How ioa studio transformed a ruin in Melbourne

In one year, ioa studio designers have transformed a boring office space that was once a pub into a warm home with a strong personality. Not only was the 150-year-old building in a deplorable state, but the budget for the reconstruction of the young studio was limited.

Read also: Revival of an apartment

Australian designers Amy Bracks and Miles Ritzmann-Williams of ioa studio began by soliciting free labor from family and friends, throwing out all the old rubbish, and removing the false ceilings. “We wanted to create a sense of height and add a third hidden bedroom under the roof.”

Semicircular dividing walls became the main layout mechanism. During the demolition process, Amy and Miles unearthed many relics of the past, from old candlesticks to massive stone plinths. “The building gave us the opportunity to revive some parts of the old pub that were hidden.”

Of course, working within the 150-year-old walls came with a host of unforeseen problems, from crumbling bricks to drainpipes running right through future bedrooms. The designers themselves had to help the builders at all stages and take many risks. However, the obstacles made the team even more resourceful in finding convincing solutions.

The designers opted for tactile materials and a subtle palette. They finished the floor and ceiling in jute, a heavy velvet curtain acts as a divider between the dining and living areas, and the old crumbling brick provides a beautiful contrast to the smooth concrete floors and snow-white walls.

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