Material Closeup | Habitus Townhomes by DKO Architecture

  • Set foot inside the Habitus Townhomes designed by Melbourne firm DKO Architecture to see how a sensitive approach to contemporary material and form prompted a distinctive multi-residential design outcome. 

    Settled in the desirable inner-city suburb of South Melbourne, the Habitus Townhomes by DKO Architecture in collaboration with Beulah International are defined by their sensitivity to the site’s context and history. The industrial-inspired townhomes play on material, scale, and form to relay this deep understanding from the exterior to the rooftop terrace – to each of the five floors within.

    We spoke to DKO Architecture interior design associate Simone Tyson to learn more about designing textural, streamlined interiors and the importance of authentic details to the overall design intent. 

    Produced in partnership with Cosentino

    The Habitus Townhomes’ industrial context, as well as the site’s volcanic history, informed the interior palette.

    The Habitus Townhomes’ exterior immediately piques visual interest with its bronze aluminum detailing, precast concrete, and dark and textured masonry base. Deliberately chosen to reflect the site’s ‘industrial pedigree’, the warehouse-inspired building features saw-tooth roof forms and box frames.

    Inside, DKO Architecture pursued a palette that references the volcanic soil of Emerald Hill; the historic name for the suburb of South Melbourne in the mid-late 19th century. Simone says the tactile materials also link to South Melbourne’s quintessential Victorian terrace houses of the past. “This site context inspired the use of volcanic-looking stone types throughout the project,” Simone reflects. “In addition to the kitchen, material continuity is seamlessly synchronized in the bathrooms also, which have been purposefully designed as luxurious spaces of retreat,” she adds.

    DKO Architecture experimented with form in the kitchen, exploring the monolithic qualities of the solid Super White Natural Stone by Cosentino, combined with the rich and tactile timber joinery. On the central island, the natural stone cantilevers over the timber to create an ideal breakfast spot.

    To balance the need for natural light with privacy, DKO Architecture introduced fluted glass steel frame doors in the kitchen and bathrooms. The kitchen features Gaggenau appliances.

    Finely-detailed timber joinery and flooring wrap the Super White Natural Stone slabs by Cosentino in the kitchen. Simone says they worked on a sculptural kitchen design – so the island was more of a piece of furniture within the space. “The large marble slabs worked with this idea to create a statement and a strong language of luxury,” she maintains. Premium Anthracite Gaggenau appliances further elevate the kitchen experience. 

    Stepping into the bathroom, DKO Architecture set out to create a calm and welcoming atmosphere. Specifying the same Super White Natural Stone by Cosentino as seen in the kitchen, an entire wall of natural stone envelopes the freestanding bath in the master ensuite. The monochrome scheme in this space is smooth and polished, underpinned by all-black bathroom fixtures. “Mirrored cabinetry and floor-to-ceiling smoked mirror walls also add a sense of layered depth and spaciousness,” Simone maintains. 

    When asked why DKO Architecture insisted on using natural materials in the Habitus Townhomes, Simone says they felt it was important to specify materials that were authentic. “Not only is the stone used in the kitchens and bathrooms beautiful and of high-quality, but it will age gracefully over time,” she says. 

    Explore Cosentino Natural Stone in the est Product Library here.

    A floating vanity conceals bathroom clutter while increasing the sense of space.

    “Tactile materials link historically to the site’s volcanic origin and Victorian terrace houses of the past. This site context inspired the use of volcanic-looking stone types throughout the project.”


    – DKO Architecture Interior Design Associate Simone Tyson

    The monochrome master ensuite, with a Super White Natural Stone wall by Cosentino and a freestanding bath, becomes a private sanctuary.

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