Overlooking Port Philip Bay, The Esplanade is envisioned as a calm sanctuary that intimately connects to its location through a rich tonal expression. We speak with Alicia McKimm, co-founding director of Golden, about their process.
Imbued with a combined sense of richness of texture and tone of palette, and a calming overall oeuvre, The Esplanade is a shining example of Golden’s reductionist approach. Located in Brighton, Victoria, the family home enviously overlooks the expansive bay beyond, and the core of the design direction centres on creating a clear and genuine connection to its unique positioning. Alicia McKimm, co-founding director of Golden describes their approach as “creating a warm and contemporary family home, surrounded by the beautiful views”, She adds, “We were inspired by the coastline and the client’s desire for a light and timeless feel.”
Existing previously as a late twentieth century build, the owners wanted to breathe a new life, and create a series of spaces that spoke to their own connection to the bay. Interwoven throughout was a sense of flow between zones, further reinforcing a sense of connection and functionality. Alicia says, “We re-planned the existing floor plan to achieve maximum function for out clients,” as “the transition of spaces was essential for a large family home.” The relocation of bedroom areas to the ground floor allowed for a grouped passive zone, and created an opportunity for the living and kitchen zones to be, as Alicia describes, “positioned on the first floor to enjoy and maximise the views of the coastline,” allowing for an effortless flow out onto the outdoor terrace.
Built by Teede Building Group and with Art Direction in collaboration with Marsha Golemac, a sense of understated luxury is interwoven into layers of warmth and a measured durability. The robust materiality, mixed with natural elements, Alicia says, “is greatly influenced by the surrounding context.” She says, “our careful consideration and selection of natural materials and robust textures drove the seaside aesthetic, enlivening the senses and providing a seamless experience from the outside in.” These transitions are then further deepened with an element of contrast, creating a balancing act between the hardened surfaces and the more fluid flow and openness of light between them. Tonality was integral throughout, and subtleties allow for mood creation between zones as do the invitation of natural light also.
Alicia describes one of the main gestures, was “the removal of the existing ornate balustrade and opening up each level with a unique vertical balustrade,” which manifests as “a grand circular form, hugged by curved concrete walls.” She says, “our design intent was for this new staircase to mimic the natural elements of seashell” which resulted “in the space now being flooded with light.” The control and integration of natural light was, as Alicia says, “at the forefront of our design, as it has immense power to generate emotion and facilitate wellbeing.” She says, “We wanted to harness as much natural light as possible – carefully considering each space, while filtering light in others.”
Grounded in an approach of earnest betterment, Alicia describes the methodology of the Golden studio as being “unified by a desire to contribute to a better quality of life”, through “enhancing the everyday by responding to our very basic human needs.” Inspired by, as Alicia says “a rigorous discovery process” and “meticulous approach to the tactile, sensory and the emotive”, their resulting interior works offer something enriching, contemporary and reclusive. The Esplanade shows a dedication to this ethos, not only in purpose, but in execution also and the repurposing of this pre-existing home to suit its new owners and their lifestyle has created a unique and enviable haven.