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Warehouse apartment conversion with sleek kitchen in dark timber veneer

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Pied-a-terre for out-of-town owners features large kitchen with dark timber veneer cabinets, stainless steel and stone benchtops, mobile island

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Converting warehouse space into an apartment provides a great opportunity to take a more adventurous approach to design.

And that's precisely what architect Daniel Ash did with this conversion – he used high-end materials, strong textural contrasts and bright colour accents to create an apartment that gleams like a jewel box in a semi-industrial setting.

"The entire apartment needed to have the look and feel of an international hotel, which would be a major change from the owners' main residence – a coastal property out of town," the architect says.

"And the kitchen needed to be the dynamic centrepiece. It had to be highly functional, suitable for entertaining and part of the living space, rather than a separate area."

At the same time, however, the architect wanted to create a sense of arrival for the apartment, with a front door that would not open directly into the living room.

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With this in mind, Ash positioned the kitchen cabinetry in a freestanding U shape. Because it is set away from the walls, there is a circulation space around the back that creates an entry passage.

A series of shelves and overhead cabinets supported by black powdercoated steel ribs provide transparency, so it's possible to glimpse activity in the kitchen. This also helps to increase the sense of space.

"The material palette acknowledges the industrial building and the city location," says Ash. "We have exposed the concrete ceiling and walls, and used a lot of grey and black to create a rich, dark palette. The cabinets are a dark timber veneer, but this is lightened by highly polished concrete flooring and benchtops in stone and gleaming stainless steel."

The stainless steel on the perimeter cabinets turns up to form the splashback and then folds over the top and down the rear of the cabinetry to provide sleek panels at the back.

"There are four large blocks of joinery, with storage provided on every side – every square inch of space is used."

The long island doubles as a table. One end is on castors, so it can be wheeled outside or into the garage for parties.

Another key feature is the use of bright red accents. High-gloss lacquered doors, including the laser-cut front door, provide inviting pops of colour, visible from all corners.

First published date: 28 July 2015

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Credit List

Oven, cooktop and dishwasher Miele
Architect Daniel Ash, Daniel Ash Architects
Cabinetry Timber veneer with black powdercoated aluminium ribs
Benchtops Reconstituted stone from Stone Italia; stainless steel
Splashback Stainless steel
Sink Franke Mythos
Taps Franke Kubus
Ventilation Qasair
Refrigeration Liebherr
Flooring Mirror-finish polished concrete
Pendants Sonic Lighting @@@ Story by Colleen Hawkes ***