Photography by James Geer
If a furniture store was more like a home, what would it look like? This was the question IF Architecture explored for the design of the new flagship store for Jardan, the family-owned company that has designed and crafted furniture in Melbourne for over 25 years.
IF Architecture began by revisiting the great Australian designed homes of the past, those spaces that first captured our uniquely Australian character and spirit. Homes designed by visionaries such as Harry Seidler, Walter Burley Griffin & Marion Mahoney and Sunday & John Reed expressed and celebrated the Australian way of life. They reshaped the use of space and light to make interiors more natural and open, borrowing colour and texture from the Australian landscape. And they weren’t afraid to be daring, playful and adventurous.
As Jardan is now the only surviving producer of hand-crafted contemporary Australian furniture, this ethos is not only fitting, but worthy of honouring. This then, was the aim for Jardan’s new store. More like a home than a store. A living gallery that provides an engaging yet relaxed look at a diverse collection of meticulously designed and crafted furniture and homewares, all placed in the context of our genuine Australian lifestyle.
A previously outdated call centre has been re-imagined to create a space that is exciting, open and stylish. From the street, the external façade is bold, simple and well-branded. To add a touch of grandeur, the exterior features a polished brass wrap-around with embossed Jardan insignia.
The ground floor and upper level display areas are welcoming and comforting. Downstairs is more casual and earthy, upstairs presents a more polished impression with spaces divided into open room settings for the visitor to explore.
A sky-lit courtyard with flourishing trees and plants and outdoor settings, plus a working kitchen with an espresso machine, complete the homelike environment. In contrast with most stores, here the visitor is encouraged to take their time and ‘live’ in the space, to enjoy it like a real domestic environment. The experience is relaxed, comfortable and focused. Exciting, but never overwhelming.
Overall, Jardan’s flagship offers a more naturalistic and intimate vision for a retail space: one that is less like a store, more like a home. “Home is where one starts from” the window into the new Jardan store boldly announces. A visit to the Jardan store at Church Street, Richmond is a fine place to start.
Egon Zehnder is a global executive search firm driven by research, rigour and practical experience. IF Architecture’s outcome for Egon Zehnder Melbourne delivers a design typology founding Egon Zehnder’s brand personality in built form. Master planning, architectural design, interior design and styling have culminated to create a quietly sophisticated space that services the unique demands of Egon Zehnder. Developed for worldwide application, this design typology is sensitive to cultural variations, building types and operational requirements.
Use of a warm timber veneer exposing rich growth rings represents Egon Zehnder’s growth and development, spanning over decades and across multiple continents. Applied in the lobby through a series of arches representing branches, the circular nature of the design expresses an arc connecting past and future growth. A whimsical fusion of old and new contexts translates through traditional moulded timber panels as a rich backdrop for contemporary design features.
The floor plan invites a sense of discretion for candidates and executives. Staff offices also allow an overlap of private and public interaction, with breakout spaces showcasing sweeping views across the Yarra River and Dandenong Ranges. Australian-made products furnish the interiors, alongside upcycled Eero Saarinen furniture circa 1960. Trust, confidentiality and respect are at the heart of architectural considerations; formal and informal settings, public and private spaces embrace the diverse requirements of clients and staff alike.
Glen Iris, Melbourne
Residential addition & renovation
Photography by Andrew Johnson
Our clients at Brandon Street, Glen Iris requested a contemporary residential renovation of their traditional, post-war home. As a young family with modern needs, our clients sort a conversion from their tight, traditional living spaces to open plan kitchen and living areas, along with a facelift to the original areas of their home.
IF Architecture’s response embraces the traditional characteristics of the home through an elegant, modern design approach. The design for the extension is based on the diamond patterning found on the existing front door. The cladding applied in diamond forms creates a bold statement, inviting a break from the traditional. The entire floor plan of the home was reconfigured to introduce new kitchen, living, bathroom and laundry areas, with renovations to the formal lounge, bedrooms and ensuites at the front of the home. A modern kitchen design incorporating appliance cupboards and study nook faces an open plan living area, with timber floors stained to match the original flooring of the home. Patterned feature tiles in the bathrooms add value beyond budget, while the contemporary colour scheme, furniture selection, décor and styling enhance the original features of the home.
St. Kilda, Melbourne
Photography by Andrew Johnson
Il Fornaio is a successful, well established café located at the Prince of Wales complex in St Kilda, Melbourne. Our clients sought a new fit-out of the premises that would enable the display of produce, increase visibility for pedestrian traffic and maximise seating arrangements within the space. IF Architecture’s response focussed on the traditional meaning of ‘Il Fornaio’ the baker and the breadbasket aesthetic, introducing a warm and tactile feel to the interior.
The previous fit-out was pared back to restore the building’s minimalist concrete qualities. The interior space was reconfigured to introduce an efficient table layout styled with woven banquettes, basket woven chairs and wooden 'milk' stools. New custom espresso benches face the outdoor seating area, where a purely functional balustrade was transformed into a bench for additional seating. Feature shelving, glass bottle and cake displays are positioned within street view alongside white neon signage to encourage engagement from passers by, day or night. The fit-out achieves a communal feel with additional spaces to increase patronage and showcase the café’s quality produce.