Embracing Heritage - Central Park Residence by Studio Four
Malvern East, VIC, Australia
Central Park Residence sees the return of an existing 1970s brown brick home to an unadorned honest version of itself, in which Studio Four dismantles and carves openings to welcome light and cross-ventilation.
Through stripping unnecessary adornment and focusing on the architectural tectonics of the existing structure, Studio Four reinstates a sense of honesty, and unveils a sense of clarity to an otherwise-neglected abode. Originally built in the 1970s, Central Park Residence’s current custodians wanted to not only inject a new life into the home, but also uncover a sense of soul, formerly forgotten and covered in superfluous ornamentation and embellishment. Equally as necessary to the brief was an increased connection to the landscape, and an invitation of natural light and ventilation.
Studio Four was spurred by a sense of obligation, not only to the client’s brief, but also to the integrity of the building and its original intent. The client’s Danish heritage was also an important influence, with the consideration of ensuring hygge was not only present, but able to thrive. Through careful planning and the insertion of key architectural exterior elements, the opportunity for landscape to filter and cross over the external hard edges, allowed for a core connection to living elements throughout. These considered outdoor rooms then become key to the overall connection to zones internally.
Defined and emphasised by an oversized eave, the entry accentuates the horizontality of the building, and its strong linear nature. This gesture not only sculpturally adds interest but also physically connects the bipartisan elements of the existing built form. This sweeping element is then punctuated by a series of openings, allowing for the interaction with the landscape below. These voids also allow for increased light entry into the interior central reaches of the home, without having to compromise on privacy.
The exterior and interior are both connected through the continuation of brickwork running between the two. The internal brick elements then aid in defining volumes and zones. Not only does bringing the external structural elements inward help emphasise the boldness of the material, it also adds an element of both texture and warmth, attuned to the ethos of hygge. The added deliberate stripping of ornamentation is another expression of the Danish and Scandinavian socialist approach, revealing an honesty from every angle.
Framing the internals, sculpting out light wells and emphasising form, all of Studio Four’s architectural moments are a nod to their expression of materiality and form. The resulting Central Park Residence has consequently been given a new lease on life, reinvigorated and reinstated to its original grandeur. Simplistic and purposeful, the warm and inviting palette and textural moments add an intense richness to the contemporary home.