A Mindful, Minimal Take On Modernist Design

There are several clear influences that underpin the Ruxton Rise Residence – a recently built home by Studiofour.

Located in Beaumaris, a bayside Melbourne suburb once dominated by mid-century homes, Studiofour saw the opportunity to draw on the area’s architectural heritage in the design. ‘Creating a new home within this area should be deemed a privilege, and should pay respect to this architectural history,’ says Sarah Henry, co-director at Studiofour. ‘Taking cues from the local mid-century homes, our solution sought to demonstrate that by maintaining a small footprint, we could deliver a high-quality building that relied on authentic, honest materials and construction techniques.’

The clients saw this home not only as a physical structure, but as an expression of their values: family, health and integrity. Taking these principles into account, Studiofour’s design explores what is required for a young family to live minimally and mindfully. One of the key aims was to help simplify domestic tasks required in family life, enabling the owners more time for what brings them joy and meaning. ‘All importance was placed on this quality of experience, rather than any visual statement,’ says Sarah. 

The resulting minimalist interiors are a further reflection of these desires, as well as Studiofour’s commitment to sustainability. ‘Minimalism was not directly pursued as an aesthetic, but rather as an outcome to our stance on sustainability,’ explains Studiofour co-director Annabelle Berryman. ‘Our strategy is to always ensure only the essential spaces are provided.’

As with many of Beaumaris’ mid-century homes, priority was placed on the creation of outdoor areas, and integrating the landscape into the design. Instead of looking to a large backyard, this home’s primary focus is inward towards a central courtyard. ‘The interior courtyard garden is treated like an extra room inside the home – a space to read, listen to music, or sit in the sun,’ says Sarah. By positioning the major outdoor space internally, the clients are awarded with a strong landscape presence as desired, as well as a high degree of privacy.

At its core, this is a home that enriches everyday experiences. The design was led by the fundamental principle that simplicity enables idleness, and time spent idle makes for a healthier state of mind.  ‘When we are idle, we want less and are more at peace when we get it,’ says Sarah. ‘The planning of the home was designed to lead to longer conversations, more intimate memories, and closer relationships.’ 

See more Studiofour projects here.


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