Alexander &CO

Submitted for: Emerging Designer of the Year

About the Designer

Established in 2013, Alexander &CO. is a multidisciplinary design practice with a global reach. Their skill base includes Architecture, Interior Design, Project Management, Styling, Branding and Master Planning.

At the core of their DNA is the ambition to create timeless and market leading design. They provide a client journey that is focused on highly effective relationships and outcomes. Their people and culture are recognised by an empathic, social and team focused communication. They acknowledge our role to contribute positively and sustainably within our shared global village.

Why they’ve been nominated

Exceptional design changes the world, creating greater connectivity, experience and sustainability. This idea is their core and their ‘why’. At Alexander &CO. they want to create a world in which every project creates a unique value for its user and where the outcomes of their work are a greater, richer environment and a more fulfilled community.

Their project philosophy focuses the need to establish hand made, craft focused and traditional manufacturing organised around contemporary architecture and design thinking. The innovative collaboration of these old crafts and contemporary philosophies imbibes our work with a sense of timelessness, but not reproduction.

Second only to law as the worst post maternity vocation for women, they have taken an active view to reverse this trend, introducing 18 weeks full paid maternity leave, work flexibility and a solely female senior leadership team. They are culturally diverse with 8 different staff nationalities and they offer supported advocacy for their young, next generation of designers. They are also currently working with universities to develop an indigenous mentorship program.

They have achieved substantial successes including 43 local and international awards, their director was awarded Australian Interior Designer of the Year and their work is featured ongoing in leading local and international design media.

The Imperial Hotel, Sydney Australia

The three-level Imperial Hotel in Erskineville, Sydney has been conceived as a lost palace; a cabaret dreamscape of haphazardly replaced stone floor tiles and detailed timber work. Throughout the interior, various hand forged steel-framed glasshouses and skylights throw shadows over broken brickwork, hand laid masonry arches and bespoke tile patterns. The melted wax from the central fireplace and hearth in contrast to the vivid colour ways of the furniture and the dirty pink tones of the detailed ceilings and walls. The main bar features a bespoke cathedral-esque ceiling mural with the adjoining cocktail bar opening out onto a glazed enclosure with inner courtyard and wintergarden. Amongst the colour and shape lays the gravity of its legacy, the shadow of history cast upon its many surfaces. This is a place to celebrate and rediscover, but also a place with significant legacy, grit, sometimes even heaviness. Our role was to create legacy and inclusivity for a community in need of a safe haven. A cultural icon, it was the birthplace of the movie Priscilla and plays a pivotal role in the greater Sydney community as a historic theatre and event space. The project is careful to reimagine this icon as a place of fantasy whilst respectfully acknowledging its LGBQTI custodians.

Client: Sydney Collective
Typology: Hospitality
Year: 2017
Photographer: Anson Smart

Priscillas Restaurant Alexander Co
Cocktail Bar With Painted Mural Alexander Co

Park House Food Merchants, Sydney Australia

The Park House Food Merchants is a 200-seat restaurant within the newly rebuilt Mona Vale hotel in Sydney. It features double height dining areas, an open kitchen, main bar, cocktail bar, an external courtyard with retractable roof, private dining rooms, internal and external fireplaces and exposed timber and steel structures.

Conceived as a loft style art warehouse, the project is a sympathetic interpretation of the old motel through 70s coastal and retro styling - somewhere between Donald Judd and Scandinavian modernism. The loft is robust but curated, and fully equipped to cater to the heavy traffic and coastal location. The venue is an expressive and artistic insertion into the dilapidated shell of the old hotel; part art gallery, part loft - all motel charm.

The project explores various masonry forms: arches, corbels and coursing, combining them with lighting, furnishing and artwork. Exposing the existing steel and timber structure we created volume both internally and externally under the retractable roof. The internal restaurant is built around an open kitchen with recycled brick arches. Filled with custom Oregon and hardwood furniture, leather banquettes and reclaimed and repurposed light fittings, Park House Food Merchants has a distinctly ‘found’ quality, unexpected and inviting but artistically engaging and true to its inspiration.

Client: Confidential
Typology: Residential
Year: 2017
Photographer: Tom Ferguson

Dining Room In Main Restaurant Alexander Co
Outdoor Courtyard Alexander Co

Darling Point, Sydney Australia

With 4 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, powder room, living, dining and external areas, this project pays homage to the traditional grand home. It is something of a reference to the surrounding vernacular within the footprint of what we have come to dub our ‘mini mansion’.

At the commencement of the project the dwelling hadn’t been renovated since the 1970s and although it had significant charm, it was not functionally effective nor of a condition livable for a family.

Our role included the overall re-planning of the floor plate, with wholesale relocation of stairs, rooms and amenities. Further interior works included all new fit out, decorative finishes and joinery.

Surfaces throughout the project have been deliberately and meticulously hand detailed and finished from polished plaster to painted tidelines, ceiling lining boards and contemporary wall panelling. In the kitchen, solid brass railings are allowed to patina and reflect the authenticity of material selections within the home. The upper level family bathroom was designed as an abstract of a traditional winter garden room with steel framed skylight with timber ceiling panelling.

The project is an exploration in finding the contemporary and grand within what is historic and compact. We have deliberately explored the space in which the hand made can be both youthful but also reverential - a delicate study in the role of the contemporary classic.

Client: Confidential
Typology: Residential
Year: 2017
Photographer: Felix Forest

Dining Area Alexander Co
Living Space Alexander Co

Palm Beach, Sydney Australia

Palm Beach house is the transformation of an existing waterfront holiday villa and a restrained approach to the traditional European vernacular, exploring bespoke quality detailing, materiality and architectural framing.

Due to limitations of the existing space the brief explored the introduction of a greater spatial resolution. All plans and volumes were rationalised around better circulation, view corridors and access to the water.

Placing emphasis on architectural framing and the transition from interior to exterior, the house was designed with proportion in mind achieving a sense of privacy whilst maximising the use of amenities for the client. Large-scale doors provide opportunity for an external living and dining space, an integral aspect to the client brief addressing the need for entertaining spaces, essential for a ‘home away from home’.

Focusing on bespoke details, a high level of craftsmanship was required to complement the refined interiors. Fittings and finishes express an artisan reference point while the subtle colour palette, paired back scheme and visible handmade quality creates a ‘lived in’ atmosphere.

Pushed back from the water’s edge, the dwelling presented challenges. Due to this lack of physical connection, we approached the exterior in a way that ensured the landscape did not detract from the beauty of the surrounding context. A contemporary and minimalist approach to the garden allowed the view to become the focus. Through this we were successful in creating a space with subsequent vistas between interior and exterior which provide the ability to open up out onto the garden area and assist the need for flexibility.

Client: Confidential
Typology: Residential
Year: 2017
Photographer: Felix Forest

Living Area Alexander Co
Stairwell Alexander Co

Sean Connolly at Dubai Opera, Dubai, UAE

Sean Connolly at Dubai Opera is a 350-person restaurant, bar and courtyard in the heart of Dubai, with direct views of the Burj Khalifa.

Inspired by the vision of chef Sean Connolly’s oceanic menu, the venue is conceived as an underwater salon, exploring the colours and tones of the sea, sea cliff, oyster and coastal escarpment. Introducing an international language, we explored architectural references from 20th Century modernism to geometries from Eero Saarinen’s TWA Airport and Utzon’s Sydney Opera House. But central to our innovation was the ambition to arrange inexpensive materials in a way which gives them architectural value and historical reverence, utilising them in a focused and detailed way so as to almost through alchemy, turn them into something magically beautiful.

A large and ambitious project, the venue includes main bar, raw bar, fire bar, brassiere, private dining area, chef’s table, external bar and courtyard. In the main bar, vaulted ceiling tiles referencing both the inside of an oyster and the sails of the Opera House were templated and hand tiled in situ; the combination of matt and gloss becoming jewel like and reflective.

Each of the main spaces is focused upon a central cocktail bar. Grey marble banquettes with pink leather cushions reference delicate contrasts of sea creatures and ocean corals while the raw and fire bars remind us of the outer edges of blackened seashells. In keeping with the Antipodean theme, a custom 6m high Merino wool artwork references the tentacles of sea creatures, delicate and mystical. A handmade woollen carpet with dappled blue tones depicts the water. Sculptural and feminine, cult 20th Century furnishings add significant visual interest.

This project won the Spatial Awards Hospitality Restaurant of the Year in the Frame Awards this year.

Typology: Hospitality
Client: Emaar
Year: 2017
Photographer: Felix Forest

Merino Wool Artwork Alexander Co
Grey Marble Alexander Co

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