Project Sheet: Journey to discovery

B.E ARCHITECTURE INTRODUCED THIS HOMEOWNER TO NEW IDEAS AND ARTISTS, TO CREATE A COLLECTION THAT REMAINS MEANINGFUL AND MEMORABLE. REBECCA GROSS WRITES. PHOTOGRAPHY BY DEREK SWALWELL.

A custom-made ringlight by B.E Architecture hangs above the dining table. A work by Heather B. Swann hangs on the wall next to a wall sculpture by Mark Hilton.

A custom-made ringlight by B.E Architecture hangs above the dining table. A work by Heather B. Swann hangs on the wall next to a wall sculpture by Mark Hilton.

SELECTING AND COLLECTING art is a journey of discovery. For B.E Architecture, it’s a journey that begins with the design of a house and continues long after construction is complete, as they work with clients to select pieces that will remain meaningful and memorable. “This is a process of introducing the client to new ideas and discussions. It can take months, even years, but it results in a collection that the client understands, rather than one that was made for them,” B.E design director Broderick Ely explains.

This Armadale house is the residence of a vibrant couple who downsized from a large family period home. B.E designed the light-filled contemporary space and collaborated with the client to select artworks and furnishings that express their joyous outlook on life. Together, B.E and the client met gallery owners and artists and participated in local and overseas auctions. “The clients were accepting of ideas, wanting to be challenged, and readily embraced our recommendations. The interiors subsequently have their unmistakable sense of fun!” says Broderick.

The artworks were selected for their beauty and story, ability to promote thought and prompt conversation and how they may be perceived together. “Like seeing a gallery show, an individual work should be meaningful in its own right, and a collection should speak as a group,” Broderick says.

Artworks and sculptures are set against the neutral backdrop of the house with colours, forms and textures complementing the eclectic mix of contemporary and vintage furniture and lighting. In the living area, existing pieces by Australian artists David Boyd and Peter D Cole are displayed on the sideboard. B.E custom-designed the sculptural circular ceiling light – comprising hundreds of coloured disks – and the custom Perspex coffee table that doubles as bookshelf. “Many of the items have strong colour and texture but they sit comfortably together and look as if they are part of a collection accumulated over many years,” says Broderick.

B.E introduced the clients to artists Mark Hilton, Imants Tillers and Heather B. Swann. Tillers’ Das Napoleonspiel hangs in the hallway and Hilton’s haunting 7O, from his work Dontworry, is on the living room wall. Swann’s sculptural figures, Lump and Sticks, express curiosity in the human condition and are positioned in the front entry.

Two portraits by David Noonan are also in the foyer, where they are paired with a mirror. The setup creates a reflected effect, both real and perceived. “There is always something that makes you stop and take a second look,” says Broderick.

Nadav Kander’s photographic work Erin O’Connor as Millais’s Ophelia hangs in the television room, in harmony with the olive-green velvet sofa and cushions covered with vintage Meizai fabric.

The design, construction and furnishing of this house may now be complete, but selecting and collecting art and the journey of discovery continues. “We are still in close contact with the client and send them interesting new works for them to consider adding to their collection,” says Broderick.

Related Stories

In Armadale House, a collection heavy with Indigenous art is met with lush textures and custom furniture.

Project Sheet: First Instincts

Designer Simone Haag trusted her intuition to decorate this Melbourne home filled with Indigenous art, custom-made furniture and doses of personality.
In the kitchen, the industrial palette of the pacific marble island bench and David Groppi pendant light is o set by the colour pop of the Raf Simons love seat.

Project Sheet: Sanctuary Above the Trees

Arent&Pyke create an elevated sanctuary filled with pastel tones, personal touches, and a sizeable collection of Australian and Korean art.
As its name would suggest, Palm Beach evokes a tranquil home-away-from-home atmosphere.

Project Sheet: Paris by the Sea

Palm Beach House matches a minimalist French aesthetic with an art collection that expresses fun, youthfulness, and a passion for craftsmanship.
SJB director of interiors, Andrew Parr, has a penchant for bold pieces. Here, he stands in front of Hazel Dooney’s Dangerous Career Babe – The Terrorist.

Living/Loving: Clash of the Walls

High contrast, pops of colour and large-scale artworks invigorate the interiors of Andrew Parr’s residence.
Two works by Greg Wood are propped in the living space.

Project sheet: A deeper meaning

SWEE LIM IMPARTS HER LOVE OF FINE ART TO HER CLIENTS, BRINGING EMOTION, ENERGY AND EXPRESSION INTO EVERY SPACE.
A custom-made ringlight by B.E Architecture hangs above the dining table. A work by Heather B. Swann hangs on the wall next to a wall sculpture by Mark Hilton.

Project Sheet: Journey to Discovery

B.E ARCHITECTURE INTRODUCED THIS HOMEOWNER TO NEW IDEAS AND ARTISTS, TO CREATE A COLLECTION THAT REMAINS MEANINGFUL AND MEMORABLE.

Related Artworks

Kate Bender, Into His Fiery Heart. Oil on canvas, 84 x 152cm.
Kate Bender, Only the Wind Sings