Not only did I take myself off to Kampung Admiralty in January; I headed to the other end of Singapore to see “The Hive” by Heatherwick Studio at Nanyang Technological University (NTU). The Hive or Learning Hub is a building designed to challenge traditional learning environments and provide a dynamic mix of social and learning spaces for students. There are twelve towers (of dim sum baskets, so says the taxi driver) holding tutorial rooms that surround a large atrium of curved, greened terraces, which offer informal spaces for students to gather. I could go on about the environmental considerations, concrete construction, passive air-conditioning and generous greening but I’ll just show you the pics instead. Another remarkable, architectural highlight in my travels. Oh and it was Saturday, if you’re wondering where all the students are!
I was fortunate to take a quick trip to Singapore earlier this year and more fortunate still to sneak away for a few hours to shoot WOHA Architect’s Kampung Admiralty - named 2018 World Building of the Year at the World Architecture Festival. And rightly so. The building is mixed-use, combining social housing with commercial and retail spaces (food, medical etc) and includes a remarkable, terraced green roof. The stacked terraces include a kids playground, an outdoor gym, peaceful gathering places and a community farm, together providing a community park for residents and visitors. I barely scratched the surface in the few hours I spent there but impressed I was. Hot, but impressed.
Last year I spent some time - not enough time - with the stunning South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute (SAHMRI) building in Adelaide, by Woods Bagot. What can I say, it reminds me of my beloved Esplanade Theatres in Singapore with it’s graceful curves and striking geometric facade. How could I not love it? I plan to return later this year to spend some on the inside but in the meantime, here’s what I saw.
I love being behind my camera. It doesn't matter if I'm shooting for clients or for art - I love it. There is something special, however, about shooting for myself. No brief, no intent, just seeing. I like to do this between things to let of steam, if you like. I guess it is in lieu of international travel - this year anyway!
During last year's trip to Thailand, I stayed in an up and coming area of Bangkok, Thonglor. It's a trendy little spot with great restaurants, cafes and shops. On one of my walks I stumbled across this sales office, yes, just a sales office. The Khun by Yoo sales office, along with the condos that will eventually stand there, were designed by Yoo in collaboration with Phillippe Starck. I see an elephant...
I had the pleasure of shooting some gorgeous bathrooms for Fiona Parry-Jones of Von Haus Design at her ongoing Kew project. I am always inspired by Fi's use of colour and pattern and this was no exception. Beautiful styling by Petrina Turner was the perfect finishing touch.
I finally got around to sorting through my photos from last year's trip to Thailand. I've been to Bangkok a number of times over the past 10 years and there are a few things that I always notice. The first of those 'things' is colour. The unashamed, in your face, bright as can be, use of colour. T-shirts, taxis, umbrellas, buildings the list goes on. The Thai love colour. So do I.
On what was one of the coldest Melbourne days of the year, I took a tour of Pritzker Architecture Prize–winning architect Glenn Murcutt and Elevli Plus's Australian Islamic Centre in Newport, a contemporary Australian mosque. The formal design draws on modernist principals with beautiful glimpses into and through the building. The entrance is open and transparent allowing outsiders a view to the inside, a feature not typical of traditional mosques and designed as such to be inclusive and respectful of people of all faiths.
Inside is a vast space, bathed in symbolic colours of Islam by roof-mounted lanterns that illuminate the room and provide a dynamic pattern across the walls and floor. The tranquil, reflective water courtyard is another beautiful feature, not to mention the external concrete staircase.
There's still work to be done at the site but I highly recommend a tour, which is led and enriched by Ali Kaddour and his nephew, Ali Abou-Zeid whose dedication and enthusiasm is infectious!
I look forward to returning (this time with my tripod!) on its completion.