Calm Confidence – Grange Residence by Conrad Architects and Lauren Tarrant
Monolithic yet classically influenced, Grange Residence combines a welcomed confidence with restraint to propose a statement in proportion and scale. Conrad Architects and Lauren Tarrant Design unite in sculpting an enduring and rhythmic addition to inner Melbourne, a true sanctuary for its owners.
As a fitting addition to its Toorak address, Grange Residence appears as a building of notable importance, similar in its timeless qualities to a public building, echoing a resilience to the passing of the years. Siting peeking out over views of the Melbourne skyline, the home optimises its sloping site through an anchoring of its predominantly masonry form to the terrain. As Lauren’s own home, the working relationship with Conrad Architects was the fitting accompaniment to realise an architectural vision so closely aligned to her own approach. Together, the team focused on clarity and composition in conjuring such a calm and reclusive home, protective and disconnected from the surrounds.
Encased in acid-etched marble, the façade is a preview to the quality and crafted nature of the home, setting the tone for what is to come. While restrictions drove the need for differing façade limitations on each boundary, the resulting form feels deliberate and intentional, bound through a commonality of materiality and shared heights, with the entry given its own formal moment. Underpinning the approach is that of order and rhythm, looking to classical influences to bring all of the functional requirements of the home together.
The view is slowly revealed as the journey through the building unveils elements of the home, not giving everything away from the outset. Deep reveals mark the openings and allow the glazing to become the eyes of the house, revealing snippets of a private life, while allowing a connection to the surrounding landscape from within. A central staircase is the spine of the home as it navigates the four levels with generosity while staggering the various functions across the steep slope of the site. The sculptural and textured plaster stair becomes the heart of the interior, with more regular elements forming around the edges and nestling into the site. As a balance to both its contribution to the streetscape as well as the experience from within, long and connecting vistas that connect inside and out and are strengthened through lofted internal ceiling heights.