Day 2: Tokyo walking tour

May 26th, 2015

Ok, let’s set the the scene…

I’m sitting at a tiny desk in my hotel room. The word ‘desk’ might be a stretch, lets call it a shelf. I’m wearing a white and navy blue Yukata (Japanese casual summer kimono) which by the way is extremely comfortable. If I stretch my arm out to the right I can touch the bathroom door. If I stretch my arm out to the left I can adjust small rectangular window blind. My chair is wedged between the desk ‘shelf’ and a small single bed and what is left of the floor is taken up by my open suitcase.

Welcome to micro living in Tokyo!

I’ve been told by previous tour participants that the key to successful Dulux Study Tour is pacing yourself, getting sleep and most importantly coffee! Day two started with an injection of liquid gold at a fantastic little hole-in-the-wall coffe shop called About Life Coffee Brewers, the Dulux dog even came along for for a little wake me up!


Today we embarked of a massive walking tour of Tokyo lead by our knowledgeable guide Yuka and joined by a number of local architects from JIA (Japan Institute of Architects).


First stop on the tour was Hertzog & de Meuron’s Prada store.  Physically and visually separated from the buildings that surround it, the Prada store sits like a glowing gem in the dense Aoyama street scape. I’ve visited this building a number of times in previous trips to Tokyo but never felt like it was ok to go inside. I don’t know if it was the beautifly dressed guard by the front door or if I just had extreme credit card fear! Today was different, we were welcomed in by the store manager and taken on a private tour of the building on our own before it opened for business. It really is worth facing your credit cards fear and experiencing the spaces from the top floor down.


Across the road we visited the newly opened Miu Miu store also by HdM with its beautiful angled awning entry and mirror polished walls.



A short walk down another tiny street we arrived Kengo Kuma’s brand new Sunny Hills store where we sat and ate pinapple cakes and green tea in its forrest-like space. The building was commissioned by a Taiwanese pinapple grower as a way to promote his products.


After Sunny Hills we visited a large public housing project of around 25 4-5 storey apartment blocks in the centre of the Omotesando area. Originally built in the 1960s they are earmarked for demolition in the lead up to the 2020 Olympic games. In recent years have become quite desirable for their low rent and proximity to some of the more afluent areas of Tokyo.

A small detour via a temple and graveyard where we passed an in-progess funeral, we arrived at teh top of the Omotesando shopping strip. This is the wide tree lined street where the most prominent fashion brands build their signature buildings. Think Toyo Ito’s Tod’s tree-like structure; Dutch architects MVRDV ‘Gyre’ (meaning ‘turn’ or ‘rotate’) ; SANAA’s glowing Dior store and Tadao Ando Omotesando Hills building with its ramped and stepped ground plane.


A twist and turn down Cat Street in Harajuku we arrived at Yoyogi National Stadium designed by Kenzo Tange and built between 1961 and 1964 to house swimming and diving events in the 1964 Summer Olympics.

The day finished with an early evening cocktail with Bill Murray & Scarlett Johansson at the New York Bar on the top floor of the Park Hyatt Hotel and then a completly mind blowing (and maybe more of lost in translation experience) at the Robot Resturant in Shinjiku.



I’m not too sure how you top day two… but I suspect we’ll find out tomorow!

Day 1: Tokyo

May 24th, 2015


For relaxing times, make it Suntory times. Far from lost in translation, the Tokyo leg of the 2015 Dulux Study Tour began at the “kiddy crack” Fuji Kindergarten by Tezuka Architects. As the principal of the school said “a tree is equally as good as children’s play equipment.”

Next up was Tama Art University Library by Toyo Ito with its mesmerisingly obvious, but extraordinary Niemeyer-esque arched structural system and smooth transition from hillside to concrete slab.

Day 1 visit to Tama Art University Library by Toyo Ito.

The Yokohama Terminal by Foreign Office invited much needed downtime and cooling sea breeze as we lay on the undulating timber surfaces.

The Nagakin Capsule Hotel still stands in full glory and a cheeky peek (we were officially “guests of one of the residents”) at the interior rounded off the days official itinerary.


Dinner was under the railway line in Ginza, where we collected John’s friend Yayoi and her tiny, white dog for some particularly amusing entertainment. Beers, plum wine and sake were flowing.

Ending with a twelve-year-old Husku nightcap at the soon-to-be-demolished modernist wonderland that is Hotel Okura was the perfect end to an epic day!

Hotel Okura

Check out #2015DuluxStudyTour on Instagram for the best snaps of the day.





The 2015 Dulux Study Tour leaves Australian shores!

May 20th, 2015

After much planning and with rising anticipation, the 2015 Dulux Study Tour has finalised its itinerary and is departing Australian shores, jumping on board a JAL flight to Tokyo on Friday, for the first city stop off of three to be visited during the 2015 Tour.

This year the tour takes Bonnie Herring (VIC) of Breathe Architecture, Casey Bryant (NSW) of Andrew Burns Architects, John Ellway (QLD) of James Russell Architects, Monique Woodward (VIC) of WOWOWA and Nic Brunsdon (WA) of POST – / Spacemarket to Tokyo, London and Paris for a whirlwind architectural feast.

The Dulux Study Tour is a coveted program that inspires and fosters Australia’s next generation of emerging architectural talent and 2015 is set to hit all the marks. The twelve days of jam-packed architectural tours, practice and site visits include names such as Sou Fujimoto and Toyo Ito in Tokyo, MAKE Architects and Zaha Hadid in London and Ateliers Jean Nouvel and LAN Architecture in Paris.

Follow @DuluxStudyTour for Twitter updates and #2015DuluxStudyTour for coverage of this year’s tour on Twitter and Instagram.

And don’t forget to keep checking in on the Dulux Study Tour blog for more in-depth coverage.

And the 2015 Dulux Study Tour Winners are…

March 27th, 2015

The 2015 Dulux Study Tour winners were announced at the Australian Achievement in Architecture Awards on 19 March at the NGV, Federation Square, Melbourne.

We are delighted to introduce the winners:

The group will depart on May 22nd, and will visit Tokyo, London and Paris.


Nic Brunsdon | Spacemarket   Western Australia

1403769841-Nic_ANicholas Brunsdon graduated from the Curtin University of Technology with honours in 2004 and has since been recognized for his creative leadership and entrepreneurship within the profession. Nicholas first began as a sole practitioner in 2006 when he established his own practice, while also contracting at Nettle Architects. In 2007 he moved to Abu Dhabi, UAE to become the manager of a newly formed design division of construction company Force 10 UAE.

Rather than accepting the status quo, Nicholas is continually investigating new ways of engaging with the built environment. When he returned to Perth in 2009, he resumed his practice and in 2011 he launched perhaps his most significant contribution to date, Spacemarket.

Spacemarket is a not-for-profit, grass-roots initiative that “pairs empty urban spaces with potential tenants.” This program has begun to shape legislation through strategic partnerships and is currently proposing to develop a code and policy for the adaptive re-use of existing buildings.

Alongside Spacemarket, Nicholas has launched Post-, an architectural design and development arm that delivers the commissioned pilot projects for the initiative.


Casey Bryant | Andrew Burns Architects New South Wales

CBRYANT - PROFILE PHOTOCasey graduated from University of Sydney in 2010 with honours receiving the CHL Turner Prize, the Ruskin Rowe Prize, the Partridge Partners Prize and as a finalist for the Colorbond Steel Student Biennale. Casey worked in Melbourne with McBride Charles Ryan, before returning to Sydney to work with Andrew Burns Architects.

In conjunction with Andrew Burns Architects, Casey has been instrumental in the design and delivery of several significant residential and cultural buildings, not least of which includes the Australia House in Japan. Casey now works within his own practice Casey Bryant Architecture as well as maintaining collaborations with Andrew Burns Architects.

A passionate photographer with teaching connections at universities in NSW, Casey anticipates using these platforms to document and passing on the experiences of the Dulux Study Tour.



John Ellway | John Ellway, James Russell Architects Queensland

john_ellway_by_toby_scottJohn began his career as a graphic designer working internationally, before deciding to become a mature age student in architecture at the University of Queensland.

In his education, John has shown initiative in directing his own learning. He chose to attend the 2013 Glenn Murcutt Masterclass, and won the 2011 SONA Superstudio in Queensland. From his own interest, John undertook an independent study of the work of John Railton, digitising the archive and organising tours for the public for Brisbane Open House.

In the media, John is an active and positive contributor to print and online publications, as well as radio. He has lead the way in developing an online community via Instagram- he now has 1200 followers who are sharing work, ideas and experiences.

John has already shown a willingness to create his own opportunities and to contribute to the profession, and the jury hopes that the 2015 Dulux Study Tour can take him further along that path.

Bonnie Herring | Breathe Architecture   Victoria

Bonnie HerringGraduating from the University of Tasmania with First Class Honours in 2009, Bonnie Herring has been employed at Breathe Architecture since 2010, and was made an associate in 2011.

In this relatively short amount of time, Bonnie has become respected within the industry, and has positioned herself as a leader within the profession. Bonnie is pivotal in the development of Breathes ideals towards a sustainable and ethical built environment.

Bonnie has demonstrated a passion and commitment for architecture. As the project architect on The Commons – the 2014 Frederick Romberg Award for Residential Architecture – Multiple Housing – social and affordable housing is where Bonnies focus and interests are strongly positioned.

Bonnie is adamant about making a significant contribution to the development of sustainable housing, by way of challenging industry and community perceptions, planning and building regulations, and developers preconceptions of inner city affordable housing.

Monique Woodward | WOWOWA Victoria

MG_WOWOWA_1368Monique graduated from RMIT in 2009, and has since progressed quickly in her career. Monique is a founding director at WOWOWA, having started her career working alongside John Wardle Architect, ARM and Cassandra Complex.

Improving the way architects communicate the value of good design, is key to the drive behind Monique Woodward. Monique is active in various Institute committees, as well as various extracurricular organisations including the, Creative Women’s Circle, Victorian Young Architects Group, and the League of Extraordinary Women.

Monique’s commitment to, and passion for architecture and design, is evident in the energy and focus that she has applied to these extracurricular activities. Monique is a passionate about advocating the role architects play making of our future cities. Campaigning local politicians prior to the recent Victorian State election, about the future quality of built work in the city is one example


2015 Stage 2 Shortlist….

October 9th, 2014

…and the shortlist is …..


Tomek Archer Tomahawk Studios
Megan Baynes room11 architects
Daniel Beasly Stukel Stone
Peter Booth Booth&Watts, Uni of Tasmania
Andrew Boyne Andrew T Boyne Architect
Michael Bradburn Cox Richardson
Nic Brunsdon Post- Architecture/ Spacemarket
Casey Bryant Andrew Burns Architect
Anthony Clarke Black Line One X Architecture Studio
John Doyle Index Architecture & RMIT University
John Ellway James Russell Architect
Kate Ferguson CoDesign Studio
Rosalyn Fraser tessellate a+d
Louisa Gee m3architecture
Bonnie Herring Breathe Architecture
Georgina Hoad Beca
Michelle Emma James Here Studio
Caroline Kite Allen Jack + Cottier Architects
Phuong Le MODE Design
Yuri Leong YL Architecture
Maryam Litkouhi Rider Levett Bucknall
Joseph Loh SJB Architects
Nikhila Madabhushi Pleysier Perkins
Carmen Masry Webber Architects
Madelaine McCombe Plus Architecture
Yvonne Meng City of Melbourne
Mick Moloney Moloney Architects
Joshua Morrin Lyons
David Neustein Other Architects
Joseph O’Meara BVN
Michael Ong MODO Architecture
Jet O’Rourke Architectus
Anthony Parsons David Boyle Architect
Sam Perversi-Brooks Self-employed
Alberto Quizon CHROFI
Chloe Rayfield Bureau SRH
Michael Roper Architecture Architecture
Andrew Schulze NA
Claire Scorpo Claire Scorpo Architects
Michael Smith Atelier Red + Black
Cassandra Stronach Group D Creative
Mark Szczerbicki Own Practice
Rebecca Whan Jackson Teece Architects
Monique Woodward WoodWoodWard Architecture
Dirk Yates m3architecture
Joshua Zoeller CHROFI


Entry closing time extended…

September 18th, 2014

Due to overwhelming demand – and my fear the system may have a conniption – the entry  system will stay open until midnight tonight, Thursday 18 September

Enter here now 


One Minute to 12 oclock


Entry Questions

September 4th, 2014

On countless occasions, the Dulux Study Tour has been described as a ‘once in a lifetime’ opportunity. During the tour, recipients are immersed in architecture in every sense, from visits to global architectural firms, to tours of renowned buildings. Over the past seven years, 35 emerging architects have embarked on the Dulux Study Tour, which has helped mould them into the inspirational architects they are today.

Dulux is proud to support a program that facilitates such rich learning opportunities and aims to develop Australia’s young, emerging architects.

‘The Dulux Study Tour represented a rare opportunity to be totally immersed in an appreciation of the many facets of world architecture. Taking the time out of life to stop and visit great cities and experience great buildings has been hugely inspirational. The Dulux Study Tour accelerated my growing sense of the possibilities for future directions in architecture and I’m sure this will resonate with me for many years.‘ Mel Bright, MAKE Architecture, 2013 participant

Enter here now

Simply answer these four questions….keeping in mind the judging criteria is based on individual contributions to, architectural practice, education, design excellence, community involvement

  • What influences and inspirations contribute to your practice of architecture? 
  • What do you feel you would benefit from the study tour? What do you hope to gain? 
  • How will your involvement in the Study Tour contribute to the architectural community in Australia?
  • What is the most significant contribution you have made to date to an architectural project? 

Entries are now open…..

July 25th, 2014

Enter here now! 

Entries close 5pm AEST Thursday 18 September 2014.

The Dulux Study Tour recognises and rewards emerging architects for their contribution to architectural practice, education, design excellence and community involvement.

The Dulux Study Tour provides a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity through an intensive visit for young architects – who are clearly intending to be leaders in our profession – to gain exposure to leading architectural practices and visit recent projects overseas.


Entry is open to all architects and graduates of architecture of up to 10 years from graduation of the two-tier or five-year Bachelor of Architecture degree. It is only open to Australian citizens/residents and New Zealand citizens residing in Australia. It is not mandatory that entrants are Australian Institute of Architects members.

Entrants may be nominated by an employer or self-nominate if they are self-employed. The nominating employer must be an Australian Institute of Architects member. Self-nominees must be an Australian Institute of Architects member, and will be required to supply additional supporting documentation.

Judging Criteria

The prize will be awarded to five emerging architects on the basis of their individual contributions to:

  • architectural practice
  • education
  • design excellence
  • community involvement

2015 Jury

David Karotkin, Chair
Phil White, Dulux
John Dimoglides, Exsulite
Past Study Tour participant
EmAGN Chair
Australian Institute of Architects representative

Please download the 2015 Dulux Study Tour Terms and Conditions


2015 tour planning …off and racing!

July 18th, 2014

And so, it starts all over again!

Entries for the 2015 will open next Thursday 24 July, more information here.

Again, its a two stage process, we will be asking for questions, so take your time answering, and remember to think about the criteria.

The prize will be awarded to five emerging architects on the basis of their individual contributions to:

  • architectural practice
  • education
  • design excellence
  • community involvement

Good Luck!

Day 11 – The last day

May 25th, 2014

The last official day of the tour was epic and saw us embark on a jam packed itinerary, navigating our way around three of New York’s boroughs, touring four projects & visiting five exciting architectural practices – lucky thing we’ve developed a lot of stamina over the past 10 days – nothing like leaving the best til last!


An early start saw us in the lovely leafy streets of Greenwich Village visiting the emerging practice of Family NY. Best known for their pioneering and innovative use of architectural crowd funding for the ‘+ Pool’ project, Dong Ping Wong talked to us about the studios exciting entrepreneurial approach to developing their own projects and some of Family’s other exciting commissions … including a house for Kanye and Kim!

It’s hard not to be totally inspired by the ‘Plus Pool’ project which began as a self-initiated Kickstarter campaign to raise money for a speculatively proposed floating community pool in New York. Dong has an amazing passion and conviction in the project. Offering engraved pool tiles and ‘first dips’ as an inducement to support the project, two rounds of Kickstarter has raised over US$350,000, enough money for initial water filtration testing currently underway in the East River. Four possible sites are currently under consideration and the project has, perhaps more critically, gained strong public and community support including from local authorities and some key fund raisers in New York. We really hope this pool gets built!



After a short sunny stop for good coffee (!!) in the Bowery, we negotiated the stairs and made it to the office of Toshiko Mori Architects (TMA). One of the most exciting aspects of Toshiko’s approach is the diversity of work and typologies she undertakes. Pursuing a practice model of diversification Toshiko has four ‘arms’ to her practice – ‘TMA’ focuses on built architecture, ‘VisionArq’ is an urban think-tank, ‘Paracoustica’ a non-profit exploring innovative projects for the developing world, alongside Toshiko’s teaching and studios at Harvard. In her own words: “It’s productive to diversify … and I find it more fun.” A great architectural ethos.


Donning our hardhats we headed uptown to Hudson Yards, Manhattan’s largest current development project for a tour of a series of beautifully detailed and structurally expressive subway station canopies and public pavilions by TMA. In an enormous shift of scale we then ventured into the subway station under construction below, descending via many, many steps to the track level of what will be New York’s deepest subway station. Infrastructurally scaled escalators, mechanical systems and extraction fans dwarfed us and the climb out was quite a feat. Our guides from TMA then took us on a quick visit nearby to their Sean Kelly Gallery, a carefully composed conversion of an existing warehouse building – a sign of the changes happening in this NY neighbourhood.



It turns out some taxi drivers in Manhattan don’t know how to get to get off the island, and so after some delay we finally arrived in Astoria, Queens to meet the very generous (and patient) Thomas Leeser who took us on a detailed tour of his immersive ‘Museum of the Moving Image’. The museum contains a curious and expansive collection of moving image history – from Edward Muybridge films to Bladerunner cityscape models and conceptual projective art.

Thomas discussed the development of the project over a 6 year period, from the initial competition winning strategy, through how the project brief expanded from a small scale $2m foyer renovation into becoming a large scale $75m redesign and addition. The shared architectural highlight was the breathtaking klein blue felt lined theatre with its amazingly kinetic multi-coloured curtain – an incredibly cinematic space which is also apparently Martin Scorsese’s favourite spot for a private screening! …well that seems like a pretty convincing review.




Catching the subway from Queens to Brooklyn we arrived in DUMBO (yet another great New York neighbourhood acronym – Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass). This area of NY is a creative hub (and therefore home to many architects!) in fact REX is located just a few floors up in the same building as Leeser Architects, with an enviable view of the Brooklyn Bridge and across towards the Manhattan skyline.


REX’s office was surprisingly quiet … having recently won a competition for the Mercedes-Benz Future Centre in Stuttgart, Germany a large part of the team had headed to Europe to kick start the project. We were able to take sneak peak at the so far undisclosed winning design proposal and also admire the whiteboard diagrams and sketches lining the walls.

The office is scattered in many models used extensively to both present, test and develop design strategies. We checked out proposals for a couple of the other key projects the office is working on … one a very large scale ‘necklace’ house (actually 5 houses in one) being constructed somewhere in America for a secret client, and the Five Manhattan West project, a large scale retrofit of an existing tower located near Hudson Yards, which is just commencing construction.


Our final stop was at SHoP – and inspiring it was. Rapidly expanding and recently relocated into the historic Woolworths Building in Downtown Manhattan, Director of Government projects Omar Toro-Vaca took us on a tour of their impressive new digs. The foyer space features the partner’s model aeroplane collection (the second largest in the US) which underscores the importance placed on architectural assembly.

Omar discussed how the practice had grown through an entrepreneurial approach, taking on development risk, more closely integrating consultants, becoming involved in project delivery and construction through forming SHoP Construction, innovating with technology – for example developing apps to streamline construction for the Barclay’s Arena cladding panels, or deliberately adopting a “swim down with the sharks” approach where developer objectives are co-opted for architectural ends such as FAR strategies adopted for their super slender West 57th Street Tower. We also met one of the founder ShoP’s founder Chris Sharples (the SH in SHoP) who almost seemed convinced for a moment to reveal their recent competition winning project in Melbourne for 441 Collins Street – but unfortunately we lucked out there and will have to wait!

No better way to end the day than a visit with Kathy and Jake from SHoP to Pier 15, part of their East River Waterfront redevelopment, for a project tour and to share some beers overlooking the Brooklyn Bridge.



Of course this wasn’t really the end … the last day kicked on with dinner at The Mercer Kitchen followed by drinks in SoHo, and the next day with some last minute dashing around New York. Since then we have scattered, some staying on in New York, some heading to the West Coast and others making it all the jetlagged way back home … I’m sure that wherever we all are right now we can’t help but reflect on what an amazing experience this has been, and what a positive impact this tour will have on us all. Thanks for following our travels!