An Astute Connection to Place – The Auburn by Splinter Society

Words by Bronwyn Marshall
Architecture by Splinter Society
Photography by Sharyn Cairns
Interior Design by Splinter Society

Behind the bronze veil that drapes its façade, The Auburn comes together as a series of residences that embrace their leafy Hawthorn locale through a generous openness. Splinter Society combines the raw and textural with the sleek and crisp through refined detailing and an astute connection to place.

Sited amongst the established homes and plentiful allotments of Hawthorn, in Melbourne’s inner east, The Auburn is a select series of residences that share similar values with their large and grand neighbours, both standing as differing celebrations of craft. The older heritage properties act as a reminder of the past and of the integrated narrative of each of the spaces. The new then speaks to contemporary access to technology that assists the crafting and making process, and it expresses how this has altered the residential landscape and potential formal outcomes. Both responding to its locale and differentiating itself, The Auburn combines rough and unfinished stone that carries from the exterior into the interior, absorbing light and creating shadows, while a warm bronze façade detail interacts the expansive glazing, offering a balance. Through the introduction of distinct elements, Splinter Society has created a residence much of its own, while still respecting its context.

The overall mass of the residences pays homage to the height and volume of the adjacent homes. Internally, however, each residence takes its own occupation within the unfolding floorplates and large inviting glazed walls. Key to the area and its character is the access to the established greenery of the many landscaped areas and ensuring this could be accessed through both openings and visual cues was key. Allowing an interaction with the surrounding garden spaces, the bronze façade element also glistens as it engages with incoming light and casts interesting shards of light and shadow internally.

At its core, The Auburn brings together a series of contrasting elements and makes them make sense. The rough stone and the refined bronze are both treated with a similar crafted and highly articulated approach that creates a synergy on site. The contrast becomes a balancing agent, bringing both warmth and light together. Upon entry, the stone emphasises the nine-metre-high void and enhances the sense of space, welcoming guests and residents. The same philosophy of balance and contrast is utilised internally, where soft painted plaster sits adjacent polished stone and tactile textures. A muted tonality connects the spaces, through a softness infused through layering.

The rough stone and the refined bronze are both treated with a similar crafted and highly articulated approach that creates a synergy on site.

Deliberately connected to its surrounding green spaces, The Auburn captures the essence of its Hawthorn locale. Splinter Society brings elements of the refined together with the sculpted and encases the enviable residences in their own truly unique street presence.