Behind an unassuming heritage facade on a tree-lined street in Albert Park lies Robson Rak’s latest home transformation. Far from a straightforward alteration and addition, reimagining this family home involved addressing both the existing weatherboard home and former stables at the rear.
A contemporary insertion marks the meeting place for both structures. Voluminous, drenched in sunlight and dotted with eclectic art, Robson Rak’s intervention is entirely unique, challenging the status quo on how to work within the constraints of the old.
Robson Rak were asked to create a place of sanctuary, for a busy family who spends the majority of their year travelling overseas for work. The family requested pared-back, low maintenance and comfortable interiors, that allowed them to feel removed from their inner-city locale. They also wanted their home to feel highly personal and gallery-like, with consideration given towards providing space to display their established art collection.
Creating a fluid internal environment was no easy feat for Robson Rak. Tasked with merging together the cottage, stables and glass connection, Robson Rak had to ensure these distinct forms and styles presented a coherent dialogue.
“We welcomed the opportunity to create a contemporary new chapter for this former dairy-stables while embracing the internal form of the gabled roof,” the firm explains. “The house required significant interior alterations to open it up and create a cohesive, functional layout that connected the weatherboard cottage with the brick stables to the rear of the property.” Externally, most of the heritage features were retained, but internally, the home represents an exciting new era.
The Albert Park home is shaped around a central courtyard that’s concealed from the street. Robson Rak aimed to balance a sense of privacy and openness in the new insertion, through specific glazed openings. An entire side of the new extension is floor-to-ceiling glazing that opens up onto the outdoor area, while Robson Rak have made considered openings in the old stables, to welcome natural light.
Each space surrounding the central courtyard speaks to the other through natural stone, in both the stairs, the flooring and the joinery – including the kitchen bench. Together with a restrained colour palette, white walls and timber cabinetry, Robson Rak has allowed the internal and external spaces to flow into one another.
The unique qualities of this home are enhanced by Robson Rak’s approach to the interiors. Injecting their usual sense of personality through art, the firm also makes its signature mark through distinctive soft furnishings.
A Halycon Lake rug makes an appearance on the stone floors of the living space, with the Glove Up armchair by Patricia Urquiola for Molenti&C from Hub Furniture and the Gentry Light sofa by Patricia Urquiola for Moroso. Lighting is of the same calibre, with the String light by Michael Anastassiades for Flos from Euroluce in the library and Lampadaire Droit floor lamp by Serge Mouille from Cult Design in the living area. Outside, Robson Rak introduced the Poncho armchairs by Lucidi & Pevere from Space Furniture and Matera tables by Paola Navone for Baxter from Criteria Collection.Clean lines and exceptional detailing define Robson Rak’s approach to designing a minimal yet luxurious family home. Going against the grain of the typical heritage intervention, Robson Rak’s Albert Park home is refreshingly unorthodox – enlivened by architectural finesse, a fluid atmosphere and an enviable art collection.