Park Street, Brunswick

Located in Brunswick, Melbourne, on the traditional lands of the Wurundjeri Woi-wurrung People, this apartment reflects the postwar architectural elements, such as timber paneling, mosaic tiles, and terrazzo floors.

The owner, Alex Antoniadis, an urban planner and lover of postwar architecture, purchased an ordinary apartment and with a few modifications, turned it into a cozy and unique living space that complements the internal courtyard garden. In what attracted him to this location and building, Antoniadis explains, ‘the boom of residential complexes in the inner city is a special thread of Melbourne’s layered architectural history. This complex is nestled in a heritage precinct surrounded by Edwardian and Victorian dwellings, two of Melbourne’s iconic 19th century parks and the vibrant commercial strip Sydney Road.’

The living room and kitchen were merged by removing the internal wall to create an open living space that allows natural light to flow in. The timber feature wall provides a nice contrast between the TV unit and the popcorn ceiling while also framing the space. The balcony overlooks the internal courtyard and has a direct afternoon sunlight, making it an ideal place to relax. The balcony floor has rectangular burgundy tiles that match the original burgundy balcony balustrade.

The custom kitchen is clad in timber birch plywood that integrates an integrated fridge, one drawer, dishwasher washing machine, retractable table, and ample storage capacity. The kitchen dining space retracts in and out of the cupboard space to create a flexible area that can be used for other purposes. The bedroom has a large desk with an outlook to the internal courtyard, a queen-sized koala bed, and a full-sized wall-to-wall wardrobe with sliding doors.

The bathroom has the same fluted glass door as the bedroom to provide privacy and natural light. Sage green tiles were chosen for their color element, and the tiling from floor to ceiling makes the ceilings appear higher. The floating vanity unit contains drawers and storage above, and there are three panels of glass mirror with integrated storage behind.

In a world where demolishing older buildings is commonplace, adapting them to modern living is a sustainable and cost-effective solution. With their structural integrity and character, older buildings can provide unique living spaces that reflect the architectural elements of a particular era while being modern and comfortable. 

‘From my perspective, demolition of a building should be an absolute last resort and too often, particularly in Australian cities, demolition is viewed as a more cost effective solution. ‘

The renovation of this apartment in Brunswick is an excellent example of this approach and shows that it is possible to live in a stylish, sustainable, and comfortable home that reflects the history of a place.

Images by NeverTooSmall