The design brief called for an elegant, contemporary form that took cues from minimalist architecture and could be read as a sculptural insertion into the existing streetscape in the tightly-held bayside suburb of Brighton.
The client loves bold forms and particularly wants a captivating sense of arrival for visitors through a terraced forecourt. Internally, the planning prioritises entertaining. In collaboration with Mim Design, ClarkeHopkinsClarke Architects has endeavoured to create a space that blurs indoors and out. Generous living spaces, a home theatre and outdoor entertaining areas spill out from a light-filled garden and swimming zone.
As a builder/developer, the client sought to showcase the quality of Maxton Constructions’ work, and the interior by Mim Design injects warm layers of timeless luxury. A monochromatic palette of black, marble white and silver counterbalances rich, animating pops of colour from the client’s collections of artwork, objects and books.
Two mechanisms lend subtle structure to generous open-plan space over three levels. At ground level, a black pod containing a concealed study, powder room wine cellar, storage was inserted into the central pivot point of the plan, defining the sitting room to the north and kitchen-dining space to the south. A level change at the western edge of the pod helps delineate spatial boundaries between living and dining rooms and the entry/staircase and sitting room. A corresponding raised ceiling over the living area delineates floor finishes into engineered marble in the sitting room to the east and timber boards in the living, dining and kitchen spaces to the west and south.
Materiality throughout is voluptuous and deliberately dramatic. Bathrooms and wet areas create a playful dialogue between textured stone walls and floors and mirrors cleverly placed to frame vanity space and suggest illustory depth. The same techniqie is deployed to great effect in the master bedroom to frame the bedhead, elevating another ‘secondary’ space with spatial drama.
The client’s own lavish attention to detail permeates the interior. This includes a sculptural fireplace feature wall in the sitting room. Curved, hard plaster was applied with great care to molded ply during the construction process, ensuring that once shaped, the ply would remain stable and free from cracks.
Despite the weighty substantiality of its luxurious materials, MAH Residence has a deftness of touch. That’s thanks in no small part to light-filled interiors, generous proportion and playful detailing.