Streamlined Simplicity Inside a South Yarra Townhouse

An exercise in restraint, Winter Architecture walk us through their highly functional rework of a family’s South Yarra townhouse. 

Melbourne and Torquay based firm Winter Architecture set out to simplify the complexities in residential architecture. It’s this mission that brought them to a 90s townhouse in the Melbourne suburb of South Yarra, now standing as a refined ebony backdrop to its leafy surrounds. The simplified silhouette is a prelude for the minimalist interiors; contrastingly light and rich in materials. 

We’re exploring how this monochrome home serves as a testament to Winter Architecture’s process of honing and revising through elimination. Adding only where necessary, Winter Architecture have invested in quality materials, intricate details and functional precision, demonstrated in their considered approach from top to bottom. Best of all, the South Yarra Townhouse challenges what we typically see in a family home; celebrating multiple functional spaces and without the visual reminders of domestic family life. 

Produced in partnership with Bosch

Winter Architecture took on what was a ‘cumbersome’ townhouse with the brief to ‘reset, realign and reinvigorate’. They sought to recalibrate the nature of the home by moving walls and affording spaces more than one function, such as the combined hallway and study, as well as the kitchen, living and dining area. They took out any part of the home that had an unnecessary, ornamental purpose and in doing so, they freed up space in other areas. When it came to adding anything to the home, it was done with careful intention. 

Natural light bleeds into every corner of the home through the floor-to-ceiling glazing – stacking doors and corner windows – that envelope the rear. Attesting Winter Architecture’s engagement with the outdoor area, a double-height void frames a silver birch tree in the centre of the home. Welcoming an intimate connection with the electric greenery and pond outside of the kitchen, living and dining area, the glazing ensures the warmth and brightness of the home doesn’t subside on dark days. 

Winter Architecture director Jean Graham says they treated natural light delicately, as a material itself. “It was not so much about intense light casting a shadow, but more so, filtering and blending subdued light deep into all spaces,” Jean says. “White joinery, walls and ceilings reflect light into the building, also contrasting with the black painted exterior and lush green landscaping.”

“In a project such as this, every item is of critical importance to the atmosphere, down to a drawer handle, a light switch, or a tap. Appliances are no different.”


– Jean Graham, director of Winter Architecture

The Bosch Black Series 8 Oven was selected for its ability to aesthetically and functionally assimilate with the minimalist scheme in the South Yarra Townhouse.

Natural light was treated as a material itself in the South Yarra Townhouse. Winter Architecture focused on a light-reflecting palette through all-white walls, white joinery and pale timber boards; a direct contrast to the exterior and black-framed rear landscaping.

Materials, finishes, fixtures and fittings were carefully selected to provide moments of ‘luxury’ in the home, such as the light oak boards and textured brass tapware that will patina with age. “Similarly, precious stones and select pendant lights for the island bench, staircase and master bedroom define the atmosphere of these spaces,” Jean affirms. 

At the home’s core, Winter Architecture were asked to design a kitchen that straddled the fine line between a sophisticated space that caters to a family. The clients requested a neat kitchen, void of clutter that didn’t impose on the shared dining and living space. “The kitchen was conceived as a discreetly functional space,” Jean says. “Everything packs away, seamlessly integrates and, recedes from the honed marble island dining bench and Douglas & Bec pendant light,” she adds.

Just as the home contrasts its black paint, window frames and simple balustrade exterior with its all-white interiors, the kitchen performs this same striking juxtaposition. A black kitchen mixer, stools, Line Pendant 02 by Douglas and Bec and Bosch Black Series 8 Oven punctuate the clean white scheme, letting the kitchen assert itself as an embodiment of Winter Architecture’s streamlined simplicity. 

Royal Oak Floors floorboards in Danish White run throughout the home.

Where almost everything needed to be hidden or integrated, the Bosch Black Series 8 oven is one of few visible elements in the space. Jean says in schemes like this, they had to be mindful that the visible elements can be disruptive if not carefully integrated. The Bosch Black Series 8 oven integrates seamlessly with the pared-back aesthetic; its clean lines and simple dials, receding in the same manner that the joinery does,” she says. “Bosch appliances emerged as complementary to the minimal, simplified palette.”

The Bosch Black Series 8 Oven reflects the same meticulous attention to detail as the entire South Yarra Townhouse, with a sophisticated design consistent across the entire range of Series 8 appliances. Ready for kids and parents to share in the cooking, the Bosch Black Series 8 Oven offers the first recipe collection in the form of an oven with Bosch Assist. This is combined with the advanced sensor technology in PerfectRoast and PerfectBake™ that will achieve just that through precise moisture and temperature readings. Based on these readings, the cooking process is adjusted to deliver perfect baking and roasting results. There’s also an added steam function for the avid home chef and pyrolytic self-cleaning ensuring manual cleaning is off the list for a busy family. 

Jean maintains the importance of premium home appliances rests on their reliability as a functional object and ability to aesthetically assimilate with the scheme. “In a project such as this, every item is of critical importance to the atmosphere, down to a drawer handle, a light switch, or a tap. Appliances are no different,” she says. It’s with this reasoning Winter Architecture have delivered on a renovation that consolidates a family home, getting rid of all of the non-essential and noisy elements through steadfast minimalism and functionality to create calm and order. 

Explore superior oven technology in the est product library with the Bosch Series 8 range here.

“The importance of premium kitchen appliances rests on their reliability as a functional object and ability to aesthetically assimilate with the scheme.”


– Jean Graham, director of Winter Architecture

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