Deep designs

The Australian Institute of Architects this month bestowed one of its highest accolades on Nonda Katsalidis. Not that the Melbourne architect is any stranger to awards, but as designer of the extraordinary Museum of Old and New Art in Tasmania, Katsalidis shows why he is one of Australia’s most daring and successful engineers of theContinue reading “Deep designs”

Talking surface language with Nick Hogios

Security is tight at Toyota’s design studio in Port Melbourne. It needs to be: the sleek and seductive designs conceived at Toyota Style Australia are not for prying eyes. With the long lead times of car design and the intensely competitive nature of the global automotive industries, protecting against leaks of images and information, isContinue reading “Talking surface language with Nick Hogios”

Redrawing the station

                At the  launch of the $1 million Flinders Street Station Design Competition, Victoria’s Premier Ted  Baillieu described the initiative as a vital first step in the area’s revival that would require “creative brilliance from across the globe.” Baillieu’s call-to-arms will attract the attention of the most reveredContinue reading “Redrawing the station”

Industrial light and magic – a profile of architectural photographer George Apostolidis

Atrium, Mandarin Oriental Barcelona. Photograph: George Apostolidis. George Apostolidis is just about to head to Bangkok when I catch up with the award-winning photographer at his home in the prosperous Melbourne suburb of Kew. A two-week shoot in Thailand will be followed by work in Paris and then Barcelona, all for the same client: MandarinContinue reading “Industrial light and magic – a profile of architectural photographer George Apostolidis”

The shock of the new

Billy Kavellaris grew up living in a California-style bungalow in the Melbourne suburb of Reservor. Today the 35-year-old founder of Kavellaris Urban Design (KUD) is the face of a new generation of Australian architects who are challenging formulaic approaches to the unrelenting urban sprawl. The son of migrants from Greece who arrived in Australia in theContinue reading “The shock of the new”

A house in Athens

The house Diligianis built. 19 Levidou, Kifisia. An elegant long-handled knife sits under glass at the National Historical Museum, the old Greek Parliament in Stadiou Street, Athens. Beside it lies a leather bag with a monograph. It reads Diligiannis. This personal effect of a late-19th Century Greek politician Theodoros Diligiannis would have passing interest forContinue reading “A house in Athens”

From Metarmorphosi to Madagascar – at home with the BBC’s John Humphrys in Greece

BBC journalist and broadcaster John Humphrys talks to Mike Sweet about building a villa in Greece, the book co-written with son Chris that grew out of the experience, and the charity which benefits from guest bookings. John Humphrys doesn’t recommend building a house in Greece, particularly if you happen to live more than two thousandContinue reading “From Metarmorphosi to Madagascar – at home with the BBC’s John Humphrys in Greece”

Acropolis now – The architecture of repossession

After thirty years of planning, the New Acropolis Museum in Athens is within months of opening. Built with a commitment to reunite the Parthenon Frieze, the museum may hold the key to Greece’s long held  aspiration for the return of what are commonly referred to as the Elgin Marbles. The new museum at the southernContinue reading “Acropolis now – The architecture of repossession”

Renaissance man – reclaiming Athens’ built environment

A gallery has recently opened to encourage new thinking about design in the Greek capital. The man behind this bold initiative is Christian Narkiewicz-Laine, President of the Chicago Athenaeum – an institution dedicated to promoting contemporary architecture and design. Narkiewicz-Laine sits relaxed on a state-of-the-art swivel-tilt office chair in the Contemporary Space gallery. To hisContinue reading “Renaissance man – reclaiming Athens’ built environment”

Mining the desert for art, not history

Some artists and their families had travelled nine hours to get to the exhibition opening, along the seemeingly endless red dust tracks that connect the distant communities of the central Australian desert. From outback towns with names like Blackstone, Borroloola, Wingellina and Fregon, they came to Alice Springs – to take their place next toContinue reading “Mining the desert for art, not history”