This home on Albert Street by Studio Four, a single level, light-filled Victorian home in the heart of Prahran in Melbourne, proved to be the ultimate blank canvas for designers Annabelle Berryman and Sarah Henry. As an emerging multidisciplinary design studio, Studio Four first captured the world’s attention with their Ridge Road Residence starring as a finalist in the Houses Awards, while also gaining a special mention in the internationally acclaimed architizer a+ awards.
Beginning as a series of compartmentalized spaces, the house was cleverly transformed by Studio Four into a light, adaptable home ready to take on the ever-changing dynamics of young family life. With attention to both line and form throughout, each room seems perfectly composed thanks to the subtle changes in ceiling levels and newly built forms. An extra floor was added to the existing structure while the relationship between the indoor and out was strengthened with concealed sliding doors welcoming light, fresh air and aspect inside. A rear courtyard flows from the kitchen to courtyard for outdoor entertaining, extending the connection between indoors and outside. And bringing greater depth and a touch of nature into the home is an added interior courtyard adjacent to the living room with surrounds of a green backdrop.
A soft and understated neutral colour palate of white and grey compliments the use of pale oak joinery and flooring throughout, while oversized windows effectively allow the outdoor foliage to add life to the interior scheme. The new joinery elements were carefully utilised to allow the family’s treasured collection of art books and objects to interact peacefully together. From the outside the designers avoided temptation to create any focus on the second added floor, with mere glimpses to the extension of the upper house set back behind the original ornate chimney shifting first floor interaction with the outer landscape from cityscape views to immediate treetops.
Each Studio Four project is the unique result of the designer’s diverse backgrounds in art, fashion, architecture and interior design. Artists as much as they are designers, the Studio Four team focus on the conceptual exploration of each individual clients brief by using different media to realize the crux of the project. The result can be as simple as a charcoal line sketch that captures the essence and mood for each unique project while also acting as a strong reference tool throughout each stage of the development by the entire team.
This artistic methodology of the Studio Four team ensures innovative and bespoke outcomes, creating beautiful homes just like the Albert Street Residence. Here is a home where rooms and spaces talk to each other through the continual use of elements like nature, light and line, effectively creating a peaceful aesthetic to live within – and for us to admire from afar.
Photography: Shannon McGrath