Casa Atrio by Biasol

  • Biasol show us distinguished European style in a Melbourne home by paying tribute to its Italian-inspired heritage with classic French design.

    The European influence in Biasol’s work is plain to see. But why? A little while ago we sought an answer, when we sat down for a chat with director of the Melbourne firm Jean-Pierre Biasol. We learned it had developed from both his Italian background and experiences in the epicentre of the design world (Europe). So it makes perfect sense that Jean-Pierre and his team were asked to lead the design intervention of an Italianate-style terrace.

    With the Italian name to match, it’s clear Casa Atrio is proud of its heritage bones and how they’ve been preserved. The Victorian-era home is from a time characterised by the ornate and unique to Melbourne, fuelled by the prosperity of the gold rush in the late nineteenth century. But the home’s not hanging onto the past – rather letting a family take pleasure in the light, connection and added plant-life brought about by the steel-frame openings. Thanks to Biasol, it dabbles in the elegant detailing of a classic Parisian apartment, custom furniture and plenty of spaces to gather.

    According to Jean-Pierre, the team were engaged to create a light, spacious and inviting home for a young Melburnian family “who enjoy the inner-city lifestyle and have a strong appreciation for history, architecture and design”. This was to be done according to the regulation of a heritage overlay that protects the entire row of Italianate-style terraces with “decorative parapets and ornate cast-iron lacework”. This was no worries for Biasol, who have polished the “bygone beauty” of the Italianate facade and extended this European air to the French-inspired interiors.

    To address the lack of light terraces often suffer from, Biasol architecturally conceived the home into three sections that ensure sunlight at various times of the day. Skylights are part of this mission, as are the floor-to-ceiling steel frame doors, that are apart of a pitched-roof extension that connects the open plan living with the outdoors. From the other side of the kitchen, a glass atrium welcomes foliage reminiscent of the work of famed European architects David Thulstrup and Hans Verstuyft. The atrium cleverly opens up the centre of the house to provide views between the kitchen and staircase to the children’s bedroom upstairs.

    “The light-filled home has the charm of a classic Parisian apartment with elegant detailing, custom furniture and spaces for family and friends to gather.”

    – Director of Biasol, Jean-Pierre Biasol

    While light warms the abode to no end – it’s also the material palette that is to credit for this feeling. Aside from the sheer curtains that soften the light source, the clean and classic Parisian interior details are obvious throughout; wall panelling – that creates depth and dimension in the narrow space, herringbone timber flooring, chevron-pattered marble in the bathroom as well as brass and black-metal fixtures and fittings. Everything seems like an elegant extension of the other, like the white Vola mixer on the Kitchen island, that appears like a sculptural extension of the marble.

    What we’re big fans of in Casa Atrio is the custom-designed elements – revealing the kind of craftsmanship Biasol are known for. Jean-Pierre says they custom-designed interior elements as freestanding pieces “true to European style”. This is best seen in the kitchen, that Jean-Pierre says has “the sense of being a furniture piece rather than built-in joinery with cupboards framing the benchtop and appliances; the rangehood integrated into the bench to maximise storage and seamless surfaces”.

    We’re also excited to see Biasol debut their own furniture collection launched this year, designed and manufactured in Melbourne. The Tondo mirror in the bedroom is apart of their collection, complementing the custom-built side tables and velvet-finished bedhead in the master bedroom. The custom-designed nine-seater dining table is in the company of design classics in the living area; Iva Stool by Grazia & Co, the Pianca Abaco coffee tables from Meizai and the Gubi Beetle Dining Chairs from Cult Design.

    Biasol have truly taped into their goal for “design beyond expectation”. The charming Casa Atrio has it all – spacious and inviting for family life, celebrating a grand architectural legacy and the beauty of French design.

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