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Chenchow Little and the finely crafted workspace

Chenchow Little and the finely crafted workspace


Photography Peter Bennetts, Aimee Crouch, Karina Illovska.

“Instantly noticed because the detailing, lighting and materiality was executed so beautifully and skilfully, it quickly became apparent that a very clever conceptual idea was at work. That is, an urban design planning approach to a small space that resonates with the very nature of the residential market. The scale and materiality of a house is evoked without being thematically domestic, while the notion of exploring a baroque village defines a refreshing spatial outcome.” —Robert Backhouse, IDEA 2015 Jury

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Envisioned as a Baroque townscape set within its tenancy envelope, the interior presents a crafted and delicate composition of elemental figures seemingly dropped into a container – figures that twist in scale and orientation to create contracting and expanding spaces and guide open circulation paths.

Within the existing raw shell, a pristine tray of timber has been inserted that seamlessly folds from floor to wall to folded pelmet, stopping shy of the exposed tenancy ceiling – creating a beautiful periphery that nothing touches and maximising the surface area available for the display of artwork.

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The geometry can be best described as an unfolding box, with points that connect and peel away to reveal small fragments of the existing raw shell, establishing a clear reading of ‘old’ and ‘new’. Workstations are suspended from the ceiling upon thin black skeletal frames that appear to ‘float’ above the ground plane. Horizontality is prioritised in the banding of lighting and used as a graphical device to elongate the sense of space in a small interior.

The design is not about features, but rather a crafted and delicate composition of elements: the result of applying a macro-scale strategy to the micro-scale – big ideas in small spaces.

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