Karen Abernetty lives between continents – she has launched her own design studios both at home, in Switzerland, and in Melbourne (Australia). A recognizable aesthetic quickly made the studio popular, and Karen is now one of the 20 most influential designers under 40 by Designreview. The secret, as usual, is simplicity:
“We use simple forms: some basic, archetypal storytelling in the language of space,” says Karen. – The second secret: close interaction with everyone who is interested in the success of the project, as well as trust in those with whom you work.
Although the studio was founded in 2013, it has already won about ten prestigious architecture awards. Among them are Interior Design Excellence Award, Houses Magazine Award, as well as the first prize in the INDE competition – the studio was able to win by submitting a project
Buzzing Puppy sounds like an odd name, but it actually makes sense. Humming is the sound that a yogi makes during meditation, and the interior, created under the guidance of Karen, is just the same as a yoga school.
Abernathy opted for a loft-style aesthetic. This was a natural decision because Humming Puppy is housed in what was once a shoe factory. The load-bearing structures are highlighted and underlined, paint peeling from the brickwork is visible here and there – all in an intriguing contrast with the latest high-tech furniture.
|By the way, we recently wrote about another project related to yoga.: design hall for yoga from Maxim Rubtsov|
The decision to leave the Victorian beams in plain sight – with all their defects and traces of time – did not belong to Karen herself, but to Daniel McKenna, Breathe Architecture’s specialist who was responsible for the renovation of the historic building. However, following her principles of trust and cooperation, Karen agreed with the decision – and did not lose. In addition to INDE, this project received several more prestigious awards in 2017.
Another designer Karen has collaborated with is Louisa Macleod. In essence, Humming Puppy is a collaboration project.
– On the one hand, working between two countries, I see each project from the point of view of two cultures at once. This allows me to avoid the influence of any local trends: I am not completely immersed in either of the two cultures, – says Karen about her work. – On the other hand, many important decisions are made at the moment when I am literally suspended in the air above the ocean. Therefore, I rely not so much on subordinates who are waiting for a certain order, as on artists with whom I work on an equal footing. This requires trust and the right choice of people.
On an area of more than 1000 square meters, there are changing rooms with showers, utility and administrative premises, and study rooms.
The compositional dominant was a translucent mirror made of iridescent glass, which Abernathy installed in the foyer. The sloping surface reflects the ceiling, leading the gaze into an imaginary space – a subtle metaphor for going into nirvana, to which real yogis strive.
The article uses photos from Karen’s personal website: