Wednesday, 7 August 2013

keepa kenda

Celebrating 6 decades of youthful exuberance this month, "young" Eddie is starring in the World Masters Games in Turin at the moment. More of the swan dive than swan song and remarkably holding off the ravages of time with plenty of exercise followed by his tonic of choice, bourbon and diet cola. He's always loved his sports, and he's been good at all of them. All the best EK.


Friday, 14 June 2013

queen street gallery

On the eastern fringe of Glebe is an open air sculpture gallery of a different kind.

Hilik Mirankar has used most of the Queen Street frontage as a gallery for his various carved timber installations. Being Glebe they are all suitably chained down to prevent theft. You can check out his web site at

It's a real joy on a clear day to walk the narrow street and view the imaginative sculptures that are located on the front porches of all his neighbours. They are at once primitive but modern, primal and tactile.

You can view them on the way to a refreshment and cheap meal at The Friend in Hand hotel at the western end or the Australian Youth Hotel (not so cheap), not far from the eastern end.

It's a good street to add into a larger walk through the back streets of Glebe.


Wednesday, 12 June 2013


I recently sat on a design jury for end of semester year 3 UNSW architecture students for my friend and design wunderkind/tutor Mark Szczerbicki (Polish right!!!)

Every time I do this it brings back many nerve racking memories of presenting my own designs back in the dim, foggy past at SU. And it's something I get to experience all over again when I front up to regular SEPP65 design review panels for my medium density projects.... so it really is good training for these future architects. We looove being citicised.

Generally this group were pretty good and they scrubbed up alright seeing as how they probably only had a few hours of sleep between them for the previous four or five days.

Anyhoo... here's a snapshot of what our education system is producing now...

Their brief was to create a medium density (small) project with off street parking and some commercial at street level on an interesting site in North Bondi.

Just like in real life....   if you have 14 architects working on the same design you will end up with 14 completely different schemes... ahh.. the wonders of the designing mind in action.

Not bad at all from these guys. Most of them produced reasonable and thoughtful designs, belying their brief design experience, a couple were close to inspired. It also gave me a chance to try out my panorama setting on my phone camera.


not bad Jonathon...  good modern shapes and the car park worked.

Pia Ming did some good modelling... a bit low scale and the dark fill didn't help

wow... lots of drawings Jessica... layout is pretty good
shadow diagrams were back the front but that can happen at 3am in the morning.

Alyse was well on top of an adventurous plan with some good concepts
just  a bit undercooked on the drawing side
I like the "hands on" presentation shown here... many hands... or the right one many times

Filomena went all out for a structured/disciplined block design around a public courtyard
very european.....    but where are the decks for the people living in the units??

Bojan presented a well laid out design with good scale and forms

ok Tamara... you win... great presentation.....looking real good
presented a fantastic 3d fly through movie with a kick ass sound track (not shown here)

Gilbert presented with a nicely scaled bulk and well laid out plan
a nice, safe design

a HD for Hugo as the snappiest dresser to present
the plan was a little less exciting but generally pretty good

Zhiyuan had a neat design with an interesting layout
elevations were underdone...  another week would help

Christine was well organised and had excellent models

Frank had an honest design that generally worked well

Ara had a complete change in direction with her design half way through the term
it resulted a geometric design that was very interesting and suited the site.
potentially brilliant

Ridley, Ridley, Ridely..... saving the best till last with a well executed and presented design
subtle, hand coloured drawings, minimal reliance on 3D screen grabs, sensitive design...
better than a lot of year 5 presentations I've seen over the years

Monday, 29 April 2013

maroubra medium density

Here's a neat little medium density project (20 units) currently being prepared for DA approval.

Double block layout, linked basement with landscaped common outdoor area in the middle. More common decks at the upper level allow views to the city. The rear block looks over the front one.

Simple, low maintenance finishes of "blue steel" face bricks for the bottom two levels and shiny/happy Alucobond for the upper floor. Also using our current medium density aesthetic of expressed balcony pods, slit style highlights and integrated indoor/outdoor, open plan living areas. Lots of simple but effective sun screens on East, North and West sides.

WIll probably change a bit post DRP comments (they always change something...) but hopefully will retain the bulk of the ideas.  


front elevation
upper floor recessive
scale matches domestic scale

NW high view showing arrangement of blocks
on the site

landscaped common area separates the blocks

NE high view

ground floor plan
generous landscaped areas

north elevation

long section

Friday, 26 April 2013

pumpkin dreaming

Just finished a drawing for my favourite girls birthday.

I took a series of scans to document the production process and thought you might be interested in how it was created.

Starting point was to take a pic of the cat (called ... you guessed it... Pumpkin) and then goggle up some pumpkin pics.

Pumpkin on her favourite blanket
random pumpkin pic

trusty blue pencil to set up the main layout of the drawing

add the main character in ink

start inking in the pumpkin surround

start rendering the main elements

finishing the pumpkins

adding the blanket "rough" detail

rub out the blue
although nice to leave some remnants

add orange pencil

add yellow pencil to "lift" the orange

hit it all with a tissue to smooth the colour
rub out "overspray"

add blue and pink "rough" detail to blanket

for this pic I added a heavy line to "punch out" the elements
an alternative would be use a finer pen and render the outlines
(a slightly more softer/fuzzy effect)

sign, trim and add a background trim colour

It's gone into a simple white frame. Looks bright and fun.....  I think she'll like it.


Friday, 1 February 2013

Tom Groggin logo

Here's a little logo we've been working on for our friends at Tom Groggin Station.

Located in God's own country in Victoria just on the southern side of the upper reaches of the Murray, Tom Groggin is an idyllic relic of past days when cattle stations were carved out of natural alpine areas. It's reportedly where the Banjo created The Man From Snowy River and is iconic in horse culture. The mighty Murray is just a 20ft wide creek of crystal clear snow fed mountain water at this point.

It was only last decade that the Bracks government took away the stations right to have cattle graze in the Victorian Alps region and it became a tough place to run a business. It's been a popular place for a country stay but is now offering more in the way of accommodation.

If you want to travel south via one of the most scenic routes in Australia, then head down through Jindabyne and past Thredbo on the snow gum lined Alpine Way, which doubles back northwards to Khancobin. Just near where the road turns north you run along the Murray and there on the other side is Tom Groggin. It's like Australia's version of Rivendell, but with kangaroos, not elves....

Put it on your list.            J

Tuesday, 8 January 2013

glebe graffiti #1

Can't leave out that other groovy inner city suburb... Glebe.

Here's some great graffiti pics submitted by our guest bloggette, Deborah B. She has  a keen eye for quality and certainly takes a mean snap or two. Looking forward to more blog entries on some of her favourite topics.

Enjoy...      J

mad scientist in Campbell Lane off Cowper Street.
Just love the bollards painted as test tubes....

I like the "frankenstein" tag letters with teeth and stitches

a spacey supernova tag in Campbell Lane off Mitchell
space detail.....
2820 is the postcode for Wellington NSW.... hence the "wello boys"
great work guys

vary badly behaving lego men in same vicinity
appropriate given the high crime rate here

very angry space birds 
space birds detail