Melbourne architect Brad Swartz features on a recent documentary which challenges the ‘Australian dream’ of owning a big house on a big block of land.
Guest speaking as a part of UBank’s All I Need Project, Swartz uses his award-winning 27sqm Darlinghurst apartment as an example of how to use space efficiently in a growing cityscape.
Hosted by Andrew Daddo, the documentary brings the sustainability challenges posed by urban sprawl to the fore by demonstrating how two families can be happy with less but more efficient space.
In the documentary, Swartz uses his 2015 Houses Award winning Darlinghurst Apartment as a guide on how to live comfortably and affordably in a more compact space.
Swartz shows this at Darlinghurst through his use of innovative multi-functioning joinery and carefully planned design solutions. Key to the project is the central white cabinetry that divides the former-studio apartment into three portions; a living room/kitchen; a step-up bedroom; and a bathroom.
His cabinet system’s design makes use of different configurations that can be changed with the use of sliding doors and hatchets.
This allows for the space to be constantly adapted, either into a place to store wine and books, into a small desk, and critically, into a hatch that opens through to the bedroom.
Watch the full documentary here.
ABOUT THE DARLINGHURST APARTMENT
FROM THE ARCHITECT: This 27sqm apartment is designed to comfortably accommodate a couple. Through high quality design, it provides an affordable option for inner city living and challenges the need for urban sprawl.
The brief was simple: to design a functional apartment for a couple to live and entertain in. Generous storage spaces, an internal laundry and a dining space were therefore essential. However, this seemingly modest brief understates the complexity of the project, which was constantly bound by a tight budget and tighter space constraints.
Whilst this apartment was initially one room, the concept was to re-instate a public and private divide to define two distinct zones: A public living, dining, and kitchen space was formed by relocating the kitchen to create open plan living. A minimalist design approach was then taken to the interior design of the room to maximise the feeling of space and light.
The private space then required a pragmatic approach. Storage requirements were carefully considered and the bedroom striped back to basics, primarily just accommodating the bed. The storage and bed were then stacked and inserted over each other like Tetris pieces to maximise the requirements in the most minimal space. This area is carefully hidden behind a white joinery unit.
Photography by Katherine Lu