Stutchbury Invisible House Is The Ultimate Rural Retreat

Named ‘Australian House of the Year’, and winner of a Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) Award for International Excellence, Peter Stutchbury’s ‘Invisible House’ offers a quintessentially Australian experience, immersed in the landscape above Sydney’s Blue Mountains.

Invisible House Stutchbury

Invisible House Stutchbury

One With Nature

Located approximately 2 hours west of Sydney on a secluded 75-hectare site offering breath-taking, panoramic views of the Megalong Valley, ‘Invisible House’ is a one of a kind four-bedroom, three-bathroom residence offering an unmatched connection with nature.

Invisible House Stutchbury

Invisible House Stutchbury

Cleverly positioned under the brow of a ridge to maximise aspect and weather protection and anchored by a wide, protective entrance gallery along its western elevation, all internal spaces are thrown open to the east with expansive, uninterrupted escarpment and valley views, while inside exaggerated ceiling heights emphasise the big-sky nature of this epic country.

Invisible House Stutchbury

Invisible House Stutchbury

A Sturdy Home

A simple palette of appropriately robust materials including off-form concrete, Mudgee stack stone, fine steel, hoop pine and form ply, brass and copper, fencing wire and star pickets are used in delightful, unexpected ways – emphasising the extraordinary, bespoke nature of this home. Increasingly recognised internationally, ‘Invisible House’ represents an architecture of belonging, and of respect for its uniquely Australian place.

Invisible House Stutchbury

Invisible House Stutchbury

“Invisible House can be there or cannot… If the roof, with water, reflects the sky this building will never be found – until it is discovered.” Peter Stutchbury

Invisible House Stutchbury

Invisible House Stutchbury

‘Invisibility’

Sitting approximately 1100 metres above sea level on a sinuous ridgeline running north-south and opening to the east and west, the rusting roof of ‘Invisible House’ appears to be the only sign of development at first glance.  Cantilevering almost four metres west in a series of undulations to protect the house from sunlight and extremes of weather while drawing filtered light in, the roof is designed to act as both a dam and thermal device, while contributing to the house’s ‘invisiblility’.

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Invisible House Stutchbury

Invisible House Stutchbury

The Invisible House offers uninterrupted views of the Megalong and Kanimbla Valleys from every room, making it the ultimate home to unwind after a busy week in the city.

Invisible House Stutchbury

Invisible House Stutchbury

For those fortunate enough to indulge, Invisible House is currently on the market for 5.2 million. You can check out the listing on Domain.

Invisible House Stutchbury

Invisible House Stutchbury

5 Sports Cars That Are Only Getting Better With Age

Now don’t get me wrong, none of these cars was considered “ugly” when they were new, but in this age of LED headlights and aero influenced design, here is a small collection of sports cars that now stand out from the crowd more than ever.

Jaguar X100 XK8/R

Sportscars

Back in 1996 when the Jaguar XK8 was launched, it was a welcome update to the ageing XJS and other sports cars. Then it only got better as improvements were made its production. With its sleek and rounded bodywork and luxurious leather and wood interior, it was a wonderful place to be and the V8 under the bonnet was beautifully smooth and refined. However, by the time the newer X150 XK was launched in 2005, the old XK8 was starting to look a little long in the tooth. Even though it was the best selling sports car Jag had ever produced, it was definitely the right time to put the model to bed. Fast forward 10 years and the older X100 is starting to look as beautiful and desirable as it did back in 1996 and with prices for well-maintained ones starting at around £5,000, what’s not to love. People should also note that low mileage XKR models are on the turn so well worth investing in now if you can.

Ferrari 456 GT/GTA

Sportscars

A big comfy 2+2 seater grand tourer designed by Pininfarina and powered by Ferrari? What’s not to like… featuring a 5.5 litre V12 pushing out 436 bhp that could propel this Italian motorway muncher all the way to 186mph, the 456 was the most expensive Ferrari you could buy for some time, and it was also the most practical. It had 4 seats and a reasonably sized boot, but more importantly, it was effortlessly pretty. You can tell it was designed with a passion and soul for sports cars instead of downforce and aero in mind. The pop-up headlights will always stand out, and with this being the last Ferrari to feature them, the 456 is the subtle design icon you want.

BMW 8-Series

Sportscars

When the E31 BMW 8-series was launched in 1989 it was one of the most truly cutting edge sports cars in its design. With its futuristic dart shaped body and slanting cockpit, it was unlike any other BMW. The flagship 850 CSi was also the first ever road car to be built with a V12 engine mated to a 6-speed manual gearbox – it was so ahead of its time. Contrary to popular belief, the E31 was not marketed as the successor to the 6-series, it was in fact intended to create a whole new series of BMWs, hence the number change. It was also sold at a much higher price, as to attract a higher calibre of customer. The styling of the 8-series is utterly timeless and a well-polished one will still look at home parked right next to a brand new 2017 BMW. Obviously, the interiors and engines have come a long way, but they have not made a better-looking car since.

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Lotus Esprit

Sportscars

Originally launched in 1976, the Lotus had a long and interesting life leading all the way up to its final production in 2004, that’s nearly 30 years of essentially the same car in on the market. With the exception of the immortal Porsche 911, there aren’t many other cars that have lived that long, and given Lotus’ checkered past with regards to reliability, that’s pretty impressive stuff. With its cheese-wedge design and mid-engine layout, everything about the original Esprit screamed 70’s but as time moved on, so did the styling until the final series, the series 4 which is, in my opinion, the pick of the bunch. James Bond may have driven both an S1 and an S2, but the softer lines and twin-turbo V8 in the S4 ticks all my boxes. As you would expect with a car that ran this long, there were also a few very cool special editions like the S2 Essex Turbo and then more recently the awesome S4 GT3! Like the 8-series, the S4 still looks good today and in my opinion outshines a lot of modern sports cars in its appearance.

Aston Martin Vantage (Virage)

Sportscars

Based on the flagship Aston Martin Virage, the Vantage wasn’t a conventionally “pretty” car like other Astons, instead, it was a wide-shouldered and aggressive-faced brute of a car. Originally built with an output of 550bhp and 550lb ft coming from a twin-supercharged V8, the original Vantage was no slouch and could push itself from 0-60 in 4.6 seconds, which when you think it weighs in around 2 tonnes, is pretty impressive – even by today’s standards. However, in 1998 Aston Martin decided to give it a bit of a push and make what would be their most powerful and fastest car ever. They managed to squeeze 600bhp and 600lb ft out of the updated models and the also made a very limited run of just 40 special “Le Mans” edition cars in commemoration of 1959 24 hour victory 40 years prior. These very special and rare versions had a bit fraction more power at 604bhp and also a suggested top speed of 200mph and 0-60 in just 3.9 seconds…back in 1999! Aston Martin may have come along way from these with their styling, but as far as mental high-output engineering goes, you won’t probably won’t find a modern AM with half as much character and scare-factor.

I went to school with a girl whose father had a V550 and you could hear it being started up from the other end of the village, it was epic.

Help The Old Man Look And Feel Young This Fathers Day

If your dad is anything like my old man, he’s full to the brim of bad jokes, advice, and wisdom – as well as an unbelievable ability to embarrass you no matter the situation. Despite his years of wisdom and experience, there’s one thing my dad, and fathers across the country can’t quite seem to nail down – skincare and grooming. We’ve teamed up with British skincare experts, Bulldog Skincare For Men, who’ve just launched in Australia, to help you save your dad from the signs of ageing this Father’s Day.

If your parents’ bickering didn’t make it obvious enough, men and women are completely different beasts (well…beauties and beasts), but one thing you might not realise is that biologically, men age much differently to women. For example, a man’s skull has larger openings for the eyes which makes the muscles supporting Dad’s eyelids more prone to weakness, thus creating bags under his eyes.

Over time, a man’s skin starts to lose elasticity and firmness as part of the ageing process, so Bulldog Skincare developed their Age Defence Moisturiser to help freshen up the skin. Age Defence contains three key ingredients – Rosemary, Echinacea, and Vitamin E to help every man, including your dad, look younger and healthier.

Rosemary is known for its antioxidant properties and Bulldog Skincare uses a sustainably grown source. If nothing, it’ll leave Mum loving you for getting Dad to smell a million bucks. Echinacea isn’t just something the old man takes when he’s got a cold, it’s a flowering plant in the daisy family grown and harvested in the UK with plenty of antioxidant properties that’ll leave Dad looking and feeling great. Vitamin E is often used in cosmetics for its fantastic skincare benefits and Bulldog Skincare uses a natural blend of tocopherols with proven antioxidative power.

Bulldog Skincare For Men Age Defence Moisturiser 100ml – $16.95

Really looking to impress Dad this Father’s Day? Throw in the Bulldog Skincare For Men Original Moisturiser – a great all round moisturiser for any man, that won’t leave him feeling sticky or greasy. Original Face Wash, a non-drying face wash for that contains aloe vera, camelina oil and green tea. And finish off with Bulldog Skincare For Men’s Original Face Scrub to help Dad exfoliate and leave his feeling smooth as a baby’s bum.

For more information on Bulldog Skincare For Men and to view their product range, please visit au.bulldogskincare.com or find them on Instagram and Facebook.

Available in Woolworths stores nationwide, the Bulldog Skincare range has a product suitable for every Aussie dad and is also vegan-friendly and cruelty-free.

This Leica Q x Globe-Trotter Set-Up Is A Travel Photographer’s Dream

We’d all love a compact Leica for our overseas jaunts, and this particular collaboration between the German camera powerhouse and luxury travel brand Globe-Trotter is no different. The result of this winning combination? The Leica Q Globe-Trotter

This Leica Q Globe-Trotter special design is available for just 50 avid photographers who can justify 6000 euros on such a combination. The tech in the Leica Q is the standard offering – a 24-megapixel sensor and 28mm fixed lens – though the camera body is wrapped in a Globe-Trotter band of either blue or pink leather and is accompanied by a stylish vintage-inspired case.

While the case might be more suited to those who care more about aesthetics than practicality, it sure looks damn good. We wouldn’t mind floating the canals of Venice with one of these slung over our shoulder.

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Azure Noosa: A Slice Of Mykonos On Sunshine Beach

Politely nestled in the foothills overlooking Queensland’s Sunshine Beach is Azure Noosa; the Mykonos-inspired architectural creation of Chris Clout and Glen Watson Building.

Azure Noosa

Chris Clout’s works scatter the Noosa area, racking up countless awards and countless casual drive-by’s from dreamers like myself. All are beautiful, but none strike me as Azure does.

Azure Noosa

A Mediterranean Gem

The Azure Noosa property ticks the necessary boxes: four bedrooms, three bathrooms, a garage big enough to fit the rides owning a house like Azure Noosa would afford you. But it’s the feeling of Azure. The innocent white emphasises cleanliness and perfection, whilst its blue trimmings accentuate the house’s many water features. The best of these water features, of course, being the sprawling Pacific Ocean beginning from the sands of Sunshine Beach’s north end. An unobstructed view, of course.

Azure Noosa

Azure Noosa

Entry opens onto a sprawling combination of dining room, living room, and general good times room. The theme of endless expanse continues through to the balcony and the crystal-clear pool, perfect for any joyous occasion.

RELATED: ‘Japan’s Shichirigahama Minimalist Beach House’

Azure Noosa

Azure Noosa

A Pearly, Polished Interior

Azure has a particular emphasis on light and space. Though, there are small pockets of escape scattered throughout. Entertainment rooms are alluring and offer a warm welcome.

Azure Noosa

Azure Noosa

Bedrooms downstairs provide an opportunity to indulge in the greenery of the surrounding garden (if blue isn’t your thing).

Azure Noosa

The bedroom upstairs, however, must insist on flaunting its openness with a level all to itself and an outdoor jacuzzi to help you get lost in the endless stars of the clear Queensland nights.

Azure Noosa

Azure Noosa

Though not currently listed on the market, Azure Noosa is valued at roughly $6,000,000 and is available to rent through various agencies such as Luxico. The most notable award for the property is the ‘Queensland Building Design Awards 2016: Residential Design: New Houses over $2,000,000 Construction Cost.’

You can’t put a price on dreams, right?

The Timeless Charm Of Brooklyn

Brooklyn is the new cultural capital of the Big Apple. Thanks to a steady influx of small business innovators and hipsters, New York’s most charismatic borough is now the best way to see the city. Bushy green trees line the grid-style streets, with locals opting to hang out on the stoops of their cosy brownstone homes (some houses over 100 years old). The casual visitor is spoiled for choice when it comes to restaurants and bars, as a healthy and thriving hospitality hub is around every corner. And, of course, the main Manhattan borough is just a short train trip away.

Best time to go: May – September.

Best time to avoid: November – March.

Ideal length of stay: 7 nights.

With a family event coming up in Texas, NYC was the obvious choice to kill some time for a week. To my family and I (mostly amateur travellers), the prospect of the city seemed overwhelming. I welcomed the challenge of a city that never slept and seemed to always be doing something. Whilst I’d seen the West Coast of the U.S., I expected the East to be different – although, it’s more than appropriate to say that New York has a unique cultural influence of its own. Furthermore, each borough has a definite separate culture from its neighbouring suburbs. New York is deservedly a state on its own, but a strong case could be made for Brooklyn, Queens, Manhattan, Staten Island, and The Bronx to become independent bodies as the levels of diversity between each is staggering.

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Manhattan houses the main city and the largest population of all the boroughs and is a tourist’s dream. I wanted to tick the traveller’s metaphorical boxes: Central Park, The Met, Times Square. And I did. And I loved each experience, as I worked to conquer the city that is larger than life.

But each evening, as I stepped out of the bustling subway at about 7 PM, when dusk’s sun streaked through the heavy oak leaves, were the moments I fell in love with the city. I knew I’d made the right choice to stay in Brooklyn.

Thriving In Summer

The steamy summer nights are best spent in one of the many politely positioned restaurants that are scattered around the street’s corners. There’s an endless supply of choice, with Mexican, Japanese, and everything in between all strong contenders. If you’re big on immersing yourself in the culture, I would recommend soul food, especially the ribs. There’s no holds barred when it comes to ‘healty eating’ with soul – the tastier the better.

Bars + Restaurants

Some restaurants are a little pricey, as rent is especially high in the area. Expect to pay at least $20-$30 USD for a casual meal at each restaurant. Adding drinks, desserts, and the American’s insistent tradition of tipping the waiter, and a hearty dinner for two begins to flirt with the $100 mark. However, there are some jewels. My best experience was Bravi Ragazzi on Putnam Ave. We happened upon the happy hour (which, in truth, was actually a happy 4 hours) and treated I myself to an $8 Old Fashioned. The deal of the day for pizza was ‘buy one, get on for $5’, which was fortunate as the initial average price was about $20 per pie. But with four pizzas between us, the final pricing was much more appropriate. Oh, and it was (I don’t say this lightly) the best pizza I’ve ever had: Doughy, light crust, and the perfect sauce-toppings ratio.

After a couple nights with the fam, I met up with a mate from home and we tried our luck at Brooklyn’s nightlife. As it was Friday night, my hopes were high – although misplaced. As two 22-year-old, hot-blooded young men, we were disappointed to learn that Brooklyn isn’t especially renowned for its nightclub scene. However, two hours and multiple IPA’s deep at one of the borough’s charming bars had us more than content on a quiet-er night. The best way to get around is to ask the locals, and bars are no exception. We chose to walk into one at random and had a blast with the locals and the talkative staff, who then directed us on to a nearby sports bar. The sports bar was just that – sporty. I personally preferred the quiet lighting and loud laughter of the traditional Brooklyn bar but if you’re looking to immerse yourself in the wider American culture, go ahead and catch a basketball, baseball, or football game at one of the many sports bars.

Getting Around

Although Brooklyn’s evening charm had me won over, I still made the trip each day to the mainland of Manhattan to tick those metaphorical boxes I mentioned. In my opinion, you’ve only got one option here – the subway. $32 will give you an unlimited 7-day trip, a more-than-generous price on behalf of the Metro system. Trains are regular and run late into the night and I’ve already mentioned cultural immersion a couple of times. Well, nothing is more New York than the New York subway. Depending on how deep into Brooklyn you’re staying, and how deep into Manhattan you plan on venturing will obviously determine your travel time. I was looking at an average of about half an hour each day. This time flew by, as there was plenty of home-grown entertainment supplied by fellow train-goers.

Accommodation

Finally, I must take a strong stance on your accommodation choice. Go Airbnb. 1-2 bedrooms are going for about $200 a night. A little steep, but you’ll be feeling like a classic struggling artist in no time (this is a good thing). If you’re as lucky as us, your host will be happy to talk to you about some of the local knowledge. Our host had prepared a hand-drawn map with at least 30 go-to locations marked out within a 15-minute walk. 5-star service.

Sure, you could stay in the never-ending hustle and bustle of Manhattan in some franchise’s high rise. But, you’ll be just another one of the countless thousands of customers that walk through those revolving doors each year. And it’s not called ‘the city that never sleeps’ for nothing. Constant chaos. Which is fun while the suns up, but you’ll be thankful you chose to stay in Brooklyn at the end of the day. With a confident strut, I felt like one of the locals in no time. Brooklyn is my new home away from home in the States.

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The Influence Authority: Remy Ghougassian – REMY

The Influence Authority is a content series aiming to give a voice to the overlooked and undervalued voices of men’s style in Australia. Introducing Remy Ghougassian.

Our latest member of The Influence Authority, Remy Ghougassian, recently appeared in our first ‘In The Know’ video, so I thought what better time to ask him a few questions about his operation, his journey and his personal perception of men’s style in Australia.

Remy Ghougassian

1. What is your game and how long have you been doing it?

I guess my ‘game’ is made to measure clothing. I’ve been fitting for close to 9 years.  Remy as a brand has been going for just over two years.

2. You formerly worked as the head fitter for P Johnson, moving with the brand to New York. What prompted you to go out on your own with REMY? 

There were a number of things that were the catalyst for leaving. The biggest, however, was creative freedom. I’d always had the urge to create and develop new products myself. Something I wasn’t able to do with my previous job.

3. How has the consumer evolved since you started in the industry? 

Since the late 2000’s consumers buying made to measure clothing in Australia have become a lot more educated. When the first few operators came onto the scene, they used a lot of buzzwords in their marketing like Bespoke which had little or no real meaning to their consumers or target audience.  

Related: Bespoke The Most Confused Word In Menswear

Now with the proliferation of made to measure suiting business a lot more information is out there that allows them to differentiate between whats real and what’s not. The days of leading clients to believe that there’s a little coat maker out the back of the showroom or in a basement somewhere making their suit is gone. As it should be.

3. Your suiting is made in China. Why?

I’d been indirectly working with the factory for six years previously so it made sense that I would carry on the collaboration. The factory I work with is the most technologically advanced workshop in the world for made to measure suiting, so there was no other choice. For what I do, China is the best in the world. 

Remy Ghougassian

4. Do you think buyers are blinded by the origin of a garment and is origin simply an excuse to charge the consumer more?

Buyers have always been, and perhaps always will be, influenced to buy something based on where its made. 

Unfortunately, China & other countries of that matter have been/are known to produce some pretty low-quality products, but what a lot of people don’t understand is that there are levels of ‘make’ with any product. China holds a stigma that I don’t think will exist in 10-20 years.  But for now, it is still there which is a real shame.

On the other hand, ‘Made In Italy’, like Champagne is a brand unto itself. A fact made particularly evident by brands in Australia who have used it in an unscrupulous manner to give their products an added perception of value to justify charging consumers more. 

5.  What values do you place the most importance on when conducting your operation. 

I don’t think that I have a set of values per say, though I try to do as best I possibly can with every single client in the most transparent and honest way possible.

At the end of the day, my business relies on my relationships.

6. What tips can you give to readers who are exposed to endless amounts of content daily when looking for inspiration?

Get off Instagram. Take inspiration from your surrounds, whether it be architecture, people on the street, or colours in nature. Experiment as much as possible, what works for one person doesn’t necessarily work for the next.

Staged outfits by people on social media platforms with endless wardrobes is unachievable and in most cases unwearable.  

Most of my inspiration for colour comes from art. Most of my silhouette inspiration comes from old garments that I find or ones that I see in old images.

8. Any tips or takeaways you can share. 

Think big picture. Dress the outfit, rather than the item and think more holistically. Don’t follow whats on the internet, develop your own style. 

Remy Ghougassian offers made-to-measure clothing by appointment, visit his website here.