A Celebration of Character and Charm – Melbourne Loft by Melanie Beynon and Megan Hounslow
Melbourne, VIC, Australia

Photography Tom Blachford
Architecture Melanie Beynon & Megan Hounslow
Interior Design Melanie Beynon & Megan Hounslow
Words Bronwyn Marshall

Weaving a new narrative into a previous dressmaker’s quarters, Melbourne Loft carefully brings the old and new together through select and carefully curated interventions. Designed in collaboration between Melanie Beynon and Megan Hounslow (formerly Meme), the resulting residence emphasises character and charm with refinement and texture.

Located in one of the many laneways of the city centre, Melbourne Loft takes pride of place in a previous dressmaker’s quarters and reinvents itself as a residential enclave. As an expression of the existing space’s heritage and storied past, the converted workspace isa visual celebration of the space’s past, while the insertion of new and contemporary elements suits its new functionality and purpose. Each new element has been selectively considered to not interrupt sightlines and allow for staged privacy and discretion, while allowing the building’s original aged brickwork and crafted details to shine through. Designed as a collaboration between Melanie Beynon and Megan Hounslow (formerly Meme), the space reflects a respect for the past while offering a continuance of legacy through thoughtful interventions.

As an expression of the existing space’s heritage and storied past, the converted workspace is a visual celebration of the space’s past, while the insertion of new and contemporary elements suits its new functionality and purpose.

With an industrial charm and the warmth of the textured bricks, the space is divided internally through the use of steel framework, fluted and opaque glass and the restrained use of select plaster internal walls. Maintaining a sense of openness, both visually and through the planning and flexibility of the spaces allowed for, creates a permeability and connection between the zones. The original high ceilings, large timber storehouse doors, protective wire windows and arched openings are retained throughout and interwoven into the new. As a one-bedroom apartment, these key characteristics create an enhanced sense of space, while offering moments of curiosity and of a previous moment in time.

Melbourne Loft utilises custom joinery elements to divide space as well as a less conventional approach to separating walls. Bricks are whitewashed or lined in a soft matte white finish, softening the new and allowing it to feel as though it was always intended to exist within the space. The layout creates a separated bedroom and living space, while opening up to the laneway it abuts where windows and doors invite the outdoor in and remind the owners of the eclectic and bustling history of the building that is now their home.

Bridging an industrial charm together with the warmth of the textured bricks, the space is divided internally through the use of steel framework, fluted and opaque glass and the restrained use of select plaster internal walls.

Through careful and considered insertions, Melbourne Loft extends its narrative, integrating elements of its past with it’s new residential condition. The collaboration between Melanie Beynon and Megan Hounslow shows a respectful reinvigoration of history united with a contemporary relevance, creating a home of layered depth and richness.

Published 16 December, 2020
Photography  Tom Blachford
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