Sumit Singhal loves modern architecture. He comes from a family of builders who have built more than 20 projects in the last ten years near Delhi in India. He has recently started writing about the architectural projects that catch his imagination.
Kooyong Apartment in Australia by WOWOWA Architecture & Interiors
March 22nd, 2018 by Sumit Singhal
Article source: WOWOWA Architecture & Interiors
Glamour, colour and retiree joy in Glenferrie. This alteration to a spacious early 80s apartment celebrates the colours of its terracotta building and by re-orientating the kitchen area around a “V” shaped island acting as an informal table, creates a playful & functional contemporary gem to grown old in.
The brief: design us a joyful colourful space that will make us smile. We have many clients who have spent most of their time in heritage family homes and this is their chance to enjoy a fresh modern aesthetic. A purge of old furniture can be good for the soul and crisp white walls were a must for the clients – a hangover from the elaborately multi-coloured Victorian decor of their former dwelling. The Loom rug became our colour muse. The 80s terracotta coloured building exterior set up the use of the beautiful orange Sydney blue gum timber, but the rug instantly gave that fabulous colour injection. A pair of WOWOWA’s own copper Rosella pendants hang in the living room – a lovely reminder as, like the couple, Rosella’s mate for life.
The Corian and solid timber V-shaped island bench is the signature design outcome of the renovation. Derived formally from offsetting the new walls of full-height joinery that wrap the existing walls of the apartment, the shape is both functional and ergonomic. This provided an informal table for four (probably grandchildren) with plenty of bench area for the chief. ‘Aging in place’ is only possible if the home is flexible enough to cater of small and large numbers – plating 20 at Christmas time was a must!
The beauty of these older apartments is they were designed for owner occupiers as an appealing alternative to a standalone house. Rather than the current investment vehicle paradigm, they are big – surprisingly big and spacious for a two bedder. On the ground floor their title also included the garden around the property. The plan twists and turns to create interesting spaces that allow the home to feel cosy for two or big enough for grandchildren to stay over. We also really enjoyed the old existing letter boxes in the main foyer and the 80s glass bricks.
Demolishing the wall between the old kitchen and living / dining changed the entire space, making it a light filled, aesthetically pleasing, functional workhorse. Flanking the new opening are two massive bookcases to hold the clients novels. It’s as though every wall is working hard or multi-tasking. A brief must-have was two study spaces. This played out as a hybrid man-cave/spare bedroom/television zone, with a “lady” computer nook in the main kitchen area – very stylish and where the action is.
WOWOWA was hired to do the architecture & Interior design. Very impressively, the project was owner built. This allowed for some fabulous onsite discussions and design outcomes.
Interestingly, this lively older couple are actually the parents of our Surrey Hills Forever House clients. Having spent much time there and having meet many of the sub consultants, our client, a retired engineer was able to project manage a quality outcome using the same trades team. The joinery in particular is extremely beautiful and covers any scar tissue from the demolition. Cheerful and cost effective items like the two Kartell FL/Y suspension lamps (oldies but goodies) make this project a bang-for-buck winner.
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