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The Righi by Whiting Architects

By • Feb 15, 2015

The Righi is a home designed by Whiting Architects in 2011.

It is located in Melbourne, Australia.

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The Righi by Whiting Architects:

“The brief comprised of an interior fit-out of works to wet areas & new built in joinery throughout. Some minor internal structural works were required to accommodate the interior remodelling works.

The intention is to produce an interior landscape using planes, screens and panels that don’t intersect. Long gestures to accentuate a quality of space. We wanted to keep the new elements low so as not to compete with the rather grand interior inherited.

The elements introduced into the building are ‘insertions’. As if you could fold up the screen panels, slide out the boxes and take them with you. Leaving the original building as it was. The permanence of the period building vs. the temporary / transient nature of modern renovation create an interesting duality which forms the basis of the design response.

We aimed to help the ‘inhabitant’, to ‘curate’ the space we helped create. That is: – we bring things to your ‘personal museum’ and you bring things, and arrange these things, display things, live in and move around within the space. We facilitated a ‘process of operation’ to help the client programme the way they lived, ate, slept, worked & relaxed, from the profound to the mundane, right down to making toast. In this context it became a very natural process, like nesting. It’s primal, and really there is no more important or profound thing than helping to make a home for a family.

It’s all about the interior interaction, not the façade. The interior is the thing that impacts, the architectural envelope is matter-of-fact in a way. The front room is very important for a number of reasons and the way it is set up is crucial to the flow of the overall space. The front room is the main point of entry so it should function well and look good. The backdrop of 7.5m x 2.4m H (24.6ft x 7.87ft) oak paneled wall with views out and across Richmond and back through the house to the back yard set up a great feeling of perspective.

The proposed glass French doors to the dining & informal living areas continue the view through to the back yard.

In the kitchen note the low ‘box’ with the sinks in it. They are in behind a 1.4m H (4.59ft) ‘screen’ so the stuff of food preparation is not seen. A practical stainless steel commercial style wet bench with integrated double bowl sink, bin and dishwasher under also formed part of the kitchen. A White stone bench top and splash back keep the work surfaces practical, low maintenance & neutral in the space. Cupboard doors house the toaster, tea, coffee and breakfast items (cereal, bread etc.) so it can be opened up open to facilitate the morning routine with a minimum of disruption & mess. The clients can sit around the central 900mm H (35.4in) bench individually or together. It works for the family or alone. It’s a great place to be, the centre of the house. Next to this is a white cook-top and oven with exhaust fan concealed above, built into the overhead section of this joinery unit. Next in line is the integrated refrigerator and freezer situated opposite the sinks, all very practical and also elegant.”

Photos by: Sharyn Cairns

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