As the children of a Sydney family approached driving age, the parents quickly realised there was simply no space on-site for any additional vehicles. Their solution? Building a garage below ground.
Instead of designing your standard brutalist car park with an abundance of concrete and little regard for internal aesthetics, architect Angela Kent from Kenström Design opted for something alternative. The result is what you see before you: halfway between a luxury showroom and where Bruce Wayne would keep his Batmobile.
Kent aimed for a warm and calming atmosphere that would transition well to the rich, traditional detailing inside the house. While softening the harshness of dark walls with wooden battens is a relatively routine procedure for Kent, at one point, she was worried that utilising organic materials underground would provoke mould – given this space is deprived of natural light.
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The answer to her problem was found in Japanese-made aluminium battens with a photorealistic timber finish, providing the effect of timber without the potential issues of using natural wood.
A true Portland cement-based concrete terrazzo overlay replaced traditional floor tiles, enabling the builders to achieve a virtually joint-free surface. This concrete floor combined with the aluminium battens creates an elegant appeal that doesn’t compromise on practicality. Essentially, it’s low maintenance and stunning, the way a luxury garage should be.
Kent ditched the reflective, glossy surfaces of traditional showrooms and selected LED strip lights to be fitted behind the wall battens at the skirting, as to provide a soft glow throughout the entire space. The lighting design highlights the curvature of the walls and lines of the battens, ridding the entire area of its former industrial atmosphere.
With immense consideration given to every aspect, this garage represents the perfect intersection of contemplated simplicity and great materials. The most unfortunate part about all this is that it’s hidden underground, away from the public.
See more images in the gallery below, courtesy of The Local Project.