In a socially significant heritage site in Abbotsford, DesignOffice created a showroom and private residence for the new owners of The Carringbush Hotel.
Having lived and worked in the area for nearly three decades, the clients wished for the site to retain its civic generosity, and for the pub to remain a key tenant. The original Collingwood Football Team Club Room on the ground floor was reimagined as a salon that could flex to showcase the client’s fashion collections, or host international guests and clients when required. The joinery, which makes the room work functionally, was conceived as a flexible piece of furniture, inserted into the heritage fabric of the room, while concealing a kitchenette, storage, fold-down bed and hidden entrance to the ensuite.
From the street entrance, the central stair defines the axis of the arrival sequence and the contemporary gloss steel balustrade is designed to read as a single sculptural element within the space. Inside, heritage components are defined by a restrained palette, with restored pine floors, natural white walls and ceilings, bordered by soft grey skirting and window frames. This is contrasted by thin steel portal frames in grey-green, articulating the considered rhythm of new openings in the existing central masonry wall.
Materials distinct from the original fabric are also present in the dressing room and bathroom, a pair of timber chambers. Oak veneer lined walls and ceilings paired with Bedonia stone floors, serve to mentally and visually remove these more private areas, enhancing the separation between work and home.
Rich with unexpected detail, the design finds opportunities to delight. Strategically placed windows, particularly a generous bathroom window framing the train tracks and the old painted Vickers Gin sign beyond, offer curated views which place its residents squarely within the locale they love.