Armadale Residence by b.e architecture | Yellowtrace
Photo by Peter Clarke.

Armadale Residence by b.e architecture | Yellowtrace
Photo by Derek Swalwell.

Armadale Residence by b.e architecture | Yellowtrace
Photo by Peter Clarke.

Armadale Residence by b.e architecture | Yellowtrace
Photo by Peter Clarke.

Armadale Residence by b.e architecture | Yellowtrace
Photo by Derek Swalwell.

Armadale Residence by b.e architecture | Yellowtrace
Photo by Derek Swalwell.

 

Armadale Residence is a stone paradox. This three-storey home in Melbourne has a rough, scale-like exterior skin made from 260 tonnes of bubbled dove grey granite – but even so, there’s still a resounding cloud-like softness to the hefty grit. It floats in its surrounds – sunlight refracts across the textured façade and blurs the hard, boxy lines of the house. It’s a pretty clever contradiction that makes the residence strong and striking without being stark and unfeeling.

The home is the work of Melbourne’s b.e architecture – and granite is a big feature from the outside in. Three different types are spread throughout: the exterior split-faced granite blocks run inside unifying outdoors and indoors, and while the materials are all substantial, when used together, there is evenness throughout the house. To achieve these sort of paradoxical hard slash soft surfaces, b.e integrated architectural detailing with fine craftsmanship by builders and stone masons. The stone has subtle variations and intricate details, and has been moulded to fit for different functions. The home pushes the boundaries of granite too – in the extra-large master ensuite is a seamless, smooth custom bath and basin were engineered from solid blocks of stone.

 

Armadale Residence by b.e architecture | Yellowtrace
Photo by Peter Clarke.

Armadale Residence by b.e architecture | Yellowtrace
Photo by Derek Swalwell.

Armadale Residence by b.e architecture | Yellowtrace
Photo by Derek Swalwell.

Armadale Residence by b.e architecture | Yellowtrace
Photo by Peter Clarke.

Armadale Residence by b.e architecture | Yellowtrace
Photo by Derek Swalwell.

Armadale Residence by b.e architecture | Yellowtrace
Photo by Derek Swalwell.

Armadale Residence by b.e architecture | Yellowtrace
Photo by Peter Clarke.

Armadale Residence by b.e architecture | Yellowtrace
Photo by Peter Clarke.

 

Each room has been purpose-built to meet the homeowner’s needs – a shared study, and then the lavish, spacious ensuite, which opens out onto a private outdoor shower and courtyard dotted with Japanese maples. There’s a playfulness in the interiors too, making all the stone feel human and forgiving. The main living area has an eclectic mix of furnishings, combining classic designer items, vintage finds, and custom-made pieces. There’s also a custom 4m ring light made from hundreds of maroon, violet, olive, and snow coloured discs, and a series of perspex boxes, which double as a coffee table.

As well as a large custom built dining table made for entertaining, there is built-in olive green velvet sofa and large walk-in pantry. Layered over the top are artworks by David Noonan, Mark Hilton, Heather B. Swann, and Imants Tillers. These works were handpicked by b.e and installed in a way that might encourage conversation and add something different to the experience of the house.

 

 


[Images courtesy of b.e architecture. Photography by Derek Swalwell & Peter Clarke.]

 

About The Author

Sammy Preston

Sammy Preston is a writer, editor, and curator living in Sydney. Working especially within art and design, and then lifestyle and culture more broadly, Sammy is a senior writer at Broadsheet, and a contributing digital editor at Foxtel's Lifestyle platform. Sammy also contributes regularly to art and design press like VAULT Magazine, Art Collector, Art Edit, Habitus, and Indesign magazines. She's written art essays for MUSEUM, exhibition texts for Sophie Gannon Gallery, and has worked as an arts and culture editor for FBi Radio. In 2016, she worked as part of the editorial team for Indesign Magazine as digital editor during the publication's pivotal print and website redesign. Sammy was also the founding manager and curator of contemporary art space Gallery 2010—a curator-run initiative housed within a Surry Hills loading dock. The gallery hosted exhibitions with emerging and established artists from 2012 until 2016.

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