Challenging the Expected – Urban Barn by Heartly
Melbourne, VIC, Australia
In contrast to a more familiar urban residential typology, Urban Barn references the agricultural vernacular, resulting in a bold formal gesture. Heartly combines a clean and minimal approach with a refined restraint in proposing a challenge to the expected.
Located in Melbourne’s east, Urban Barn proposes a contrasting, unfamiliar aesthetic in its suburban surrounds. Instead of following the well-paved path of replicating its neighbours or referencing a specific period style or formality popular within the contemporary residential vernacular, Heartly adopts a more unexpected approach. Referencing the traditional formality of the barn, Urban Barn then unfolds as a series of connected zones that capture the philosophies and functions of the contemporary city home.
Built by Build2, Urban Barn sees building design, interior design and styling by Heartly combine through a carefully curated and contemporary lens. Imagined for its young family, Urban Barn is a youthful play on creating a unique sense of place and connecting to personality and character. The timber-clad form is punctuated by regular openings, giving glimpses to the happenings within. The dark charred-timber exterior enclosure creates a single silhouette on the site and offers a contrast to the interiors, which are founded on openness and connection. The monochromatic and textured materiality adds layers of richness, and meandering hallways and corridors play on concealing and revealing simultaneously.
Located in Melbourne’s east, Urban Barn proposes a contrasting, unfamiliar aesthetic in its suburban surrounds.
Designed around a central box volume that houses the stair and other ancillary support elements, the various rooms radiate from this vertical connection point. Expressed in its own American white oak finish, the box is emphasised as its own form within a larger encompassing space. The coming together of a sense of refinement and restraint allows the home to feel well articulated and highly detailed. Polished concrete flooring becomes the base from which added elements of warmth and texture are layered, where Venetian plaster sits alongside warming timber elements. The approach to lighting is also both architecturally driven and about creating volumes within the internals while not adding clutter or interrupting sightlines outward.
Urban Barn sits as a series of contrasts, both between its form and context and between various materials and finishes. Through clever planning and expression internally these elements are celebrated with confidence. Heartly has challenged the anticipated urban residential response by looking to a tried and tested traditional formality, combining it with a level of detail and consideration that elevates the agricultural reference to an elegant and sophisticated family home.