Conrad Architects is a Melbourne-based firm led by Paul Conrad. Celebrated for an exacting approach to the creation of refined, elegant residences, the practice demonstrates a respect for the long tradition of architecture while taking a holistic approach to the design process. This new project I’m sharing today exemplifies Conrad Architect’s commitment to pursuing architecture that is classically minimal and restrained, yet layered with a depth of emotion, sensitively balancing the heritage and the contemporary.
A grand Georgian-style residence (circa 1935), Melfort is reimagined by Conrad Architects as five townhouses with a deep respect for site heritage and context. “Working with historical buildings brings the challenge of managing structures, but it also brings great opportunity to harness the richness of character that has developed over time,” says Conrad. “Georgian architecture is characterised by balance. It is typically symmetrical with classical proportions, and ornamentation is used sparingly. We drew on this approach, in a contemporary manner.”
The interior design was approached with a distinctly European sensibility, showcasing restraint, yet with moments of fine detailing. A soft, neutral palette is expressed through oak flooring and kitchen joinery, with Cararra marble used throughout kitchens, bathrooms and ornate fireplaces. Joinery was consciously conceived as distinct furniture pieces, reading as contemporary furniture elements within a historical interior.
With a beautifully curated selection of furniture and lighting throughout, the two living areas have a luxurious feel, with rich texture and classic detailing. The one above features the Tom Verellen Thibaut XL Sofa in white linen upholstery and Geta coffee table by Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec for Galerie kreo. The incredible light that hangs above is the Studio Arrow pendant in brass and calfskin by Apparatus. In the living room below, the wonderful curves of the Mass Productions Dandy Sofa is offset by the square lines of the two Gerrit Rietveld Utrecht Chairs. The Kelly Wearstler Tribute Stool and artwork by Richard Serra give the space a graphic touch, while rugs by Armadillo & Co give both rooms further warmth and texture.
With the first of five townhouses located within the original structure, a new addition was added to the rear, accommodating four new homes. While a common design language was employed throughout, the layering of Georgian detailing was omitted from the new structure to avoid any sense of reproduction.
Located in leafy Hawthorn, this five-townhouse project is a fantastic example of a low density development in one of Melbourne’s highly desirable inner pockets.
The elegant aesthetic continues through to an inviting outdoor area which is furnished with stunning pieces by Vincent Van Duysen, B&B Italia and Minotti.
With incredible renders created by Third Aesthetic, it will be wonderful to see this incredible project come to life.