Considerations of space and dimension become all the more important when tackling something like an apartment. And often, a return to the idea of ‘less is more’ is called for to create a finish that is striking while still feeling simple and practical (not an easy balance to master). That said, it is something that architect Will Smart of Wolveridge has managed deftly here, redesigning a three-bedroom Melbourne apartment through a more sleek, contemporary lens and using brands like Fisher & Paykel to create spaces that are not only fit for purpose but that have been designed for liveability and comfort.
Set in Melbourne’s leafy St Kilda, and boasting incredible views over Fawkner Park, the Parkside apartment is a study in opulent minimalism. Here, the architects were driven by a desire to open the interiors up to maximise light and views while focusing on strengthening the connections between spaces and optimising their flow. All of the rooms here are connected by a soft grey ‘spine’ of joinery, which moves throughout to accommodate a new bar, walk-in laundry and extra storage. On one side of the spine are the apartment’s shared spaces, on the other are the bedrooms, and the way it has been built immediately draws the eye to the home’s ample windows and extraordinary park views beyond.
Bespoke cabinetry introduces the idea of gentle curvature, with similar shapes repeated in the apartment’s carefully-curated furnishings, art pieces and other significant details like fluted timber and a curved marble kitchen bench. Here, between the undulating marble in the kitchen, the neutral colour palette, lime-washed walls and blonde herringbone flooring, the apartment offers a warm, textural experience, and an overarching sense of calmness that one can only imagine would be heavenly to return home to after a long day.
This idea carries over from the apartment’s aesthetic and into its more practical spaces too, where a sense of simplicity and minimalism dictated which appliances would be best suited to the space. “We’ve been working with Fisher & Paykel for a number of years now,” says Smart. “One of the things we’ve enjoyed as the appliance ranges have evolved, is the ability to be flexible with what we place, where we place it, how we integrate it, and how we group things.” It is thanks to Fisher & Paykel’s innovative approach to appliances (one that considers the look and feel of a space as much as its long-term use) that made this brand the obvious choice for an apartment of this calibre.
In the kitchen, a Fisher & Paykel Column refrigerator, freezer and drop door dishwasher have been carefully integrated into the cabinetry, playing perfectly into its pared-back look. The architects also opted for twin minimal-style ovens with companion push-to-open warming drawers that align with induction and gas cooktops, as well as an integrated range hood.
Ultimately, the Parkside apartment kitchen offers a masterclass in clever design, where the appliances make it as equipped for serious cooking as it is for easy entertaining. Here, the designers have ensured that a compact footprint needn’t require compromise on style or usability by flooding the kitchen with natural light, tucking practical tools and appliances behind cabinets and creating an automated window that opens the serving bench out to the balcony directly.
Elsewhere, Fisher & Paykel appliances have been used in the apartment’s walk-in laundry, where a front loader washing machine and heat pump dryer create an easy-to-use set-up. Hidden behind subtle doors, the laundry was the result of some deft spatial Tetris by the architects, who wanted to ensure that it was its own, separate space without impacting the apartment’s uninterrupted lines. It also boasts a sustainable edge. “In terms of the dryer, we were able to put forward some options to the client around the benefits of the heat pump,” Smart explains, “sustainability and not needing to connect to ducting or an exhaust fan to vent the space made [the Fisher & Paykel dryer] an easy choice.”
The Parkside apartment is an example of thoughtful architecture and the way in which carefully-chosen appliances can be used to maximise the potential of the space. It is an exceptional expression of layered minimalism. It’s easy to see why Smart and the architects at Wolveridge opted for Fisher & Paykel when considering how best to elevate both the apartment’s look and its workflow, too.