A Clear Vision – St Martins Lane Residence by Kestie Lane Studio and Matt Gibson Architecture + Design
Through a crisp and rigorous lens, St Martins Lane Residence draws from a history of crafted elements, injecting the open clarity of a contemporary home of today. Kestie Lane Studio and Matt Gibson Architecture + Design combine to give new deliberation to an existing heritage home, ensuring its continued relevance whilst facilitating life in its many forms.
Like many terraces of the Victorian-era in Melbourne, St Martins Lane Residence needed to reconnect to both light and natural elements beyond the home. Enviably though, the existing structure sits connected to a neighbour on one side only, leaving the other adjacent wall freestanding to a private accessway. Through a united vision for the home, Kestie Lane Studio and Matt Gibson Architecture + Design overlay a considered approach to both the interior and exterior, reinforcing the narrative that binds them. Focusing on enhancing the quality of light and creating new connections internally and externally, the existing is both renovated and expanded upon, crafting a new entry from the laneway directly into the new volume.
Striking a balance between the old and new allows both to coexist and neither to dominate. St Martins Lane Residence combines a modern and an enduring aesthetic whilst allowing previous handcrafted details to be celebrated. The careful consideration of appropriate planting buffers the build edge and helps create a feeling of disconnection from the surrounds. Newly crafted elements then sit as a more contemporary interpretation of the handmade, enhancing everyday interactions with the architecture through tactility.
Home to a growing family, a level of flexibility needed to be designed into the new home and how it functioned, allowing for a myriad of changes in the years to come. Sculpting the existing, it was imperative that there was a sense of openness to allow natural light in. Kestie Lane Studio intentionally created moments of more saturated finishes and deeper textures to offer a sense of relief from the more open and light elements, crafting a sense of intimacy through materiality and palette. Custom stonemasonry is matched by custom joinery throughout – a fundamental design element to Kestie Lane Studio’s practice – with oak flooring running underfoot and polished plaster walls engaging with the incoming light throughout the day.