An expansive home with intimate settings

Nickolas Gurtler Office redesigned the expansive dimensions of Elysium House, with an intimate atmosphere reminiscent of a true home, while seamlessly accommodating the cultural traditions of the clients’ Jewish faith.

  • An expansive home with intimate settings

Text by Saskia Neacsu

Formerly adorned in a monochromatic palette, Elysium House by Nickolas Gurtler Office is challenging the traditional ‘all black’ aesthetic favoured by Melbournians, by introducing vibrant golden and muted green tones through the remodel. This refreshing colour palette – inspired by the golden hues of the Elysium fields – paired with carefully curated finishing and ancient family antiquities, imbued the home with an elevated sense of warmth and humanity. The original home was cavernous, yet its scale was well-suited to the clients’ needs – to accommodate the cultural traditions of the clients’ Jewish faith.

The floorplan at Elysium House was designed for dual functions: amalgamating entertainment spaces for hosting cultural events with more intimate areas tailored for everyday living. The design precedents boutique hotel lobbies, to create an atmosphere that evokes a sense of warmth and hospitality, ensuring that the clients and their guests feel welcomed and at ease within the residence.

The configuration of the floorplan is open and flexible, and accommodates extended family gatherings, such as Shabbat.  The living area is anchored by a fireplace, that acts as the heart of the home. Golden hues demarcate the space: the living space is grounded by a golden, Elysium-inspired rug and counterbalanced by sculpted furniture, overlayered with a textural palette of Tiramisu marble, teak, velvet and leather.

The living room was designed with dinner parties in mind: the bespoke Pearl Onyx and walnut table seats 18 people, the enveloping sheer drapery diffuses natural light and a custom-designed raw quartzite and aged brass pendant by artisan lighting designer, Christopher Boots, floats like an illuminated piece of jewellery. Spanning five metres, the table was designed in-house, prefabricated and assembled on-site, where its slabs of rare Pearl Onyx were book-matched to create a seamless finish.

New life was breathed into the existing kitchen, with inky black cabinetry and a Jurassic-leathered marble island, while a large, volcanic tub and patinated Knoll planter table elevated the bathroom. The master bedroom was reimagined and imbued with custom furniture from local Australian manufacturers and forest hues, to make the space feel more personal to the owners.  

The overall lifecycle of Elysium House was considered when reimaging the space, as it was imperative to minimise the waste. Australian furniture and lighting pieces from Daniel Boddam, Henry Wilson and Lost Profile Studio support the local design economy while mitigating the energy consumption associated with international product shipping. The finishes improve acoustics, while the eclectic curation of furniture fosters an evolving mix of pieces — from mid-century collectables to treasured family heirlooms. The drapery and carpets improve the home’s thermal performance, reducing energy usage over the project’s lifespan.

Elysium House was an entry in 2023 INDE.Awards, which included categories relative to The Interior Space, The Building and more – entries for the 2024 INDE.Awards are now open.

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