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    Studio Four opens up “dark and compartmentalised” 1970s residence in Melbourne

    A series of portal openings improve connections between rooms and bring extra light into this 1970s residence in Melbourne renovated by Australian practice Studio Four.

    Studio Four aimed to renovate the home, which was designed by Australian architect Wayne Gillespie in 1972, to improve the internal plan and bring it up to date for contemporary living.
    A series of portal openings provide views of the garden beyond (top and above)”While the existing house was of solid build, the interiors felt lightweight by comparison and did not flow or function as desired,” said Studio Four.
    “Some spaces, in particular the existing kitchen, were dark and compartmentalised and did not fully harness the possible connections with the garden.”
    Solid wood furnishings create a sense of warmth in the otherwise monochrome kitchen
    Located in the city’s South Yarra neighbourhood, the Cunningham Street Residence was designed by Gillespie as his first independent project and his first home.
    The architect, who died in 2001, was known for his use of pure, clean lines, and combining classical design features with modern technology.
    A planter is integrated between the dining table and kitchen island”The client’s brief was to provide a holistic solution,” explained Studio Four.
    “Their brief was to strengthen Gillespie’s original vision, as opposed to creating an alternate vision that would directly contrast it.”
    The kitchen was relocatedStudio Four replanned the rooms to enable the occupants to spend time both together and separately.
    For example, the existing kitchen was relocated to the centre and rear of the home so it could be used as a central space for the family to gather in.

    Ruxton Rise Residence in Melbourne is arranged around a planted courtyard

    To make the spaces appear larger and more connected with each other and the outside space, the architects inserted a series of portal openings between the spaces.
    It decorated the spaces with a palette of light and neutral colours.
    One of the portals features an integrated reading nook”The design response reflects the integrity of the existing built fabric. The focus is on the experience rather than the form, and all emphasis is placed on the quality of the experience rather than a visual statement,” concluded the studio.
    “The result is a house where the architectural form and its interiors act as one, and the transition between built form and landscape is blurred.”
    The bedroom features panoramic views of the trees outsideStudio Four, which is led by directors Annabelle Berryman and Sarah Henry, has a track record of creating homes that blur indoor and outdoor space.
    Previous residential projects include an all-white family home with a garden at its centre, and a grey-brick home with a central olive tree-dotted courtyard.
    Photography is by Shannon McGrath.

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    Mid-century Melbourne apartment modernised with pistachio green kitchen

    Architect Murray Barker and artist Esther Stewart worked together to retrofit this two-bedroom 1960s apartment in Melbourne’s Brunswick neighbourhood using colours and materials that pay homage to the original mid-century interior.When the current owners bought the walk-up apartment, it had been empty for 20 years and had its original decor including linoleum and carpet floors and salmon pink walls. The owners wanted to retain its character while updating the living spaces to suit modern life.
    Built in 1961, the 65-square-metre apartment is split into two zones with a living space and kitchen at the front on either side of the entrance and two bedrooms on either side of a bathroom at the rear.

    A skylight lets light into the kitchen

    “The apartment’s layout was typical of many apartments of this typology, with a clear division between living and private spaces and with frontage on two sides,” Barker told Dezeen.
    “We wanted to retain room divisions, but at the same time improve connections, extend sightlines and bring more natural light into the kitchen.”

    Austin Maynard Architects adds steel-and-glass extension to brick cottage in Melbourne

    The apartment’s original large windows provided ample natural light and effective cross ventilation. The owners felt that the existing kitchen, however, felt disconnected from the living room as the space was too confined to accommodate a dining table and lacked adequate natural light.
    To remedy this, Barker and Stewart reconfigured the plan to improve the connection between the living room and the kitchen.

    The Pistacho-coloured kitchen has a terrazzo floor
    The dividing walls between the two rooms were partially demolished and joinery elements were inserted to reorder circulation paths between the home’s central entrance, the reoriented kitchen and the living room.
    “We expanded the use of integrated joinery, considered existing proportions and details, and the use of high quality, robust but interesting materials,” said Murray.

    The interior of the cabinets is a rich terracotta colour
    The new kitchen layout has an L-shaped plan that is open to the living area and anchored by a custom-made steel frame table with a Rosa Alicante marble top and fixed banquette seating.
    Visible from the living room, a long kitchen countertop made from the same red marble as the table completes the L-shaped kitchen plan and incorporates a stove, oven and sink.

    Red marble was used across the work- and tabletops
    A skylight above the kitchen table lets sunlight into the space through thick glass roof tiles. The ceiling is insulated and the roof window is double-glazed to minimise additional heat gain and to retain winter warmth.
    Murray and Stewart selected the pistachio green colour for the joinery in a nod to the original 1960s-era kitchen that it replaced. Details include visible framing around doors and drawers and custom finger pulls. Sliding-pocket doors reveal a hidden appliance area in the pantry to hold a toaster, kettle and coffee machine.

    Barker and Stewart retained the apartment’s original 1960s bathroom
    The apartment’s bathroom is the 1960s original and features speckled flooring, dusty pink tiles and baby blue sanitaryware.
    “Each apartment in the block has a unique toilet, bath and sink set in contrasting colour palettes, in combination with unique terrazzo flooring in the bathroom,” Murray explained. “The interior materiality was specific and robust but enthusiastic and this was something we wished to explore and elaborate upon.”
    The terrazzo floor tiles that are used across the rest of the apartment were salvaged excess stock from a larger project and were chosen to complement the original floors.

    The apartment is housed in a typical red brick complex
    “These buildings are visually robust, but there is beauty in the material nuance of the brown brick and subtle ornamentation through the considered design of ordinary things,” he continued. “The original interior aesthetic was far from white walls and plain tiles.”
    Last year, London studio Archmongers renovated a duplex mid-century flat in one of the city’s most well-known housing estates, using shades of red, yellow and blue to complement the modernist material palette. Meanwhile in Rome, Italian architecture office La Macchina Studio renovated a 1950s apartment, revealing original terrazzo floors and adding bold colours.
    Photography is by Benjamin Hosking.

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    Biasol plays off Wes Anderson's whimsical style with The Budapest Cafe in Melbourne

    Melbourne-based interior design studio Biasol used earthy hues and stylised architectural motifs to create a destination inspired by Wes Anderson’s symmetry and nostalgic colour palette.The Budapest Cafe in Carlton, Melbourne is Biasol’s second edition of its Wes Anderson-informed concept, following a first location in Chengdu, China, that featured marble surfaces and pale pastel greens.
    The 94 square-metre cafe has similar pastel shades, but in earthy colours that have been adapted to its Carlton setting and audience. 

    Top image: counter sits within focal archway. Above image: the studio cover walls with earthy shades

    “Our design draws on Anderson’s meticulous, memorable and magical worlds to create an inviting destination with whimsical character and mythical scenes,” Biasol founder Jean-Pierre Biasol told Dezeen.
    “We were also inspired by his symmetry and quirky set designs; vivid and nostalgic colour palettes; and the sentiment that infuses his films,” Biasol continued. 

    Caned chairs and banquette seating fill the space
    The studio played with depth by applying dark tones like terracotta and orange to the walls, while softer beige and sand hues blanket the fanciful elements in the foreground – including focal archways reminiscent of Wes Anderson’s 2014 feature film, The Grand Budapest Hotel.
    “We evolved the design and experience to an earthy colour palette reflecting our local sensibilities,” Biasol explained.
    Rust-red upholstered banquettes wrap around the space, adding texture and warmth to the double-height space, and envelop a bar table that functions as the centre of the seating area. 

    Architectural motifs decorate the walls
    A large sand-textured archway frames a glossy, tubular point-of-sale counter in terracotta, both of which draw customers through the space. Subtle silver hardware, meanwhile, provides a bright, metallic contrast to the softer tones. 
    The studio’s fondness for modern abstract art, design, and hospitality informed its decision to create “an immersive gallery-like experience,” Biasol said.
    This led to an exploration of form and colour, with the aim of designing a place where art meets architecture.

    Danielle Brustman decorates children’s centre in Melbourne with pastel hues and rainbow murals

    By reducing the interior’s built form, the studio created a dramatic visual aesthetic. Stylised steps to nowhere embellish the venue’s walls, rising behind the tubular counter framed within arched alcoves and encouraging patrons to engage with and capture the “imaginative and evocative” design.

    Appliances contrast the earthy setting
    “With a richer palette and bolder design, the new cafe is timeless and contemporary for its Melbourne patrons, while still offering a relaxed and indulgent atmosphere and hospitality experience,” Biasol said.
    The Budapest Cafe is one of many projects the studio have completed globally. In 2019 Biasol completed contemporary dining spaces for Grind in southeast London, as well the interiors for this east London townhouse.
    Photography is by Derek Swalwell.

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    Freadman White completes Napier Street apartments in Melbourne

    Architecture practice Freadman White has created an apartment block in Melbourne’s Fitzroy neighbourhood, finishing its interiors with gleaming brass accents.The Napier Street apartments were designed by Freadman White for property developers Milieu. It is situated directly beside Whitlam Place, another residential block designed by the practice.

    The Napier Street apartment block has a simple off-white facade
    Whilst Whitlam Place has a green-hued exterior clad with corrugated panels of oxidised copper, Napier Street features a plain off-white facade punctuated by wide windows.

    Freadman White creates new layout for extended 1930s house in Melbourne

    Freadman White says the building’s pared-back aesthetic draws inspiration from Heide II – a modernist Melbourne home designed in 1963 by Australian architects David McGlashan and Neil Everist, which has masonry walls and expansive panels of glazing.

    Rooms feature concrete ceilings and oak floors

    An equally refined material palette has been applied throughout the interiors of Napier Street’s 14 apartment units. Each home boasts oak flooring and exposed concrete ceilings, which rise up to 2.9 metres in height.
    Kitchens have been finished with wooden cabinetry, white-tile splashbacks and countertops crafted from pale Elba stone.

    Brass shelving and door handles have been incorporated throughout
    There are some decadent touches in the apartments – for example, some of the bedrooms are closed off by glossy, full-height black doors.
    Golden-hued brass has also been used to create door handles, shelves and vanity units inside the bathrooms, which are otherwise lined with grey terrazzo tiles.

    Glossy black doors conceal the apartments’ bedrooms
    Elements in the apartment block’s communal areas such as the front gate and mailboxes are also made out of brass.
    “Napier Street is a symphony of robust materiality displaying organic, muted beauty carried from the exterior through to the interior experience,” concluded the practice, which is led by Ilana Freadman and Michael White.

    More brass detailing appears in the terrazzo-lined bathrooms
    Freadman White’s Napier Street and Whitlam Place projects both made it to the longlist of this year’s Dezeen Awards. The practice has previously renovated a 1930s home in Melbourne’s Elsternwick neighbourhood to include an angular grey-brick extension.
    Photography is by Gavin Green.
    Project credits:
    Client: Milieu PropertyBuilder: Atelier ProjectsStyling: Hub Furniture

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