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An Off-The-Plan Family Apartment Unlike Any Other

Homes

As housing becomes increasingly precarious in Australia, and environmentally unsustainable urban sprawl fails to provide equitable access to jobs, education, transport – designers, planners and thinkers are re-thinking building design, for more community-minded cities.

Pino Demaio was a co-founder of Assemble and Assemble Papers, who worked with Wulff Projects and Icon Developments to create 122 Roseneath St. Now, as founder of Matters Journal and Local Peoples, Pino lives in one of the off-the plan apartments he helped to develop. Pino shares this creative and practical home with partner Georgie Cleary (co-founder and creative director of alpha60) and their children Wren (6) and Mae (3).

29th May, 2019

Inside the Rosneath Street apartment of Pino Demaio, Georgie Cleary and their little kids Wren (6) and Mae (3). Pino was a co-founder of Assemble and Assemble Papers, and worked with Wulff Projects and Icon Developments to create 122 Roseneath St where the family now live. Couch from Open Room. Artwork by Sol LeWitt. Ceramics by Alterfact. Dining table designed by Georgie in collaboration with and made by AKWT, painted in a Dulux Chalk Finish paint. Patricia Piccinini ‘Lizzy’ sculpture from Tolarno Galleries. Photo – Caitlin Mills. Styling – Annie Portelli.

Even the kids’ dining area is chic! Cooking pot from Hub General Store. Photo – Caitlin Mills. Styling – Annie Portelli.

Kitchen details. Cooking pot from Hub General Store. Other kitchen knick-knacks from Cibi concept store. Photo – Caitlin Mills. Styling – Annie Portelli.

A clever sliding door opens up another living space (closing it off from little hands when needed!), filled with pieces from couple’s extensive collection of art and special objects. Whalebone found by Pino’s dad at the tip in the 70s. Simone Karras brown pot from Pepite. Shelf/desk wall designed in collaboration with and made by AKWT painted in a Dulux Chalk Finish paint. Photo – Caitlin Mills. Styling – Annie Portelli.

Just a casual Patricia Piccinini ‘Lizzy’ sculpture from Tolarno Galleries hanging out on the dining room table! Photo – Caitlin Mills. Styling – Annie Portelli.

A stunning cylindrical dining room table and stools designed by Georgie in collaboration and made by AKWT and painted with Dulux Chalk Finish paint. Patricia Piccinini ‘Lizzy’ sculpture from Tolarno Galleries. Photo – Caitlin Mills. Styling – Annie Portelli.

Pino and Georgie. Artwork by Dorothy Napangardi. Kate Jones ceramic planter. Artwork by Brendan Huntley from Tolarno Galleries. Photo – Caitlin Mills. Styling – Annie Portelli.

Shelf/desk wall designed in collaboration with and made by AKWT painted in a Dulux Chalk Finish paint. Ceramics on top shelves made by Georgie at age 12. Kate Jones ceramic planter. Mark Alsweiler statues. Photo – Caitlin Mills. Styling – Annie Portelli.

Curtains enclosing the kids’ shared bedroom feature drawings by Wren and Mae. Painting by Jeppe Hein from NGV Design Store. Photo – Caitlin Mills. Styling – Annie Portelli.

Simone Slee sculpture from Sarah Scout Gallery. Brendon Huntley painting. Baskets from Pan After. Photo – Caitlin Mills. Styling – Annie Portelli.

Mae and Wren’s shared bedroom, with objects gifted by friends and family. Photo – Caitlin Mills. Styling – Annie Portelli.

Poster by Scottie Cameron commissioned for the cover of issue 3 of Matters Journal. Little piles of Matters Journal. KAWS statue from NGV Design Store. Planter from The Plant Society. Photo – Caitlin Mills. Styling – Annie Portelli.

Looking out over Clifton Hill. Photo – Caitlin Mills. Styling – Annie Portelli.

Georgie and Pino’s room. Artwork by Tim Hillier. Cork table from Open Room. Linen from I Love Linen. Photo – Caitlin Mills. Styling – Annie Portelli.

The balcony. HAY outdoor table from Open Room. Photo – Caitlin Mills. Styling – Annie Portelli.

Lucy Feagins
Wednesday 29th May 2019

Pino hopes to highlight the beauty, functionality and strong sense of community that can emerge from high-density living.

122 Roseneath St is a community of 49 apartments and 18 townhouses, in a converted Brutalist building in Clifton Hill. Designed to create shared community driven spaces and high-quality urban living, the project was delivered by Assemble, Wulff Project and Icon Developments – and was such a success that seven of the Assemble team ended up moving in!

Pino Demaio, who was a co-founder of Assemble and Assemble Papers, is one of those who placed his stamp of approval on the project by moving in, with partner Georgie Cleary (of alpha60) and their children. Pino now runs Local Peoples and Matters Journal, and his interests in placemaking, sustainable cities and urban density are equally reflected in his work and his home!

The Roseneath site was previously a combination of old factory warehouses spaces and a ‘really cool brutalist style concrete office space’ which Pino highlights is his ‘favourite architectural style.’ The new development carries half of the brutalist building into the new design, and introduces shared gardens, a communal workshop, and community spaces.

In addition to Pino and Georgie’s deep alignment with the philosophy of the development, what drew them to purchase an apartment was the glowing morning light, daily view of the local bats flying past, the proximity to Dights Falls, and the ‘lovely community around us.’

The family have only been in the apartment since August last year, but have quickly transformed the off-the-plan residence into a home. Pino describes their aesthetic as ‘hopefully creative’ and ‘practical and not fussy.’ Starting from a clean slate, the couple did feel a mild compulsion to fill the house with unnecessary ‘stuff’, but in the end have taken on a discerning approach, aiming to be ‘thoughtful about what we do and don’t need, and trying to reduce as much as we can.’ Unsurprisingly, given both of their incredibly successful creative pursuits, their home is filled with art, ceramics, furniture and design from local Melbourne creatives.

In sharing their stunning home, Pino hopes to highlight the beauty, functionality and strong sense of community that can emerge from high-density living. He emphasises, ‘we’re expecting the population of urban settings globally to grow by 3 billion people over the next 30 years, so its crucial we tell stories that highlight the challenges and possible solutions of this growth.’

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