Ewert Leaf combines bold dark color palette and dynamic shapes in sunny residence near Melbourne
Melbourne-based studio Ewert Leaf was approached to create a modern extension to a heritage home in St Kilda West, a suburb 3 miles south of Melbourne’s Central Business District.
“Working with a client keen to explore the way shape and form can funnel light and airflow through a residential space, the project is a playful solution to the rigours of this elongated site, with unique access. Angular floorplates pull light down into the space via a series of large openable windows. The open plan living is bathed in light from an overhead, suspended walkway that connects the master bed and the ply-clad guest room; creating a theatrical atmosphere. Hovering over the eye catching natural stone kitchen bench, the perforated metal balustrade of the feature stair wraps over the walkway and helps articulate the dark matte finish of the joinery. The materiality of the balustrade allows light to seep through, enabling a visual connection between the ground and first floor. The expansive kitchen is captured in a rich, moody palette of charcoal cabinetry, reconstituted stone and timber veneer shelving. This creates a strong backdrop to the generous central island bench that is highlighted in a combination of honed Savannah Grey marble and reflective bronze tone metal cladding. The existing tilt panel garage door in the living room harks back the original house, while the extensive wall art collection provides a punch of colour. The exterior is clad in zinc shingles which wrap around the angled surfaces and contrast with the red brick of the existing dwelling. An extension to an already sizeable house, the key was to create large spaces without making cavernous voids that lacked the coziness of a family home. Bringing some black perforated metal and dark palette into the joinery helps emphasize the light carefully inserted into the spaces rather than bring the tone down. A key driver from the client was to ensure that cross ventilation was obtained in the space in order to reduce the need for mechanical requirements. This has been attained through deliberate window placement, allowing natural light and airflow to move through the space with ease. Low VOC paint has been applied throughout, minimizing the pollution of the indoor air quality and the old panel tilt garage door has been reclaimed and restored,” says Ewert Leaf