Small Grand Apartment

Melbourne, Victoria
Completed in 2020
2020 architeam Winner – Small project medal
2022 House Awards Commendation – Apartment or Unit

Generosity where it counts makes a 50m2 apartment the perfect city getaway

Our client had purchased a ground floor one-bedroom apartment in the Grand Hotel in Melbourne’s CBD. It was poky and dark but had great bones and a charming garden outlook. As the former headquarters of the Victorian Railways, the Hotel had a proud civic façade and a graceful central staircase.

We set out to create a spare but generous and welcoming home for our client, celebrating the 1880s splendour of the building. First, we removed the half height partitioning walls to open the volume into an open plan kitchen and living-dining room. This ample new space allowed for flexible furniture configuration and garden views from our award-winning Drop Leaf Table, custom designed for this apartment. The fold-up dining table for two expands to six for entertaining when required.

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With countless eateries on the doorstep, our client wanted a kitchenette instead of a traditional kitchen. This meant we could provide ample storage, concealing appliances, and a full height pantry in the entryway keeping the home clutter free. Timber floors wrap up in a high kicker to warm the whites of the home; a cute concealed drawer houses the cat litter.

The elegant continuous kitchen benchtop conceals plumbing and curves into the hidden bathroom. We retiled, replaced the bath with a roomy shower, expanded the laundry facilities, and introduced gold tap and shower wear as a nod to the Hotel’s Gold Rush past.

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The narrow, windowless kitchen became the bedroom. Working with the confines of this room – just 2.6 metres wide – we replaced the bulky ceiling with an elegant timber vaulted ceiling embracing the existing arch of the doorway. A pull-down queen size Murphy bed with a full height mirror borrows light and views and creates an expansive walk in robe. The main wardrobe is accessible with the bed open or tucked away, giving our client complete flexibility. Customisable shelving alcoves either side of the bed head provide perfect access for book and bedding storage and reading lights, and a sense of spaciousness in what could have been a too-tight environment. Spatial intimacy and personalisation opportunities like this are the thoughtful touches that make a house of any size a home.

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