2019 has been a big year for young Melbourne-based architectural practice, Edition Office. Their talent and trendsetter spirit have been recognised nationally with a vast array of awards celebrating emerging architectural businesses, including Emerging Architecture Practice in Houses Awards and the Emerging Designer of The Year in The Design Files Awards. They have also been shortlisted in Emerging Architect of The Year category in the Dezeen Awards.
The Victorian studio was founded in 2016 by Aaron Roberts and Kim Bridgland and in a relatively short time the team has worked on an impressive range of projects, varying from single residential houses, offices and design studios to artist spaces and archives. Recently, in collaboration with artist Daniel Boyd, they also created ‘For Our Country’ - an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island war memorial - whilst ‘In Absence’, an installation inspired by Indigenous architecture that was created in collaboration with contemporary artist Yhonnie Scarce, won the 2019 National Gallery of Victoria Architecture Commission.
Their work is anchored in simplicity and design thinking and has a pronounced sculptural character, as recognised in the Houses Awards jury citation: “the practice's suite of projects embodies an inspiring merging of art and architecture, in particular, relating to an exploration of material expression, form and spatial practice. The work has a strong sculptural quality and boldness, and the purity of the deep design thinking is often illustrated in expressive model-making.”
One of the latest projects, 2018’s Hawthorn House, really brings those qualities to life. Its bold monolith form has been recognised with a number of national and international awards and stands out from the more traditional Victorian homes abundant in the neighborhood of Hawthorn, creating an urban sanctuary for its occupants.
Edition Studio explains that their “primary design response for this project was to first recalibrate the entire project site into a large and singular terrace. One grand outdoor theater for living which peels upwards at each title boundary to form a lush garden backdrop that would appear at every viewpoint from the living areas of the home.”
The residence is defined by a pair of concrete shrouds which “ provide the framework for how the interior spaces relate to each other and to the external environment” - their project description reads. “In defiance of its strong formal language, the spatial relationships and experiences of the home arise from a sensitivity to site and context.”
The shrouds are linked by a walkway and a courtyard garden with the living, dining and cooking quarters of the residence set on the ground floor spilling from underneath of the heavy concrete out into the surrounding gardens through the glass walls whilst the more private and surrounded by large tree canopies sleeping spaces and bathrooms are set on the upper level of the house.
This unique project, using passive solar-design principles throughout the house, balances various contradictory states in a very successful way. Whilst heavy, enclosed and private, the Hawthorn House is surprisingly open, exposed and light connecting its occupants with the suburban context in an exceptionally considerate way.
With a variety of successful projects like Hawthorn House under their belt and recognition of some of the most prestigious awards programs across the country, Edition Office is currently one of the most dynamic architectural studios in the country - and is set to take the Australian architectural landscape into new territory.