse space to create a smattering of studios that now house two architecturally designed chameleon SMEG-stocked kitchens, a salon with a fully plumbed hair basin, a cafe area, board room, client “snug” and, of course, three lush shooting spaces.

It was much the same “build it and they will come – bugger the insanity of it all” attitude that saw the pair invent the world’s first inflatable and portable photobooth. Just because. They built the Photobooth prototype for a party they were hosting. For fun. Folk liked it, so they turned it into a side-business, catering to weddings, parties, anything. Photos can be branded, uploaded, shared and printed.

Perhaps Marija’s name rings bells? Her work has been featured on TCH before. She’s responsible for this McFancy range of images, which have since been featured in magazines around the world.

This is how creativity works. - Bill Tikos


June 22 2012

Shrouded House is a discreetly opulent residence for a young, design-aware family of four (plus a Labrador retriever) in Toorak, considered the most prestigious neighborhood in Melbourne, Australia.
Inarc Architects was in charge of the architecture and interiors of the project, completed in February, with Allison Pye Interiors consulting on the interior design and furnishings.

The 13-room residence consists of the 850 square-meter (9,150 sq. ft) main house plus the 300 square-meter (3,330 sq. ft) basement, and the 70 square-meter (753 sq. ft) poolside cabana. The previous house and the earlier landscaping on the site were demolished. The new landscaping replaces most of the removed trees, and responds to the needs of the new house and its residents.

The project gained its moniker Shrouded House from the main feature: the effective screening of the slightly twisting and turning exterior from the adjoining properties and the street by bronze aluminum battens. Used throughout the exterior, the battens give the structure its homogenous coloring and its sense of lightness.

Bronze, steel and glass give the residence its contemporary sculptural presence yet they also allow light and clouds play on, reflect and penetrate the structure, which makes the entire building appear smaller and less monolithic. The effective use of these materials also helps connect the exterior to the interior spaces.

As the structure is also broken up into smaller-scale components, the sizeable house does not appear overly imposing or grandiose.
The interior is open, warm and light-filled with white, sandstone and oak surfaces linking the spaces together.

We love the understated way in which the designers have interpreted the family’s needs of privacy, warmth and openness through timeless, understated architecture. - Tuija Seipell


November 8 2012

The Cool Hunter Pop-up boutique series starts this month in Melbourne, Australia continues in Sydney in December, and in 2013 we will be setting up temporary boutiques in New York and London. 

THE COOL HOUSE at Rokeby Studios, Melbourne - 29 Nov - 2 Dec
THE COOL HOUSE at Pacific Bondi Beach, Sydney - 7 Dec - 16 Dec

Introducing the irresistible mix: The exclusive Penthouse display suite at Pacific Bondi Beach in Sydney, the coolest and newest photography studio Rokeby in Melbourne, a group of select exclusive feature sponsors and the design-savvy audience of The Cool Hunter, combined with an unexpected, limited-time designer product shopping experience.

In Sydney: Catching the wave of the temporary boutique phenomenon, The Cool Hunter (TCH) will refit the Pacific Bondi Beach Penthouse Suite for an unprecedented and unforgettable 10-day (including 2 weekends) event where potential buyers can not only view the suite but buy any and all of the furnishings, accessories and artwork.

In Melbourne: Rockeby studios becomes the setting for a 4 day designer shopping experience featuring the latest in home and housewares, designer accessories and unique products for the discerning home.

For the guests, shopping at THE COOL HOUSE at Pacific Bondi Beach penthouse and at Rokeby Studios will be unlike any other shopping experience – a striking break from the mind-numbing sameness of stores and malls around the world.

Sign up to the Facebook page for updates. and Instragram for live footage

Sponsorship opportunities: [email protected]
Press queries: [email protected]


February 5 2013

Not that anyone really needs a watch to check the time. We all carry more than enough devices that inform us of the time, or more commonly, the lack thereof.

Maybe that is why there is a nice retro feel in the whole idea of wearing a watch. I dare you to rush me! Let me just check the time on my watch and see if I care to rush!

We are certainly fans of cool time pieces here at TCH, so when we were introduced to the Melbourne-based AÃRK Collective our interest was immediate.

We love the minimalist, serious craftsmanship of not just the watches and every detail inside and out, but also the packaging.

The attention to every detail honours the craftsmanship, the timeless craftsmanship, of the entire experience. These are not jewellery or pretentiously magnanimous investment pieces for sheer show-off.

These are practical yet beautiful. Form and function. Minimalist and cool. Just what we love. We’ve ordered our Yolk Yellow watches. Now, if only time would fly a little faster…Tuija Seipell


May 3 2013

The era of romantic letter mail is all but over, yet all of us still need a letterbox, a mail box, a mail slot... a something where our daily hard- copy mail, and even an occasional long-distance post card from our globe-trotting friends, can be delivered.

But what if we don’t want just “something”? What if we want a stylish, cool, fun, “look-at-me!” mail box that matches our stylistic tastes? Try to find a mail box that is anything other than supremely ugly and you will come up with nothing.

The concept of Koo Koo was developed by Bill Playso who saw the glaring need for a stylish and cool letterbox. he invited industrial designerJustin Hutchinson to help bring the concept to life. the result of Koo Koo letterbox by Playso. Designed and manufactured in Melbourne, Australia

Koo Koo is a stylized bird-shaped letterbox that does not take itself too seriously, yet it has serious curb appeal. It is a conversation piece outdoors and in. Expect to see Koo Koo indoors as often as outdoors. Maybe for internal mail in the office? A suggestion box for your customers? And even the box in which Koo Koo is shipped and displayed is a designer creation in itself. Expect the shipping box to live a long life as well, as a storage box that does not have to hide.

Great design moves people, conveys feelings, evokes a reaction, triggers memories, delights, goes against convention, breaks new ground and surprises in a positive sense.

Packaging designed by Fernando Volken Togni.

Zinc powder-coated metal body, compact laminate magnetic side panels.

Base model is A$330 and A$420 for the optional compact wood laminate side magnetic panels.

Mention TCH for free international shipping


May 27 2013

A rear of a small inner city Melbourne pub has been transformed from a tiny add-on back extension into a voyeuristic playground by Techné Architects. The clever rethinking of the space has effectively turned the 130m2 back area of The Prahran Hotel into 300m2 over three levels.

The star of the design is a series of 17 ½ concrete waterpipes. These concrete culverts dominate the striking street façade.

For architect Justin Northrop, the pipes add a lot more than drama to the hotel’s exterior. “Inside you are climbing over the pipes, sitting in them, or on them at various levels. They have a lasting impact on the space.”

Guests can sit in booths inside the pipes. “We were looking for a sense of drama and theatricality,” says Northrop.

Booths can be seen from the street, and throughout the interior of the hotel. Each booth, that seats up to 12, features leather upholstered banquettes and is lined with recycled spotted gum slats and acoustic absorption mats. “The voyeuristic nature of these pubs is very important, the way the space is connected visually,” says Northrop.

The project is the fifth pub collaboration between Techné and hotel group Sand Hill Road (SHR has pubs around Melbourne and moonlight as successful film producers). Pub Group’s Matt Mullins was not trying to create a gastro pub. “I want it to be accessible, for locals, for neighbours,” he says. At the same time, the close collaboration with Techné in the past meant Mullins was more than open to left-field design ideas. The main bar features salvaged pipes, concrete cast lamps and plantings by Ayus Botanical.

Guests can choose between three levels; the ground floor mixes polychromatic textured tiles and spotted gum floorboards, with a light-filled courtyard and street views. The courtyard features a striking nine-metre trapezoidal concrete wall, that has a corrugated effect and porthole motifs.

The natural materials and soft upholstery take the edge of the concrete, steel and glass used in the interior. (Even the banisters are covered in leather for a luxe, surprise element.)

The 12-seat VIP area sits atop a giant water pipe, feeling suspended over the space. A key criteria of the design was to ensure that patrons always have a vantage point from wherever they are in the space.  “It’s great for voyeurs,” says Mullins. An exception to the open-plan approach is a sunken seating area, known as ‘the lair’, below stairs for patrons who want to stay under wraps.

At its core, design “is about conviviality” says Northrop. “It’s providing people with opportunities to interact in non-standard ways, a whole variety of seating and gathering.” To make sure there is space for serious partying, one long table on the ground floor can be dismantled to make way for an impromptu dance floor. Northrop made sure the redesign featured a serious DJ deck. “Afterall pubs are not meant to be places of calm and reflection,” he says. Indeed. - Emily Ross


November 10 2014

Over the past two years, architect Robert Mills (Robert Mills Architects and Interior Designers) and his yoga-enthusiast spouse, Lucinda Mills, have created a sophisticated yoga and Pilates emporium in Melbourne’s South Yarra neighbourhood.

The business, One Hot Yoga, is divided into four studios that occupy space at three addresses. Studio 1 (One Hot Yoga) is at 36 River Street, Studio 2 (One Hot Yoga and Mat Pilates) is at 46 River Street, and right next door at 48 River Street is the newest addition, Studios 3 and 4 (One Hot Pilates).

In total, the studios take up nearly 800 square meters (about 8600 square feet) of space. We love the reception area with its minimalist customized furnishings, glass-covered display case and views of the inner courtyard with its lush greenery.

Simplicity, natural materials, finely controlled lighting and tone-on-tone colour schemes create a gracious and calm environment for all of the spaces. Elegant touches, such as heavy linen curtains and beautiful change rooms enhance the ambiance of understated luxury. Tuija Seipell



March 16 2015

Humming puppy? That’s quite a kooky name for a luxe Melbourne yoga studio – the humming is a nod to the Arup audio engineer designed sound system that delivers an exquisite hum soundtrack around the yoga studio; the puppy is a nod to the ubiquitous downward dog yoga pose.

Clients leave a nondescript inner-city Prahran side street, climb a set of industrial stairs into the studio (known here as a shala) and enter a cocooned space where every detail of the design – custom lighting, soundtrack and interiors is geared towards preparing yogis physically and mentally for their practice.

Co-founders Jackie Alexander and Chris Koch wanted to create a different yoga studio experience – part day spa pampering, part ‘get on that mat’ yoga practice and worked with architects (and yoga practitioners) Louisa Macleod and Karen Abernethy and ARUP to create a new kind of studio.

The studio space features Silvertop Ash shiplap interior cladding that gives it a minimalist barn feel. Walls have extra layers of soundproofing to genuinely cocoon clients from the outside world. The 380 square metres yoga studio (known as a shala) features three tiers of mats, accommodating up to 39 students per class, soaring 10-metre high ceilings and engineered oak floorboards. Clients can book specific sanitized mats online before classes.

“Conceptually the preparation area (front of house) is intended as a 'refuge' - pure, simple and white with touches of timber,” says Louisa. “Whereas the yoga practice space is intended as a 'sublime' space, a universe of its own complete with pure black walls and linings.”  The entire studio is sound proofed (well there is a pole dancing studio next door) and a Sonos system pipes in a specially commissioned soundtrack of soundwaves at 40hz  - a frequency associated with ‘gamma’ brain wave activity and states of peak performance; it is meant to help people tune into the practice and not get distracted. Another layer of sound comes in the form of a 7.83hz, otherwise known as the Schumann Resonance that helps to 'ground' yogis during practice. Together they create an unmistakable hum that resonates throughout the classes. The shala is heated to exactly 27 degrees by a series of radiant heat panels too so it is all rather idyllic for yoga practitioners.

Clients can just turn up in their yoga gear – all props such as mat, belts, blocks, shower/workout towels and meditation cushions are supplied. Bathrooms offer five-star standards – fresh towels, toiletries, hair straighteners, driers even lockers with phone charging capability.

Amenities aside, real innovation here is the ingenious soundtrack. Co-founder Koch (an IT entrepreneur who created successful startup 1Form) had a “lightbulb moment” to add the gamma soundtrack to classes to stop people getting too distracted during their poses and tune into their practice. Humming Puppy also does the “afterclass”; offering chilled coconut water and warm green tea. Humming Puppy seems to have found a happy balance between luxury and simplicity. Says Louisa: “Luxury can be attributed to the generosity of space.  This balance is maintained by a simple and raw material selection combined with fine detailing in the construction and the touches of more fine materials (brass etc.) in some of the fittings.”

For co-owner Jackie, the afterclass experience is key. “We wanted a place where people could hang out,” says Jackie. “We felt what was lacking in a lot of yoga studios.” There is a clear advantage in the architects genuinely understanding the end-users’ needs. Says Louisa: “The fact that we both practice yoga and have done so in many places all over the world definitely informed the design process as we know how a good yoga studio should function.  We are aware of the rituals and how the spaces should flow.” - Emily Ross.



March 28 2015

The work of an extraordinary artistic talent such as CJ Hendry deserves and demands more than plain white walls for its showcase.
That was the approach The Cool Hunter took right from the beginning with her meticulous hand-drawn art work.

TCH first introduced her in Sydney, Australia, as part of the Art Hunter experience in conjunction with Jaguar.
This was followed by her first solo presentation, a four-day exclusive art and food reception at a private luxury residence in Sydney.

Following that successful sell out debut, TCH has just launched CJ Hendry’s 50 Foods in 50 Days Gourmet Experience in Melbourne.
Every one of CJ Hendry’s pieces has been sold out prior to the three events, and such was the case with 50 Foods in 50 Days as well. Each of the 50 square black-and-white hand-drawn pieces, depicting photo-realistic French designer plates with various food items, was sold as soon as the series was announced. The hunger for her art seems to be insatiable!

The CJ Hendry Gourmet Art Experience takes place from March 27 to April 12 at 166 Gertrude Street in Fitzroy, Melbourne’s most interesting neighbourhood. The space used to be a paint store until Kalex Boutique Property Development transformed it into an event space.

To create an arresting milieu for the art and the food, The Cool Hunter briefed its go-to event designer extraordinaire, Sydney-based Natalie Longheon, to create a minimal monochrome gourmet food store stocked with the best packaged food products from Australia and around the world.

As usual, Natalie more than delivered. Dramatic black envelopes the viewer and draws all attention to the mesmerizing art and intriguing gourmet food. The dramatic launch event build and production was by Moth Design.

Catering for our opening was by Melbourne’s best caterer, Georgina Damm from Damm Fine Food. Black cones filled with Parmesan and horseradish gelato topped with caviar and flowers.

Adding to the dark-theme, make-up artist Kate Radford applied smoky eyes for all the waiters. Water for the event was by San Pellegrino, beer by Sample and wine by Handpickedwines.

Coffee is provided by Melbourne’s coffee tasting specialists at Sensory Lab who created a pop up coffee store for the duration of the CJ Hendry experience.

The event branding and graphic design was created by Paper Stone Scissors and the paper for the Art Catalogue was provided by Spicers Australia.

Photography by Peter Tarasiuk.

CJ Hendry Gourmet Art Experience
166 Gertrude St
27 March - 12 April
Tue to Friday - 12pm - 8pm
Sat/Sun - 10am - 4pm
Closed Good Friday and Easter Sunday - open Easter Saturday





April 30 2015

For as long as architecture and music have coexisted they have been far more dependent on each other than one may have initially realized. There is an equidistance between how architecture has shaped the evolution of music and how music has done the same for architecture.

It’s the notion of harmony within spaces, that essential idea that the engrained harmony and vibrancy that flows through a space then goes on to give that overall place a particular identity and then in the reverse order.

As early as the 1400’s architects would use music to define structure for the most beautiful of building types.

Renaissance architect Leon Battista Alberti described it in this way;

“We shall therefore borrow all our Rules for Finishing our Proportions, from the Musicians, who are the greatest Masters of this Sort of Numbers, and from those Things wherein Nature shows herself most excellent and compleat.”

On the flipside to this, time has seen music progressively adapting to fit the containers in which it is being exhibited in, hence the birth of electronic music and stadium rock.

So how does this all relate to a somewhat hidden nightclub tucked away within a laneway in Melbourne’s CBD? The answer to that is it’s a further continuation of this evolutionary partnership between the worlds of music and design.

It’s ‘Bond’, a place built upon bold spaces, bold design and bold harmonies which evoke a sense of confidence, as if you’ve ordered a martini shaken not stirred and are playing it effortlessly cool.

The sleek lines and curvature in the design mimic the music which pulsates from wall to wall and overtime as the music has evolved so has the place, into a sophisticated sub-ground lair with just the right amount of retro edge.

Most impressively Bond holds a particular contextual importance as it is attached to an inner-city carpark facility, notoriously known as the big ugly villain with metal teeth within any city. Yet this carpark has now become the beautiful woman sitting at the bar with a hidden mystery.

Bond’s interior layout combines the fluidity, openness and vibrancy of an amphitheater with intimate corners, enclosed booths, and numerous private settings, brought to life by state of the art lighting and sound and custom made furnishings. 

This kind of execution doesn’t come about cheap nor does it occur without the work of a design team which appreciates the harmonies and spaces within a place.

Fady Hachem of Melbourne-based design and architectural studio ‘Hachem’ first encountered Bond as 21-year-old graduate from RMIT, where he managed to do what any other student would struggle to and convince the then owners to let him develop the interior concepts, bold brand development and manage their sites $2m overhaul.

As does music and architecture go in circles drawing from the old to create new so has Bond. Hachem many years later was re-commissioned to do a $5m refurbishment creating an interior layout that is so far removed from anything you’ve seen in Melbourne, evoking a feeling of escapism and luxury. Ironically it does feel like you’re on the movie set for the latest James Bond film.
By creating a multi-functional space, Bond is now capable of catering to a wider variety of clientele. The bar promotes a New York styled bottle service and punters can enjoy a $50,000 exclusive experience that comes with helicopter rides, a personal chauffeur, masseuse, private waitresses to Cuban cigars and a range of drinks such as a personalised 15L bottle of Veuve Clicquot Yellow Label and Bond edition Bollinger. Very Bond indeed!

Bond is more than a nightclub or a bar, its architectural elegance meets ultimate nightlife experience and has set the tone for future design within its field in Australia. To experience the harmonies, spaces and place visit Bond at 16-24 Bond St, Melbourne. - David Mousa


June 1 2015

What kind of society would we live in if architecture and design were merely just jobs instead of expressive art forms that articulated the beliefs and values of people, organizations and cultures? This is an age old question which faces designers every single day.

In conjunction with Australian health care provider Medibank, a creative collaboration of designers set out to express the values of health and wellbeing established by the company and in doing so have done far more than just their jobs.

Perhaps to the average person it’s a very cool set of stairs yet when you consider it from a design point of view it’s a successful and impressive feat of creativity.

Traditionally we place so much emphasis on the places and spaces we are going to and we forget to acknowledge the importance of the transitional points which get us there.

In this particular case the stairs are the focal point and they certainly don’t disappoint. They are not as much as a distraction to the eye yet more of a piece of art the eye can’t stop looking at. They are levels upon levels of curvilinear vibrancy, acting in an abstract way to shape the boundary of a light filled void space which sets the scene for this beautiful building.

They truly serve an important purpose.  

Located in Melbourne’s Docklands, Medibank Place is a statement piece promoting the companies beliefs of ‘better health for everyone’, from customers to the people who come to work there every day.

The design of the new workplace was a further extension of a major cultural change from Medibank who have taken a particular focus on preventative health and wellbeing.

The aspiration of Medibank is to create one of the healthiest workplaces in the world. With this in mind the design teams of Chris Connell Design, Kerry Phelan Design Office, Russell and George and HASSELL Architects collectively set out to make this vision a reality.   

It’s a workplace which is emphatic of movement, flexibility, freedom, creativity, interaction and engagement; all points which we associate with positive physical and mental health. It’s amazing to think the endless possibilities good design can have and in this case it now sets the benchmark for healthier workplaces and hopefully in turn a healthier society.

The buildings form has been established so that employees are able to roam freely and work in any of the 26 different work settings at their disposal. These spaces range from indoor quiet zones and collaborative hubs to wifi-enabled balconies and the buildings public park.

The stairs act as the heart of this operation and are a key piece of design in achieving successful movement from zone to zone. The intention behind this being that staff feel both empowered whilst encouraged to move around during the day which is crucial to staying healthy.

In essence these stairs are Medibank ‘walking the talk’ when it comes to promoting better health and equally important are an example of careful, considerate and socially conscious design.  On any given day they can take you on a new and unique journey to being a better person and this is what good design is all about; changing lives and inspiring minds. - David Mousa. (Photography Earl Carter)


July 15 2015

We have opened The Cool Hunter Store – our antidote to boring shopping experiences - this past weekend in the Prahan neighbourhood of Melbourne.

The Cool Hunter Store
142 Commercial Road
Prahran Vic 3181

Monday: Closed
Tuesay - Friday 11am - 6pm
Saturday - 10am - 4pm
Sunday - 11am - 4pm

[email protected]

We have created pop-up shops and galleries before, but this one will be a bit longer-term. How long, you ask. We have no idea. We will work it as long as it is interesting to our guests and to us.

(Our window display features The Horse photograph by Sarah McColgan)

The Cool Hunter Store is part art gallery and part shop, but everything is sourced by The Cool Hunter, and everything is for sale. Art, lights, books, gourmet foods, fashion accessories and so on.

We will keep everything fresh and exclusive, and the selection will change regularly so that visiting the store is interesting each time, and there are always goods here that you can’t find anywhere else.

As shopping has become more and more boring, with mind-numbing sameness across airports, high streets, shopping centres and brands, there seems little point in getting excited about a new store. So we know the bar is high.

But we also know that the sameness is the result of brands, stores and managers choosing to be followers rather than leaders. It is so much easier to produce and sell the same colours, styles, hem lengths, materials and products as everybody else. They all go to the same trade shows, same fashion shows, same predictable sources – so is it any wonder that the result is dull and boring?

Living room space created by stylist Steve Cordony
The wall panels are by 3D Wall Panels which we also used for the CJ Hendry space at our Art Hunter event in Sydney over a year ago.

Our approach is different, and far more time-consuming, but we are trying to un-bore ourselves here, too. We hope that as a result, we will be able to offer our guests a worthwhile experience in return.

And, as always, we used Natalie Longheon from Just Add Cream, our go-to girl to create our space. Time after time, she has executed everything from start to finish perfectly. We can trust her completely which is why we use her constantly. She always delivers.

We plan to use the 260 square-meter space also for client product activations, events, launches and whatever else interests us.

LED infinity mirror artwork by American artist Peter Gronquist, available exclusively at TCH gallery store.

Flowers by Melbourne's most iconic florist - The Studio by Fleur.

The Cool Box – our version of a cool, customized luxury gift “hamper” - will be launching in a few months. We are currently perfecting the packaging for it.

Our amazing floors by George Feathers
Paint by Taubmans
Production and Build by Moth Design

Anthony Gargasz Metallic Head


A large CJ Hendry drawing of a Giorgio Armani shopping bag was sold just a few hours prior to opening to a customer in Vancouver.

LED infinity mirror of policeman by Peter Gronquist.

Photographed by Sam Bisso