All buildings tell a story, from the architecture of ancient Rome to the skyscrapers that dot our modern horizons. Without this story, buildings would be simple boxes of pure function. In architecture, a residence is more than a simple shelter. It is a story of the people that live there, the relationships between them, and the living that occurs when a home is occupied. Armadale Residence is one such home. Designed by Australian firm B.E Architecture, Armadale Residence is a two-storey dwelling located in Melbourne. The home was designed for a couple who downsized from a larger family unit. The design balances between permanence and lightness, a nod to the human experience of dreaming while grounded in a single place.
On the exterior, the façade is an impressive arrangement of stone, 260 tons of granite to be exact. This granite is made surprisingly light by cantilevers which appear to be floating in air. The same stone continues on the interior, comprised into gorgeous details on the floors, counters, and walls. The result is a completely unified design—a narrative that connects the various elements together.
The impeccable craftsmanship in Armadale Residence elevates everyday living to gorgeous memorable moments. Some of the highlights are the staircase, the wall of retractable doors in the living room, the adjoining courtyard, and the extra-large master bath. The staircase sits at the centre of the home and tells a story of its own. Stairways often symbolise transitions, and can be very emotive. The skylight above the stairs provides illumination and allows the user an unobstructed view of the sky. When you rise on these stairs, you are experiencing not just the physical changing of height, but a spiritual ascending towards the sky.
Outside, the landscaping is particularly impactful. I love how it is fully incorporated with the home’s design, rather than added as an afterthought. This design allows for a seamless transition from interior to exterior, perfect for a home that treats outdoor spaces as key living areas. The many terraces and small gardens were designed in response to the client’s desire for green space without having the maintenance of a full yard. Of these green spaces, my favourite is the private Japanese garden. Outfitted with a natural stone path, mossy boulders, and a lovely outdoor shower, the garden is a peaceful oasis that transports one far from Melbourne. It is an unexpected element for an urban Australian home but personal touches like this add so much character to the residence.
Buildings are experiential, and in that experience stories emerge. Architecture gives a narrative to that experience. Armadale Residence proves that a home is so much more than a shelter, it is a place for living and a place for dreaming.