Where Architects Live | Lucy Clemenger

  • Where Architects Live | Lucy Clemenger

    We follow architect Lucy Clemenger through her light-filled family home, situated adjacent to a heritage park in the heart of Prahran, Melbourne.

    Architect and founder of namesake studio Lucy Clemenger welcomes est inside her timber-clad home beside one of Melbourne’s fabled public parks, Victoria Gardens. Here we catch a glimpse of Lucy’s colourful life in the city, which she shares with her husband, two young children, and their cairn terrier ‘Disco’.

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    A custom wood dining table can be reconfigured in the kitchen depending on the occasion. It can be rotated and float in the centre of the space for dinner parties or remain connected to the island bench for informal dining. Lucy’s kitchen features Vola tapware, Miele appliances and Royal Oak floors.

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    The tossb Hoola pendant light hangs above the dining table. Artwork by Greg Wood

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    A walk-in pantry, powder room, coat cupboard, cellar and laundry are concealed within a central oak joinery unit, designed by Lucy Clemenger. The unit also fits a staircase and bookshelf, facilitating a seamless open-plan design. Pale grey kitchen joinery supplied by Poliform

    Melbourne is designed around a whole surplus of parks, many of which were built long before skyrises. Victoria Gardens was designed by landscape architect William Sangster in the 1880s for those residing just south of the Yarra River. The garden’s ubiquitous plane trees and winding brick roads have been the city’s stamp for over a century.

    Lucy’s home sits in harmony with the neighbouring gardens. “The design engages with the adjacent park to promote a sense of sanctuary, utilising the Japanese concept of ‘Shakkei’ or ‘borrowed scenery’ to dissolve the boundaries between the park and site,” Lucy mentions. Sun filters through the foliage of the mature plane trees in the mornings while a large open-plan living space spills out onto a stepped garden overlooking the park. “One finds stillness in the ever-present park – it provides a calm and meditative backdrop to our busy family life.”

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    “The house has a mix of contemporary and antique furniture, as well as elements that reflect my time living and working abroad, particularly in the Netherlands.”

     

    – Lucy Clemenger

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    The Moroso Diesel Longwave armchair in the library.

    Lucy worked with landscape designer Fiona Brockhoff to achieve an uninterrupted dialogue between the garden, architecture and interiors. To realise Shakkei, Fiona borrowed plants from the park and sowed them around the property. She also included a raised vegetable garden and an in-ground trampoline for Lucy’s two young kids. “As a child growing up in country Victoria, we were encouraged to play outside as much as possible, so I wanted a similar experience for my kids,” Lucy says.

    Lucy also borrowed materials and colours from the park to create a sense of consistency and tranquillity in her home. “The decision to clad the extension in timber was contextual,” Lucy says. “We wanted a material that could recede and slowly age over time, like the trees.” Inside, cool greys, warm caramels and deep greens mirror the textures and colours of these trees, while exposed aggregate concrete, Carrara marble and stainless steel provide necessary contrast.

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    Lucy Clemenger in her study.

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    Floral wallpaper by droog introduces a dark, moody feel to Lucy’s study. The design features an enlarged detail of dutch painter Coenraet Roepel’s ‘Still Life with Flowers’ (1721) that hangs in the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam. “The painting reminds me of my time working in Amsterdam as a young architect,” Lucy says. Also pictured: the HAY About a Chair AAC21.

    In terms of planning, distinct zones have been drawn up to allow for multi-generational living. Areas can be sectioned off for heating, cooling, privacy or “just hiding the mess!” as Lucy says. Orientating the interiors towards the garden and park was also essential. Standing in the open-plan kitchen, dining and living area, Lucy says she feels part of the landscape while she cooks or when she takes a moment to sit back and relax.

    Lucy’s home is not only a deep reflection of its context but an exact showcase of the architect that lives there: her identity, values and passions.

     

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    The Jardan Nook sofa and Ingo Maurer Zettel’z 6 Chandelier.

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    Adam Pyett, ‘Wattle’ (2009).

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    A cantilevered timber-clad form appears to float into the branches of the bordering plane trees. Large aluminium windows allow visual and spatial continuity from inside to out.

  • lucy clemenger's signature style

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