An Architectural Jewellery Box – Concrete Blonde by Carter Williamson
Brisbane, QLD, Australia
As a reclusive place of calm, behind the modest walls of a heritage façade, Concrete Blonde reveals an earth and natural toned interior bathed in natural light. Carter Williamson celebrates the robust nature and natural texture of concrete, together with geometric gestures and richly layered materiality.
Located in the inner west of Sydney, Concrete Blonde is an architectural jewellery box of sorts, with its modestly veiled heritage exterior and carefully curated use of interesting geometries and textures internally. Imagined as a place of quiet and calm, the home uses materiality and form to create a sanctuary from its inner urban locale and traffic noise from the street outside. The celebrated use of concrete liberally connects to the client’s fascination with the material and creates the perfect backdrop for the inserted layers thereafter. Carter Williamson has combined a series of warm and natural tones to counterbalance the coolness of the concrete to create a soothing contemporary abode.
Built by Andrew Burton Constructions, with joinery by Crafty Kabinets and landscaping by Melissa Wilson Landscape Architects, Concrete Blonde brings together varying times, textures and geometries with refinement. The combined use of muted green with exposed brick, concrete and timber create a balanced interior; one that is both playful and grounded in its textural variations. Throughout, planning speaks to a tension between open and closed and between the intimate and the connected. With the kitchen as a gathering and socialising space, its presence in the home was integral to circulation and also as a pull to bring people together. With an integrated long banquette running along the spine of the space, the other custom joinery elements pivot around this one staple.
Sitting within its heritage structure, Concrete Blonde sees the subtle intervention to allow for contemporary convenience, while still preserving the original architectural intent. The home is part of a row of eight identical houses and maintaining the integrity of the row was key. Internally, the approach is one of necessity and restraint. This brings the resulting home together with purpose, at an intimate scale that references the home’s history. The central light well notions a scooping out of the foundation on the upper level to allow natural light to flood through to the level below, while also inserting a moment of pause and interest.
Concrete Blonde celebrates its comprising parts and the unique and varying diversity of concrete itself. Carter Williamson has proposed a robust and enduring home, respectful of its origins and focused on a connected and light-filled future for its occupants.