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St Vincents Place Residence by B.E. Architecture located in Albert Park, Melbourne, Australia | The Hardt
St Vincents Place Residence by B.E. Architecture located in Albert Park, Melbourne, Australia. As a modern renaissance home, the St Vincents Place Residence is a new archetype developed through reinterpretation of classical references with a modern sensibility. The client, as a patron, put his belief in architecture, artists, and artisans to create a nourishing environment that goes beyond surface treatments by inscribing contemplative experiences into the physical form. Positioned behind a significant heritage façade, the new extension is a cultural bridge between historical significance and modern progress. Embracing the consideration of time, the design response examines pinnacles of architecture and design throughout history. It recreates original elements that extract and expand upon qualities of substance, inspired by those that are proven to span the test of time. Although the majority of the home is a new building, it is not immediately recognizable as such.
The reworking of older-style details in the front section of the original building includes curved cornices, arched doors, and custom steel fireplaces, which are not typical modern construction methodologies but feel at ease within the Victorian frontage. Integral to the details is an authentic demonstration of the unusual level of craftsmanship, an appreciation of the capacity of mankind. Even the smallest of details, like the hand-stained dovetail joints along the timber skirting, is deserving of a moment’s reflection.
The modern counterpart in the rear extension uses in-situ concrete, terrazzo style stone floors, painted timber ceilings and bluestone walling to create a point of difference from the front. Rejecting stark minimalism, the classical details are exchanged for rich textures continuing the hand-hewn character throughout the house. Leading the way to intellectual discourse, the substantial art collection explores topics of philosophy, literature, religion and even science. At moments these are literally written into the walls, such as the three-story light-well built around the lightwork Heaven is a place where nothing ever happens by artist Nathan Coley and the niche installation of the wax sculpture Romeu ‘my deer’ by artist Berlinde De Bruyckere. As carefully curated as the art collection, the interior of the house is an eclectic mix covering diverse cultural references across many eras. Many of the rooms are positioned around knowledge, encasing collections of books on expansive shelves and using them as a centerpiece within the custom coffee table in the living room.
A refined, casual aesthetic is created, incorporating unique vintage pieces sourced from Europe and Asia as a direct historic reference. Each piece adds to the dialogue of the space with exotic and interesting stories of when or where they are from or how they were created. Many of the pieces are one-of-a-kind designs by B.E Architecture, commissioned expressly for this project, pushing the artisanal character of the architectural detailing into the furniture. Combining history, art, and culture, the St Vincents Place Residence is ultimately a place of rebirth, simultaneously reviving an exceptional period home and cultivating a place of renewal that elevates the quality of life for the client.
Aesthetically and Geographically Related Projects:
- Eagle Ridge Residence (2011) by Gary Gladwish Architecture
- Lavaflow 5 (2013) by Craig Steely Architecture
- Plane House (2011) by K-Studio
- Zhu’an Residence (2016) by Zhaoyang Architects
- The Crow’s Nest by AR Design Studio