Perfect Storm by Matt Woods

  • Designer Matt Woods introduces us to an intimate, yet functional re-design of an inner Sydney warehouse, shaped by Brutalist ideals.

    Whether you’re a lover or a loather of Brutalist design there’s no doubting its long-standing influence over the design world. Informing some of the most influential buildings of all time from the Barbican Centre and Trellick Tower in London, the Breuer Building in New York City to the ESC Pompéia in São Paulo.

    It’s simple, honest aesthetic and preference over raw materials (namely concrete) creates a distinctly ‘pure’ monolithic form of design that often goes hand-in-hand with functionality, affordability and sustainability ideals. Three very reasons that informed boundary-pushing interior designer Matt Wood’s latest Sydney residential apartment; Perfect Storm.

    Brutalist architecture throughout the world seems to spark both passion and disdain in equal measures. The term Brutalist originates from the use, by the pioneering, modern architect and painter Le Corbusier, of ‘beton brut’ meaning raw concrete in French.

    This concrete-like-bunker apartment was shaped by the homeowners who craved a home that was free from “stuff” and stripped back to its minimalist basics. To the point of being utilitarian, this mezzanine apartment in NSW’s Camperdown suburb acts as a celebration of its local industrial heritage.

    Woods has pragmatism front of mind, which means each design decision has been rooted in a practice of sustainability, resulting in a materials palette that is not only environmentally minded; including VOC-free finishes, strict use of FSC timbers this is also paired with a construction process that was streamlined to minimise waste.

    Rendered using Porter’s Paint French Wash, the containing, concrete-look walls set the foundation for a pared-back and minimal interior. Playing against this dark and austere palette, the loft is saturated with light from a full height, glazed wall. Textural elements also play a big role in building interest and homely warmth. The fluted timber joinery and accents of brass create warmth in both the kitchen and bedroom and the thoughtfully curated selection of furniture and objects adds to the home’s precise nature.

    A luxuriously plush RC&D rug sits underneath a curved seafoam green Valley sofa by Jardan Furniture while a Bollo chair in tan leather by Fogia for Fred International adds an organic, feminine softness to an otherwise masculine space. Echoing this fluidity are the curved walls and geometric details found throughout.

    The Perfect Storm apartment by Matt Woods proves there is beauty to be found in brutalism. However polarising it may be, this compact Sydney loft is a concrete example of how together, the right elements can converge to create the perfect (pragmatic) storm.

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