An Art Collector’s Home – Prahran House by Techne Architecture and Interior Design
Prahran, VIC, Australia

Photography Tom Blachford
Architecture Techne
Interior Design Techne
Words Bronwyn Marshall

Sitting behind the original red-brick warehouse façade, Prahran House is a building within a building. Techne Architecture + Interior Design pays homage to the original industrial past of the site and inserts a brutalist-inspired home for its art-collector owners.

Located in Melbourne’s inner south-east, Prahran House is, in essence, a building within a building. Behind the original façade of the warehouse that originally occupied the site, the new insertion is a nod to the origins of the building and is reinterpreted as a brutalist-inspired home. The project takes aesthetic and materiality cues from the industrial past and combines this inspiration with the owner’s impressive art collection to create a structure that becomes simultaneously warehouse, gallery and home. Techne Architecture + Interior Design has created a robust, warm and generous home that challenges the traditional approach to working within heritage architectural constraints.

Techne Architecture + Interior Design pays homage to the original industrial past of the site and inserts a brutalist-inspired home for its art-collector owners.

The two-storey home takes aesthetic and materiality cues from an industrial past.

Upon approach, the active part of the home sits idle behind an aged wall of red bricks that acts as a veil to the concrete and glass structure beyond. Although there were no overarching restrictions in place for the warehouse frontage, the team decided to maintain this element of history and restore its character as a living storied wall. The concept for the home was founded on the principle of art first, living second, and the resulting materiality, generous volumes, expanse of gallery wall space, and technical lighting reflect these priorities.

Located in Melbourne’s inner south-east, Prahran House is, in essence, a building within a building.

Yet the interior is not as austere as the term ‘gallery’ might suggest – layers of texture and tactility are injected to add a warmth, and darkened timber both connects to the heritage component while adding surface variation. The heavy use of concrete as an unfinished surface references brutalism and further reinforces the principles of, and connection to, the industrial style. Amongst the artwork, the elements that comprise the home are deliberately secondary but by no means of lesser mportance. The intentional hierarchy helped define the spatial planning and materiality language used throughout. The non-traditional approach to the creation of Prahran House as a both a home and a gallery space challenges the expected and allowed the client to not compromise on their values.

The heavy use of concrete as an unfinished surface, references brutalism and further reinforces the principles of, and connection to, the industrial style.

Through responding to their avid art-collecting clients, Techne Architecture + Interior Design has created a multi-purpose structure that serves as both a gallery and a home. Filled with light and with multiple connections to the courtyards, the spaces all interweave and connect. Prahran House respects the history that came before it, and respectfully charges forth, paving its own future as a non-traditional fusion of gallery space and home.

Through responding to their avid art-collecting clients, Techne Architecture and Interior Design has created a multi-purpose structure that serves as both a gallery and a home.

Filled with light and with multiple connections to the landscape and courtyard elements on the site, the spaces all interweave and connect with one another.
The non-traditional approach to the creation of Prahran House as a both a home and a gallery space both challenges the expected but allowed the client to not compromise on their own values.

Prahran House respects the history that came before it, and respectfully charges forth, paving its own future as a non-traditional fusion of gallery space and home.

Published 14 July, 2020
Photography  Tom Blachford
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