The Tribeca trend

New York style living is beginning to make its mark on Perth’s architectural landscape.

New York style living is beginning to make its mark on Perth's architectural landscape. Photo: Webb & Brown-Neaves

Think those industrial chic, New York warehouse apartments are only for Manhattanites? Think again. New York warehouse style is not just for the likes of people there – it’s on the rise in Western Australia in a big way. Not only do Tribeca-style homes work extremely well for the WA way of life with our great climate and love of entertaining and open-plan living, but the carefully considered proportioning and multi-functionality of warehouse living spaces is also a perfect match for the increasing urban density of our city.

 Photo: Webb & Brown-Neaves

Etica Studio owner and building designer Carla Karsakis said she was not surprised that warehouse-inspired homes were surging in popularity in Perth recently and said the industrial apartments of big cities like New York, London, Paris and Buenos Aires had a lot to teach us when it came to making the most of every square metre.

“In achieving Perth’s infill goals as part of Directions 2031, where lots will become increasingly smaller whilst reducing unnecessary wasted space within homes to more sustainable sizes, we can learn valuable lessons from warehouse-style apartments,” she said.

Designed by Etica Studio.Designed by Etica Studio. Photo: Meghan Plowman

“In these apartments, space is concentrated in main living areas, ceiling heights are lifted and proportions of openings are of a much grander scale, giving the sense of large spaces without the need for increased footprints.”

Ms Karsakis said part of the allure of warehouse apartments came from the sense of grandeur people naturally associated with ceiling heights and rooms with large volume.

Designed by Etica Studio.Designed by Etica Studio. Photo: Meghan Plowman

“This is a departure from homes with many small rooms and low ceiling heights which eschew a more domestic sense of scale and feel,” she said.

“In addition the use of raw materials such as recycled face brick, raw timber and steel akin with the typical warehouse aesthetic gives a casual and more relaxed yet warm feel to spaces and homes in an era where we host such busy lives and want to retreat to homes that envelope us with warmth.”

A great thing about the Tribeca trend is that you don’t have to own an old warehouse to get your own bit of industrial chic – elements of the look can be incorporated into a new-build, renovation or an extension. Think about incorporating interior features such as raw timber, recycled face brick, vaulted ceilings, exposed steel, plywood cabinetry, exposed airconditioning ducts, concrete, stone floors or reclaimed wood floors and wall colours such as dark grey or black.

Designed by Etica Studio.Designed by Etica Studio. Photo: Meghan Plowman

Enhance the look with design elements such as rustic metal detailing, recycled doors, subway tiles with dark grout, stainless steel in the kitchen, eclectic industrial furniture, indoor plants, oversize artwork or canvases, bold graphic art, industrial style pendant lights or filament lighting such as Edison-style bulbs. Outdoor courtyards hung with bulb lights and decorated with potted trees can give the feel of a New York-style rooftop garden for alfresco entertaining.

Ms Karsakis said she had numerous clients approach her design company wanting their home to incorporate significant elements of warehouse design. One of her recent projects was a character renovation in Kensington that gave an old art deco home an open-plan warehouse-style rear extension with features including recycled materials, high ceilings, exposed brick, an open living space, timber and steel windows and large amounts of glazing, appropriately placed for the Perth climate on northern facades.

Designed by Etica Studio. Designed by Etica Studio. Photo: Meghan Plowman

Keeping up with the trend, building company Oswald Homes recently released a new display home called the Warehaus based on modernist architecture teamed with industrial styling. Oswald Homes principal designer Brook Leber said Tribeca-inspired abodes like the Warehaus were very well suited to the Perth lifestyle.

“The ‘stripped-back’ nature of the designs match well with the relaxed attitude and lifestyle of modern West Australians,” he said.

“This style of architecture appeals to people with a unique sense of style and individuality and is not typically restricted to any demographic.”

Home builders Webb & Brown-Neaves have also produced a New York warehouse-style abode, the Tribeca, a narrow-lot home that features recycled bricks, expansive glass windows, an internal timber-clad feature wall and exposed airconditioning ducts in the family room.

 Photo: Webb & Brown-Neaves

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