What began as a simple renovation of a Melbourne loft apartment finished as an example of innovation in spatial planning and Australia’s best interior design for 2014.
The main spatial requirement of the client brief was to add a bedroom and recreational roof deck to the existing apartment. From there, project architect Adrian Amore said the design response was completely up to him, leaving him unencumbered scope to explore and experiment.
A by-product of Amore’s experimentation is the unique sculptural staircase and interior walling structure that showcases his fascination with contorting surfaces and traditional material manipulation.
“I am interested in this idea of shaping something as though it has been physically manipulated, by applying a force either through pulling, pushing, bending,” said Amore.
“So starting with a conventional form, and then shaping through the process of contorting the surfaces to give it life, movement. The stair is an example of this, where I started with a conventional circular stair on paper, then applied this process of manipulation so it appears as though it has been pulled and bent.”
The staircase’s external skin comprises a 6mm and 10mm plasterboard amalgamation covered with a hardplaster top coat and painted finished. This skin is now fixed to 6mm plywood sheeting that was bent on site, and braced by timber battens and hardplaster. A steel frame and timber treads complete the unique staircase, which judges from the Australian Interior Design Awards called an expert exploration of volume and plasticity.
“Generated from a concept primarily focused on its interior, the apartment possesses a sculptural quality - made evident through the central staircase - that is ethereal and sophisticated in its execution,” cited the jury.
“The spatial planning within the apartment reveals the hand of the designer; a skilful hand that expertly creates and explores volume, plasticity and light, culminating in an interior that is invigorating, sumptuous and liveable.”
Amore said this spatial planning of the former warehouse apartment evolved through experimenting with functional layouts and partitioning options, and by considering natural light and movement patterns.
“The ground floor is on large space which has the ability to be divided into enclosed spaces, using floor to ceiling sliding doors to achieve this. There is the ability to control the level of permeability and movement through the space.”
With his 2D CAD, 3D Rhinoceros modelling software and his structural engineer Maurice Farrugia & Associates, Amore also overcame wall space and cavity issues that can be associated with sliding doors through considered spatial planning.
“The bathroom location is critical in the way it breaks up the ground floor space, acting as a buffer between the living and bedroom, and hiding the sliding doors in its walls.”
Furniture selection, a simplistic marble kitchen and bold joinery pieces top off the Adrian Amore Architects design, which in hindsight, did a little more than just meet the client brief.
The Adrian Amore project received the Premier Award for interior design excellence and innovation, as well as the Residential Design award and Best in State (VIC) at the 2014 Australian Interior Design awards.