Dusk House by Madeleine Blanchfield Architects

  • Madeleine Blanchfield Architects’ Dusk House is an elegant and quiet celebration of passing time, emotion and shadow.

    A once unassuming single-storey house has been thoughtfully transformed into a tranquil and evocative family home. Through a series of juxtapositions, ‘Dusk House’ by Madeleine Blanchfield Architects embraces light and dark, play and rest and indulgence and restraint.

    The kitchen island takes the form of a cube with Calacatta Oro (gold) on all faces.

    Before its transformation into Dusk House, the mostly dark and cold 1960s residence with little architectural merit was home to a family of four. After deciding to undertake a substantial renovation, their brief was to bring warmth and light into the home and create a sense of openness, boldness and connectivity to otherwise unremarkable spaces. The family’s love of art and design also inspired the design approach.

    The site sits within a leafy, suburban locale. This provided the opportunity to create new focal points in the interior spaces together with new vistas and spatial layering within the home. The family enjoy large gatherings yet also enjoys intimate time together, so the house needed to be flexible, offering both expansive and cosy spaces.

    “Working with the existing plan, we wanted to bring clarity and a sense of order to the spaces,” Madeleine Blanchfield Architects founder and director Madeleine Blanchfield says. A series of glass sliding doors aligned to enable the house to be completely open or closed off into more intimate spaces, depending on the time or mood. The glass also enables light to reach the previously dark and disconnected central spaces of the home. Large windows, visual connections and a new void to a second level transformed the rooms into voluminous spaces. “Light plays a crucial role in our work, and we thought a lot about its reflective quality upon different finishes, textures and tiles as we designed,” Madeleine says.

    The client was very interested in using colour and texture within a refined interior layout, so the material palette was always going to be rich and warm. Dark timber and textured glass bring an inherent sophistication to the space, while white polished plaster and refined detailing engender a natural sense of calm.

    In the living room, a pair of Jardan Joy lounge chairs and a Madeleine Blanchfield Architects organic coffee table rest on an Armadillo rug. On top of the coffee table is a Clementine Maconachie Carved sculpture. To the right is a Zanotta Quaderna bench, beneath an artwork by Ryan Hoffmann.

    The Baxter Nepal armchair sits up at a custom walnut veneer dressing table.

    Viabizzuno Roy wall lights are affixed to the leather headboard.

    The kitchen is a focal point of innovative design in the home. The design team worked together with joinery and stone fabricators to create a perfect alignment of seamless panels and joints which can be seen on the altar-like marble island, where each face is book-matched – after a model of the piece was set up using photos of the slabs before being made on site. The home’s powder rooms were a blank canvas for playfulness, with Cipollino marble and deep sea-foam green walls offering a surprise for guests.

    “Light and simplicity are fundamental to everything we do, and this is reflected in the quiet atmosphere of the Dusk House,” Madeleine says. “Beyond that, we treat each project as an opportunity to showcase the client’s personality and character.”

    This piece originally appeared in est magazine issue #44.

    Onsite Casa handmade pearl grey bricks and Concordia honed marble bring colour and texture into the primary bathroom, complemented by ‘Brown bronze’ Astra walker tapware.

    The client was open to playing with colour and materials. The powder room makes a statement with green Lavazza honed stone and emerald green walls. The Michael Anastassiades sconce and Astra Walker tap appear as jewel-like accents.

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