December 2021/January 2022

Belle is an interior design and decoration magazine, with a focus on Australia and the world’s finest homes. Belle keeps readers up to date with local and international news and trends in design, interiors, art, architecture, furniture, fabrics and wallpaper, food, travel and luxury goods.

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in this issue

2 min

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3 min
editor’s letter

It is increasingly rare to encounter historic coastal homes that have been sympathetically altered and retained by new owners. Often, they are given a sterile and superficial facelift or a total bulldoze and rebuild. We are fortunate to have two precious, magical and somewhat eccentric homes located at Pittwater, north of Sydney, to show you this issue. To me, these enchanting coastal cottages are the quintessential Australian summer dream. Both Trincomalee, built in 1896, and Ventnor, built in 1862, have been sensitively updated for today’s sojourns by their thoughtful and stylish owners – both of whom hail from abroad. Belle readers will be no stranger to the work of UK-born landscape designer Richard Unsworth. He and his dear friend, Justine, and their respective partners, Greg and Scott, bought Trincomalee, formerly…

4 min
talent pool

WHILE A NAME such as Aileen Sage sounds as if it could be a genteel character in a 19th-century novel it is the combined middle names of Isabelle Aileen Toland and Amelia Sage Holliday. Suspecting that Toland Holliday had too much of a ring of a solicitor’s practice about it, the pair wanted to create a business alias that was clearly female but with a touch of ambiguity. “We liked the idea that she could be both of us or one,” says Amelia. It is rare to find an architecture practice with two female directors and their stance is consciously ambitious for both themselves and the clients they work for. “We added the wording around ‘ambition’ to our website manifesto a year or two ago after reflecting on the projects that…

2 min

SEOUL SHARP THINKING Herzog & de Meuron’s SongEun Art & Cultural Foundation in Seoul (left) is hermetic and monolithic at first glance but open and welcoming at ground level. With its context of designer flagship stores in the Gangnam district this continuous concrete form, punctuated by precision glazing, creates a new landmark for the area. The patchwork surface treatment gives subtle textural interest to the dramatic geometry as the formwork was made up of plywood squares – each leaving an individual imprint. hertzogdemeuron.com TOKYO GREEN LIGHT Embracing nature from the outset, Tsuruoka House (right) in Tokyo was designed by Kiyoaki Takeda Architects using layered planting through the facade and rooftop with soil deep enough for a variety of mature plants, shrubs and ground cover. The dissolving sense of space between inside and out connects the…

3 min
on country

PERTH ALTERED STATE Coinciding with the opening of the Art Gallery of WA’s new rooftop, ‘The View From Here’ is the museum’s largest-ever celebration of Western Australian art with more than 360 works from 230 leading artists, including Abdul Abdullah, Ngarralja Tommy May, Sandra Hill, Tarryn Gill, Christopher Pease, Joanna Lamb and Saleheh Gholami. Sarah Bahbah’s cinematic stills, such as Silence (left), freeze her subjects in moments of heartbreak, ennui and other emotional entanglements as their inner dialogue plays out in subtitles. artgallery.wa.gov.au MELBOURNE OUT OF THE HUE With ambiguous figures sketched in ghostly wisps against a haze of abstract colour, Allan Rand’s oil paintings (right) create a blurry interplay between foreground and background. The artist’s work is paired with Patrick Hartigan’s at Haydens Gallery from February 18-March 19. haydens.gallery ADELAIDE REVVED UP “Wild, frenetic and unbound” is…

6 min

WITH BACKGROUNDS IN SOCIAL THEORY AND HOSPITALITY, ARCHITECTS RYAN RUSSELL AND BYRON GEORGE SAY THEY APPROACH EVERY JOB WITH AN EXAMINATION OF THE UNIQUE SET OF CIRCUMSTANCES THAT LED TO THE PROJECT IN THE FIRST PLACE. ASIDE FROM ARCHITECTS AND DESIGNERS, THEIR AWARD-WINNING STUDIO, RUSSELL & GEORGE, EMPLOYS THEORISTS, STRATEGISTS AND URBANISTS FOR PROJECTS IN CITIES AS DIVERSE AS NEW YORK, SEOUL, AUCKLAND AND ROME, AS WELL AS ACROSS AUSTRALIA. RUSSELLANDGEORGE.COM 01 INSPIRING SPACES ARCTIC MEMORIAL Take the single-lane road along the Arctic Ocean to the northeastern-most point of Norway and you will find this incredible structure, a memorial to the 17th-century witch burnings. Steilneset was a collaboration between artist Louise Bourgeois and Swiss architect Peter Zumthor on a building that captures the sheer horror of what it memorialises. Well worth a visit…