The owners of this South Yarra townhouse, built in the 1990s, no longer liked the visually bustling interiors and instead wanted a minimalist home where they would not see the operation of family life. They asked Winter Architecture to renovate it.
The house has a black facade and simple living spaces painted white. The studio set about creating a more restrained layout and a reduced range of materials. The house is now an apartment where functions are self-contained, materials are restrained, details are simple, and the volumes on offer are celebrated.
The dark exterior of the house was designed to serve as an obvious contrast to its new light interior. Black paint was applied over the front and rear views and all windows were fitted with black window frames. In front of the balcony on the first floor of the house is a balustrade with a black frame.
At the front of the living room, expansive panes of glass were attached to allow an uncompromising view of the pond and the landscaped garden, which is provided with black-painted brick walls and lattice panels. Windows carefully frame the garden, sky, and water so you can still feel bright on a wet, dark day. Clean white surfaces lead up to the first floor of the house. Structural interest has been piqued in the bathrooms, where exposed gray tiles line the shower stalls and bathtubs. Hardware like the towel rails and fittings are made of gold-colored brass.
The studio partially extended the master bedroom into the hallway to create space for a walk-in closet. The remaining space in the hallway was created for a small study with a wooden desk extending from the wall.