The Naked Architect: SLD Residence, Workshop 2

Are you looking to renovate or build a new home and have considered using an architect but don’t know where to start? The best way to truly appreciate the benefits of engaging an architect is to hear straight from the architects and clients themselves, and in the homes they’ve created together.  The Naked Architect is a workshop series that arms consumers with in-depth knowledge about working with an architect on a residential renovation and/or new build. Davidov Architects and their client invite you to step inside the doors of their recent project – SLD Residence. Book your spot to hear them ‘bare all’ about managing a project schedule and working together.

Questions to consider:

  • How many hours do you need from stage to stage?
  • How many months do you need from stage to stage?
  • How much contact did you have with each other each week?
  • Did the process go longer or shorter than you expected?

Project Overview

The design cue was a response to the mock-Georgian homes that are being built within the neighbourhood. The design is intended to make subtle references to the scale, proportions and planning of those homes, but in a way that’s able to respond freely to orientation, privacy and function — which the order and style of Georgian architecture cannot do.

Ensuring a sense of privacy away from the road was crucial, and so the main entrance to the home is located on the side of the house rather than the front. An external walkway leads guests from the street to the front door on the recessed lower level. The side location also maximises the amount of natural light into the home, and an external light shaft allows light to flow into the double height foyer. The home adopts a distinctly pared back and refined aesthetic.

The intention was to form space and frame activities with minimal fuss and ornament. With our work there’s always a determination to heighten particular experiences and add contrast between daytime and evening events. This is best played out in bathrooms and meals areas, which have a focus on natural lighting and very different and specific artificial lighting at night.

This is emphasised with the use of raw elements and sparse detailing throughout the home. Unembellished slabs of monochromatic marble feature in the bar, bathroom vanities and plinths, and brushed stainless-steel is used in the staircase lighting and pendant suspended above the kitchen island. In contrast to these cooler elements and materials, a sense of warmth comes via the smoked European oak floorboards, and the material’s repetition in key internal doors and panelling. Niches and walls were built specifically to house the clients period furniture and a vintage 1970s dining setting, all characterful additions to the contemporary setting.


Davidov Architects — Practice Profile:

The studio was founded in Melbourne, Australia by Robert Davidov in 2011 and has developed a reputation as a design focused studio with a distinctive approach to design and lifestyle. We invest our time developing in good design that is enduring and grounded focussing on crafting warm minimalist spaces through the principles of proportion, spatial sequence, composition, materiality and light. The result is the creation of architecture that is timeless.

Our approach to new commissions is to build a strong relationship with our clients and work closely with them to distil their needs and unlock their vision. To do this we gain an understanding of our client’s motivations and character as well as an understanding of the site and its potential. By discarding the latest trends and embracing an approach of simplicity and order, we arrive at a pragmatic yet poetic outcome that enhance and support our clients’ lifestyle.


Other workshops in Series 3:


About The Naked Architect

The Naked Architect is a workshop series that arms consumers with in-depth knowledge about working with an architect on a residential renovation and/or new build. A series of interactive workshops will provide a behind the scenes look at what it is like to work with an architect. The series is targeted at people who are considering renovating or building a new home and have considered using an architect but don’t know where to start, or are apprehensive about working with an architect due to the common myths around affordability, complexity and ego. The workshops will offer practical guidance, advice and ideas about engaging an architect on a home renovation or new build project.

The Naked Architect is an initiative of Open House Melbourne, with support from the Architects Registration Board of Victoria, and in association with ArchiTeam.

Images: Veeral Patel

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Important Details


Toorak VIC 3142

Time & Date

Saturday 21 September

Davidov Architects
Workshop 2: SLD Residence
Theme: Scheduling and Time


Note: Full address details available upon booking. Light refreshments provided.

Access: Limited mobility, shoes off at door, external photography only.

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