Walmer, the Belle of the design ball.
This Spring, on the banks of the Yarra River, Belle magazine partnered with Walmer to bring an intimate evening of festivities for the project’s esteemed community.
Led by Belle editor, Tanya Buchanan, our Walmer design partners Bates Smart Studio Directors, Tim Leslie and Mark Healey, and Kett Furniture Design Director, Justin Hutchinson shared their thoughts on urban life, innovative design and meaningful living with our guests.
Read on to find out more.
- Tanya Buchanan: How have you seen Australian design change, including your perception of it, throughout your career?Tim Leslie:From an architectural perspective, Australia has always been innovative in design. We see this especially from modernism onwards which focussed on connecting architecture back to the landscape. This connectivity has been a strong ethos throughout our national design heritage.At an international level, Australian designers are renowned for our ability to respond with design to harness the unique quality of natural light we have here. What we’ve done here very clearly at Walmer is to emphasise the project’s interaction with its setting with responsive design to create a relationship between the project and the context.
- TB: Walmer is unlike any other development I’ve seen for its unique setting. With a project of this kind, where do you begin the design process?
MH: The journey starts at the front door. From one aspect, Walmer engages with the bustling setting of Victoria Street, but it’s balanced by the amazing quietude of the project’s river frontage. Tim and I talked long and hard about how to balance these and create a threshold that celebrates the uniqueness of the location by transporting people from the urban landscape, and into the natural.
It’s very rare to get a north facing river frontage with the escarpment. When we came to the site and saw the eucalypts and saw the Yarra – we knew it was special. We wanted to ensure that everyone who comes to call Walmer home benefits from those incredible views, so we conceived of the unique u-shape of Walmer to offer that to residents.
- TB: Beyond architecture, how has this flowed in to the interiors and colour palettes and furniture?MH:The river is ever moving, and Salta believed that in order for the project to truly represent this in its interior there had to be generous room for customisation. Similarly, the palette mirrors the natural setting. It’s muted and warm with clay tones, stone and sleet.
Justin Hutchinson: Kett draws great inspiration from place in our collections. Each of our pieces are defined by a specific colour, shape and form that is representative of the Australian landscape, because of this Walmer is a project we feel a genuine alignment with.There is a sense of timelessness to what we’re creating here at Walmer. We aren’t trying to over-design something, what we are offering is understated. It’s not “on-trend, it’s parred back and essential.
I see a real migration of design both within an Australian setting and internationally happening. In the past our premium furniture design has come from elsewhere, whereas now we go abroad to design fairs and see our products featured there. Our whole by-line at Kett is “inside looking out,” and that really typifies what’s happening here both in Australian design, and in the project.
Walmer’s display suite is now open available by appointment. Click to register today, or call us on 03 9673 1118 to speak to our concierge, to experience a new way of living that calms the human spirit.