Balancing Traditions – SAR Residence by Mim Design
South Yarra, VIC, Australia
Referencing elements of traditional Japanese design, SAR Residence sees an existing heritage home opened up and instilled with a sense of calm. Mim Design brings a contemporary refinement and personality through nuance and detail.
Working within the existing bones of a stately home in Melbourne’s South Yarra, surrounded by homes of a similar era and stature of architectural flavour, SAR Residence is born from a desire to reconnect to nature. Through key design interventions, references to traditions in Japanese design are filtered through a contemporary lens to create a sense of balance. While still maintaining the existing features and character of the period home, new pockets of personality are injected, resulting in new crossovers between the old and new.
Core to the new works, and the creation of true connection between inside and out, is the insertion of a central courtyard. Surrounded in floor-to-ceiling steel-framed windows and doors, this new threshold invites the inside out, and conversely, the outside inward. By opening up the home at this central point, natural light permeates these otherwise dark and unanimated areas. Both in function and scale the glazing nods to traditional Japanese Shoji screens while creating a connection to nature.
Finding a balance between the formal and decorative aspects of the original home and the new contemporary elements was key. A retrained palette, where greys and a monochromatic series of hues unfolds, creates a muted backdrop for the contemporary musings of the home. Mim Design combines organic and authentic finishes and tones drawn from chosen artworks in amongst the neutral palette. The resulting contrast of warm and cool elements is brought together through selected pieces of furniture, each of which displays its own bold personality.
The inherent sense of calm is the result of a subtle approach to incorporating traditional Japanese design principles, together with a controlled and considered approach to materiality, object and architectural insertions. Curating objects, artwork and furniture that speak to individuality and a sense of place, Mim Design Studio interprets the traditional elements of the home and the underlying Japanese principles through the same restrained lens, crafting a contemporary home of refinement and simplicity.