In working within the outer confines of an existing iconic building in Brisbane, New Farm Apartment takes inspiration from its beginnings. Wrightson Stewart proposes a richly layered series of spaces, expanding the original residence to occupy an entire floor while maintaining key views outward as a reminder of place.
Nestled amongst the popular milieu of New Farm, the same-named apartment sits on the 13th floor of an existing heritage building. Originally build in 1974, the building was one of the first few of its time, extending the possibilities of densified living in the area, seeing the original architect responsible for shaping the city skyline through his innovative ambition at the time. The newly expanded home merges several adjacent apartments on the same level, resulting in a generous three-bedroom, two-bathroom and study home. The approach captures the warmth and geometries of the original apartment together with a contemporary and refreshing sensibility, as Wrightson Stewart looks to the past in proposing the future.
While the outer walls remain in place, the newly established footprint of the home was built by Oxford Construction and changes sees a shift in the previously small and efficient footprint into a substantial home in the sky. Standing as the second oldest high-rise building in Brisbane, retaining its connection to heritage was integral, as was ensuring an open and clear visual access to the area. A similar hand-crafted nature is brought into the new, with artisans and makers all engaged to leave their own individual mark on the home, and through a considered curation of joinery, furniture, lighting and artwork, the home also then also reflects the personalities of those living there. There is a common openness that connects the new spaces, allowing and encouraging a free-flowing movement across the floor plate, while still maintaining consistent views outward at all times.
Although elevated, privacy and a sense of security and containment was key. The openness is balanced with concealed and opaque elements that allow natural light to continue to flood the interior spaces and illuminate the spaces throughout the day. A warm palette of timber, painted plaster and brass is countered by the use of natural stone and its smooth and cool surface. The mix between enduring and timeless elements allows the newly inserted gestures to last well beyond their time while also connecting back to the building itself. When opening the floor plate and each element was peeled away, the curves in the architecture were revealed, and so incorporating that into the new was a crucial part of the story of the home.
Wrightson Stewart’s New Farm Apartment beautifully equalises the past and present, while also looking forward.