Design

Interior Designer Q&A – Severina Galvin

With our internal environment playing such a crucial role in our happiness, productivity and wellbeing we sat down with Guymer Bailey’s Senior Interior Designer Severina Galvin from our Brisbane studio to ask her what really goes into creating interiors people love to live, work and learn in.

First things first, tell us a bit about yourself...

Severina Q&A 1.jpg

My interest in the design field began with visual arts exploring painting, printmaking and sculpture initially and then evolving into installation art. Interior design then became the next logical step for me as I was more interested in exploring a person’s interpretation of their environment and how they come to assign meaning to their experience of it.

I graduated from Queensland University of Technology in 2000 with a Bachelor of Built Environment (Interior Design) and Graduate Diploma in Interior Design. I then worked in interiors for a variety of Interior Design and Architectural firms and also Government both in Brisbane and Sydney on projects big and small, which eventually led me to my current passion for sustainable design.

What do you love most about being an interior designer?

Interior design is a collaborative process of a series of ideas, constructs and decisions about function, aspirations, culture, cost, time and carbon among others that have a very tangible built environment outcome. I thoroughly enjoy seeing how this unfolds in its unique way on every project like a puzzle or a maze.

Who or what inspires your design? Do you have any influences?

Influences and inspiration that affect my thinking come from a mix of sources that are mostly sustainability, popular culture and technology based.

Some of these include the ReNew and Sanctuary magazines, Dezeen online, Indesign magazine, Australian Institute of Architects’ EDG newsletter, GBCA publications, newsletters and events, Design Institute of Australia’s Artichoke magazine and Spark newsletter, CSIRO’s publications, blogs and newsletter, Meetup environment and sustainability group’s events, and a host of sustainability vlogs.

Walk us through your design process, how do you create an interior clients love?

My design process begins with getting to know the client, their brief and the project background so that I can understand the main drivers for the project and what really matters to both the client and end users of the interior.

Next, I explore the specific sustainable design possibilities and challenges that can be influenced. A project-specific strategy of ideas then emerges to align the values and drivers of the project with its functional requirements and the desired sustainability outcome. The rest is negotiation and teamwork.

What has been your most favourite project to design?

Rather than having one favourite project, I tend to enjoy bits and pieces from various projects, such as:

  • Incorporating beautiful daylight and sky views in a fitout with no windows through the use of solatubes

  • Achieving just the right “quiet in the zone’ feel at the work pods in a co-shared workspace space

  • The way reflected sunlight shines and sparkles off the mirror splashback tiles in a breakout space

  • Achieving just the right feel of quiet and ‘in the zone’ sense at the work pods in a co-shared workspace space together with the sparkly mirror splashback tiles

  • Reading that violence is down, and staff-inmate relations have improved in a prison project I worked on; and

  • Getting away with specifying only ESD certified wall cladding for a large townhouse development

To name only a few!

What would be your dream design project?

Anything where sustainable outcomes are valued, and we don’t have to demolish what is there to build it new again.

What is your top interior design tip?

Reuse, recycle and reduce of course!

RAVENHALL PRISON NAMED AUSTRALIA’S BEST INFRASTRUCTURE PROJECT

Victoria’s $670 million Ravenhall Prison Project has been named as Australia’s best infrastructure project at Infrastructure Partnerships Australia’s National Infrastructure Awards.

Ravenhall Prison - Original concept design

“It is exciting to see the Ravenhall Prison Project win the Project of the Year Award as it is the first privately delivered prison project Victoria has seen in about 20 years – delivered on-budget and on-time”
— IPA Chief Executive Adrian Dwyer.

Gatehouse

“The Ravenhall Prison Project fundamentally transforms the way that support is provided to people in the justice system in Victoria.

“In a Victorian first, the proponents will oversee all elements of the prison’s operations, including custodial services, with performance targets to directly reduce the rate of recidivism.

“Australia is a world leader in bringing together the public and private sectors through Public Private Partnerships (PPPs) to deliver better outcomes for the community.

“The Ravenhall Prison Project is a stellar example of the evolution of the PPP model in Australia and shows what can be achieved when the public and private sectors collaborate to achieve good outcomes.

“I pass on my congratulations to the winners of the Project of the Year Award tonight,” Mr Dwyer said.

Transitions Hub Courtyard

Community 4 

Cell Building Day Room

Internal recreation space


The National Infrastructure Awards are convened by Infrastructure Partnerships Australia each year, recognising excellence in public administration and business, across major projects. The Project of the Year is the most prestigious of the Awards.

MARY CAIRNCROSS | REALISING OUR VISION

MARY CAIRNCROSS | REALISING OUR VISION

We are looking back on our original concept for the redevelopment of the Mary Cairncross Scenic Reserve Discovery Centre. 

STUDENT WORK | Justine Lenkiewicz

This week we will be showcasing some of the amazing work that our students have produced throughout the year. First up is Justine Lenkiewicz's studio work, as well as her Tower Project. 

BOOMHouse Studio

BOOMFlat Sectional Perspective linework FINAL

PROJECT BRIEF: BOOMHouse Studio explored a share-house typology as a solution to the aged care crisis currently facing Australia. Throughout the semester, a range of housing scales were explored. The final project was a single house occupying one lot that would address the needs of four Baby Boomer couples who have decided to live together in a single share-house scenario. The focus throughout the semester was largely on combining facilities, child care and medical support, and providing appropriate dignified, private accommodation as needed; in order to encourage the integration of young seniors back into the larger community, and ensure their contribution and relevance to society is maintained. The final aim was to provide options that were spatially efficient, functionally desirable, affordable and attractive, in the context of the world’s most liveable city, Melbourne.

CONCEPT: My aim was to take a universal approach so that people of all backgrounds, shapes and sizes could have equal access to all the spaces. I employed a single-storey concept with a variety of communal spaces, and shared facilities. Creating layers of privacy was important to cater to individual personality types and needs, as well as to buffer the highly active zones from the more passive zones of the house. Bedrooms were designed to all be equal in size, orientation and access to daylight. A series of vertical strip windows and brick penetrations in the north facade allow dappled light to filter into the rooms throughout the day while keeping heat gain minimal. The presence of the existing tree resulted in a courtyard space that allowed the building to huddle around the tree. This formed an introverted shape with little nooks for reading, private study, and a small kitchenette. The lightwell corridor is something I carried on throughout my projects in this studio. It stems from the concept of changing light and shadow symbolising transitional spaces. The corridor becomes the moment the residents transition between the passive house and the active house.

The corridor in the BOOMFlat project behaves as the buffer zone between the bedroom and the open plan living spaces. In addition to creating a physical separation between the areas, it also houses the laundry facilities and the study zone adding further layers of privacy. Passing through an external threshold leads to the “active” house. Orienting the building to the north and pushing it to southern boundary enabled the creation of a large northern outdoor courtyard and for the spaces to sprawl out and become a lot more extroverted in contrast to the passive side. An open plan arrangement, coupled with the use of generous glazing and sliding doors allows enables fluid movement between the spaces and encourages social activity as boundaries are blurred.

Using a raked ceiling allows the spaces to visually extend out to appear bigger and allow pleasant wintery sun to come through while blocking out harsh summer sun. White brick veneer has been used for its solid, timeless quality; thermal mass benefits and it’s unique production history in Melbourne’s northern suburbs. The skylight level uses a lightweight blueboard cladding material with a white rendered texture finish to blend in with the rest of the building. Extended parapet walls allow the “brick wall” to become a main feature of the house. A darker ‘monument’ colour for the roofing creates a simple contrast in colours.

Timber batten screening is used to delineate spaces such as the carport - which creates a visual barrier from the front of the street and also provides shading from the western sun – as well as the dry court from the outdoor dining area.

Turbine Tower

PROJECT BRIEF: The European Cultural Capital program is an initiative to promote the diversity of European Cultures within member states, instill a sense of belonging in Europeans, and foster contribution of culture to the development of cities. A strong focus on local and community involvement saw Leeuwarden surpass much bigger cities, such as Amsterdam and Eindhoven, in their bid for the European Cultural Capital 2018. These core values combine to create the overarching ‘Iepen Mienskip’ (open community) theme for the 2018 program. The city will host the program for one year. The program is viewed as an opportunity, not only for the city, but also the province of Friesland, to generate cultural, social and economic benefit that will help foster urban regeneration and boost awareness and tourism by raising it’s profile on an international scale.

Our brief was to create a series of design interventions for sites in and around the city, in anticipation of the program and the level of traffic it will bring. The site for my project was the Blokhusipoort, a thriving hub of small creative businesses that will soon house the city’s library and a youth hostel. Since it was transformed from a prison in 2007, the inhabitants of the unique precinct have created a strong identity within the community. Today, the complex houses 130 small creative companies, a theatre, the popular Cafe de Bak, Frisian Design Factory, and the Headquarters for Leeuwarden 2018.

The Turbine Tower site intervention looks towards 2040 with a longer-term solution for the site, when Leeuwarden has reaped the cultural and economic benefits of hosting the Cultural Capital and has become a gained international recognition and the Blokhuispoort has become a landmark tourist destination for people visiting Friesland.

CONCEPT: The Turbine Tower aims to become an iconic radio communications tower, in the heart of Leeuwarden City, following it’s successful run of the European Cultural Capital Program. It is as once a point of connection and wayfinding, exhibition of materiality and history, and cultural symbolism of the core ‘iepen mienskip’ (open community) values that create the overarching theme of the year long festival, taking place in Leeuwarden, Friesland in 2018.