In an old Fitzroy setting up from the 1950s, originally created as nurses’ accommodation for the nearby clinic, lies the smooth and compact studio condominium of architect Douglas Wan. Doing work in just a very small footprint, the WHDA architect questioned: ‘What does it acquire to are living not just easily, but with a number of luxuries?’
The respond to, it turns out, is negligible interventions, and clever partitioning. New plumbing and metal beams (a single getting 750kg!) ended up the several additions Douglas created in get to enrich the liveability of his small residence, and maximise purely natural mild. All inner walls were demolished, and the steel beams craned and keyed into place to assist plywood home dividers. In the identify of house efficiency, the residing space forgoes regular furniture, in its place opting for a floating system that sleeps two, or seats six, alternately.
Supplying the utility areas a unique separation from the open up living area was a precedence, so plywood cladding and partitions tunnel by way of to compartmentalise these zones. Shifting from dim to mild, and between open and compressed spaces, Douglas performed with contrasting atmospheres and depth of views to delineate amongst sleeping, bathing and residing locations.
Flooring-to-ceiling black ceramic tiles and crimson grout achieve Doug’s eyesight for a ‘Sith Lord bathroom’ (!), though pale plywood softens the sheen of polished black surfaces that continue on by means of the kitchen. A 1.8m-huge black linoleum benchtop doubles as a mise-en-position segment and servery, enabling ample place for appliances and storage under.
In planning his apartment, Douglas fused inspiration from the regular Japanese tokonoma – an elevated system employed to acquire attendees and display screen art – with the ‘Isokon Flats‘ designed by Wells Coates in London in 1933. This ‘ocean liner-esque’ block of concrete studio residences was intended as an early prototype for minimalist mass housing, and is wherever Douglas derived the title for his design and style: ‘Existenzminimum’.