From Inside to Out – Toorak Town Residence by Skulptur Architecture and Interiors
How can the client’s grand vision be achieved on a compact site? That was the challenge presented to Principal Architect Sophie Gilmore of Skulptur Architecture & Interiors with the Toorak Town Residence project. Determined to deliver a residence with generous proportions and carefully framed vistas befitting the leafy inner-city location, the team at Skulptur undertook a rigorous design and refinement process to achieve the vision.
Skulptur is a boutique architecture and interior studio based in Melbourne specialising in bespoke residences that exemplify luxury living. “Our design process is built on foundations of refined simplicity, uncompromising detail, and architectural craftsmanship,” says Sophie. “We are committed and passionate to achieve exceptional and tailored outcomes for each client. Creating and refining each project is what we love to do, inside and outside of work.”
The studio’s philosophy of creating timeless architecture redefined for contemporary living is exemplified by Toorak Town Residence. The project stems from an approach that Sophie describes as from first client meeting through to project completion “working towards a unique vision that carefully considers client requirements, adding generational value to be celebrated daily through luxury living.”
Skulptur has a strong emphasis on interior design which comes from Sophie’s initial studies in Interior Architecture at Monash University, prior to a completing a Master of Architecture at The University of Melbourne. “With this background I tend to work in reverse to most architects, thinking about the interior planning first before focusing on the exterior,” she says. “Taking a holistic approach of considering the interior design, architecture and landscape collectively marries the spaces together, creating highly considered homes. These values are instilled in Skulptur’s design principles.”
Working with a narrow, compact site, the two-storey Toorak Town Residence is the result of meticulous planning to maximise the sense of space and natural light. A contemporary yet timeless architectural statement from the street is paired with a restrained interior palette of neutral materials, while carefully framed vistas that flow from each space create an uplifting inner-city sanctuary.
“One of the focal points of the client brief was to maximise the dwelling footprint on the site,” recalls Sophie. “Working with council in the town planning stage enabled us to achieve 250sqm of internal space, on a 170sqm site, while still having generous gardens.”
Located on a verdant Toorak street, the new dwelling abuts 1930s neighbours of varying styles. Equally honouring refined classical architectural principles and the luxury of the new, the residence now sits comfortably yet boldly in step with its neighbours, with the sculpted geometric form and vertical emphasis of the double-height glazing creating an elegant addition to the streetscape.
The interiors throughout are meticulously detailed and refined, befitting the rigorous geometry of the architecture while maintaining a timeless and classic aesthetic. Fine craftsmanship and careful material selection are evident upon entry, with honed limestone floors and Venetian plaster walls enhanced by detailing in timber and aged bronze.
Responding to the client brief to maximise natural light and green outlooks, the spaces within the dwelling are delineated by floor-to-ceiling glazing overlooking landscaped terraces and courtyards, also designed by Skulptur. The consequent seamless integration of indoors and outdoors adds calming aesthetic layers to the home while also enhancing privacy from neighbours.
An embracing and functional central familial gathering zone ties together the home and its inhabitants. Says Sophie, “the warmth and richness of materials that emanates from the living spaces and adjoining kitchen are intended to create spaces that naturally draw the family and their guests.” Complementing this approach, iconic furniture pieces upholstered in natural woven fabrics and silks and Australian artworks were carefully selected by Skulptur to further enhance and layer the materiality and liveable sense of luxury imbued in each and every space of this uplifting inner-city sanctuary.
Restraint and detailed design with careful selection of materials and finishes tie this project together, both inside and out. With its timeless aesthetic and cohesiveness of form and space, the home will be embraced and appreciated by the home’s inhabitants for years to come.