Green Magazine #81 September-October 2021

GREEN MAGAZINE is Australia's leading magazine for inspirational stories on sustainable architecture featuring local and international houses, gardens and profiles. Discover spectacular city, country and coastal homes and gardens featuring environmental design with lots of personality, as well as profiles on people engaged in new and exciting projects.

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1 Min

Tamsin O’Neill There are many reasons why smaller is better and they are made abundantly clear in this issue. Take SMITH Architects' cabin in the Blue Mountains. Its scale allows for views of the surrounding landscape from any point in the house. As with all well-designed smaller buildings, the crafting of the interior leaves no wasted space – only perfectly-arranged joinery for every possible need. For architects Ellen Kwek and Michael Frazzetto, inspiration came from the courtyards of Mexico and Morocco when renovating their section of a warehouse in a dense urban setting. One directs light into the 60-square-metre interior and another, at the entrance, is closed when seeking privacy or open to the street for valuable community interaction. Small housing can also lead to efficiency in materials and therefore, cost. As was…

3 Min

Fateful When Australian design brand Dowel Jones met Argentinian studio RIES in New York in 2018, they clearly hit it off because they’ve now released the Volta collection together. Consisting of a dining chair, bar chair, bar stool, low stool and coffee table, Volta is proudly made in Australia and showcases their combined talent. Form These curvaceous creations are the handiwork of Wataru Sakai, a woodworker who handcrafts timber tableware and furniture from his workshop in Itoshima, Japan. Available in Australia via Wingnut & Co. Shh The Australian-made “COS Pendant” pretty much comes in as many colour and textural combinations as the day is long. COS stands for ‘Cone of Silence’ – thanks to sound-absorbing fabric from Febrik. Shield Multi-disciplinary contemporary visual artist James Tylor uses his practice to explore Australian cultural representations through…

3 Min
time and again

Brickworks has been manufacturing for 100 years and the company is rightly passionate about and proud of its product range. It is no surprise that Brett Ward, General Manager International Marketing at Brickworks shares this enthusiasm, noting: “The benefits of building in brick are countless.” For starters, bricks are durable. They require little upkeep and can stand the test of time so well that they can be recycled and reused in new projects. “Bricks are low-maintenance, which offers a unique peace of mind not seen with lightweight materials that require ongoing treatment and replacement,” Brett details. “When you build a home in face brick, you are eradicating the need to paint, treat, render, seal, the list goes on.” Brickworks is one of the world’s largest and most diverse building material manufacturers with…

4 Min
front runner

In the early 90s, when timber recycling was in its infancy, scavenging old timber from demolition sites and turning it into custom furniture was an obscure pastime. But it was around then that a young carpenter named Thor Diesendorf saw an opportunity to build a business that not only rescued premium, seasoned Australian hardwood timber from landfill, but also sewed environmentalism and social responsibility into the very fabric of his fledgling business. Twenty-seven years later, Thor continues to pave the way in timber recycling and waste minimisation with his Canberra-based company, Thor’s Hammer – now one of the largest timber suppliers in Canberra. The best part: they only use and supply recycled timber, which preserves the sequestered carbon hidden within the lumber, rather than releasing carbon dioxide into the atmosphere when it…

5 Min

SMITH Architects’ design and build of Little Black Cabin left no room for error. The restoration of the early-1900s cottage needed to ensure its structural integrity, and the 28-square-metre footprint meant that every detail needed to be purposefully designed for functionality, comfort and to optimise space. “This project is a culmination of 25 years of thinking about architecture and space and the lessons I’ve learnt. It takes time and experience to get details right in a building. Nothing in this cabin is by accident. Everything is by design,” says architect, Stewart Smith. Stewart designed and built Little Black Cabin for himself and his partner, MJ, so they can spend more time in Blackheath, in the Blue Mountains. The cabin needed to meet several criteria: “It had to be a project for…

2 Min

Architect and interiors SMITH Architects Builder Stewart Smith Location Dharug Country. Blue Mountains, NSW. Passive energy design This project saved an existing early-1900s cottage that wasn’t designed for the mountains. R2.5 insulation to external walls, made possible by creating an additional skeleton/frame/cladding to the outside of the existing building. R3.0 bulk insulation to ceiling, R1.3 blanket insulation to roof, R2.5 insulation to floors. Winter sun enters the high north window to warm the living space. Double-glazed windows. Cross ventilation provided for the cabin for hotter months. Size of cabin allows for efficient heating, with the underfloor heating in the bathroom providing warmth for the whole space in moderate temperatures. Materials Shou sugi ban-charred cladding external skin to the building, BAL 29 fire-rated compliant and selected to reduce future maintenance costs. Recycled brickwork base to building, from the existing…