St Vincent’s Place

B.E Architecture

The client approached B.E Architecture with a Victorian terrace home in St Vincent’s Place, Albert Park, Melbourne that was one of a series of three terraces owned for many years by an order of Christian nuns. Through years of misdirected renovations, the internal structure of the building needed to be fully removed and rebuilt from the ground up, leaving only the facade to be retained.

The client sought a building that would contain a new version of the original building’s front three rooms leading into an additional modern extension towards the rear. The client saw the value in all aspects of the project being integrated; the architecture, landscape, interior design, furniture and a new art collection. Rather than feel daunted by it, the client embraced the project and wanted to be involved in all aspects of the build to understand the thinking process behind the decisions that were being made rather than a desire to ‘direct’. The journey of the project took nearly five years from the first meeting until completion.

This project provided a unique opportunity for many details to be designed, developed and built from the ground up – including sanitary items, tiles, light fittings and furniture. It is rare for an architect to have an opportunity to go on such a journey with a client who has the imagination and courage to complete such a project.

As a modern renaissance home, the St Vincent’s Place Residence is a new archetype developed through reinterpretation of classical references with a modern sensibility. The client, as a patron, put his belief in architecture, artists and artisans to create a nourishing environment that goes beyond surface treatments by inscribing contemplative experiences into the physical form. St Vincent’s Place redefines the concept of what a period house could be and how its details could be reinterpreted to add relevance to our contemporary way we live.

Furniture: B&B Italia (Space Furniture), Knoll (Dedece), Macguire (Cavit & Co.), Maruni (Luke Furniture), custom (B.E Architecture), vintage, O’Gormans. Lighting: Est Lighting, Artemide, Oluce and Flos (Euroluce), custom, vintage. Finishes: Eco Outdoors, Inax (Artedomus), Bord, Signorino Tiles, Graniteworks. Fittings & Fixtures: Gaggenau, Sub Zero, Wolf, Fisher & Paykel, Brodware, Agape (Artedomus), Eco Outdoors, Rogerseller, Pittella, custom.

Photography: Derek Swalwell