The St Vincent’s Place Residence in Albert Park is a prime example of what is possible when dream client meets ambitious architect. The stunning heritage conversion is also a perfect case study in moving slowly, in order to achieve an outcome of the highest order! Andrew Piva of B.E Architecture explains that the client wanted a house ‘that would not date and… that would challenge him on different levels.’
The relationship between client and architects developed over a three year period, which allowed for ideas to flourish and a fully resolved outcome to be delivered. Andrew describes the client as a ‘patron’ who ‘put his belief in architecture, artists and artisans to create a nourishing environment that goes beyond surface treatments.’ This is evident in the richness of the property, where additional details reveal themselves with every glance through the rooms.
In marrying the heritage façade with modern addition, the architects were eager to create a cohesive space which didn’t feel overrun with bold elements, distracting from the overall aesthetic and experience. Andrew highlights, ‘the palette at St Vincent was not understated, but while there is something to look at everywhere, it is also easy to not look at anything – in regards to everything seeming to be in balance.’ There is no hierarchy between art, architecture and furniture – a case of interiors democracy in action!
One element which helped to provide a framework for details to be layered around is the conceptual light work Heaven is a place where nothing ever happens by Nathan Coley. This artwork was purchased prior to the final design of the house, and informed three storey light well which bathes the home in warmth.
The home is layered with artisanal and commissioned elements, including terrazzo stone floors, painted timber ceilings, bluestone walling, curved granite tiles and custom made Perspex boxes to house the client’s extensive medical library. Not surprisingly, the varied layers of this home, and enviable collection of art, furniture and objects are matched by the swag of architectural awards this project has received!