In Conversation With—Modscape
Off-site design and construction specialists Modscape consider each project as a whole, where the built form and the landscaped form are integrated seamlessly. "When designing a space we recognise that the interior and exterior are interconnected and should be treated as such. A thoughtful integration of interior and exterior spaces enhances the functionality and liveability of a project, it allows for seamless flow between indoor and outdoor areas, creating a sense of continuity and expanding the sense of space." Read on as we sit down to discuss this philosophy and learn how it was applied to our most recent collaborative project, Bronte Breeze.
Q—Thanks for joining us. Could you tell us more about Modscape? How did it begin, and how has it evolved over time?
A—Modscape began its journey over 16-years-ago with a vision to revolutionise the construction industry by offering a superior alternative to traditional building methods. The inspiration came from the personal experience of the founders, who witnessed a gap in the Australian market for high-quality prefab homes.
The founders were influenced by a relative's experience with a pre-fabricated home in Denmark. They recognised the potential of off-site construction to deliver efficient, sustainable, and architecturally distinctive buildings. Armed with the inspiration, they set out to create Modscape as a pioneer in the field of high-end off-site construction in Australia.
Since its inception, Modscape has evolved and grown significantly. The company has become a leader in the off-site construction industry, known for its commitment to quality, innovation, and design excellence. Modscape's approach combines advanced building technologies, sustainable practices, and meticulous craftsmanship to deliver exceptional projects.
Over time, Modscape has expanded its portfolio beyond residential homes to include a diverse range of commercial, educational, and hospitality projects. The company's expertise and reputation have attracted collaborations with renowned advancements in technology and materials, constantly seeking ways to enhance the efficiency, sustainability, and design possibilities of its projects.
Q—What is your underlying design philosophy?
A—Modscape's approach to design is underwritten by a textured minimalism—a harmonious blend of simplicity and depth with a timeless appeal that improves with the passage of time. We aim to distill a design down to its essential elements, while ensuring it seamlessly integrates with the surrounding landscape and environment. By carefully considering the entire envelope of a building, we look to achieve a cohesive and balanced relationship between from and function, resulting in visually captivating and contextually sensitive architectural solutions.
Q—What are your most enduring creative influences?
A—Our creative influences are deeply rooted in the principles of innovation and the "form follows function" philosophy. We draw inspiration from the groundbreaking ideas and pioneering advancements that have shaped the world of architecture. By exploring how innovation can shape and transform the built environment, we explore traditional design conventions and create spaces that are both aesthetically pleasing and functionally efficient. Our team is encourages to embrace innovation and constantly seek new possibilities and explore unconventional solutions, resulting in enduring and forward-thinking designs.
Q—Which Australia designers, artists or creative people are you loving at the moment?
A—There's too many to name! We always enjoy visiting Heide Musuem of Modern Art. We love the rich architecture and history and they have a collection of modern Australian artists who have made significant contributions to the art scene.
Q—Rather than trends, we prefer to focus on materials, craftsmanship and technique—how do you see that notion expressed in your work?
A—Modscape believes the essence of design lies in the thoughtful selection of materials, meticulous craftsmanship, and refined techniques employed throughout the creative process.
Throughout the design process, we consider how products and materials respond and evolve over time. For instance, in our Bronte Breeze project, we choose materials with a patina that emerges as the structure interacts with its surroundings. By choosing materials that are responsive to the coastal environment, we ensured that the building develops a unique character that harmonises with its context.
By carefully selecting durable materials and employing sustainable practices, we aim to create structures that stand the test of time and have a minimal impact on the environment. The detailed approach extends to the meticulous attention to detail, where every joint, connection, and finish is carefully considered to achieve a high level of craftsmanship that transcends time.
Q—We've worked together across a handful of projects now—what do you look for in a collaborative partner?
A—We look for collaborators who share our values around beautiful design, sustainability and innovation. Working with partners who actively engage in the creative process to create a shared vision provides a solid foundation for collaboration. Bringing unique perspectives, insights, and expertise to the table fosters a dynamic and enriching environment, where the best outcomes are discovered.
Q—When you're engaged on a project how important is the relationship between inside and out?
A—At Modscape, we firmly believe in considering the project as a whole, where the built form and the landscaped form are integrated seamlessly.
When designing a space, we recognise that the interior and exterior are interconnected and should be treated as such. A thoughtful integration of the interior and exterior spaces enhances the functionality and liveability of the project, it allows for a seamless flow between indoor and outdoor areas, creating a sense of continuity and expanding the sense of space. This holistic approach ensures that natural light, views, and connections to the outdoors are carefully considered to maximise the benefits of the surrounding environment.
Q—What are some of the ways that you bring these two spaces together?
A—By paying meticulous attention to the thresholds that bridge the transition between the inside and outside, we create inviting and fluid passageways that encourage a harmonious flow between the two spaces. The integration of landscape elements fosters a harmonious relationship, where nature becomes an integral part of the overall architectural experience.
By using consistent materials and finishes, we establish a visual and tactile cohesion that blurs the boundaries between the interior and exteriors, creating a sense of unity, where the building and its surrounding environment become intertwined in a natural and organic manner.
Strategic placement of openings, such as windows, doors and skylights, allows us to frame captivating views of the outdoor environment from within the building. By carefully considering sightlines and vistas, we create a strong visual connection that brings the outside in, allowing natural light to permeate deep into the interior and providing occupants with a sense of connection to nature.
Q—What's next for Modscape—what are you looking forward to?
A—We are excited about the possibilities that Modbotics—our new automated robotic production line for building components—brings as it enables us to push the boundaries or architectural design and construction, while maintaining our commitment to sustainability, quality, and innovation.
Modbotics represents our exploration into the realm of robotics and automation within the context of architecture and construction. We are embracing cutting-edge technologies and advancements to streamline and enhance the building process, allowing for greater precision, efficiency, and customisation in our projects. We look forward to the opportunities and challenges that lie ahead.