Warm-toned timber joinery, striking rattan screens, gleaming mosaics tiles, marble and stone accents meet a bold but astute colour palette and assured art and design choices in this Brisbane apartment for a retiring couple. Sheer curtains veil the glass perimeter, allowing just the right amount of golden light to enter and mischievously animate the interior.
Architects Joel Alcorn and Chloe Middleton, directors of Brisbane-based Alcorn Middleton Architecture Office (AMAO), have given a new, more vivacious and homely lease of life to a residence set within the Bureau Proberts-design high-rise building in Kangaroo Point. Located in Brisbane’s most prestigious residential location, the single-floor apartment sits in the award-winning building that runs parallel to the Brisbane River, directly overlooking the CBD.
“Moving out of their suburban home of forty years, and being of retirement age, our clients needed this apartment to serve as their home for this new chapter of their lives,” says Alcorn. This homely impression was what they instantly felt was lacking after securing the uninhabited apartment.
“Our clients were not looking to downsize,” explains Middleton. Measuring a generous 377 square meters (305sqm internally), the new space was larger than their long-standing suburban home. “They were seeking convenience, security and privacy with this new address,” she says. “We were sought after to compose and further define various areas of the apartment, offering full design services.” AMAO addressed room layouts starting from entry, living, dining, kitchen and outdoor entertainment, to master bedroom, ensuite and rumpus rooms.
Big on entertaining, the couple weren’t keen on the open-plan arrangement offered by the original layout. Kitchen functionality and access to the walk-in pantry became the project’s top priority, giving rise to AMAO’s boldest design move – the three rattan sliding doors positioned in front of the island bench, designed to ward off unwanted guests in the kitchen.
Alcorn Middleton’s concept sketches for Walan Apartment joinery.
AMAO’s design approach to built-in joinery elements throughout the entire home was to deploy them as devices for delineating zones in the open-plan layout without obstructing or inhibiting the magnificent views.
New joinery elements also took into consideration the age of the clients. “We ensured any protruding edges were rounded and that all units were lifted off the ground for ease of cleaning, and to increase the height and access into the new storage spaces, thereby minimising bending towards the floor,” explains Alcorn.
“We further developed on this ideology adding the ability to obscure the clutter in the kitchen; creating a barrier while maintaining a view to the CBD and ventilation via the perforation in the rattan,” says Middleton. AMAO’s clever approach not only transforms the entire interior, but the screens also become an interactive experience the client can manipulate to suit their needs and aesthetic preferences.
Moving on from their suburban home of many years, this vibrant home serves as an elegant and high-spirited inner-city residence designed to be enjoyed by the couple in the new life chapter. The best part? There’s not a single retiree cliché in sight. I don’t know about you, but for me – that’s major life goals right there.