Cera Stribley explore sophistication in a subterranean residence, expanding on their client’s family home with a series of new intimate spaces to unwind and entertain.
Architecture and interior design studio Cera Stribley reimagine what’s possible with a residential extension by descending below ground in Melbourne’s inner-east and expanding onto the adjacent plot. The project delivers a new underground indoor lap pool, golf room, gym, basement bar and lounge for adults and kids to enjoy. Cera Stribley’s head of interior design, Jessica Coulter, accurately describes the new basement design as “Mad Men meets Batcave”. “The basement is really the ‘adults lair’, so we wanted it to feel sophisticated and moody,” she adds.
Growing to span two properties, Cera Stribley’s renovation also encompassed a revision of the existing home’s ground floor plan to better connect the living areas to the new tennis court and backyard.
The brief called for the creation of spaces that enrich family connection away with technology and allow generous space for the family to grow while providing adults with the freedom to decompress and entertain. A key design challenge for architects was introducing natural light into a basement while balancing the desire for privacy. Along the northern boundary, a light well spans the pool’s edge, housing greenery and planters that connect the belowground living areas to nature and above. “You can be swimming in the pool or lounging in the bar and feel secluded yet, at the same time, connected to nature. You’re able to witness the passing of weather and time streaming in through the light void,” Cera Stribley associate Steve Jung Min Woo says.
This unique basement residence prioritises leisure and entertaining, accentuated by a contemporary and moody material palette. The use of robust materials such as marble, stone, concrete and granite creates a textural background, layered by furnishings in cool tones, such as the navy 637 Utrecht armchairs designed by Gerrit Thomas Rietveld for Cassina.
Similarly, in the formal living room on the ground level, the design framed views out to the backyard, where warm timber flooring intersects with the playfulness of the Puffy armchair by Faye Toogood and the velvet Edra Standard sofa. Cera Stribley’s design approach effortlessly curates uncomplicated spaces that exude contemporary elegance.