My Space: Adam Kane Architects

Step inside Adam Kane Architects’ new South Melbourne studio space, showcasing their signature hand at minimalist design.

On the second storey of a Victorian corner hotel in South Melbourne lies Adam Kane Architects’ refurbished studio space. While the firm have welcomed us inside their residential projects, spanning regional and suburban sites, their meticulously-crafted workspace is a pertinent reminder of their commitment to intuitive, restrained design. Brushed with a timeless palette, the space serves as an equally stimulating and cocooning place to conceptualise and create.

As part of our My Space series, the est team were fortunate to experience this moody space just after completion. We sat down with director Adam Kane to find out how the space captures their scrupulous eye for balance and proportion, how they incarnated their design philosophy in custom furniture pieces and how the space continues to inspire them.

What do you love most about the studio’s South Melbourne neighbourhood?

Adam Kane:The leafy streets, the abundance of cafes, the South Melbourne Market; all are walking distance from the studio. While still being inner-city, we’re without all of the congestion.

How is your new studio a reflection of Adam Kane Architects and the work that you do?

Adam Kane: For our studio, we respected its origins as a period Victorian Hotel, and so we kept the original 120-year-old floorboards and reinstated the period detailing. The fit-out was an exercise in designing a more contemporary space which respected the original.

Muted tones and textures of mid and light grey were used and complemented with the lustre of aged, patinated brass. Balance and proportion were critical throughout the space, to create an overall beauty rather than being overwhelmed in a particular corner.

Describe your personal interior style:

Adam Kane: In all of our projects, we value timelessness and elegance with restraint on features or unnecessary ornamentation. The designs always need to work holistically between architecture, interiors, and furniture, which is why we typically provide all of these services for our clients.

Our interior concepts are often strong and architectural, so it is critical to find a softness through layers of complementary and often subtle textural changes. While the spaces always need to be functional to suit each individual clients’ needs, aesthetically we seek to design a restrained balance between sterile and overwhelming.

A custom steel bookshelf designed and fabricated by Adam Kane Architects, featuring Vase #1 by Karakter and Wide Vessel on Plinth on Sandstone by Dasa.

The Custom 5.5m timber working table was designed and fabricated by Adam Kane Architects, with veneer by New Age Veneer.

The custom stone meeting table was designed by Adam Kane Architects using stone supplied by Glux, and fabricated by stonemason Bartucca. This space also features the SIA chairs by Tom Fereday and curtains are by Lovelight. The crowning jewel is the Arrow pendant by Apparatus Studio.

Which space within the studio do you gravitate to the most and why?

Adam Kane: We designed a custom 5.5m long ‘communal’ desk in the centre of the main space, where we all work together as a team. It was an important and easy decision for us all to continue working together in this way, to maintain our office culture. We all collaborate on each project and work together as a close family, so by removing any dividers and not having separate offices makes us stronger as a whole, and for a more enjoyable workplace.

Do you have any favourite materials or design objects within this space?

Adam Kane: The aged, mottle-finished sheets of brass that wrap the sculptural, monolithic joinery block in the main room are a personal favourite. The subtle changes in sheen, colour and reflected light throughout the day are beautiful. It’s quite a prominent piece, and yet, day to day it blends into the surrounds while we work.

How does this space inspire you?

Adam Kane: When looking to move office we found that there were so many generic places we could move into that wouldn’t have represented our philosophy, vision or values. As a growing practice, it’s humbling to be in a space that represents us and our work, and something which we enjoy being in. Its also nice to show off the space to new clients as our own work, and not just where we work.

Aged Brass custom joinery lining by Bronzeworks.

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