This circa 1870 apartment in the heart of Melbourne’s CBD was originally a dressmakers’ factory, before being divided into units in the 1980s. Ten years after originally purchasing this apartment, the owners engaged Melanie Beynon of Melanie Beynon Architecture (formerly of Meme Design, under which this project was completed) to finally overhaul its defined rooms, low light and minimal air movement. ‘They weren’t enjoying the living experience and saw there was potential to improve it,’ says Melanie. ‘We saw the opportunity to open out the space and embrace the heritage of the building.’ It was Melanie’s vision to strip back elements added in the 1980s renovation, and focus on the space’s interesting combination of Victorian and industrial features.
Drawing on New York City loft apartments for inspiration, Melanie designed a more open space, with partitions instead of walls to define zones. A large sliding glass screen divides the master bedroom and built-in robe from the living areas to allow a degree of privacy, while introducing a dynamic play of light and movement. High ceilings, solid timber doors, and exposed brick add further visual interest, alongside powder coated metals softened by stained timbers and the stone bench tops tops.
While adding a balcony to the apartment was unfortunately not allowed, Melanie’s design activates the apartment’s windows and doors to better embrace the adjacent laneway.
With the best of Melbourne’s CBD literally on this apartment’s doorstep, we can safely call this space an inner-city dream!