The new Queens Domain development on Queens Road, designed by DKO Architecture, will feature striking sculptural balconies designed to work in harmony with the facade’s curvilinear membrane which will arch upwards, creating an impression of skyward movement.
Configured over 20 levels and comprising 235, one, two and three-bedroom generous sized apartments, Queens Domain will have 255 car parks and two 220 SQM+ luxury penthouses. It’s a building that pays homage to the neighbouring Romburgs and Boyds, presenting its own graceful form and further adding to Melbourne’s rich and diverse architectural heritage.
DKO Principal Koos de Keijzer says while the neighbouring Romburg flats, named Stanhill and Newborn are traditional and functionalist buildings with sweeping open balconies and fine glass detailing, “Queens Domain takes up the next thread in this story reinterpreting existing elements, while showcasing the design and construction techniques of our time.”
But it’s not just the exterior of this development that is special - the interiors, by award-winning Melbourne design practice Nexus Design, have been created to focus on residents’ wellbeing, using light, calming palettes and a raft of innovative and luxurious fittings.
Nexus Designs’ Creative Director Sonia Simpfendorfer and Associate Director Lucy Marczyk took their lead from DKO's architecture and materiality, and drawing on a unique combination of high-tech and natural materials, the pair have created luxurious interior schemes designed to reflect the development’s surrounding areas, connecting to the landscape of neighbouring Albert Park Lake and the Botanical Gardens.
"To bring that combination of nature and high-tech into the apartments, we've got limestone floor tiles throughout the living areas as well as the kitchen, so those two spaces are not divided,” says Lucy. “It's a seamless look which makes them feel more spacious. The tiles, from Europe, also run into the bathrooms, and line the walls as well, as one continuous material.”
Such continuity is also a feature of the imported Italian kitchens in every apartment. Designed by Snaidero, a family-run business from the north-east of Italy, the kitchens, says Lucy, are “very special”.
“They’re beautiful - they feature a timber laminate finish, even in the cutlery inserts, in combination with a high-tech, solid-surface material for the bench tops. It’s a dense acrylic which is laid in sheets and then welded together seamlessly,” she says.
“We have also moulded the sinks so it becomes one continuous, seamless surface.”
This slick surface is also used in Queens Domain’s elegant bathrooms, where each basin has been custom designed.
“The bathroom basins are large volume and are designed to reference the lines of the facade exterior, by using soft, curved lines. It’s very gentle and designed in such a way that the towel rail is integrated into it and also the toilet roll holder,” Lucy says.
“Its a beautiful material to touch, it’s durable and stain resistant and makes for a warmer look, We wanted to use the idea of taking one element and seeing how much we could do with it to minimise things like towel rails and toilet holders on the walls; simplifying the space to make it feel larger."
Even the wardrobes at Queen’s Domain will be special. Imported from Italy from Pianca, the modular system, allows for full customisation of each component; they feature adjustable shelving and shoe racks and can be added to later for further customisation.
The internal doors in the apartments are another innovation, says Lucy.
“The doors will also feature the same timber laminate as the kitchen. We’ve used GD Dorigo, a prefabricated system from Italy, that have fully adjustable hinges,” she says.
Doors are usually fitted early in developments, leading to damage and need for adjustment later, but the GD Dorigo system is brought in at the end, installed once everything has been built and painted.
“In that way, the system is seen as furniture,” Lucy says. “It’s like nothing I’ve used before and I don’t believe there’s anything in the Australian market like it.”
Queen’s Domain’s communal and outdoor spaces are also unlike other developments - in addition to a roof-top BBQ and garden area, there are a multitude of common areas on the ground floor including a kitchen and lounge that leads to an outdoor BBQ setup.
“This means there’s a direct connection to the large garden which faces on to Queens Road. As well as the pool, the gym also opens out on the garden and even features exterior equipment outside, which is pretty special,” says Lucy.
The entire development, inside and out, she says is “cutting edge”. “It’s been a beautiful balance too between using natural materials and new, cutting-edge high-tech materials, and this is a combination that makes Queen’s Domain feel very warm and inviting.”