Project name: Armadale Residence

Location: Melbourne Australia

Date completed: December 2017

Interior designer: Rob Mills

Architect: Rob Mills Architects & Interiors

Developer: Rob Mills

Construction company: VCON

Armadale Residence presents the transformation of an industrial building into a generous, inspiring and sustainable multi-generational home for the architect and his extended family. The architect occupied this space for some years in advance of developing the design, familiarising himself with the volumes and becoming aware of the full potential for the forthcoming transformation. The brief was to create a multi-generational family home with two distinct living and to achieve a great quality of living, promoting well-being for each member of his family through the sensuality, detail, richness and beauty of its interiors.

The desire was to liberate the plan and achieve a holistic integration of the views and surrounding environment of the home with its interiors. The separation between the exterior environment beyond the perimeter and the main living spaces is intentionally blurred, unifying outside and inside. Armadale Residence brings commanding views of the spectacular park and associated district views into the daily lives of the occupants on every level of the home and in every room.  On each of the three levels, the design allows for the creation of multiple distinct environments, artfully combining private and shared spaces.

Managing natural and artificial light, orientation and sophisticated ventilation were critical. This minimised the need for heating and cooling, enhancing the occupant’s comfort despite all of Melbourne’s climactic eccentricities. Attention to the acoustic properties of the concrete slab and masonry walls, combine with effective insulation and engineered glazing to create an inner sanctuary where the occupants can celebrate silence and hear the sounds of nature from the adjacent parklands. The unique water course running from the exterior through the interior delights everyone who lives here, and also actively contributes to their psychological health and mindfulness.

Armadale House epitomises innovation in its transformation of former warehouse space into a five-bedroom family home with multi-purpose living spaces on a relatively small footprint of land – a new achievement in high density, urban living. However, Armadale House achieves much more than this through the consideration of its occupants and the precision of the design. It creates a new standard for great living with the utmost regard for its inhabitant’s well-being and happiness.

Armadale Residence could not have been achieved without the continuing collaboration of all of the architect’s trusted construction partners. The use of such traditional materials in a rigorously contemporary way is a hallmark of the architect’s approach – render, stonework, brass and joinery reflects the master craftsmanship developed over years of working together with extraordinary artisans of the trade.