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Axolotl Paint was launched in October last year and has already seen great interest, with Axolotl Paints specified for a number of projects by top designers nationally.

We have been overwhelmed with the response and trust the industry has shown in the Axolotl brand since our launch. Our paints deliver the crafted quality and range of specialty finishes that has come to be synonymous with Axolotl. The Micaceous range has been particularly popular, with it’s unique shimmery matte finish making it a designer favourite.

It is now even easier to explore the Axolotl Paint range as our online shop is live and the full range is available to purchase directly through the website. You’ll also be able to find technical information, colour forecasts, advice, order swatches, paint outs, and sample pots.

With the launch of the Axolotl Paint online store, comes an exciting new Rust Paint to join the range. As global pioneers in developing a rust finish that could be applied for decorative effect, it is only natural that Axolotl should now include a Rust Paint. By adapting our unique process, which works with genuine iron, into an acrylic paint, anyone can achieve an authentic looking rusted effect on paintable surfaces. Axolotl Rust Paint can be applied on site for both interior and exterior settings to give an instant aged finish.

A cement paint is also due to be launched in the coming months!

We hope you enjoy exploring the new Axolotl Paint site. The full range of colours can also be viewed in our showroom where you can discuss your project with our expert consultants and order in store.

For more information on the Axolotl Paint range or to discuss your project, you can get in touch by email, phone, or visit the showroom today.

New Look Axolotl Showroom


If you haven’t visited our showroom in Matraville before, or if you haven’t stopped in for a while, you will be blown away by our latest renovations!

Here you can browse hundreds of samples in our range of surfaces, taking a journey from the simplest metal surfaces, through to the most uniquely inventive Link products such as concrete inlaid in glass, or metal ingrained into wood.

Be inspired by Florence Broadhurst designs, which have been reinvented as metal-coated screens and carved doors. In fact, be stunned at our range of doors, which have been re-imagined to add an imposing beauty, as well as value to your home. And while you’re at it, imagine the myriad of other uses for our surfaces such as bathing in the most exquisite copper bathtub, which is as much sculpture as bathroom furniture.

Axolotl Paints are the newest addition on display and it’s instantly apparent how unique these designer paints are, from the hand painted sample cards through to gloss embossed tin labels and the inventive test tube sample pots. Our paints are also available to purchase in store.

On your visit you will also find the limited edition Anomaly furniture range on display, which is Australian made and created by key Australian designers, plus bespoke work from some of the best Australian artists.

And of course, the Axolotl designers work alongside the showroom and are available for consultation and advice – although we do recommend call ahead to make an appointment.

The new showroom is more inspirational than ever. To celebrate, from the 6th through to 8th March we will even have a glass of champagne, or coffee and cake here for you to enjoy while you browse. There is no better reason to invest some time in a visit to Axolotl, and to see how we can help bring your design vision to life.

We hope to see you soon. Call 02 9666 1207 to make an appointment with a designer today.

Art in Review


Axolotl Art Projects are excited to showcase a selection of the recent public art projects and art collections we have been involved in.

Mallee (pictured above), by artist Jade Oakley is the most recently installed public artwork going up in its new home at Bendigo hospital early last month. A set of six kinetic mobiles link between two buildings at the new Bendigo Hospital, injecting the narrow void with an ever-changing canvas for the patients, staff and visitors to enjoy.

Each mobile is constructed from hand forged stainless steel hoops, a vine of intertwined stainless steel leaves with woven copper centres span the diameter. The mobiles were treated in Axolotl Copper metal and feature dappled green verdigris ageing.

Axolotl Art projects were commissioned to produce this intricate glass artwork, drawn by eminent Chinese pop artist Jacky Tsai. The piece is on its way to be installed in the Rouge Lounge on the Genting Dream Luxury cruise liner.

A fusion of pop culture and traditional themes synonymous with Jacky Tsai, the artwork is presented as a glowing red light box reminiscent of Chinese lanterns. The entry artwork has been created from custom laminated red glass with Axolotl Brass metal LINK on the surface. With intricate details as fine as 1mm wide, it took the Axolotl team over 120 hours just to produce the detail on the artwork.

SMC Design Art Consultancy sourced art for the Genting Dream on an international level and worked with renowned artists, as well exciting up-and-coming talent. Our own Emmaline Tuza was also commissioned to create a series of eight custom artworks for the Junket room on the luxury cruise liner.

The oblique distance set above by artist Lynne Roberts-Goodwin was created for her for closeupatadistance exhibition held in October at Kronenberg Wright Artists Projects in Sydney.

The set consists of twenty photo-etched negatives, laser embossed and etched onto 10mm thick aluminium metal. Within this key series the work has engaged with the Dead Sea and surrounding contested sites of environmental and political impact from aerially oblique and ground positions.

We also had the pleasure of working with Jade Oakley on her private commission for Otto Ristorante Brisbane.

Sketches of intertwined mangroves inspired from Jade’s first site visit were translated into laser cut, hand rolled and welded mangroves in 3mm thick Brass sheet, aged to represent tide and watermarks. The tips of the branches are adorned with kinetic mobiles with leaf elements in brass, stained timber and dyed silk which move gently in the breeze coming in off the river.

These projects, along with many of our latest art projects can be seen in more detail on the Axolotl Art Projects website. You also can find more information on showcased artists through their websites below.


Introducing: Axolotl Paint


The launch of Axolotl Paint expands upon Axolotl's already extensive range of surface finishes. Our new architectural paints merge the highest quality finishes, with a palette of colours and effects that represent the most current and upcoming trends.

Axolotl Paint has been developed with traditional craftsmanship as the starting point and then enhanced with the latest technological developments, creating stronger opacity, fuller colours and better paintability.

The palette on offer extends from extroverted bright tones through to moody lustrous shades, and has been chosen to deliver the highest standard of finish demanded by the best commercial and residential architectural projects, internally and externally. The range of colours and textures on offer have been designed to complement Axolotl's metal and concrete surfaces, whilst also delivering a finish you can be confident will work with both the natural environment and design trends.

As would be expected of Axolotl, quality craftsmanship and a bespoke approach are paramount in our practice. Our swatches, fan decks, sample test tubes and paint tin labels have all been designed and made in house. In a labour of love, the full range of swatches and fan decks have been individually mixed and hand painted to give you the most accurate representation possible.

The Axolotl Paint collection is water based, has low and zero VOC's, is easy to use and comes in a range of acrylic paints, micaceous iron oxides and timber washes for internal and external use. You can view the full Paint range online, but the true beauty of the range is fully realised by visiting our showroom, open Monday to Friday. An online store will also be available soon.

Rain Shadow

Photography by @carolynpricephotography

“Night falls early in this place. Above the canopy, birds wheel and glide in the sunlight while below the wet air rises from the earth. Fig trees tower above, their tangle of roots reaching into the piles of skeleton leaves below. Moss and lichen adorn every surface and the green air is alive with the sounds of small birds and flowing water. I stop and breathe the earth in this place of rain and shadow.” Jade Oakley

Photography by @carolynpricephotography
Photography by @carolynpricephotography

Axolotl have had the privilege of working closely with Australian artist Jade Oakley on a series of recent art projects. We have received a strong response from our clients, with a number of Jade Oakley maquettes on display in our showroom from current public art ventures.

Rain Shadow is Oakley’s latest project, a solo exhibition opening August 23 at the Australian Galleries Sydney.

This breathtaking exhibition presents a series of 15 hanging mobiles, 5 ‘Rain Shadow’ lights which combine lighting with copper mobile elements and 4 small free standing mobiles. The body of work is made up of more than 200 individually perforated and aged leaf elements.

“Rain Shadow is a new body of work inspired by a rainforest walk in the hinterland above Byron Bay. I have made mobiles from copper, which I have obsessively perforated by hand to reveal the patterns of veins and texture of leaves. I love the sense of translucency that is achieved through this process and I am fascinated how a once solid material can become ethereal and, to my eye, magical. The effect of light and shadow created by the perforated mobile elements is beautiful.” Jade Oakley

Photography by @carolynpricephotography
Photography by @carolynpricephotography

Each of the copper leaf elements in Rain Shadow have been hand polished and many have been treated with an Axolotl Pearl Patina ageing. The Pearl Patina ageing adds an organic, dappled honey glow to the surface and enhances the delicate styling of the artworks. The metal treatment is also sealed to provide a long-lasting effect that avoids the bright and inconsistent tarnishing raw metals are subject to.

We would like to extend the invitation for you celebrate Jade Oakley’s latest project by visiting Rain Shadow – open 7 days, 10am to 6pm, current through to 11 September 2016. Artworks will be available for purchase through Australian Galleries.

Australian Galleries Sydney | 15 Roylston Street Paddington NSW 2021 | | 

Axolotl Stone


Axolotl Stone is a new lightweight surfacing treatment that revolutionises how natural stone can be used in architecture and design. The stone sheets are extremely flexible allowing stone to be used in unique designs at a fraction of the cost of solid stone. 

The genuine stone veneers are derived from natural slate and quartzite slabs. Each piece is unique and showcases the inherent beauty, texture and lustre of natural stone. The raw split surface of the slate and the interchanging colours of each stone layer are unique, meaning no two pieces are alike.

Axolotl stone veneers are available in a selection of 21 different finishes, and in two styles: Axolotl Stone and Axolotl Flex Stone. Both stone veneers are ultra-thin at 1-3mm thick, they can be curved to a convex or concave profile, and can be bent to a minimum 20cm radius in some stone types depending on the grain direction.

Axolotl Stone can be applied over nearly any solid substrate including concrete, metal, plywood, fibreglass, MDF, Masonite®, door skins and cabinetry. And most importantly it is easy to work with using standard woodworking tools, sealers and adhesives.

By using Axolotl Stone in place of natural stone, we save more than 80% of natural resources in the form of stone, sand and cement and leave a smaller environmental footprint.  And Axolotl Stone panels weigh up to 20 times less than that of a solid stone object of the same size, making them easier to transport and handle.

To see more of the Axolotl Stone range, including the brochure and technical data sheet please click here. Please call 02 9666 1207 or get in touch by email at for samples or further information.

Florence Broadhurst x Axolotl


Florence Broadhurst

Acknowledged by TIME magazine as one of the world’s most influential post-war designers, Florence Broadhurst's signature designs are as recognised in design today as they were when first released in the 1960’s.

We are big fans of her work, and as such are thrilled to announce that in partnership with the Signature Design Archive, Axolotl will now represent the iconic Australian designer’s range!

Florence Broadhurst’s celebrated designs can now be used with Axolotl’s metal, glass, concrete & timber products. Over 500 iconic prints ranging from tapestries to geometrics, florals, psychedelic, and delightfully eccentric chinoiserie can now be transformed into breathtaking laser cut screens, custom entry doors, feature walls and more.

To help inspire your next project, we showcase examples of how Florence Broadhurst designs can be used with Axolotl’s semi precious metals, concrete, laser cut screens and LINK glass below.

With a variety of patterns for all design styles, you will have no problem choosing a design for your next project. The samples above exemplify how when paired with the right Axolotl processes Broadhurst's designs can translate effortlessly into elegant, vintage, and modern features. Coupled with Axolotl's ability to carve, etch, inlay, emboss, laser cut, patina, invert and scale the designs - the possibilities are limitless.

Make an appointment to come in and speak with our team, and we will work with you to determine the best way to use a Florence Broadhurst design on your next project.

To see more of the Florence Broadhurst for Axolotl range, including design folios with descriptions of how the designs can be expressed through Axolotl materials please click here or contact us on 02 9666 1207.

Masterclass in Brass


Brass finishes have become prominent in the design and home-wares sphere over the past twelve months. There has been a move away from the high shine and even finish of gold and chrome towards metals with warmer aesthetic; softer more appealing tones such as brass and bronze that can be treated with beautiful texture and patina.

Brass is a dynamic metal that has transcended design styles over the decades, from vintage, to industrial and contemporary. Today we provide a masterclass in how to incorporate Brass for brilliant effect in your next project, no matter the style.

Above, hardy 1.2mm thick Brass Sheet metal was aged with a Brown Florentine and wrapped around the counter for the recent AHL fit out designed by Nic Graham & Associates.

The brass counter is glamorous without being ostentatious. Fused in a palate of natural stone, neutral tones and warm ambient lighting, the brass metal enhances the rich, moody feel of the space.

This project also features an Axolotl Brass three-dimensional feature wall with integrated lighting. Spanning the length of the hallway and covering over 130m2, the applied Brass finish in a fine lunar texture with Florentine ageing offers a soft and organic element that unifies the design of the central foyer.

The Ovolo in Woolloomooloo recently underwent a major re-design by our friends at Hassell Studio. Here Axolotl Brass with a hi-cut polished effect was used over the reception desk and fluted concierge desk, as well as on fluted planter bases and in the kitchen. Mixed with Axolotl Concrete Shale, lime washed timbers and black accents, this design exemplifies how to design with brass with a fresh, modern approach.

Our brass metal was left unsealed for this particular project, meaning that with time the brass will take on its own unique patination. We love this effect, it gives the rich lustre of polished brass, while the metals appearance will continue to evolve and be shaped by its interaction with its environment.

One example of clever design with our materials is shown in the reception counter that incorporates two textures within the brass hob. A textured lunar finish was applied to the top face to help disguise daily wear and tear, and this texture fades out to a smooth polished front to match with the surrounding brass coated planter pots.

An example of a more traditional approach with brass is shown in the screens pictured above. These fine MDF screens are coated in an aged Brass Florentine finish and have been applied as a decorative element onto the doors in the recent Langham Hotel revamp by GA design.

The new interiors are classic, with lots of soft grey, textured fabrics and metal accents. "I think this is the only hotel in Sydney with such a strictly classic interior," says Su Ball, executive director of London-based design firm GA Design, who oversaw the refurbishment.

The projects showcased here today exemplify the different effects that can be achieved when using brass and you can rest assured that you will find the perfect accent for your next design with us. Selecting from our range of textures, polish levels and aged effects you can customise a brilliant look for your next project.

For more images, or information on the products and projects listed please click here.

Axolotl Solid Surface


Axolotl Solid Surface redefines the aesthetic of solid surface materials. Extending on the products already extensive range of uses in architectural applications and manufacturing by combining solid surface products with Axolotl's portfolio of metal and concrete coatings. Be it large scale cladding, or bespoke baths or vanity bowls, Axolotl Solid Surface capitalises on this extremely versatile and unique substrate material to create new and exciting design possibilities never before seen in the architecture and design industry.

Axolotl's range of finishes are ideal for embellishing solid surface products - the liquid coatings are not limited to flat surfaces and can bond to unique shapes and sizes. Axolotl's coatings can be applied in intricate bespoke designs onto one or both faces of the item to create a range of different effects.

Custom patterns can also be CNC machined into flat panels to create three dimensional profiles ideal for feature walls and counter fronts. This process is particularly beautiful when back illuminated, as the varied thicknesses in the profile casts shadows and glows to accentuate the design.

Additionally, Axolotl can create and supply the solid surface in thermoformed shapes or seamlessly weld panels together to create longer lengths.

The versatility of solid surface products has been paramount to the success of the material to date, now with Axolotl's ability to combine new processes and finishes to the product we bring new possibilities to the future of surface design. We invite you to discuss your next project with us, and to explore the possibilities of our new Solid Surface range.

For more information on the products listed please click here.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from Axolotl


We wish everyone a happy and safe holiday season. Thank you to all of those who worked with us this year, we look forward to working with you again in 2016!

Axolotl will be closed from Thursday 24th December and will reopen Monday 11th January.


Year in Review

2015 marks Axolotl’s 20th year in operation. True to our founding philosophy of ‘redefining boundaries’ this year we have developed and launched new product ranges, a new AAP website and worked on some very exciting commercial, residential and art projects.

The year started off with the award winning dining precinct ‘The District’ designed by The Uncarved Block for the Chatswood Interchange. The 3000sqm space was redesigned into a futuristic Asian cityscape with architectural forms to create hideaways and laneways. Axolotl Bronze and Concrete Shale coated oak boards line the interior walls, and pod structures of the space. And over 170m2 of custom brick patterned glass windows were installed to conceal the busy concourse below.

A big congratulations to Philip Chia, of the Uncarved Block for their recent award of Best Retail Design 2015, at the Eat Drink awards for ‘The District’. It was a huge effort and a truly deserving winner!

In April, Axolotl Art Projects produced the temporary art installation TOP5FEET by artist Dale Jones-Evans for Art & About Sydney. The opening of TOP5FEET was also the launch of the roaming Art and About Sydney festival and was opened by the Lord Mayor Clover Moore. Installed inside Paddington Reservoir, the light filled glass artwork took its cue from the Paddington Reservoirs shortcomings during its commission.

We launched our new glass range HALO in August. There has been lots of interest in the product already, especially by those who see it in the flesh! Samples of the range in stunning new designs can be viewed in our showroom. It is available in many different sizes, glass types and combinations, to suit all projects.

Axolotl Terracotta was awarded the ADEX Gold Award for Design Excellence 2015. Axolotl Concrete won the ADEX Platinum Award for Design Excellence 2015. And Axolotl Terracotta was shortlisted in the WAN Awards - Product Innovation Facades 2015.

Electrolight’s piece Squelette Light installation also won The Luminaire Design Award of Excellence: Light Sculptures and Installation award 2015. Squelette was designed and built in partnership with Axolotl and Koda lighting. Congratulations to Donn Salisbury and the team on the achievement.

Over the past few months we have been busy designing and manufacturing the beautiful artworks ‘Understory’ and ‘Looking up’, with artist Jade Oakley for Parramatta Westfield. The pieces will be located over 4 levels of Parramatta Westfield on the lift surround and escalators. Featuring intricate Maiden hair fern and tree canopy designs in white on white tones using Axolotl concrete, custom miro glass and specialty paints the works will look amazing when they are fully installed early next year!

In another step toward minimising our environmental impact, this month we have completed installing a 50kW Solar panel system, equating to approximately 1000sqm of solar panels on the roof of our factory in Matraville. The power this system provides meets, and occasionally surpasses, our monthly electricity requirements.

And in other news, this year we also gained a new office dog, little August, a Kelpie x Border Collie. Our two office pups Jinx and August welcome everyone into the office, and keep us all entertained!

(No animals were harmed in the making of this e-card)

As always, please get in touch if you have a new project or artwork opportunity that you would like to discuss with the team. We look forward to working with you in the New Year!

The Axolotl Team.

There's no place like Home


It has been a while since we have brought you up to date with some of the inspiring residential projects we have been working on.

Architects and designers regularly use us for bespoke features in homes. Here we show some more recent examples to provide you with a master class in working with metal tones, textures and patterns.

By using our finishes the simplest things like entry doors, garage doors, garden art, feature walls, kitchen cabinetry and splash backs can take on artistic proportions.

Here we showcase how Joanna Lukaszewicz Architect utilised our Graphite pitted metal finish to elevate this Coogee home's façade.

The garage and entry doors are embossed with a custom design, which flows across the panels, and onto the custom laser-cut gate.The centres of the solid leaves in the gate are inlaid with a second finish in a cast texture for tonal contrast.

Impressive seems an understatement when describing this Brass Florentine carved entry door designed by Danny Glavan. This design is on display in our showroom and could look amazing on your home.

MacCormick Architects commissioned Axolotl to coat this brown rust garage door above with a custom 3D profile for a Mosman property. The subtle variation in the rust tones work beautifully with the surrounding stone and timber façade.

Greg Natale designed these Treasury Bronze cast screens below in a custom pattern. They create a show stopping entry – the ceiling feature panel reflects the design of the glass door below. The glass door has been clad on both faces with the thick profiled screens to create extra depth and drama.

We have in-house designers here to help bring your creative vision to life. We are here to work with owner-designers, as well as architects and designers.

The Skyline door featured here is an example of this - the newly developed design has a lineal profile carved into the face of the door, and it is shown here in an on trend Brass Florentine finish. All of our designs can be made using any combination of our wide selection of metals, textures and effects on offer to create a customised look for your next project.

To view more completed projects visit our gallery.

The jewel in our crown


As winter finally draws to a close, we celebrate with some new beginnings.

One beginning is featured here, a new range of beautiful glass we call HALO. By combining the principles of our core glass processes ‘veil’ and ‘formed’, we sculpt the glass surface by carving up to 3mm deep then kiln fire the glass to soften the shape and texture of its surface.

HALO’s jewel like appearance is a result of its dual translucencies, and its softened 3D form. Available in annealed glass, or laminated safety glass in custom sizes, HALO can also be supplied with bespoke printed interlayers, colour backed or even mirrored.

Our showroom is being renovated to showcase our newest offerings, so make sure you come in to view our ever-evolving range and be inspired for you next project with us. Chances are you’ll also get a sneak peek of what else is to come.

20 years and still innovating


In July 1995 my brother Kim and I launched Axolotl from a one-car garage space in Redfern. This month marks our 20th anniversary and to celebrate we wanted to share our story, and to thank all of those who have been involved.

From humble beginnings, booking presentations with architects and designers to showcase our four metal samples (available in a single texture!), we have long outgrown our garage. Our transition, from simple pioneers of a process that involved cold applying metal to other elements, to our current range of products and processes that extend way beyond metal as a material, have garnered recognition and reward on an international scale.

Ten years after we first set up shop, glass was added to our product range and working with two materials now opened up even greater design possibilities. We pioneered LINK, which enabled metal to be inlaid into glass and won us a coveted product innovation award.

We then survived the double hit of the GFC in 2009 and the realisation that we had been embezzled by a manager in the business, reducing our staff of 32 to 13. With lean times and support from our suppliers and staff we were able to survive the ensuing years.

As is often the case, out of austerity came creation and those lean times saw Axolotl launch concrete, sheet metals, timber and terracotta surfaces into our range. Once again we offered design innovators the potential to challenge and author the type of new concepts that drive them.

In a somewhat lateral skew, Axolotl House, a sustainable mud brick home built by Kim was opened in the Hunter Valley as a B&B - a true shrine to quality craftsmanship.

And in 2013, we continued to flex our design muscle, creating furniture brand Anomaly in partnership with Evostyle. Boasting an all-Australian made furniture range designed by some of Australia’s top designers. 

Our latest offer, Axolotl Art Projects, promises a new resource for artists, developers and local governments to not only project manage art projects but to fabricate them. Since 2014 when this was first launched, we have already been awarded high profile and blue chip projects.

Looking back, we are grateful to realise that we have been featured in over 500 magazines, on radio, television and have been the recipients of more than 40 awards, including five international design awards. Our range of four metals has multiplied to hundreds and our products have been featured on buildings worldwide. We have worked with imaginative and visionary people including artists, architects and interior designers who we can’t thank enough for their ongoing support, and their continuing push for us to turn their 2D plans into 3D reality.

But it’s more than just products, it’s personal. Our staff are now an extended family. We have incredibly low turnover rates, which is great as they are so talented we never want them to leave.  

Looking to the future we have, as always, a number of new product developments underway. Nothing we can giveaway yet, but keep a look out at the four grey empty boxes on the Products page on our website, as they get filled with new innovative products over the coming months.

Of course, no business should be in business without a commitment to minimising their environmental footprint. By the end of August we will have installed a 50kW solar panel system on the roof of our factory, the equivalent of 1000sqm of solar panels, which is expected to at least meet, if not possibly surpass, our monthly power requirements.

It’s true that what started out as a small metal bonding business has grown way beyond our expectations back in 1995, but innovation has always been at the heart of the Axolotl brand and this passion to offer new possibilities has not abated with time. Axolotl has always, and will always transcend the idea of a simple product or manufacturing business.

So, as we move forward, redefining possibilities in the built environment for another 20 years, we would like to thank everyone who has ever been involved with the business, your presence and positivity has greatly shaped us. With your continued support and inspiration we can only promise to try to live up to our past, in the future.


Kris Torma

The District | Chatswood Interchange


Chatswood Interchange recently opened the doors of it's world class dining precinct – The District. Designed by the talented Philip Chia of The Uncarved Block, The District is not your average suburban foodcourt. Seating 1000 patrons, the 3000sqm space and 8m ceilings have been distorted and divided with architectural forms to create hideaways and laneways – inspired by a futuristic asian cityscape.

Pod like structures were built to extend outside of the existing building envelope, creating lustrous private dining spaces. Each pod was clad on all faces internally and externally in Axolotl Bronze coated oak and CFC timber-look boards with florentine ageing highlighting the grain. Axolotl Ingrain showcases the natural beauty of timber – while transforming the look and feel it creates in a space.

The pods are framed by panels of Axolotl Miro glass featuring a custom brick graphic. The graphic is printed clear and affords diners views to the outside world, and when traversing across the entry platform the glass glows from the internal lighting. The graphics were custom photographed by Steve Brown Photography and stitched together with new elements such as industrial signs and copper pipes.

When entering The District via the street, you will find the walls of the stairs, main entry vestibule and hallways clad in Axolotl Concrete coated ingrain boards. The Shale concrete coating gives Ingrain a whole new appearance – presenting as off-form concrete castings, and showcasing the grain in super fine detail. Upon entering and looking back at the vestibule, you will find an additional layer of custom designed fine asian style screens cladding the walls and doors. The screens were individually coated, and applied on top of the ingrain panelling to reveal the fine grain detail behind.

The resulting space is an eclectic mix of high end finishes and furniture, the materials palette includes strong textures, mixed mediums and unique handcrafted materials immersing the diner in a visual and sensual experience. Featuring quality eating establishments such as the Australian flagship of the Michelin Star restaurant, Tim Ho Wan, Australian diners are truly in for a treat when visiting The District.

Pier One Sydney Harbour (Lobby, Bar and Restaurant Refurbishment)

  • Bar, Light Sculpture, Floor Inlays: Axolotl
  • Lighting Design: Electrolight
  • Architect: Bates Smart
  • Photography: Rohan Venn

Over the last year Electrolight have been working closely with Bates Smart Architects on the design for the revitalised Pier One Sydney Harbour, the high-end hotel and conference facility located at Walsh Bay in Sydney. Pier One Sydney Harbour is situated on a former real-life pier originally constructed in 1912. The location affords spectacular views over Sydney Harbour.

Electrolight's design for the bar and dining areas features a custom light sculpture inspired by the organic form and movement of the ocean's creatures and the way modern yachts replicate these same movements. The commissioned work, named 'Squelette', was both conceptualised and detailed by the Electrolight team in Sydney. The detailed design was quite a process, with over 300 parts requiring site assembly, with all parts suspended utilising gravity to hold it's form. Specialist fabricator Axolotl were appointed to manufacture the piece and were instrumental in the realisation of the work, affording Electrolight the opportunity to create the machined organic forms in a lightweight brass aesthetic using Axolotl’s proprietary metal coating techniques.

Design Director Donn Salisbury said "It's particularly pleasing to see this project come to fruition. It's not every day you get to work on a project with such a wonderful backdrop as Sydney Harbour. It was the perfect inspiration for our art and provides the ultimate backdrop. Axolotl were key in making this piece true to it's concept, it gave us the ability to materialise our vision."

The Pier One Sydney Harbour fit out also sees the Axolotl Sheet Metal process utilised throughout the bar and entry, with the aged solid brass in-floor signage complementing the overall design aesthetic. The central Autograph bar features a custom aged zinc counter top. Zinc sheets were folded and formed around the counter profile, and treated with a distressed florentine finish to create a strong, solid appearance while utilising metals that are less than 1mm in thickness.

For further information on Axolotl, or to discuss your own unique project requirements please contact Axolotl on 02 9666 1207 or


A Touch of Brass


Showcasing the new Axolotl Sheet Metal range, this beautiful aged brass counter can be found at Space Furniture’s flagship Sydney store.

Constructed from panels of 1.2mm brass sheet, each piece was individually aged with a brown florentine and polished. The brass was left unsealed, to naturally tarnish in situ.

Tarnished sheet metals create a beautiful burnished effect that continues to age and change over time through environmental factors and the human touch. The result - an ever evolving patchwork of lustrous metals of unique shape and patina.

Axolotl Sheet Metals are available in a range of metals and ageing effects – using solid Zinc, Brass and Copper sheets, the range includes black steel, and tarnished bronze effects.

Axolotl sheet metals, are available in a variety of thicknesses and can be used where sheet metal is required in lieu of our decorative metal coatings. This range offers architects and designers the ability to specify pre-aged panels on a new build or renovation, avoiding bright and inconsistent 'fresh' metal, while ensuring the characteristics of the solid metal are retained.

To see images of the Axolotl Sheet metal range please click here.

For further information on Axolotl Sheet Metals, or to discuss your own unique project requirements please contact Axolotl on 02 9666 1207 or

Merry Christmas


Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from Axolotl!

From all of the Axolotl team, we wish everyone the best wishes for the holiday season. 

A special thanks to all of those who worked with us this year, we look forward to working with you again in 2015! 

Axolotl will be closed from Wednesday 24th December and will reopen Wednesday 7th Jan.

Year in Review

2014 has seen Axolotl work on some amazing projects including Barangaroo, the Nan Tien Temple, No1 Pacific Place, and our 4th Tiffany & Co store to name a few.

It saw the launch of new products including Axolotl Sheet Metals, and our award winning Axolotl Terracotta, as well as the launch of new consultancy Axolotl Art Projects.

Since the launch of AAP we have been lucky enough to collaborate with artists including Dale Jones Evans, Pamela See, Jane Cavanough and Jade Oakley. It has been a successful year that has seen many artworks shortlisted, commissioned and installed.

As you may have noticed, we don't like to sit still here at Axolotl. Stay tuned as we are sure to dream up and release exciting new products to our range in 2015! And as always get in touch If you have a new project or artwork opportunity that you would like to discuss with the team.

2015 will see some changes to the Axolotl team, with designer Ben Wahrlich leaving to run his own company Anaesthetic, and Sophia Conradi re-joining our team full-time after completing her studies.

We look forward to working with you and the other amazing Australian architects, designers and artists we have collaborated with again in the new year.

Ginkgo, Lily, Monsteria

Axolotl were delighted to be involved in the creation of this beautiful series of 2 metre tall sculptures by artist Jade Oakley, commissioned by the new Westfield's Miranda Shopping Centre.

"My creative process began with a visit to the Royal Botanic Gardens in Sydney. I sat on the ground and made detailed sketches of the pattern of leaf veins" says Oakley who hand illustrated each of the detailed leaf designs in ink. Each drawing was then digitised, scaled and precision laser cut in Mild Steel by Axolotl.

The leaves were individually rolled and carefully hand forged to create the rippled surface before being welded to its stem and wrapped around the custom polished concrete base.

The sculptures were treated with an Axolotl Bronze Lunar coating, aged with a florentine verdigris patina and hand polished to highlight the bronze and accentuate the forms.

"The patina that Axolotl has applied to these sculptures is so beautiful, and just what I had in mind. In places the bronze paint shows through the patina, creating a deep lustre, and in other areas the organic patina glows green against the metal." Jade Oakley.

Jade is truly a pleasure to collaborate with, her engagement throughout the entire creation of her artwork from inception through to manufacture is testament to the highly crafted works she creates.

Introducing Terracotta


In another industry first, Axolotl are excited to launch the award winning Axolotl Terracotta. 

Replicating the natural aesthetic of terracotta perfectly, Axolotl Terracotta is simpler and more cost effective than traditional processes. It retains the integrity of natural terracotta with variance in texture and colour, whilst enabling it to be utilised in designs never before considered possible.

The terracotta aesthetic can now be realised anywhere you may normally use aluminium, CFC sheeting or stainless steel, yet in virtually any size or shape. As a coating, it's easily integrated into architectural projects, as it can be bonded onto traditional building materials, standard shapes and forms.

Axolotl Terracotta is Australian produced and manufactured. It is offered in a range of colours and has unlimited design potential through being able to be individualised with Axolotl’s in-house ability to carve or etch almost any design in the surface.

Terracotta has long been a part of our built environment as a beautiful and timeless building product, used throughout the world by leading architects such as Renzo Piano. Now Axolotl Terracotta reinvents this classic beauty to be more cost and production effective, without losing any of its aesthetic qualities.


Feature Project: Nan Tien

A strong connection to the environment and a focus on spaces conducive to reflection are some of the Buddhist ideals behind the architecture of the new Nan Tien Institute, located in the Wollongong region of NSW.

Designed by Woods Bagot, the architecture of the building draws upon the Buddhist symbol of the lotus flower. “The building combines the functions of a contemporary learning environment with a destination for visitors to Nan Tien Temple, bringing the community together to reflect and celebrate Buddhist philosophy,” says Georgia Singleton, Woods Bagot Director and Global Sector Leader in Education, Science and Health.

Axolotl worked closely with specialist building company Hi-Tec to develop the stunning terracotta facade. Aluminium was chosen as the substrate as it enabled each blade to be articulated around an axis and locked in place - something impossible to achieve with standard terracotta. The blades subtly shift in direction adding a strong textural component to the building and when viewed from afar, conveys a contemporary lotus leaf.

The structure of the building was formed by grouping spaces into four distinct ‘pods’, creating a public space in between. The ‘pods’ are linked by active bridges, allowing for the movement throughout the building to be a journey comprised of moments, destinations and thresholds. The building also includes a library, common area with café, art gallery and academic facilities.

140928 Nan Tien Institute 1731+1734.jpg
140928 Nan Tien Institute 1664.jpg

Axolotl News


Axolotl was recently commissioned by designer Ben Wahrlich to create a piece for the 'Take a seat for Legacy' charity initiative, run by Temple and Webster and Legacy. Artists, designers and celebrities recreate a bentwood chair in their own unique way.

'Immortal' is a tribute towards the iconic bentwood chair. Coated in a textural golden hue of bronze and hand polished, it assumes a new identity as a sculptural art piece - like heroes of the past, who have been immortalised in bronze sculptures throughout history. - says Ben Wahrlich.
The reinvented chairs will all be auctioned at the Temple and Webster Auction later this month with all proceeds going to Legacy.

Natalie Hunfalvay

Natalie Hunfalvay


On the Bronze trend, the stunning garage door below is the result of a intimate collaboration between Axolotl’s in house design team and client, whereby a unique tree-line vista is recreated in a textural brushed bronze. The 3-Dimensional design is created by hand, replicating the trunks of trees, and is accentuated by the Florentine ageing that offers natural variation in colour, complementing the earthen aesthetic.


Axolotl Awards

Axolotl was recently awarded Best Design Manufacturing Company at the 2014 Sydney Design Awards. Anomaly also took out Best Product, in the Product Design – Homewares category for the Kintsugi vessels. We would like to extend our gratitude to all the architects, designers and artists, who have made it possible for us to achieve this distinguishing goal.

Alexander Tzannes | Axolotl Luminaries

Each quarter Axolotl puts a series of questions to an industry luminary to gain an insight into both their talent and their feel for the future. This issue we drop another big name and introduce Alexander Tzannes from Alexander Tzannes Associates. Alec’s most recent work was recently completed at 484 New South head Road, Double Bay

What keeps you inspired?

A love of architecture, cities, people who make beautiful things and lead creative lives.

What project do you consider to be your greatest achievement so far?

There isn’t one project in particular that I would like to highlight. I often have ordinary briefs and development frameworks with inherent conceptual or practical difficulties. I sometimes think back in these circumstances with a sense of achievement even though my role in the process is relatively invisible to my peers.

Have you ever refused to comply with a client request or design? If so, why?

I have declined or resigned work and recommended other Architects who are more suited to the circumstances or the brief.

 Are there any architects whose work encapsulates your own ideals?

Major elements of the design culture of Moneo, Utzon, Guirgola and Wilkinson do so in relatively recent history. There are many facets of the work of Architects in a historical context that have provided knowledge and inspiration. I have travelled widely and understood the difference between experiencing actual buildings and the rhetoric or visual interpretation of buildings. I favour actual over virtual experience to form a better understanding of the ideas of Architects. I say that as I have also not

travelled to places such as Finland and consequently accept that there may be other Architects whose work I could equally admire but out of ignorance don’t include in this list. I also admire the work of many of my contemporaries in Sydney but am ‘too close’ to comment with objectivity. 

Did/do you have a mentor?

I worked closely with Andrew Andersons and Glenn Murcutt for a few years after graduation. Both helped me gain skills as well as define my direction and interests in architecture. I also learnt a lot from studying with Alex Cooper at Columbia and the American work of Aldo Guirgola with whom I also did a program of study.

Which Australian building excites you the most? 

There isn’t ‘one’. Different buildings have inspirational characteristics. The work of Barnett (eg the GPO before it was wrecked inside); Opera House; Wilkinson’s own house in Sydney; Ken Woolley’s Palm Beach House (and others); and rural or some suburban architecture from Le Plastrier, Murcutt and others).

I am generally unsympathetic to design culture that develops ideas appropriated from other disciplines. I look for an architecture that derives from a deep understanding of other architecture, the contextual environment, building, construction and social objectives.

Do you see a lot of development in Sydney over the next year or so?

My guess is that it will probably slow down for a few years.