Contemporary Minimalism Meets Old-WorldCharm – The Art Studio by Amiconi Architect and Watts Studio
Bellarine Peninsula, VIC Australia
The brief for The Art Studio at Spray Farm on Victoria’s Bellarine Peninsula outlined a studio, kitchen garden, glasshouse and more, all under one modestly-sized roof. This could have led to an over-designed and unresolved project, however, Amiconi Architect and Watts Studio have created a place with whimsy and function that not only hits but exceeds the nuanced brief.
The owners of the iconic Spray Farm approached the architects with a desire for a multi-purpose space within a short stroll of the main house. The response – a seemingly simple structure with a pitched roof and front verandah – is a study in both contemporary minimalism and old-world charm.
Rudimentary in its form, the experience of this building is anything but. There is an undertone of luxury in its intent, purpose and execution that hums from the very first glimpse.
While much of this building is contemporary, the exterior and interior architecture have been inspired by the original homestead on the property and historical nature of the site. Rudimentary in its form, the experience of this building is anything but. There is an undertone of luxury in its intent, purpose and execution that hums from the very first glimpse.
Nestled amongst the Norfolk pines, the eye is immediately drawn to the striking form, intricate spotted gum cladding and the glasshouse protruding from the back of the building. However, The Art Studio is sympathetic to the landscape, and the materials persuade the building to reflect and embrace its surrounds. The pitched roof echoes the heritage nature of the Estate while site-salvaged 19th-century bricks and split bluestone blocks – both reclaimed from a long-demolished outbuilding on the property – and lush, overflowing garden beds help to settle this contemporary structure into the landscape.
Being a new build, the designers were able to orientate the building to capitalise on the views of Corio Bay and the You Yangs mountain range. For this reason, the interiors are intentionally minimal.
The balanced approach to old and new continues inside, where a refined palette and luxurious materials prevail throughout the kitchen, office space and art studio. The overriding feeling is not wholly contemporary, but it is not heritage either; it sits confidently in the middle and the dynamic is both powerful and original.
Being a new build, the designers were able to orientate the building to capitalise on the views of Corio Bay and the You Yangs mountain range beyond. For this reason, the interiors are intentionally minimal, and the surrounding landscape decorates the walls and penetrates the internal experience.
There is an abundance of high-quality materials and details, most notably, the beautifully executed custom joinery. Painted white brickwork against the light coloured timber cabinetry has a refreshing effect, and polished concrete floors throughout offer a comforting uniformity.
The Art Studio at Spray Farm is the client’s aspirations elegantly realised in the built form; a new spacein which to indulge, focus and escape. And as a multi-purpose building, it proves that good design has a significant role to plant in the rituals and activities ofdaily life.