Connect Six - Nesting, The Journey of Building a Home
The Fisher & Paykel Series
Brighton, VIC, Australia
The Local Project Presents, in collaboration with Fisher & Paykel, Connect Six – an exploration into the work of Whiting Architects and how their vision for the project has seamlessly integrated contemporary design into the heritage fabric of the original Brighton home.
This feature video and interview takes viewers on a journey through the stunning interiors of the Connect Six project, allowing them to truly understand the design process behind the project through the testimonies of those who created it.
We spoke to Steven Whiting, founding director of Whiting Architects, and Josie Somerville, project architects on the Connect Six project, as well as Daniel Varcoe, Specifier, Architect Designer at Fisher & Paykel, about how they approached the design of the Brighton home.
‘It was a beautiful house to start with, which is what really impressed us when we arrived’, says Steven. ‘They’d done the front of the house, and it had a beautiful feel, but we had to make the back of the house work… and make it feel like it belonged to the front of the house.’
Steven speaks about how the original house was a great source of inspiration, and Whiting Architects’ approach to design which focuses on primary forms and strategically inserting the new into the old elements of the building. This approach deeply influences the experience of the house, which unfolds as you enter at the front into the original portion of the house and gradually glimpse the new spaces, beginning with the spectacular floating stair above the main hallway.
The architects were keen to ensure the new addition felt modest and discreet, so from the outside the second story does not dominate, rather it is set subtly within the original building. Internally, the second story becomes visible through the floating stair which Josie says ‘really links all the spaces together, so you get the hint of the second story’.
The kitchen is tucked below the upstairs children’s playroom, creating a more intimate feel. ‘The kitchen really was the hub of the home’, says Josie. ‘It’s in the centre of the house, it’s right next to the main living area, the dining area, it’s next to the outdoor deck, so it needed to provide a lot in the centre of the space’.
The designers worked closely with Fisher & Paykel to achieve the the beautifully detailed kitchen. Steven explains how the Future Design Workshop, which they attended in 2017, was a ‘fantastic’ experience as it allowed them to meet the designers of the appliances. ‘Because they ask our opinion, and we offer it, and they listen – it’s not just lip service’, he says. Dan Varcoe from Fisher & Paykel agrees, saying ‘For us at Fisher & Paykel, design is such a big part of what we do, and for us to engage with the design community and get that feedback and then put that into tangible products that we can release and to see them flourish, it’s fantastic.’
The kitchen includes new black appliances, including the black stainless steel refrigerator. While Whiting Architects would normally integrate the refrigerator, the new black model was exposed as it is ‘such a beautiful object in the space’, says Steven, while ‘the black freestanding oven really sets off the kitchen beautifully’.
Ultimately Connect Six is a triumph in contemporary design integrating with Australian heritage architecture. The Local Project welcomes viewers to explore the narrative as narrated by Whiting Architects and Fisher & Paykel.