Melburnian, a unique high-rise apartment designed by Edition Office, invites you to explore and interpret living space from a new perspective, without traditional room divisions. The simultaneously open and intimate space creates an experiential framework for both core everyday activities and rest.
- Design: Edition Office
- Location: Southbank, Victoria, Australia
- Completed: 2020
- Gross area: 160 m2
- Lead architects: Kim Bridgland, Aaron Roberts, Erin Watson
COMPLETELY RENOVATING AN APARTMENT can sometimes be an even more complex process than designing a new space from scratch – how to create something new and unique in a space whose central structures already define the spatial soul of the apartment? The Melburnian, a high-rise apartment designed by Edition Office and located in Victoria, Australia, is a masterful example of how the constraints of an existing space have been transformed into something truly remarkable.
The client's wish was to abandon traditional recto-linearity – instead of a restrictive division of the space into rectangular sections, they wanted their apartment to offer a more creative, experiential framework for everyday basic needs and a reflection of their own, eccentric lifestyle.
The original plasterboard rectangles were replaced by enigmatic wooden elements that guide the activities and the movement in the space but never limit them. The curved shape of the timber bodies creates continuous, smooth movement instead of stagnant, closed-off rooms, inviting you to perceive space in a completely new way.
Curved lines effectively shape the experience of the space’s limits – or limitlessness.
However, a singular, unified space does not necessarily mean a lack of privacy. The wooden elements are carefully placed in relation to each other – and the curved glass wall offering a breathtaking panoramic view of the garden landscape – to create shorter lines of sight and intimate sanctuaries of shadow inside the space. Light and airy curtains are also used to demarcate the singular volume and create temporary limits.
The massive wooden elements have another unique spatial function: they provide a separate space for necessary core functions and storage, which are generally integrated into the rooms.
The inside of the enigmatic timber bodies reveals a stunning stone interior, in which, among other things, a workspace completely enclosed in its own peace is embedded.
“The design is inherently simple, refined, and calming – which restores and creates freedom.”
By removing some of the functions and separating them into their own, independent entities, the remaining space appears unencumbered and pure – free from the demands of functionality, free to function almost purely as a stage for aesthetic pleasure.
The choices of material crystallize the core essence of the apartment. Classic materials such as leather, wood, and stone perfectly respond to the very human need to surround oneself with gracefully aging and comfortingly patinated surfaces that carry meaningful memories and signs of a life lived. With materials that do not corrode, but become more and more mature and charismatic as the years go by.
Melburnian will offer its residents a framework for a more unconstrained life, humane in its everydayness and yet abundantly nuanced. The residents have described their new home to Edition Office in the following words:
“The design is inherently simple, refined, and calming – which restores and creates freedom. So, a sanctuary for rest and recharging, but also a space that challenges the mind to perform.”
Get inspired by Melburnian
Text: Mira Ahola Images: Kim Bridgland, Ben Hosking, Dave Kulesza