Archive for the ‘Architecture’ Category

Fibonacci Stone and Hassell Studio – an en pointe collaboration – The Australian Ballet

australian ballet

A collaborative spirit is one of hallmarks of Fibonacci Stone, and the beauty and strength of this approach could not be better illustrated than in our recent work with Hassell Studio in their refurbishment of the Australian Ballet headquarters in Melbourne.

Australian Ballet“Leah Hudson-Smith of Hassell wished to specify a terrazzo in a palette of flesh tones, blush and salmon – suggesting the hues of a ballerina’s slipper – which would be used throughout the entry foyer, the main public spaces and in the incredible staircase,” says Creative Director, Michael Karakolis.   “Fibonacci Stone responded to the brief with a new design which we hoped would capture the timeless elegance of ballet, subtly nuancing the dichotomy of dance – and the strength that belies the grace of the steps.”

The tile features flinty shards of those ballet shoe-hues set into a warm neutral base, mixed with larger pieces set to mimic the ‘pas de bourrée’ or quick steps, often done en pointe. “For this reason, we couldn’t resist calling the stone ‘Pavlova’, as Anna Pavlova was widely considered the first to adopt the pointe shoe, and for more obvious reasons… its resemblance to her eponymous and delicious dessert,” says Michael.

The Australian Ballet

The Australian Ballet The Australian BalletThe entire project is a celebration of the beauty and hidden strength of ballet.  Brilliantly conceived spaces for the public, staff and dancers followed painstaking and exacting research – take the staircase as an example: it’s sinuous curves elegantly wrap upwards, much like the ribbon of a ballet slipper, but the width of the staircase is designed to allow two tutu clad ballerinas to pass each other without disturbing their costumes. It’s a beautiful example of function equalling form, brilliantly conceived and executed by Hassell Studio.

“It’s in these wonderful collaborations that we feel Fibonacci Stone can offer our wealth of product knowledge, design nous and imagination to our clients,” says Michael.  “We couldn’t be happier with the depth of our full range – which is always available in stock – but these bespoke commissions really are, the cream on the pav.”

Photography by Lillie Thompson

Tobias Partners – Bondi Beach House

A 1980s beach house in North Bondi has been re-imagined for the modern era with bold features that eschew the typical beachside palette of weatherboard and whitewash wooden floors. The result is a fresh, distinctive family home with luxurious materials, including a te­rrazzo tiled floor from Fibonacci Stone.

Tobias Partners, in collaboration with Sydney building company Horizon, were given the task of transforming this four-bedroom beach house into a strikingly modern family home. Spread over three levels, it includes unique features such as a copper fireplace and white beeswax plaster walls that are the perfect backdrop for the owner’s wide and eccentric collection of art.

Fibonacci Stone Storm terrazzo tiles were selected for both the interior and exterior to create a seamless palette inside and out. The composition of the storm tile creates homogeneity in the entire floor that allows it to be continued from the interior to the exterior with  the strength and durability of Fibonacci Stone making it suitable to both applications.

Storm terrazzo tiles feature pale aggregates of white, bone and pearl-grey marble that contrast with a stormy grey cement, creating a bold and graphic appearance that complements the interior design of this home. Storm tiles create a contrast to the white walls but still maintain a light and fresh flooring finish that is ideal for the coastal location.

The durability of Fibonacci Stone terrazzo tiles also makes them suitable for outdoor applications. Fibonacci Stone is stronger and has a higher density than ordinary terrazzo. The low porosity and, more importantly, the consistency in the material results in higher resistance against external elements and maintains a more even wear over time without losing its aesthetic appeal.

Far from a ‘typical’ beach house, this North Bondi home is a modern masterpiece with high-quality materials that will never go out of style.

Concrete Pod by Kazuya Morita

Beauty meets ingenuity in an eggshell-thin concrete structure from Japanese architect Kazuya Morita.

The Concrete Pod is a masterpiece of technology and illustrates the versatility of concrete beyond its traditional application in building and construction.

The secret to the Concrete Pod is its combination of white cement, lightweight aggregate, straw fibre and glass fibre. The mixture was hand trowelled by plasterers using the tradition form of Japanese plastering, called sakan, onto a dome-shaped styrofoam mould.

Holes stud the structure and were created by attaching styrofoam rings to the master mould. Once the concrete was set, the mould was removed leaving a delicate yet remarkably strong egg shape.

It is a pod that invites quiet contemplation or child’s play. Light dappling through the perforations creates a subtle shadowing effect and a lyrical beauty.

The attention is in the detail – the concrete skin is a mere 15mm thick and has a height and diameter of 1.7metres, yet it is sturdy enough to invite someone inside and bear the weight.

Morita is a fan of the dome form, with many examples coming out of his studio in Osaka, including the Shelf-Pod, which features interlocking laminated pine-boards that slot together to form latticed shelving units that house an impressive number of books.

The Brick Pod Pavilion is another of Morita’s dome-like structures, which was created for the Changwon Sculpture Biennale 2012 held in Changwon city, South Korea. It uses some of the same techniques as the Concrete Pod with its delicate application of concrete to create ethereal qualities with light and shadow. It is another remarkable example of concrete design.

Lounge Chair Opper by Gregoire de Lafforest

Leather and marble may not seem like natural bedfellows but they come together perfectly in the ‘Lounge Chair Opper’, created by French designer Gregoire de Lafforest for Galerie Gosserez in Paris.

A stunning take on the 1970s motorcycle saddle, the chair is stylish and comfortable with a gently curving leather seat supported by a luxurious Carrara marble base.

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Opper’s quilted leather surface upholsters a soft and lightly dense foam inside with the rigid marble axis uniting the two elements. The marble block extends sideways to form a supporting table and adds a further element of self-sufficiency to this elegant and functional furniture design.


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While it may look like a solid block of marble, with the impression of dense heaviness, the supporting base is hollow. This allows for the storage of cushions or a throw to round out the experience of comfort. The two pieces are also separable, allowing for easy transportation.

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The Lounge Chair Opper is a functional piece of art worthy of a place in the finest living space.  It’s another example of the outstanding work from this talented interior architect and designer, whose designs include the Hermes headquarters in Paris, Cartier boutiques and the Ciel de Paris restaurant atop the Montparnese Tower.

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Sarah Waller’s Glass House

Nestled in the scenic Noosa Valley,  Sarah Waller’s Glass House features the clean lines and minimalist details of a mid-century modernist home, such as a near flat roof and long expanses of full-height glazing, which help to create a wonderful sense of transparency. The monochromatic palette of the finishes includes black timber joinery and Arctic Ice terrazzo tiles from Fibonacci Stone, which extend from the interior floors to the floating patio to create a seamless connection between the two spaces.

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Sarah Waller spent 20 years conceptualizing her dream home and found the perfect location in Noosa for her light-filled, mid-century-inspired design. Its chic, monochromatic palette is enhanced by Fibonacci Stone terrazzo tiles, which extend beyond the interior to blur the lines between inside and out.

Sarah Waller leads the multi-award winning residential design studio, Sarah Waller Design, which is location in Noosa on the beautiful Sunshine Coast. She moved to Australia from the UK with her family in 2006 and has since built a reputation for her bespoke residential designs.

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Featuring a unique spectrum of pale greys and cool blue accents, Fibonacci Stone’s Arctic Ice terrazzo tiles provide a subtle and versatile finish suited to a wide range of interior colour schemes where a neutral, cool and textured finish is desired.

Sarah Waller’s Glass House is an example of architectural simplicity at its very best. The addition of Fibonacci Stone’s Artic Ice terrazzo tiles brings an extra layer of elegance to this mid-century inspired home.

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The Sweet Factory House by Folk Architects

A former sweet factory in the inner-city Melbourne suburb of Collingwood has been transformed by Folk Architects and our terrazzo tiles are a standout feature in both the kitchen and bathroom.

Collingwood and neighbouring Fitzroy have a rich history in chocolate making. MacPherson Robertson, inventor of Freddo Frog, had its factory located in neighbourhood before selling to Cadbury in 1967. The former Craig & Hales Confectionary Factory also has a sweet heritage in Collingwood – the factory was converted into a residence some time ago and the latest owners approached Folk Architects to design alterations and a second-level addition.

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We’ve been fans of Folk Architects for some time. Founded by Christie Petsinis and Tim Wilson in 2011, their projects include Medhurst Winery in Victoria’s Yarra Valley, Yoke Yoga in Torquay and temporary cafe Hortus in Melbourne’s Docklands.

The Sweet Factory House features an upper level that pops over the heritage facade to frame an outdoor terrace, master bedroom and adjoining bathroom. A key feature is a perforated pink sheet metal bridge that links the new extension to the existing form. Spanning 14-metres, it is a playful reference to the home’s industrial past and creates a spine through the warehouse. Its perforations also filter light through to the lower level.

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Folk Architects chose terrazzo tiles for the kitchen island bench, which have been laid in perfect squares to create a geometric feature in the space. The bathroom extends the application of terrazzo beyond the floor – it’s also a robust and stylish feature of the walls.

The Sweet Factory House has seen shortlisted for a Dulux Colour Award this year. Winners will be announced on 10 May – we know which project gets our vote!

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Pettersen & Hein invite you HOME

A home has many functions – a physical shelter, a place of personal expression and a refuge from daily life outside. But what if a home’s function could be stripped away and its contents – such as chairs, tables and lights – became works of art rather than objects with a practical purpose?

This question has been posed by Danish design duo Pettersen & Hein in their latest exhibition, Home, at Etage Projects gallery in Copenhagen. Lea Hein and Magnus Pettersen are renowned for transforming everyday objects into beautiful sculptures and their Home exhibition plays with notions of what we call furniture.

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The exhibition features a floor of striking multi-coloured concrete tiles and a series of sculptural abstract forms. There are rough-cut concrete vases, conceptual side tables and polished steel chairs that reflect both the tiled floor and the other objects in the exhibition. “The floor becomes alive and the surrounding furniture becomes like people in your ‘home’,” the design duo explains of the mirrored pieces.

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Hein is a furniture designer and maker and Pettersen is an artist and a graduate from Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts in Copenhagen who is recognised for his concrete sculptures. Despite their different backgrounds, their collaborations have garnered attention around the world. “When boundaries between design and art are effaced, potential for magic occurs,” they’ve said. “When working in the space between art and design you are free from restrictions, there are no rules. Having fewer limitations allows you to work experimentally.”

HOME pays homage to material, colour and form rather than functional use and presents a different perspective on the objects that reside between our four walls.

All Photography by  David Stjerneholm

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Calibre Chadstone by David Hicks

Eminent Australian interior designer David Hicks has teamed up with leading men’s fashion brand Calibre to create the bold interior of its new Chadstone store.

David Hicks, whose studio is Australia’s premier destination for luxury-oriented interior and building design. Hicks established his award-winning studio in 2001 and is celebrated for his streamlined, elegant designs.

The design of the Calibre store at Chadstone is a wonderful example. Referencing Italian Modernism, Hicks describes the space as a “sophisticated masculine atelier with a hint of old-school nostalgia”.

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The new store features a refined, masculine palette of lacquered ebony veneer, turquoise and gold along with Fibonacci Stone Fossil terrazzo tiles which are a dominant interior finish throughout the space.

Hicks chose to feature terrazzo on the walls as well as the floor and seleted Fossil thanks to its subtle grey base and warm natural grey-to-brown marble aggregate detailing which complimented the Calibre interior scheme perfectly.

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Hicks explains that the Fibonacci Stone terrazzo tiles on the floor and walls add another dimension to the space. “The beautifully crafted tiles inlaid with marble chips are reminiscent of modernist Italy and provide an alluring depth of detail and colour.”

He chose Fibonacci’s Fossil terrazzo tiles to complement his vision for the Calibre interior. “Fibonacci had the best range for us to select from and we fell in love with the colour we used,” says Hicks. “It was perfect for the scheme and for what we were trying to achieve.”

Just like a fine Calibre suit or a David Hicks design, we think our Fossil terrazzo tiles will leave a timeless, sophisticated and leave a long-lasting impression.

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Studio Tate

Studio Tate is a big-picture interior architecture practice. Their focus on interior details is matched by their strong grasp of everything outside a front door – from the exterior architecture to the landscape design. This always results in beautifully cohesive designs that capture our imagination.

This Melbourne-based practice is made up of a team with experience in bespoke and multi-residential, hospitality, retail and workplace projects. Their approach to each project begins with a deep awareness of spatial, structural and functional elements and as well as the exterior context.

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Some of our favourite designs from Studio Tate include the workplace of Melbourne-based property developer PDG. The design concept was inspired by the sophistication of a tailored suit – exact in its proportions, perfectly considered details and made from the finest materials. The grand reception area makes a lasting impression with its palette of walnut, brass accents and luxurious stone floors and walls.

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Another favourite of ours is Studio Tate’s renovation of a penthouse apartment in the Melburnian complex, which overlooks the Shrine of Remembrance and the Botanic Garden. Studio Tate’s empty-nester clients were looking for an opulent interior that could also cater for entertaining their grandchildren. The designers responded with ‘LA glamour’ – understated luxury with a vintage Hollywood vibe. They picked up on their client’s love of black and white as a central theme throughout the apartment and maximised the spectacular views at every opportunity.

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Another stand-out Studio Tate design is Middletown Café in Prahran. Their client regards the Duchess of Cambridge, Kate Middleton, as a ‘modern muse’ and the design is the personification of the Duchess.

Studio Tate collaborated with graphic design studio Pop + Pac on the Middletown Café project. Contemporary yet classic, its design pays homage to Kate’s journey from the English countryside to Westminster Abbey.

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We enjoyed working with Studio Tate to provide the terrazzo tiles for this project. They selected our Platinum and Steel terrazzo tiles for the Middletown floor.

Like all Studio Tate design, every detail of Middletown Café has been perfectly considered. It deserves a royal stamp of approval.

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Photography of PDG and Middletown Cafe by Peter Clarke

Photography of The Melburnian by Sharyn Cairns

Scroll Ice Cream by Studio Twocan & One Design Office

If Scroll Ice Cream’s sweet icy treats weren’t tempting enough, its new flagship store looks good enough to eat. Its pigmented concrete bar is inspired by the layers of flavours and fruits that go into a serve of Scroll ice cream. Who would have thought a solid material like concrete could look so soft and appetizing?

Scroll is Melbourne’s first Thai cold-plate ice creamery – think of liquid ice cream poured onto a sub-zero tepenyaki plate, refrozen flat and then rolled with a blade to create delicious scrolls.

Scroll engaged Melbourne architecture practice One Design Office to create the design for their flagship store. The architects explain that they wanted an ‘ice-cream-like’ material that was fresh, fun, organic, durable and structural. “It led us to think … what if we could mix colours into poured concrete?”

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One Design Office worked alongside bespoke construction company Twig and Co and Studio Twocan to bring the multicoloured design to life. Vibrantly coloured concrete batches were mixed on site before being poured into a framework mould.

Studio Twocan have already captured out attention for their beautiful layered ‘cement ceramic’ designs. Sisters Maddie and Becc Sharrock colour the cement using pigment to create an organic layering inspired by Australian landscapes. In the case of the Scroll flagship store, their colour inspiration was drawn from fruity ice cream flavours.

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One Design Office and Studio Twocan told Dezeen: “The monolithic façade of Scroll Ice Cream’s flagship store stands out in a crowd. The design looks to encapsulate both the product and manufacturing process of mixing icy layers of flavours and fruits.”

We love how the design gives this rock-hard substrate material a sense of fluidity and softness. It’s a solid design – and it looks tasty, too!