Williams Burton Leopardi's Own Studio in Adelaide | Yellowtrace

Williams Burton Leopardi's Own Studio in Adelaide | Yellowtrace

Williams Burton Leopardi's Own Studio in Adelaide | Yellowtrace

Williams Burton Leopardi's Own Studio in Adelaide | Yellowtrace

Williams Burton Leopardi's Own Studio in Adelaide | Yellowtrace

Williams Burton Leopardi's Own Studio in Adelaide | Yellowtrace

Williams Burton Leopardi's Own Studio in Adelaide | Yellowtrace

Williams Burton Leopardi's Own Studio in Adelaide | Yellowtrace

 

Williams Burton Leopardi (WBL) found the new home for their practice on a wander to the pub one day. The building, derelict and in need of some love, was covered in pigeon poo with stained walls and carpets. They had been looking, as architects are want to do, for a space that feels just right. The 100-year-old state heritage listed Darling Building has fitted the bill perfectly.

The Adelaide based practice wanted to create the perfect studio for themselves. It was to be a home away from home, a place where the majority of their time is spent, a space to be inspired and to inspire their clients and collaborators. They wanted to reflect the values of their work. They wanted it to juice up those creative vibes so they could create.

Often it’s the bones of a building that speak to you. The way the light filters through the windows. A detail here. A feeling of expansion when you imagine pulling a wall down there. The old building started to not just speak, but to sing to them. “We contrasted the gritty exposed building fabric with delicate and carefully detailed insertions, with a limited budget, the studio was opened up to maximise the wonderful light. Modest insertions of steel framed glazing, recycled 1920’s partitions and found objects set the scene, but not a salvaged aesthetic,” said the architects.

Their studio was a platform for them to demonstrate the reverence they have for history, how it can be amplified. Their strategy was to touch as little as possible and as much as necessary.

“Repair was celebrated, understanding that an object or space can more beautiful for having been broken, the ashes of gold throughout a nod to the Japanese art of kinsugi,” said the architects.

 

Williams Burton Leopardi's Own Studio in Adelaide | Yellowtrace

Williams Burton Leopardi's Own Studio in Adelaide | Yellowtrace

Williams Burton Leopardi's Own Studio in Adelaide | Yellowtrace

Williams Burton Leopardi's Own Studio in Adelaide | Yellowtrace

Williams Burton Leopardi's Own Studio in Adelaide | Yellowtrace

Williams Burton Leopardi's Own Studio in Adelaide | Yellowtrace

 

Their design process is both interactive and reclusive, knowing that inspiration can happen at the most opportune and random moments. The planning and layering of their space caters for this.

Internally, there are framed views of the connected spaces – from the front meeting rooms you look out to the cityscape. The light well allows an outlook to the sky and a window to the developing Adelaide Skyline.

When WBL discussed what they wanted their studio to feel like, they talked about the sensibility of a family Atelier. They wanted it to feel like the studio would be most at home in Italy, either in the rolling hills of Tuscany or a hidden laneway in Milan. Their vision was to nurture and evolve a studio and community that passionately believes beautifully crafted, deeply personal environments are the foundation of our lives.

WBL believe in small details, details that can make life memorable and inspiring. Their work builds connection through celebrating life’s daily rituals, creating environments that are distinctive to people and place, made intelligently and from the heart.

The end result is something breathtaking. It is beautifully detailed, reminiscent of a cool, inner-city hotel or a sophisticated wine bar. But it is the overarching warmth that the space exudes that makes this studio so special. It’s a space you might feel comfortable in to curl up on the couch and read a book. A space you might feel inspired to create within. It is indeed a home away from home, but no ordinary home. Each space has been carefully articulated and impeccably realised. It’s the type of space you wished you could live in as well as work in, making for a brief that’s been meticulously well filled.

 

Related: Stories on Design // Studios & Ateliers.

 

 


[Images courtesy of Williams Burton Leopardi. Photography by Christopher Morrison.]

 

About The Author

Susanna McArdle

Susanna has a background in Interior Architecture and a passion for writing. Based in Sydney, she has worked both in Asia and Australia designing. An avid writer, it’s hard to know what she prefers more, stringing words together or creating spaces. But one thing she does know, is that she loves doing the both together.

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