Refined Restraint – East Melbourne Residence by Nicholas Murray Architects, Studio Apercu and Simone Haag
East Melbourne, VIC, Australia

Photography Armelle Habib
Build Sinjen
Words Bronwyn Marshall
Interior Design Studio Apercu

As the reimagining of a Victorian-era terrace near the CBD, East Melbourne Residence emerges with a contemporary crispness embedded amongst its rich historical context. Nicholas Murray Architects, Studio Apercu and Simone Haag combine to inject a refined restraint, elevated through detailed rigour.

Forming an important part of the inner suburbs of Melbourne, East Melbourne Residence stands as a testament to the area’s origins. Maintaining and celebrating this sentiment was integral – the home’s original charm was seamlessly interwoven into its newly conceived chapter. Connecting the structure to reflect the way we live today was a priority; the home’s inherited formality was reconfigured, now opening to an internal courtyard, bringing in floods of natural light and illuminating the spaces throughout the day. With a dedicated team at the helm, Nicholas Murray Architects, Studio Apercu and Simone Haag combine to complete the story of the home, adding layers and embedding a matched refinement to its original crafted approach.

With balance as key, curved geometries are countered with a rectilinear approach to the architectural, interior design and furniture selections and direction.

Built by Sinjen, East Melbourne Residence aims to balance the heritage with the contemporary, ensuring the original detailed features of the home remain in view and are interwoven amongst the new. Taking cues from an Italian vintage approach, natural stone is used extensively alongside herringbone pattern timber flooring, signalling a sense of movement and reimagining a similar European lineage. A palette of richly saturated and deep tones is then elevated through brass and thin black steel framed elements, with newly inserted steel and glass doors reinforcing a visual connection between inside and out. As both a restoration and extension effort, the old transitions into the new in subtle and considered ways, aiming to create a deliberate transition that flows and connects across the two eras.

With balance as key, curved geometries are countered with a rectilinear approach to the architectural, interior design and furniture selections and direction. Quality and endurance influence the reimagining of the home, with an emphasis on ensuring a long and lasting future. As the journey throughout takes visitors on a passage through time – expressed through detailing, furniture, artwork and lighting – the pool at the rear acts as a final destination. Influences of the Hausman style is evident throughout the home – emphasising proportions and detailed timber and plaster elements – while the contemporary introductions feel appropriate and not in competition in any way.

Influences of the Hausman style is evident throughout the home – emphasising proportions and detailed timber and plaster elements – while the contemporary introductions feel appropriate and not in competition in any way.

Through a monochromatic and restrained approach, East Melbourne Residence and its new addition is intended to last chapters to come, crafted with refined elegance by its team – Nicholas Murray Architects, Studio Apercu and Simone Haag.

Published 19 September, 2021
Photography  Armelle Habib
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