Designed by Conrad Architects, Toorak Garden Residence is a contemporary interpretation of classic European garden villas, think of a symmetrical building arranged around a central axis. The rhythmic and solid geometry is impressive and blends in perfectly with the surrounding landscape. The home’s property is nestled among some of Melbourne’s most historic homes.
The strength of the building’s form, its physical significance – the thick masonry walls – and recurring elements, such as the wide series of doors in the courtyard and the huge lattice-like windows in the front facade, are all typical of Conrad Architects’ aesthetic. As a result, the new building radiates a serene sustainability. When you enter from the private entrance, you immediately see a statue rising from a reflection pond. The aesthetic fluidity of the water comes along with the full height glass partitions. Double wooden doors lead you inside, where you arrive at a spiral staircase, which is a sculptural work in itself.
These stairs lead to a landing on the first floor, where you can enjoy a view of the garden, pool and urban landscape beyond from the double height loft in the dining area. This visual connection to the garden and the pool was an important requirement of the client, who wanted to see the garden from every room.
The building radiates a quiet sustainability.
Transitional spaces are a common thread throughout the house. Next to the dining room on the ground floor is a large central revolving door, which has a pure expression due to the absence of mouldings. Thanks to its central location, this space overlooks the garden and the central staircase.
To create a deeper connection between the interior and the garden, the structural frame of the building has been extended into a pergola-like structure with retractable awnings. This creates ‘outdoor rooms’, similar to the way the Italian terrace goes from inside to outside. At right angles to the main building there is a rectangular pavilion with a swimming pool consisting of a gym, hall and bathroom. The interior palette provides a calm and emotional balance to the home’s angular austerity. Conrad Architects’ preference for minimally processed natural materials is clearly reflected in the unglazed limestone for the entryway, stairs, exterior sidewalks, living area base, and kitchen island countertops. Stone Italiana quartz countertops, lime lacquer, oak joinery, and floors decorate the space, creating a beautiful collaboration of textures. Different types of marble can be found in the bathrooms and dressing room.
For lighting, Conrad Architects chose Articolo for its craftsmanship and atmosphere, its contemporary line and spherical elements in keeping with the other circular dividers in the corner of the house: skylights and circular mirrors, a curved central staircase with its wrapping half-walls and a custom installation of fifty globes suspended above the dining room. Poliform furniture, curtains and soft linen rugs complement the upscale and comfortable feel of the home. Would you like to be fascinated by more impressive projects and inspiring architecture? Make sure to follow our Instagram account Imagicasa Architecture. There we share unique achievements, promising designs and innovative ideas every day.
Photo by Sharyn Kearns
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