The Grand

The Grand

In Design International
Melbourne VIC, Australia | View Map
Project Year
Private Houses
Isamu Sawa
Product Spec Sheet

ManufacturersArticolo Lighting
ManufacturersCDK Stone
ManufacturersGreat Dane Furniture

Product Spec Sheet
by Satara
by Zuster

The Grand

In Design International as Architects

Set within a stunning CBD heritage listed building, a mid-80’s modern style, modest apartment was entrusted to us with the clients’ clear brief to return a “practical weekender” for personal use to accommodate family including 2 young grandchildren.

Our layout and design encompassed a holistic approach to the entire apartment. We relocated partition walls while working around structural elements and rises to improve spatial planning of this tiny weekender.  Working meticulously to avoid unnecessary slab core drilling, we maintained the position of the WC but negotiated variations to other plumbing fixtures with ease. The end result is a 2 way ensuite/bathroom with a mezzanine storage room above, accessible only by a hidden electronic drop down stair case via a broom closet! (AKA ‘the secret room’ as the grandchildren now call it!)

For consistency with the passageway floorboards, we used timber look floor tiles.  A stunning marble and porcelain elongated hexagonal mosaic feature wall off-set with simple warm grey main body tiles compliments an incredible on trend natural marble half height wall.

With no direct natural light it was paramount to achieve brightness via artificial light and the inclusion of a hardwired magnifying mirror made a world of difference. With a nostalgic clawfoot bath, telephone shower, locally hand-blown glass wall sconces, custom aged iron tapware, marble slabs and intricate tiling details,  this bathroom is a complement to the historic glory of the heritage building it rests within.


What was the brief?

- Brief – Practical yet feminine open-plan living suitable for supervising young children at play

- Concept - We elected to pay homage to the apartments heritage listing and created what appears to be a reveal of hidden architectural and interior treasures previously buried underneath years of ‘modern’ make overs.

- Site constraints & Opportunities -

- Heritage listed ground floor property challenges.

- Despite Heritage Council approval, Body-Corp wouldn’t endorse air-conditioning installation. We therefore took occasion to redesign the RCP to create a storage attic and ‘secret’ children’s play area, accessible only by a mechanical drop-down ladder

- Untouched since the 1997 redevelopment, the heritage listed building’s subdivision provided a guilt free opportunity to “make good” the interiors

- Material – Italian floorboards

- Finish & furnishing strategy – high level quality and comfort plus a focus to maximise living zones

- Sustainability principals – all appliances are min 5star wells rated. All materials used are ethically sourced and sustainable.

- Budget. All clients should be like this! Each time we presented options our client would simply turn to her husband and say “Robert, just find the money!”

- Collaborations – Articolo, Christopher Boots, Zuster, bespoke joinery and upholstery Designer Rugs, CDK Stone, Great Dane, Satara


How is the project unique?

Creating a dialogue between the existing building and the new interior was the primary concept behind this project. This project demonstrates, through the recreation of an historicist interior, the importance of honouring those architectural creatives who came before, as well as how the seamless integration of contemporary Australian design within historic spaces can be achieved, to ultimately create a layered narrative.

This layered narrative ultimately becomes the contribution to contemporary Australian interior decoration, as it speaks of the work by current designers and suppliers to further sustain the fabric of the building envelope, as well as the clients’ financial support for the local design industry and its advancement.

Excellence thus is inherent within this project, as these narrative elements combine to achieve a successful interior outcome, where past and present, coexist.


What are the sustainability features?

Our philosophy for sustainability is not strictly dedicated to the environment. It encompasses sustaining & encouraging local talent. We collaborate and support Australian industry & suppliers. The decoration and detail demonstrate the ongoing importance of honouring those creatives who came before us yet injecting a contemporary vison.

Honouring the Heritage listing and considering the tiny footprint, we elected to recreate the grandeur of the times, rather than align the design to a more urban look.

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