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Point Lonsdale Studio

Architecture

After a morning celebrating the beauty of the Mornington Peninsula, this afternoon we’re on the opposite side of Port Phillip Bay, in Point Lonsdale, for a look at a sleek new design project by young architect Rob Ashby.

Point Lonsdale Studio is Rob’s first completed project since starting his own practice. It’s not a ground-up build, but a clever contemporary addition to an existing beach house, featuring a striking palette of black timber boards, and charcoal brick.

8th December, 2017

A Port Lonsdale studio courtesy of Rob Ashby Architects. A sheltered, north-facing courtyard connects the new studio with the existing house. Butterfly Chairs from Angelucci. Photo – Ben Hosking. Styling – Andy at Studio Moore.

Office nook with Stool from Safari Living.Photo – Ben Hosking. Styling – Andy at Studio Moore.

A series of full height concealed sliding doors act as walls that can section off the bedroom from the hallway and living space as required. Stool from District.Photo – Ben Hosking. Styling – Andy at Studio Moore.

Because this is a self-contained studio, this sitting room has multiple functions. It is used as a dining space, office, lounge room and overflow area when entertaining. It is a beautiful place to sit in the morning sun and overlooks the adjacent lawn and outdoor area. Artwork by Hannah Fox. Photo – Ben Hosking. Styling – Andy at Studio Moore.

The hallway sequence includes a concealed powder room and staircase to the lower level garage. A series of full height concealed sliding doors act as walls that can section off the bedroom from the hallway and living space as required. Photo – Ben Hosking. Styling – Andy at Studio Moore.

The use of natural timbers throughout the interior add a lovely warmth to the studio whilst also referencing the feature external timber framed windows and doors. Photo – Ben Hosking. Styling – Andy at Studio Moore.

Arrival sequence. The form of the new studio complements the existing house, and as a pair these buildings provide an enticing arrival sequence. The scale of the studio is quite dominating up close, and reduces in scale gradually as one enters further into the property. Photo – Ben Hosking. Styling – Andy at Studio Moore.

Ensuite in the new studio. A series of handmade concrete benchtops are located throughout the studio, for their warmth and robustness. The wall is made of charcoal bricks which is naturally heated by the sun in winter from a series of high-level north facing windows above. Photo – Ben Hosking. Styling – Andy at Studio Moore.

The bedroom is centrally located within the studio and provides a comfortable place to rest. The black, external timber cladding is continued throughout the interior which creates a dramatic and sophisticated mood. Photo – Ben Hosking. Styling – Andy at Studio Moore.

The bedroom is centrally located within the studio and provides a comfortable place to rest. A small study nook can become a place to work from home, whilst also providing a breakout space for quiet reading and reflection. Art Photograph by Ben Hosking, bed linen from Cultiver and Basket from Safari Living. Photo – Ben Hosking. Styling – Andy at Studio Moore.

The front elevation from street level is quite understated, and purposefully gives little away as to the scope of the project beyond. I have a preference in my designs to create a sense of privacy and provide an arrival sequence that slowly reveals the individual characteristics of a site and design. Photo – Ben Hosking. Styling – Andy at Studio Moore.

The entry hall runs the length of the studio and acts as the service spine to the building. A series of concrete benches run along this wall, which is made of charcoal bricks naturally heated by the sun in winter from a series of high-level north facing windows above. Rug from Living Etc. Photo – Ben Hosking. Styling – Andy at Studio Moore.

Photography – courtesy of Rob Ashby. Styling – Andy at Studio Moore.

Lucy Feagins
Friday 8th December 2017

Design and construction are in Rob Ashby’s blood – his father was a builder, and he has fond memories of growing up on and around building sites. ‘This upbringing gave me an invaluable insight to some of the complexities involved with the construction process, and led me to a career as an architect,’ he explains.

After commuting three-hours a day to Melbourne for seven years, in 2015 Rob took the leap of faith and established his own practice. He now works from his home-base in Anglesea on the Surf Coast of Victoria.

The Point Lonsdale Studio project came about when previous clients from Melbourne purchased a beach house in Point Lonsdale, which required a new, self-contained studio building for friends and family to come and stay.

Rob’s concept was based around a simple idea of connecting the two buildings via a large north-facing outdoor area. ‘It was important to me and the clients that the new building respected the existing home’s form and aesthetic, whilst also commanding its own understated presence on the site,’ Rob explains. In addition to the distinctive black, vertical timber cladding of the existing house, the key material and linking element of the studio was the use of charcoal coloured bricks, selected to reflect an existing brick fireplace in the adjacent main living area of the original house.

‘I was keen to explore the idea of a dark building: obviously in response to the existing building, but also to explore the idea of blurring the line between internal and external spaces,’ Rob explains. He was also motivated by the challenge of designing a small footprint building with an internal feeling of spaciousness. This was realised through a 4.7-metre-high hallway, with high-level north facing windows.

Being the first project he has designed and managed solo since launching his own practice, the Point Lonsdale Studio has reaffirmed for Rob the importance of relationships – particularly when it comes to home design. ‘It was a wonderful project for many reasons, but ultimately it reiterated to me the value and importance of a good client-architect relationship,’ the designer says. ‘The clients were fantastic. They were hands-on enough to be closely involved in all aspects of the process, whilst instilling full trust in me.’ As a reflection of their support of his practice, Rob’s client also recently nominated him for an architectural services award (he received a special commendation!).

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