A Remarkable Local Collaboration – Nau 2019 Collection Shoot
Collingwood, VIC, Australia
Kister Architects’ Church Space and Courtyard House, a former Anglican church transformed into a sculptural contemporary home in Collingwood, is the site of a remarkable collaboration that brings together the work of leading local designers for iconic Australian brand Nau, together with stylist Heather Nette King and photographer Mike Baker.
The shoot is a true testament to local design on every level – an intention that informed Heather Nette King’s approach from the outset. In searching for a location, she explains that the underlying driver in the location search was the “design ethos behind Nau as a brand, and the idea of time, and timelessness. Nau is a contemporary brand, uniquely Australian but international in outlook.” As a bluestone Gothic revival church juxtaposed with a highly contemporary addition, the Kister Architects Church Space and Courtyard house exemplifies this sense of time, speaking to the past of Collingwood as a suburb with a rich history, while also epitomising a contemporary sensibility.
The shoot is a true testament to local design on every level.
Another layer is added to this thread of local history throughout the project with the dramatic circular courtyard, which defines the contemporary intervention, paying homage to celebrated Australian architect Roy Grounds’s seminal Hill Street House in Toorak. Furthermore, Heather says, the church’s former life as both an Anglican church and a Russian Orthodox place of worship suggested “the idea of melding European heritage with something fresh and Australian.” In this way, the Courtyard House and Church Space is an architectural response to many of the same ideas and forces that came together in the Nau shoot collaboration.
Most importantly, the shoot highlights the shared design language expressed in both the architecture and the 2019 Nau design releases by Adam Goodrum, Kate Stokes, Adam Cornish, Tom Fereday and Zachary Hanna. Architect Ilana Kister, who not only designed the house but lived there for a time with her family, reflects on how the Nau designs both complement and contrast with elements of the architecture and interiors, from the emphasis on curved forms, to the textures that counter the smooth, hard materiality of concrete, steel and glass. “I love the way the spaces can really hold each piece of furniture, the house and church really lend themselves to be the perfect backdrop,” she says.
The shoot highlights the shared design language expressed in both the architecture and the 2019 Nau design releases by Adam Goodrum, Kate Stokes, Adam Cornish, Tom Fereday and Zachary Hanna.
Just as the architecture and furniture coming together creates a new conversation, the act of styling and shooting the individual designs together forms new relations between the pieces that, in turn, bring to light elements of affinity or contrast. For Adam Goodrum, seeing his designs set within the Courtyard House and styled by Heather alongside the other pieces from the Nau 2019 collection, “the revelation was that, while I design strategically for both a commercial and residential context, certain designs that I saw as predominantly commercial really work in this residential space.”
An example of this is the Molloy coffee table, part of Adam’s Molloy collection for Nau. The collection is often found in commercial interiors, yet in the Courtyard House, paired with the Sofala sofa, the low table conveys both elegance and an inviting sense of refined relaxation. Meanwhile, the new version of the Molloy chair with arms, Adam explains, was initially developed in response to a request from the Sydney Opera House. Here, however, the design is equally at home in a residential setting, the shoot serving to emphasise the exceptional versatility of a piece that can traverse the full spectrum, from the Opera House to a contemporary home in Melbourne.
This process, by which the styled shoot reveals new qualities of the designs, highlights the inherent creative power of trusted collaborators working together. The shoot marked the third time Heather and photographer Mike Baker had worked with Nau and parent brand Cult Design. Over time, the collection has grown, and Adam reflects that this is seen in the evolution of the work they have produced together. Heather agrees, “previous Nau collection shoots were more conceptual and studio-based,” she says, “so we felt that this time it was really important to place the new designs in an Australian home to reflect Nau’s passion for Australian design. We worked together to ensure the new range shoot would be a cracking showcase for this vision, and the commitment of its incredibly talented designers. Mike Baker’s admiration for contemporary design of honest materiality, when combined with practicality and beauty, ensured his shots really capture the spirit of Nau.”
Furniture, styling, photography and architecture – with Nau 2019, all express a range of shared ideas, intent and approach. From the house, whose design places past and present side by side, to the Nau ethos that brings together leading Australian designers, and the creative process and collaboration behind the collection shoot, Nau 2019 is an active celebration of Australian design, history and creativity.