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FMD Architects’ Queens Chambers delivers relaxed beauty

In the heart of Melbourne, this space for a prominent Queen’s Counsel provides calm and respite through a stylish mix of soft forms, striking artwork and designer furniture.

FMD Architects’ Queens Chambers delivers relaxed beauty

There are a few words that immediately come to mind when describing the Queens Chambers project, beginning with cosy, calm and inviting. Certainly, such words would have figured in the brief to FMD Architects, which was tasked with creating an interior of quiet contemplation for a prominent Melbourne-based Queen’s Counsel. Used between court proceedings, the space needs to function as a place of respite, but also provide somewhere for research, hosting colleagues and work-related meetings.

“The curvaceous interior represents a cocoon that lets the client nestle,” explains FMD Architects director Fiona Dunin. “This allows our client to have space for careful consideration as well as space to harness the creativity needed to prepare for an upcoming court case.”

Curved blonde joinery at once softens the Chambers and gives it a distinct, modern appearance. It contrasts nicely with the oak flooring, which has been finished in a rich chocolate-hued stain. This in turn complements the stark black feature wall. The design eschews the typical monotone palette usually employed to realise a sense of calm, instead playing with light and dark to achieve an easy visual flow.

As a result, everything is effortlessly curated and nothing feels forced. Artwork has been used to punctuate the scheme and Dunin has selected pieces that are sophisticated yet possess a quiet drama. A framed Petrina Hicks photograph sits on a white wall, its model’s white-blonde hair all the more striking in this context.

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Meanwhile, a digital artwork featuring fantastical mushrooms by Guy Lavoipierre plays on the television. It represents a connection to nature, symbolising transformation, and is eye-catching for the stunning colour and form of its subject matter. The furniture is likewise elegant and judiciously selected for both comfort and flair. The selection includes a Ross Gardam table, the Fluffy lounge chair by Fredrik A. Kayser and Gubi’s Beetle Chair.

Dunin ensured the client could block out the city beyond when required and this is part of the space’s appeal. “The interior transitions seamlessly between night and day with the pull of a curtain, endeavouring to provide for the duality of work and rest, ultimately offering respite from a day in court,” she says. With the curtain drawn, the space is even more relaxing and it’s this simple device that truly helps to achieve the desired cocoon-like effect.

This is an understated project that is decidedly domestic in scale. Its calming ambience is accentuated with a clever use of form and colour, while decorative elements are restrained, enhancing the interior’s relaxed beauty.  

FMD Architects

Tatjana Plitt

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