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85 Spring Street by Studio Ongarato

Opinion by Richard Baird

85 Spring St is a residential property development of 132 apartments by Golden Age Group, designed by Bates Smart and located in the Australian city of Melbourne. It will be marked by its total work of art philosophy, or Gesamtkunstwerk, which embraces a multitude of artworks to compose one singular piece, but also its distinctive, sculptural and high-rise modernity within an area of significant architectural heritage and many low-rise structures. Although disparate in its form and height, its stonework seeks a connection with the surrounding urban environment.

Studio Ongarato worked with the developer to create a visual identity and strategy for the marketing of the property. Mixing commissioned artworks, material craftsmanship and a modern graphic simplicity of type and colour the concept captures the essence and total design philosophy of the building and using archival materials and illustration recognises and brings to light the significance of the site. These ideas link a variety of communications modes that included stationery set and brochure packs, signage, direct mail and display suite.

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Mies In London by OK-RM

Opinion by Richard Baird

Mies In London published by Real Foundation and designed by OK-RM

Mies In London is a project by Real Foundation that seeks to document modernist architect Mies van der Rohe’s only design for the United Kingdom, Mansion House Square; a bronze tower and grand plaza located at the heart of London opposite the bank of England and commissioned in 1962 by Lord Peter Palumbo. Following a long struggle with Royal and political concerns, as well as an increasing disfavour for modernism within the public consciousness, the project was halted by an inquiry in 1984 with many of the details and artefacts lost to time.

Through careful research and collaboration with RIBA, the CCA and Drawing Matter over three years, editor Jack London and co-editor Yulia Rudenko have brought to light the inside and out of Mansion House Square as envisioned by Mies. The project is an interesting and ambitious example of Gesamtkunstwerk / Total Project. This is expressed by Real Foundation in their own practice and material response through a combination of book and objects; an ashtray and door handle. The book, designed by OK-RM, chronicles and presents the grand architectural gesture and philosophy for the site using the arrangement of content; documents and images with extended captions as a narrative tool.

This article, in a break from convention and with a desire to experiment editorially, has two interwoven parts; the familiar format looks at the micro (the graphic and the material), while inset italics explores the more meta. These can be read independently or sequentially.

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Repair by Studio Round

Opinion by Richard Baird

Graphic identity designed by Studio Round for the Australian entry to the 16th International Architecture Exhibition, Biennale Architettura 2018 in Venice

Under the title Freespace the 16th International Architecture Exhibition, Biennale Architettura 2018 in Venice, asked international participants to “encourage reviewing ways of thinking, new ways of seeing the world, of inventing solutions where architecture provides for the well being and dignity of each citizen on this fragile planet”.

The response from Australia; a pavilion titled Repair and a collaboration between the Australian Institute of Architects, Creative directors Louise Wright and Mauro Baracco of Baracco+Wright, and artist Linda Tegg, investigates the relationship between architects and their use of land.

The pavilion brings to material reality a belief held by Wright and Baracco that architecture should actively engage in the ecological repair of place and that this action will in-turn catalyse other types of social, economic and cultural repair.

Working with the Australian Institute of Architects and Baracco+Wright, Melbourne-based Studio Round developed a graphic identity for Repair. This is included a graphic and material design language that connects catalogue, newsprint and website about the pavilion and its concept.

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