Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Visiting: Sydney

What a treat - 3 days in crazymad Sydney with uber talented peeps.

Lucky me.

Thanks to Grace, Becs and Jen (from Dulux) for their hospitality and organisational skills at herding 11 wide-eyed designers/architects.

The Crew were:

Craig South from Cymon Allfrey Architects (Christchurch)

Aaron Harvey from Warren  & Mahoney (Christchurch)

Irene Benfell from Creative Illusions (Southland)

Heather Thorley from Colour Options (Paraparaumu)

Peta Tearle from Peta Tearle Colour and Design Studio (Auckland)

Donna White from Donna White Design (Auckland)

Georgia Webb, Creative Spaces (Auckland)

James Downey from Jasmax Ltd (Auckland)

Michael Shore, Athfield Architects Ltd (Christchurch)

Antony Matthews from Matthews & Matthews Architects Ltd (Auckland)

It was the perfect mix of people, work, and play.  How often can you throw 14 strangers together and have a super time?  Well we did.

Day One:  Paddington Reservoir

Hidden next to Paddington's main drag of Oxford street is the Paddington Reservoir.  It's simply stunning and a credit to the architectural team and the town planning of the Sydney council.  Immediate thoughts were that we could do this to our recently broken Christchurch.

We were taken around the site by one of the Architects - Tim Greer from Tonkin Luaikha Greer Architects.  He gave us a detailed history of the site and described the evolution from ruins to award winning design.  It is beautiful.

Originally build in the mid 1800's this site was build as water storage below street level with a grassed park area above and open to the public in the 1930's.
Eventually the reservoir became redundant and had various commercial uses until the roof caved-in.

The restoration project then wanted to use the ruins and morph it into a public space which complimented the Victorian era from whence it came.  More detail explanation here...

This space is open to the public and anyone can use it during daylight hours.  A wee Oasis.  During our tour their was even one of Sydney's resident "users" taking the opportunity to use the fire hose to clean out his carry-all.  We did have to chuckle.

The next night we actually returned to check out the lights (which we had heard were spectacular).  BUT thanks to a certain brand of tequila being a major sponsor of the Dulux awards it really was just a place to neck promotional supplies! 
I think the lights were good....

That night we watched the sunset from the amazing Mezzaluna Ristorante Italiano over looking the cityscape.  Food rocked.

On the way back to the hotel we stumbled across the delicious Asian influenced Ms G's (gedit...as in MSG!!).  The grungy uber-cool interiors were perfect for that seedy post dinner aperitifs.  I chose the bubble drink with customised cellophane lid.  Perfect.

Bad photos but good drink!

Day Two:  Awards day

In the AM we meet the architects from Durbach Block who had designed the Potts Point award winning designed 4 story building.  The best part was the loft apartment on the top floor which got me day-dreaming of a life that does not involve school-runs or broken sleep.

Donna and Peta having a SATC moment

In the PM we meet with the mighty Tone Wheeler at his studio ENVIRONA in Surrey Hills.  The man can talk, but it was excellent and introduced us to a new range of words such as "coolth" (the opposite of warmth). He ignited the design juices.  

The charismatic Tone Wheeler who incidentally did NOT look like Harold from Neighbours in real life (odd)

Tone and his team are enviro-heads and I was especially interested on his ideas on the future of housing and how it should be.  The inside-out, upside-down and back-to-front terrace house concept was nanas-cool.  Food for thought.

On a shopping side line, underneath Tone's offices was a fab design store called AERO.  We had a couple of mins to spare so it was a good opportunity to do speed shopping.   Great and different products - super range of gifts as well as larger office and home-wears.

Free afternoon so brought killer boots (as you do).

We then met for drinkeepoos before the main event.  

Main Event: 25 anniversary Dulux Colour Awards 2011.

Results:  No NZ winners - Boo.

Me board

Highlights: Meeting super nice peeps, getting a photo with the Dulux dog and tres hot wait-staff.

For post-show Hi-jinks (and thanks to the Sydney-savy Aaron) we mooched up to the IVY pool club.  

OMFG it was love at first sight.  It was Jonathan Adlers (adopted) love child in bar-form.  All cabanas, lounging, pool action, yellow/crisp white stripes and LAey.  All part of the IVY complex  - The Pool Club

Pool Club by day

Pool Club by night - The crew after a few champers...  We thought we looked hot  - even the dulux dog was there dressed as a deer.  Cool.
Thanks again Grace and the team.  I'm home now and my speech is in the rubbish.

See you all next year.

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