The pleasure of introversion: Walan Apartment
The specialized discipline of the interior architecture reconciles the broad architectural frame with the fine-grained finish and function of the interior area. Architects Joel Alcorn and Chloe Middleton, directors of Brisbane-based Alcorn Middleton Architecture Office (AMAO), tackled this demanding subset of architecture with a series of changes and additions to an apartment across the country. floor inside the new Walan residential tower. , designed by Bureau Proberts. AMAO’s ingenious ideas for injecting color, introducing “ravishing obstacles” through joinery and refining the adaptability of functional spaces demonstrate the power of subtle design changes and strong signature movements.
Clients have extended a rare dossier to AMAO: balancing a life of suburban living in a 1920s house with the transition to an open-plan downtown apartment. The juxtaposition of these architectural scenarios prompted the decision to personalize the blank canvas of the apartment. The general objective was to adapt the rooms to the eclectic tastes and ceremonial habits of the client couple, who love the ritual of cooking and receiving as much as the luxury of solitude. Through a discreet set of seamless additions, AMAO has tailored the apartment spaces to create the sense of formality and enclosure, resulting in a design that is more akin to the cellular arrangement that guests are looking for. were used to the contemporary open plan. of the new apartment.
The relationship between the kitchen and the dining room was at the heart of the interior redevelopment: a real ambition to detect “kitchen mistakes and kitchen disasters” motivated the decisions. Surprisingly, customers were willing to forgo some of the best views of the city of Brisbane to achieve this spatial division. Determined to balance the enclosure and the outlook, AMAO designed a sliding rattan screen system as a contemporary kitchen accessory. Placed in front of the existing kitchen bench, these delicate, semi-opaque screens stack to preserve the everyday view and, when guests arrive, slide out to provide the required visual separation between the kitchen and the dining table.
To complete the kitchen enclosure, a new almond-colored wood veneer joinery cabinet extends, with a wide rounded edge, from the hallway to meet the junction of the sliding screen. This unit provides additional storage space for the pantry while creating a screened route to the existing butler’s pantry, located behind the kitchen. The carpentry introduces an injection of color into panels of yellow “Curcuma” and “Grenache violet”. A Smeraldo quartzite countertop offers a jade-like tone that cools the otherwise honey-colored warmth of wood, rattan and mosaic.
In the living spaces, carpentry is used to shape an interior of marshmallow softness and plump curvature, a move away from the sharp, folded geometries of the original architecture. The Credenzas – in particular the lowered cabinet floating between the dining room and the living room – affirm customer friendliness, with paint and wood finishes in “ Almond ” and a shade reminiscent of (and named) “ Sel de l ‘ Himalaya ”, a divine marriage of rich brown and light blush. This combination of sweet and savory colors is woven across multiple spaces and infuses the apartment with glorious warmth and softness.
Other key carpentry pieces are introduced to emphasize a sense of luxury. In the master bedroom, Smeraldo Quartzite returns with its jewel-shaped finish to create the bench and backdrop for a bespoke makeup counter. The almond wood veneer drawers set their floor with a daring imprint inscribed by wide cylindrical legs. There is a conviviality that accompanies these deliciously plump shapes, and the scalloped headboard carries the softness of such gestures deep into sleep.
I was somewhat surprised to find that the room most appreciated by customers is the space that turns its back to the city skyline and instead looks east to take in the urban views of Kangaroo Point and the – beyond the New Farm Peninsula. The isolated comfort of the library and the living room is a place of refuge. The narrow proportions and characteristic carpentry lend the room to introversion, an antidote to saturated edges seen on the opposite side of the shot. Here, walls and ceiling recesses in ‘Himalayan salt’ color in dark purple espouse a sense of homeliness, while wood joinery with characteristic wide rounded ends conveys a sense of generosity.
The alliance of tones, finishes and shapes, organized with delicacy and care, highlights the skill of the interior designer to act both with restraint and rigor to carry out this work. With an inherent sense of finding a balance between color, luster and tactility, AMAO has produced a joyful suite of adaptations that successfully connects the cellular and the open plan, the extrovert and the introvert, the luxurious and meaningful. For homeowners embarking on a new stage of life, these warm and inviting spaces provide relief from the luxury of endless horizon and perspective and bring attention back to the fun of introversion and the potential for introversion. ‘a house in the sky.