Spray Farm is a 60-hectare property on the Bellarine Peninsula that was originally built in 1851. The current clients purchased it in 2014 and soon engaged interior designers Watts Studio to collaborate with Amiconi Architect on an art studio on the property.
Before starting the plans, the designers educated themselves on the history of the property – leafing carefully through archival photographs and documents, and salvaging discarded bluestone and bricks from an original outbuilding to re-use in the new design.
The final space had to be reflective the site’s heritage status, but also contemporary, with its own architectural attitude. ‘Proud but subservient to the homestead,’ describes interior designer and director of Watts Studio, Felicity Watts.
Barn-like in stature, the studio takes the shape of a traditional gabled outbuilding. A studio area for painting, a study area, kitchenette, powder room and a glasshouse are contained inside, the latter of which would open out to the kitchen garden. A wide verandah wraps the facade and reaches to the original homestead in a gesture of connection.
The interior brick walls are up to three metres high, allowing for double height ceilings and a pitched roof.
A muted colour and material palette was chosen for historical continuity – incorporating polished concrete floors, exposed brick walls, stainless industrial worktops and steel-framed windows.
The interior joinery (including the towering bookcase!) is made from American oak, while spotted gum battens cladding the exterior will weather over time and ease the structure into its pasture and Norfolk pines around it.
‘The intentionally minimal interior acts as a blank canvas for our client’s art practice and emphasises the surrounding outlook across the countryside. We didn’t want to over-complicate the design, rather focus on quality materials and refined details,’ says Felicity.
All in all, it’s a work of art!
See more projects by Watts Studio here.